Why did you decide to leave the company you founded, SEOptimise, to create Quaturo?
The main reason behind the move was because I saw a shift in online strategy towards great content being ever-increasingly important.
I found that the best organic search results were coming from clients that had great content and social media campaigns, they were the brands who were generating natural attention and as a result benefiting by seeing the best results.
I think the days of brands looking at individual strategies for different projects is disappearing as the lines are becoming far more merged. Great content really is vital towards great marketing campaigns - so it should be at the centre of your search, social media, PR and branding strategies - not as an additional add-on to each of these. So I definitely see the market evolving towards a more integrated approach. We're not quite there yet, but we are definitely seeing that if you don't look at building an online brand in SEO campaigns, then you're not getting the best results possible.
What have been the biggest hurdles in your first month at Quaturo and how have you overcome them?
KG: It's probably been more from a time efficiency point of view than anything else. Figuring out, firstly, how to focus my own time where it's most effective - and then how to structure the team in a way that uses their individual skills and strengths as well as possible. Managing this in a way that meets the clients needs and gets the best results possible.
I left SEOptimise at the end of May, and being a founder this involved a split which meant I kept the London office (with SEOptimise remaining in Oxford). So this enabled set this up the London office as a new company, Quaturo, and meant we already had a team with existing clients in place. The team all have a very strong SEO background and because of our shift in focus towards content marketing we decided to re-arrange the team. For example:
Gillian in our team is very good at on-site optimisation and social media - so her role became content strategist as it combines these strengths very effectively.
Likewise Pak Hou is very strong at link building and his role has evolved into a blogger outreach position where he can make full use of his skills.
So the first month for us was all about ensuring we're setup as effectively as possible to give clients the exact services they need, with the right fit of skills and talent within the team.
What are the benefits in employing an agency over producing content in-house?
KG: The reason for an agency over in-house is usually because you are bringing in a mix of insight, experience and skills straight into your team. In the case of Quaturo, I believe our strong SEO background is a major advantage towards building content that is effective on the web.
We see content becomes a major marketing channel as a search and social strategy. It means we can make full use of our industry insight towards writing great content that generates organic search attention, attracts links, generates social promotion etc. Plus we can measure this from a business performance perspective. So how much is your organic traffic worth in terms of conversions? Where can you save money for keywords in paid search spend? Which content is generating your competitors traffic and revenue?
Bring that into actionable content that can close the gap between competitors and start working for you as a major source of generating online revenue - in addition to building a brand.
What top tips do you have for people producing their own unique content?
KG: Be creative. If you're not the first to break news, you need to stand out in different ways.
Obviously infographics are working very effectively to generate attention - but don't just leave it there, do blog interviews, bring in guest bloggers and spend time using social media to connect with bloggers and your audience. That way you've got more valuable relationships when it comes to promoting content too. Also look at ways to stay ahead of the game, infographics have worked incredibly well in the past - but there's a lot of them out there right now. So try to create something more interactive in HTML5 instead - this seems to be the next big thing at the moment.
Where do you see content heading over the next few years?
KG: Authorship - I think we'll find that Google authorship will become incredibly valuable. It's having a huge impact already - and this is only see this getting bigger.
Social signals aren't just about brands - it's more about the people behind it. Google isn't quite there with this yet, but they want to know about the individual writers and bloggers on the site. It can no longer just trust the reputation of a publisher. Metrics such as PageRank on its own are unlikely to be enough to assess the authority of content. Google will be looking to assess the reputation of each author as well as the site they are publishing content on. So there's huge value in building up a strong social profile and reputation right now.