Andrew Walsh has been with IMWT 7 months now and we are extremely excited and proud of all the hard work that he has been doing! Currently based in Thailand, Andrew specialises in SEO and holds more than 10 years of experience in the field. We wanted to make sure that we learn more from him and, with this shoutout, we hope that you can as well!
It’s commonly known that the beginning is the hardest. What was the hardest thing for you to overcome when starting at IMWT?
I had been working remotely for about 4 months with my previous job due to the Covid pandemic and so I had assumed that moving to a fully remote role with IMWT wouldn’t be much of a change. However, I found that starting a new job, with new colleagues and new processes without ever meeting anyone face to face was more of a challenge than I expected! The hardest thing to overcome was not being able to just ask the person sitting next to me if I had any questions or didn’t know where things were as I would do normally if I was sitting in an office.
What motivated you to pursue a remote job?
As mentioned earlier, I had been working remotely for a bit in my previous job and I found that working from home just suited me better. After 13 years of being in an office, I appreciated not having to commute into the centre of the city every day and generally just preferred working from home. As lockdown was easing here last year I realised that I would be expected to be back in the office full-time, and I shuddered at the thought! That’s when I decided to see what sort of roles were out there for someone with my skill set that were fully remote.
What are your best tips on working remotely?
I’ve now been working fully remotely for IMWT for almost 7 months and I would say I’m pretty comfortable with everything. At the start, I wasn’t though, and felt quite flustered for the first couple of months! There are things I could have done differently to settle into it more quickly.
- Set a schedule. Sounds obvious, but I found I was spending most of my waking day on my laptop checking and replying to emails, working on reports, research etc. I eventually set myself a schedule that I stuck to which made sure that I regained and maintained a work-life balance. This is by far the most important tip!
- Make sure to take breaks. This follows on from tip 1 and should be included in your schedule. It’s so easy to sit at your computer all day when working remotely. I now make sure I have a couple of breaks and a lunch hour where I make sure that I get away from a screen.
- Communicate. It’s quite easy to feel that you are on your own but staying in contact with colleagues online and asking for help when needed makes it a lot easier.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
SEO is far from an exact science and it can be frustrating when all your hard work doesn’t achieve the results you expect. On the flip side, that is also what makes it so interesting as every site is different and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. Every site will present its own challenges for an SEO and some will be more of a challenge than others. Ultimately though it’s the setbacks that you learn from and build your knowledge so that you’re better equipped for the next project.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Results! It’s a great feeling when the recommendations that you have made get implemented and result in increased visibility and traffic and of course most importantly conversions. After all, that’s the reason we do it, but it can be a lot of work to get there.
Your best tips for someone looking to start out in the (SEO) world?
Research. Everything you need to know about SEO can be found online. Sign up with the industry-leading blogs and sites, familiarise yourself with how search engines work, get to know the different parts of SEO like technical SEO, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Make sure you understand the basic terminology such as keyword research, page titles, headers etc. Familiarise yourself with the industry-leading tools such as SEMrush, Screaming Frog etc. and of course Google Analytics and Search Console.
Practice. If you don’t have a website then build one and use the techniques that you have uncovered in your research. A lot of it will be trial and error and there will be obstacles but don’t give up. This is how you will build your knowledge and experience.