Welcome to a new
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?
As any other SEO will probably tell you, I too stumbled onto it by pure chance. At the time I had just come back to my home country from Scotland after completing a Bachelors in Marketing and Management and Masters in Computer Science. My goal at the time was to get any corporate job, likely in Business Analysis as that is what I did as placement, and become a content creator on the side.
When the opportunity for SEO came up, I never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I do, because I didn’t really understand it, to be honest. I thought of it only from the content lens, which was what got me in.
Little did I know that SEO would give me the fulfilment I was looking for while pursuing my degrees, especially the ability to be technical, data-driven, but also very creative, insightful, and curious. I specialised in NLP with the aim of making marketing more automated and the role of marketers easier. The SEO niche is the perfect playground for making small scale automation and incremental improvements to processes that can really have a rippling effect across the industry.
What is your favourite SEO task?
That is a tough one - I like doing a lot of things. I love researching and can really get into a certain topic, like a proper deep dive, so typically boring things like technical audits can sometimes be brought to life by trying to search for the best solution to a tricky problem.
I also love data analysis, attribution, tracking, and visualisation. I enjoy thinking about systems - how doing certain things affect the organisation, the teams, and the people and how this can translate to more value provided to the end-user.
If I have to choose one thing, it will be using data to inform the strategy. Research is one part, learning about a topic, issue or solution is another, making sure the appropriate systems and processes are in place, and then the fun part begins - combining all of that into a strategy that plays on the strengths of a particular organisation/person, their users, or their website to really hit their unique goals. This is the part where you can go super wild with automation, systems thinking, and machine learning, but it can also be the case where you discover none of this is needed and you can achieve success implementing age-old tactics.
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
I use Screaming Frog, Google Webmaster Tools (& Analytics), Google Data Studio, and Sheets literally every day.
While most of my Chrome Extensions tab is like a forgotten wasteland, I use Google Scholar, Keywords Everywhere, SEOQuake, and Weppalyzer on a daily basis.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
Not so much learning, but I’d say reading patents, studies and white papers always makes me have an AHA moment. Not only Google’s, though, but any search-heavy or content-heavy business or social media that benefits from monetisation can give indications in their patents and studies about the direction that things will shift towards in upcoming years.
What is your proudest industry achievement?
I don’t really feel like I have that many achievements yet, but I’d say I have felt the proudest when I’ve created resources that have helped other people save time and become more efficient, and have received good feedback from the community. I like giving back through writing, creating resources, and public speaking, and potentially eliminating many of the hurdles people are facing when trying to implement a seemingly complex concept.
Client-wise, it’s mostly the same thing. I’ve felt most proud when I’ve eliminated the need for someone doing a manual task that I myself would not want or enjoy doing. I’ve also had some success with strategising scalable growth loops and content systems, which is always fun.
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
Especially if you are just coming out of university or have little experience, there might be companies that will take advantage of this. Just remember, SEO is the kind of industry, where the more skills and expertise you can bring that are seemingly unrelated to the role, the better you will be at it.
Whether it’s Python programming, negotiation, project management, growth strategy, blogging or research, your previous experiences are not worthless. Don’t allow anyone to persuade you otherwise, lowball you or make you feel worthless when you are starting out.
Some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of working with have changed careers a few times, which is exactly the reason why the SEO community needs them. SEO thrives on diversity in representation, and in ideas and past experiences. If you take pleasure in learning things from scratch and adapting to changes, then SEO is the industry for you.
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
I know this is probably going to sound corny but I’d like to give a shout out to all the Women in Tech SEO group, because they all contribute to making the community a great one to be in. Everyone I've ever talked to or met in person have been so great and kind! Just want to say thanks for always making me feel so accepted. I’ve also had the pleasure to be mentored by Veruska Anconitano, who is absolutely brilliant, inspirational, and so zen! I am frequently inspired by Areej, Aleyda, and Roxana - for just about everything they do for the community. More recently I've also found inspiration in Lidia Infante for her Twitter threads uplifting women in the industry, Reji Yates, who is behind the B-Digital platform, and Sophie Gibson, for coming up with the Diversity Charter. Tessah (the SEO Mama) is also so amazing and supportive every time I've had the chance to talk to her about anything.
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
Moving on promptly from bad situations and accepting change as a normal part of life, but also coming to terms with things that are outside of my control. The last one is the trickiest for me, to be honest, as it comes to play in almost any situation I am in!
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