Interview: Tom Edwards [Digital Edwards]

Tom Edwards - Header

In what I hope will become the first of many interviews with people connected to me whether through work, rest or play, I chat to good friend, business owner and social media guru Tom Edwards about the future of the internet, the role of social media in our lives and randomly, bobble hats!

Enjoy…

  • How did you get into the web industry?

I started life as a IT assistant for High & Mighty in Newbury in 2004 and quickly progressed into eCommerce Manager taking full control of the businesses web presence. We had limited digital marketing budget back then and as a result I had to learn all about search engine optimisation and online marketing in my spare time between. I quickly learnt to love what I did and began to embrace it by attending every digital marketing seminar and conference I could.

Following several years at High & Mighty I moved on to pastures new and took a job as an SEO Specialist working for an agency looking after 25+ clients on a monthly basis. January 2012 saw me break away from mainstream and launch my very own content marketing and design business, Digital Edwards and the rest is well, history.

  • How do you see the internet and its interaction with our lives changing over the next 5 years?

I am a firm believer in social media and the internet both as great business tools but also as a way of life. Everything in 2014 can be done online, whether that is order a pizza, book a train ticket, pay for parking, find old school friends, discover new places to visit locally or share what your are eating for dinner with your closest friends on Facebook.

Huge acquisitions are taking place throughout silicon valley with the likes of Facebook investing heavily in virtual reality and Google buying Deepmind an artificial intelligence company earlier this year, the internet will almost certainly change our lives for the better in the coming years, making daily tasks and job roles easier and more efficient.

  • What is on your desk?

Hmm… A 27inch iMac, 15inch Macbook, two empty coffee cups, a pint of water, four notebooks a pink pen and randomly a bobble hat!

  • Do you think SEO plays as big a role in web marketing as it once did? Or are we shifting to a more over all “content is king” approach where keywords and search terms are less relevant?

SEO will always play a huge role online but its constant ability to change direction and focus on a better web in recent months has been fantastic to watch. We believe firmly that great content, in what ever form you choose, will drive new customers and sales through your web presence.

People become too focused on keywords and this often becomes their downfall when compared to forward thinking competitors who produce fantastic content which is engaging.

  • Surely not every step forward or death of a web standard can be a good thing though. Looking back are there any web technologies or best practices which have disappeared that you actually miss?

I think of myself as a forward thinker and have learnt to adapt and embrace new technologies. I do however wish Internet Explorer would just disappear from the face of the planet.

  • What’s the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to creating and managing an online presence?

Too much too soon and the “If you build it, they will come” mentality.

Social media is a great example, we see it every day where a business has decided to set up “social media” and create a presence on every network going. A good social media presence requires time and effort to engage with your customers and more often than not having 10+ social profiles to look after becomes too much of a chore and they are left to fade away, leaving a negative impression to potential new customers.

  • What websites do you look at on a daily basis and why?

I love keeping up to date with the latest news and random tech insights mashable.com produce daily as well as the obvious Facebook. I am regular reader of industry blogs and tend to favour moz.com, Search Engine Watch and Econsultancy.

  • Now, everyone likes a good old chocolate digestive biscuit, but it throws up the problem of what favour – Plain, Milk or Dark Chocolate?

Double Chocolate have to be the winner for me… Although I am partial to a Chocolate HobNob every now and then

  • My blog is overly cinematic in content currently so it’s only right I ask you a film question, so do you prefer to watch a film in the cinema or on the sofa at home and why?

Seriously, it depends on the film. I love a good action movie so I tend to lean towards those at the cinema like the new Captain America and keep the wife’s chick flicks to home.

  • And finally, what 3 things can you not possibly live without?

My iPhone, My Car and Coffee…

More Information
To connect with Tom directly you can find him on:TwitterInstagram or LinkedIn. Just remember to tell him I sent you!

Posted on by 5WC in Interview First Edition

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