Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Patrick Coombe. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Patrick, appreciate you joining us today. So, let’s start with trends – what are some of the largest or more impactful trends you are seeing in the industry?
Traditionally, SEO was all about getting your website ranked. So when you Google “veterinarian in boca raton” our job would be getting your vet to rank for that keyword, amongst others.
While this is still our primary goal, one trend we are starting to see is customers wanting “featured snippets” in the search results.
What do I mean by this? When you Google someone’s name e.g. Elon Musk, you don’t just see search results or a list of websites about him. You see his photo,
Another example if you Google “best organic chili recipes,” years ago you would just get a list of websites, now you will see featured snippets with photos and even interactive results right within the search pages.
A lot of times, Google will just automatically display these results, but a crafty business with a good SEO company can manipulate these results for their benefit.
So that is one example of a trend we are seeing in our industry right now.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
This is a great question. I’ve been on the web since the beginning. I had some great role models growing up in the technology space. My Dad was the first programmer I met, he was a hobbyist and was self taught. He brought home a TRS-80 from school and taught himself BASIC and later QBASIC programming. My best friend’s Dad Joe Baranowned a huge technology company (Extol), and he was always a huge roll model. I also attended a vo-tech school where learned engineering, computer science and CAD. During this time I learned a lot about operating systems, Linux, how to build a Linux kernel, Linux networking and all about servers and the world wide web. I went to McCann School of Business where I sought a computer science degree. I had some great teachers where I learned object oriented programming, more advanced operating system topics and advanced networking. During all of this time I continued to teach myself these topics. I also had a short internship at a local ISP where I was mentored by probably one of the smartest kids my age, who ran the entire company with a very lean staff.
On or around 2009 I was doing a lot of general tech consulting. On weekends I would wire offices for Cat 5, build websites, implement backup servers all while I was working a full time job. I was making so much money and was about to have my first child, so I made the decision to quit my job and focus on consulting full time and do what I do best which at the time was build websites and do SEO.
I’m most proud of the fact that my wife and I built a team of people that I love to work with, a truly great group of people that are just great human beings and very talented individuals. The work we do is greatly appreciated by our clients, evidenced by the constant feedback we receive from them.
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
Yes and I started to get into this in the previous question. I always did tech consulting but never really had a focus. One day I would be in someone’s house helping them remove malware, the next day in a dentist office helping them backup X-Rays.
The first key milestone was when I decided to pick a focus, or area of expertise. It is difficult to grow a business when you don’t have a focus. I was good at a lot of things, but I was best at creating websites and helping people ‘get on the web.’
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
This is a great question, in 2021 I decided to focus a lot more on maintaining high morale, and I think I’ve done a great job of that. One example is every day at 4:30 we take turns playing retro gaming in our office. That is a lot of fun and a great way to end our day. We also try to go on office outings, lunches together and after work drinks etc whenever possible.
Advice I have is this: 2022 it is hard to keep employees in all industries. Make your workplace fun. Don’t yell at people or talk down to them, don’t ever humiliate people. Treat them as equals, give them a voice, say yes to things you would normally say no to.
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Palm Beach Social Diary (photo of my wife and I)