50 | How to stay up-to-date with your digital marketing knowledge


This episode is designed to help you stay up to date with digital marketing knowledge and to continue learning in your current job. If you want to find out what experts to follow, blogs to read and get excited about SEO again then keep listening! 

David Bain joins me on the show. He started digital marketing in 2004, specifically in SEO. Most recently he has done podcasts, webinars and is currently launching a book called Marketing Now. 

David found that one great way of learning is speaking to people. This is something he learnt from doing his podcasts as we developed over 2 hundred episodes.  

You need to be aware of what other departments are doing, like customer service. You should know the business model too. Search can help you understand what your business should be buying for the next year for example. When will it be available to buy because we also know when searches start to peak for those items. Search can help your business get more strategic. 

Learning & Context of your Role

Arpun Bhuhi introduced me to the T-model, a way of learning all the basics so that you have an overview of all types of SEO (or channels in digital marketing) whilst you specialise in the area that you’re good at or enjoy most. A good starting point as it’s good to have a marketing generalism as well as have a specialism. 

Arpun shared a spreadsheet with attendees, offering all tasks that may be relevant but make sure these are relevant to what you’re doing in your business and practice with the tools that you have.  

David emphasises that you need to know the context of your role, within the SEO team or the business in general. Things to keep in mind that as an SEO your role can change quickly too:

  • One min it’s driving traffic 
  • Then it’s about technical performance
  • And then, how does schema and voice search impact the business

In 2/3years time areas may no doubt change. If you’re aware of the bigger picture then you’ve got the upper hand as SEOs needs are becoming more varied. 

SEO Community

Although you need to keep up with algorithm updates and changes, it’s also important to look after your mental health. Nonetheless interacting with the Search community is key and Twitter is a big part of that. David advises to interact with webinars because this and questions in relation to the topic are a great way to learn more about what’s relevant to you. You’re in that learning mode this way if you participate. Also, it’s a good way to promote yourself better in the industry if you have good questions. In the future you may even be asked to be a guest on the webinar, making you even more visible in the space. 

“Everyone has their own personal brand, whether you like it or not.” – David Bain

Mix up face to face with online as well. Nothing better than creating those relationships in person. You never know how those positive relationships will benefit you in the future. Continue to build relationships without a view to get something out of it straight away but add value in general and help your career in the long term. 

I’m in a few great SEO Slack communities too. These are awesome because people help each other. David said don’t forget to continue to develop yourself inside and outside though and don’t rely on others to answer questions for you. Personally, talking to experts in their field and who are passionate in what they do makes me motivated and makes learning fun. 

David Bain had his own podcast with hundreds of episodes called Digital Marketing Radio where he enjoyed talking to experts. He’s starting Marketing Now, a new podcast next year to support the book that he’s just published. It’s based on 130+ marketers who joined him on a live-streaming event which inspired him to put all of their ideas about digital marketing together. 

Everyone learns differently, from twitter, to podcasting, to books and watching videos. My tip for you is…

“Figure out how your learn best and use that method to gain that information and expand your knowledge in the field.” – Alina Ghost 

David mentions that older content is still there, such as books and perhaps even print magazine but here are some of my blog favourites; Moz, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal. I also recommend you follow people in the industry or ‘entities’ as David calls them. Check out Aleyda Solis, Marie Haynes, Fili Wiese, Greg Gifford, Dawn Anderson and many more. Each have a topic or area they like to talk about too so follow those relevant to you and your business.

Favourite Podcasts:

SEO Events 2020:

Have as many quality interactions as possible. Don’t not talk to people or speak to too many people. Here are a few of the ones we’ve been to and will be coming up again next year:

  • BrightonSEO offers free tickets via a ballot
  • Women in Tech SEO 
  • Advanced Search
  • Search Elite
  • Search London

The SEO industry changes often. More recently David believes that it’s what is happening on-site that’s impacting your SEO. So, look at CRO rather than swapping links for example. 

If you’re publishing a site with great internal links and semantic markup then you have little to worry about. The days of counting backlinks is perhaps numbered but better off focusing on your site frontend. 

Find David Bain on Twitter | LinkedIn | Marketingnowbook.com

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Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes.

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