Posts tagged: search

Why I chose the Search & Social Media Marketing Course

27 November 2014

Hmmm… So, which course?  These were my initial thoughts.  Do I do a long distance course or do I stay close to home and come to the building.  By opting for the SSMM (Search and Social Media Marketing) at Media City, I now know, I made the perfect choice.

salford university media city

University of Salford Campus – Media City

It had all the aspects that I was hoping for and none of the ones I feared.  I didn’t want to just do ‘a course on seo and social media’… I wanted the course that would add value to my skillset.

When you leave University and/or Further/Higher Education, the question usually is… “What experience do you have?”… This is usually followed by an answer consisting of erms, buts and opportunity.  In other words, doing your best to prove you are willing to learn.

For probably only the second time in my life, I found myself on the other side of the argument.  As, somewhat fortuitously and serendipitously I found myself knowing a lot about SEO, social media and digital marketing, but didn’t have the academic or professional qualifications or accreditations to back up my experience or prove what I knew.  So it was important on my part that I showed evidence of Continued Professional Development (CPD).

I work in the charity and voluntary sector, so it is vital to spend the limited resources we have in the most productive, efficient and effective way possible.   This just happened to involve social media, website building, search engine optimisation and other aspects of digital marketing.  This is because, these activities can be done on a very limited budget; the challenge being, knowing what to do and having the time to invest.

So began my journey into the world of social media, website building and SEO.  It started off as a hobby with the website/organisation I founded called, Positive About MS ( and it’s social media following which now reaches out to about 10,000 supporters!  Subsequently I developed a website called, The Luggie Scooter (, which features on the first page of Google and in some cases features in the coveted Golden Triangle section of Google on page1!

So you can see SSMM was something I fell into and something I just happened to enjoy too, not realising at the time it would become Web 2.0.

However, all this experience didn’t give me what I needed, which was a way to quantify what I know and give me a recognised professional accreditation and/or qualification.

The Search and Social Media Marketing course

Right from the first week of the course I liked what I saw.  From the email communication prior to arrival, to the structure and general feel of the class.  It was just what I hoped it would be.  There was a structure to the whole course and it was clear what the course would give you.  I thought it would be more formal and not as comfortable, but I was pleasantly surprised.   I really liked the layout, atmosphere and the general way of teaching.

One of the reasons I opted for the course, was the opportunity of interaction with the course leader (Alex Fenton @AlexFenton) and the chance to ask questions in person.  This also exceeded my expectations.  You could speak in person, via social media, on private linkedin groups or by email.  It gave you further reassurance that you weren’t just going to be given course notes with a presentation.

Guest speakers

The format of giving you a presentation on the subject matter, followed by a talk and Q&A session from an industry professional worked really well and I got more than I expected from it.  We got the opportunity to hear from the likes of Phil Morgan (@PhilipMorgan) & Tom Mason (@totmac) from Delineo (@Delineo), Aisha Choudhry (@AishaZulu) from Fast Web Media (@FastWebMedia),  and the UK’s Number 1 best selling small biz marketing author; Dee Blick – pictured (@DeeBlick) of


dee blick pic

Dee Blick – Guest Speaker

I also felt the course was well pitched and did exactly what it said on the tin!  Initially I was apprehensive that parts maybe too basic or complex, however this was not the case and it was helpful that Alex Fenton would sometimes spend more time on certain subject areas than others, based on the group and what we needed.

It was never a case of times up and that’s it, you got a chance to review what we’ve already discussed and check your understanding.

One of the many revelations to me personally was the benefits and features of using Google Drive, something I was neither keen nor found necessary to use before I went on the course.  Google Drive allowed you to revisit slides and talks from previous weeks and made it very easy to review course notes.

I found it very refreshing and useful that information on the course and was freely shared by Alex, and that was what I had hoped for.  If there was something you were not sure on, there was always the opportunity to revisit it out of class time, with informal group sessions.

Overall, this course has filled in those missing gaps from my own learning’s and has also introduced me to industry terms and given me a chance to quantify what I already knew, by putting names and phrases to the processes I was practicing.

Furthermore it has opened up my eyes more to the idea of Web 2.0 and the importance of Digital Marketing.

Hopefully, this has helped you regarding your professional development course choice.  Feel free to share this post or share your views, I am @mrkazlaljee on twitter and you can use the hastag #ssmmUoS

More information & booking details for the Search & Social Media Marketing Course  &  Salford University location at Media City UK – Video

Why Public Relations is becoming the new SEO

20 November 2014

HatTrick Logo 2014


Why? Because when you strip all the marketing terminology back we’re simply storytellers and Google loves a good read!

HatTrick has from day one been about embracing change; constantly looking at ways of doing delivering communications differently, through to investing in new technology to ensure everyone in the business can seamlessly deliver global brand campaigns. It’s that hunger for change that led me onto the Search and Social Media Marketing professional course at Salford University.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve I was hungry to learn more about how PR and Search have emerged and how HatTrick as an international communications agency, based in Manchester could connect the two disciplines together.


From the course I’ve learnt that while once, many considered SEO to simply mean getting inbound links to your site to boost visibility on Google search results pages; nowadays this is no longer the case. Today, as far as Google is concerned it’s all about relevance, influence of the site and quality content. Some elements of the course were sounding very familiar and I was right to feel this way because this is exactly what PRs have been doing all along and why I believe that public relations is becoming the new SEO.

