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Interviewing Shahista Kassam

Date: 28/04/2021

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Shahista Kassam
, SEO Manager at PMG Digital Agency.
Based in Dallas, Shahista is responsible for reviewing site architecture, content and data trends to educate the overarching SEO strategy for the agency’s largest travel and retail clients. She is extremely passionate about technical SEO and the integration between SEO and SEM.

We asked her everything from how she first got into SEO to what empowers her to be the brilliant woman she is πŸ’ͺ🏽

How did you get into SEO?

My previous work experience included content and inbound marketing, which introduced me to the world of search marketing. While I enjoyed content marketing, I quickly realized that I gravitated towards technical SEO. I took on multiple SEO projects at that time and spent time growing my SEO knowledge. At the end of this role, I knew that search marketing was the perfect fit for me.

What is your favourite SEO task?

My favorite SEO task is schema audits and strategy. I clearly remember the first time I wrote the JSON-LD code and worked with the developers to launch the schema markup for the client – it felt amazing to see the schema enhancements on the search results page.

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

SEMrush! The keywords ranking data from SEMrush can be organized in multiple ways from showing keywords ranking growth for categories and page types to pulling pre/post analysis for content optimization. I am currently exploring ways that we can use this tool for showing keyword coverage for SEO and paid data in aggregate.

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

SEO impacts every aspect of the business – you are continuously involved with managing priorities for multiple stakeholders to get your work done. This has really taught me about managing expectations across multiple stakeholders, understanding what truly matters for the different departments involved in the SEO process.

This skill is extremely useful as I grow in my career.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

My proudest achievement has been leading and presenting a full SEO strategy. This process included educating the client about SEO, projecting the business and building the SEO roadmap. Last year, I worked on executing the strategy I had built, which has been a great learning experience.

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

Learn, Learn, Learn! Search marketing and digital marketing as an industry is rapidly evolving. You want to always be learning and growing - this will make you invaluable wherever you go!

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

Heather Physioc is one of the smartest and greatest woman in the industry! Her work around SEO and SEM integration with the discoverability team that she leads really inspires me with my long-term goal of driving client strategy through a holistic search approach. She is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to provide actionable advice and resources. In fact, she is the one who introduced me to Women in Tech SEO. Thank you for inspiring me! I also want to give a shoutout to Diana Richardson. I met Diana through this amazing community and lately she has been guiding me as I transition into a hybrid SEO/SEM role. Thank you for always answering my questions and being there to support me!

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

I think what empowers me to be who I am is to constantly challenge the status quo. I’m drawn to making things better than they are today, challenging myself to learn new things and improve current processes.


Thanks Shahista for a truly insightful interview, you can check out Shahista's website and connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! πŸ™ŒπŸ½