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Life at Echo: My First Three Months

Posted On: 3rd April 2020
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Read Time: 5 Minutes
My name is Katie, Echo’s Junior SEO Executive, and I am here to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to join one of Peterborough’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies. Spoiler alert: it involves serious amounts of chocolate, memes and the infamous Milkgate…

It’s been three months since I first stepped foot in the Echo office. I had recently returned from travelling Australia after a lightbulb moment realising my dream job, ready to launch a career in a completely new field to me – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

‘Search engine WHAT?’

This seemed to be the most popular response from my friends and family. To put it in very simple terms, an SEO’s job is to use strategic planning to help a website rank at the top of a search engine results page (SERP); a position which is determined by mysterious algorithms which are updated daily

For some people, having to handle frequent and unexplained change is their worst nightmare. For me? A problem-solver’s dream.

So, why Echo? 

After working in the UK, Lapland and Australia, I had a pretty good idea of the working environment I was after (minus the elves, snakes and koalas, of course). I was on a mission to find a down to earth, collaborative and fast-paced company that encourages its team to take their own initiative. Luckily for me, Echo Web Solutions had just started looking for a Junior SEO Executive.

Have you ever been two minutes into an interview and just knew that was the job for you? I can’t lie – I was seriously nervous, but listening to Zak and Leah explain the company, the role and where Echo is heading left me feeling so invested and excited in Echo. It was clear I could learn so much from a team who are all striving towards the same ambitious goals and have built a company they are so clearly proud of. 

Later that afternoon, Zak offered me the job.

Inside Echo

Three months later and what a whirlwind it has been! Working at an agency means every day is different and you learn so much, so quickly. Luckily for me, I couldn’t have found a more encouraging company to begin my SEO career with. 

Meet the dream team 

Echo Team Escape Room

Are you ready for a serious cliche? We’re not just a team at Echo. We are (yes, you guessed it) a family. 

We succeed as a team because we all have a great amount of trust in each other, which I think is pretty unique. We win and lose as a team. Everyone plays to their strengths and supports each other every single day. 

If we’re not bouncing off each other in group brainstorming sessions, sharing industry updates in Top Up Tuesdays, buzzing in meetings about where Echo is heading or helping each other to produce impressive results for our clients, you’ll find us out enjoying Friday drinks, getting competitive in an escape room, or, most likely, going out for food!

Office life is great when the team culture is so strong

Speaking of food…

Pancake Day Leah

🍳Frankie & Bennys breakfasts…

🥞Office pancake day…

 🥪Sub Fridays…

🥙Sub Wednesdays….

🍫Chocolate, um, ‘everydays’….

If we’re not eating it, we’re talking about it.
Chocolate does not last long at Echo. Put a bar on the digital marketing table and in 10 minutes, it’s gone. It’s even reached the point where Andrew (one of the web team gurus) has a hidden stash of chocolate to reward us for when we impress him – a bit of unhealthy motivation goes a very long way.


P.s. – Do you know any office that brings in a crepe maker and assigns ingredients out to the team for Pancake Day? Well, you do now.

 

SEO 101: You can’t just learn SEO through online guides.

Did you know that Google has over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm? Getting a website to rank highly isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Speak to any SEO professional and they will tell you that the best and most effective way to learn SEO is through problem-solving real issues, working on live websites and experimenting with new processes. With so many industry changes, I’ve learnt you need to be proactive in testing your theories. 

So, as you can imagine, my training has been very hands-on!

From a whole host of technical SEO to project management and campaign analysis, my time at work is incredibly varied and no two days are the same. In three months I have managed to learn more than I ever thought possible, and I am still only at the beginning of my journey. 

More recently, our PPC expert, Elise, has been training me in pay-per-click advertising (PPC). Setting up, analysing and optimising successful ad campaigns that bring in conversions is a complex task and takes time to master. It’s a challenge, but that’s why I love it. 

Team admiration moment: it makes a big difference being surrounded by a team who all want you to succeed and will give you every opportunity to do so. 

SEOs love memes

SEOs really do love memes, don’t they? Leah sent this one to the team a few weeks ago and I am still laughing over it:

Broad Core Update Meme

If you know… you know.

Milkgate

If you’ve read this far, you’ve made it to the infamous Milkgate 👏👏. I know this is what you’ve been waiting for.

No surprises here, but at Echo we drink coffee and tea by the gallon, but especially tea. Be it Yorkshire, PG Tips, Thompson’s or Twinings – we LOVE tea. So when your weekly milk delivery goes missing and you can’t have your usual ten cups of tea a day… let’s just say things can get pretty serious.

Let’s break it down.

The milk delivery usually comes at around 6am and the first person in the office comes in at around 7.30am. A call to the delivery company confirmed they were sure they delivered the milk. Oh, and it gets worse. The milk didn’t disappear for just one week. It disappeared for four weeks

So, of course, there was only one possible conclusion… A milk thief.

After several hilarious office discussions over how to catch said ‘milk thief’, including a camp out overnight (yes, it was that serious), it soon came to light that our delivery company had a new driver who couldn’t find us.

Not quite as exciting as having a cunning milk fiend loose in the business park, but at least the mystery was solved and we could gain back our sanity – and our excessive tea drinking habits.

Just when you think the milk thief is the peak of your problems…

COVID-19.

Just like that, with the passing of my three month milestone came a challenge no one could have predictedYou don’t need me to tell you the colossal impact the current global pandemic has had across businesses and society alike, but I am in awe of the resilience, compassion and strength shown by our team and many others like us.

Whilst working remotely, we will continue providing our usual outstanding service to our clients and make sure to get through this together.  We’ve even had several new work colleagues join our Skype calls to brighten the spirits; Loki, Leah’s mischievous cat and Ollie, Zak’s extremely playful pup! How can I complain?!

What’s to come?

  • As part of my training, I will be taking the Google Ads Certifications, contributing to our Google Partner status. Hopefully I can make Elise proud 🏆!
  • In April October, I will be attending my first ever SEO conference alongside the digital marketing team, BrightonSEO. After spending every day in February buzzing about the event, booking our accommodation and even going as far as choosing our breakfast spot for the morning after (it was waffles – can you tell we were excited?), we were absolutely gutted when it was moved due to coronavirus. Not to worry though, I’ve heard it’s definitely worth the wait 🏢.
  • Tackling the challenges 2020 throws as a team, coming out stronger than before 💪.
  • Plenty more chances to win chocolate off Andrew, meals out and socials (as soon as the lockdown is lifted, of course!) 🍫.

Having joined Echo at a very exciting time of growth, I know there is so much more to come. If it’s been a struggle to keep the word count down just writing about the last three months, I can only imagine what office secrets I will have to spill in six, nine or even twelve months. For now, that’s it on your sneak peek into life at Echo.

Thank you for joining me at the start of my journey to becoming an SEO guru – watch this space!

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Katie Barnard
Junior SEO Executive
Echo's SEO Grasshopper who is always on the pulse of new industry trends. An SEO Guru in the making - watch this space!

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