I was nowhere before 2013. Like many, being famous on the Internet was one of the many dreams I harboured when I got into digital marketing.
Today, I’m with E2M as a Local Search Specialist, leading an exceptional team and working in just the kind of supportive environment I was looking for.
I will be very honest – I was fired from my previous company due to project crises (I worked with various firms for 2 years prior to joining E2M). They would use old SEO techniques until Google Panda and Penguin updates came along. I didn’t know if that was a good or a bad thing at that time. Post that, I traveled, did interviews, and soon after, learnt about E2M.
E2M came along and saved me. The Directors, Manish and Pratik, took a chance on me (probably because they could see some inherent talent) and since then, I’ve spent the last 3 years shaping my career with their firm.
The Road from There
It takes patience and learning to transform from an SEO guy into a Digital Marketer, and fortunately for me, the team at E2M was more than willing to help me further my digital marketing career.
Today, I can say that I’m a columnist for renowned publications such as Entrepreneur, Heyo, Social Media Examiner, Startup Grind, Cision, and so on. I feel that I’ve been getting more productive with each day and more importantly, I can now help others establish authority in their area of expertise online.
Here I Am
One important thing that I realized in the early stages of joining E2M is that I needed to care about my company. I’ve used the word ‘my’ because if I want people to be connected to me, I need to think carefully about how I serve them and give them a reason to stay.
I have filtered the most valuable lessons of working with a digital marketing agency into these 5 essential takeaways:
1. SEO Continues to Make Its Presence Felt
What makes E2M’s marketing approach to content, local SEO and social media so successful is their roots in SEO best practices.
A. SEO Has Changed
I come from the days of old-school SEO, where advanced tactics meant stuffing keywords into posts, and putting one article in multiple blogging sites. This, however, leads to sites getting penalized.
When it comes to effective SEO, long-tail keywords are your friends. You will have better luck with a long-tail keyword as it faces lower search volume, less competition, and has higher relevancy for the audience. Think of what your audience wants, and what search words they will enter in search engines to find it.
B. Good Content Is Everything
As important as SEO is, never let it get in the way of people-friendly writing. This is the most important thing I have learnt about succeeding in content marketing, local SEO strategizing and social media planning. A sound content marketing strategy is crucial to succeed. Optimize your writing for people, and the search engines will follow.
C. Local SEO Matters to Local Clients
Local SEO is a lot different from your average SEO campaign, and local search results are changing more rapidly than ever. I’m of the opinion that Local SEO holds a lot of promise.
Anything you do to promote the online visibility of local businesses, organizations, and resources can be called local search marketing. You can promote the visibility of local businesses, schools, parks, organizations, churches, or anything that exists for public use in any given city or town.
That’s why I selected local SEO as a career option. It can be truly meaningful to help a client be found by their customers, who would never have known about them otherwise.
D. Upgrade Yourself with Changing Technology
Marketing messages that worked years ago still work today, but in different ways. If you want to learn something new, think outside the box.
2. Your Firm Is Yours
A. “Think Like It’s Your Company”
“You are not an employee. Think like it’s your company”.
This is what our CEO, Manish Dhudhrejia, mentions very often.
I can relate to this completely. In my experience, thinking like a business owner can significantly accelerate your success regardless of whether you’re unemployed, misemployed, or looking for better opportunities.
B. Provide Holistic Services, Not Just SEO
I don’t mean to boast, but I was good at SEO. I used to get amazing results for clients and I still do. Most clients are always looking for services that are worth their time and money. They can buy packages from digital marketing agencies, but they when they pay they expect brilliant service/results.
Client buy services not packages
They don’t know what a title tag or a meta description is; they don’t understand terms such as exact match, naked URL, duplicate content, etc. We can explain these terms to them creating custom reports with lots of points and screenshots to give them an understanding of the work we do.
C. Quality Over Quantity Any Day
To build an online business that is successful in the long term, you need to focus on providing quality.
High-quality SEO will always be in demand. Traffic and ranking improvements can mean millions of dollars for a company’s bottom-line.
SEO is based on data, delving through technical issues, and problem solving. But, its greatest opportunities come from combining the analytical side with an artful understanding of users and search engines, and using experienced hunches to gain competitive edge.
D. Build Strong Client Relationships
You can set yourself apart from your competitors by exceeding client expectations.
If you give them even 10% more in terms of service, support and satisfaction, they will reward you hundredfold.
Delight your customers and they will respond by delighting you. I’ve learned several business lessons simply by working with my clients.
3. Organizational Culture Makes a Big Difference
A great corporate culture encourages growth. I’m being encouraged to learn more about every facet of the business, through sessions with co-workers, marketing expert blogs, good SEO books and case studies.
