We talked to Ben Hawkshaw-Burn on how Geeky Tech builds websites that rank at the top of Google, and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: COVID times have been tough for many people throughout the UK, and I am grateful to be in an area that isn’t too badly affected by this pandemic and the virus. The family is doing well, and the kids are healthy and back to school now, which frees up some more time now.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company Geeky Tech?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: On a personal level, I’m the ideas, man; I have a wildly creative personality and love all things tech (just as much as I hate it). I’m completely mesmerized by how technology continues to change and how consumer behaviors adapt to these new changes, especially SEO. I’ve been told I have a wildly imaginative and creative personality, with an unparalleled passion and drive. Still, I firmly believe that helps keep everyone involved in projects hungry for more success. Most people have no complaints about climbing the corporate ladder; however, this traditional roadmap wasn’t particularly appealing. Around eight years ago, I went on a quest to find other like-minded freelancers who also didn’t want to get ‘real jobs.’
Initially, we formed a full-service digital marketing agency. On that journey, we began learning a lot more about digital marketing and outsourcing (and the headaches that came with it). Along this journey, we worked with some good clients and some bad, but we learned something new each time. Eventually, we took a step back to assess our situation, where we were going, and whether being a full-service digital marketing agency was right for us. At the time, we offered SEO on an outsourced basis, which also didn’t go very well. Until we discovered that our competition didn’t know what they were doing and from this gap in the market, we learned, we practiced. We tested until eventually, Geeky Tech came to be, which is why we strive to stay on top of our game.
How does Geeky Tech innovate?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: As a team, we provide search innovation through the constant testing of Google’s algorithms both our own and via a community of SEOs – we do this to ensure that our processes are on form for both current and future clients. We also do this to develop methods to rank clients that none of our competitors knows about; they’re exclusive to our team.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: Luckily, we’re doing very well. Even though we could’ve never predicted the situation that’s currently going on worldwide at this present moment, our company had almost been COVID-ready since the beginning eight years ago. Our ethos centralizes on things such as not being bound by trivialities such as the shackles of the ordinary day/evening/night commute to work. We needn’t worry about how we look, how we dress, whether there’s going to be an abnormal amount of traffic or even whether we’re going to be late. We’ve built a very flexible and yet robust machine in which all of our team can work from anywhere, anyplace, and anytime, as long as the deadlines are met!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: Our most difficult choices were probably where to allocate our time. With us being such a small, tight-knit team – there’s a limit to what we can do and who we can service. We need to choose the right customers and what we’ve learned from all of this because it’s not about which customer is shouting the loudest or who is paying the most. We need to follow the customers that we feel are the best fit for our business, the core values and beliefs we have, and all that cool, pleasant stuff that’s easy to work with and help us grow personally and professionally. The lesson we’re taking away from all of this is to choose who you want to work with wisely, who you feel is the best fit for your time and efforts.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Geeky Tech in the future?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: Stress and anxiety are just the side-effects of the job, really, as most people who work in an office-based role would probably agree. The way I counter these side-effects is really through personal development. I’m a believer in daily affirmations to keep the mind in a positive place. I enjoy pilates, meditation, and I also try my best to spend some time surrounded by nature, even if that means walking the dog a couple of times a day! Also, internally during the lockdown, I began to create a weekly video series, where I project the business’s values, where we’re going, and what different parts of the team are working on. Other things such as the cool side-projects we’re working on, all to try and keep everyone feeling involved in the company and its overall development as if one cog stops turning, the whole machine can break.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ben Hawkshaw-Burn: Our competition is essentially anyone who might tell a customer that they know anything about SEO. We plan to stay ahead of the competition to out-test and out-work all of those people and continually expand our knowledge. We have dedicated category managers who specialize in SEO. They work in ranging from on-page to backlinks. Finally, we always push Google’s buttons, and in honesty, there aren’t any significant competitors for us.