Blog marketing

Building Internal Relationships Advice & Tips

Following on from the recent Deepcrawl The New Era of SEO Automation Event, here are a number of pieces of advice to build relationships and ensure you and your business have cross functional success and improve your business performance.

General Advice

SEO is not new – so most developers are aware of the importance.
Recommended Action: Make SEO relevant to the developer and Product Manager (Or Project Manager).

If you experience big shifts or important updates, have open dashboards or reports where developers can see this easily.
Recommended Action: Let people develop their own understanding, their version of what’s happened and help them understand it from a revenue and then from an SEO POV. Search first can mislead others from how important it is to them, their team, the business.

Revenue Discussions

By knowing what % of the company revenue comes through SEO, you can easily be able to show the benefits of your required work.
Recommended Action: If SEO is low % it will be treated as such unless you have a relationship and prove growth. If mid to high % it will be taken extremely importantly with a good relationship.

Relationship is key to gain buy in.

C-Suite titles rarely want to get into long debates, especially when it comes to dark arts and unscientific like disciplines like SEO.
Recommended Action: Use exec summaries and highlight revenue impact and then ask for longer debate when they can make the time. Forcing time upon c-suite instantly creates a more difficult conversation.

Build relationships

SEO is often a team that is not always connected closely enough to the Marketing Department.
Recommended Action: You will need their support and buy-in – help to build relationships, help social teams understand the algorithmic shifts from search as a lot of these applies to social media and social teams see this happening every day.

Build relationships with Product Teams and Data teams. These will be really important partners moving forward and will be important gatekeepers in important business decisions made.
Recommended Action: Help to share knowledge and insights with these departments and collaborate moving forward.

Build relationships with development team or agencies, the more they see you and hear from you – the more affinity and trust they will have for you.

Decision Makers

Know who makes the decisions internally and the frameworks they use.
Recommended Action: Build and apply to their frameworks. Without this, you will be seen as taking their time or wasting the company budget.

Product teams are often the gatekeepers for decisions and speak on behalf of many teams
Recommended Action: Collaborate, develop their knowledge, share their language and fit into their goals. Making others internally famous is often the quickest way for buy in.

Clearest Communications

Speak without jargon
Recommended Action: Be with clarity and sanity, remove SEO jargon, the less many senior people will keep on track or support with a quick discussion.

If you are technical, never get into a coding debate with developers.

Documentation helps almost 95% of the time
Recommended Action: Share documentation – development teams are used to github and other platforms where documentation is standard

The way you communicate will make or break relationships early.

Coach & Develop

Offer lunch and learns or morning coffee sessions to help to offer teachings to those who are interested.

Looking for a help developing your company or internal teams? Get in contact below for advisory & interim coaching for CMO’s and CGO’s.

Blog marketing

How To Move From SEO Into A Senior Marketing Role Podcast

Kevin Gibbons from Re:Signal kindly asked me to join him on the Re:Signal podcast.

Kevin and I have known each other for over a decade and have a good flowing chat around:

  • My personal journey over two decades
  • How important SEO was to my career
  • How important SEO is even today for so many brands and for many more years
  • How search has evolved
  • Why digital on its own won’t work
  • How to establish the right team model and reinforce the right culture to get the best of people professionally and as important personally.
  • How you can move into a more digitally focused role or broaden out into a Head of Marketing, Director of or CMO / CGO role
  • How I’ve landed as an interim CMO and building out Focus, the company culture and strategy consultancy

Watch the full podcast

10 Tips To Make The Shift From SEO Into Marketing Management

  1. Learn the wider business as much as possible as soon as possible
    1. Don’t get stuck with knowing just what you think you influence
  2. Learn to move away from buzzwords – explain super simply and explain the importance of SEO
  3. Everyone’s opinion vs no opinion – Learn that bikeshedding is normal, when simple will have an opinion and when seems complicated or you are expert they will not have an opinion, doesn’t mean senior people are not interested
  4. Learn to deliver your updates in exec summary formats.
    1. Show your impact and report regularly
    2. No news doesn’t mean bad news
    3. If something happens or algorithms change, be prepared to say this is the plan moving forward – senior people want and remember
  5. 2020 has been brutal – understand SEO has always been long term plays, if there are short and midterm wins by ramping up activities step up and take on the challenge
  6. Captain and Champion approach – lunch and learns will really help internally, set them up
  7. Develop relationships with other marketing disciplines and work with product (learn the basics of product management and how they manage many difficult product launches and stakeholders)
  8. Understand what stage of the business your business is:
    Crawl – Walk – Run – Fly
  9. Look at learning other marketing disciplines – the more you learn and appreciate the better your SEO action plan can be and the more likely you are to take on more work
  10. Learn to forecast – SEO typically has to and aligns well with finance teams

Mentioned Content

Personal and Professional SWOT on the Focus Blog –

The Serena Williams coach episode to watch on Netflix

Sir Clive Woodward interview on The High Performance Podcast


The 6th Life Changing Technology Shift Presentation

A client was running a series of company wide talks in which they wanted to challenge the thought process of their staff and tell a number of stories or presentations around core topics. I was asked to present and here is my slightly amended presentation with a few notes:

In 2015 we live a very different life to 30, 20, 10 or even 5 years ago.

