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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?
Originally from the UK, I spent the latter part of my twenties working abroad as a professional dancer and choreographer. I worked across five continents, working in Bollywood India and even running away with a Mexican circus.
I eventually ended up in Egypt where I settled and met my husband. After the Russian plane crash in Egypt in 2015, tourism ground to a halt, forcing me to retire from performing. I was left without work after just having my first child. It was at this point, a friend referred me to work online as a writer. I was in a desperate situation as both my husband and I had lost our jobs with a brand new baby, I was determined to be successful working online. I worked with the site for two years and the owners also happened to be big names in SEO who had another company that ran courses teaching people how to build successful affiliate niche sites. While working with them, I gained a lot of knowledge on the SEO side of things as they tested a lot of their training out on the site I worked on, which gave me a further interest and passion for SEO.
While I worked for the site, I had a lot of former clients who would approach me to write content for them and obviously, I was unable to do that due to time constraints. However, I figured that there would be a lot of other expats living in Egypt in the same position I was and felt it was important to try and help those less fortunate who were still struggling to find work. I thought I could maybe outsource to one or two other women who had great writing skills and just train them up on the SEO side of the content.
After a few months, I fell pregnant with my son and decided I wanted to step away for the writing side and move over to just managing everything and start a real agency I could build up. So, Clever Touch Marketing was born. Thankfully, the guys I was working full time for actually wanted to move into working on their courses full-time anyway so there was no loss there. But they were super impressed with the work I had done and started referring me as a content provider as part of their course. We quickly built a large client base and a great team. Our focus was initially just on providing great content, however, after my second child was born and we were established, I knew I wanted to diversify and help clients to build sites and rank them, not only with content, but all aspects of SEO.
I consider myself a forever learner. Probably from my dance background as I trained for years vocationally. So, I did every SEO course I could, joined numerous groups, subscribed to all the available tools and just was determined to become the best SEO I could.
Now I have a group of full management clients that I take care of month to month and help them take their sites to the next level.
What is your favourite SEO task?
Although I do all aspects of SEO, I very much consider myself and on-page specialist. I love to get my hands on a new site, audit it and find its riddles with errors so that I can set about fixing them. I think it's somewhat similar to my previous career as a dancer. I always wanted to be a choreographer and a teacher rather than a dancer so that I could be the one to put something together and see the final results. To take someone with minimal technique and build upon that and see the success in the end. I feel the same way about SEO.
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
I use A LOT of tools but Ahrefs, SEMRush and Surfer SEO are my daily go-to tools.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
When I first started learning other aspects of SEO alongside content, I would practice everything on my own site. I've tried and tested everything there (and made some mistakes along the way!) But the first time I did an audit, the site was a mess! Basically, everything other than the content was totally wrong. The site health was around 40% according to Ahrefs and the list of errors was a mile long. However, I went through every single thing, learned how to fix it and did so. It was a long process and in the end, I got the site up to 100% health. Alongside that, I started seeing results in other areas from the work I had done.
There was pride in that moment that made me think "Okay, I get it now, THIS is what I need to be doing".
What is your proudest industry achievement?
I'm quite an introverted person (despite my performance background) and I don't really like to put myself out there. I'm not one to really promote myself or my services, nor do I do video content (although I know I need to so I'm working on that). But recently I was invited on a really prominent SEO podcast with someone who is a big name in the industry who I have been following for quite some time which gave me recognition. From a client success perspective, I recently took on full management of a client where we manage all aspects of their site. In less than 30 days, I managed to increase their traffic by over 30% and rank over 50 keywords in positions 1-3, which I was genuinely over the moon about.
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
Don't be put off by The Boys Club. It's a very male dominated industry and even now I am mansplained to daily. Usually by people who approach me to do work for them because they don't know what they are doing, but then ask me questions that even someone who just learned what SEO stands for yesterday could answer!
Be confident in your knowledge. Don't take anything anyone says as Gospel. Even if they are considered the "King of SEO", do your own tests and see what works for you.
Also, find your niche. For me, I only work with affiliate niche sites. That is what I know inside out. That is where I can get the best possible results. Don't try and spread yourself too thin by doing a little bit of everything, especially in the beginning.
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
I have to give love to all the amazing woman who work with me at Clever Touch Marketing. My team is predominantly women including all of our management team which is made up of myself and my Client Liaison Manager, Nadine, and my Link Building Manager, Hannah, who I couldn't do without. Our graphic designer, Nada, and our Outreach Manager, Mona, are absolutely awesome. Not to mention my long-term writers and editors: Cecilie, Emilie, Polly, Summer and Michelle. I couldn't do my job without them.
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
Honestly, it may sound cliche but my family is what makes me who I am. I have two children under five and running a company with them is incredibly hard work but everything I do is for them and my husband. They give me the strength I need and drive me to be the best I can every single day.
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