Meet Polaris' new Technical SEO Specialist - James Allen
Hello there, my name is James Allen and I am the new Technical SEO Manager at Polaris. This post serves to introduce me as a team member and to provide a platform for those whom are interested, to learn a bit about my history and experience.
History of Work & Agencies
I’ve been working in SEO for around 10 years. In 2009 I successfully completed my English and Media degree at De Montfort University in Leicester. I graduated on a Friday, and from Monday started work at a small local agency in the SEO field. From there I progressed to working in London (STEAK Digital / 360i UK, iCrossing).
After my tenure in London, I took on a number of roles at well respected local agencies (TopClick Media in West Byfleet, Effect Digital in Leicester, Wildfire Marketing in Leeds). I also performed some remote technical SEO work for Webcertain who are based in London.
Over my years working in SEO, I have been privileged to work on some high-calibre accounts such as:
Virgin Experience Days, M&S Retail, The Savoy Hotel (London), Simpsons in The Strand Restaurant (London), London City Airport, Nylacast, Leicester & Rutland Road Safety Camera Scheme (LLRRSP), Red Tractor (food label), UK Arts Programme (14-18 Now campaign), Barclays Bank, Heathrow Airport, Vodafone (for a migration project), CPS Generators, the Fabulous Furniture Company and more.
What is My Core Expertise?
Broadly my expertise is in deriving business-level and commercial insight (B.I.) from web-traffic trends, web-code deployment and technical data. The handling, combining, aggregating and shaping of medium-size data is a passion of mine (Excel, Delimitware Delimit etc). I am very familiar with Google Data Studio.
I also have a lot of skills in terms of reaping data from the web (something which dates back to the Information Retrieval discipline which pre-dates SEO). For example, using Python scripts with Selenium / Windmill and XPath to target data online and pull it into sheets and databases for further analysis. I also have experience in terms of directing big-data.
Formulae and directing the logical cascade of data are where I really excel. I also have some experience in terms of Project Management and Product Development. I have built a couple of websites but am not a professional Web Developer / Designer. Where UX crosses over with marketing in the form of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation), I also have experience in that area.
3 Things I Love About SEO
- The blend of subjective art and objective science. All these algorithms are mathematical sequences, but no one truly knows what they are. There isn't even an individual Googler who remains, who understands the full breadth and depths of Google's algorithms. We reverse-engineer what we can, and try to adhere to Google's data and web-psychology for the rest
- The variety of work and tasks. No two days are the same. Whether I'm leveraging my English degree for content gains, my Media / Business degree for CRO / UX benefit… or diving into web-code and deep-data, no two days are the same
- The ability to shift, move, adapt and get things done. Many SEO professionals seek in-house roles later in their career. But those roles entail a lot of company-culture politics and red-tape. Acting on behalf of an agency, I have the distance and freedom to pursue the truth of performance deficit