Life is shaped very differently to how it used to be:

  • We lived through the TV revolution and we are still in love with the TV and it’s power,
  • We thrived (or mostly) through the computer revolution,
  • The internet generation is in its own third gen and still a great opportunity source,
  • Through to the fourth tech shift; search and social which controls most of our answers and discover in everyday life,
  • To potentially biggest life changing shift the mobile – the mobile has become more than tech, its now worshipped and many cannot live without!
  • To what I predict to be the next big shift (the giveaway is in the URL – VR / virtual reality).

Here are is my amended deck, let me know if you agree, disagree or think something else might be the next big shift


What You Need To Know About Facebook’s Search Amendments

How Facebook Search Will Work
Facebook Search just grew up and switching on another wider variety of opportunities for brands and your friends, here are my thoughts.
  • It’s a personal search experience, it is geared towards encouraging debate, engagement and a play to keep users on the Facebook platform and steal a little more attention from Twitter, YouTube and reduce the number of searches are made on Google.
  • Facebook are going to return results in a “hierarchical list”
  • The search results will include friends posts
  • There are over 200 factors reported to be taken into consideration
  • Results are going to split into four layers:
    Top, Latest, People, and Photos. Expect video to be included next year.
  • Facebook are looking for this to encourage more public posts and IMHO will see a peak for first six months
  • Only (non friends) public posts will appear within search results, the private statuses or statuses only shared with selected friends will not appear (unless you are tagged into the update).
  • This is a completely personal experience for the 1.45 billion Facebook users, results will be completely different for every person
  • Pages will appear, depending on your affinity and the amount you engage with the page depends on how it will appear within search results
  • Historical posts will be available in search results, Facebook have suggested time is a core factor
  • This is definitely social search done right. News from friends, with most updated content appearing first – it’s the social search experience we would want. It is definitely the next phase on from existing Twitter search and Google personalised results experiences.
  • Search is location sensitive, location will obviously change but looking for specific events will bring up different results.
  • Facebook search is based on authority, the more authoritative to appear higher in the results, for the SEO’s it could be related to author rank but will operate different and Facebook’s understand this more than Google ever did.
  • Currently three million links are shared hourly (Brian Boland from Facebook) and is a lot of content to sort through constantly, this is why adding dedicated text (commentary) and a link will be important to users and Facebook. Dumping links and re-sharing posts will be harder to rank for Facebook.
  • Friend affinity is vital – as rightly pointed out by Stephen Kenwright on Twitter, the hardest battle for users (and for Facebook to work out) will be old friends, extra opinionated school friends and those who update far more than others.
    Brands will want to push URL shares and recommend some commentary, make your sharers be more relevant with their friends.
    Friends who want to be smart will update their public statuses with the information they want to appear for and that will get them the most amount of engagement
  • Mobile searches can be refreshed by pulling down, the likelihood is the results will be different upon refresh
  • Link / share relevancy and frequency will be vital for users.
  • This reminds me of Pinterest’s recent search tweak but taken a step further
  • I think this could be Facebook’s greatest engagement hack to date, even challenging unbundling messenger.
  • This is definitely the next phase of search and look forward to seeing how brands will leverage this


Facebook’s video for new Facebook Search

Some Impressive Facebook Facts
Facebook has over 1 billion active daily users
Facebook dominates both Android and iOS
Facebook have 2 trillion search to work through
There are 3 million links shared hourly
Facebook will roll out to English (US) users and across iOS, Android and desktop users

Read my recent articles on Twitter Polls and the must watch content marketing documentary


Start Up SEO Exec Role

This role is for an ex colleagues new start up based in London. It is a content driven company and already have some cool clients and very smart co-founders.
If you are interested in this role please email

Start Up SEO Executive Role

Reporting to: SEO Manager

Location: London


Our mission is to help international students find their perfect home abroad


We are an exciting, fast growing tech company focused on the international student market and based in London W1, with offices in Shanghai, New York and Hong Kong.  We are a team that combines unparalleled experience in growing successful digital businesses with some of the most exciting talent working in technology, design and content in London today.


We believe in putting our customers first and giving students complete peace of mind when planning their journey of study abroad.  We currently focus on accommodation, but are building a company that can help students with all aspects of their lives away from home.

