What is it Like to Work at Fresh Egg? Four Months as a Technical SEO Apprentice

I started my apprenticeship with Fresh Egg in September 2014. Throughout the last year, I have had the chance to work across three different teams: the biddable media team, the inbound marketing team and lastly the technical SEO team. It’s coming to the end of my apprenticeship, so I thought I would share what I have learnt over the last four months while being part of the technical SEO team. 

Being on the team, I have learnt about a wide variety of topics including:

  • The basics of SEO
  •  Reporting and insights
  • Backlink monitoring
  • Search behaviour
  • Keyword research
  • Site architecture
  • Technical SEO checks
  • On-page optimisation
  • International SEO
  • How inbound marketing and technical SEO are closely related

When I first started on the SEO team, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be a challenge, as much of the work seemed to be technical and looked, at first glance, to be complicated. However, with thorough inductions and clear briefs I understood the work and was able to tackle it with help from my mentors. 

Opportunities & tasks

Client meetings

During my time in technical SEO, I have had the opportunity to get involved in client calls and meetings. For example, I visited Canary Wharf to attend a client meeting just last month. This was a great experience as I was able to gain knowledge of a client meeting environment and learn how they work.

Visibility reporting

Back in the office, I’ve learnt how to use tools such as Search metrics to collect data, and how to import the data into Excel. This helped me understand how to use Search metrics to report on the visibility of a number of client sites.

Backlink monitoring

Backlink monitoring was another task that I was able to get involved in. This was a big task but taught me what backlinks actually are and how to determine which links should be kept and which should be disavowed or removed. For example, I now know that if the links are irrelevant to your site, they could potentially be hurting your site’s visibility.

Competitor performance

I have also reviewed a client’s competitors, which helped me to gain a better insight about how well they are performing in terms of visibility for specific terms. I have learnt how to use Fresh Egg’s own Search Intent tool combined with Search metrics to gather data about each competitor and for what location/s their sites are most visible.

Site structure and architecture

I was also given a task that involved site architecture and structure, which is something that I covered during my A Levels. Site architecture is the planning of a website, for example technical aspects as well as aesthetic and functional criteria. Site architecture focuses on the user and the experience that they will receive when using the site.

When I came across this task at Fresh Egg, I had a basic understanding of it. For this task, I looked into a client’s taxonomy and created suggestions for the type of breadcrumbs I thought would be best and gave examples of these. Breadcrumbs are a type of secondary navigation that helps a user to see and understand whereabouts they are on a site.

URL structuring and reviewing live sites

Another piece of work I got involved in was URL structuring. This is testing the structure of the URL and checking that it delivers the correct page. I found this task interesting as I had to try and break the URL and find any issues with it – for example, adding capital letters and forward slashes, or changing ‘www.’ to ‘http://.’

Reviewing a live site was another task that I completed during my time on the SEO team. I tested changing ‘http’ to ‘https’ and removing ‘www.’, as well as adding in trailing slashes and capitalisation. This was similar to the URL structure task that I also got to work on. However, this task has additional steps – for example, I reviewed page titles, meta descriptions and disabled JavaScript to see if pages still displayed, as well as testing pages to see if they were mobile friendly.

Examining broken links

I also had the opportunity to get involved in a task that looked at a site with multiple broken links. My job was to go through the broken links and find the correct page that the link should be pointing to and to find links that needed to be removed. The technical SEO team see this task as a priority, as it affects the user experience when they are navigating around the site and are unable to access particular content due to the broken links.

Improving meta descriptions and page titles

One of Fresh Egg’s clients required improved meta descriptions for a section of their site. I was able to go into the client’s CMS and write new meta descriptions.

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that are found in the search results; they should contain short informative explanations of the contents of the web pages. This is something I learnt to do in the inbound marketing team, so I was able to get on with this task straight away as it was something that I was already familiar with.

This then led onto improving page titles for another Fresh Egg client. I was faced with a large data set of page titles to work through. This not only helped me improve my skills in the task but also helped me to manage my time so that I completed the work efficiently and met deadlines that were set. I learnt how to ensure page titles are relevant to the page and understandable for the user.

Site speed

Another aspect of SEO that I got to look at was site speed. I used GTMetrix to view the site speed of pages on a client’s site. This taught me the common issues that occur for site speed and the ideal time that a page should load in. This task helped me to understand the importance of page speed and what can slow a page down. Having a slow page speed can impact the user experience as users don’t want to be waiting around for pages to load. This could further impact the traffic the site receives and its visibility in the search results.

News gathering and learning

I have been given the responsibility of gathering SEO news updates and presenting them to the team every two weeks in our SEO meetings. I think this task was really important because it not only improved my knowledge of the SEO industry and the goings on but also improved my confidence and presenting skills. I now feel more comfortable talking to a group of my colleagues and creating discussions around the latest news topics. This task also involved creating a slide deck to present the news, as well as uploading this to the internal Wiki to share with the wider company.

What I have learnt

Being a part of the technical SEO team has taught me so much about the wider digital marketing industry. I have found it fascinating to learn how SEO techniques and tactics have changed and developed over the years. I have also gained a better understanding of how each department within Fresh Egg works together and how closely related the disciplines are.

Benefits to my future

The last four months have already benefited my future as I now have a better understanding of SEO. I can now apply for jobs in technical SEO and other roles within the industry. This is exciting for me as I now have the knowledge that has enabled me to start my career as a Biddable media assistant at Fresh Egg.

I have a better understanding of industry jargon and I can actually involve myself in conversations related to SEO! I have really gained confidence from having to present to my team every fortnight. I can now work methodically to ensure deadlines are met, which is vital when working with clients.

Importantly, I have learnt that the user is at the heart of everything we do. It’s not about chasing Google’s algorithm; the user is your audience and that is who will be interacting with your site. As a digital marketer, I should be constantly striving to help my clients to better understand and serve their audiences. This is something I will always bear in mind throughout my digital marketing career.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the SEO team and have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by so many industry professionals who have been willing to sit down and share their knowledge with me.

Are you interested in working with Fresh Egg’s team of industry professionals? Check out our current vacancies and apply today.