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Meet the Team: Andrew

Photo of Niamh O'Higgins

Niamh O'Higgins

Content Executive

Posted: 29 Feb 2024

Get to know Andrew, an SEO Specialist with international experience

Optimising’s pun powerhouse Andrew talks about moving across the world, finding his feet in the industry, and his top tips for budding SEOs.

Andrew working at his laptop

I usually start off by asking people what brought them to Optimising, but I reckon a better question here is what brought you to Australia?

I’d like to say I came here for the better weather, but I obviously didn’t do a great job with my research on Melbourne! 

Really though, I’ve lived in Scotland for basically my entire life and I wanted to see more of the world. I’d heard good things about the city, like the culture and sporting scene, as well as the career prospects here. My partner is a doctor and we knew there would be good opportunities here for her, as well as a thriving digital scene for me. The weather may not be very enticing all the time, but I’m happy that I chose Melbourne.

How did you get into SEO, and how did you come to join Optimising?

To be honest, I made a few mistakes when I was younger. Namely, and something that haunts me is that I studied Law in uni. 

All jokes aside, while I loved the course and found it really interesting, the career path there just wasn’t for me. The work just didn’t excite me. I had studied abroad in Hong Kong for a while and attended business school with Marketing modules. Then, while working in a generalist marketing role in Dundee, I found SEO and kind of fell down the rabbit hole! After a number of years working as an in-house SEO in Scotland, it was a pretty easy transition between there and working here.

I actually met Optimising’s co-founder James at a monthly SEO meetup. I’m a big fan of the meetup’s; they’re a great networking opportunity and you can pick up some good SEO tips and tricks, as well as getting a decent feed!

Andrew with his touch rubgy team

What was your dream job when you were small… if not SEO, obviously?

I gave some pretty serious consideration to becoming a pro-wrestler when I was 6. 

I come from a rugby-obsessed area of Scotland, so I would have loved to have been a professional rugby player. Unfortunately, my sporting talents fell far short of this dream, but I like to think I keep the dream alive on Wednesday nights in my social touch rugby league!

How would you describe Optimising in one word, and what’s your favourite thing about in-office working days?

Educational: there’s always something to learn.

I think my favourite thing about the office is the culture- we take pride in our work, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously, either. It’s a really social place with plenty of pranks, puns, and general banter. 

What’s a productivity hack that you like to use when working?

I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro technique; working in 25 minute windows and then taking a 5 minute break. That’s when I’ll check slack and reply to messages, before getting back to it!

What do you think is the biggest challenge in SEO?

In SEO, there are a thousand things you could do at any stage, so I think prioritisation is the biggest challenge. It’s great to take recommendations from audit tools, but it’s also important to take impact into account, and prioritise client targets, goals, and generally impactful work over just busy work. 

Andrew and his friends driving on the sand in Fraser Island

How do you balance work and life, especially being so far away from home?

I found that with moving away, you really have to invest time in planning your social life. You have to put in the effort and try new things until you find fulfilling ways to unwind. Weekly calls home are great too, and just keeping up communication. I really like using special occasions like birthdays as a chance to check in, too. I’ve been enjoying sending letterbox cakes and cocktail kits as a way to let people know I’m still thinking of them from the other side of the world!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in SEO?

I think I had a bit of a lightbulb moment when I changed my approach to learning SEO. Initially, I approached it like uni- just reading articles on it. The thing with SEO is it’s a really practical discipline, and like you would when learning a sport, you just have to throw yourself into it and practise. If you have the opportunity, put your hand up to learning the tools and coding language, or start your own blog where you can test everything out with low stakes. That way, you can get the hang of things like formatting and internal linking. 

Keep an eye out for small businesses within your circle too, you might know someone who is happy to let you practise what you’ve learned on their site, even if it’s just to reorganise product pages or write a blog. Don’t be afraid to reach out. 

Do you have a favourite quote?

It’s one of those cheesy quotes that I think that applies to both work and life!

Life’s about the journey, not the destination, so make sure you enjoy the ride

Photo of Niamh O'Higgins

Niamh O'Higgins

Content Executive

From Dublin to Melbourne, Niamh has taken her content journey international. After gaining her degree in Linguistics and dabbling in some other European languages, she decided English was where she could use her words best. Completing a Diploma in Marketing, Advertising, and E-Commerce, and adding a splash of Project Management on the side, Niamh dove into the world of content writing, and hasn’t looked back since.

When she isn’t in the Optimising office having coffee and a treat, she can often be found in South Yarra, having coffee and a treat. She’s also partial to some pilates, a gym class, or an evening stroll (if the Melbourne weather permits).


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