Marketing maestro Michael Knowles says he is on a mission to steer North East companies through today’s daunting digital landscape.
Until early this year he spent five years working as a Speaker and Digital Skills Trainer for the Google Digital Garage Project, which provides free digital skills training for individuals and small businesses throughout the UK.
During lockdown, as part of the project, Michael regularly addressed audiences of more than 20,000 through Google’s YouTube channel. He also helped train many of his fellow trainers as well.
For two years he was a Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Newcastle University and he has just been nominated as Marketeer of the Year in The Prolific North Marketing Awards.
Now, through his Tyneside-based business ROAR Digital Marketing, 38-year-old Michael is determined to help the thousands of SME and micro-businesses in the region compete with their better resourced and more tech-savvy competitors.
“For many people digital marketing is a mystery which they don’t have the time or staff to master. As a result they’re left behind when customers search online for the very product or service they provide,” he said.
Using his expert knowledge of digital marketing, as well as his understanding of the way Google works, Michael has developed an affordable product called the SEO Bomb® to help those companies’ rankings rise.
The SEO Bomb® provides the kit of parts – strategy, clusters of topics, key words and statistical research – which content must be written around to hit the appropriate digital buttons.
“We do all the time-consuming work which would take up a lot of a marketing department’s time, even if the business has one,” explained Michael, who grew up and lives in Whitley Bay.
“The SEO Bomb® helps users and Google understand that you are the authoritative voice in your sector because you are answering all the questions and challenges that people are searching for online,” explained Michael. “It’s transformative because it will make your company visible in a very short time. It will sky-rocket your rankings.”
More than 100 companies have already bought the SEO Bomb®. They include small businesses, corporate in-house teams, as well as PR, social media and web agencies who use it on behalf of clients to write more informed content.
“I’ve worked with other SEO agencies in the past, and they tended to provide a list of topics and keywords. ROAR, however, provides a detailed plan of action and a breakdown of their methodology,” said Sarah Donnelly, the Marketing Manager of Tritility, one of ROAR’S clients.
She added: “Their SEO bomb suggests topics, sub-topics and guidelines on writing style and structure. This is far more than anything I’ve received working with other agencies. We have begun to see a significant uplift in organic conversions, and their reporting is also fantastic.”
In addition to the SEO Bomb®, ROAR – which stands for Real Opportunities Actual Results – offers a subscription DIY SEO product and provides a full digital marketing service for around 40 major businesses.
Its customers have included Northumbrian Water, Royal Mail PFS, North Tyneside Council, and Inflo – a multi-national software company.
Aiden Oliver, the Managing Director of another client – Just Car Care – said: “ROAR has really helped develop my understanding of SEO, improved our overall search rankings drastically and improved our overall website site SEO. We work with ROAR because of their flexibility, honesty, and support.”
ROAR already employs five people at its office at the Silverlink Business Park in Wallsend and plans to take on more staff in the coming months.