Search engine optimization (SEO) is a constantly evolving industry, one which is filled with talented individuals eager to grow and stay current with emerging trends. Yet, women tend to be in the minority when pursuing an SEO career.
A recent “State of SEO” report found that male SEOs comprised 70.4% of respondents in the United States. The same trend followed suit for other countries (for example 83.3% in central and south America, 82.1% in Australia and New Zealand, 75.3% in the United Kingdom, and 72.4% in Asia). The survey sample size consisted of 652 SEO professionals, a relatively small sample size, however, this data aligns with previous studies.
Careers in SEO may historically be more male-dominated, but there are plenty of innovative, inspiring women who have made their mark in the industry. In this blog, we will draw attention to just a few of these women in light of Women’s History Month, although women SEOs deserve recognition every month of the year.
We recently asked five women with impressive careers in SEO how they got their start and any tips they have for other women looking to start a career in SEO. Here is what they had to share.
Pam Aungst Cronin, MBA, President & Chief Web Traffic Controller, Pam Ann Marketing, LLC
My advice to women who want to break into the SEO industry is twofold.
1) Immerse yourself in the female SEO community (i.e. the amazing “Sisters in SEO” Facebook group). The women in this industry are extremely supportive of each other.
2) Market your services to women-owned businesses. I get told by female clients all the time that they chose to work with me because I’m a woman. They’ve had bad experiences with male SEOs talking down to them, and they’re tired of it. Women business owners find it refreshing to work with female SEOs.
Daria Khmelnitskaya, SEO Specialist at CleverFiles
First of all, you need to understand that you really like the concept of SEO and enjoy working on websites. Sooner or later you’ll get all the necessary knowledge, but you’ll still need creativity to generate ideas for your projects. And, without some kind of passion, you won’t be able to do it.
There are plenty of guidelines and courses on SEO. I think it’s not important how you’ll get the knowledge. If you are quite autonomous you can read the information on the web. Just make sure that the sources are reliable. You can collect the links and ask any SEO whether it’s worth reading.
You can also apply to courses, but remember that after graduation you still need practice (as well as when you’re learning alone). A large part of skills you’ll be able to get only from the actual work.
Sherry Bonelli, SEO & Digital Marketer, Google Business Profile Gold Product Expert, MS Internet Marketing
If you’re interested in getting into SEO, the best thing you can do is just start learning and prove you know what you’re doing. I got my start in SEO 23 years ago when I started my own e-commerce business selling pregnancy and baby-related products.
I knew that I had to rank my site to sell products and for my business to succeed, so I read everything I could about SEO. Then I started executing and testing on my site to see what worked. If you want to learn SEO, you should create a website, read everything you can about SEO best practices, write great content and then put those strategies to use on your own site. Creating a local site to test will get you the quickest results. When you’re able to get your site to rank, you’ll be able to show that to potential employers.
Some great resources are Search Engine Land, MOZ and I created a Local SEO course for LinkedIn Learning called Learning Local SEO which gives you all the info you need for ranking a local website. I wish you much success!
Tammy Wood | Director of Global SEO at Automation Anywhere
Women are capable of just as much success in SEO as men. Success requires that women realize their potential, then act on it. Start networking, attending conferences, joining online discussions and panels, getting involved in our industry, and asking questions. I am always surprised at how much support and encouragement I receive from other women in SEO.
Pam Gray | Account Director at Rio SEO
As with any career, the best way to get started in SEO and Digital Marketing is to educate yourself. Seek out classes at local colleges or online courses. Another great way to learn and stay up-to-date with the latest topics and trends is to read industry publications. Finally, whether you are new to the corporate world or looking to make a career change, either look for entry-level positions where you can learn on the job or see if your existing company has positions or opportunities to learn about SEO and Digital Marketing.
Whether you’re seeking a career change, inspiration to learn more about SEO, or simply eager to break into the marketing industry, these aforementioned tips will help you get on the path to start a career in SEO successfully.
We thank each of the inspiring women who participated in putting together this column. Want more insights from marketing and SEO experts? We share aggregate best practices and advice from experts regularly on our blog.