What I’ve Learnt: Andrew Holland, Head of Organic, Embryo

Andrew Holland joined Manchester-based digital marketing agency Embryo as Head of Organic in 2022. 

At the time of his appointment, Embryo’s Chief Innovation Director James Welch said he was “in the top 5% of SEO experts in the country” as the company readjusted its content and SEO departments to become two new organic and technical teams.

Holland shared all the lessons he has learnt in his career so far…


Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Reading non-fiction. I have to read and learn something every day. It’s a positive addiction.

What’s been your luckiest break?

I was featured on the Backlinko website and helped to create an article on that site. This got me in front of a huge audience.

What’s your best failure?

Building websites that failed. I created numerous websites and tried to get them ranked on Google, but failed (the chocolate cake website still haunts me), but this is how I learned. Each failure taught me something.

What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?

The SEO That Works course cost me about £1,000 and was my first premium course. It fast tracked my SEO career and knowledge.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

Alchemy by Rory Sutherland is my favourite book. It’s a great read but opens your eyes to how human behaviour can be changed through behavioural science.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Become a learnaholic, I didn’t really start self-learning until I was 28. It was the Tony Robbins book Awaken the Giant Within that started me on the path to self directed learning.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

I’d say my career in the police. I was a police officer for 17 years and this allowed me to see life in a unique way…warts and all.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I always wear odd socks.

How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?

I think it will make work more flexible, and people will no doubt travel less for meetings.

What does success look like to you?

Having a balanced life, one that allows me to do work that matters and also spend time with my family.

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