Basic Info

Name:
Tom McLoughlin
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
05/07/2019

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Marketing / Advertising, Technology, Travel / Leisure
Personal Career Headline:
Founder, SEO Travel

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

I’m the founder of SEO Travel (https://seotravel.co.uk/), passionate traveller and father of 3 children. I’m an honest Yorkshireman and passionate about helping small travel businesses grow. I never dreamed of running my own business when I was younger, but this idea seemed too obvious not to follow through when I had it.

We’ve grown from being a single freelancer (me!) who helped a few clients whilst travelling, to being the best marketing option out there for travel SMEs (and it takes a lot for a Brit to be so bold!). I now focus my days on making what we offer even better and building a team that I’m proud to be a part of. In my spare time I play football, go running and watch Formula 1, and I even won a dance competition once…

My Native AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

I initially worked in PR, then moved into SEO as a planned segway to get into writing. Whilst working at an SEO agency I started a travel blog as part of my writing portfolio, but it ended up becoming more of an SEO testing ground instead.

I could see that one of the key difficulties for any SEO agency was specialist knowledge of the industry they were working in, so decided I should use the knowledge I’d picked up in travel to offer that specialised service.

The business has grown since then so we can deliver a range of marketing offerings for clients, including PR, website design and SEO. We’re now much more of a one-stop travel marketing shop for small-medium sized travel businesses who want help getting more customers, wherever they might come from.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

We’re continuing to develop our product offering, so social media options will be growing, along with email marketing. We currently have a lot of success in driving lots more traffic to clients’ sites, so we want to do more to help maximise the value of that traffic so clients can turn even more of it into customers.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

We’ve always focused on inbound business, so SEO is important in getting visibility to potential customers (and illustrating we know what we’re talking about!).

I write content for our site and others to increase the visibility of the brand and drive more people to our site so they can see what we offer. This all takes time, but the steady building process has paid dividends in creating a sustainable business with a good flow of leads.

I like to think once people get to our site and speak to us on the phone they recognise the great work we do and that we know what we’re talking about.

Another key aspect has been recruitment. We always focus on new hires being a great fit for the team and the culture of the business. We’d rather bring someone in who has the same values as us and is keen to learn and develop, than someone with more established skills who might not integrate as well.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

Our first hire didn’t go according to plan and we had to let him go. He was a nice guy and talented in many areas, but couldn’t deliver what we needed at the time so we made the extremely tough decision to part ways. It wasn’t easy and I felt bad about it, but I thought it was the right call for the business and it has proved that way.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

A client comes on board, gets great service in identifying where their issues are and we then work closely with them to help implement what’s required. We aim to be extremely personable and transparent which is often missing in our industry, as well as delivering fantastic results. Clients should feel like they have an extra arm of their own team and enjoy working with us as they get to know us over many years working together.

How do you motivate others?:

Clearly illustrate our internal goals so everyone knows what we are all aiming for.

Do good. It sounds obvious but if you’re trying to do the right thing and genuinely offer something fantastic to help people progress that should be easy to get behind.

We also do everything we can to help the team develop personally as we know that leads to better results overall for the business and clients.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Never stop learning. If you are constantly looking for ways to improve your knowledge and how you do things you will naturally become invaluable to whoever you work for. I still hunt down new information every day and want to improve my skills and knowledge, both in our industries and in the wider environment.

My Native AdVantage

Favorite Places/Destinations?:

Seville. We lived there for a while whilst were establishing the business and loved every minute. We’re now settled back in the UK, but would love to go and be based there again at some point. Incredible food, great value and beautiful surroundings.

What Else To Know

My Goal of the Day:

Learn something new and make progress. And enjoy it.

Tell Us More:

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The ability to walk out the door and be in the countryside in minutes.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Coco pops. I’m still a kid in my head.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Up and playing with my 3 children, making them breakfast and getting them ready for the day.

10:00 AM In the office; organising the team, speaking to clients or working on new business.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

There’s a great spot down the road that opened recently called Host (https://www.hostilkley.co.uk/). They do amazing (and extremely affordable) food.

7:00 PM Settling down for dinner after getting the kids to bed, catching up with my wife and then watching the latest popular box set.

11:00 PM Hopefully I’ll have been asleep for an hour…

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

A coffee in the morning and one after lunch usually does the trick. And lots of water.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Twitter – I love using it as a source of industry news and insight, as well as connecting with great people.

What should everyone try at least once?

Tapas.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

On the moors around Ilkley. It’s where I go running to escape from the day-to-day, relax and get some thinking time.

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