• 08 Jun
    Getting into my first digital marketing job – how did I get there!

    Getting into my first digital marketing job – how did I get there!

    Whether you are out fresh from university or trying to change a career, we are all constantly in pursuit of a dream job. A dream job is one that fulfils you, energises you, motivates you and helps you pursue your passion.

    Here is my story of how I got my first digital marketing job – the dream job!


    Finding my passion

    Surprisingly to my family and friends, after graduating with bachelor and master’s in marketing I had little or no direction what career path I was willing to venture down. I have spent nearly 5 years working in hospitality management, going through a career path, I became a Duty Manager of a 5-star hotel. I have learned a lot and worked with great people. I was great at my work – people told me all the time! And while being in a comfortable career path I still was not fulfilled from what I was doing. Coming from a creative background, I longed for a role that would allow me to utilise my skills at their best.


    The journey

    Back in university, I have found that I had a natural ‘common sense’ when it comes to marketing and advertising and I set my heart on securing a job in the marketing industry. After a couple months of reinventing myself, and not giving up, I finally managed to get my foot in the door. I am now working with a creative and experienced team here at White.net! Although I did not have any relevant experience, I got in by demonstrating that I was capable of learning quickly in my 3-month internship with the company. Luckily for me, White.net has a great culture in investing in people and is generous with sharing the knowledge that comes with their experience.


    From an Intern to an Executive

    The company took me through a month of training straight after my induction day! During my training, I was given an individual project where I could broaden my skills in different areas of digital. I had the pleasure working close with most of my colleagues and learn from their unique approaches. It took me two months of a hard work to complete my project which equipped me with the knowledge and experience I was striving to. It was after my project completion when one day my manager asked me to have a meeting. I was offered a digital marketing executive position at the company!


    Mondays at White.net

    A career change could be a huge event in your life! Getting out of your comfort zone might be challenging and difficult but the results at the end worth so much all the hard work you will do! And believe me, it is not that difficult as it looks, you just have to really want it!

    Today, I am still learning at White.net! The learning journey in digital marketing never ends as the industry is changing all the time and you need to follow it and be on top of everything!

    While writing this blog I realize tomorrow is Monday! I can’t wait because I will roll my sleeves up at work, learn something new and contribute to everyone’s work! Bring it on Monday!

    By Anatoliya Petrova Uncategorized
  • 08 Jun
    Moving from Retail to Digital

    Moving from Retail to Digital

    I made the leap from retail to digital over a year and a half ago now and I can still say to this day it was the best thing I ever did. Looking back at the working week in retail versus a working week at White.net it doesn’t even compare. Not only has my paycheck increased, but my happiness within my job and work satisfaction have doubled! Working for White.net has allowed me to develop new skills, learn and progress in a career that has a vivid future rather than just a mundane job.

    Transferable Skills

    Moving from retail into this industry was very scary at first as I had a lot to learn, however now I have grown into the role I can now see and appreciate how my background in retail and hospitality (mainly customer service) has really helped me progress. I can use my previous experience to offer a unique service to all our clients and communicate on a level that creates warmth between both business and client. It also has helped me give limited (granted) but still some information into the workings of retail when helping with some of our E-commerce clients.




    • Some of the skills I didn’t even realise would be transferrable have really helped me within the team at White.net and my new role. Managing a team within retail meant I had to be on top of organisation and this has been one of the biggest skills I have taken over with me. Being able to assist the rest of the team and use my managing skills to organise meetings, calendars and events.



    • The communications skills you acquire being in retail speaking face to face with customers day in day out is actually one of the skills (it’s funny for me to call it a “skill” as most people would just call me a chatterbox) is probably the best transferrable skill and yet for me the most natural.


    • My ability to be comfortable around new people has allowed me to really fit into the networking side of digital marketing. Once you are in the industry you realise it is a major aspect of making your agency successful. It’s definitely very highly favoured on “who you know”. During my time in retail, I developed my own style of communicating with customers which, once I began to know more about the digital industry this allowed me to have the confidence to talk to potential and existing clients with little to no further training.


    Breaking it down

    I used to think I had no transferable qualities from retail and yet when I break it down there is so much that relates so easily, just the ability to solve issues, build relationships and generally handling queries are instantly transferable.


