Leading SEO and e-commerce specialists Blueclaw Media has doubled its workforce on the back of what it describes as a year of ‘exceptionally high growth’ and has moved to new offices at
The Calls in Leeds city centre.
Turnover has increased by 120% over the last twelve months and the workforce has grown to 29 staff, as the company has taken on an increasingly diverse portfolio of projects for clients in the retail, holiday and leisure industries.
“Online marketing is one of the fastest expanding sectors in the UK, with SEO, PPC and the rise of social media is driving a new wave of growth,” says managing director Fergus Clawson.
“As well as creating opportunities for a new generation of digital marketing agencies, traditional ‘full service’ agencies are responding to this demand and expanding their in-house marketing teams. “
Increased data traffic is one of the key factors that forced the move to city centre offices: “As the company has grown so has the amount of data our office transmits and receives. We needed bigger premises for our growing workforce but we also desperately needed increased broadband capacity.”
Clawson says Leeds is now a
‘hot spot’ for companies in the sector and says that the announcement of a £100 million ‘Connected Cities’ fund in the recent Budget will fuel further growth. Leeds and Bradford are two of ten UK cities that stand to benefit from the initiative, with a superfast broadband corridor developed between the two cities to provide standard broadband speeds of 100 mbps.
He points to the availability of a talent pool of bright, young graduates and a competitively priced labour market as two of the key reasons that companies in the sector have been able to grow their businesses so successfully from a regional base.
Jonathan Hirst from Network Marketing, which fills marketing vacancies in Manchester and Leeds, has seen the effect of this growth first hand: “Over the past 12 months we’ve noticed a significant increase in demand for experienced digital marketing professionals.
“This demand is coming from digitally savvy clients and growing digital marketing agencies across Leeds and Manchester despite warnings of the ‘double-dip’ recession. In fact one of the main obstacles we face is finding enough skilled digital experts to fill the demand.”
The inaugural ionSearch Marketing Conference, taking place at the Carriageworks this week is further evidence, according to Clawson, of the city’s ability to attract the industry’s top names. Matt Bush, Google’s UK agency head and Martin MacDonald, SEO strategy Director at Expedia, are amongst the headline speakers.
Blueclaw identified its new offices with help from Leeds City Council’s ‘Locate in Leeds’ service, which maintains a database of business premises available in the city, bringing together information from over 80 commercial property agents.
Liz Cashon, senior business development officer, said: “Leeds offers a really good range of premises for start ups and growing companies in the sector. This is fantastic news for Blueclaw and a great new location for the business.”