Ian Pritchard is an SEO expert and consultant that offers his clients advice on SEO and SEM practices. Ian looks to help improve businesses that want to grow by offering his expertise in SEO to find existing holes within their business practices. Ian’s website Bath SEO Expert, allows you the opportunity to get in contact with him as well as showcases the different services that services that he has to offer.
Ian answers some questions regarding his business.
What prompted you to get into SEO and start providing consultancy?
I used to run a heating business that specialised in one particular service that was very profitable but not much demand in a local area, so I learned SEO to help with that. After about five months we had loads of work coming, but about the same time I realised that I was enjoying getting the work in much more than actually doing it. Over time just by talking to my fellow small business owners. I started doing it for a few neighbourhood businesses and within a year, I had closed the heating business and concentrated on SEO.
What is the most important/different part of your approach to digital marketing when compared with other firms?
One thing that I’m really quite good at is going into a business and finding the holes in their existing SEO/SEM practices, or the way that they are using social media to drive attention and traffic. There are often some very quick wins to be had just by fixing a few technical site problems or by, for example, tying together re targeting pixels. This consulting role is something that I like doing when my own teams are at capacity, which they often are.
What are the most common website issues that you help your clients to overcome?
For the type of customer that we target, the most common things that make a big difference are a full technical SEO audit, followed by bringing in a specialist designer to take a look at their conversion rates. The UX and UI of eCommerce sites is essential and there are always ways to improve that. Small percentage gains, month on month, add up to HUGE differences in the bottom line.
In your opinion – what’s the future for digital marketing and SEO?
That’s a great question. I think that the big social media companies have some huge problems with censorship and anti-trust issues coming at them from the current US administration. There are going to be some big changes and no-one yet knows what those will look like. How that affects us as marketers is impossible to say. However, ad targeting is already affected and those of us who are taking note have already changed our working practices to avoid conflicts in that regard.
As far as SEO goes, in most markets I already see that link quality is way more important than the sheer number of links. Right now the holy grail for links is to get them on high authority, high traffic sites that are going to send referral traffic to your site. That’s a big boost and a great way of getting a new site out of the sandbox.
Do you think that social media is necessary for every business to optimise?
I can’t think of a single business that would not greatly benefit from using social media for both branding purposes and for directly driving traffic to their various online properties.
While your service is locally focused, are you open to expanding into new markets?
One arm of the business is completely focused on helping small and medium sized local firms. That’s where I came from and I still love talking to the business owners who started their own thing and are committed to helping the local economy.
The other side of the business that I am keen to grow is my consulting for eCommerce sites. There are so many companies with turnovers of £1m, solely online, who can make some excellent and easy wins with even the initial technical SEO audit that I do as a loss leader to get my foot in the door.
When we set up their sales funnels properly and track and re-target their prospects the results are, quite frankly, superb. Two or three times the turnover within six months is the goal to begin with.