Interview with Malcolm Graham of Aceify.me
Steve Wetmore – Today we are meeting with Malcolm Graham. He is founder and CEO of a Aceify.me and he’s going to give us his perspective and insights on SEO moving into 2020.
Hello Malcolm welcome!
Malcolm – Thanks, Steve. Great to be here.
Steve Wetmore – can you just give us some background and introduction on who you are and what you do?
Malcolm Graham – Absolutely. So my name is Malcolm Graham, and I am co-founder and CEO of Aceify.me a certified Sports Lesson booking App.
My background is in digital marketing. So I have been working in digital marketing, nearly my entire career – right back to the late 90s. I started very early in the field of digital marketing. And amongst other things, I started an SEO Agency LimeTree which grew to 20 staff and had some clients such as McKinsey consulting, Financial Times, British Army, Mars drinks and many other top organizations. And we ran some major campaigns for some of those organizations.
The Aceify sports lesson booking app, which launched in 2015, continues to grow. We initially started in the tennis industry. To give some background, when I was younger, I was a pretty good Junior tennis player and tried to go pro so I wanted to do something for the tennis industry.
We’re now expanding to other sports and now offering other services such as Yoga coaching, Personal Training, Swimming coaching and some other activities. And we are trying to make it easier to book fitness session than to order a pizza.
Steve Wetmore – Awesome, for the layperson, can you describe the functionality of your app? Like how are people using the app for scheduling?
Malcolm Graham – The App works like an “Uber” style, which allows you to locate and book, fitness training.
As a service for the trainers we’re providing them high quality clients at flexible times and prices for the customers. We are providing high quality training, flexible locations and good prices.
Steve Wetmore – And what is the Aceify.me app service area?
Malcolm Graham – We’re currently UK wide with a bit of a focus on Southeast UK, particularly London, which is where we’re based. We are looking to go global in 2021. Right now, we are mainly Southeast UK, although we do have some other activity going on in the rest of the UK.
Steve Wetmore – Okay. So let’s just jump back to earlier in the conversation when you were describing that you still operate SEO Agency LimeTree. Can you elaborate?
Malcolm Graham – We are web design and build and provide SEO Services. What we realized is, there’s no point building the most amazing website in the world if you don’t have traffic, so lots of really great designers don’t know that much about search engines. And a lot of search engine specialists don’t know much about design. So by combining expertise in those two services, we’ve got a very powerful offering whereby we have a team of over 100 years combined experience in that industry. So basically our objective is driving traffic through to websites, and then giving people a great experience on the landing page and helping them to convert the traffic into sales.
Steve Wetmore – Very interesting. Can you share with us, your customer base for your custom web design and SEO Agency?
Malcolm Graham – Yeah, absolutely. So you know, we’ve got quite a few clients in health foods and fitness. We gravitate to things that we’re interested in. And those are the sort of clients that I’ve largely been picking up but we do cover many other industries. We have top law firms that we’re working with in London and several other professional organizations. So yeah, it’s quite a wide range of clients. And what we’re doing with most of them is for web design and build followed by SEO contracts. And we do also have some clients which are on long term SEO retainers as well. We’re helping them to build rank and we’re helping to build up their sales through web marketing.
Steve Wetmore – Very interesting. Can you can you share your vision on marketing trends or the future of SEO into 2020?
Malcolm Graham – I think what we’re starting to see is that, mobile’s really important, as opposed to when I started it was 99.9% desktop. And a little bit of mobile. We know mobile is actually now dominant. Now designing firstly for the mobile experience, and then secondly, a desktop.
And we’re also starting to see the advent of new technologies such as AI, voice, and machine learning. And these types of algorithms are coming into play with a search engine. So it’s not just as simple as it used to be where, you know, you could get to the top of Google by having lots of links and the right keywords on the pages, you really must be a lot smarter than that. The whole industry is evolving alongside the search engine technology. Increasingly, the search engine technology is based around the user so it’s more and more personalized, and You are actually, in some senses, the search term. What I mean is, before you even type a question or phrase, the search engine has a good idea of what you might be going to search for which is something that is really new.
Steve Wetmore – Very interesting. Can you share with us the three most important SEO tools that you use today?
Malcolm Graham – You mean software? Yes I’m constantly trying new software tools. And I’ve used literally hundreds over the years. Right now, most of our services are based around Ahrefs.com and SEMrush.com, and we’re also using some other tools like a Majestic.com as well.
Those are real top top performing tools these days. And they both bring some really strong different features to the table, similar but different.
SEMrush.com is very good for the optimization. And we’re mostly using a
Ahrefs.com for the off page. And the data, some of the data that Majestic.com has around customization is really, really good. So we’re also also using that for the backlink analysis.
Steve Wetmore – Have you used SEOPowerSuite.com? I like this software while it does not rank as high as the software you use I like it and am not ready to abandon it.
Malcolm Graham – We also use AdvancedWebRankings.com for tracking rankings. And, you know, several other tools actually, but I would say those three that I mentioned first, are the tools I rely on mostly.
Steve Wetmore – In closing what number one single piece of advice would you offer someone reading this article relative to SEO?
Malcolm Graham – I think keyword research is absolutely critical. You can do great SEO for the wrong keyword and it doesn’t help you. So make sure that you have the right strategy. Invest some time in the keyword strategy piece before you start optimizing.
Also, just consider if SEO is the right marketing strategy for you. Remember there’s multiple marketing strategies. SEO is a very, very cost effective way of getting traffic to your website. But it’s a long term thing. So if you needed to sell something next week, and you didn’t have any SEO right now then just forget it.
So yeah, I would say keyword research is #1, and then make sure there’s enough value in those keywords and then execute the strategy. But don’t just assume that you have the right keyword, a lot of people make the mistake of “I know the keywords my industry”, and they quite often get that completely wrong, and then they just waste a lot of money.
Steve Wetmore – I agree 100% with your analysis on performing detailed keyword research. It’s critical today.
Malcolm, thank you very much, I think this very interesting what you’re doing and you’ve wisely diversified your business, with the app and your agency. And I wish you all the success in the future.
Malcolm Graham – Thank you. Absolute pleasure. Thank you very much.