I recently had the chance to interview the amazing Aron Frost. He is an SEO Analyst for Ruby Digital, the marketing agency that helps companies be more visible on the web. Check out our conversation to learn more about what he does, plus get one expert tip on what every entrepreneur must know about SEO.
- Hello! Please tell us about yourself and Ruby Digital.
Hey there, and thanks for interviewing us! My name is Aron. I am an SEO Analyst at a young, innovative marketing agency in Cape Town, South Africa. Ruby Digital specializes in search engine marketing, which comprises of AdWords, SEO, content and social media marketing.
At Ruby Digital, we see ourselves as our clients’ virtual online marketing department and therefore an extension of their team and of their business. We think like this because we believe that any function of a business working in isolation is destined to not reach its full potential. We are all about delivering lasting value and results to our clients. Our team of hard-working, passionate experts ensures clear, honest and tangible results online.
Managing Director Justin Lester founded Ruby Digital (formerly known as Green Search) in 2011. Rooted in the love for search, Green Search grew rapidly, using its performance based and innovative strategies to transcend the market and become what it is known as today, Ruby Digital.
The team is comprised of talented individuals from South Africa, all coming from either traditional marketing backgrounds or a variety of creative industries. Our strong points lie in analytics and data, and leveraging these to make business decisions that result in economic growth.
I started mid-2016 as an intern, and under the leadership and guidance of colleague Bradley, and Managing Directory Justin, was able to quickly learn the processes needed to fulfil the position I do today.
Ruby Digital has a work environment that promotes creativity, entrepreneurialism and freedom to own projects.
- Please give us a full rundown of the services that your company offers.
The agency focuses on a very specific segment of digital marketing, search. Search engine marketing encompasses the following primary channels:
SEO (search engine optimization) – which is the technical and creative process of improving upon a website’s content, authority and indexability to show up in the search results (be displayed/rank on Google). To achieve this, we utilize analytical data, content strategy, business objectives and traditional marketing. SEO plays a key role in our business, as well as our clients’ business. Being found on the Internet, when consumers are looking for your product or service is critical. If they don’t find you on the first page or two, they will move on.
Google AdWords (or pay-per-click marketing) is the paid search channel, which involves bidding on advertising space on the search results. Typically, the first couple of results are ads on Google. AdWords includes display marketing and remarketing.
Social Media – Social media is one of the biggest trends currently in the online space today. We’re in a phase known as web 2.0. With a variety of targeting options, social media allows you to target your audiences more effectively. Instead of promoting a specific product and/or service to the masses, social media allows you to promote it to a specific target audience.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
The morning is spent catching up with the team and laying out the groundwork and objectives for the day. It involves briefing the copywriters, the fashionable Skye and diligent Leandra and Hayden (loved by all), in on what content needs to go out and for which clients. At the same time, the outreach specialists, Samantha and Alex, are allocated their tasks, which involves communicating and building relationships with bloggers, the press and other webmasters.
The SEO team, Eugene and myself, works through the campaign strategy. New clients go through the setup where analytics and other software and tools are installed/configured. We review the improvements or fluctuations in rankings, traffic, conversions and other relevant metrics.
Other daily things:
Reassure clients that everything is on track.
Cipher through bucket loads of spam and unqualified leads.
- What are the biggest challenges you face as an SEO Analyst?
Customer relationships and account management – one can often forget how little other people, especially business owners, know about digital marketing and the internet. Clients can become frustrated or concerned with the direction or results of a campaign.
Deliverables – we are always at the mercy of the algorithm. Search is complicated because there are so many factors and players involved. Not always knowing where Google might make changes, or unexpected competitors can increase marketing spend, these can cause difficulties in meeting requirements.
- How do you overcome these challenges?
Clearly communicating with clients during on-boarding about the intricacies of search and manage their expectations. Always speak slowly and concisely, and explain difficult to understand jargon or terminology.
Project management and delegation. Ensuring each team member understands their roles and responsibilities clearly and is held accountable for seeing it completed.
We are also constantly staying up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in the digital world.
- One guru tip about SEO that every entrepreneur should know?
YOLO – You only link once. (The web is built around a network of millions of websites, and what makes search engines effective is the fact that these websites link to each other. Links are not a commodity but a necessity and should be freely shared where relevant. A website without links is essentially an isolated blackhole that’ll never see traffic. So, link internally, externally and around. Build and network to develop relationships to earn links.)
FOMO – Fear of mistrusted organic (organic is the most efficient and reliable source of doing SEO). Stick to principles and best practices endorsed by Google. Stay away from shady tactics as they will likely be short-lived or get you penalized.
- Please share your future goals (they can be personal and /or professional).
The goals for the agency are to continue providing innovative, results-driven services to businesses across the globe. In the short term, Ruby Digital wants to branch out of Africa and offer our services to the European and American market.
- Any parting advice for startups?
Customer service – Don’t underestimate the value of a satisfied client. Doing quality, meaningful work will result in them becoming your marketing team. There’s nothing better than a referral and the knowledge of having done a good job.
Perseverance – Keep the end goal in mind, but keep your head down and grind. Know that there’ll be hard knocks, but be motivated and driven enough to get back up and keep on hacking.
About the Author:
Aron Frost is an SEO Analyst at Ruby Digital. He holds a Bcomm in Information Systems from the University of Stellenbosch. On top of search, his passions lie in web design, gaming and travel. Follow him on blogspot, medium and quora to keep up with his social quests.