Matthew Quinn, A digital marketer is with us today for an exclusive interview so without further ado, let’s hear it from the man himself.
WPJuicer: Hello Matthew, we are very excited to have you with us. Let’s start with a traditional question: please tell us about yourself?
Matthew: I took a bit of a non-traditional path to my current position, originally I worked in the fitness industry and I also have a couple of BSc (Hons) degrees which I completed via the Open University, (one a Combined STEM and the other an Open degree focusing on Politics, Philosophy, and Law).
However, nowadays I am on a bit of a different trajectory.
I am currently working as a digital marketing manager for Standout Web Services. I found my way to the digital marketing world via WordPress. Started with WordPress around 5-6 years ago mainly just for fun and gradually moved into doing freelance work either building or optimising sites. Through this work, I gradually expanded my knowledge in other areas, such as SEO, and became more involved in helping businesses with wider aspects of digital marketing. Now I mainly oversee digital marketing projects co-ordinating specialist teams for the various tasks.
WPJuicer: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
Matthew: My most direct work with WordPress is now on Standouts own websites which I am currently working on, (as essentially at the moment all that is up is a landing page and billing/client platform) and should be launching their full/finished versions in the next few weeks. On the client-side, I now mainly work on the initial consultation process of the website build and the handoff period where I ensure everything is optimised and working correctly.
When delivering websites to clients through Standout Web Services we really go to lengths to make sure the technical aspects of SEO and performance aspects are at a top-level before sign off. I think if these points aren’t included in a build as standard it really puts the client at a disadvantage once they go to market. This is one of the reasons I think WordPress is one of the best platforms available, as some of the other popular alternatives have certain limitations in these areas.
Through my work with Standout Web Services, I also oversee ongoing management for clients WordPress websites where we will handle the necessary tasks such as updates/edits as well as various ongoing optimization tasks.
I mostly work with various page builders. Currently, I generally prefer using Elementor Pro and Hello theme for most of the stuff I work on directly. I have recently started playing around with Divi but it’s a bit too early to give a personal opinion on it yet. One of the great things about WordPress is its variation of tools, which also means there’s a wide range of scenarios you can come across when encountering customers sites so I like to keep at least a basic familiarity with most the popular themes and plugins, plus playing around with WordPress is fun.
WPJuicer: You are an influencer in Marketing with years of experience under your belt. What do you think is the future of Digital Marketing, PPC, and SEO, considering the rapidly growing AI and VR industry.
Matthew: How these work in improving digital marketing, PPC, and SEO are amazing when seeing the specifics. In many ways, you can combine these technologies to bring some of the most powerful digital marketing tools available.
In terms of AI helping digital marketing, I think it comes down to acquiring and analysing the proper data. Manually searching through reams of data to help your digital marketing campaigns will become a thing of the past, AI programs glean far more, a lot quicker, and analyse it at profound levels.
A customer-focused approach is a key to staying ahead of the competition. AI helps take data from your customers (or prospective ones) and gives you enough details to make better marketing decisions. This means doing deeper dives into customer needs and what they really want to buy or consume in way of content.
As many analysts note, AI can also combine with VR to take digital marketing to new places. For example, you could set up a VR experience with consumers to have them interact with one of your new products/brands. As they interact, you extract real-time data from AI regarding how the consumer interacts within the VR landscape.
PPC is already a mainstream way to get targeted ads out to the correct customer base. Add AI to this and it becomes all the more powerful on providing analytics to see where best to target your ads.
AI is often used now with Google AdWords, making it a valuable tool in honing what kind of keywords you need in the ads you create. Going deeper into what you know about your leads will allow you to further refine your ads to really hit a personal mark.
Again much of these concerns focusing on customer needs and how certain demographics react to types of advertising. Putting VR into this mix works similarly to how it works with your overall digital marketing efforts. Allowing your leads to experience something virtually offers more rich data to set the bar toward what you do with all PPC marketing going forward.
Without mastering SEO, getting content seen in the digital realms is almost impossible in a crowded business environment. AI helps bring more analytics forward to help you understand what keywords customers are searching for online as well as the overall intent behind these.
Since AI is also about automation, it means AI programs creating keywords for you, saving weeks of work your marketing departments once had to put in. Going forward, this means more importance placed in voice and text search, something already becoming common. Finding proper keywords for voice search will be all the more essential.
VR may not yet be used directly with SEO, but augmented reality certainly will and already is. Creating more visual experiences for leads generates a whole new type of SEO, one grounded in providing imagery rather than text. Video and similar visual mediums are the most popular content online and browsing online will only become more visual as time goes on.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving and this is why it’s important to have a solid team on your side that helps you look toward what’s on the horizon.
WPJuicer: Everyone follows industry influencers. Name the WordPress influencers who have inspired you.
Matthew: That’s tough, there’s so many to choose from but the tutorials from Darell Wilson are good, he has a really engaging style and I like how he puts out a lot of long-form tutorials. Paul Charlton puts out a lot of great stuff as well.
Chris Lema is really helpful for the business side of things, also Namehero’s Ryan Gray puts out a lot of great WordPress related stuff on the business and web hosting side of things.
WPJuicer: WordPress has the solution for almost all kinds of websites like eCommerce, blogs, services, etc. Big industries are using WordPress as a solution for their websites. This becomes an attraction for the new web developers to choose WordPress. What are your suggestions and advice for newbies?
Matthew: Don’t get overeager with the plugins and choose ones from established developers/companies; especially if selling sites to clients. Also, a lot of the time it will be more cost-effective in the long run to go for premium plugins with good/on-going support than having to rely on free plugins.
Even if you only ever intend to use page builders and plugins, learn the basics of HTML and CSS and how WordPress itself works. Think of it like a house where WordPress is the foundation, the theme the walls, and the page builder your decoration.
If planning to make a business selling websites learn Technical SEO and implement this from the start.
Use a good host, I would go for someone who uses Litespeed or Nginx
WPJuicer: WordPress has the best community that expands with each passing day. Where do you see this huge community in the next five years?
Matthew: WordPress only going to keep growing, it has such a great community behind it, join any WordPress related group/page and you will always find loads of people willing to help and answer questions.
I think the various themes are going to place more focus on performance, as slow sites aren’t really acceptable nowadays which in turn will lead to more integration of theme/page builder style plugins.
What do you look for in a managed WordPress host?
Matthew: As general speed, security, and good support. Definitely look for a high-performance server like Litespeed, I am not a fan of automatic updates and although these are available in our standard hosting plans we run website care plans, which are essentially an enhanced form of managed WordPress hosting, where we perform all updates manually.
Access to stuff that simplifies the general running/implementation of WordPress should be standard. (staging/ decent cache plugin etc).
WPJuicer: Who should we interview next, and why?
Matthew: Michele Butcher-Jones (@Michele_Butcher, twitter) would be interesting, looks like she’s involved in setting up/running some really good projects.
WPJuicer: We have talked too much about your professional life. Let’s tell our readers about your hobbies and interests. What does Matthew do other than work? (Can we have a pics)
Matthew: When not focusing on work or online stuff in general my main focus is gym. Been a bit derailed with recent COVID events but am focused on strength training and training towards Powerlifting. Hopefully, there might be some contests back on towards the end of the year.
I always like to keep learning and building new skills so quite often if not doing anything formal I will do a lot of the online training from places like Hubspot or SEMrush academy.