We are currently undertaking a substantial investment in building a revolutionary service and incredible new brand to be launched in many international markets.


The SEO Executive will support delivery of a global SEO strategy that aims to maximise relevant traffic to from organic search in multiple languages that converts to enquiries and bookings. The SEO Executive will have a particular focus on outreach and managing the site’s link profile. They will support the SEO Manager in monitoring and reporting on KPIs of channel performance.


The opportunity here is massive. You will have a chance to generate the traffic that will propel the company from its current level of success to dominate the student market.





The primary responsibilities of the SEO Executive are to:


  • Support delivery of the global SEO strategy, which will include:
  • Assisting in the identification of search volume opportunities for traffic growth and executing all strategy and tactics required to attract and retain that traffic across multiple markets
  • Reporting on performance against targets for growth of organic traffic, visibility and customer acquisition/bookings
  • Ongoing optimisation of on-the-page elements of the site as it grows, supporting engineering team as required.
  • Monitoring and responding to SEO health: particularly Penguin and Panda risk


  • Take ownership of inbound link profile
    • Take a strategic approach to encouraging growth of natural inbound link profile
    • Work within team to create content that naturally attracts links from valuable sources


  • Support the creation and fostering of an SEO data-driven business culture by:
    • Supporting the implementation of tracking, analysis and reporting solutions for keywords, share of voice, CTR and other core KPIs across multiple markets plus ongoing analysis and insight
    • Monitoring and reporting on organic and brand demand
    • Monitoring and reporting on competitor keyword performance and SOV
  • Support the adoption of SEO best practice across the business by:
    • Assisting in the creation and maintenance of best practice guidelines
    • Supporting the SEO Manager in their ownership of all site and content optimisation
  • Working cross-functionally:
    • With Content to ensure all copy supports the SEO strategy
    • With Product & Engineering to ensure new features are SEO-positive
    • With the PPC team to ensure targets are aligned to optimise any spend


Skills & Experience


  • Over 2 years’ experience in SEO, either in-house or at an agency, preferably with start-up experience
  • Plugged into the latest SEO news and trends with an understanding of how this information practically informs modern SEO strategy
  • Experience of outreach in an SEO context
  • Experience of implementation a user-focused SEO strategy with a small team
  • Strong Excel skills and comfortable manipulating and analyzing large data sets. Excellent attention to detail.
  • Experience of digital analysis, tracking and reporting tools, such as Google Analytics, WMT, SEOClarity, Majestic, BrightEdge, Screaming Frog, aHrefs, or similar
  • Strong written and oral communicator, who is as comfortable building new relationships as presenting analysis and data to a non-technical audience
  • A basic understanding of HTML, CSS and JavaScript a plus





Search London Organic Marketing Trends Deck

I was kindly invited to speak at the first #SearchLondon of 2015. The theme for the event was “trends in search in 2015” and had Googler Pierre Far as the second speaker. Pierre’s deck was named Google Indexing in 2015 and was really interesting for the tech SEO in me. It is always interesting to see/hear how Google employees answer questions, especially from SEO with potential issues. With my deck I wanted to cover off two main parts:
1. 2014 across all of organic marketing covering SEO, content marketing, social media and apps,
2. 2015 – I took a look in my crystal ball and offered my thoughts and predicted upcoming trends for 2015.
  • The slides you might want to skip to if you are in a rush:
  • Slides 4 – 25 2014 reviewed with commentary
  • Slides 29 & 30 for SEO trends
  • Slide 31 – What you should be doing for SEO in 2015
  • Slides 33 – 39 for social media trends and predictions (with a challenge for businesses)
  • Slides 43 – 53 for content marketing trends
If you would like to download my deck click the following link: Upcoming Trends for Organic Marketing in 2015 If you do not like emoji’s this deck probably was not for you but please let me know (through comments below or over on Twitter @dannydenhard) how your predictions match up to mine and if you agree or disagree. Final thought, where are you impacted here and where does your business want to position themselves? Final thoughts to consider in 2015
If you get chance definitely sign up to the next Search London event, the founders Jo and Tim are great and it is always good to support a smaller conference.

Where content marketing is going in 2015

Content marketing has had a great 24 months or so, the last 12 months in particular has seen some the best content marketing to date and really has increased the status quo.

I got in touch with 12 industry leaders (ranging from agency leads, directors of their own firms, publication heads and designers) and asked them a series of questions to help people understand what they are doing, how they measure success, where challenges are in 2015, what their top recommendations are and what their top actionable tips are for the next 12 months.

Here are the finders and recommendations, you can also find it on my LinkedIn today.

If you would like a download of this to read offline please click the download button via Slideshare.

Let me know what your predictions and actionable tips are below.


