Get to know Conor Dalton, Marketing Director, Blueliner Marketing | RankWatch Blog

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Get to know Conor Dalton, Marketing Director, Blueliner Marketing

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Please introduce yourself and where you work.

Hey guys, I’m Conor Dalton, Marketing Director for Blueliner Marketing. We’re based in New York City on Madison Avenue near the Flatiron Building, with supporting offices globally.

How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?

This could really be its own separate piece – but to keep it to the most exciting and visceral changes that I feel day-to-day while working with our clients, I would say the most impactful change to SEO has been the rise of mobile. This may sound like a given – but the ripple effects of this on the industry are still making themselves known.

From mobile search overtaking desktop, to voice search becoming ubiquitous – whether you’re better acquainted with Siri or Alexa – the search journey has changed all because of mobile. Agencies that are approaching SEO correctly understand this and are investing in the long term success of their clients by actioning mobile-centric strategies.

We’ve seen local SEO become hyperlocal, which aligns perfectly with Google’s mantra of relevancy and providing users with the best search results depending on their location. The arrival of 4G and LTE mobile data really cemented cell phones as viable primary digital devices for people. With people staying connected to the internet wherever they go and becoming accustomed to relying on their device, optimizing for local listings has become a priority for us in our SEO efforts.

In a market like NYC, any services that are location-based, whether it’s a restaurant, dentist, or acupuncture clinic, need to rank for their target keywords as they relate to their location specifically. As part of the bigger digital picture, showing up in a SoLoMo search and having strong reviews on site like Yelp can make or break a company’s monthly revenue targets.

How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?

In University, while studying for my bachelors degree in Commerce, Marketing was the area I was most drawn to because it merged creativity with some of the more traditional business elements. At the time, while businesses had come to understand the importance of having a Facebook page, it was still a fledgling digital marketing tactic, as were many of the digital tools we now take as a given. Between my Freshman year and choosing a Master’s program in my Senior year, digital marketing had matured into a strong and established marketing discipline.

While undertaking an internship in my Junior year, I was attending a digital workshop on behalf of the small tourism-based company I was working for. When the concept of SEO was brought up to me for the first time, it was a watershed moment. Since then, I’ve touched on SEO in several of my roles before directly overseeing large full scale projects centered around it now at Blueliner. It’s been interesting to watch its evolution and how various algorithm changes have shaped the way we approach SEO.

What are the services you provide to your clients?

To our clients, we provide a full suite of digital services across the 7 Pillars of Content, Design, SEO, Advertising, CRM, Social, and Mobile Development. We work with a variety of clients in a wide range of industries, from small clients right up to large chains, and our key practice areas fall across Health & Wellness, Travel & Tourism, Financial Services, and Fashion. At a wider level, we also touch on the more traditional pillars of Branding, Events, Sales, and Direct Marketing.

What strategy according to you will prevail in 2017 for SEO?

SEO is one area where I feel there’s no substitute for hard work, when it comes to achieving a sustained advantage. It’s also an area where realistic expectations, patience, and persistence are very valuable traits.

I think the prevailing SEO strategy in 2017 will based on niche keywords and quality content developed specifically with these niche audiences in mind. Connecting with passionate audiences through content shaped just for them will be the big play. After this, link building and on-page SEO will still play key support roles – but I feel these can come as secondary benefits when creating great content, while ensuring ‘good housekeeping’ along the way. Great content will be linked to, therefore building your links, and will also establish you as an authority on your subject area.

What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?

I always feel like Digital Marketing is a very accessible area for people to get into. We’re all engaged with digital media constantly and are being marketed to all the time in our everyday lives. Therefore, if someone is able to make a slight shift of that lens, they can usually understand the fundamentals pretty quickly.

What’s interesting is how much the landscape has evolved though, even since I graduated in 2013. The cornerstones of AdWords and Social Media have evolved to be but two elements of an entire living and breathing digital ecosystem. In this spirit, it’s an area that’s always full of change. So, if you want to punch in, go through the motions, and punch out, this may not be the industry for you. But if you’re into staying on your toes and are excited by having your toolset get upgraded every few months, this could be the perfect fit for you.

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Devanshu Arora
As the Head of Strategies and Planning at RankWatch, Devanshu is also an avid reader and loves his technology. Spending at an average of 4 hours a day, he instills himself with the latest tech related news and insights. Aspiring to be a author of a technology coursebook for young entrepreneurs, Devanshu is leading in the right direction.
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