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How did you get into SEO?
My first internship out of college was at a franchise marketing agency. They sold SEO as a service but didn't really specialize in it. Back then, it was just copying and pasting blocks of text and swapping out city names, so SEO has come a long way since then!
After that I went to work full-time at a great SEO firm in San Diego for lawyers, so that's where I really started honing my SEO chops.
What is your favourite SEO task?
Probably anything with server log data. Not having it makes me incredibly anxious since I think it's where you can uncover a lot of growth opportunities, create new opportunities for measurement, and spot tech issues before they've even materialized in your down funnel metrics like rankings or traffic.
I also love CRO! I feel it's a natural compliment to SEO especially after you own all your head terms. It's pretty cool to see leads from organic double or triple...without actually increasing any traffic. It's also realistically the only way you can squeeze out incremental growth from organic once you hit those top 1-2 spots.
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
Log data! I'm a huge fan of Kibana for real-time analysis.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
Learning regex! Basically any moment when I realized how much I truly didn't know - I still have a lot of these!
What is your proudest industry achievement?
Outpacing every other channel by at least 2x in upmarket revenue for Square or teaching myself ASO. That or when Pinterest told me I was one of their best advertisers, I taught myself that as well and even made my own graphics in Pic Monkey!
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
Ask all the questions, and don't pretend you know if you don't in fear of "looking stupid". You'll miss good learning opportunities, and when you're starting out people don't expect you to know everything so be sure to ask the questions and aim to fully understand what you're doing and why they matter!
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
Probably Aleyda Solis or Lily Ray.
Aleyda is one of the most iconic women to me in SEO and one of the first people I ever saw speak. From a skills standpoint she obviously taught me a lot about internationalization, but even more generally I feel she really paved the way for women to have space in SEO and yet is still so kind and approachable.
I also love Lily because not only is she also wicked smart and has endless energy, but she's so unique and such a cool person. When I was younger I often felt a need to "fit in", but since then I realized I just don't and me being me was a super power. I love dresses, high heels etc. and similarly I love how Lily really owns her space and her look, and has a no off days approach to fitness! She will also kick your butt in Barrys Bootcamp, just saying.
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
I think my fiancé - I know that's silly. But I honestly think he's one of the brightest people I've ever known and he inspires me every day with his discipline, the high bar he holds himself to and what a fantastic cook he is :) I'm sadly just the dishwasher.
Thanks Jackie for a truly insightful interview. You can check Jackie's website and connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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