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Interviewing Marion Leadbetter

Date: 18/03/2022

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Marion Leadbetter
Based in Scotland, Marion is the founder of the SEO Upcycler and a graduate of West of Scotland University. Before starting her own business she worked in marketing for The Scottish Tourist Board, HSBC and various Pharma companies. She's been in SEO since before her daughter was born 15 years ago. A proud Scot and mum of 2, she and her husband are currently outnumbered by pets and just about holding their own with 2 teens.

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 did a tourism marketing degree and worked for what was the Scottish tourist board, back then SEO was barely SEO and not what we know now so it was given to the newest member of the team to play with and I've been hooked ever since! But when we started our own business 15 years ago my love of teaching SEO was sparked by seeing how many women had been mansplained SEO and thought it was "too tech or too hard" so I started teaching female business owners how to do SEO for their business and it honestly brings me so much joy.

What is your favourite SEO task?

Onsite stuff is my favourite, everything from internal links to improving content. I love seeing what a difference small changes can make. Training wise I love seeing people get that Aha moment when they realise they can do it for their business.

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

SEMRush is the obvious day to day tool I can't live without. I love to use the inspect page source tool for a quick nosey and plan my whole life out on Trello and Google Calendar.

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

When I first started, you could honestly rank anything and I actually didn't love it as much as there was so much rubbish out there so the AHA moment for me was learning if you focused on the searcher and provided quality as opposed to trying to game the system then the end result of SEO was so much more beneficial. So the AHA moment for me years ago was that rankings are a vanity metric, but clicks and conversion give the buzz that SEO is working.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

I had serious imposter system the first 10 years or so I did this, so I never put myself forward to anything in the SEO field. So, the first time I got published in SEMRush was a proud moment, being asked to contribute to a business book, being featured on BBC Radio Scotland are all things I'm proud of, but what I'm most proud of is the feedback I get from places like a business gateway or online women groups when what I teach them actually helps their business.

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

Believe you are just as capable as everyone else and drown out the noise. Your voice, opinion, knowledge and experience matter. I promise you there are people out there waiting to hear what you have to say.

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

Aleyda Solis, Areej AbuAli & Kate Toon.

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

My big brother used to always tell me when I was a kid "If you can conceive it, you can achieve it." That's always been my motto in life. He passed in 2003 but that mantra is with me every day.


Thanks Marion for a truly insightful interview. You can learn more about Marion through her website and connect with her 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

to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! 🙌🏽