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Interviewing Diana Richardson

Welcome to a new Weekly Interviews edition where we 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 Diana Richardson, Social Media & Community Manager - SEO Division at Semrush. Based in San Antonio, Texas, Diana has been a digital marketer for over 14 years. Working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, she takes a lot of pride in her extensive digital marketing background which, combined with her theatrical background, makes Diana a terrific educator in the industry. Before working with Semrush, Diana headed up the entire SEM team for a large company then transitioned to the Digital Marketing Director for a boutique marketing agency.

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?

Funny enough, I answered an ad in the paper for a "marketing specialist." This was back in 2006 when "SEO" was not a widely known term or job title. I showed up for the interview, the woman interviewing me slid a printed out report in front of me, said "Here's what we actually do," described digital marketing and I was completely hooked. Thank you, Julie DuRose for finding, hiring and helping me grow.

What is your favourite SEO task?

The strategy. I love being able to translate business goals in actionable, tangible strategies. I love planning. I love outlining. I love checklists and getting things done!

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

Even before I worked for Semrush, it was my go-to tool outside of Google's suite of tools. It can be as intricate as you need it to be or as simple as you need it be. I still can't believe I work for them now.

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

Storytelling. I wish I had had a stronger concept of this earlier in my career. I struggled writing website and ad copy for clients because they were the same industry, but as I became more experienced I truly realized the power of telling THEIR story and using THEIR unique voice to help with SEO.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

I was finally able to speak at a conference last year. I love educating and I've trained hundreds of people on SEO, SEM, SMM, and digital marketing and I've always wanted to do more of that for the public. So being invited to speak at the Outdoor Retailer Conference in January 2020 was an absolute thrill. I can't wait to do more and I hope to get back to that conference in the future - it's incredible.

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

SEO is about search engines, yes, but get as involved on social media as you can. That's where you'll find your community, your people. That's where you're going to continue to learn and stay up-to-date as quickly as possible. That's where you'll meet and join in conversations with just the most interesting people. It will also influence your ability to strategize because you'll be exposed to more than just SEO strategies.

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

Oh wow there are so, so many. I'm a huge fan of Lily Ray. I love how tuned into the shifts in the industry she is. I also just absolutely love that SEO and digital marketing aren't the only things that make up her identity. She doesn't only talk about SEO, she tweets about music, and gigs and travel (when we could travel).

I also really admire Melissa Fach. She has such an incredible resume of experience and is a terrific writer, that I learn something new from her all the time. Kristina Azarenko is absolutely incredible as well as Susan Wenograd. I'm so honored to within the same community as these fabulous women.

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

Wine. Wine is always a great way to kick start some mojo. In all seriousness though, I've been through a lot in my life, including having cancer, and what I've realized is that it's ok to have a personality that isn't like everyone else's. Sometimes it's loud, sometimes it's initiating conversations in an awkward way, sometimes it's asking questions with obvious answers. All of that is ok. All of those things open up doors to meeting and connecting to new people.

I love hearing people's stories, people are fascinating and I WILL ask you person stuff and pry (you can tell me to back off though, I won't be offended). And I love to tell my own stories, too, because I've had some interesting things happen in my life. I also feel a lot of power by asking questions, and I'm proud of myself for not being afraid to ask. I've helped solve some pretty immense issues just because I asked what I thought would be a "stupid" question.

One more personality trait that empowers me is knowing when NOT to be humble. I will be the FIRST person to brag about an accomplishment because no one else truly knows all of what you've done except you and it's worth sharing. You have to pick your moments with this one, too, because us brilliant women accomplish a lot on a regular basis, but I have learned to be selectively humble and balance that with a nice dose of bragging rights.


Thanks Diana for a truly insightful interview, you can connect with Diana 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! 🙌🏽