Welcome to a new
How did you get into SEO?
My journey in this industry had first started in 2009. I had been working at a PR firm for a couple of years when they started a digital division. I asked the team leads if I could join, and poof, a few months later I was in where I was learning about SEO and online reputation management.
The lesson here is that if you want something you should just ask. Worst case scenario they say no. Best case scenario it changes the trajectory of your career.
After 10 years of working in the different parts of SEO at various agencies, my final destination is with my own business - MediaSesh. I learned that working for myself is an environment in which I thrive in and I can’t imagine ever working for someone else again.
What is your favourite SEO task?
I love any task that allows me to think strategically and analytically. This can come in the form of a reporting, auditing, and pitching. I try to see what the data is telling me to help inform next steps. This helps me in prioritising recommendations and then measuring the impact.
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
My go-to tools include the usual suspects, such as Screaming Frog and SEMRush. I've also recently been enjoying SurferSEO for content.
In addition to tools, I'm obsessed with Chrome plugins. I'm currently using SEO Meta in 1 Click, Wappalyzer, Tag Assistant, LastPass, Keywords Everywhere, SurferSEO, SEO Ruler, Redirect Path, GS Location Changer, Broken Link Checker, Trendtastic, Performance Analyser, Lighthouse, Robots Exclusion Checker, View Rendered Source, Loom, Video Speed Controller, VidIQ, AppTweak, Web Developer, Schema Builder, Ryte Structured Data Helper, and GMBspy.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
There have been so many 'AHA' moments. The one that sticks out is that I've learned to be careful with using declarative SEO statements in every situation. Early in my career, I would say "we should do XX because it's a best practice." With more time and experience, I've learned to say "we should do XX because it's worked based on my previous tests" or "we should do YY because the data is suggesting we try it."
Even then, everyone has different experiences. That's why there's seemingly so much conflicting data out there. What's worked for one person may not have worked for another. We all Google information and best practices about our industry, but then it's important to test everything!
What is your proudest industry achievement?
I've had those small giddy moments during my career, such as when a client writes "this is f#$king awesome." However, I would say the most rewarding was when I realised I could grow my own SEO company.
Working for someone else and working for yourself are completely different. Both have their pros and cons. But when you work for yourself, you are making 100% of the decisions. You learn to overcome the imposter syndrome, you realise the importance of investing in yourself, and you get better at learning how to learn.
These are uncomfortable lessons to learn, especially the hard way, but wow it's the best feeling in the world looking back seeing what you've accomplished.
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
I've been in this industry for over 10 years and I still don't know everything there is to know. I'd say invest about 20%+ of your week reading. This could come in the form of reading posts on our Women in Tech SEO Slack or FB groups, watching YouTube videos, reading articles from SEJ and Roundtable, etc.
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
I also have to thank many of my women (and men!) mentors in this industry, including Crystal Ogram. She taught me the value of increasing your own visibility, which is why I've been putting myself out there more.
And finally, I want to give a shoutout to the next generation of SEO superstars. The future of SEO is looking smart, inclusive and diverse! Thank you to Angeolyn Dayrit and Begum Kaya for your passion in SEO and for teaching me new things – you both inspire me like crazy.
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
I've learned that my love language is Acts of Service, which means I love helping and mentoring other SEO rising-stars. If I can pull an amazing gal up with me, I'd love to be that support system for her. If you have a question on the industry, I don't claim to know it all, but I'm happy to share whatever information I can.
Thanks Christina for a truly insightful interview. You can connect with Christina on LinkedIn.
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