Hello everyone and Welcome to the SEO Jo Blogs podcast. This is Jo Turnbull and I am pleased to have on the show today, Barry Adams on the show today. Double Award Winner, he won two awards at the UK Search Awards in London in November. Barry Adams and I was lucky to be able to share the table with Barry at the UK Search Awards November 2016.
Listen the podcast below or read the transcript of the interview.
1) What do you think was the key to you winning “Best Small SEO Agency” and “Best Low Budget Campaign” at the UK Search Awards
It is very hard for me to answer that because I only know what my own submission contained. I can’t look at what the other competitors had submitted to the awards.
I think for best low budget campaign, the return on investment was very very powerful because we had a pretty low budget, hence the low budget campaign category.
I think we managed to achieve quite a lot especially considering that particular website was newly launched in late 2015. So we started from a very low point and managed to get really good results, really good rankings and lots of high converting traffic in a fairly small amount of time.
For Best Small SEO Agency
I think it all added to a lot of different things .For that submission, I talked about all the other projects I had been involved in and the client work I had been doing in the last year. I think that made it stand out a little bit especially because we are the smallest an agency can be.
It is just me and my wife Alison who basically run the agency. And for us to be able to deliver these projects and work for these large brands is quite special so I think that helped us stand out from the competitors.
That is impressive, especially as you have not been running for long. When did you officially launch Polemic Digital?
I started working for myself in 2014 and we became an incorporated agency in the early 2016. So it is about 2.5 nearly 3 years now I have been going. It has been fantastic from the very first day. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, it is always a bit exciting and then terrifying when you stand out on your own.
Especially is trying especially as I have been working for other companies and employers and companies for my entire career. So this has been a very big step.
But it has been a success from the very first moment. I had clients straight off the bat. So I am really pleased with how it has gone.
2) Big Congratulations. What results (if you can share this) did you mention in your submission to get nominated? Did you have to share the results you achieved particularly for that low budget campaign within your submission?
Yes absolutely. Especially for those sort of campaigns where it is about making a big splash for very little budget, you really need to share it all, bear it all.
You need to have confidence that the Judges will a) treat it confidentially which you expect them to do and b) they will see the value of what you managed to do within that particular project.
So it was more about making sure that the budget was spent on the low hanging fruit on the tactics that yielded the best results.
3) What was the biggest challenge of delivering results for the low budget campaign? Can you confirm the budget (or percentage).
Yes, for that particular website which was supersaveroil.com, the heating oil market in Northern Ireland we had less than 700 pounds a month to spend on just that website
So we really need to focus on things that were going to deliver results.
Especially as home heating oil online is dominated by price comparison website like the cheapest oil and boiler juice.
So we wanted to compete with them and go head to head with them but we did not have the budget to do anything that would make a huge impact. So it is more about skipping away at the tactics that we know works really well.
So it was about building the right kinda links to the website and especially focusing on quality content on the blog because it is a home heating oil brand focused on low prices. So we wanted to write a lot of interesting and insightful articles about saving energy at home, saving money at home and basically fitting into that money saving niche in combination with energy and heating and running a household.
4) How have you managed the challenges of not having as many resources being a small agency (compared to when you worked for a larger organisation)
It is about making sure you surround yourself with the right people. I can’t say I do everything myself. I try to do as much as I can. We do use outsources here and there for projects and specific skill sets.
When it comes to outsourcing link building and content writing. It is about getting the right people to work with you, people who you know do really high quality work, who are reliable and share the same perspectives on SEO.
That has really enabled us to punch above our weight. Not by hiring people but by partnering with the right other agencies and freelancers to be able to deliver these sorts of projects.
5) What is your plan for 2017? You have won 2 awards in 2016 !
We set the bar pretty high in 2016. It was a great year for us professionally. I think it is about making sure we maintain this level of quality and possibly expanding the agency.
There are a few other prospective clients that I have suddenly started to get in the running for as it which can be fairly hefty projects. If I do win one or two of those, we might need to actually consider hiring more staff and becoming a proper agency rather than just a two person outfit.
Which is quite exciting because on the one hand, it was not something I was looking forward to because I quite like the freedom of it just being me and my wife and doing this combing this having a comfortable existence. But when you hire people and build an agency, the whole dynamic changes. It is something I have been having a lot of internal debates but it is not something I want to do so it is still up for discussion whether I will go down that route and it is definitely an option I am exploring.
Where can we find you?
Twitter is the best way to follow me. I am Badams on Twitter. My website is Polemic Digital. I will also be speaking at the next BrightonSEO in April. I also will be at Search Leeds in June.