about us


Quite simply, SMG were born from digital.  Over the course of 7 years, SMG went from a one-man SEO operation to a multi-location digital marketing agency providing 100s of clients, national and international, a full suite of services – from SEO, PPC and Web Design to CRO, Content Development and Social Media management.

For an insight into how SMG used to be, please feel free to visit our ARCHIVE – essentially the last incarnation of our previous life as a search marketing service provider.  Therein, you’ll find ground-breaking research and industry-respected best practice – we are proud of what we achieved and we’re even more proud of the foundations it’s given us in getting the right companies and candidates together for mutual benefit and long-term success.

Recognising the ever-growing synergy between agency- and client-side services, SMG identified the opportunity to use our understanding of the industry to better facilitate the next generation of service providers.  With our unique insight into the specific needs of both employers and employees within this dynamic and changing sector, we can offer something no other Recruitment Agency can match – front-line understanding of the challenges our clients face.



  • Company formed with half a dozen clients providing SEO services.
  • Predominantly, we focused on link acquisition and content development (including onsite optimisation) with a strong identification with white-hat processes.  Recognising early that Google was shutting down loopholes, it was both a moral and commercial decision to embrace best practice early on.
  • That year saw steady portfolio growth as we broadened the products offered to include design consultancy.


  • Our second year saw a rapid expansion in all areas.  Our portfolio swelled and in order to provide comprehensive solutions we hired a PPC management consultant as well as technical staff to provide both web designer and site development support.


  • Client numbers double in a year.  These include FTSE-listed, international operations and household brands.
  • Given the location split of our portfolio, we open a London branch in Islington to provide a base for more dynamic service support.
  • Operational staff now account for over two-thirds of our payroll.


  • We now have 17 staff providing a full service offering – distinct SEO, PPC and web dev teams supporting an ever-growing portfolio of clients.
  • With the location split of our portfolio switching back towards the north, we relocate our London Office to the heart of Manchester.
  • Our most successful year yet with turnover in excess of £1m.
  • Growing recognition that success in digital marketing is becoming more and more bound up in joined-up services between client- and agency-based staff and that expertise is the market is more difficult to source and, more to the point, recognise unless you have significant industry experience.  SMG begin to offer recruitment services.


  • SMG call a halt to all new business acquisition within the digital marketing agency wing, focusing all efforts on digital marketing recruitment.
  • Recognising our unique position within the industry to provide objective and experience-backed recruitment support, we continue to grow exponentially – we now recruit nationwide covering all of the major cities and disciplines.


Over the years we have not only attended events held by others such as SMX and SASCon but we’ve also held our own events – we have placed some captions below of some of our favourite shots.

SMG @ SMXSMG Events at Great Jhon St ManchesterSMG event held at The Hilton in Manchester
SMG EventsMoz Top 10

Meet the team...

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper


Greg trained at the Michael Page Group where he completed the management fast track programme and recruited senior accountants for a number of years prior to entering the world of search. After more than ten years in the search industry, Greg is an experienced and Google analytics qualified search professional and in September 2014 he was named in The Drum’s “Top 50 Individuals in Search”. He has more than twenty years recruitment and digital marketing experience and is the CEO of the Search Marketing Group.

Hannah Jackson

Hannah Jackson

Managing Director

After graduating from St Martins College with a BA in History, Hannah worked for many years in the travel and leisure industry in the Lake District.

Hannah joined SMG at its inception in 2009 and is now the Managing Director. She is responsible for the legal and HR functions, along with taking an active role in general administration and service provision. Hannah is also fully Google Analytics qualified and also holds qualifications pertaining to staffing and personnel.

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington

Financial Controller

Educated in Newcastle and Manchester, Justine gained Business & Finance qualifications and is a CIMA-qualified Accountant.

She has many years’ experience across the full gamut of financial support and has worked in a variety of sectors (including Banking, Television, Nuclear, and Multi-National Defence).  Justine is responsible for the day to day operations of the Finance function including Credit Control, Cash Management, Management Accounts production, liaison with external Auditors, and providing financial information to support Board decision-making.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Senior Account Manager

After graduating from university with a Degree in Criminology and Law Rebecca spent a number of years working in supervisory and management positions within the care industry before joining SMG.

Rebecca joined SMG and quickly excelled at her role, becoming an Client Account Manager. Rebecca’s client focused approach and varied management skills made her a perfect Senior Account Manager. Having managed a wide variety of SEO clients in different business sectors and across a diverse array of campaigns, Rebecca has gained a wealth of SEM knowledge.

Grant Cronin

Grant Cronin

Lead Resourcer

After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA in History. Grant Initially joined SMG, as part of the SEO provision team. In the recruitment venture, his organisational talents and clients skills have allowed him to become the backbone of our resourcing department.

His background in retail, has provided a solid understanding of customer service, which combined with his high level of attention to detail allows him to lead the team to providing continually great support to both candidates and clients.

Paul Steer

Paul Steer

Executive Recruiter

Paul has a varied background in marketing, with experience in both the traditional and digital sectors. Before moving to the recruitment sector, where his interpersonal skills and years of account management skills allow him to ascertain client’s needs and find the right solutions.

He has a studied a number of subjects encompassing business studies, marketing, environmental sciences and computing. Paul is responsible for being our client’s first port of call for their digital recruiting needs.

Start your journey with us...

Every member of our staff has a track record of success in digital marketing – from Web Design and Site Development to SEO and PPC; from Email Marketing and CRO to Copywriting and Big Data Analysts.

That is why, in a world of recruiters, we stand out because we have the knowledge that others lack – the knowledge needed to find the best answers to sophisticated questions.

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