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Interviewing Laura Rudd

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 Rudd! Based in Lichfield, UK, Laura has worked in SEO since 2005. Having worked both agency-side and in-house across a wide variety of brands, from online travel agents and large ecommerce businesses, to enterprise-scale FTSE250 companies, where she led SEO and Content strategy, driving growth on organic search. Now Head of SEO at No Brainer Agency, a leading search-driven content agency in the UK, Laura works with various brands to drive performance on search.

We asked her everything from how she first got into SEO to what empowers her to be the brilliant woman she is ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ

How did you get into SEO?

My very first job was as a receptionist at a large digital agency - this is where the penny dropped, and I fell in love with it all. But it was actually my second job, at an online travel agency, that I discovered SEO (it was in its infancy way back then!).

It quickly became a passion, and I really wanted to find out more, so I started building my own websites, in my own time - which started with Wordpress blogs, and ended up with an ecommerce brand on Magento. Building my own websites and having the autonomy to test different approaches, to learn and fail fast, was eye-opening (in a good way).

I got married and had kids, and while I had a part time job, we needed extra income to support our little family. So during nights, I grew the websites within my control, then branched out and became a freelancer, specialising in SEO and content. It was challenging, but I knew it was my jam.

The blend of agency-side, freelancer, and website owner gave me the knowledge, skills and passion to continue to specialise in SEO!

What is your favourite SEO task?

Audits - uncovering issues, absorbing the problems, and presenting the solution based on data is a joy!

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

Semrush and GSC are my obvious ones, but I have to say that I also love Sparktoro. It's great in helping you understand your audience in a very 'real' way, helping to shape tone of voice, gaining inspiration by reviewing the type and format of content your audience loves, but also beyond that, it also informs your content distribution strategies.

I'm a firm believer that great search performance has brilliant content at the very heart of it - and making it audience-first is my ikigai. So Sparktoro has been invaluable on many occasion!

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

At the start of my SEO journey, when I was running a large ecommerce website, I had a lot of challenges with ranking the right pages for certain queries.

After much research and testing, I discovered canonicalization - and the joys of URL parameters! With some tinkering and testing, it was sorted. That was a big AHA moment on having a proactive approach to an issue: problem-solving, leveraging best practices and seeking advice from the SEO community - and feeling confident enough to persevere.

Another AHA moment came much (much) later in my career, when I was trying to gain buy-in for a large domain consolidation project for a big brand. There was a lot at stake and the pressure was on. I had to present to their board of Execs, and thankfully I had someone who mentored me, helping guide my approach. That experience, and support, allowed me to take a step back and see that sometimes "what's clear to you, does not always translate" to others. My mentor helped me revise the approach, making it super-specific to what was most important to the board - even as simple as a tick/cross matrix to help inform their decision. It worked! It's something I lean on most days - and am thankful that my mentor helped get me there.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

Being part of a team that won 2x UK Search Awards in 2022, and now also finalists for 2x UK Content Awards. That acknowledgement from industry peers really is a fantastic feeling - the work and award was 100% a team effort, but I'll never forget how validating it made me feel personally!

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

Stay curious and keep going!

Build your own websites, stay connected to communities like Women in Tech SEO, test and play with your theories - and if something doesn't work out, or you make a mistake, that's how we all learn our best lessons. Try to look at it as an opportunity - keep going, you can do it!

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

These wonderful leading ladies - theyโ€™re so generous with the fantastic knowledge they share: Aleyda Solis, Areej AbuAli, Lily Ray, Dr Marie Haynes

My Women in Tech SEO mentees: Fiona Brindle, Morgan Petrov, and Jacqui Reed. These women truly astonish me!

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

The brilliant, supporting people around me at work, my amazing and crazy family, and of course the wonderful communities like Women in Tech SEO.

Beyond that, I'd also say to believe in yourself.

Reflecting on the things that you've achieved helps to counteract any negative feelings that challenging situations can trigger, and refuels that passion to get back up and keep going! I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines!! You've got this.


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! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