I am now in my first week at my new role. After 18 [long & hard] months I have left the Thomas Cook Group and joined My Destination Info.
In that time at TCG I have had the pleasure to work with some very talented people and faced some genuinely challenging SEO topics. I was working across 8 EU markets for an established set of brands servicing many niches and mainstream holiday products & services. They included everything from package holidays, cruises, luxury holidays, party holidays through to activities holidays like skiing.
I am most proud of building an in-house SEO team, installing best practices, a genuine knowledge resource and a team spirit to take on any challenge. Taking on >30 websites across the EU in differing stages of maturity, on different platforms, with differing levels of on-site optimisation, and current performance. Working with many internal teams, to understand, plan, forecast and monitor the turn-around performance to achieve aggressive target. And in the background making hundreds of millions just in SEO considering all the challenges, internal and macro-level trading conditions.
There were a number of projects worth mentioning from agency selection process, multiple platform migrations and a very public project of on thomascook.com which was replacing circa 500 landing pages, with a system to produce 17k new landing pages, with a system to maintain, control and workflow content production. Here is an example of page for Turkey holidays. This was a fascinating project as it brought the site up to ‘modern’ standards and was ready to act as the foundations for the groups non-brand SEO strategy: and the bedrock for continuous improvements including MVTs, UI & design.
But after joining that new business unit right at the beginning and making those [very, oh so very] hard yards it was my time to move on. I had been talking with the guys at MyDestination for many months through mutual acquaintances, and then the question was posed about joining the team. They were, are doing many fantastic things. From the business model, that is really scalable, to their locally curated travel guides, virtual tours, video assets, mobile platforms, blogging, social media. The openness and accessibility of the two founders Neil Waller and James Street, and their management team is infectious and being selfish, I wanted in. So, here I am. The challenge I have is to look after SEO, their paid search and social activities.
So, I am expecting exciting and challenging days ahead in a [relatively] small and agile business, that I personally feel is on the edge of greatness.