Al Mackin: CEO and Founder
Al Mackin co-founded theEword with creative director Tom Glass in 2006. Prior to starting theEword, Al's work client-side made him realise that the role of a specialist search agency should go beyond the delivery of a service, and focus on the client's bottom line. As a result, providing a commercially-minded service was a key value of theEword when it was founded, and remains so to this day.
Al has been search engine optimising commercially since 1998. He has many years of experience in high level Analytics, AB testing and PHP development. As the CEO of the agency, Al oversees the expansion of the business and manages key client projects across all teams. He is also instrumental in monitoring performance and communicating with clients, ensuring the business is always transparent.
In addition, Al runs theEword client training, including our SEO training sessions. These workshops are part of the remit to give back to the wider community, allowing businesses large and small, client or not, to learn best practice SEO techniques and get free online marketing advice. In addition, Al has helped train some of the region's large PR agencies and local government agencies.
Before establishing theEword, Al was head of e-commerce at Celltalk PLC, where he was directly responsible for four key retailing websites, driving over £4 million of turnover in a two year period. Personally managing an advertising spend of £100,000 p.c.m, Al's department generated 24 per cent of Celltalk's sales; prior to his appointment, department sales totalled less than £2,000 p.c.m. He defines this as one of his most important roles before starting theEword, as it allowed him to use his search marketing skills in an environment that was ultimately focused on two metrics: sales volume, and margin.
In 2000, Al created the entertainment portal ManchesterAD for popular city guide Manchester.com. At its peak, the site was receiving over 300,000 visitors per month, and in less than two years membership increased to over 30,000 users. The site's success was achieved completely through natural search engine optimisation.
Al holds Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Microsoft adExcellence certification. His work and entrepreneurial flair has been recognized by the industry, earning him a spot on the 42 under 42 list by Insider Magazine and the How-Do Media Top 100 in 2010, as well as the 2009 Crains Magazine 40 under 40. Al has also been nominated for the Digital Entrepreneurs Award's Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the EN Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010 and the EN Digital Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011.
Encouraging and developing new talent is one of Al's passions. He is a mentor at Manchester University, a judge for the Manchester Masters programme, and is involved with the North West Apprenticeship Company. Al is a prominent figure in the SEO community, being asked to speak at events including Insider Magazine's Future of Media, acting as a panel member at both the How Do Creative Business Forum and Pannone's Funding Opportunities in e-commerce. He was also editor of the first Manchester Twitter Report, an influential study on the power of social media marketing in Manchester.
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