A. Team = Together Everyone Achieves More
I was incredibly nervous the first time I made a recommendation after becoming Team Lead. How could I tell my boss that we thought our way was better than his? But, as it turned out, the results were on our side. We all wanted nothing but the best for our client and worked together to make it happen.
B. Weekly Meetings Can Do Wonders
I’d never attended a weekly/biweekly meeting before joining E2M. The idea of conducting such meetings was formulated by E2M’s Co-founder Pratik Dholakiya. The meetings give us opportunities to learn from each other and interact with the management.
C. Learn From the Experts
If you want to learn SEO from the masters, here are the two bloggers you need to follow: Pratik Dholakiya and Rohan Ayyar.
Pratik Dholakiya and the team at E2M are content marketing powerhouses. They will help you learn everything about digital marketing, from link building to guest blogging.
Rohan Ayyar has written over 250 articles for various SEO platforms. He is a marketing geek, a strategist, has an entertaining writing style, which makes readers laugh while they learn new things. For example, this is a quote from his latest blog post:
“There’s a lot of great content out there, and choosing only one from among all of it seems unfair.”
D. Know Your SEO Gurus
Reading blogs of SEO gurus will teach you about PPC, Content Marketing, Budgeting, Copywriting, and anything else inbound marketing related. It can be interesting to be in the know of the road they take in the future.
4. Work On Yourself
A. Sow What You Want to Reap
I have spent many hours educating myself and acquiring new skills. I don’t consider a single hour wasted.
I’ve learnt that when you do something valuable and different from the usual, you’re bound to wow your team!
Internet marketing is one business where even a small amount of knowledge can translate into big revenue. The knowledge gained from certain online blogs, seminars and conferences serve as the seed that blooms and develops into a profitable online business.
The more knowledgeable you are the better, the better your decisions are, and the greater your success is.
B. Opportunities Will Keep Coming
We often hear marketers complaining about SEO not being effective anymore or the market being saturated and getting increasingly competitive.
There is no “right time” to become a digital marketing expert. And if you think SEO was easier before 2012, think again!
There is much good SEO information to be found around you, if you only look properly. You can access tons of information through Google, YouTube and other resources.
C. Stay Abreast of Latest Technology and Techniques
Pandas, Penguins, Hummingbirds, and what not! How to keep up with the latest SEO trends? It can be very difficult to stay updated with everything going on in the SEO world, but it isn’t impossible.
Being updated, however, is important as it helps you strategize to drive quality traffic, get visibility, boost your brand, and lend your business the credibility it needs to succeed.
D. Share Knowledge to Grow Further
Showcase your skills and share them with others, and you will get more appreciation. Even if you teach other colleagues about something you’ve mastered, you will always be a step ahead of them. Don’t be afraid of failure when trying something new, because despite the setback, you will have learnt something new.
I’ve made several presentations and submitted blog posts on platforms such as Duct Tape Marketing, AllBusiness.com, SEO Chat, Business.com, Ignite Social Media and many more. These are powerful methods of sharing knowledge with others.
5. Life At a Great Digital Marketing Agency
A. Earn People’s Trust
If you lie to your client/boss, then you will lose their trust. If you want to win them over, then there has to be 100% trust between both parties. I personally think that the more transparent you are in your work, the more you will be trusted.
B. “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish”
There is always room for further improvement when it comes to excelling at what you do. There is always more to be done and a better way to do things. The day you stop developing and think, “This is good enough” will be the day that you allow your competitors to take over from you.
In order to be the best, you will need to rework your process several times. It doesn’t mean we are bad at it, but every time we do this, we go back and find something that helps to bring in better results. So, never be satisfied with what you’ve achieved so far.
C. Don’t Become Complacent
If you work with an already successful and established successful digital marketing agency, do not let complacency take over. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential drawbacks and explore and diversify. I did that with my organization by diversifying into topics related to Local SEO audit and tools to bring more traffic to its blog.
For me, working with a digital marketing agency implies reaching business objectives, developing ideas and creative skills, and bringing in more leads, thereby converting prospects and enabling long-term sales growth.
While I enjoy my work as Local Search Specialist, I also dabble in photography. I like to capture moments in my camera whenever I get the chance, and have received tremendous appreciation from my bosses and colleagues.
Pursuing a hobby really does give you a chance to create your dream life.
Lesson 1: SEO is important. You can go ahead with it as long as you understand your work and customer expectations.
Lesson 2: Don’t do business just for money, but focus on serving your customers.
Lesson 3: Learn about everything there is to know in SEO. It is important that you constantly learn the right things.
Lesson 4: A successful career strategy is to become an expert in one thing and proficient in many more, i.e. diversify. That will make you more marketable in this field.
Lesson 5: An organization that supports a healthy work-life balance can benefit not only the employee, but the employer as well.
All I can say is that I’m looking forward to spending many more years with E2M. That’s it for now. It’s time for me to get back to work!