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Betwixt the Devil and the Deep Blue SEO Matrix

Paul Chaloner has joined Fresh Egg for the next couple of weeks at least. He’s worked in media and broadcasting as a commentator and presenter mainly in the gaming industry and was a director of content for 11 websites covering competitive and casual gaming, game reviews and hardware reviews.  He’s also been involved with putting together campaigns for several blue chip companies including Dell, Intel, Codemasters, Alienware, Ebuyer and many others. We asked him for his thoughts on his first 10 days with us…

Not the Fresh Egg Offices!  Paul managed to wangle a gig at Mr Heffner's mansion while commentating on a gaming tourney.
Not the Fresh Egg Offices! Paul managed to wangle a gig at Mr Heffner's mansion while commentating on a gaming tourney.

My original career meant I understood the term SERPS in the context of state pensions rather than Google, but having spent the last five years in media, broadcasting and website management, I wondered if any of that previous experience  would relate to SEO. I am pleased to be able to report that, yes, it seems that some of it at least does. I have found my first two weeks here at Fresh Egg to be challenging, surprising and very engaging.

Having worked on three very different projects in the last two weeks, I can safely say that my background offers some advantages and disadvantages. With only a smattering of SEO knowledge, but a wealth of marketing, media and website knowledge, I have found myself stuck between the two, unsure at times as to which direction I should be helping shape the project.

My colleagues, as you would expect at Fresh Egg, have welcomed my fresh set of eyes and a differing angle of approach on some of the clients they work with. It’s been fun and fascinating for me, but it leaves me wondering if I am pushing them in a direction which detracts or at least dilutes the message that comes from the amazing SEO work they do.

Perhaps the most surprising revelation has been the sheer depth of work required for this role. Wikipedia tells me that SEO is simply a “process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines” and on that basis, this job would seem to be a piece of cake. Although I have found it relatively easy to get in to, the depth, width and scope of work that goes in to a campaign is truly staggering.  The only thing I can relate it to is driving a car, which 45 million people do in the UK every day.  Just because you can turn a steering wheel, press an accelerator and operate the gear stick, that doesn’t make you a formula one driver. Capiche?

Something strange happened too. The more I worked with the customer and their website, the more I cared. Nothing unusual in that perhaps, but then I began to form an emotional attachment to the project to an almost ridiculous level where even outside of work I would be thinking about the site, improvements, creative ideas. I even had a dream about the site… Sad? Maybe, but it has shown me how this role can envelop you and how your own input can have an amazing effect, although I am yet to see how my recommendations and ideas are received and ultimately how they improve the company’s position and profit. I can’t wait to find out.

At the same time, I am here to learn SEO and although I believe I have grasped the basics and added to my admittedly limited knowledge of the black art, I can’t help wondering just how far the rabbit hole goes. I think I took the blue pill, which means Lee must be Morpheus…



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