    New Opportunities

    Within Digital I have had some great opportunities to attend brilliant conferences such as Brighton SEO, Journey 18, Search London just to name a few. I have also been a part of some great Twitter chats and attended training days and smaller talks that have all helped me progress and learn to network with the digital industry. If there is one main thing I’ve learnt that I would pass on to anybody wanting to run a digital event or even just run a networking evening if you supply alcohol and pizza its sure to be a guaranteed hit!

    Just go for it!

    Sometimes taking that leap of faith, or in my case having someone else notice a quality in me and asking me to take that leap of faith is the best thing you can do. Was I scared as hell? Absolutely. Was I so worried I would fail? Without a doubt. But after a year and 2 months, I am still here and loving it more than ever.




    By Jenna Tallis Uncategorized
  • 21 Mar

    Why SEO needs editors

    seo-editors-banner“So, who edits your content?”

    This simple question, asked innocently enough by a client, brings up the missing ingredient in many SEO campaigns. Editorial perspective.

    This was the subject of a talk I gave at Search London recently. And it’s one of the most intriguing questions in SEO. Do we need SEO editors to make publication-worthy content?

    On reflection, this question from our client was a fair one. They liked what we proposed for content to expand their relevancy within their niche. They agreed that new content to earn attention and links was needed.

    They were asking who would bring all the disparate needs of the project together. Who considered SEO, but also the quality of the content, audience needs and demographics? Who recognised their brand voice and the technical limitations of their platform?

    With other marketing disciplines, such as advertising or our above-the-line marketing counterparts, the client had an editorial figure. Someone who could speak to all the departments involved, commission tasks and bring a publishing perspective.

    This made me realise we don’t explicitly recognise or covet editorial skills in SEO. We don’t see articles on using editorial techniques for SEO, the same way we do for say UX or copywriting.

    An argument for SEO editors

    I’ve worked in online marketing for a few years, and seen many things done in the name of SEO. Good and bad.

    Much of that of course revolves around content. More now than ever. Frankly, much of what our industry produces is distinctly average. It ticks boxes. Yet more of it is awful. A waste of pixels, time and, most importantly, client budget.

    This was predicted in a talk done by Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners. This stated (back in 2013) there would be a wave of poor content marketing. Content that looks the same as the good stuff at first, but is actually a poor experience, raising our audiences’ barriers.

    [slideshare id=15931787&doc=velocitycrap-130110064100-phpapp01]

    And it’s all-too true in SEO. Last Summer Buzzsumo and Moz did a study into the correlation of social shares and links. What came out about content is important.

    In a sample, 75% of content had no external links.

    85% of content examined had less than 1,000 words.

    This tells us a couple of things. Most of our content doesn’t work, and we lack the will or ability to produce long-form content. Even though we know it performs.

    I think of SEO as a craft. You have the hard data side, that we use to inform the creative side. It’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. But while we’ve begun to master data through analytics and research, our creative content is… well… hit and miss.

    But when you consider where many of us have come from to find ourselves in SEO, perhaps it’s not a surprise.


    As SEO has evolved at a dizzying pace, many of us now specialise within a facet, such as outreach, technical SEO or analytics. There’s even agencies dedicated to one of these niches.

    With no-one talking about editing skills, its no wonder we’re not as armed as we should be.

    But some of us are able to do so much more. To make content that works.

    Why your SEO content sucks

    So, what’s holding many of us back?

    When people think of editing, they think of the track changes or spelling & grammar buttons in Word. Of having red lines run through their homework. This copyediting is not the summit of our ambition. Everyone can produce an article that is well-written.

    We also have to get over the freedom blogging has given us. We’re comfortable with publishing with no restraint, no constrictions, no editorial control.

    While that works fine for your home project, thinking we can publish anything for our clients in the quest for results doesn’t fly.

    And that need for results is our biggest barrier. We invest in the results, not what gets the results. We lack editorial perspective. Links, shares, rankings are our aims for content marketing. Not quality, not traffic.

    That’s why when you’re told, create quality content, most don’t explain what that entails.

    Our approach of the content itself only being a mean to the end of links means we don’t approach with an attitude to succeed. The content has to work in its own right. Only then can most content hope to earn more.

    It’s not just SEO targets; any time you try and apply other goals to content you can stifle creativity. It’s hard work to make great content. Using external measurements of success makes it more so.

