I’ve had a deep passion for the art of business for as long as I can remember. The many nuances of building something that turn a profit while fulfilling a greater purpose get more exciting the more I learn.

The SEO industry is no different to most. There are businesses offering wildly impressive claims and ubiquitous measures like “number of keywords on page one of Google”, “number of Facebook likes” or “number of website visits”. Backed up with a skerrick of trustworthiness, it is easy for the client to be won with these promises.

By default, humans thrive on these simple, achievable metrics. We like seeing the numbers, so it’s natural for us to conquered like that. They’re all valuable statistics, but do they align with business objectives? All too often, the answer is no.

Fast track to 12 months later: The digital strategy was never aligned with the business plan. The wild claims haven’t lived up to client expectations and business objectives aren’t met. The client has now developed a layer of cynicism about the SEO industry and are left jump back on the hamster wheel with the next agency.

I must admit, we did start out offering SEO packages (it’s possible we even called them names like bronze, silver and gold…cringe!) that were designed around number of keywords, how many links we’d build, how many posts we’d complete per month etc.

Selling a formula based approach to SEO is easy, but ultimately a recipe for disaster. The method would be like a doctor prescribing a treatment to a patient before they walked in the door. Fast and profitable (at least in the short term) but a recipe for disaster.

We recognised the need to align digital marketing with our client’s business models a long time ago. While this sounds like common sense, there are a few immediate problems:

  1. It can be difficult to gain understanding of a client’s business model and goals by the end of a sales meeting
  2. The path to achieving the client’s goals is more complicated
  3. Developing a plan for achieving a client’s goals is time consuming.

We tackle challenges head on. We are confident that aligning all digital marketing activities with a client’s business plan is the right approach. This encouraged us to look for five key requirements to ensure we can deliver this alignment and if a potential client is a good fit for us.

How we use digital to grow businesses:


A digital approach to business growth must include communicating with a clear and consistent brand voice. For a business to achieve significant growth, it must understand it’s unique offering, what it has to offer and how to communicate it.

Working in digital, we’re blessed with a multitude of rich data about personas, buying habits and search terms.  We can help your business develop their digital persona.


Without a website that is not only visually and technically exceptional (i.e. built with a solid SEO foundation and content structure), but simply allows for new content to be easily added, digital success will hit a wall. And fast.

More often than not, we launch the first stage of a new digital marketing project by addressing brand. We will then develop a website that offers a level of value beyond what the client’s competitors do.


If you’ve ever tried telling a story without words or pictures, you’ll know it’s a hard slog! A business that lacks the desire to communicate their story through quality content restricts their potential to succeed.

Content doesn’t need to be in the form of blog posts (we don’t recommend a blog to many of our clients!).  There still needs to be a commitment to regular communication of a message.  This can be via social media channels, evergreen web content or an offsite approach.


As the great Peter Drucker said “what’s measured improves”. Without a culture of analysis and a willingness to pivot or adapt, long term success will be a challenge.

In our workplace, I love team members who fiercely debate their professional opinion. BirdBrain operate by the motto “strong opinions, loosely held”. It fosters our attitude for improvement and our focus on results.


We are driven by results. Not just any results, the real results that matter to a business. It’s the core of effective digital marketing. Just like a football team would be crazy to only pay the full forward who kicks the goals, it is madness to only recognise conversions!

Developing an understanding of the digital milestones that contribute to business goals requires an open mind, access to the right data, an experienced partner and a realistic investment.

If you want to understand the power and potential of a holistic digital philosophy, let’s talk.