Here’s why:

As PR professionals, a key aspect of our role is analysing the client’s audience and then finding the right channel or publication to target with well-written and engaging content. The change in media landscape over the past ten years and rise in social media channels has opened up more opportunities than ever before for placement of content in order to build brand awareness and reputation.

Given that PR has always owned and managed communication channels, the responsibility of setting strategies and delivering content through social media naturally has become a daily task of a PR consultant. According to Google guidelines, having a strong Social Media presence is just as important as having an updated website.

By identifying and pushing out content to online influencers, naturally encourages them to share it with their followers. The more active a brand is in seeding out across social media channels, including Google +, Facebook and Twitter, means there is more chances to obtain higher rankings.

Everyone’s focusing on quality content

Add to the debate, Google’s recent changes to its guidelines on how websites are ranked on the search engine, also means that SEO professionals are too also now focusing more on creating quality content that people want to share, rather than just link building, in order to get its clients’ sites at the top of the search engine – exactly what PRs have been doing all along.

Do you agree? Nevertheless, regardless of whether the two disciplines are merged together in the future or that SEO may no longer be the answer to traffic-related prayers. Through storytelling content marketing tactics, brands can only now navigate their way through the treacherous SEO landscape of 2015 and beyond with support from a strong public relations campaign.


“How to Become a Business Development Specialist in the Fast Growing Search and Social Media Industry”

21 April 2011

Dear Business Developer,

Are you looking to get started as web marketing consultant within search and social media marketing? Then read on…

I’m sure you’ll agree that online marketing is huge! Everyday you hear about Google, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. These brand names – that have entered our lexicon – are like pesky mosquitoes buzzing around. They just won’t go away.

And you know it’s a fact the Internet has changed the way savvy businesses do business.  And even the dinosaur companies are starting to realise they’re going to die a horrible death unless they act now.

But Beware the Cowboy Search Marketing Companies

Just last week I bumped into a friend who told me he was working for this type of company. They have a big telesales operation and prey on the naivety of business owners. People who are desperate to increase their sales and profits. Telling someone you can give them 10,000 hits on their Facebook page is a little different to the reality – 10,000 impressions on Facebook. It’s a subtle but crucial difference.

Only get involved with an ethical company.

Do you need Selling Skills to be Successful?

Absolutely. Ideally you’ve got at least two years’ business development experience in the bag. Also, I’ll take it as red you understand to how to build rapport with strangers. And you can generate leads through cold calling (it’s easier than you think). In addition, you’re able to uncover sales opportunities at networking events or down at your local health club.

And it doesn’t just stop at talking. You need to be a competent business writer. Why? Because business developers should be able craft a professional proposal.

Lastly, you must possess good presentation and closing skills.

Search and Social Media Marketing Training will Pay Dividends

Okay, so you’ve got the selling ability of Brian Tracy or Zig Ziglar. If you haven’t then you’re working at it. What do you do next?

Well, if you want to shortcut the road to success then get yourself booked on a quality course. One that covers search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing: the hot topics. You can pick up extra knowledge, such as email marketing, pay-per-click advertising and affiliate marketing once you’ve got a good handle on the SEO and social media stuff.

There are quite a few courses out there, but I’d highly recommend you first take a look at Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation (SEMPO). It’s a not-for-profit trade organisation and they offer online certification courses via their commercial arm –

They’re a global organisation and all the top digital marketing agencies (your prospective employers) recognise SEMPOs qualifications.

Do you live near Greater Manchester. England?

If not, then don’t worry. But if you do then check out Salford University Business School because they offer SEMPO courses in a classroom environment. As well as certification, you get the added benefit of industry speakers who come along to offer advice on all aspects of search and social media.

Other Golden Nuggets to Help you Get a Business Development Job in Search Marketing

Below are a some of the things I’ve done over the last ten years to give me better understanding of web marketing.

  • Buy and sell items on eBay
  • Author an ebook and sell it online
  • Dig into Google webmaster tools
  • Start blogging or tweeting about your favourite topic
  • Stay current by reading SEO/Social news websites
  • Get social – set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Shoot a video and upload it to YouTube
  • Put some holiday snaps on Flickr
  • Read great books on Internet marketing (contact Para Web Marketing for a FREE list)
  • Build a website, so you have an appreciation of the design, traffic building and conversion process
  • Help a local company or charity to promote their business or cause online

7-Step Blueprint to Guaranteed Success

  1. Keep honing your business development skills
  2. Get a recognised qualification in search and social media e.g. SEMPO
  3. Create a CV and covering letter that’s specific to the sales role
  4. Try out a few of the golden nuggets (mentioned above)
  5. Be proactive – fire off your CV to job boards, recruitment agencies, and web companies who are advertising sales positions
  6. Pick up the phone – contact every search, web design and social media company within your commuting area. And ask if they need a good business developer (prepare thoroughly before calling)
  7. If you’re anti-social become social – attend industry events, follow and interact with companies you’d like to work for

BIOGRAPHY – Simon Davies LLB

Simon is a freelance business developer and web marketing consultant based in Manchester, England. He has 20 years’ sales and marketing experience, including 10 years at former telecoms giant BT. His time is divided working on his own web projects and that of other small businesses. In addition, he freelances for digital marketing agencies helping them to generate leads and sales.

marketing in the Fast Growing Search and Social Media Industry