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Interviewing Laura Coles

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 Laura Coles, Senior Technical SEO Analyst at 3Sixty Digital. Based in Bristol, Laura is a writer, mentor, workshop leader and guest speaker in the field of Technical SEO. Laura is also a polyglot in progress; studying Hebrew, Spanish, Tibetan, Korean and Russian Languages (some more competently than others!) 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?

I started off as a one-woman-band Marketing Manager; looking after the content, social, email, search and paid marketing for a small B2B brand. I quickly became obsessed with SEO, and decided that Search was where I wanted my career to go. I wanted to spend more time doing SEO, but the other demands of my job often pulled me away to other things. In 2016, I made the decision to specialise solely in Technical SEO and have never looked back.

What is your favourite SEO task?

Forensic auditing. I am known for being particularly picky about SEO onsite implementation, which doesn't always make me popular with developers. Luckily, I work for 3Sixty now, where the developers were already very SEO competent when I started. We work holistically together. I have worked in-house and in agencies where there is often tension between developers and SEOs. Not at 3Sixty.

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

Screaming Frog. It really is the best tool in the world for technical SEOs. You have everything in one place, at a URL by URL level. And if you know how to use it properly, you can map out which directives are conflicting with each other, which ones are surplus to requirements, and which ones are causing performance anomalies.

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

Crawling versus indexing. There is a huge difference and for ages (when I was a junior), I would often be thinking about crawling when I actually meant indexing, and vice versa. When I explain the difference to clients now, I see their faces light up in an AHA moment when they realise they have been trying to fix a crawling issue with a directive meant for managing indexing. It's such an obvious thing to an SEO, but I don't think it's that well understood outside of the discipline.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

In October 2019, I autonomously planned, taught and executed an SEO workshop for beginners in Bristol. We completely sold out of paid tickets, were at maximum capacity and the attendees were all totally engaged for the whole 7 hours. It was amazing to be able to pass on my knowledge to a new generation and definitely the best workshop I have ran to date.

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

Get yourself a mentor. I mentor students and marketing managers alike; there is no maximum entry requirement that means you are too senior for a mentor.

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

I am completely in love with Jamie Alberico and Aleyda Solis. Both are at the top of their game in tech SEO and bring so much energy to the industry. Aleyda is the reason I got into SEO, and Jamie is the reason I decided tech SEO was the discipline for me.

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

I take each day as an opportunity to learn something new; whether that's a language, something to do with my job, or something totally unrelated. Knowledge empowers us. I never go to bed without knowing that I learned something new that day.


Thanks Laura for a truly insightful interview. You can connect with Laura on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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! 🙌🏽