Ask the Agency: Koozai

Today I have the great honor of interviewing 6 members of one of the most well known digital marketing agencies in the UK – Koozai. I recently dropped a guest post over on the Koozai blog, and managed to get them to agree to do this in return. Yeah, I know. They rock!

Ben Norman - TwitterGoogle+

Q: It’s a pretty amazing team over at Koozai which has been assembled in a relatively short space of time. As I type this you are jetting off to the EU Search Awards where Koozai are up for “Best use of SEO” and “Best use of SEO in the Finance Industry” I’m interested to know, other than technical ability, what is it that you look for in an employee which makes your team so successful? What’s the “Koozai factor”?

A: To me it has to be passion. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but we find if you bring in people that are really passionate about the industry and they want to really immerse themselves within it and couple that with a good working environment and clever people who know their stuff, it just seems to work. Well that and the special “Koozaimon” powers we pass on to them :)

Ben’s “Best Bits”


Samantha Noble - TwitterGoogle+

Q: You did a great presso at Brighton SEO earlier this year all about branding (I actually prefer the hot dogs to the meatballs by the way) and specifically you used the re branding of Koozai (or “impact media” as it was then) as an example. What do you think, a few years on, that you could have done differently during that period of change? Are there any lessons learned?

(You can view the video of Sam’s presentation at Brighton SEO here)

A: The rebrand was over a year in planning before we went live and so much work went into it before most people in the company knew it was happening. Because everything was planned so far in advance and all activity was documented, the whole rebrand did go very smoothly. As such, it is difficult to pinpoint any one thing that we would do differently if we were to do it again.

There was a lot of PR and hype around our rebrand and it was received very well. To capitalise on this further, we would look to put even more into the social side of promoting the rebrand as we got such a positive response from it. It’s always worthwhile entering high profile business awards based around the rebrand which is something that we are looking at now.

Sam’s “Best Bits”


Mike Essex - TwitterGoogle+

Q: Many of your posts on the koozai blog are essentially rants at or about the industry (which I love!) What are the things which really get your goat about the industry? (I promise not to edit anything you say so feel free to let rip!)

A: Thanks Gaz, I find a good rant therapeutic and they are certainly my favourite type of blog post to write. If I see something that annoys me I usually tweet about it, and then if there is a good response, that helps me to indicate that there’s a wider issue in play that could be fun to discuss.

If I had to sum it up my biggest gripes would be; lies. I get tired of seeing people write fake reviews (good and bad), selling fake SEO services, stealing content and pretending it’s their own, spamming blog comments, abusing Schema and conning customers. If you dig deeper into any of those topics there’s a whole wealth of people giving the industry a bad name. 2012 has definitely so far been the year of misassumptions about the SEO industry. It seems every month there’s a new generation that we’re all bad guys, and that I can’t stand.

Mike’s “Best Bits”


Tara WestTwitterGoogle+

Q: I read and also shared your white paper “Google+ for business”  and as Google+ recently past it’s first birthday just a few weeks ago I wonder how you thought the fledgling social network had done over the 12 months? Do you also have any thoughts on where the next 12 months will lead us?

A: It’s obviously grown enormously, and is popular with those in digital industries and photography in particular. I can’t help but think half the reason for this growth is related to spam profiles and the fact that it is mandatory to create a G+ profile when you now sign up for many other Google properties. I think they might be treading on thin ice with this strategy of almost forcing it on people and this could cause a backlash in the future. It will also be interesting to see how they fair if/when +1 becomes a prominent ranking factor for websites and how businesses and the SEO industry are going to react to that.

Tara’s “Best Bits”


Anna Lewis - TwitterGoogle+

Q: You have written a lot of great posts about Google Analytics over the time I have been following Koozai and are clearly a huge fan of the product. I’m interested to if you think there are any alternatives around (paid or free) which measure up for Google’s offering in this department? and if not what is it that give G the edge? (sorry that’s 2 questions, sort of)

A: There are some alternatives to Google Analytics. The free ones I would consider are Clicky and Piwik. They both have the advantage that Google doesn’t have your data, they’re also easy enough to use, have good reports, conversion tracking and real time reporting.

