Please describe your job: What do you do?
I’m the Director of Search and Digital Marketing Agency Ricemedia. The primary focuses of my role are to oversee the Search team (from training to recruitment and everything in between) and to be responsible for the services we offer and how we deliver them.
I also partake in speaking engagements throughout the year on behalf of Rice, so anything event related falls under my umbrella too.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I report directly to the MD of the company and oversee a team of 16 people of varying levels.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
You have to be able to be both good and bad cop at times, when it comes to overseeing the team; so compassion and patience are important, especially when it comes to newer team members and training. Organisation is key, as you’re constantly juggling a lot of different jobs that often require differing skill sets and mentality. Analytical skills help as you’re often using Google Analytics, Adwords and other data based tool to make strategic decisions. Creativity and confidence are important for the speaking engagement side of things – I always like to theme my talks and keep them light hearted… I want the audience laughing, rather than sleeping!
Tell us about a typical working day…
- Check Pocket & Twitter for what’s happened in the industry overnight.
- Check Google Analytics and rankings of a few clients
- Clear my inbox – Inbox 0 is my favourite thing and I try to get this every day before 10am
- Catch up with my department heads to understand if there’s any issues.
- Client calls/meetings and tasks – I like to still manage a couple of clients as this means I get to test new innovations and make sure what I’m teaching the team is correct.
- There’s weekly internal meetings set on certain days too so that we can brainstorm and help each other out with any client issues.
- At the moment I’m in the process of creating two speaking engagement presentation decks and organising an event too!
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
My favourite thing about the role is seeing the team progress and grow, particularly when it’s a graduate we’ve brought in and taught search to from scratch. It’s also really great when you bring in a new service to the business and you see it doing well, with great results for clients.
What sucks is that I tend to be here, there and everywhere so I don’t get to spend as much one on one time with the team as I’d like to. I do have fantastic Search Account Leads and department heads that I can rely on though.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
I look at client and team retention as core goals. If the team are learning and growing, then they’re producing strong results for clients, so retention is high.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
I have quite a few! From a Project Management point of view Trello is a lifesaver, but for SEO work SEM Rush, Screaming Frog and Majestic are the three tools I can’t live without.
How did you become the Director of Search and where might you go from here?
I’ve worked my way up at Rice over the last 5 years from being Junior SEO Account Manager, to Senior SEO Account Manager, Head of Search and now Director of Search.
For me, the next step is to do more and more speaking engagements and really focus on our product offerings and deliverables. It’s a lot more innovation based.
What new technology are you most excited about (if any)?
Voice Search is a really exciting one for digital as it’s changing the way in which users search. Searches are becoming a lot more local or question based, meaning that we need to adapt to this with the content we’re producing. It’s going to be interesting to see how this changes over the next few years.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work within a digital agency?
Start reading and self-learning. One of the best (and worst!) things about this industry is that it’s constantly changing, so if you can show that you’re a sponge you’ll go far.
You can follow Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn and you’ll also find Ricemedia on Twitter here. To keep up with the latest Digital Marketing news and roles in the Birmingham area follow Liam Harvey on Twitter here.