"I never wanted to be a consultant.
Or do SEO."
My name is Tim Hanson, and I'm an SEO and Content Marketing consultant.
Bold statement for an SEO consultant. Right?
As all great stories do, it started in 2013.
I was working as a draughtsman for a structural engineer in Shad Thames in London.
Taking my background of animation and model building I was developing a way to showcase the crazy skyscrapers the business designed to clients in a more visual way.
A web-based animated building.
I would take the models we were making for simulating stress on the structure. Slice them all up and animated them. Using Unity you could then take this animation and place it on a URL. It was like Youtube, but for all the skyscrapers in London.
And for clients? No expensive software needed, revisions could be pushed to the URL from anywhere and with it being modelled, we could showcase pretty much any part of the scheduled or proposed construction.
I loved it. I was running my own little company within this company.
I was the CEO.
I was the Front End Developer.
I was the Coder.
I was the Modeller.
It was great.
Or at least I thought it was great until I was asked by one of the directors why I was spending all this time, hours, weeks, months on a project that was making no money for the business.
We had no paying clients for it.
I fucked up.
I had committed, what I would later find out to be, the biggest sin when it comes to starting a business.
I'd built something only I thought was cool.
No market testing
Zero audience feedback
A whole stack of asking no one what they actually wanted
I didn't even know if anyone wanted to pay for it.
I was tasked with trying to sell it someone.
Now, let's quickly talk about the construction industry. It's stuck in it's ways. For some good things, but mostly bad.
I've heard on multiple occasions it's around 100 years behind the automotive industry if you measured innovative progress.
In my words - It's run by dinosaurs.
This is a long winded way of stating I wasn't allowed to leave my desk.
A new beginning?
I did what any millennial with an internet connection would do. I hopped online and went to Google. I learnt as much as I possible could about getting in front of people without "leaving my desk". LinkedIn. Email Marketing. Website Optimisation.
During these searches I found SEO. I asked my employer it I could "do some SEO" on the site. Within a few weeks they were ranking for "structural engineers London". Save to say I was hooked.
I had fallen in love with the process. And so, I started my own freelance agency in my evenings and weekends. I got myself a handful of clients and went to town with getting them to rank.
Life was good.
Until it wasn't. I was made redundant.
The overheads for keeping me around as "Head of Visualisation", a self appointed title, were too high and no one was buying the 3D visuals package we had created. Other companies were making the same thing but much better. I didn't even realise we had first movers advantage until much much later.
I got a job as a junior Growth Hacker and was thrown head first into the world of start-ups and SaaS. Right in the heart of London. Over my tenure there I quickly made my way up to Head of SEO.
I often joked with colleagues that I was doing more SEO every week there than the 2 years I was learning and running own agency. But it was true. The pace was fasted and I was exposed to all the facets of digital marketing and how they interfaced with SEO.
Where I was thinking of SEO in a box I could now see how it set the foundation for all other channels and contributed to more sales with a full understanding of the user journey.
Explor was started in Feb of 2020. And we all know happened in 2020....
Strangely though I found more and more people wanting to talk about SEO. 2020 threw a gigantic spotlight on companies websites and online presence. (Mostly lack of). The next 8 weeks consisted of nearly 100 startups, some pre-funding, some round B and up, reaching out to have a conversation on what they could be doing better.
CMO's who through their site was bulletproof are no nowhere to be found
Content teams writing 15-20 pieces a month but getting little to no organic traffic
And mostly - Companies who knew they should be doing SEO, but had no idea where to start as there was just so much information out there it was confusing
If this sounds like you, head over here. There's a load of resources to help exactly these situations.
Explor became fivethreeoh after a year of really nailing this process down. I guess you could say that year was the R+D I never did with my first venture. It was my exploration. Bad puns aside my clients are killing it.
Over the last 18 months my clients have triple traffic in 6 months, gained over 200,000 clicks in 2 months, 7x traffic in a year and launched websites into whole new industries that we now own.
I've seen some crazy things working this closely with clients.
Been invited to weddings
Seen posts index as the featured snippet, TWICE.
A guest speaker at their companies reading club.
Launched my exclusive super secret content marketing community - the Anti SEO SEO Club. 🤫
I've loved every moment of it. I've been doing this SEO thing now for coming up 9 years.