In some ways, Clicky has more functionality than Google Analytics, including a simple API, live spy mode, a twitter analytics section, the data is easy to export, and even short URL extraction.

Piwik offers feed analytics, embeddable reports and graphs, and the ability to import Google Analytics data. I think the main reason that Google Analytics appears to have the edge is that it has Google behind it – giving them much more publicity and more budget for development.

Paid web analytics tools that I’d think about considering are Chart Beat (for awesome looking real time data) and Click Tale or Crazy Egg (for analysing on-page interactions with heat maps etc). Clicky also has a paid option. Omniture and Google Analytics Premium are options to consider when you have a very big budget.

Anna’s “Best Bits”


Dean Marsden - TwitterGoogle+

Q: Video is something which I have found small businesses too often shy away from believing it’s too costly or difficult. What would be your top tips for small businesses who want to make a start with video?

A: A lot of people worry about video costs, however, a video needn’t be filmed by a professional camera crew in a studio or be an animated work of art. Most consumer cameras and even camera phones provide a good enough picture. All you need to do is make sure you use a tripod and film in a well lit room with no background noise.

When you are done, post your video on YouTube as it is completely free and very simple to do. I recommend using YouTube’s powerful editing tools if you want to edit your video with transitions, add text, or brighten a clip for free.

My last tip is to remember to include a descriptive title, summary and tags on your YouTube video. This will help it get found by the millions of YouTube users.

Dean’s “Best Bits”


Many thanks again to all the guys for answering my questions. If you want to get more from Koozai you can check them out over at their blog, or I created this handy G+ circle containing 21 members of the team.

A Question for you..

The idea for this post was inspired by Alessio‘s amazing “meet your SEO” series, he’s showed us all that SEO interviews can be actually be cool. So my question is, would you like to see more of these in the same way Alessio has created a series rather than a one off? And if so, which agency’s do you want featured?

Thanks for reading, and in anticipation of your comments (and shares….click the damn Tweet button, you know you wanna)

Post by Gaz Copeland

Comments

  1. Hey Gaz,
    thanks for the mention :)
    I really enjoy these interviews and your idea as well. I would love to see more.
    The point is to show people who are a little bit afraid of “big” SEOs or SEO and marketing agencies that at the end they are normal people or, for agencies, there are normal people behind them.

    To me it’s extremely important to share this concept, because first I respect the person for itself and then for the work he is doing.

    You can be the “THE best SEO in the whole world and universe” but if you suck at relationships, you are nobody to me :)

    so yeah, great work and I really hope to see more of these.

    • You’re most welcome for the mention Alessio, it’s very well deserved. I have to admit that before your “Meet your SEO” series I wasn’t a huge fan of interviews and probably wouldn’t have tried this if it hadn’t be for your posts.

  2. Thanks for doing the interview :)

  3. Good questions and good answers too!

    Interesting point made by Alessio. The human side to agencies. We hear about the name of the agency and we see the logo everywhere. What makes a business? People.

    Have a read of a book called ‘Starting with why’ by Simon Sinek. He asks the question “Why are Apple so good at what they do yet they have the same access to the designers, engineers, agencies, suppliers and people as do Samsung, Andriod, MIcrosoft and so on….why Apple?”

    It’s do with culture and they WHY they do what they do. The best Microsoft engineer may never fit into Apple as an engineer. Same goes for Agencies.

    I think these posts should be more about marketing the behind the scenes, personalities, culture, beliefs and ethics. That’s where I think we’ll really see what makes SEO agencies different. They do the same things, but WHY do they do what they do?

    • Thanks for the comment Pritesh, I think you and Alessio are exactly right. It’s the people who make a brand, they are it’s most important asset in my book.

      I’ll definitely look to incorporate more of the behind the scenes aspects of agencies and you’ll see them evolve I hope. That’s if I can get anybody else to agree of course.

  4. Gaz- I think this is a great idea. I’d particularly like to see more of these done with Agencies that aren’t as well-known in our industry. I think we all already know quite a bit about Distilled, SEER and others. I don’t have any suggestions as to who these agencies are, but I think it’d be cool.

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  2. [...] right now there is a cool series similar to our “meet your SEO” that is called “Ask the agency” in Gaz Copeland ‘s blog. Go and check it out, but first read [...]

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