The Digital Marketing (SEO) Chronicles: Brodie Clark
Brodie Clark, an independent Melbourne-based SEO consultant took some time out of his work to share his insights on all things SEO with Ambire – and he even came up with a song to describe the SEO landscape in Australia right now. (HINT: He reckons some pretty big things are coming in the next few years down under.)
Sum up your very first job interview in three words.
Knocking on doors.
I got my start in the industry by going around and literally just handing in my resume at agencies. Luckily, I was offered a job, but I was very nervous. Then again, it took a certain kind of confidence and luck to put myself forward like that.
There’s a few words anyway – luck, confidence and nerves.
If you could be in any other career, what would you be?
I really enjoyed carpentry and woodwork at school, so maybe a furniture maker. Possibly not a carpenter though – not sure a trade is for me.
What song do you think sums up the SEO landscape in Australia right now?
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Up.
Seriously, big things are happening in this space.
What’s something you don’t want to be doing this time next year?
Maybe a backwards answer, but I’m currently in Melbourne, and so I’m hoping live music and events are back to normal by this time next year!
What do you wish you’d been taught at school, but weren’t?
Presentation skills! I think this is a skill that is really forgotten about in high school.
Who is Brodie Clark?
Brodie Clark is one of Australia’s only independent SEO consultants who is making big waves in the industry. He works mostly with US clients who have a global presence, and he also publishes regularly for renowned journals like Moz and Search Engine Journal. In 2019, he was recognised as the Young Search Professional of the Year, and he has a whole host of other achievements listed on his website.
In terms of career highlights, he is modest, however, and says he is constantly rewarded when working with clients consistently achieves and exceeds their objectives.
He’s been working in the SEO space since 2013 and worked for three agencies before branching out on his own a couple of years ago.
In his words …
So, what got you into SEO?
Well, I think like many SEO professionals, I got into SEO through the family business. My mum is a nutritionist, and I started out just running different Google AdWords’ campaigns for her. It was a lot of playing around as it was very much early days for me in the industry.
After that, although I studied Business Management at the University of Queensland, SEO was hardly mentioned. It was actually probably only mentioned once where all we learnt was what the acronym actually stood for – not that helpful when you think about it.
Then, in my first internship, they just really happened to need someone to work on their SEO, and I guess that person was me!
I’ve also been quite lucky in that I have a natural technical ability with, and understanding of computers so this has served me pretty well.
What’s a typical day like for you then?
So unlike a larger agency, I keep my structure very simple as an independent consultant. This means I don’t have to think too much about management or business expansion plans. Instead, I get to spend all day on client work – which is what I thrive off.
I pretty much catch up with every client at some point throughout the day – usually via email. Then, it’s work, work, work for them.
After hours, I tend to do a bit of social media or blogging for my own site or others.
Sounds busy! What was the impact of COVID on business last year?
Well, I was actually quite lucky in that business continued to grow at the same rate it has been for the last little while. Obviously, living in Melbourne with the extended harsh lockdowns has been much less fun, but that’s another story.
So, career-wise, do you have any role models?
Personally, role models include my first two managers when I was working for agencies – Emilie Tan and Chloe Cipra. Both of these women really helped me to develop great work habits that have kept me in good stead ever since.
Anything you wish you knew about SEO before you started out?
Not really, no. My first year at an agency I was definitely just trying to get my head around it all, but as you move through there is the tendency to start to think you’ve learnt all there is to know.
Believe me, by your second year in SEO, you most definitely do not know all you ever will … Over time, you realise it’s best to be highly specialised in one area, rather than overconfident in many.
What’s a piece of advice you wish you could give to any business or website owner about to invest in SEO services?
There are a couple of different options for people to learn about SEO. There are some great courses that you can enrol in and really gain an in-depth understanding of techniques and practices. Otherwise, if you learn well by reading, sites like Moz and Search Engine Land have fantastic in-depth guides and resources such as video tutorials – often available for free.
Wherever you get your information from, however, just make sure it’s a reputable source!
Do you think Australia is behind other markets in terms of digital marketing and SEO?
I don’t know that I’d say we are totally behind, but there’s definitely been massive growth in the industry – particularly as SEO matures even more. One thing that is notable is that there are not a lot of independents like myself on the market, but I think this is one area that’s very much likely to change. In the UK and the US we have seen a lot of ground normally held by agencies being ceded to smaller, independent SEO consultants (like me!) and the same will probably occur here in Australia.