My internship (organised through UWS Careers) spanned 240 hours from Monday July 1st to Thursday 11th September. It was for a company called SEO Premier who as the name suggests specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). They are located in Parramatta, which meant I was able to drive from home and not have to use public transport. In the short time I have been at SEO Premier I have gained invaluable experience in the industry and learnt so much.
Before my first day, I spent some time studying Search Engine Optimisation and Web Analytics, because we had only very briefly learnt about it in class. This background research included reading the Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Fishkin, 2014), watching online tutorials on Adobe InDesign (our monthly reports are created using this) and completing the Google Analytics Platform Principles course.
The company is only small with just a handful of employees and shares an office with the owner of a web design company. The Managing Director Joseph Dawber was my supervisor, and he taught me everything I needed to know about SEO and my role in the company. Sophie Ward is the Administrator and organises the billing and invoicing side of things. There is also a Senior Web Developer (Edgar Walkowsky) and a Junior Web Developer (Alex Cowan). Chau Ly runs a company called Pixel Hero who design websites for their clients, and he works in the office.
It was a paid internship and my role was Digital Account Executive, which meant I was expected to fulfil the following tasks:
- Performing reporting duties for clients which involves project oversight and data analysis
- Establishing positive client relationships and maintaining exceptional customer service at all time
- Managing the company social presence with professionalism and innovation
- Creating content on a range of topics to populate the company blog on a weekly basis
- Ensuring operational efficiency within the company
- Attending monthly clients meetings and presenting results driven strategies to customers
- Reporting to company Directors on client performance on a monthly basis
- Liaising with suppliers to ensure that client campaigns are followed through and any requests from the client are actioned accordingly
- Attending any necessary networking, training events or workshops as requested from Directors
The first and most involved part of my role was writing up monthly performance reports for each of our clients. These detailed the current Google rankings for their target keywords, as well as utilising their website’s data to give accurate traffic statistics, acquisition sources, page view breakdowns, session durations and device usage (among other things). This meant not only understanding the data, but knowing how to exploit it to give the client valuable information about their website and how SEO is helping them/ where they need to improve.
I also needed to be able to meet with clients and establish a positive relationship with them, whether they were long term or potential customers. This meant doing background research on the company and what work we had done for them before each meeting so I could engage and understand everything that was being talked about. One example of this was a long time client located in Penrith that was interested in rebuilding their website due to low traffic and conversion rates on their website (which we pointed out in our reports). I was asked to meet them at their office a couple of times on my own and run through the changes we were making and how it was progressing.
The role of Digital Account Executive also involved managing the company’s social media presence. For SEO Premier, this included Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as a new Instagram page that I created. I had to keep the pages active by regularly updating them with new content, and also sharing other people’s posts and gaining followers. When I started my internship, the company’s Twitter page had about 350 followers, and I was set the challenge midway through July of reaching 500 followers by the end of the month. This was achieved, so I was asked to reach 1,000 by the end of August. This was also achieved and currently stands at about 1,020. I also implemented the Hootsuite tool for managing each social media account and scheduling posts and sending out blogs over each platform at the same time.
Each week I wrote two blogs; one on my experiences of the internship and one on general SEO practices to keep interest on social media and drive traffic to the website. This involved finding new topics to write about each week and background research to make sure I was knowledgeable on those subjects. The blogs were posted to each social platform at the same time using Hootsuite and this was also how reach and engagement were tracked.
We had several progress meeting with clients in which we went through the reports I had made for them. I did my best to lead the meeting as I knew all about how things were going in regards to keyword rankings and traffic to the site. I found this really helpful in settling the nerves, as I was able to speak to clients about things I knew all about and issues I was confident I could address.
There were also small day-to-day tasks given to me by Joe and current clients. This included editing documents, making print friendly versions of reports and replying to emails. Rest assured, there was always more than enough work to do and I was kept busy for the entirety of the internship.
The final part of my role was to attend networking events to generate leads and set up meetings with potential new clients. One of these I visited with Joe and another I attended by myself. SEO Premier along with Pixel Hero are also organising an Office Warming/ Networking Event of our own on Friday the 26th September, which I am heavily involved with.
I was fortunate enough to be asked to continue working part time (and eventually full time) for SEO Premier after my internship was completed which I happily accepted. The role is challenging, rewarding and something I hope to do full time once I graduate. While I haven’t been thrown into the deep end, I’ve been asked to do things I didn’t think I was capable of and gained experience and confidence from stepping out of my comfort zone to do them. It’s been great to work in the advertising/ marketing industry before finishing my degree to get a taste of what it’s like and I can truly say it’s been a very positive experience.
I could easily write another dozen pages on my time at SEO Premier and how it has help me transition from study into a career, but I was advised to limit my report to a few pages and I have done so and included only the very important info. I’ve written ten 500+ word internship blogs which are available on the SEO Premier website which delve into much greater detail, but this is a summarised and thorough reflection without rambling on.
Brian Tracy once said, “You only have to succeed the last time.” I’m confident that in the case of finding an exciting career, I’ve succeeded the first time.
-Richie Tomlinson (17196202)