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Interviewing Aleyda Solis

Welcome to a new Weekly Interviews edition where we'll interview brilliant women in our industry and share their stories with the world! Anyone is welcome to share their story by simply filling this form, we encourage women from all walks of life in our industry to do so.

Introducing Aleyda Solis, International SEO Consultant & Founder of Orainti. Based in Spain, Aleyda is an agency founder, a conference speaker (more than 100 conferences in 20 countries) and a creator of her own video series and newsletter: Crawling Mondays and #SEOFomo.

We asked her everything from how she first got into SEO to what empowers her to be the brilliant woman she is 💪🏽

How did you get into SEO?

Before being an SEO, I was a Web designer/Front-End Web developer and I wanted to learn how to drive traffic to the sites I built. I ended up doing a Masters Degree in E-commerce because I thought this is how I was going to learn more on that. I ended up not learning it there but because of my studies, I moved to Salamanca (Spain), where I looked for a job and got one in an online marketing agency as a Web Manager. This is where I learned how to do SEO and at some point, I was offered an SEO position. So, it was purely by coincidence!

What is your favourite SEO task?

SEO Audits. Digging into how websites are configured, identifying causes, additional consequences, potential impact, establishing hypothesis, prioritising recommendations, etc. I highly enjoy it.

SEO Audits are my favourite part in my job and the reason why I never wanted to build an agency...because I wanted to keep doing it myself!

What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?

Currently, it's the SEO minion extension for Chrome and Firefox! It's an all in one extension that besides the SEO related configuration of any given page (metadata, canonicalisation, meta robots, links, hreflang verification) offers a SERP preview and a location simulator to search in any Google language/country version.

What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?

There are 3 realisations that changed my perception of SEO processes:

  1. There isn't such a thing as a "perfectly optimised website". There is *always*, always, something to improve your user's search experience, even if you've done an amazing job for a long time with tons of resources and flexibility regarding implementation (which in most cases doesn't happen). Even in those "ideal" circumstances, your SEO work is never done because of its nature: users searching differently, with new queries, different behaviours, then search engines updates/features, and of course, your competition advances. SEO is never done, it is a forever marathon, and as such, it's then fundamental to identify how to prioritise in order to incrementally improve your optimisation status in a way that is cost-efficient and pays off... which takes me to the second point:
  2. Context and prioritisation is all for SEO. If there's no context regarding the technical, business, content constraints, resources, marketing/business goals, industry competition/activity, audience trends/behaviour, etc... then it's difficult to establish priorities to SEO actions to make them cost effective. Because of this, it is very rarely found that an SEO process will *only* need technical, content or link building efforts, and why everything needs to be aligned to achieve your clients/business goals.
  3. SEO at the end is about achieving a positive business/marketing ROI. Even if your SEO analysis is spot on and your recommendations are "relevant", if you can't achieve the expected business/marketing goals then the process is unsuccessful. It's then critical to develop your skills to make this more feasible, beyond purely "SEO Understanding". From Web development to better coordinate/prioritize/deal with developers to Project Management to better communicate with decision makers (who in most cases are not technical).

This realisation was also sparked by my "product founder" side, since I have my own web project, remoters.net, where I have tons of constraints, little resources, etc. and then allows me to be far better understanding and empathic of the type of challenges decision makers face when dealing with SEO related approvals/prioritisation. As a co-founder, every time I prioritise something in Remoters.net to be implemented, I ensure that it will result in at least two of the following: (1) Better user experience (2) Relevant Traffic Growth (3) More Revenue. So every time I present SEO recommendations, I make sure to highlight how these will not only bring more traffic growth, but also, better user experience and revenue as much as possible. Doing this is a game changer to get approvals and make things happen, which will make or break an SEO process.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

There are 3 things I'm proud of that I'd highlight above anything else:

  1. Being able to facilitate the implementation of hreflang annotations with the generator tool..every now and then I get messages/emails from people thanking me for it, which makes me very happy.
  2. Helping people to get remote based SEO/digital marketing jobs via Remoters.net (where I'm a co-founder). As many know, I'm an advocate of remote work since a long time ago, and I believe that the value of remote work goes beyond what many people realise: It's about giving professional growth opportunity to people who don't live in a developed country or a big city, it's about giving a better work/life balance and quality of life to people who otherwise need to commute for hours and cannot see/take care of their family/children and it's about allowing people to live in more affordable cities/towns that they enjoy more.
  3. The European Search Personality Award in 2018, it meant a lot :)

I also wrote a book about SEO Fundamentals in Spanish in 2016 -via a publishing house-, and at the time, it felt like a big achievement (and it was) but it was a long, hard process for me - due to my crazy schedule with clients projects, speaking, traveling, etc - so I didn't particularly enjoy it.... but it was definitely an achievement I am proud of. Nonetheless, right now I feel prouder of my SEO newsletter (#SEOFOMO), which I enjoy writing every week and also makes me feel that I'm giving back by helping people to keep updated :) Just a reflection of the dichotomy that can exist between personal satisfaction <> outside perception of achievement.

What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?

The best professional advice I can give is: Don't let other people tell you what you're capable of and don't wait for others to give you opportunities, create your own.

If anybody tells you something that is in the slightest negative about your capacity to do things: Use it as fuel to do more, better and faster. I remember one of my first professional interviews when I was 23, the person doing the interview asked me: "You look very young and you'll talk with IT directors/managers who might not take you seriously when they see you..." and my answer was: "If that's the case then I expect they'll be very impressed when I start talking and showing them that I know my stuff." - I *know* I got that job because of that answer showing my attitude towards challenges/issues.

You need to trust in yourself, in your capacity to evolve, learn, and achieve whatever you set to achieve. I'm someone who was born in the 80s in an "under developed" and highly chauvinist country, that at the time was at war and with a big international blockage. If I had accepted what my environment told me I could do... I assure you I wouldn't be where I am today :) Don't accept it, you should set that environment for yourself.

If you ask me what I think has been the key to my professional evolution, it's that I've never accepted challenges as "blockers" of my evolution. Instead, I see them as "opportunities" to grow and this is what drives my motivation to achieve what I care about.

SEO is a wonderful area that will allow you to always learn new things and specialise in certain areas/disciplines. Once you identify something that you're particularly passionate about and know that it *clicks* above anything else: Focus on it. There's nothing like knowing what you really like and being able to focus on it... the rest becomes noise.

Last but not least, build and optimise your own website, it's essential to test things for yourself and it's fundamental as an SEO to validate and see things on your own.

Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why

Cindy Krum, a pioneer in Mobile SEO, an entrepreneur with her own agency, founder of an SEO toolset, and author. She's a badass!

Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?

The continuous challenges! They fuel my drive :)


Thanks Aleyda for a truly insightful interview! You can check out Aleyda's website and connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

To view more interviews with brilliant women, check out our Interviews page. If you've enjoyed reading this interview, then we'd love for YOU to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! 🙌🏽