    Even as we move to ape the publisher model, we don’t think like editors. Some of the most successful content brands online treat their brands as web publications. Complete with editorial control.

    In a world of Complex, Vox Media and Buzzfeed, do you serve your audience? These brands focus on their target user, serve them with (contextually) great content, and results come on the back of that.

    Why you need to care

    And these web publications are your competition. You might be in a different niche, but as we move to a content saturated world the most precious commodity becomes time.

    Your target audience has access to more, and better quality, content than ever before. If you want your content to stand out, a well-written dull article targeting a few keywords written by someone with no insight won’t cut it.

    We’ve also now got to live with Google’s E-A-T. Their desire for expert content within an industry. An example they give is that even gossip sites can demonstrate expertise.


    Add in last year’s Quality updates, Google took another step to rewarding expert, in-depth or other-wise superior content. Plus, it seems that engagement is another potential signof what earns that distinction.

    If you think that an editor seems likely to match user intent to content, I agree. Who better than someone who can translate data, ideas, audience and brand?

    An editor is someone who brings these different needs and world views together. They are the brand ambassador. Someone who has the skills of SEO, knows how to run an editorial process, can consider client needs and has the ingenuity to put it together.

    As Seth Godin put it; “you need editors, not brand managers”.


    What would an editor do?

    I’m glad you asked.

    They bring together many of the skills & tasks that we currently have, but don’t explicitly assign. Then they add a depth of audience and brand understanding, a dash of creative flair, knowledge of publishing principles and the ability to see connections to create new ideas.

    They write for readers. They make the content decisions.


    The good news? We already do much of the work. We need to establish these into processes and re-enforce them with broader knowledge.

    Back in the autumn I gave a talk at BrightonSEO on establishing a content development environment. By combining SEO & keyword research skills with UX, social, content strategy and an agile approach (users first, quick turnaround), you create the foundations for content that serves a purpose. You take an editorial mind-set into your content decisions.


    Another example? In a Whiteboard Friday from February, Rand Fishkin was speaking on the topic of combing granular keyword-led and topic-only approaches to content for SEO.

    He spoke of combining your data, research and influences. Together they give you the basis for content decisions – something an editor of a web publication would use.


    What an editorial perspective does is make many of our tasks easier.

    Take personas. We have talked of them of years in SEO as we steal the best bits from UX. How many of us are good at understanding them? How much attention do we really pay to them?

    In fact, for SEO, personas are more of an editorial consideration than for other channels. We’ve have to consider more than the multiple personas of our content consumers. There’s the persona of the industry influencers we want to target – what will make this content appeal to them? And then we have Google. As we learn more of what they look for in content, we have to consider them another persona our content must address.


    This is a task editorial skills & tools improves.

    Whatever you want to call this role, we need someone to take the reigns. Someone to understand SEO, the technical workings of your website, be in the heads of your audiences, be a guardian of the brand and understand the potential for promotion.

    Oh, and be able to see connections to create new ideas and be able to lead creative teams.


    So, should we have SEO editors?

    This is of course an individual choice for most SEO teams, whether agency side or in-house.

    What is less debatable is our need to step up our content game. And editorial skills will help get us there.

    Should larger teams have an editor role?

    Or can existing positions fill this need? We need technical, creative and strategic skills to succeed in SEO. As we hire specialists based on skills, should we look for those with an eye for publishing?

    How do we give smaller teams the editorial skills they need?

    Within smaller teams, we’re asked to be link builders, writers, data analysts, technical experts and more. Can we expect them to have editorial skills as well? How do we give these teams (or individuals) the skills and confidence to make content decisions?

    Should we claim SEO editor as part of our lexicon?

    We use many different titles for content lead. Maybe strategist, consultant or manager. But this prevents two benefits. One, us thinking explicitly about editorial skills when recruiting. And two, giving clients a clear understanding of the role and relationship they can expect. What title would you put more trust into guarding your brand? In making strong content decisions?

    So, do I want to see SEO editors? Maybe. Do we need editing? Certainly.

    If content is to be useful for linking building, we need those who can tell what an audience wants. What will form that mythical great content. That same great content most can’t explain because their focus is on the results, not on the content.

