Simon Penson

Simon Penson is the founder and managing director of Zazzle Media, an international content marketing agency based in Peterborough and London.

He is one of the most prominent writers and speakers in the digital marketing space, having grown Zazzle into one of the most respected agencies in the UK.

How would you specifically explain what you do as an SEO?

I’m certainly not an SEO and, in many ways, have never been.

My background was in print journalism, and Zazzle was set up to counter the obsession with chasing algorithms.

I had learned how powerful content was as the conduit for creating targeted audiences of value and wanted to translate that into an online offering before ‘content marketing’ was a thing.

There are undoubtedly technical elements to consider, and it is important to bake that into the overall plan, but we/I focus on audience understanding first so we can design a proactive plan that will drive audience growth.

Which new skills are most important for SEOs to learn in the next six months?

A tough question, but I would say really getting into mobile usage data and really thinking about how the journey is different from that of a desktop user (where time has really been spent until now).

Take a mobile first look at the user experience and get buy-in for your plan with that data.

What do you find most rewarding about SEO?

Seeing a brand that may have been burned by previous SEO techniques grow again

It’s a great feeling to change perceptions and mindsets around ‘SEO’ to be much more about digital audiences and wider marketing.

How do you stay updated with the latest SEO industry news?

Twitter! Follow the right people and make time to watch your feed.

It’s the best curation you can get and a worthwhile time investment.

Everything excites me and that’s really, really important.

If you don’t have that in this industry you will fall behind.

When we hire people we look, above all else, for what we call ‘a voracious appetite for learning’ and a genuine intrigue for the world and how things work.

If you have that you’ll do well.

Talking specifically I would say it continues to be the trend towards a true understanding of the value of content and how it should sit at the very center of your marketing plan.

How is your typical work day structured?

As a managing director, I get very little time to work on specific campaigns now, instead focusing on strategy, recruitment, and new business.

That usually means lots of meetings before I might get into a conversation about content ideas for a client, general operational progress, or new business pitches.

The general pattern is to start early, collate information, and steer questions before getting into something myself in the second half of the day.

I will then tend to write posts or prepare speaking presentations in the evening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *