Data Scraping Interviews-Tom Buckland, CEO of HQ SEO and Ghost Marketing
Business Success & More
2010 is when Tom started to learn about internet marketing and came across the process of SEO (but ignored it for the most part at first)
Tom is all for mixing business and personal life in the right ratio. An entrepreneur at heart and living that through SEO, building and growing a digital agency based in the UK in the SEO & link building space.
He started off studying Finance at Bournemouth University despite dropping out after two years due to boredom. Instead of opting to develop online marketing skills and eventually launch a business in the space. Creating his own personal blog – SEO Oasis, by utilizing his knowledge, contacts, and skills Tom has managed to build a further 3 successful businesses – Ghost Marketing; an Outreach Agency, HQ SEO; an SEO Agency and AmazonSEOConsultant; an Amazon SEO agency.
1. Where did you get the idea of HQ SEO and Ghost Marketing?
Just originally a Google search that probably looked something like “how can I make a bunch of money without going outside” — Although things changed pretty quick after that.
2. What do you think has made you successful throughout your career?
Mindset & work ethic. The ability to take risks and accept failure is what helped me get to where I am today.
3. What are some things that keep you inspired?
The speed of growth of the company, hiring new team members, growing.
4. What’s the most common problem you see in this industry?
Perceived value is always a tough one. Because the majority of leads/clients receive the spammy SEO/link building emails, it’s tough to re-frame their perceptions.
5. How did web scraping benefit your marketing agencies?
We utilize scraping for a multitude of benefits. First is keyword and competitor research, we can scrape up to 25 competitors sites to see what keywords they are using, ranking for and what opportunities lie in there for our new/existing clients. This saves a lot of manual work and gives us data in a presentable and usable fashion.
Content opportunities is another great benefit of web scraping. We identify high-value competitors bloggers and guest authors and track the history of all the content they have produced for other sites. This gives us warm leads on high-quality sites that accept guest posts, as to which we pitch for them to mimic and gather high-quality coverage and backlinks for our sites also. This is in addition to our own guest posts on other unique sites.
We also, scrape reviews and feedback for the services of our competitors to make improvements to our own service and make a predictive analysis of trends, plan future strategies and change our focus depending on the results.
6. Web scraping vs other methods of data harvesting-What advantages does it have?
Firstly, it is a lot faster and it can be automated; saving a lot of time. If setup and executed properly, it can remove the human error aspect of data gathering, no stone is left unturned.
7. What do you think is necessary for a web scraping service to be considered good?
The web scraping service should offer value. Price isn’t so much of an issue, as long as it offers value for money.
Accuracy and method of execution are important, and setting the parameters means you will get consistent data along with what you are needing.
8. How often do you update your database and why is this important?
Daily, if not hourly. We have a lot of employees/freelancers working on the same clients, often at the same time. Duplicating data would be a waste of our resources and their time, so we ensure everyone updates the data and people contacted – continuously.
9. Data is king. How is this reflected in the business world?
You/we need data to make conscious decisions and also to validate/verify if our tactics and strategy are working. It feeds back into the system, where we are constantly refining and perfecting our methods.
Looking at historical and current data can allow you to spot patterns and work on trends that may not yet exist, You can plan to make the most of the future using what you expect customer and client demand to be.
10. If you could give advice to those who are just starting, what would it be?
Mindset and work ethic is more important than skills. You can upskill yourself fairly easily these days, mindset and work ethic is a tougher gig – some say you either got it or you haven’t!