Growing overseas agency demand sparks US expansion for Harrogate digital agency

Zelst directors Sarah and Peter Van Zelst

Zelst, a 17-strong Harrogate-based search marketing agency launched in 2006 by Peter and Sarah Van Zelst, has established a new US venture following a number of client wins from US agencies looking to collaborate with UK specialists.

The firm, which has worked with US clients for over a decade, embarked on a project to investigate US client opportunities in 2022.

The new US business, based in Dover, Delaware, will aim to bring US work to the UK team more seamlessly, providing white-labelled digital services to often stretched US agency and client teams.

Peter Van Zelst said: “The US economy is a little hotter than ours at present, and it’s a challenge to find highly experienced search and PPC professionals in some areas of the States. We’ve seen a demand for our services, and the different approaches we bring to projects. Establishing a business in the US was the natural next step.

“As one of the north’s longest-established and most experienced search marketing agencies, we’re adept at working collaboratively alongside clients and agencies alike, and the East Coast of the US, in particular, is fairly straightforward to service, with its connections and smaller time difference with the UK.

“We’re working closely with the Department for Business and Trade in the US, as well as a variety of bodies and contacts we’ve made since researching the idea of growing our exports to the US, and expect the additional traction to bring a handful of new jobs as we build out the team to support the North American market.

He added: “Although, like every company, we’ve seen a lot of challenges in the last few years, in many ways, the seismic shifts driven by the pandemic and Brexit have opened people’s minds about how to grow their businesses.

“We’ve seen that the US has a challenge to find passionate and highly skilled teams of digital talent, and we’re offering them that additional bandwidth immediately, with lower overheads than they face in the vast majority of US locations.”

Zelst provides highly targeted SEO, Content, paid search and biddable media management and content campaigns for businesses across the UK and also exports its services to a growing client base in the US.

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