    Being useful, such as educational, informative or entertaining is at the heart of online content. What better than an editorial philosophy to obsess with achieving this?

    We’re moving towards an editorial model, a model of E-A-T. Can we adapt to take advantage?

    By Charlie Williams SEO Uncategorized
  • 01 Oct

    How to combine 2 tools to recover lost link equity!

    Take care of your backlinks, and your backlinks will take care of you

    Me, last night

    As we’re all aware, backlinks make up a vital part of any website’s online visibility.

    Under the constant pressure of acquiring new links to a website, the links you already have can easily be forgotten. Your current backlinks are just as important as the new links that you’re acquiring, even those you got a year and a half a go, because they’re what make up your backlink profile.

    In this post, I’m going to be demonstrating how you can use and combine two great tools to help take care of your existing backlinks, as well as spot where you might potentially be losing some of that tasty, tasty link juice from pages returning a 404 status code. For this post I’m going to use Pets at Home as an example.

    Bobby, why Pets at Home?” I hear you exclaim. Let me explain.

    Using Pets at Home wasn’t premeditated, and actually stemmed from a conversation I had earlier this evening with my housemate, when she entered the house carrying a hamster, and what can only be described as a hamster palace. In what turns out to be a regular occurrence, she had gone to Pets at Home to pet the various soft animals after a particularly stressful day at work, when she spotted the hamster in question, now called Butterbean, and the rest is history. So as I sat at my desk wondering about a website to use as a (sorry to continue with this animal theme…) guinea pig, guess what sprang like a rabbit to my mind… I digress, but you get the idea.

    The two tools that I’m going to be using for this demonstration are Ahrefs and Screaming Frog. For those that don’t know, Ahrefs is primarily a backlink analysis tool, although their new tools are multiplying like (sorry) rabbits, and Screaming Frog is a website crawling tool. Both have free and paid versions and I highly recommend both.

    Step 1. Gather your data.

    • Navigate your way to the ‘site explorer’ tool on the Ahrefs site, and enter your website. As of a week or two ago, you can now choose between ‘fresh’ and ‘live’ links; I chose ‘fresh’. Now in the sidebar you will see ‘Top Pages’, which will give you a list of the top pages on your website, which can be ordered by social shares, or backlinks. Make sure you select backlinks, it’s quite small!
      Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.22.51
    • You’ll now see all of your top pages, which in the case of Pets at Home numbers over 30,997! Fortunately, we’re not going to be dealing with anywhere near that number (unless you’re doing this for Amazon maybe), but export the full list anyway to a CSV. Download and open it.

    Step 2. Locate all URLs on your website with at least one backlink pointing to them.

    • First things first, delete any URL that has 0 referring domains or returns a 200 status code, ain’t nobody got time for that. Second, we’re going to use Screaming Frog to check our status codes, as I’ve seen Ahrefs not be completely correct in the past, as well as some URLs having the status code ‘0’. So copy your URLs and paste them in to Screaming Frog and crawl them in list mode.

      Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.23.25
    • Once you’re finished, paste the status codes back in to the spreadsheet (make sure it’s in the correct order), or if you’re good with excel, put it in a table (Ctrl/Cmnd + t) and just use a simple VLOOKUP to pull your status codes in. Whether you use a VLOOKUP or not, using a table will allow for easy filtering of status codes, but I’m sure you’re clever and you knew that already didn’t you?

    Also: Filter for any 301s/302s and put these to one side, I’ll share a quick tip for these later in the post.

    • By now you will have a list of all other status code errors, which in Pets at Home’s case, is 272 pages returning a 404 status code. In other words, that’s 272 pages that have earned link equity, but are not passing any of it on to the website.

    Bonus: Check other versions of your site, such as .co.uk/.com versions and old sites to ensure you don’t have links pointing to old pages that don’t redirect or return a 404.

    Step 3. Redirect, redirect, redirect.

    • Now that you have a full list of non-equity passing passing links, it’s time to get that lovely link juice to your website, through the classic 301 redirect. (Note: don’t use a 302 redirect unless it actually is temporary, please).
    • As we know, Google isn’t a massive fan of you just redirecting all old pages en-masse to the homepage, so to get the most out of your relevant link equity, work out the best page to redirect your 404 URLs to. Implement those redirect and that’s it, you’re done. In the case of Pets at Home, they’d now have reclaimed link equity from 202 pages now pointing at their site, from just an hour or two of work. Simple.

