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Interviewing Sofie Couwenbergh

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 Sofie Couwenbergh! At age 12, Sofie told her parents she‘d do ‘something with writing‘ later, and that‘s exactly what she‘s been up to for more than 10 years now. Sofie learned content strategy through trial and error, growing her own authority site in the competitive travel industry to over 200,000 uniques. Right now, she applies her skills to help brands in the digital marketing and communication spheres generate more qualified leads through blog content.

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?

After I'd launched a travel blog in 2012, I quickly realized the business potential of it. For the first two years, I avoided doing any SEO. It scared me! But after a while, I had to admit that social media wasn't my thing and that it would be impossible to grow the site the way I wanted to grow it without learning SEO, so I dove in.

If you'd told me at that point that it would turn into my favorite traffic generator and the core of my next business, I probably wouldn't have believed you.

What is your favourite SEO task?

I'm still a writer first and foremost, so I love to create highly-optimized articles that don't read as if they're highly optimized. Other than that, I get pretty excited when I can optimize a company blog with hundreds of posts that hold untapped potential. The less optimized it is, the more I can usually make a difference. It feels a bit like cleaning up a very messy home, except that I enjoy content optimization but cleaning... not so much :)

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

Ahrefs is definitely my go-to tool, but I've just started using Wincher for tracking rankings and am curious to see how I'll like it in a few months. As much as I love Ahrefs, it's a shame they currently don't have the option to upgrade their Racktracker if you have a yearly subscription, and so I needed to look for another solution.

I compared several tools and while Wincher doesn't have as many features as, for example, SE Ranking, I like its look the most.

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

I realize the goal of this question is probably to get a more technical answer, but the first thing that popped up was that it doesn't need to be so complicated. I realize this is different for a "general" SEO or someone who specializes in multiple areas of SEO, but I just wanted to work with content creation and optimization, and for the longest time, I thought I was missing something. A secret tactic, if you will. That golden nugget.

But I wasn't. It wasn't a matter of having to discover more things, it was a matter of having the grit to do the same thing over and over again and really hone that skill. For me that was fundamental. It took away a lot of overwhelm around improving my SEO skills and allowed me to really focus on the area that mattered to me, and that I am passionate about.

What is your proudest industry achievement?

I've spent a year optimizing Meet Edgar's blog content. Since then, I've managed to increase page views for the posts I've worked on by over 500% on average. I'm super happy with that result.

But - and I know how corny this sounds - what I'm most proud of is how many of my clients refer others to me. That to me is proof not just of the results I get, but that I'm a nice person to work with as well.

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

Trust yourself. When I started learning SEO, I felt like everyone else knew it better and I let the opinion of others bring me off course several times.

It wasn't until I *knew* that I knew my stuff, and that I started to trust my knowledge, that everything started to go much more smoothly.

Do what YOU think is right first. If then it doesn't work, or if you're really stuck, get the opinion of others. It's only by trusting yourself and acting on that that your confidence in your skills will grow.

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

I think it's pretty badass how Viola Eva has been growing Flow SEO. She's been scaling her agency while remaining true to her focus on flow and always standing up for her own views of SEO. She's also a wonderful person to work with.

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

I want to live my best life and avoid as many "what ifs" as possible. That goal extends to my work and so I try to do the best I can in every task I start, and let myself be drawn by the things that excite me. The latter isn't always easy to balance with what's happening (and on my plate), right now, but it helps to keep that goal in mind.


Thanks Sofie for a truly insightful interview. You can learn more about Sofie 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 YOU to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! 🙌🏽