Alan Hutchison


Meet Alan Hutchison from PPS Digital Marketing Ltd in United Kingdom


Your Twitter Handle

Facebook URL

Your SEO Background

You have been doing SEO for…
more than 5 years (you are old aren’t you?)

Do you do
Grey Hat

You have your own content marketing in house?

You do Link Building in House?

Time to be humble.. (1 is crappy – 5 is awesome)
  • Your Link Building Skills: 5
  • Your content Marketing Skills: 4
  • Your SEO Strategy Skills: 5
  • Your Local SEO Skills: 5
  • Your Penalty Recovery Skills: N/A
  • Your Site Audit Skills: 4
  • Your Ecommerce SEO Skills: 2
  • Your Corporate SEO Skills: 4
  • Your International SEO Skills (languages): 1
  • Your Google Analytics Skills: 3

Are you …
SEO company

Who is your Average Client
Small Business Owner

Your average client spends around..
$250 to $500 per month

How do you communicate with your clients

What makes your SEO biz different?
We currently work in one specific niche – the photography market. I am also a Director or a very busy photography studio which is run by my wife, so we know that business and marketplace very very well.
Every SEO product we offer is tailored to that niche and we are very well known in the photography industry because of this.
Our system is very streamlined and we use off-shore VA’s which keeps our running costs low which allows us to market SEO services to a small business sector that wouldn’t normally be able to afford mainstream SEO agency fees.

What Services do you offer?

Link building, Onsite SEO


You need to answer at least 5 questions… Short answers are for loosers

What makes a Good SEO? (don’t give me a crappy answer)

A good SEO knows what SEO strategies work and what strategies don’t. They should have test platforms and be fully aware of current SEO techniques. A good SEO should also know when to have selective hearing when it comes to what Google tells us and be aware of what they say compared to what they actually do. A good SEO should also be able to explain SEO in layman’s terms.

What is your opinion about Private Link Networks?

I love them – but I wouldn’t buy into anyone else’s – when I say private, I mean private to us and our clients.
They do come with a heavy cost of course, in terms of resources – we need to find those decent expired domains, we need to design the sites properly, we need to fill them with decent content and you need to maintain them. Without them our SEO job would be quite a bit harder, but we would find other ways!

What are your favorite 3 ASO Tools

App Store Optimisation – we don’t do any

My site has been penalized. How do I recover?

Well after being physically sick, I’d probably down a couple of bottles of wine and fall asleep dreaming of cute kittens – when I wake up with a hangover I’d get down to business.
Firstly I would analyse what the penalty was – is it an actual penalty or an algorithm change. Do I have a message in Search console?
If it’s a pure spam penalty then have they discovered a link network – are other site affected.
If there’s no message is it a problem like penguin – what’s my backlink profile like – do I need to think about diversifying my link profile differently.
Whatever the situation it needs to be thought through carefully, and avoiding any sudden knee-jerk reactions.

What is the best thing of being an SEO?

The satisfaction of seeing your clients website moving on to the first page of Google.

Where do you see SEO going in the next 2 years?

For the next two years I don’t see things changing too much, but beyond that is a different story. We know Google are working on a search engine that doesn’t take backlinks into consideration. Social networks and social behaviour will continue to have an impact and I believe Google will start to make more inroads into pulling end-user behaviour factors into the serps as processing power improves their tracking abilities.

Who do you Admire in the SEO Industry?

Glen Allsop and Diggy from Marketing Inc/Viperchill – I though I knew lots about SEO until I started getting involved with these guys.

How many SEOs it takes to change a lightbulb

1 to hold the lightbuild – then 6 below him holding him up (let’s call them Tier 1), then another 60 holding them up (let’s call them Tier 2), then another 600 below them (Tier 3) – this is a very high ceiling you understand. Then a few bystanders surrounding them giving some support in the way of signs they are holding up with huge thumbs ups, and fav icons – and a wee chap in the corner writing a press release about it.

How did you achieved your first SEO client?

I’d been doing SEO for my own businesses for years and dominating the serps – I kept being asked how I managed to beat all the other companies in our sector. Eventually I was asked to speak about SEO at Europe’s largest photography convention and people kept asking me if I would do SEO for them.
About 3 months later I built a website focused on helping photographer with their SEO and Marketing and alongside it launched our Managed SEO service – our first batch of places sold our in our first email.The most important factor in SEO in 2016 is??
I was going to say Social Signals – but I still believe that not enough care is taken with good old fashioned on-site optimisation. Just taking an few minutes to fine-tune a page can make such a difference. However you still need social signals LOLWhat is your best SEO advice for a new/rookie SEO professional?
You’ll need a thick skin – clients love you when they are doing well. But when they are not……

Where do you see the SEO industry heading in the next years?

It will evolve more and more into Content Marketing

What is your view about Private Link Networks

Didn’t you ask me that above – I love them

What is your best tip for awesome content marketing?

Be your audience. What questions are they likely to be asking. Create a little focus group and find out their top 10 or 20 questions. Then go and answer them on your website.

How do you measure the ROI of SEO?

We measure ROI based on the value of client’s target conversion – what is a client worth to them – you need to factor in their other costs of doing business obviously, but the SEO is effectively a marketing cost.

What type of clients you Don’t Take?

If a client has used an SEO company before, then we look closely at the backlink profile – in many cases these “SEO” companies have just been backlink peddlers and have ruined the backlink profile – in that case we may or may not take on a client.

What is the most stupid question any client has ever asked you?

Actually, I struggling on that one – apart from the usual “How long will it take to get to number one” – I generally don’t get asked stupid questions/

What has been the most significant SEO Algorithm Update?

Without a doubt, Penguin – in the photography sector where we operate it genuinely ruined 100’s of small businesses as they disappeared off Google.

You have $1000 to invest in SEO, where do you start?

I’d build a private link network with some kick ass domains

Is SEO the right solution for all sites? Yes/No/why not

No – it depends on the sector the client is working in and the keywords they need – Some sectors could easily get a far better return doing Facebook marketing for example.

Ecommerce SEO . What are the challenges?

We don’t do eCommerce SEO, but the challenges of optimising what could be 100’s or 1000’s of product pages should not be underestimated!

Client wants to Rank for Yahoo and Bing. your answer is?


Define an SEO Cowboy?

A pure link builder with now knowledge of basic google algorithms

Define Grey Hat and your view about it

I believe that grey hat is where you are trying to effectively cheat the system, but also trying to remain within the rules – in reality all SEO if black hat really.

Google: Fair? Villain? The Enemy?

Ooh! All of the above!

Best strategy for Local Ranking?

Citation building – pure and simple, and it’s probably the easiest SEO strategy to go for off the bat.

Favorite Resource to learn SEO?

SEOBacklinkXXX by Glenn Allsop

What has been your biggest SEO mistake?

You need an exit plan with clients – you want to be remembered for your success with them – so once they are in a good place SEO wise and stable, let them go. Because if you don’t eventually they will fall and if you are still in charge of the SEO it’s your fault!

The SEO world is a Jungle. what Animal defines you?

Based on the weight I put on during my recent 6 week holiday – an Elephant – definitely an Elephant LOL

Who should we invite to Join the Jungle?

Glenn Allsop –

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