Welcome to a new
How did you get into SEO?
I fell into the SEO field by luck when I started working with a product company. Back then, SEO was about submitting links in directories, creating content with keyword density, obtaining links from Digg, stumble upon, etc. From that role, I moved agency-side, which showed me a whole new side to the SEO discipline and provided an opportunity to optimize websites in multiple verticals, solving numerous problems.
What is your favourite SEO task?
Website auditing from a Technical SEO perspective is what I enjoy most. Being agency-side, I resolve different technical issues, crawl challenges and launching successful SEO campaigns. I also enjoy Local SEO for the competitiveness it brings on to the table.
What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?
Google Search Console and SEMrush are my go-to tools. I have used multiple enterprise-level SEO tools, but nothing comes close to the features of SEMrush and its simple user interface.
What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?
I am sure every SEO would feel this AHA moment multiple times when optimizing the website for organic growth. In the 10+ years of SEO experience, I felt 'AHA' multiple times: a competitive keyword hits the top spot, YoY organic growth, website health issues resolved and resulting in better performance, etc.
However, my favorite 'AHA' moment so far is programmatic optimization, aka dynamic optimization done for one of my clients helped them scale their optimization effort. In less than three months, ~300 search queries ranked in the top 10.
What is your proudest industry achievement?
I have accomplished a lot in my 10+ years of experience. But getting a website out from Google penalty for a finance niche is my proudest achievement.
What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?
Read a lot, but don't stop there. Implement your learnings. Create a simple website with a simple CMS to help yourself with technical SEO. By doing this, one can learn things very quickly, and when you start working with dev teams, it helps in explaining things.
Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why
Bala Abirami - my personal and professional friend for a very long time. She inspires me in everything she does. Her persistence in continuing her career and her willingness to learn every new thing in SEO inspire me greatly!
Areej AbuAli - the support she shows to the Women in Tech SEO community and all the initiatives she puts forward for everyone involved in the community is admirable.
Tory Gray - the help she provides in Women in Tech SEO slack group is absolutely commendable. Her answers are so detailed and helpful. I often see her getting in a conversation with people who look for help/clarity rather than just sharing her POV. 80+ messages in a thread is a common scenario only when Tony Gray is involved in the conversation!
Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?
I enjoy learning something new every day, be it SEO, recipes (yes, I am a foodie) or even something from my kids.
Thanks Mercy for a truly insightful interview, you can connect with Mercy on LinkedIn.
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