    Bonus Step. Stop losing equity through redirect chains.

    • A great report that Screaming Frog can generate for you is the redirect chains report. This report shows you where redirects from one URL to an intended URL occur more than once, thus losing equity along the way.
    • For example, ideally a redirect should happen once: A > B. Sometimes though, possibly due to sitewide redirects or rules, you can end up with one, two, or more redirects before your original URL reaches its intended destination: A > B > C > D. The problem with this is that equity is lost over multiple redirects, so you only want your redirects to happen once.
    • To get this report, simply paste your list in to Screaming Frog, go to Configuration, ensure in the ‘Advanced’ tab that ‘Always Follow Redirects’ is turned on, and crawl away. Once this has finished, click on the reports option, and select the ‘Redirect Chains’ report.
      Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.23.05
    • Voila, you have a nice spreadsheet showing you all the pages that redirect, and you can see where any are going through more than one redirect. Once you have found these, you need to cut these surplus redirects out and BAM, you’ve recovered some of the link equity lost.

    So there we have it, 3 quick and easy steps to taking care of your backlinks. As I said late last night to a housemate who had no idea what I was talking about, “Take care of your backlinks, and your backlinks will take care of you”.

    Did I miss any tricks? Got any other methods you like to use? Should I have got more sleep last night? Let me know in the comments below or join me on Twitter at @bobbyjmcgill or @whitedotnet.

    Also, my clever colleague Charlie Williams wrote a more in-depth, 2-step post on this back in 2013 about plugging your link leaks which you might like!

    By Bobby McGill Uncategorized
  • 12 Aug

    Gallery: Slider

    Dipiscing lorem felis a ante. Proin consequat a justo sed ornare. Vestibulum quis magna vel nunc vehicula mattis id. More →

    By White.net Uncategorized
  • 08 May

    My first week as a digital executive

    Hello everyone, my name is Farah. Farah joins teamFirstly I would like to say a huge thank you to White for welcoming myself to the team as a Digital Executive. After I received that ‘all important’ email with a job offer, I was very excited and could not wait to begin the next step in my career.

    What I’ve done previously

    Last year (2014), I graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Business and Marketing Management Degree – time sure does fly by. Nonetheless it  was the proudest day of my life to date.

    After graduation my main concern was finding a full time job (similarly to most students). Until then I was working in my part time job as a beauty consultant. A few months down the line I found a temporary role within a strategic consultancy; this is where my passion for agency work developed. I enjoy the fact of being able to work with different brands and helping them to achieve their goals.

    After my contract ended I had a lot of free time as you can imagine and I decided to start my own blog around beauty and fashion. This is where I established my love for the digital side of marketing including, blogging, social media, HTML, search marketing and the processes involved. I absolutely love the idea of being able to share my own ideas and views. At this moment I knew that I wanted to follow a career within a digital marketing agency – which is where White comes in.

    My future goals

    Currently I have huge interest in SEO on the whole, as well as blogging and social media. This journey is more of a learning process, as I have not had a huge amount of experience within SEO previously. However, I am very passionate and eager to learn. I definitely have a few of my own goals set already, although currently starting out in the industry. One of my main future aims is to potentially be speaking at well-known conferences such as, SMX London and BrightonSEO.

    A bit more about me

    Alongside blogging, my other interests include charity work (helping others who are less fortunate is one of the most rewarding experiences). I also enjoy writing, meeting new people, socialising, sports and shopping – typical girl. I also hope to travel and see more of the world in the future.

    I am very happy to be a part of such an established agency and I very much look forward to the journey and future opportunities ahead… Also potentially meeting some of you in the near future!

    You can also follow me on Twitter @_FarahAli

    By Farah Ali Uncategorized
  • 15 Jan

    Donec Acultr

    Nulla varius sed diam nec vestibulum. Nunc ligula enim, imperdiet ac consectetur vel, mattis in nulla and going through the cites of the word More →

    By White.net Uncategorized ,
  • 02 Oct

    Brand Communications – Finding Your Company’s Voice

    One of the central focuses of many companies is getting your brand name out there and boosting brand awareness. This comes in many and varied forms, from blog posts, to expert guides, to social media statuses. However, in the flurry to create and publish more and more brand content, it has felt at times that businesses are pushing quantity over quality and, as a result, are forgetting some of the basics of brand communications.