The State Of Organic Search Going Into 2015

Something that many people want to know at the end of each year is what is the state of play within your vertical. I created six questions that I would question myself and then (as you do) asked these questions to 13 of the smartest minds in organic search/SEO, ranging from independent consultants, to heads and directors of departments to agency heads.

It turned into a 8k word monster resource and below is the embedded (and downloadable) version from slideshare.
If you would like to read it on my LinkedIn Pulse please find it here.

A massive thanks to: Dan Sharp, Patrick Hathaway, Simon Penson, Kevin Gibbons, Barry Adams, Matt Beswick, Paddy Moogan, Carl Hendy Stacey Cavanagh MacNaught,  Justin Butcher, Paul Rogers, Michael Briggs, Stephen Kenwright for being involved and answering the questions so honestly and providing real insights to the readers.



My predictions for 2015

To indulge myself a little I answered my own questions below. Please let me know what you think or if you disagree.

Q. With the number of high profile changes and algorithm updates in 2014, what do you think the most important thing will be to achieve success in 2015?

Holistic marketing, it is something a number of people have suggested over the last few years however it is even more important in 2015.

Links definitely still have their place, high value / high authority links will always be a key component in marketing but gaining them and gaining the desired links will be even more difficult in 2015.
Quality digestable (more than just sharable) content is going to be essential across all verticals and sites, companies have to raise their content status quo, there is no real excuse for boilerplate or low quality content into 2015.


Q. Where or what do you think the biggest challenge will be in 2015?

I would typically say gaining links but the biggest challenge for most businesses will be the ability to ensure their sites are working technically well and serve the best experience for users across all devices and cross browsers.
Over the last two years we have been challenged monthly by Google, the biggest challenge is keeping ahead of the curve and really delivery a great experience that pleases Google, keeps your bosses and clients happy by hitting aggressive targets and ensuring it helps long term success.


Q. Thinking about how you think your industry or clients industries are going, what’s the best piece of advice that you give all clients or perspective clients in coming weeks/months? 

Always be (optimising) marketing, always be auditing, test wisely and never stop improving user experience. Being static definitely is not enough, the need for instant information, answers and answering different questions from a single visit/session is essential and you can only do this by improving, analysing and testing.


Q. What do you predict will be the biggest change / or hardest hitting change will in 2015?

I think there will be a huge change in 2015. The influence of “Google Now” really is evident and answering questions and commonly asked queries within SERP’s is an indication of what is next. I predict the SERP’s to get a material facelift which will upset marketers and tools providers alike.
On an international scale Yandex introduced a completely new way of analysing sites I expect these types of activities to roll out across the other major international search engines.
Google has been aggressively pushing their app over the last six months and that’s a personalisation play and a play to move away from SERP’s as we know it, this trend is likely to continue. Alongside the app I see voice search becoming an important factor for many, especially as the way we search via voice is fundamentally different to how we search through text.
In 2015 the search versus discovery fight will be really interesting to watch.


Q. What’s your biggest prediction for organic marketing in 2015 and why is it important? 

Cross device happiness; making users happy across all devices is going to be essential. Cross device tracking is in its infancy and Google has a long way to catch up with Facebook. I can only see personalisation being taken to the next level and answers will become more personalised as Google want to be your personalised assistant/advisor.


Q. Lastly, if you were Google what would you do to improve quality and search results? 

I personally would address the increasing trend of locking content behind a question for users, it is a short sighted tactic from publishers however it is really annoying and typically seeing large sites rank with a really bad user experience.
I would look to reward sites that offers great experiences across all devices and apps, I think Google has the right data via tracking codes, Android and data collection via its apps (across other operating systems) to make a seamless personalised experience and reward sites them for this.


BrightonSEO Content Marketing Training

BrightonSEO content marketing

I am proud to announce I am going to be hosting the BrightonSEO content marketing training course on September 11th.

The course is designed for marketers and businesses who want to understand content marketing and for marketers who want to get the most out of content marketing campaigns.

What I am going to cover:

  • What is content marketing
  • What’s a good content marketing strategy look like?
  • What’s a good content idea look like?
  • What are shortcuts and potholes to the practice?
  • What kinds of metrics should I operate by?
  • Who needs to be involved?

If you are interested in this training course definitely book now, if you have any questions please let me know.

Alternatively if you are looking for someone to come into your business and train you and your team I offer a tailored content marketing training courses.


10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself & Your Business Before Starting Content Marketing

10 content marketing questions

This is my latest deck, the deck was created to help marketeers and businesses understand what questions should be asked before starting a long term content marketing campaign.

Flick through the deck and be prepared to answer honestly.

The ten questions are just a taster of the typical questions I ask businesses before helping the business decide how to proceed with the right content marketing strategy for them specifically.

After these ten questions, would you say you are ready for a long term content marketing campaign? Let me know.