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My first day as a Zelster was definitely nerve-wracking! I’ve only just left education, and although I have worked in the past, my apprenticeship at Zelst is my first full-time job. I also didn’t know quite what to expect with balancing the learning and my work for the company.

Despite feeling slightly apprehensive, I was looking forward to the day as becoming an apprentice seemed like the perfect option for me. I always enjoy learning best when I can put it into everyday practice. Luckily I was greeted with smiling faces, and even a visit from the resident office dog Pongo. It didn’t take long for me to realise life at Zelst means lots of interesting work to help our clients (as well as several cups of tea).

To begin with I started learning the basics of SEO and Content Optimisation, and about how beneficial they can be to our clients when they’re done correctly. I also learnt about the pitfalls and what can make pages lose rankings on popular search engines like Google and Bing. Sophie showed me a handful of useful Moz Guides about this, as well as some articles on Zelst’s blog. After a while, Peter taught me how to redirect broken links to working ones and this became my first official task.

By Tuesday I felt much more comfortable, I knew everybody’s name and they all seemed lovely. I had some more redirects to do for different clients and I was able to study the basics of keyword research and what tools to use, such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer. I also had the opportunity to sit in a meeting with Peter and Sophie about their plans for a new client which was a great experience. I took plenty of notes!

Wednesday was another day for new experiences as I had my first go at doing keyword research for our new client. It quickly became clear that doing great keyword research is a pretty long process, as you have to research all the keywords of the client, their competitors and even come up with completely different and relevant keywords through Moz. It took me a while to sort through all the terms to find the best options, and involved far too many spreadsheets, but by the end of it I felt like I had a good understanding of how to tackle this in the future.

Later in the week I had the slightly daunting task of attempting my first official crawl, with attempting being the key word (excuse the pun). Luckily Peter was patient with explaining the fundamentals as it took a while for me to understand all the different elements, such as 404s, temporary redirects and duplicate pages. However, when I grasped how to do them they quickly became one of my favourite jobs to do. Managing to complete my first crawl was definitely one of my highlights.

Overall, my first week at Zelst was informative and I learned a lot of relevant content to apply both to my work within the business and as well as my apprenticeship. I’m definitely looking forward to the year ahead.