    In this post, I want to take you back to the fundamentals of all brand communications, your brand voice. In doing so I hope to help you to improve the quality of the brand content you’re sending out and boost your overall brand image.

    So, let’s get cracking.

    1) Decisions, decisions, decisions

    Before you start creating any company content you ought to have a very clear idea of what your brand is meant to represent and what its tone of voice is. However, from what I’ve seen online recently, there is very little awareness of this at the moment.

    So, my first piece of advice is to go back to drawing board and figure it out. Dig out your brand guidelines, company vision, or simply grab the director, and nail down what it is your business stands for.

    Are you an expert authority on your topic? Are you innovators? Are you “zany” (please don’t be zany…)? But, seriously, are you thought leaders or more laid-back and fun? Cutting edge, or reassuringly familiar?

    There are two elements to make sure you cover when you’re doing this – personality and tone. So basically what you are and how you convey that. Make sure you analyse both of these aspects of your brand voice before you finalise anything, and make sure the two complement each other.

    Know your brand and what it stands for. If you don’t have a coherent brand voice then now is the time to nail it down. Take a look at your website, company, clients and staff, and try to find something appropriate for what you currently do. Don’t try to force something new and counter-intuitive onto the business just because you think it’ll make you more interesting online. It’s much better to work with what you’ve got and clarify your current image.

    2) Guidelines

    By now you should have a clear idea of what your brand is and what it stands for. To help keep things clear for everyone it might well be worth writing up a summary of your brand – its mission and its vision, and get everyone to read it. It’ll clarify any alterations and also stop people backtracking or attempting to reinterpret it later on.

    Further to this, it’s now time to write out some defining brand guidelines for all your communications from now on. This includes everything from your website, to your tweets, to your client communications, to guest blog posts (if you’ve been invited to write one for a well-respected site – we couldn’t possibly condone any other form).

    In this document you should outline the tone of voice you’re going to use – are you serious, jovial, reassuring, friendly, corporate, or expert? Make a decision and stick with it. You should also decide how will refer to yourselves so that it’s consistent throughout all your communications.

    Consistency is essential to branding so make sure that whatever your guidelines include you are able to uphold them and apply them to all necessary circumstances.

    3) Spring-cleaning

    Now that you’re armed with your carefully thought out brand guidelines it’s time to tackle your company communications head on. The first thing you must do is have a look at everything currently out there – your website, your G+ page, your blog, your document templates – EVERYTHING.

    You need to make sure that every single communication your brand has with the public adheres to your new guidelines. For people to trust you, you MUST be consistent – it’s essential.

    So be brutal – if your website isn’t right then you to need to knuckle down and start rewriting pages. The same goes for document templates – you want to ensure that everything you send to your clients from now on needs to strengthen your brand and present a clear image of who you are. Your clients are much more likely to trust you and your professionalism if everything you send them consistently reinforces this image of you.

    The same goes for social media accounts. These can be particularly difficult to manage as, often, more than one person can access them and send out messages. We’ve all seen enough cases of errant tweets from big brands sent by misguided staff members to know the damage that inappropriate use of social media can cause.

    So from now on, make it clear exactly what will and what won’t be considered acceptable on your company’s social media. Bear in mind you can normally be a little more light-hearted than on your website for example, but you remember that you’re aiming for consistency, so don’t stray too far from your norm. A few photos of team events can be a great way to show personality, just make sure nobody decides to live tweet the Christmas party after one too many drinks.

    It might even be wise, whilst the new guidelines are being implemented, to limit the number of people who can access these accounts. Then, once everyone has a better understanding of what is expected, you can open them up again. It may seem a bit harsh, but it’s better than having to run damage control on people’s mistakes.

    So there you go – three simple steps to helping you find your company’s voice. Follow them and implement them in a consistent manner and you should have no difficulty getting people to trust in your brand. Even better, the more people who trust in you, the more likely they are to recommend you to others. Then, when these people search for you, you can rest assured that everything they read online will only further support all the wonderful things they’ve already been told. Job done!

    (Image from Wikipedia)

    By Sam Hall Content Uncategorized
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