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Celebrating Superb SEO(s): Q&A with Brad Webster}

Celebrating Superb SEO(s): Q&A with Brad Webster

Published 27 February 2024

At Sitebulb, our tool scales with you. Whether you’re doing SEO for freelance clients, a small business, large website brand, or agency, we support SEOs at all stages of their career. And we want to shine a spotlight on some of the superb SEOs that are out there. Some you may have heard of, and some perhaps not… not yet anyway!

Today, we speak to Brad(ley) Webster, Senior SEO Lead at Herd, who is speaking at Sheffield DM this Thursday about overcoming imposter syndrome in digital marketing.

To get started, briefly give us an intro to you:

I’m Brad (or Bradley) – Senior SEO Lead at Herd. I’ve been with Herd for around five months, previously working at other small and large agencies across the UK. My current role is a nice blend of working with clients to improve their organic visibility, as well as working on new and exciting internal processes. I’m particularly passionate about the intersection of technical (problem solving) and content strategy (creativity) and how they work hand in hand.

SEOs have varied backgrounds – in PR, web development, marketing, content and more. How did you get into SEO?

I’ve always had an interest in creative and digital media, and I studied supporting subjects in school and college; creative media, website design, creative writing, art, graphic design, to name a few. Instead of heading down the university route, I wanted more hands-on learning and found an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing. From there I discovered SEO and have been on the bandwagon ever since, from Exec to Team Lead, to Senior Lead. Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of working with various brilliant and humble minds, who have helped me develop and navigate the world of SEO.

What do you like most about the work you do?

I have a passion for both technical and content. I have phases where I prefer to be working on one more than the other, but I appreciate there is a time and place for both. But that’s what I like most about the work that I do, there’s so much variety. Do I want to define the logic of how pages should link to one another? Or do I want to drill into the language and the way users are searching? Well, I don’t have to choose, I can do both in SEO! No day is ever the same and it keeps me on my toes.

What do you like least about your work? – Be honest!

This is one that I both love and loathe about working in SEO: There is often no right answer. Unlike an industry like accounting for example, the numbers either add up or they don’t – they’re right or wrong. In SEO, we can apply best practice in everything we do, but what I might do is not necessarily how someone else would tackle the same issue or goal. It’s both frustrating because it can feed into aspects such as having thoughts of imposter syndrome, but it also allows you to be creative and back yourself.

What are you working on right now – or what have you just finished – that has been exciting/challenging?

Outside of my day-to-day work, I like to undertake various projects that allow me to research areas I’ve taken a particular interest in. More recently, I am in the process of building up a blog in a new niche that I have deemed as a gap in the market. Undertaking landscape analysis, full keyword research, content strategy and prioritization, forecasting, content writing, and ongoing reporting and analysis to support my hypothesis. It’s challenging working on something from scratch independently, but it’s so rewarding seeing a seed blossom into something bigger.

What sort of SEO topics, issues, and techniques are you obsessing over right now? 

In general, how search results are evolving over time. Not just within algorithm updates and how site owners are trying to navigate these changes, but how physically the appearance and functionality of search results are changing. Even looking at things like how different elements take up real estate on the page, more recently with additions to search features for flight-related queries. From widgets to new rich results, search engines are constantly adapting and testing new ways to best satisfy end users.

What do you think we should be talking about more as a community?

The good and bad of social media. Social media is a great place to connect, share thoughts and opinions, and celebrate successes. But on the flip side of that, there are instances where social media can have the opposite effect. The influx of out-of-this-world website statistics or case studies, fake news, SEO side hustles, and grind culture can contribute to poor mental health. Comparing yourself to others is natural, but if it’s having a negative impact, then it might help to take a step back and refine what/who is appearing on your timeline.

What are your go-to SEO tools, and what do you use them for?

For keyword research and general competitor analysis, Semrush and Ahrefs are my go-to tools. Digging a bit deeper into user intent, tools like alsoasked.com and Answer the Public help your content and strategy have that extra kick. And for technical insights, Screaming Frog and Sitebulb are both fantastic tools, both of which have their own strengths. Not to mention Google’s stack: Google Search Console, GA4, I use every day, Google’s Rich Result Test is another good one. First-party (and second-hand) data is a valuable asset that you should absolutely use if you have access. Incorporating reviews, sales data, information on how users purchase in a given niche, can help you tailor recommendations to the end user.

What’s your top tip for superb SEO?

Try not to overwhelm yourself with the vastness and complexity of SEO and digital marketing. There are generalists and specialists within the industry, and both are great at what they do. Take learning and development at your own pace, pick one thing you want to improve on and take the time to read articles, practice doing, shadow others, however you learn best. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Are you an SEO with a passion or project to share? Get in touch with us about writing an article or doing a Q&A.

Bradley Webster

Bradley is a SEO professional with nearly seven years of experience working for agencies across the UK. Undertaking various studies during his development, Bradley has completed an apprenticeship in digital marketing and is CIM-accredited. He has worked on a handful of household named clients as well as freelancing for local SMEs. Bradley enjoys the intersection of where technical meets content within SEO, combining a blend of analytical problem-solving and creativity to adapt to the project at hand.

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