About John Cooley

John Cooley is neither a ‘guru’ nor a magician (I would have loved the top hat), just a curious geek who has been playing in the SEO industry for just under 20 years.

I’m an experienced and data-driven Danish Digital Award-winning marketing geek and member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).

I specialise in optimising the full customer journey ‘from Google to Checkout‘.

In other words, I leverage a concoction of knowledge, experience and cowboy tricks from both SEO, Content Marketing and Conversion Optimization to ensure that the person whose attention I capture in Google and send to your website actually does what you, I, we hope she will do – otherwise, it may not matter, traffic alone won’t pay your bills and wagesconversions can.

Google as John Cooley’s playground

I never get tired of studying search engines – because I believe it’s that perpetual curiosity that leads to ending up “good” at SEO.

I happily dive into topics like the semantic web, entities, how, when and why links transfer value and many other topics.

In short, I read an enormous amount so that later I avoid having to work long, angry and hard hours in the blind. Every time Google has run even the slightest update.

If you’re looking for little bragging rights, I have

  • Made a 2020 goal for online growth and revenue an achievement early in 2016
  • Increased organic traffic by 3,000% over just 2 years
  • Developed SEO and content strategies for companies in the B2B, B2C and B2G sectors
  • Reduced OTA share of hotel bookings by 37% while increasing conversion rates by 89

My results have also been featured in places like:

The start of John Cooley’s digital career

My career started way back in 1999 when I had the horrible idea to open a webshop selling concert merchandise and role-playing equipment. I quickly discovered that it was a lot more fun to sit and screw buttons in the back than it was to negotiate volume discounts on size medium chainmail.

So I shut down the webshop and started offering web optimisation services to customers in Denmark and Northern Germany. I built up a good clientele and partnerships over the seven years I had this business.

Understanding the user backwards

After a while, it started to annoy me that I could ‘only’ optimise for the visitors who had already landed on a given webshop and not for the quality of those who clicked through to the webshop, so I started to work my way backwards through the customer journey until I ended up in the Google search results.

From there, I drifted into a more pure focus on search engine optimisation, and I worked as an SEO freelancer for some years before suddenly ending up in digital destination marketing.

John Cooley – Digital Tourism Expert

In the Visit world, my work was quickly noticed by other destinations and later the media – see news media coverage above.

My approach was that tourism products are really nothing more than products, even though the industry sees itself as very unique, and I, therefore, attacked the work of optimising both positions in search results and the conversion rate itself on the website based on the principles and experience I brought from e-commerce optimisation.

I therefore also had the honour of being appointed as an expert member of the European Think Tank on Digital Tourism Marketing.

Sold hot air boiling water for a short period

I thought I might need an industry change, so I accepted a position as Growth Hacker at Quooker, it only lasted a short time before the tourists again pulled at me, and I jumped on to the hotel industry.

More visitors and more bookings for luxury hotel

After a few years in tourism, I got a job as Growth Manager at a major Danish prestige hotel in North Zealand. Here my focus became to move as many guests as possible from the expensive OTAs (hotels.com, booking.com etc.) to direct bookings on the hotel’s own website.

I ended up raising the number of organic traffic (search engine traffic) to the website by a total of 3,000% over two years while cutting the number of bookings made through the OTAs’ websites by 37% and raising the number of direct bookings made through the hotel’s own website by 89%.

Next career step; SEO agency owner

After the hotel, I decided to pursue an old dream of building an agency from scratch, so that’s what I’m working on now.

Paper or there’s no such thing.

Over the past few years, I’ve attended several enterprise-level SEO courses, so I can proudly flash that I’m

  • LRT Associate from LinkResearchTools
  • botify Certified Expert
  • botify Certified Pro
  • Enterprise Growth Hacking Certified from Growthhackers.com

My own agency partnered with HubSpot for a short period; however, we chose to discontinue working with HubSpot due to some very unprofessional behaviour from trainers and staff.

If you are considering marketing automation but would rather spend your money on business development than funding the running of a glass palace in Dublin, you should either look at Sharpspring or one of the other candidates on the list of HubSpot alternatives here.

However, as a former HubSpot partner, I have undergone and obtained the following certifications from their training program.

  • HubSpot Solution Partner Certified (both new and old)
  • Content Marketing Certified
  • Email Marketing Certified
  • Growth-Driven Design Certified
  • Inbound Certified
  • Inbound Sales Certified
  • Inbound Marketing Certified
  • Social Media Certified
  • Sales Enablement Certified

John Cooley thinks… stuff

On this blog, you can follow the process of starting an agency and read my thoughts, opinions, ideas and tricks for online marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation with John Cooley

Of course, I’ll be writing about search engine optimisation and the evolution of the SEO landscape as Google changes the rules of the game – here I’ll opt for the honest version and show what’s really happening behind the whitewashed facades of Danish SEO agencies.

Whitewashing black hat techniques is now a common occurrence in the SEO industry.

Marketing with an extension cord

Don’t expect me to focus on one topic alone.

I also touch on areas like content marketing, the use and development of AI in SEO and marketing in general, Account-based marketing, which is an area I find more and more interesting, Frugal Marketing which looks at how to market yourself without throwing thousands of dollars at various software systems and then, of course, my efforts to form a new SEO agency out of papier-mache, duct tape and good intentions.