expertCoach - Rich Brooks

Today, we talk to Rich Brooks, a US-based digital marketing expert with many years' experience in SEO about his company and his thoughts on general digital marketing topics!


Please introduce yourself, your company and what you do


Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media and founder of the Agents of Change. I have been involved in digital marketing since 1997 and started doing SEO when Altavista was the main search engine!

Flyte is a digital agency located in Portland, ME, USA. We design and build websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and support those sites with SEO, social media, content marketing, and more.

Agents of Change is a weekly podcast and annual conference all about search, social, and mobile marketing.

What factors, do you believe are the most important in a successful SEO strategy?

Understanding the intent of your ideal customer's search at Google. These days you need to create relevant content, make sure it's of the highest quality, and try and get more valuable links than your competition.

What area of digital marketing do you feel is the most important?

I'm not sure there's one area of digital marketing that's most important, as every business has unique opportunities and challenges. For one group I may focus on SEO and LinkedIn; for another, it may all about Pinterest and Instagram. There is no one size fits all.

The only two pieces of the puzzle that every business need is an effective website and Google Analytics.

What are common mistakes that you come across when it comes to SEO?

One thing is that people want to build their site first and then "SEO it" later. Although you can certainly optimize an existing site, it's much more effective (and cost-effective) to build SEO into a website, knowing what type of content and organization the site needs. 

What is some advice that you would give to SMB's who are attempting to create an online presence?

Decide up front what you're good at and outsource the rest. Is your business designing websites? If not, then you definitely want to hire a company that does that. How about running paid ads? If you don't have a lot of experience, you should at least hire a firm that can set up your Google Ads for you in an optimal way.

What role do you believe social media should play in an online marketing strategy?

It really depends on the company. For some businesses, it will be critical to be posting regularly on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. For some B2B firms, you may want to focus on blogging and LinkedIn. The critical question to ask is: Is my audience here?

In all your experience in digital marketing, what is one inescapable lesson that you have learned?

What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. I've seen a lot of channels lose effectiveness over time, where other channels may have a resurgence. What doesn't change is the impact that truly remarkable content through these channels has on engaging your audience.

Finally, where do you feel the industry is heading in 2019 and what trends do you feel will become more/less important?

The rise of AI and machine learning will impact all of digital marketing. The question is, will this mean that digital marketers will need to become savvier and more sophisticated to use these tools, or will the tools become so intuitive that any business owner can use them effectively and integrate them into their business strategy.



Thank you Rich!

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