- SEO polemicist;
- A Dutchman in Northern Ireland;
- Digital Director at The Tomorrow Lab;
- Editor & blogger for State of Digital;
- Speaker at various conferences and events;
- Associate Lecturer for the University of Ulster
The Long-winded Version:
Don’t let my anglophonic name fool you, I really am a Dutchman! I was born and raised in Eindhoven and moved to the outskirts of Belfast in 2009.
When I was introduced to the internet back in 1995 I was immediately hooked. The way the internet allows you to connect to total strangers across the world was a magical experience for a socially awkward geek like I was at the time.
I ended up spending an awful lot of my spare time in online chatrooms, talking to people I would otherwise have never met. Several genuine lasting friendships were forged in that period, and to this day I’m still in regular contact with many of the people I met online in those days.
Despite all of this, at the time I failed to see the business potential of the internet. I perceived it as a purely social tool and believed that as a business exercise it was just a passing fad, doomed to fail.
Boy, was I wrong.
Initially after leaving university I started out my career as an IT guy, and I soon gravitated towards all things online. First as an intranet webmaster for large corporations and later as a website manager, I explored the potential of the World Wide Web. My first experience with SEO was in the pre-Google era when I tried to get one of my hobby websites to rank in search engines like Altavista and Hotbot. Later, around the start of the new millennium, I began to specialise in online marketing with a specific focus on SEO.
I’ve worked a range of different positions over the years in a variety of industries, which has helped me develop as an all-round digital marketer. I consult for small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets and I’ve been part of large web teams in multinational corporations, so I’ve been lucky enough to have sampled different approaches to online strategies across a broad spectrum.
Today, as the Digital Director at The Tomorrow Lab in Belfast, I head up an expert team providing web development and digital marketing services for clients in the UK and Ireland. We’ve won a fair share of accolades over the years, including two DANI Awards and a nomination for Best Agency at the 2012 European Search Awards.
I’ve been blogging since 2001, and started writing about SEO and digital marketing in 2007 when Bas van den Beld invited me to join the Searchcowboys blogging team. Today I’m an editor and contributor for award-winning European search & social media blog State of Digital and do some occasional guest blogging for various online publications. Previously I was a contributing blogger for Search News Central and wrote a technology column for the Belfast Telegraph.
In October 2008 I began this blog as a platform for sharing my tips and tutorials about online marketing. It has since evolved into a space to collect my writings on SEO and other digital marketing topics for the various blogs and news sites I contribute to, as well as a platform for my more outspoken blog posts that might not be publishable elsewhere.
In 2013 this blog was shortlisted for Best Blog at the UK Search Awards, which I see as both a great source of pride and a humbling experience.
I’m a regular speaker at digital conferences such as SAScon and ThinkVisibility, an associate lecturer for the University of Ulster’s Digital Media Communication programme, and I provide regular talks, trainings, and workshops on digital marketing, SEO, PPC, and Social Media for a variety of organisations and events. I also lecture on SEO and PPC for the Digital Marketing Institute.