Face to Face with an Organic Media Architect
ThoughtShift is a vibrant digital strategy agency based in Brighton. In this series you get to find out more about the different job roles within ThoughtShift and how our ThoughtShifters got into Digital Marketing. This time it’s the turn of our Organic Media Architect Anne-Charlotte Fleury who specialises in Organic Marketing Strategies, as she takes us through her role and journey so far at ThoughtShift.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
As an Organic Media Architect at ThoughtShift, I develop and implement organic marketing strategies for a range of clients from various industries.
There are three core aspects to my role: Analysis, Strategy & Operations
Analytics is at the start of everything I do, in order to help my clients achieve what they want from organic traffic, I need to understand their data and search landscape to define the best SEO strategy to help them meet their objectives.
I love when a client is as excited about their strategy as I am, and working with them on the operational side, helping them implement my recommendations and spotting new growth opportunities.
I specialise in Technical SEO, meaning I optimise our clients’ websites for search engine crawling and indexing, and to enhance their search presence. This covers a lot of technical processes including SEO audits, linking, canonicalisation, image optimisation and schema mark-up, amongst a variety of other things. With my knowledge of Technical SEO, I am given the opportunity to work on many client projects, which is always an exciting challenge.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Being analytical and having a thorough understanding of all aspects of digital marketing is key, as SEO integrates with everything website related, from code to page content, but also informs other business decisions, such as targeting a new market or product naming.
Being research minded and constantly learning about the ever-changing world of SEO and marketing as a whole, is crucial in order to keep on top of your game.
Project management and organisational skills are also important, as there are a lot of clients and projects to keep on top of.
There are also some personal characteristics that are needed to be effective (and happy) as an SEO; tenacity and patience are essential.
SEO can be challenging, there is a lot of test and learn, and results can also depend on external events such as search engine algorithm updates… meaning assumptions are sometimes overturned and efforts do not always bear fruit. Therefore, it is important to persevere and find solutions to issues.
How did you get where you are today?
I discovered SEO during my Marketing Degree in France. At the time I was given the opportunity to help an SEO agency deliver basic SEO activities, and I got hooked (my geeky side could finally shine!). Back then I read everything I could find about SEO, which at this time was a relatively new topic in the French digital marketing landscape.
I moved to England in 2012 and since then have worked for various companies in multiple sectors, including Hospitality, Education and Not-for-profit. My career progression led me to become a digital marketing expert, eventually becoming Marketing Manager for an education start-up, before moving on to a strictly digital role for a leading UK membership organisation.
Aside from my day job, I have also developed my own SEO freelance activity, helping B2B and B2C clients grow their online visibility and achieve more from their online platforms, whether their website or social media profiles. I helped the development of a new company, supported start-ups in gaining visibility and well-established leading companies target new markets with their SEO campaigns.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love the enormous variety of my role, with almost every day being different.
I find it exciting to discover and understand our clients’ different industries, and to use my knowledge to help companies of all sizes reach their goals.
What I enjoy the most is getting stuck into technical SEO issues, investigating the problem and finding the solution… This is something that I find immensely rewarding.
Like all jobs there are also challenges; The pace can sometimes feel intense, from shifting focus from one client strategy to another, to constantly ensuring that I am delivering top-notch SEO recommendations. A high level of focus and dedication is needed to be successful… however, it is worth the rewarding feeling that I have at the end of each day.
What kind of goals do you have? How do you measure your success?
My main goals are to keep our clients happy and to ensure campaigns are well delivered. As most of the time good results mean client happiness, this is often measured in organic conversions, but there are many other ways to measure the success of a campaign.
My personal goal is to achieve a balance where I can comfortably deliver the best SEO for our clients and have time to be proactive about their campaigns. On a more personal note I am interested in sharing my expertise with the wider digital marketing community by creating guides and blogs.
What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?
It’s hard for me to choose between Google Analytics and Google Search Console, I use them daily to measure campaigns performance and I love digging into websites’ data to gain insights and spot new traffic growth opportunities.
I’m also a big fan of Screaming Frog, a website crawler software that extracts pretty much all website data. I particularly like this tool’s configuration settings that enable me to extract specific data and be more forensic in my analysis, particularly when working on large websites that contain thousands of URLs.
How did you get into this role, and where might you go from here?
I joined the ThoughtShift team in October 2019, eager to grow my skill set and bring my technical SEO expertise to multiple clients. I was also keen to work for an agency that is innovative and has ethical values. When I learned about the people-based approach at ThoughtShift, and their involvement in charity projects, it felt like the ideal agency to work for and I have not looked back since. It can be intense, but it is equally rewarding...
My main objective now is to grow within my role and expand my knowledge as much as possible.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work for a Digital Marketing agency?
I would say define what you like about marketing and what you’re good at before starting to work in a digital marketing agency, working client-side at the start is a great way to understand how marketing activities integrate into the overall business strategy of an organisation and how a marketing team works.
Describe a typical day?
My days are rarely the same.
Typically, I try to follow my week's planning although this sometimes proves difficult as things can be fluid and priorities have a tendency to shift depending upon client's needs.
I catch up on emails first thing in the morning, then set some ‘quiet time’ to get my head down and work on client’s projects.
I work on clients’ campaigns and liaise with them to discuss on-going work, results or provide ad-hoc support.
As for the rest of the day, it varies depending on whether there’s time allocated for client calls, meetings with my team or an urgent client request pops up.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into Digital Marketing?
Read. Read a lot.
I have developed my expertise by being curious and reading as much as I could about both broad marketing topics and quite niche technical topics.
There are so many useful resources out there, either it is blog articles, free online training courses or great YouTube videos, it is very easy to find good content to feed your digital marketing curiosity.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I don't think that I could say that there is one specific piece of advice as such that has helped me grow in my career, but the earned trust and respect of my colleagues is something that I value highly and this perhaps matters more to me than any words of wisdom.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with motivating, inspiring people throughout my career (and continue to do so). These individuals and teams have helped me to realise my potential, trusting and believing in me when sometimes I found it hard to do myself. So my advice to others is if you can find the right person or the right team you are half way there, prepare for the ups and downs, be there for each other and finally be brave.