INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN MACDONALD
Our interview with Martin Macdonald, who is working at OMD Group.
OMD group has won a vast amount of awards since 2004 including – Adweek’s Global Media Agency of the Year,Best Digitally Integrated Network and New Media Age – Digital Agency of the Year. They are an agency that doesnt believe in offering a “one size fits all” service.
I have been talking to Martin MacDonald on his forum for over a year now and I finally got to meet him at Think Visibility conference back in September 2011.
How did you get into SEO?
Nearly 10 years ago now, I decided to leave my job in offline, and concentrate on online marketing. Specifically SEO and PPC within the gambling sector. Unfortunately, a short while afterwards google banned paid search ads for Poker and Casino companies, so I was forced into specialising in organic search. Looking back now, its the best possible thing that could have happened as otherwise I would never have spent as much time and effort on research and development which has served me to advance my career in the interim.
How has the industry changed, if any, since you started?
Its radically different, back in the early 2000′s you could rank almost any page just by building huge link networks. Now the job of an SEO covers all sorts of different verticals, from reputation management, to copywriting, to technical skills. I firmly believe that people who are good at SEO could apply their learnings to almost any other vertical in online and be succeseful.
Have you had any notable Clients?
As head of SEO for OMD, all our clients are bluechip multinationals, from the worlds largest FMCG brands, to fast food chains, to airlines and so on. Im lucky in that I now get to work on and look at the stats for some of the worlds biggest companies.
What’s the achievement you are most proud of and why?
Quite early in my career in gambling SEO I managed to build up one of the worlds largest poker forums, with little more than a few thousand dollars in budget. That turned into the single most profitable site Ive ever owned, and I applied those learnings to my SEO forum which is now one of the biggest in the world with nearly 20,000 members.
Do you have any Tips for young SEOers?
Quite a few, but particularly relevant would be not believeing everything that you read, and “test, test, test”. If you are not testing theories and seeing optimisation working in practice, you will never be a “real” SEO!
Where do you think SEO is heading and why?
SEO is in a transitional period at the moment, its an industry that has only existed for a little over a decade, yet its about to become one of the largest sources of revenue and income for leading media agencies. Companies like Omnicom (who I work for) and WPP have a near stranglehold on the world’s advertising industries, and for the first time they are actively engaging in organic search. This will inevitably push the smaller agencies out of business, as enterprise clients will all flock to the agencies with whom their offline spend is with.
Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Preferrably, on a beach somewhere without an internet connection, and not worrying about traffic (online, or off)!