Geoffrey Giles is the COO of Cut Throat Marketing, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) firm based in South Carolina that operates across the United States. The company focusses on providing marketing and advertising services that help their clients to grow their customer base. They specialise in SEO, SEM, social media and graphic design.
Geoffrey, how did Cut Throat Marketing get started?
Cut Throat Marketing is a woman owned business, founded by my wife Cynthia Giles. She started out focusing strictly on building websites, while she went to school at Midlands Technical College to learn web design. Using some of the connections we had in the community from a previous business that I sold, she was able to land a few clients to help generate some income while she was in school. This also gave her an opportunity to apply what she was learning in school, as she was learning it.
It got her in the mindset that websites need to be updated frequently to ensure the results she wanted to produce. By the time she completed her schooling, the business had grown to the point that she couldn’t walk away from it. We sat down, took a look at what the market looked like in our area, and decided that we needed to be focus on digital marketing, and local SEO services.
Having a flashy website is great, but if it’s not bringing you business, it’s not doing its job. I came onboard full-time in June of 2018, to help us focus on Cut Throat Marketing’s growth, and on-page SEO.
Why was the name “Cut Throat” chosen?
Neither Cynthia, nor myself grew up in South Carolina. Everyone here is always extremely laid back, never in a hurry, and nothing is ever important… except for football. Cynthia and I are both from Southern California where everything is quite the opposite.
Occasionally it creates a bit of a culture clash. We’ve been called brash, rude, and abrasive on more than one occasion. We figured we might as well embrace it.
We have a “take no prisoners” approach to digital marketing. Our customers pay us to provide results, and that’s what they get. We do whatever it takes to deliver what we promised, when we promised it, and at a cost that just about any small business owner who’s looking to grow their business can afford. A return on your investment is what marketing should give you and with Cut Throat Marketing it is what you get.
What is your background in digital marketing?
Both Cynthia and I have backgrounds in business and technology. Cynthia was the Director of Compliance for a national consulting company that worked with non-profits and small businesses. This experience gave her the understanding of how markets work, how to find the right people to market to, and why small and medium sized business need to change their digital marketing approach.
Once she started building websites, it because clear to her that she needed to position herself to better help the small business owners in the community.
I actually recently came over from the world of corporate IT management. Staring at budget spreadsheets, making decisions based on data + analytics, and building processes are my strong suits. It’s allowed me to build out a very thorough, and comprehensive set of SEO audit tools that makes sure we are ticking all the boxes that make Google happy. These processes have allowed Cut Throat Marketing to scale very quickly, while not compromising the quality of or local SEO services.
What makes your company different to the other digital marketing firms out there?
Our approach. Your business is different from your competition, so why should your digital marketing look like theirs? Unlike other firms, Cut Throat Marketing takes the time to capture our customer’s voice.
It takes a lot of effort, and attention to detail. The website design has to be similar to a customer’s social media identity. Both in copy and visually. It takes a lot of different skillsets from a lot of different people to make digital marketing successful. It takes a lot of communication to make sure everyone stays on the same page.
Does your team write content for your clients?
Yes. Gerald Jackson is our controller of content. He has a PhD in technical writing from the University of South Carolina. Before joining the Cut Throat Marketing team, he worked at a large national SEO agency. He works just as hard as Cynthia and I to keep up with what’s happening in the SEO world, and constantly brings new ideas to the table.
He is a fantastic writer and works well with the rest of the team to ensure deadlines are met and your personal voice is heard online, all while making the SEO bots happy. We are very fortunate to call him part of the Cut Throat Marketing family.
How do you improve visibility for your clients?
Being diligent and paying attention to the details. Google updates their algorithms an average of 300 times a year. Our process starts out by completing an SEO audit of a prospect’s current digital marketing position.
We look at close to 200 factors when we do a local SEO audit. Is your Google My Business page setup properly? Are your business citations presenting the correct NAP (name, address, phone number) to Google? Is your website designed in a way that’s easy for customers to navigate? Is your website feeding the right information to Google? Once we know where you’re starting out, we build a full digital marketing plan.
The plan usually begins with an on-page SEO overhaul. Most of the time this is a new website for the customer. With a new site, comes a new opportunity to brand yourself. We work with a graphic design company, here in Columbia, to update logos, create social media banners, and ensure that you’ve got everything you need to polish up your online appearance. From there we start executing a social media strategy that focuses on attracting new potential customers, and engaging current customers. Back on the website side, we focus on content marketing, and providing information that potential customers might find useful.
We work with a variety of content, including digital video, drone photography, blogging, building infographics, and even spamming memes when it’s appropriate.
Finally, we start guest blogging for our customers to start building some authority in their industry. When all of these factors are working in harmony, we’re able to produce some pretty incredible results for our customers.
Is there anything about search engine marketing that most people might not know?
Paying for ad’s shouldn’t be your first or only option. If your website isn’t converting traffic before you start paying for ads, you’re throwing your money away.
Search engine marketing is a hugely complex subject with a lot of intricately connected moving parts. In fact, if done incorrectly, it can actually do more harm than good.
If you’re considering going at it on your own, please at least consult with a digital marketing expert to make sure that you’re not missing something in the bigger picture.
Thank you Geoffrey for sharing your thoughts with us.
You can follow up with Geoffrey Giles at https://cutthroatmarketing.com
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.
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