“[W]e don’t try to do everything… We went through a stage where I think we were good at everything, but great at nothing. And I think from that stage forward, we’ve really said, “OK, what is it we’re really passionate about? How do we focus upon that as much as we can and become great?” And then keep making a focus on how do we get even better as opposed to broader.”
This is what Kevin Gibbons had to say when asked about what he’d do differently looking back at the time when he first started his agency.
He’s been in the SEO and marketing industry for over 15 years – most of that time spent on building and growing agencies – so he certainly knows what he’s talking about.
In today’s edition of The Search Engine Journal Show, I had the opportunity to interview entrepreneur, speaker, and writer Kevin Gibbons – an SEO pro you need to know better.
About Kevin Gibbons
Kevin Gibbons is the CEO and founder of Re:signal, an SEO and content marketing agency working with brands such as Expedia, Auto Trader, Totaljobs, JD Sports, and the Financial Times.
He started in the industry in 2003 as a student working at a web design agency and co-founded his first agency, SEOptimise (later Quaturo) back in 2006, which became a leading UK SEO agency.
Quaturo then went on to become BlueGlass UK in 2012 and was rebranded last year to its current name, Re:signal.
Kevin has contributed to Econsultancy, The Drum and Search Engine Watch and spoken at over 100 conferences in the past decade alone, including Pubcon, SMX and Brighton SEO.
He is the reigning 2018 UK Search Personality of the Year. On top of that, his agency has won 15 awards between the UK and EU Search Awards, among many others.
In this episode, Kevin shares his insights on building, growing and rebranding an agency, the highlights and takeaways he’s gained over his 16-year-long industry career, and why his biggest strength isn’t knowledge, but his network.
- What the U.K. Search Personality of the Year title means to Kevin. [2:49]
- On having his “network” as his biggest strength. [7:16]
- Kevin shares how he started his career journey as a student web developer. [10:20]
- How does Kevin’s background in web development help in his SEO career? [14:10]
- SEOptimise was originally only a website that Kevin started. It then attracted attention and led to more client requests. [15:41]
- The time Kevin decided to build and grow his business – having to take on everything in the early days. [19:44]
- What kept Kevin motivated even though he wasn’t making lots of money at that point? [23:39]
- Looking back and knowing what he knows now, this is what Kevin would do differently. [25:32]
- On transitioning from Quaturo (the rebranded name of SEOptimise) to BlueGlass and bringing the U.S. brand to the U.K. in 2012. [28:19]
- Where did the name Re:signal come from? [35:45]
- Kevin’s tip for people who want to start and grow their own agency? Personally surround yourself with people that have already done it. [38:06]
- What’s his proudest moment from all these years of running an agency? [44:42]
- On hiring talented people: how do you find the right fit? [47:13]
- Kevin shares how he overcomes the struggles faced by agency owners. [50:53]
- How do the changes in the SEO industry influence the way he runs the company and works with clients? [54:40]
- An experienced conference speaker, Kevin offers some insights and tips for people who might want to eventually get up on stage and present themselves. [1:00:25]
- Some of Kevin’s best presentations have been blog posts. Blogging has helped to open doors for Kevin that he probably wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. [1:06:41]
- The best piece of advice ever given to Kevin. [1:10:17]
- And the worst piece of advice he has ever heard. [1:14:50]
- If he wasn’t in search or marketing, Kevin would probably be a sports journalist. [1:18:50]
- The key to having sustainable success in our industry? “Drop the ego… I think sustainable success has to come from feeling like you can always be better and you have to be learning.” [1:21:24]
- Kevin finds the future of search both exciting and terrifying. [1:23:04]
- What’s next for Kevin Gibbons? [1:25:55]
Links from the Episode
How to connect with Kevin Gibbons:
- Kevin Gibbons on SlideShare
- Kevin Gibbons on Search Engine Watch
- Kevin Gibbons on Econsultancy
- Kevin Gibbons on The Drum
- Kevin Gibbons wins UK Search Awards Personality of the Year (Re:signal)
To listen to this Search Engine Show: Better Know an SEO Pro Podcast with Kevin Gibbons:
- Listen to the full episode at the top of this post
- Subscribe via iTunes
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- Listen on Stitcher, Overcast, or Pocket Casts
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita