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100+ Awesome Women Marketers to Follow in 2019

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100+ Awesome Women Marketers to Follow in 2019


As many other industries, digital marketing keeps improving on gender diversity.

Not least thanks to the companies like Moz, that are really working on supporting women and giving them the chance to speak at the leading industry events.

However, there’s still a lot of work to do.

No need to go far to confirm that this problem of unequal gender representation is real: here’s a list of the best SEO experts to follow that was delivered by me, Purna Virji, Jenny Halasz, Loren Baker, and Danny Goodwin.

Even though it was developed mainly by women, it features only a few female marketers.

Today is March 8, the International Women’s Day, and this tribute serves to celebrate all the amazing women that we have in our industry.

If you wonder how we pulled together the current list of female marketers, here’s where we gathered the data.

I asked my friends on Twitter:

100+ Awesome Women Marketers You Should Follow

The data is stunning: it seems like half of the industry contributed, which is absolutely amazing and makes my heart melt!

Later on, I created a Twitter list that I want to update regularly.

Then, I launched a survey, the main goal of which was to collect some interesting facts about female marketers who are featured in this post.

But before we go straight to the survey results, I want to list those marketers that couldn’t contribute but absolutely deserve your attention:

Julie F Bacchini

Julie F Bacchini is the Founder & the President of Neptune Moon LLC. Listed by PPC Hero among the top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts. She’s a frequent speaker – SMX & Hero Conf speaker. #ppcchat Organizer.

Rebekah Radice

Rebekah Radice is a social media speaker, consultant, and trainer from Los Angeles, CA. She was named the top online and social media marketer by such well-known companies as SocialMediaExaminer, Brand24, and Onalytica.

She’s also the author of “Social Media Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Strategic Growth” that will help make the most out of your social media channels.

Sue B. Zimmerman

Sue B. Zimmerman, aka #InstagramGal, teaches entrepreneurs, business execs, and marketing professionals how to promote their business effectively on Instagram.

She has been speaking at the largest social media conferences including Social Media Marketing World, Social Media Camp, ONTRApalooza, Social Media Day San Diego, and many others.

Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins if the co-founder and CEO of Canva, a graphic-design tool website. Before launching Canva, Melanie founded her first company, Fusion Books, an online design system for schools to create their yearbooks.

Fusion Books is now the largest yearbook publisher in Australia and recently expanded to France and New Zealand.

Kirsty Hulse

Kirsty Hulse is the founder of Manyminds, a digital agency made up exclusively of remote, freelance resource. She is a creativity trainer, desperate to help brands be more innovative, and have more fun, with their marketing. The author of Amazon #1 Bestseller “The Future is Freelance” and an evangelist of remote working.

Kirsty is running a workshop at the next BrightonSEO for people who want to discover their voice and speak at conferences.

Veronica Romney

Veronica Romney is a marketing and branding advocate and the co-founder of LoSoMo, a Florida-based online marketing, web development and personal branding agency.

As the daughter of two Cuban immigrants who lived the American Dream, she is fiercely proud of her heritage and constantly driven by her parents’ entrepreneurial spirits.

Val Geisler

Val is an Email Marketing Strategist and Conversion Copywriter. She is obsessed with email marketing and customer experience.

Also, she’s contributing regularly to the leading digital marketing blogs and speaking at the events that you all heard of.

Joanna Wiebe

Joanne is an entrepreneur and the founder of Copy Hackers. Apart from contributing to the leading industry blogs, she was featured as a speaker at conferences like Mozcon, INBOUND, SearchLove and CXL Live.

Britney Muller

Britney Muller is the Senior SEO Scientist at Moz, public speaker, data-driven marketing advocate and the founder of Pryde Marketing.

Pam Moore

Pam Moore is the CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz, a full service social media, branding and digital marketing training and consulting agency.

She was ranked by Forbes among the Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers, Top 10 Digital Marketers to Follow on Twitter, Top 10 most retweeted by digital marketers. The list only goes on.

Susan Wenograd

Now a Facebook Ads Consultant, Susan Wenograd has spent over 10 years in both client-side and agency-side roles working for brands such as General Motors, CircuitCity.com, and many others.

Her initial roles in digital were in the copywriting and email marketing space, giving her unique perspective on the digital marketing life cycle, and the role of PPC within it.

Susan is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country, including Pubcon, State of Search, SMX, and Digital Summit.

Annie Cushing

Annie Cushing is a blogger and an independent data analyst. According to Annie, she has played just about every role one can play when it comes to creating and promoting content online.

She runs a successful blog and regularly contributes to the industry leading publications.

Pam Didner

Pam Didner is a Tech Marketing Consultant, prominent speaker and author, and according to herself, a B2B marketer with sales mentality. Right now, she’s specializing in sales and marketing alignment.

She has been a repeat presenter at some leading marketing events including Social Media Examiner, Social Media Marketing World, and Content Marketing World.

Dana DiTomaso

Dana DiTomaso is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she applies marketing into strategies to grow clients’ businesses. In her spare time, Dana is the past-president of the Advertising Club of Edmonton and is the weekly technology columnist on CBC Edmonton AM. She also enjoys drinking fancy beer and yelling at football players.

Joanna Lord
Joanna Lord is CMO of Skyscanner, where she leads their global marketing and brand. Prior to that she was CMO of ClassPass, leading customer growth, community development, lifecycle marketing and brand; Vice President of Marketing at Porch, a leading consumer marketplace for homeowners; CMO of BigDoor, an enterprise software solution serving companies like Starbucks, CBS, and the NFL; and VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz

Michelle Robbins

Michelle Robbins, former SVP Content & Marketing Technology, oversaw editorial direction as Editor in Chief for Third Door Media’s digital publications, Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today, directing a full-time staff of reporters and editors managing contributed content.

An experienced domestic and international keynote and featured speaker, she enjoys connecting with the community at SMX, MarTech and other industry events.

Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, keynote speaker, and world’s first Chief Content Officer.
She is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur magazine, a member of the LinkedIn Influencer program , and the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing.

She currently has more than 260,000 followers on Twitter and writes about content, marketing and life at the highly entertaining AnnHandley.com.

Carolyn Shelby

Carolyn Shelby specializes in technical and enterprise SEO, and has been helping corporations adjust their structure and focus to make the most of new media.

As Director of Search Engine Optimization at tronc, Inc. (formerly Tribune Publishing), Carolyn and her team are responsible for technical SEO and organic audience-generation strategies.

Her team delivers data-driven strategies through a commitment to web-analytics, employee training, and honest reporting.

Lisa Myers

Lisa Myers is the founder and CEO of Verve Search, Women in Search, SEO-Chicks.com and co-founder of StateofSearch.com.

Lisa also speaks frequently at conferences in the search and general digital marketing industry worldwide and is often hired to train internal teams, agency and universities on SEO, Content Marketing and Social.

Carrie Hill

Carrie Hill is the co-founder of Ignital Digital agency that provides local search marketing solutions for small and medium businesses.

She is a regular columnist for multiple publications, including industry authority sites Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch.

Jennifer Slegg

Jennifer Slegg is a longtime speaker and expert in search engine marketing, working in the industry for almost 20 years. When she isn’t sitting at her desk writing and working, she can be found grabbing a latte at her local Starbucks or planning her next trip to Disneyland.

She regularly speaks at Pubcon, SMX, State of Search, Brighton SEO and more, and has been presenting at conferences for over a decade.


Finally, here are the incredible marketers that participated in our survey:

Madalyn Sklar, Twitter Marketing Expert
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Growth marketing
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: Social Media Marketing World, SXSW, Social Media Success Summit, Agents of Change, Houston Social Media Day

Blogs I contributed to: Social Media Examiner

Hobby: Video editing

Favorite food: Ice cream

As a child I wanted to be: a rockstar

Describe your job in 3 words: Social Media Rockstar

I’m currently working on: Relaunching my #TwitterSmarter podcast


Kathy Klotz-Guest, Founder of Keeping it Human
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Storytelling
  • Creativity in marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Marketing Profs, CMWorld, FunnyBizz, Inbound, SXSW, Digital Impact, AMA Ignite, Social Media Marketing World and others

Blogs I contributed to: Marketing Profs, CustomerThink, Convince and Convert, and many others

Hobby: More than a hobby….I have a comedy background and it informs my work. Standup and improv. I perform and teach…both using applied improv in marketing and content and I teach improv on weekends.

Favorite food: Chocolate. Wait? Is wine a food?!…lol

As a child I wanted to be: Comedian, magician, an animal. So I guess I am all three.

Describe your job in 3 words: Helps teams create!

I’m currently working on: Speaking, my next book and a play.


Teresa Heath-Wareing, Owner of THW Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Converted17, Atomicon, Social Day, MarketedLive, TEDx

Blogs I contributed to: Social Media Examiner, Tailwind blog

Hobby: Marketing!!!

Favorite food: Popcorn

As a child I wanted to be: Teacher

Describe your job in 3 words: Fast paced, exciting, rewarding

I’m currently working on: My main focus is on my Podcast – Social Media Marketing Made Simple. I love that every week I can share marketing tips tools and strategies.


Jennifer Hoffman, Marketing Director at Deepcrawl
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Advanced Search Summit, Digitalks Dubai, SearchLeeds, Pint Sized Marketing, PubCon, BrightonSEO

Blogs I contributed to: The DeepCrawl blog

Hobby: Eating & Drinking!

Favorite food: Fried Chicken

As a child I wanted to be: CEO/Business Owner/Entrepreneur

Describe your job in 3 words: Challenging, Exciting, Fulfilling

I’m currently working on: Currently working on a new campaign for DeepCrawl where we go back to our roots and tell our brand story. Its been an interesting experience digging more into the roots of the brand and discover the why and the how that got us to where we are today.


Magdalena Urbaniak, Founder of MaxTractor.agency and Brand Manager at Brand24
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: TedX, I love Marketing, SEMrush meetup, and many more

Blogs I contributed to: Clutch

Hobby: Creating any kind of content, my second passion is dance and tractors (I run a blog about agro machines).

Favorite food: Anything that came from Asia.

As a child I wanted to be: I changed my plans (dreams) quite often but it was always connected to work with people and communication. The only one I remember is that I wanted to be a priest. I was fascinated by this profession, and I preached sermons to my teddy bears. Being a speaker is probably part of the realization of this dream. 🙂

Describe your job in 3 words: Passion, determination, learning

I’m currently working on: I work on the newest edition of the Top 100 Digital Marketers report on Brand24. That’s the 3rd year and edition of this white paper I prepare for Brand24 with the team. Solid piece of data-driven white paper that each year has a big influence on brand awareness.

Beyond this, I have 3 really important events on my agenda. I host and organize one, and I’m a speaker at two other. Those are huge conferences with an excellent list of speakers and 700+ attendees so I work hard on the best speech I can deliver.

Additionally, MaxTractor.agency which I launched last year is growing consistently, which fills me with huge satisfaction.


Emma Franks, Senior Paid Social Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SMM
  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Mobile marketing
  • Paid SEM

Conferences I spoke at: Hero Conf London 2017, PubCon FL 2019

Blogs I contributed to: PPC Hero, Instapage, AdStage, Unbounce

Hobby: Learning! Also, reading/audiobooks, cooking, playing guitar and singing

Favorite food: Any gluten free 🙂

As a child I wanted to be: on Broadway and/or a lawyer

Describe your job in 3 words: Empowering, dynamic, connected

I’m currently working on: I am currently pursuing an MBA at the Kelley School of Business for both personal and professional growth. I have a website in-the-works and am continually striving to expand my tactical and strategic skills set through side projects when I can find the time.


Lilach Bullock, Founder & CEO of Lilach Bullock Limited
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • SMM
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Growth marketing
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: DMX, EuBea, Tedx, Telemedia, Institute of Aviation, CIPR, CIM, Oxford University

Blogs I contributed to: Forbes, Twitter, Smart Insights, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, AllBusiness, Marketing Profs, Business2Community

Hobby: Travelling, Zumba, Spending time with my family

Favorite food: Smoked salmon and chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: An actress

Describe your job in 3 words: Fun, innovative, exciting

I’m currently working on: My presentation for the Digital Forum in Moscow where I’ll be delivering to 35,000 people. Also working on my editorial calendar for my own blog… which always take a back seat!


Jenna Tiffany, Founder & Strategy Director at Let’sTalk Strategy
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Email marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Marketing Strategy

Conferences I spoke at: SearchLove London 2018, Email Innovations Summit 2018, Digital Forum Romania 2019, Emailing 2020, International IT Forum Ukraine, Digital Olympus 2018, Ungagged London 2017 & 2018, Judge for the DMA Awards 2017 & 2018, E-Shop Email Summit 2018, Conversion Conference Berlin 2018 and many more!

Blogs I contributed to: Smart Insights, DMA UK, Only Influencers, Let’sTalk Strategy blog, Email Monks, Mailkit, Econsultancy, Email vendor selection, Digital Doughnut and many more.

Hobby: Entertaining my dog called Archie on long walks, swimming and exploring the world

Favorite food: Any gluten free 🙂

As a child I wanted to be: A professional dancer

Describe your job in 3 words: keeping me on my toes! (sorry four words!)

I’m currently working on: Currently my agency is providing strategic consultancy for a variety of organizations to overcome a number of marketing challenges. I’m also preparing my presentation for SMX Munich, providing bespoke workshops, blog, and course content.


Taz Thornton, Creator and Founder of Taz Thornton
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR
  • Visibility and Personal Brand
  • Public Speaking

Conferences I spoke at: Marketing Business Summit Milan, BeachBody UK Success System Live, The Business Show (London), Royal Bank Of Scotland, Now What Live?, IGNITE Business, Transform Your Business, Sicilia Convention Bureau, The Giftware Association and many more.

Blogs I contributed to: Predominantly on Medium.com, where I contribute to some of the marketing publications. I’m also a regular columnist for America Out Loud where, though predominantly lifestyle and public opinion, I do include marketing and personal branding topics.

Hobby: Between coaching, speaking, training and writing my books there’s not much time! I do love to travel to new place with my wife and I work out regularly.

Personal development is a passion of mine – I usually have an audio book on if I’m driving between appointments.

I’m quite a spiritual lass too, having spent a decade or so learning from shamans and medicine people – some of these really deep teachings sometimes come through in my work.

Favorite food: I went vegan a couple of years ago, so I’m still getting used to not saying a nice, succulent fillet steak! Now? I do love a good Nepalese feast.

As a child I wanted to be: Happy and free!

Describe your job in 3 words: Inspiring. Engaging. Exciting.

I’m currently working on: I have two books underway for two different publishers: Stop Moaning, Start Owning is the follow up to Unleash Your Awesome, for US-based Motivational Press, and More Whispers From The Earth is the follow up to (as you might guess) Whispers From The Earth, for Moon Books. I’m also preparing for my second TEDx, as well as getting ready to run a global personal branding masterclass with former Discovery Channel presenter and Oprah guest, Dr Andrea Pennington; it will be in Cannes in October. I’m also launching an online mastermind group – ‘This Is Me’ – for professionals who are ready to go for the next level in branding and public speaking and design their own signature speech; we’ll be working on presentation, message, audience, body language, delivery, and even helping delegates to create their own ‘An Audience With…’ event to generate those oh-so-important video and image assets, as well as gain testimonials and experience of presenting, note free, in front of a live audience. What else? I have 13-month and three year spiritual empowerment and personal development programmes starting in September, as well as a new podcast AND I’ve just been signed to a second speaker agency in Singapore.


Maria Cieślak, Head of Technical SEO at Elephate
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Conferences I spoke at: SMX London 2018, We Love SEO 2018, Paris, semKRK 2017 Poland, semKRK 2018 Poland

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land, Oncrawl, Deepcrawl

Hobby: Skiing, Trekking

Favorite food: Neapolitan Pizza

As a child I wanted to be: crane operator – I know, strange but it’s true.

Describe your job in 3 words: Making better websites!

I’m currently working on: Currently, my focus is on creating a totally new approach to website optimization that aims at not only making websites search-engine friendly but also super-fast and efficient in term of development and maintenance.


Marie Haynes, Owner of Marie Haynes Consulting Inc.
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, SMX, RD Summit, Brighton SEO

Blogs I contributed to: SEMrush, Moz, Search Engine Land, BrightLocal

Hobby: Fantasy football and playing Fortnite!

Favorite food: Steak

As a child I wanted to be: Either a magician or a mommy. Accomplished both.

Describe your job in 3 words: Helping businesses thrive

I’m currently working on: We’re super excited to hear confirmation from Google that there is use for the disavow tool outside of manual actions. We’re now offering link audits again and are working on a program to work with SEO agencies in a white label capacity doing link audits.


Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR & Content at Aira
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: BrightonSEO, MKGO, outREACH, PintSized Marketing and Digital Olympus. In 2019 I’m speaking at SearchLeeds, MozCon and Learn Inbound.

Hobby: Food, gym & travelling!

Favorite food: Cheese, cheese and more cheese.

As a child I wanted to be: I wanted to be a lawyer until I took a-level law and hated it.

Describe your job in 3 words: Rewarding, creative & fast-paced.

I’m currently working on: My work at the moment broadly covers a number of things, from making Aira great at all things digital PR and content focused through to delivering high quality creative campaigns for our clients. On a personal development note, I’m working on lots of speaker pitches in preparation for conferences this year – I want to share my knowledge with others whilst learning and growing as a digital PR professional. I’m also routing for all of the amazing women (and men) in our industry! May we continue to support each other, rather than bring each other down.


Laura Crimmons, Founder of Silverthorn Agency
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: PRmoment, INBOUND, Learn Inbound, UnGagged, Yoastcon, SMX München, BrightonSEO and lots more!

Blogs I contributed to: Various, not specific regular ones

Hobby: Travelling – completing 30 countries under 30!

Favorite food: Mexican or Japanese

As a child I wanted to be: A farmer weirdly

Describe your job in 3 words: Creative, analytical and rewarding

I’m currently working on: Our reporting and measurement framework to accurately measure the true value of Digital PR not the usual fluffy metrics.


Hannah Thorpe, Business Director at Found
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Analytics
  • Digital PR
  • Growth marketing
  • SMM

Conferences I spoke at: BrightonSEO, SMX London, SMX West, UnGagged, Pub Con, Learn Inbound

Hobby: I love to travel; ideally involving good wine and food too.

Favorite food: Too many to choose from!

As a child I wanted to be: A teacher

Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, challenging (in a good way!) and fun

I’m currently working on: A whole range of things really! I’m loving that my role involves so many different aspects right now. We’re currently working on some really exciting voice search projects and creating optimization frameworks for those which I’m finding so interesting. I’ve also got a lot of conferences coming up in the next couple of months to be preparing for so am busy thinking about all things in the future of search.


Samantha Noble, Founder of Biddable Moments
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: PubCon, Ungagged, SearchLove, adWorld Experience, InOrbit, Elite Camp, The Inbounder, Learn Inbound, RIMC, Turing Fest, BrightonSEO, Search Leeds, SES, SMX, Think Visibility, On The Edge, DMSSO

Blogs I contributed to: State of Digital

Hobby: Cooking

Favorite food: Anything Italian

As a child I wanted to be: A Vet or a Teacher

Describe your job in 3 words: Rewarding, Challenging, Flexible

I’m currently working on: Currently working on the launch of the new Biddable Moments website and moving into our new office!


Ai Zhang, Founder of Classroom Without Walls
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SMM
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: Social Media Weekend – NYC’s Premier Social Media Conference; Texas Social Media Conference; Social Media Week in Lima (June 2019)

Blogs I contributed to: not regularly, but contributed guest blogs to Spin Sucks, Shonali Burke’s site, Deirdre Breakenridge’s PR Expanded, etc

Hobby: Dancing

Favorite food: Watermelon

As a child I wanted to be: World Traveler

Describe your job in 3 words: Create to inspire

I’m currently working on:

  1. I am getting ready to launch a digital course that teaches beginning entrepreneurs how to gain credibility and grow an online community;
  2. I host a weekly Facebook live show on every Wed at 5PM EST (US zone) that interviews leading digital marketers. I have just had Seth Godin on my show;
  3. I am organizing an alternative education experience for young kids that integrates traveling, entrepreneurship, digital storytelling, and experiential learning.

Karola Karlson, Head of Performance Marketing at Taxify
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Email marketing
  • Growth marketing
  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • Mobile marketing
  • CRO
  • Analytics
  • SMM
  • Advertising

Blogs I contributed to: Lately, mainly my personal blog karolakarlson.com where I share thoughts, ideas and guidance on Facebook advertising and growth marketing, Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Explorer, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, AdEspresso, KlientBoost, CopyHackers, Kissmetrics
Hobby: Reading – literature, business books, magazines – whatever I get into my hands, writing, graphic design, fashion

Favorite food: Pastry, especially croissants

As a child I wanted to be: When I was around 4y, I told my mom that “I want to become a mom.” For the cuteness of which I am very proud of my little self. Later on, I wanted to become a teacher. I looked towards marketing only when in university in my 20s.

Describe your job in 3 words: Fast-changing, hectic, rewarding

I’m currently working on: I am currently leading the global marketing team at Taxify. We’re already in 30 markets and the team has grown from 10 to 40 in the past 1 year. So you can imagine the pace and challenges we’re daily dealing with.

But it’s also highly rewarding to be contributing to something big that impacts tens of millions of people’s everyday lives. As the team lead, my tasks range from hiring to campaign planning to writing copy for website when needed.

Another thing I like about my job and team is that nobody’s a princess saying “this is not my job.” When we need to get something done, we get it done – whoever has the knowledge and time at a given moment.


Gisele Navarro, Operations Director at NeoMam Studios
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR
  • Link building

Blogs I wrote to: Search Engine Land

Hobby: Playing bass guitar

Favorite food: Sushi

As a child I wanted to be: Diplomat

Describe your job in 3 words: Links with content.

I’m currently working on: As of today, I’m helping the NeoMam team at different stages while they produce 25 pieces of content, promote 10 campaigns and generate ideas for 5 upcoming projects.

Last week I set my 90-day goals for the next quarter so I’ve just gotten started with the development of a new reporting tool and a big overhaul of our promotion process to ensure there is no redundant task or unnecessary admin that is wasting the team’s time.


Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Digital marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Content Marketing World, Social Media Marketing World, MarketingProfs B2B & others

Blogs I contributed to: Various blogs

Hobby: Knitting

Favorite food: Ice Cream and Chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: An author

Describe your job in 3 words: Dynamic, Fulfilling, Fun

I’m currently working on: Developing and expanding Actionable Marketing Guide and related products.


Krista Seiden, Vice President, Product Marketing & Growth at Quantcast
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Analytics
  • CRO
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SearchLove, MozCon, eMetrics, Webbdagarna, Google I/O, Google Analytics Partner Summit, Conversions@Google, OMR, Superweek, ConversionXL Live, CTAConf, and many more. Over 100 conference speaking appearances.

Blogs I contributed to: Kristaseiden.com, Online-behavior.com, Google marketing blog

Hobby: Skiing, hiking, enjoying the outdoors

Favorite food: Thai food!

As a child I wanted to be: an Astronaut

Describe your job in 3 words: Digital Marketing & Growth

I’m currently working on: I’m currently working on building out a world class product marketing and growth org at Quantcast, a company on the bleeding edge of AdTech, driving clear value to our customers through advanced modeling and smart targeting capabilities.

Also, I’m hiring! If you’re looking to join a growing and exciting Product Marketing or Growth team, reach out!


Mary Hartman, Senior Digital Marketing Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Analytics
  • Marketing automation
  • SMM
  • Advertising

Conferences I spoke at: I spoke at HeroConf Austin 2018 & Digital Olympus online conference 2018. I will be speaking at PubCon Florida 2019 and HeroConf Philly 2019. More conferences are in the schedule but currently top-secret. 🤫

Blogs I contributed to: PPCHero.com, Instapage, Clix

Hobby: Swing dancing, static trapeze, and knitting

Favorite food: Waffle pretzels with creamy peanut butter

As a child I wanted to be: A novelist

Describe your job in 3 words: Data opens doors

I’m currently working on: I am excited to be lining up a few conferences this year, starting with PubCon in March (speaking on Facebook ad copywriting) and HeroConf in April (speaking on account-based marketing.)

My work encompasses more social-specific strategies all the time, which is so exciting! I continue to collaborate with my other long-funnel B2B and SaaS marketing heroes here at Hanapin. Long customer journeys are just so fascinating to explore and satisfying to refine.


Angie Schottmuller, Owner & Growth Marketing Advisor at Interactive Artisan
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • CRO
  • Growth marketing
  • Advertising
  • Marketing automation

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, Pubcon, CTA Conf, CXL Live, Elite Camp, Webbdagarna, ContentJam, Conversion Jam, Growth Marketing Summit, Conversion Conference, Learn Inbound, Emerce, NIO Summit, Conversion World, iMetrics, eMetrics, Search Love, Hero Conference, Conversion Hotel, Zenith Social, and more

Hobby: Nature photography, fishing, outdoor adventures, and anything Star Wars or Marvel

Favorite food: Tacos

As a child I wanted to be: Veterinarian

Describe your job in 3 words: Growing customer conversions

I’m currently working on: I currently provide training workshops and consulting for medium to large businesses or agencies needing help with conversion-centered content strategy to grow their business. (SEOxCRO)

For one of my clients, we’re specifically working on adding an e-commerce checkout to their content strategy, where historically leads came in and final transactions were booked via phone call. I consult on how to effectively map out a content matrix both for SEO and for optimal nurturing of leads to final conversion transactions.

My approach is customer-centric and involves detailed discovery and user testing along with a hybrid of emotional targeting psychology and data analytics to drive/inform strategy.


Erin Everhart, Sr. Manager, Commerce Marketing at The Home Depot
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • CRO
  • SEO
  • Mobile marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Advertising

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, SMX, Digital Summit, Media Post, Advanced Search Summit

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land

Hobby: live music and tennis

Favorite food: Thai food

As a child I wanted to be: Music journalist

Describe your job in 3 words: Building advertising platform

I’m currently working on: We are building The Home Depot’s retail advertising business, allowing our brands great opportunity to reach the best in-market home improvement shoppers.


Marcela De Vivo, CEO of Gryffin
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Marketing automation
  • Digital PR
  • Growth marketing
  • SMM
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, Digital Summit, Pubcon, others

Blogs I contributed to: SearchEngineWatch, ClickZ, Forbes, others

Hobby: Reading

Favorite food: Spicy Tofu Soup

As a child I wanted to be: A writer

Describe your job in 3 words: Engaging

I’m currently working on: Launching the most advanced workflow automation and project management software with artificial intelligence, full customization, to improve productivity.


Andrea Vahl, Owner of Andrea Vahl Inc
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Advertising
  • SMM
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Marketing Prof’s B2B Marketing Forum, New Media Expo, SMX, New Media Europe, BlogWorld, Social Media Marketing World every year 2013 through 2019, E-Aruba 2018, TBEX Europe 2018

Blogs I contributed to: Copyblogger, SMexaminer, various one time posts other places

Hobby: Standup Comedy

Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies

As a child I wanted to be: Carol Burnett

Describe your job in 3 words: Fun, challenging, ever-changing

I’m currently working on: I just finished my brand new book that I’m really proud of Facebook Ads Made Simple (on Amazon now)


Cindy Krum, CEO & Founder of MobileMoxie
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Mobile marketing
  • ASO (App SEO)

Conferences I spoke at: Too many to list!

Blogs I contributed to: MobileMoxie Blog

Hobby: Playing with my dog!

Favorite food: Chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: A Marketing Executive

Describe your job in 3 words: Figure out Google.

I’m currently working on: We are working hard to market our awesome Mobile SERP test and other tools that let you see what actual search results look like on actual phones from specific addresses, anywhere in the world.

It is great because you can test one keyword from many locations all at once with a CSV upload or test multiple points in a service area.

We also have a mobile page test tool and a fantastic ASO tool. We also have been doing a lot of writing about Mobile-First Indexing, languages, international search and #Fraggles.

We are also doing a lot to add video and audio to our website; with that goal in mind, I have also decided to try to record all the presentations that I give at a conference this year, and put them online – which has proved to be a serious commitment, but lots of fun! 😉


Ellie Mirman, CMO at Cryon
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • CRO
  • Growth marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Inbound marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Recent and upcoming events include: INBOUND, High Five Conference, Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, Digital Growth Unleashed, Digital Summit, Unbounce CTAConf, Content Marketing World, B2B Marketing Exchange, SEMpdx Engage, Product Marketing Community Conference, MAICON

Blogs I contributed to: Crayon primarily but have also written for HubSpot, Thrive Global, Entrepreneur, IMPACT bnd

Hobby: any form of art

Favorite food: chocolate covered almonds

As a child I wanted to be: a cartoonist or book illustrator

Describe your job in 3 words: startup marketing leadership

I’m currently working on: I’m currently leading marketing at Crayon, a software-driven market and competitive intelligence company based in Boston. You can find me blogging and speaking about anything from competitive intelligence strategies to sales and marketing alignment to marketing analytics.


Ann Smarty, Founder of Viral Content Bee
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon Las Vegas, Pubcon Florida

Blogs I contributed to: Searchenginewatch.com

Hobby: Skiing, cooking

Favorite food: Oysters

As a child I wanted to be: veterinary physician

Describe your job in 3 words: Community management enthusiast

I’m currently working on: I am building a community where your current status or friendship don’t matter. I want any person to be able to get heard and get shared. I think this is the most important aspect of VCB


Nadya Khoja, Chief Growth Officer at Venngage
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, Inbound, Content Marketing Conference, Digital Summit Series, Content Marketing World and many others.

Blogs I contributed to: A lot… some in the past have included TNW, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Marketing Profs, Crazy Egg, etc.

Hobby: Searching new cities for underground speakeasy bars.

Favorite food: All of it- but lately eastern asian cuisine (korean specifically) is what I’m craving.

As a child I wanted to be: A lot of different things- but often it would circle around “Inventor” or “Entrepreneur”

Describe your job in 3 words: Fun with a high bar (I know it’s more than 3 words)- alternatively: Strategy, Data, Visuals

I’m currently working on: Building out a long-term strategy for dominance in visual communication- but also building a really cool presentation tool and making a better user experience on Venngage!


Lexi Mills, Managing Partner at Shift6 Global
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Mozcon, Brighton SEO, Inbounder, Learn Inbound, Turing festival, MNSearch, Tedx, Digital 3XE, SMXL, Search Love, UpNext, Verve Outreach conference

Blogs I contributed to: Econsultancy

Hobby: Swimming, Art Galleries, Immersive theatre

Favorite food: Grilled cheese

As a child I wanted to be: Fairy

Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, unlimited, stimulating

I’m currently working on: We do loads of exciting PR work as well as researching how digital activity footprints can be used to help mental health issues


Julie Ewald, CEO of Impressa Solutions LLC
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content marketing
  • Marketing automation

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, SXSW, Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

Blogs I contributed to: Pitchbox, MailMunch, Shutterstock

Hobby: Travel

Favorite food: All the food

As a child I wanted to be: a writer

Describe your job in 3 words: Strategist and solver

I’m currently working on: A book on the new agency model, and a complete re-brand of my agency


Alice Li, Principal Email Engineer at Litmus
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Email marketing
  • Web development

Conferences I spoke at: Email Evolution Conference 2017, Litmus Live Boston 2017, Litmus Live Boston 2018

Blogs I contributed to: Litmus, Shutterstock

Hobby: Drawing/painting illustrations and fine art

Favorite food: Seafood

As a child I wanted to be: Artist

Describe your job in 3 words: Writing Email code

I’m currently working on: Secrets 😉


Goldie Chan, Founder of Warm Robots
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: SXSW, VidCon, SMMW, Social Media Week

Blogs I contributed to: Forbes

Hobby: Cosplay, coffee and anything Disney or Harry Potter-related!

Favorite food: Steak and french fries.

As a child I wanted to be: A teacher

Describe your job in 3 words: Oprah of LinkedIn

I’m currently working on: I’m currently working on promoting women and people of color in both my LinkedIn video channel as well as my Forbes column. There are so many beautiful entrepreneurial stories to share!


Kaleigh Moore, Owner of Lumen
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Content Marketing

Blogs I contributed to: Copyhackers, ConversionXL, BigCommerce, HubSpot

Hobby: reading, yoga

Favorite food: pizza!

As a child I wanted to be: a writer 🙂 or work for NASA

Describe your job in 3 words: educational blog content

I’m currently working on: creativeclass.co with Paul Jarvis (a course for freelancers!)


Heather Pysioc, Group Director of Discoverability at VMLY&R
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, SearchLove, BrightonSEO, , PRSA, TEDxWomen KC, SEMPO, KCSEMA, WordCamp

Blogs I contributed to: Moz.com

Hobby: traveling and writing about it

Favorite food: like, all of it. But DONUTS!

As a child I wanted to be: a writer

Describe your job in 3 words: Maximizing search professionals

I’m currently working on: I am always looking for a good problem to solve. As my agency has gone through a number of mergers recently, my focus is heavily on how to integrate and maximize very smart search and content professionals. I am also digging into the globalization of our discoverability practice to help it scale internationally.


Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, B2B SaaS Consultant
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • SMM
  • CRO
  • Growth marketing
  • Customer Success
  • CX
  • Product Managemen

Conferences I spoke at: I do online summits.

Blogs I contributed to: B2B SaaS blogs

Hobby: Amateur photography, mixed-media art, Scrabble, communities

Favorite food: Sushi

As a child I wanted to be: A Scientist.

Describe your job in 3 words: B2B SaaS Consultant

I’m currently working on: SaaS Growth E-book


Talia Wolf, Founder & Chief Optimizer at GetUplift
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • CRO
  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Mozcon, Conversions at Google, CXL Live, Search Love, Unbounce and many more

Blogs I contributed to: GetUplift.co, copyhackers, invision, moz, social media examiner and more

Hobby: Skydiving

Favorite food: Pizza of course

As a child I wanted to be: An astronaut

Describe your job in 3 words: Customer-centric conversion optimization

I’m currently working on: Helping high-growth companies optimize their websites and funnels and create experiences people LOVE to convert to.

We’re re-opening enrollment for our flagship course: Emotion Sells that teaches people how to use emotion and persuasion to increase their conversions. And of course, working on our weekly free workshops for our subscribers


Justine Jordan, CMO at Help Scout
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, Unbounce CTA Conference, SearchLove, Digital Summit, Salesforce Connections, Litmus Live, Marketing United, many others…

Blogs I contributed to: Litmus, Help Scout, quoted in many others.

Hobby: Scuba diving

Favorite food: Mac and cheese

As a child I wanted to be: a teacher

Describe your job in 3 words: Expanding brand awareness

I’m currently working on: Help Scout is working to empower customer-centric businesses with tools that serve people in the most human, helpful way.

For example, Beacon (Help Scout’s live chat product) sets the right expectation with visitors by only showing a chat option when someone is available to help.

It also allows you to customize the visitor experience with options (called “Modes”) to prioritize a self-service approach (and thereby deflecting the need for live support), a live chat approach (for teams that want to emphasize customer chat), and a neutral mode that offers both options side-by-side.


Alexandra Hubley, Marketing Manager at CXL Institute
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Product marketing
  • Full-funnel campaign strategy
  • Customer marketing

Conferences I spoke at: CTA Conf, Interact, Pulse, SearchLove, CXL Live, Digital Elite Camp, Learn Inbound (coming up), probably others that I’m forgetting!

Blogs I contributed to: CXL, Unbounce, Mention, Hubspot

Hobby: Soccer (I play 3-4 nights a week), playing pop songs on my guitar, making brunch

Favorite food: My favorite food item is a potato. 🙂

As a child I wanted to be: Famous.

Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, challenging, amazing…

I’m currently working on: At CXL Institute, we’re building programs and courses in digital marketing, optimization and analytics for anyone interested in upskilling themselves or their teams. All courses are taught only by the top 1% practitioners who teach you their tips and strategies so you can learn from the best (and become one of them).


Ashley Berman Hale, Technical SEO Lead at DeepCrawl
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: SMX East, SMX Munich, Moz Local, NgAtl, etc.

Blogs I contributed to: DeepCrawl blog

Hobby: Roller derby

Favorite food: Tacos

As a child I wanted to be: Tall

Describe your job in 3 words: Solving tough problems

I’m currently working on: Consulting for DeepCrawl’s incredible clients, connecting the SEO & Developer communities, learning All The Things


Renee Thompson, Sr. Director Conversion Optimization at TechTarget
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • CRO

Conferences I spoke at: CXL Live, Optimizely roadshows

Blogs I contributed to: CXL

Hobby: wine, Netflix, my kids

Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies

As a child I wanted to be: Lawyer

Describe your job in 3 words: Finding new avenues

I’m currently working on: Finding creative ways to get our users to register with us across our 80+ websites, given the fact that we’ve removed the main registration interactions from most of the pages (due to organic traffic challenges).

Also finding creative ways of getting ‘second clicks’ from our audience, working in personalization, content marketing and UX tests.


Colleen Harris, Product Manager for Digital Strategy and Reporting at CDK Global
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SMX Advanced, Digital Summit, Driving Sales

Blogs I contributed to: CDK Global blog

Hobby: Cross stitch and star wars

Favorite food: Pizza

As a child I wanted to be: Fozzie the Bear

Describe your job in 3 words: Digital storyteller

I’m currently working on: Working on a study around how once your website hits a certain level or mobile traffic the form pages convert better for phone calls.


Els Aerts, Co-founder and managing partner at AGConsult
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: YoastCon, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 2019 / Unbounce’s CTA Conference, Vancouver, Canada – 2018 / Conversion Jam, Oslo, Norway, 2018 / Conversion Jam, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018 / CXL Live, Austin, USA – 2018 / Digital Elite Camp, Tallinn, Estonia – 2018 / Microsoft One Analyst, Seattle, USA – 2018 / Conversion Hotel, Texel, the Netherlands – 2017 / Digital Elite Camp, Tallinn, Estonia – 2017 / Webbdagarna, Stockholm, Sweden – 2017 / Conversion Conference, Berlin, Germany – 2016 / Conversion Conference, London, UK – 2016

Hobby: Relaxing with my husband and friends, eating good food.

Favorite food: Couldn’t possibly choose just one thing.

As a child I wanted to be: A lawyer. On TV it looked like all they did was talk. And I was pretty good at talking so I thought: I could do that!

Describe your job in 3 words: Fulfilling. Challenging. Fun.

I’m currently working on: I’m working on my new talk for this year: The Lost Art of Asking Questions.


Stephanie Briggs, Partner at Briggsby
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, FeverBee Sprint, SMX London

Blogs I contributed to: Briggsby blog

Hobby: Painting, hiking

Favorite food: Pasta

As a child I wanted to be: A broadcast journalist

Describe your job in 3 words: Getting SEO done

I’m currently working on: Right now I’m working growing my network in Portland.


Lily Ray, SEO Director at Path Interactive
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • Mobile marketing
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SMX West, Botify Connect, Brighton SEO (upcoming)

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land, Moz (upcoming), Yext, Path Interactive, Stella Rising

Hobby: DJ, drummer, fitness

Favorite food: Healthy food

As a child I wanted to be: Drummer

Describe your job in 3 words: Challenging, exhilarating, rewarding

I’m currently working on: I am analyzing 100 websites to see how E-A-T played into effects of algorithm updates. Also analyzing how Google users feel about recent updates by Google.


Alexis Sanders, SEO Manager at Merkle
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, SMX West/East/Advanced, BrightonSEO, FoundConf, OHGMcon3

Blogs I contributed to: Moz, SEL, Raven Tools, OnCrawl blog, with small contributions here and there

Hobby: drawing, learning random things (currently tackling math… and android app programming), reading, seeing architecture/art, cooking, reading

Favorite food: my moms chicken and dumplings (grandma’s recipe)

As a child I wanted to be: artist

Describe your job in 3 words: supporting others’ success

I’m currently working on: Learning math (calc 2 and discrete math), programming skills, becoming a better public speaker and storyteller, just started recording an eCommerce SEO podcast (for launch in April), I also really want to start a web comic (but am still a bit tentative).


Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Advertising

Conferences I spoke at: Hero Conf London, Swivel, SLCSEM, Digital Olympus, Women Who Mean Business, Social Media Online Summit, Wake Up Paso, Paid Traffic Conference, Templeton Women In Business
Blogs I contributed to: AKvertise, SEMrush, KoMarketing, Marketing Land, WordSteam, Clix Marketing, Swydo, adStage

Hobby: Painting and hiking

Favorite food: Sauce

As a child I wanted to be: an Archeologist

Describe your job in 3 words: Creative, innovative, rewarding.

I’m currently working on: An updated version of my ebook: The Small Business Guide to Facebook Ads.


Judith Lewis, Founder and CEO of Decabbit Consultancy
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • SMM
  • Growth marketing
  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: InOrbit, SES, SMX, LAC, DigitalZone, UnGagged, IWINETC, DWCC, Traverse, Pubcon, Wine in Moderation, Search Elite, Britmums, BrightonSEO and more

Hobby: Chocolate, Wine, Japanese Animation, Travel Blogging

Favorite food: Chocolate… Wine… Errrrr….

As a child I wanted to be: a lawyer

Describe your job in 3 words: Kickass Rockstar Awesomeness

I’m currently working on: I am currently deep in a few consultancy projects helping a few B2B and a B2C company change their digital marketing and get it working more efficiently, eventually leading to me leaving them with a plan going forwards.

I’m also working with a team of amazing SEOs to update the Econsultancy best practice guide to SEO, I teach courses on advances SEO, PPC and one on social media marketing (plus I do bespoke ones) and generally running around speaking at conferences and judging chocolate.

I’m also doing a weekly podcast and webcast with David Bain for SEMRush called Marketing Scoop!


Amanda Webb, Owner of Spoderworking
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Janet Murray’s content Live, Social Media Summit, DMX Dublin, various industry specific events

Blogs I contributed to: My own, social media examiner, AgoraPulse, razorsocial, John Loomer

Hobby: Cats, Dr who, travel

Favorite food: Noodles

As a child I wanted to be: A TV presenter

Describe your job in 3 words: I love it

I’m currently working on: I have a speaker roll at Social Media Marketing World. I’m working on strategies to get the most traction possible from this experience


Kelsey Jones, Founder of Six Stories
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, State of Search, Digital Olympus ;), SEJ Summit, SMX East

Blogs I contributed to: Salesforce Canada, Woobox, Copypress, KoMarketing

Hobby: doing hard HIIT workouts, reading

Favorite food: Mexican

As a child I wanted to be: an author

Describe your job in 3 words: lots of writing

I’m currently working on: I have been doing speaking engagements and training with Digital Marketing Institute and Grand Canyon University, and in 2019 I’d like to do more content strategy and writing projects.


SEO Jo Blogs, Marketing Manager at OnTheGoSystems
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: BrightonSEO, SES New York, BritMums Live, Digital Olympus, Search LDN

Blogs I contributed to: State of Digital and Digital Elite

Hobby: beach volleyball, cross fit, attempting half marathons, blogging on my travel blog and spending time with friends and family

Favorite food: Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and sweetcorn

As a child I wanted to be: A businessman

Describe your job in 3 words: Product Marketing Manager

I’m currently working on: I am the organizer of Search London, a meetup group in Central London. We just celebrated our 8th birthday in February.

I am the Marketing Manager at OnTheGoSystems, the company behind the WordPress plugins, WPML and Toolset. I am also an advisor for Digital Elite, the best SEO and CRO conference, taking place June 6, 2019.


Christine Gritmon, Social Media Strategist
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Inbound, Atomicon, Digital Women, Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Day Houston

Hobby: Home decor, beauty

Favorite food: Cheese

As a child I wanted to be: An artist

Describe your job in 3 words: Small business coach

I’m currently working on: Preparing for various speaking gigs and workshops (including the encore presentation of my How To Social content marketing webinar with Dorien Morin-Van Dam)


Selena Vidya, President & Head Consultant at Orthris
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Outreach

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon Vegas (multiple years and panels), Authority Intensive Copyblogger/Rainmaker), ROI, Digital Olympus, BlueGlass X, BlueGlass TPA

Blogs I contributed to: Moz, Search Engine Land

Hobby: Cars, writing, creating content, coffee (definitely counts), listening to true crime, reading, learning about the “unseen” world around us, film.

Favorite food: Tough question. It depends on my mood, but I really can’t go wrong with spicy as hell guacamole.

As a child I wanted to be: Inventor, writer and actor. Oh, and a horse trainer (which I briefly fulfilled)

Describe your job in 3 words: Gratifying, challenging, ever-changing.

I’m currently working on: A bunch of things. My podcast, PermissionLESS, can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and PermissionLESS.com.

I’m building a course focused on getting people in the right “action” mindset to kick ass in life and business (launching soon) along with supplementary products, I’ve been offering select spots for creative coaching (selenavidya.com/consulting) and something top secret that I really wish I could share right now but I can’t. 😉


Izzi Smith, SEO Manager at Sixt
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Conferences I spoke at: BrightonSEO, Campixx, Searchmetrics Summit, SEOkomm, International Search Summit, OMLIVE

Blogs I contributed to: Mainly contributions to expert roundups (e.g. on ContentKing, Rank Ranger, Searchmetrics blog) and Ryte Magazine.

Hobby: My main hobby is SEO, of course! But aside from that, my interests lie in gaming, film, beer, attending meet-ups and writing.

Favorite food: Dim Sum

As a child I wanted to be: A marine biologist, despite being a terrible swimmer.

Describe your job in 3 words: Being on fire.

I’m currently working on: Right now I’m having a blast working on my digital marketing podcast “The Izzi & Nils Show” with my best mate and CRO expert Nils Kattau.

I’m also preparing a number of slide decks for really awesome upcoming conferences this year (such as SMX Advanced, Digital Elite Day, BrightonSEO and more) on topics such as UX-driven SEO, large scale local SEO and SERP optimization.

When I get the chance, I also really want to start building up my personal website with educational and, hopefully, entertaining content on all things Search.


Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: MozCon, Pubcon, Search Marketing Expo, Affiliate Summit

As a child I wanted to be: She-Ra

Describe your job in 3 words: Strategy, consulting, leadership

I’m currently working on: Sourcing partners for content and SEO services


Stacey MacNaught, Founder of MacNaught Digital
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR

Conferences I spoke at: Mozcon, BrightonSEO, SearchLove, Friends of Search, Learn Inbound, SEODay, Digital Olympus, OUTReach Conference, PILive

Hobby: Walking, Travelling, Spending Time With Family

Favorite food: Steak!

As a child I wanted to be: A Nun. Really.

Describe your job in 3 words: Improve client revenues

I’m currently working on: I’m focussed on client work predominantly, delivering organic revenue growth for largely consumer brands. Preparing talks for Digital Olympus, Freelance Heroes Day and Digital Elite Day.


SEJ Contributors

Jenny Halasz, President of JLH Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Mobile marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Analytics

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, Ungagged, Pubcon, MN Search Summit, State of Search

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land

Hobby: playing video games

Favorite food: chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: A stage actor on Broadway

Describe your job in 3 words: challenging, powerful, beloved

I’m currently working on: Developing a framework to have open discussions about mental health awareness at conferences as part of educating fellow marketers and opening lines of communication to help each other.


Casie Gillette Senior Digital Marketing Director at KoMarketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, SearchLove, SMX, MozCon, Digital Growth Unleashed,

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land

Hobby: Travel

Favorite food: Pizza

As a child I wanted to be: Marine Biologist

Describe your job in 3 words: Create, Analyze, Repeat

I’m currently working on: KoMarketing Training Calendar


Aleyda Solis, International SEO consultant and Entrepreneur
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Conferences I spoke at: Inbound, Pubcon, BrightonSEO, Mozcon, SearchLove and many more!

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal

Hobby: To travel

Favorite food: Ramen Soup

As a child I wanted to be: An adult, to be able to do whatever I wanted 🙂

Describe your job in 3 words: Grow sites traffic

I’m currently working on: I’m currently working on: Besides doing SEO consultancy I’m also running Remoters.net – a remote work hub, with remote jobs listings, guides, interviews, tools, events and more!


Kristine Schachinger, Founder of Sites Without Walls
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • CRO
  • Advertising
  • Technical SEO

Conferences I spoke at: Ungagged US, Ungagged UK, Search Leeds, Engage, SMX Advanced, SMX West, Pubcon (Vegas, New Orleans, Austin, Hawaii), Engage, RITMC, HITMC, SXSWx, ClickZ/SES

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal (current) Past: Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, SEMPost, Search Engine Watch, Momentology, State of Digital,

Hobby: Photography, Singing, Dance, Irish Pubs.

Favorite food: Anything Italian

As a child I wanted to be: A Microbiologist, Artist, Performer

Describe your job in 3 words: Deep Forensic Dives

I’m currently working on: Currently, just finished a long term full time/onsite project with a top 20 retailer. Now moving back into site auditing and site recovery planning.

I stand between people getting hired or fired. If I do it well, the company will hire more people and if I don’t people will lose their jobs. I take that very seriously and so I really like the feeling of turning companies around by fixing their organic and conversion issues.

I’ve taken companies from red to black simply by implementing proper SEO and Digital Marketing Strategies, so that is where I like to live these days.


Shelley Walsh, Founder of ShellShock
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: BrightonSEO

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Cycling, swimming, hiking, reading

Favorite food: Steak

As a child I wanted to be: An artist

Describe your job in 3 words: Creative. Content. Communication.

I’m currently working on: Focusing the service we offer at ShellShock to content strategy and evergreen content production with a subscription for content reviews and updates.


Viola Eva, Founder and SEO Consultant at Flow SEO
LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SE

Conferences I spoke at: Ungagged Las Vegas, DMSS Conference, Search Marketing Summit Sydney

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Travel, fitness and yoga, mindfulness and psychology, painting

Favorite food: Eggs benedict and flat white

As a child I wanted to be: A writer/author

Describe your job in 3 words: Expansion. Joy. Flow.

I’m currently working on: Building customized SEO strategies for international brands. Working on my “conscious SEO for content creators” teaching materials.


Lisa Raehsler, SEM Strategy Consultant at Big Click Co
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SMM
  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Mobile marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, SES, SMX, HeroConf, MIMA, ClickZ, Zenith Conf, OMS

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Travel, yoga, DYI projects

Favorite food: Coffee

As a child I wanted to be: President

Describe your job in 3 words: Constantly evolving, challenging
I’m currently working on: Ramping up marketing for SEMPO @sempoglobal professional organization.


Miranda Miller, Digital Marketer at Miranda Miller & Co
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ

Hobby: Traveling as often as possible!

Favorite food: All the food.

As a child I wanted to be: A force of nature.

Describe your job in 3 words: Contractor, Consultant, Fixer

I’m currently working on: I help brands, agencies and other organizations design and execute content strategy and systems that work. I also offer digital marketing consulting and troubleshooting on an hourly basis via video chat, teach digital marketing classes locally, and am designing an SEO course for content creators that will be available online this summer.


Hannah McNaughton, Founder and CEO of Metric Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: I teach 4-hour SEO Workshops at the Digital Summit Series. 2018 I taught in Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit.

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Singing

Favorite food: Medium rare filet mignon

As a child I wanted to be: A singer

Describe your job in 3 words: Purposeful, impactful, ever-changing

I’m currently working on: We are launching a new profit sharing program in our company based on the “pirate’s code.” At the end of each quarter, 20% of our profit is distributed to the team. We all win together or lose together. (Here’s to hoping there’s a lot more winning than losing!)


Amy Bishop, Owner of Cultivative, LLC
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Advertising
  • Growth marketing
  • CRO
  • Analytics
  • Mobile marketing
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SMX East, SMX West, SMX Advanced, SMX Munich, HeroConf, Utah DMC, PDX Engage, State of Search. In addition to those, I will also be speaking at Digital Growth Unleashed, Brighton, and SMX Advanced Europe this year.

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal

Hobby: I love to travel and I love being outdoors.

Favorite food: Probably sushi or shrimp but that’s a tough call. I love food.

As a child I wanted to be: As a child, I wanted to be a fashion designer which is laughable because I pretty much live in jeans and tee shirts.

Describe your job in 3 words: Performance-driven marketing
I’m currently working on: My focus in 2019 is on growing and scaling my agency as well as our brand awareness.


Julie Joyce, Owner of Link Fish Media
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Link building

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: watching horror movies

Favorite food: cheese dip

As a child I wanted to be: A rockstar

Describe your job in 3 words: Never ever boring.

I’m currently working on: Revamping my SEMrush webinars.


Jessica Foster, SEO Content Strategist at Keys&Copy
LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Raven Tools

Hobby: Adventure travel

Favorite food: Pizza

As a child I wanted to be: An artist

Describe your job in 3 words: Free, challenging, compelling

I’m currently working on: Currently working on creating an SEO copy course for agencies and their writers


Abby Hamilton, Senior SEO Specialist at Merkle
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: SEO

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Skiing

Favorite food: Any combination of steak and seafood

As a child I wanted to be: When I was really young I used to say Britney Spears, that changed to a graphic designer as I got older and more realistic

Describe your job in 3 words: Optimizing, learning, evolving

I’m currently working on: My top areas of focus for 2019 are knowledge and sharing. As I continue to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind many of the technical aspects of SEO, through research and trial, I’m also looking for ways to continue to contribute to the already extensive knowledge base that exists within the SEO industry.


Elizabeth Marsten, Senior Director, eCommerce Growth Services at CommerceHub
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: Advertising

Conferences I spoke at: SMX Advanced, East and West, PPC Hero Con, Engage, Friends of Search, PPC Masters

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Kendo

Favorite food: Spaghetti

As a child I wanted to be: Paleontologist

Describe your job in 3 words: eCommerce advertising
I’m currently working on: Shopping Actions with Google, all things eCommerce and what does it all mean?!


Mindy Weinstein, CEO of Market MindShift
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Digital Summit, Pubcon, SMX and SEJ Summit

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal and Street Fight Mag

Hobby: Reading and hiking

Favorite food: All Italian food

As a child I wanted to be: A writer

Describe your job in 3 words: Digital marketing strategy

I’m currently working on: I’m working on my dissertation to complete my PhD program. I’m so close!


Dawn Anderson, Managing Director at Move It Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Mobile marketing
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, Mozcon, State of Digital, Brighton SEO, Ungagged London, Ungagged Las Vegas, SAScon, SEO & Love, Digital Growth Unleashed

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, Smart Insights, State of Digital

Hobby: Learning

Favorite food: Seabass

As a child I wanted to be: Secretary

Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, evolving, dynamic

I’m currently working on: Affiliate projects


Melissa Fach, Owner of SEO Aware
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon Vegas, Florida, Austin

Blogs I contributed to: SEMrush, AuthorityLabs, Copypress, SEJ

Hobby: Reading

Favorite food: Rice

As a child I wanted to be: Psychologist

Describe your job in 3 words: Amazing and fulfilling

I’m currently working on: I always work to market Pubcon and to help readers find helpful information at SEMrush.


Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism at Microsoft
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: AdWeek New York, Live Ramp 2019 Ramp Up, Marketing MasterMind, SMX (West, East), Mumbrella 360, PubCon, SEOktoberfest, DMEXCO, Friends of Search, MN Search, Digital Summit, Internet Summit Raleigh, Search Insider Summit, Retail Global, Digital Dealer, Trillium Auto Dealers Association, Yext Onward, etc.

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Click Z, PPC Hero, The Verge, Media Post, Mumbrella, MarketingProfs, Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur

Hobby: Chasing my Toddler; Running; Crossfit; Sewing/Knitting

Favorite food: Dim Sum

As a child I wanted to be: A hacker

Describe your job in 3 words: visible face of brand

I’m currently working on: One super huge project — I’m 33 weeks pregnant! So I’m working on developing a human. On the side, when I’m not nauseous I’m finishing up writing two white papers including one that is the first installment of Microsoft’s annual Voice Search Report and Consumer Adoption of Voice Enabled Technologies. 🙂


Katy Katz, Director of Account Strategy at Marketing Refresh
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Marketing automation
  • Advertising
  • CRO
  • Digital PR
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Mobile marketing
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, State of Search, Zenith, Social Media Breakfast, MnSearch, HIMA, SearchHOU, Rocks Digital

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, YouMoz, SEMrush, Business2Business

Hobby: Cooking

Favorite food: Cheese. I’m from Wisconsin!

As a child I wanted to be: Veterinarian

Describe your job in 3 words: All the Hats

I’m currently working on: I recently launched a sustainable sock company with my husband called swaggr. We make socks almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles. It’s been a ton of fun being on the “other side” of a passion project. We had a successful Indiegogo campaign and we’re live for e-commerce in March!


Jamie Alberico, SEO Product Owner at Arrow Electronics
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • Technical SEO

Conferences I spoke at: SearchCon, BrightonSEO, SearchLove, TechSEO Boost, Engage PDX

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ

Hobby: Dungeons and Dragons, travel, gardening, and illustration

Favorite food: diner breakfast food

As a child I wanted to be: a puppet fabricator at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

Describe your job in 3 words: Ready, set, go.

I’m currently working on: My deck for SMX Munich! I’ll be sharing on the technical foundations of successful internationalization. SMX be my seventh talk (fourth international) since I put my hat in the speaking ring last year.


Ashley Ward, CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist at Madhouse Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SMM
  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Digital PR
  • Content marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Mobile marketing
  • CRO
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon, BrightonSEO, SearchLove, Digital Summits, SMS Sydney, Content Marketing World

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, AuthorityLabs

Hobby: Offroading, camping, writing, cooking

Favorite food: Sushi and everything Italian

As a child I wanted to be: an Oceanographer

Describe your job in 3 words: Empowering, flexible, challenging

I’m currently working on: Currently working on growing my agency to offer more in-depth consulting and auditing services for social media marketing and content marketing for medium to large-sized businesses.


Jes Scholz, Chief Digital Officer at Ringier
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Marketing automation
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Advertising
  • SMM
  • Growth marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SearchLove, Friends of Search, SMX Munich, TuringFest, 3XE Digital, HeroConf, BrightonSEO

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, Moz, OnCrawl

Hobby: Lindy hop dancing

Favorite food: Swiss chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: A landscape gardener

Describe your job in 3 words: Maternity leave cuteness

I’m currently working on: Project Eli – aka my newborn boy. But when I get back, working on technical SEOing our WordPress news site with Gutenburg in mind.


Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor at Gyro
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: SMX Advanced, HeroConf, SLCSEM

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Playing music

Favorite food: Chocolate

As a child I wanted to be: Jane Pauley

Describe your job in 3 words: Busy but fun

I’m currently working on: Paid search and paid social for days


Debra Mastaler, Link building & content specialist at Alliance-Link
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, SES, DMA

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ, SEL

Hobby: gardening, hiking, museum hopping

Favorite food: Just about everything but olives and anything made with soy sauce.

As a child I wanted to be: I’m still trying to figure it out.

Describe your job in 3 words: ever-changing.

I’m currently working on: I am in the process of launching a new directory, stay tuned.


Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: Multiple WordCamps and other niche events

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ, Kinsta, BigCommerce, Sprout Social, and many more

Hobby: Reading! 52 books/year 🙂 learning how to ski by nature of living in colorado

Favorite food: I love to cook – but I can’t choose between healthy and unhealthy. A good balance of both!

As a child I wanted to be: The President. Now I’m sure I don’t.

Describe your job in 3 words: Creating useful content

I’m currently working on: A grant program for new freelancers! Sign up for my email newsletter to stay in the loop 🙂


Michelle Morgan, Director of Client Services at Clix Marketing
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, Pubcon, HeroConf, Engage, Utah DMC

Blogs I contributed to: Clix Marketing, Search Engine Journal, Wordstream, Unbounce

Hobby: Photography, LEGO

Favorite food: Anything spicy

As a child I wanted to be: Professional basketball player. Too bad I never got any taller…or better at basketball.

Describe your job in 3 words: Challenging, Rewarding, Ever-Changing

I’m currently working on: Right this moment, executing our strategy for a new SaaS client. Working through a large account restructure/expansion, while ensuring all conversion tracking and tagging are set up for long term success with both interface and CRM data points. Always love seeing all the pieces come together and have a huge impact on lead quantity and quality.


Frances Donegan-Ryan, Global Communities Manager at Microsoft
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Growth marketing
  • Diversity and Inclusion

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, Search Fest, Search Love, Engage, Janes of Digital, IAB, Bing Ads customer events, Marin

Blogs I contributed to: BingAds, Search Engine Journal , Search Engine Land, The Next Web, RetailMarketing, Small biz trends, Marketing Profs

Hobby: Wating Rugby – really sports of any kind, Shoe shopping, wine tasting, Opera and Ballet!

Favorite food: All the pasta

As a child I wanted to be: A lawyer

Describe your job in 3 words: entertaining, enriching, engaging

I’m currently working on: Getting advertisers to fall in love with Bing Ads and Microsoft Advertising. Making sure the industry has all the up-to-date info they need. Surpizing and delighting our global friends of Bing


Kameron Jenkins, Founder of Soapboxly and the SEO Wordsmith at Moz
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Analytics

Conferences I spoke at: This year marks my first foray into industry speaking events! I’m slated to speak at WordCamp Santa Clarita and SearchLove Boston. Other speaking/teaching (but not conferences) = several Moz WBF videos and slated for one of Siege Media’s Content & Conversation segments.

Blogs I contributed to: Moz, Search Engine Journal, LSA

Hobby: Baking, being outdoors, and any activity that involves spending time with my husband Chris and our black lab Bagel.

Favorite food: I’m a sucker for pastries.

As a child I wanted to be: A journalist or a vet (I still love words & animals, so I guess I haven’t changed much!)

Describe your job in 3 words: dynamic, challenging, strategic

I’m currently working on: I’m currently pouring my heart, soul, and most of my waking thoughts into Soapboxly. I’m all-in on making this the greatest content-focused marketing agency it possibly can be, and I can’t wait to see how we’re able to help our clients grow their businesses.


Chandal Nolasco da Silva, Content Director at Acquisio
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR
  • SEO

Conferences I spoke at: Host of Native Ads Conference and Panel at Google Montreal, frequent industry webinar speaker (AdAlysis, Hanapin Marketing, Page One Power etc), Has taught content marketing at Concordia University accelerator

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal (regularly), Marketing Profs, Convince and Convert, Crazy Egg, LSA Insider, SEMrush, Marketo

Hobby: Volunteering at a chimpanzee sanctuary, gardening, home design, Ru Paul’s Drag Race

Favorite food: Anything with rice noodles

As a child I wanted to be: Prime Minister

Describe your job in 3 words: Fun. Fortunate. Fabulous.

I’m currently working on: After Acquisio’s 2017 acquisition I’m currently transitioning to a role as Content Director at Web.com. This will mean elevating the Web.com brand through content marketing techniques and initiatives that speak to SMBs.

I’m stoked to ramp up organic traffic, external content collaborations and even develop an SEO-friendly strategy for YouTube! There is much to do and the marketing possibilities are broad, so it’s going to be an exciting year to come. Right now I’m doing the final QA on the new Acquisio website (check it out!).

Outside of this I’m proud to be Chair of the Acquisio Cares program, developing my PPC chops while helping non-profit organizations manage their Google advertising grants. Oh and I better start working on next quarter’s SEJ article 🙂


Kristi Kellogg, CEO and Founder of Dazzling Digital
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • SMM
  • Marketing automation
  • Analytics

Conferences I spoke at: Digital Growth Summit (Los Angeles); SocialPro (Seattle); Social Media Week (Los Angeles).

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal (Outside of digital marketing blogs, I also write for Brides, Allure, Glamour, Vogue, Teen Vogue and Epicurious).

Hobby: Dancing, fitness and home decorating.

Favorite food: Mediterranean food.

As a child I wanted to be: A writer or an actress

Describe your job in 3 words: Challenging, rewarding and limitless.


Julia McCoy, CEO of Express Writers
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Growth marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO

Conferences I spoke at: CMWorld 2019 (upcoming!)

Blogs I contributed to: Search Engine Journal, Thrive, Content Marketing Institute, MarTech, The Content Advisory

Hobby: Playing the harp, baking Paleo recipes and meals!

Favorite food: Farm-sourced plant-based meals. Soooo good

As a child I wanted to be: Someone who ‘helps’ people, a leader, a creator. I thought that was a ‘nurse’ when I was little, but it turned out to be an agency CEO and content marketer instead!

Describe your job in 3 words: Fun, challenging, alive

I’m currently working on: I’m launching a new brand in April, 2019! I can’t say much about it, but it will be my third business (my first two are Express Writers & The Content Strategy & Marketing Course). I’m SO excited to reveal my new brand to the public soon!


Navah Hopkins, Services Innovation Strategist at WordStream
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Growth marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Advertising
  • CRO

Conferences I spoke at: PubCon, SMX, Search Marketing Summit, State of Search, Digital Olympus, Google Customer Events, SFIMA, SearchHou, Inbound+ Innovation Women Pop Up

Blogs I contributed to: WordStream, SEJ, SEMrush

Hobby: Gaming, cooking, pet mom, dancing, reading

Favorite food: Chicken Wings and carrots

As a child I wanted to be: An English teacher or a chef

Describe your job in 3 words: Empowering, innovative, pragmatic

I’m currently working on: My work revolves around empowering advertisers and agencies alike to get the most out of their accounts. Sometimes that means a deep dive into their accounts, but in many cases it’s a process conversation – helping them see new paths to profit and how to prioritize.

I take the intelligence from these conversations back to the customer success, product, and marketing teams at WordStream so we can evolve our offerings to better suit the needs of our customers.

I’m also able to pull data across the entire book to inform studies for speaking engagements (quality score, close variants, automation, etc.). I’ve also been volunteering at local universities to teach students “real world” marketing skills.


Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Growth marketing
  • Digital PR
  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Influence Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: SMX, BrightonSEO, Ungagged, Pubcon

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ, SMExaminer, SEMrush

Hobby: cooking

Favorite food: steak

As a child I wanted to be: a doctor

Describe your job in 3 words: freedom, connections, teamwork

I’m currently working on: making SEMrush the most recognisable software brand in the world 🙂


Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • Mobile marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Advertising

Conferences I spoke at: INBOUND, The Next Web Conference, AdWeek, MozCon, SearchLove, Pubcon, SMX, BrightonSEO, State of Search, Digital Summit etc.

Blogs I contributed to: Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal

Hobby: Travel. I love it!

Favorite food: Indian street food, Turkish, Thai

As a child I wanted to be: a vet and take care of all the homeless dogs in the world.

Describe your job in 3 words: Exciting, ever-changing, fulfilling

I’m currently working on: A research piece into how we can better optimize the Customer Experience across our marketing channels, and with the help of AI.


Shelly Fagin, SEO & Community Manager at Highly Searched & SEMrush
Twitter | LinkedIn

Areas of expertise:

  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • Content Marketing

Conferences I spoke at: Pubcon Pro, Florida & Austin, HIMA Disrupt

Blogs I contributed to: SEJ

Hobby: Coding

Favorite food: Steak

As a child I wanted to be: Actress & Singer

Describe your job in 3 words: A Lead Generator

I’m currently working on: I’m about to launch a new company. It’s a development & SEO Agency specifically for Bloggers.

I’ve had the opportunity this past year to work with a lot of successful Food bloggers and helping them increase their rankings, page views and ad revenue has been such an amazing experience.

I’m looking forward to utilizing my knowledge & skills that I’ve used for over a decade with local business clients and apply them to an incredible niche!





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WordPress

Why & How to Tackle Technical SEO Before Link Building

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Why & How to Tackle Technical SEO Before Link Building


When you consider a link building campaign, you may not be completely reaping the benefits of your SEO efforts if you ignore technical SEO.

The best results happen when you consider all the points of your website’s SEO:

In fact, there are situations when you must tackle technical SEO before ever thinking about getting links.

If your website is weak in technical SEO areas, or extremely confusing for search engines, it won’t perform as well regardless of the quality and quantity of backlinks you have.

Your top goals with technical SEO is to make sure that your site is:

  • Easily crawled by search engines.
  • Has top cross-platform compatibility.
  • Loads quickly on both desktop and mobile.
  • Employs efficient implementation of WordPress plugins.
  • Does not have any issues with misconfigured Google Analytics code.

These five points illustrate why it’s important to tackle technical SEO before link building.

If your site is unable to be crawled or is otherwise deficient in technical SEO best practices, you may suffer from poor site performance.

The following chapter discusses why and how you should be tackling technical SEO before starting a link building campaign.

Make Sure Your Site is Easily Crawled by Search Engines

Your HTTPS Secure Implementation

If you have recently made the jump to an HTTPS secure implementation, you may not have had the chance to audit or otherwise identify issues with your secure certificate installation.

A surface-level audit at the outset can help you identify any major issues affecting your transition to HTTPS.

Major issues can arise later on when the purchase of the SSL certificate did not initially take into account what the site would be doing later.

One thing to keep in mind is that you must take great care in purchasing your certificate and making sure it covers all the subdomains you want it to.

If you don’t, you may end up with some issues as a result, such as not being able to redirect URLs.

If you don’t get a full wildcard certificate, and you have URL parameters on a subdomain – using absolute URLs – that your certificate doesn’t cover, you won’t be able to redirect those URLs to https://.

This is why it pays to be mindful of the options you choose during the purchase of your SSL certificate because it can negatively affect your site later.

No Errant Redirects or Too Many Redirects Bogging Down Site Performance

It’s easy to create an HTTPS secure implementation with errant redirects.

For this reason, an eagle eye’s view of the site’s current redirect states will be helpful in correcting this issue.

It can also be easy to create conflicting redirects if you don’t keep watch on the redirects you are creating.

In addition, it’s easy to let redirects run out of control and lead to tens or many more redirects per site URL, in turn, leads to bogging down site performance.

The easiest way to fix this issue moving forward: make sure that your redirects are all created in a 1:1 ratio.

You should not have 10-15 or more redirect URLs per URL on your site.

If you do, something is seriously wrong.

Example of correct redirects

Content on HTTPS & HTTP URLs Should Not Load at the Same Time

The correct implementation is that one should redirect to the other, not both.

If you have both of them loading at the same time, something is wrong with the secure version of your site.

If you type in your site’s URLs into your browser, try and test https:// and http:// separately.

If both URLs load, you are displaying two versions of your content, and duplicate URLs can lead to duplicate content issues.

To make sure that you do not run into this issue again, you will want to do one of the following, depending on your site’s platform:

  • Create a full redirect pattern in HTACCESS (on Apache / CPanel servers)
  • Use a redirect plugin in WordPress to force the redirects from http://

Instead, this is an example of exactly what we want to display to users and search engines:

How to Create Redirects in htaccess on Apache / Cpanel Servers

You can perform global redirects at the server level in .htaccess on Apache / CPanel servers.

Inmotionhosting has a great tutorial on how to force this redirect on your own web host. But, for our purposes, we’ll focus on the following ones.

To force all web traffic to use HTTPS, this is the following code you will want to use.

You want to make sure to add this code above any code that has a similar prefix (RewriteEngine On, RewriteCond, etc.)

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+..+.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}.txt(?: Comodo DCV)?$
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

If you want to redirect only a specified domain, you will want to use the following lines of code in your htaccess file:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+..+.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}.txt(?: Comodo DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Don’t forget to change any URLs in the above examples to what is the correct implementation on your domain name.

There are other solutions in that tutorial which may work for your site.

WARNING: if you do not have confidence in your abilities to make the correct changes at the server level on your server, please make sure to have your server company/IT person perform these fixes for you.

You can screw up something major with these types of redirects if you do not know exactly what you are doing.

Secure Site redirect plugin

Use a Plugin If You Are Operating a WordPress Site

The easiest way to fix these redirect issues, especially if you operate a WordPress site, is to just use a plugin.

There are many plugins that can force http:// to https:// redirects but here are a few that will help make this process as painless as possible:

Caution about plugins – don’t just add another plugin if you’re already using too many plugins.

You may want to investigate if your server can use similar redirect rules mentioned above (such as if you are using an NGINX-based server).

It must be stated here: plugin weight can affect site speed negatively, so don’t always assume that the latest plugin will help you.

All Links On-site Should Be Changed From HTTP:// To HTTPS://

Even if you perform the redirects above, you should perform this step.

This is especially true if you are using absolute URLs, as opposed to relative URLs, where the former always displays the hypertext transfer protocol that you’re using.

If you are using the latter, this is less important and you probably don’t need to pay much attention to this.

Why do you need to change links on-site when you are using absolute URLs?

Because Google can and will crawl all of those links and this can result in duplicate content issues.

It seems like a waste of time, but it’s really not. You are making sure the end result is that Google sees exactly the site you want them to see.

One version.

One set of URLs.

One set of content.

No confusion.

Examples of links that should be changed from http:// to https://

No 404s From HTTP:// To HTTPS:// Transitions

A sudden spike in 404s can make your site almost impossible to crawl, especially if the links between http:// and https:// pages exist.

Difficulty crawling a site is one of the most common issues that can result from a spike in 404s.

Also, crawl budget wasted due to too many 404s showing up, and Google not finding pages that it should.

Why this impacts site performance, and why it matters:

While John Mueller of Google mentions that crawl budget doesn’t matter except for extremely large sites:

“Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that he believes that crawl budget optimization is overrated in his mind. He said for most sites, it doesn’t make a difference and that it only can help really massive sites.

John wrote “IMO crawl-budget is over-rated.” “Most sites never need to worry about this. It’s an interesting topic, and if you’re crawling the web or running a multi-billion-URL site, it’s important, but for the average site owner less so,” he added.”

A great article by Yauhen Khutarniuk, Head of SEO at SEO PowerSuite, puts this perfectly:

“Quite logically, you should be concerned with crawl budget because you want Google to discover as many of your site’s important pages as possible. You also want it to find new content on your site quickly. The bigger your crawl budget (and the smarter your management of it), the faster this will happen.”

It’s important to optimize for crawl budget because finding new content on your site quickly should be the priority, while discovering as many of your site’s high priority pages as possible.

How to Fix Any 404s You May Have

Primarily, you want to redirect any 404s from the old URL to the new, existing URL.

Check out Benj Arriola’s Search Engine Journal article for more information on 404s vs. soft 404s, and how to fix them.

One of the easier ways, especially if you have a WordPress site, would be to crawl the site with Screaming Frog and perform a bulk upload of your 301 redirect rules using the Redirection WordPress plugin.

Otherwise, you may have to create redirect rules in .htaccess.

Your URL Structure Should Not Be Overly Complex

The structure of your URLs is an important consideration when getting your site ready for technical SEO.

You must pay attention to things like randomly generating dynamic parameters that are being indexed, URLs that are not easy to understand, and other factors that will cause issues with your technical SEO implementation.

These are all important factors because they can lead to indexation issues that will hurt your site’s performance.

More Human-Readable URLs

When you create URLs, you likely think about where the content is going, and then you create URLs automatically.

This can hurt you, however.

The reason why is because automatically generated URLs can follow a few different formats, none of which are very human-readable.

For example:

  • /content/date/time/keyword
  • /content/date/time/string-of-numbers
  • /content/category/date/time/
  • /content/category/date/time/parameters/

None of these formats that you encounter are very human readable, are they?

The reason why it’s important is that communicating the content behind the URL properly is a large part of user intent.

It’s even more important today also because of accessibility reasons.

The more readable your URLs are, the better:

  • Search engines can use these to determine exactly how people are engaging with those URLs vs. those who are not engaging with those URLs.
  • If someone sees your URL in the search results, they may be more apt to click on it because of the fact that they will see exactly how much that URL matches what they are searching for. In short – match that user search intent, and you’ve got another customer.
  • This is why considering this part of URL structure is so important when you are auditing a site.

Many existing sites may be using outdated or confusing URL structures, leading to poor user engagement.

Identifying which URLs can be more human readable can create better user engagement across your site.

Duplicate URLs

One important technical SEO consideration that should be ironed out before any link building is duplicate content.

When it comes to duplicate content issues, these are the main causes:

  • Content that is significantly duplicated across sections of the website.
  • Scraped content from other websites.
  • Duplicate URLs where only one piece of content exists.

This can hurt because it does confuse search engines when more than one URL represents one piece of content.

Search engines will rarely show the same piece of content twice, and not paying attention to duplicate URLs dilutes their ability to find and serve up each duplicate.

Avoid Using Dynamic Parameters

While dynamic parameters are, in and of themselves, not a problem from an SEO perspective, if you cannot manage your creation of them, and get consistent in their use, this can become a significant problem later.

Jes Scholz has an amazing article on Search Engine Journal covering the basics of dynamic parameters and URL handling and how it can affect SEO. If you are not familiar with dynamic parameters, I suggest reading her article ASAP before proceeding with the rest of this section.

Scholz explains that parameters are used for the following purposes:

  • Tracking
  • Reordering
  • Filtering
  • Identifying
  • Pagination
  • Searching
  • Translating

When you get to the point that your URL’s dynamic parameters are causing a problem, it usually comes down to basic mismanagement of the creation of these URLs.

In the case of tracking, using many different dynamic parameters when creating links that search engines crawl.

In the case of reordering, using these different dynamic parameters to reorder lists and groups of items that then create indexable duplicate pages that search engines then crawl.

You can inadvertently trigger excessive duplicate content issues if you don’t keep your dynamic parameters to a manageable level.

You should never need 50 URLs with UTM parameters to track the results of certain types of campaigns.

The creation of these dynamic URLs for one piece of content can really add up over time if you aren’t carefully managing their creation and will dilute the quality of your content along with its capability to perform in search engine results.

It leads to keyword cannibalization and on a large enough scale can severely impact your ability to compete.

Shorter URLs Are Better Than Longer URLs

A long-held SEO best practice has been shorter URLs are better than longer URLs.

Google’s John Mueller has discussed this:

“What definitely plays a role here is when we have two URLs that have the same content, and we try to pick one to show in the search results, we will pick the short one. So that is specifically around canonicalization.

It doesn’t mean it is a ranking factor, but it means if we have two URLs and one is really short and sweet and this other one has this long parameter attached to it and we know they show exactly the same content we will try to pick the shorter one.

There are lots of exceptions there, different factors that come into play, but everything else being equal – you have a shorter one and a longer one, we will try to pick the shorter one.”

There is also empirical evidence that shows that Google ranks shorter URLs for more terms, rather than long and specific.

If your site contains super long URLs everywhere, you may want to optimize them into better, shorter URLs that better reflect the article’s topic and user intent.

Examples of overly complex URLs

Make Sure Your Site Has Top Cross-Platform Compatibility & Fast Page Speed

Site glitches and other problems can arise when your site is not coded correctly.

These glitches can result from badly-nested DIV tags resulting in a glitched layout, code with bad syntax resulting in call-to-action elements disappearing, and bad site management resulting in the careless implementation of on-page elements.

Cross-platform compatibility can be affected along with page speed, resulting in greatly reduced performance and user engagement, long before link building ever becomes a consideration.

Nip some of these issues in the bud before they become major problems later.

Many of these technical SEO issues come down to poor site management and poor coding.

The more that you tackle these technical SEO issues at the beginning with more consistent development and website management best practices, the better off you’ll be later when your link building campaign takes off.

Poorly Coded Site Design

When you have a poorly coded site design, your user experience and engagement can suffer and will be adversely affected.

This is yet another element of technical SEO that can be easily overlooked.

A poorly coded site design can manifest in several ways with:

  • Poor page speed.
  • Glitches in the design appearing on different platforms.
  • Forms not working where they should (impacting conversions).
  • Any other call to actions not working on mobile devices (and desktop).
  • Any tracking code that’s not being accurately monitored (leading to poor choices in your SEO decision-making).

Any of these issues can spell disaster for your site when it can’t properly report on, capture leads, or engage with users to its fullest potential.

This is why these things should always be considered and tackled on-site before moving to link building.

If you don’t, you may wind up with weaknesses in your marketing campaigns that will be even harder to pin down, or worse – you may never find them.

All of these elements of a site design must be addressed and otherwise examined to make sure that they are not causing any major issues with your SEO.

Pages Are Slow to Load

Since July 2018, Google rolled out page speed as a ranking factor in its mobile algorithm to all users.

Slow loading pages can affect everything, so it’s something that you should pay attention to on an ongoing basis, and not just for rankings.

But for all of your users also.

What should you be on the lookout for when it comes to issues that impact page speed?

Slow Loading Images

If your site has many images approaching 1 MB (1 megabyte) in file size, you have a problem.

As the average internet connection speed approaches over 27.22 Mbps download on mobile, and fixed broadband approaches over 59.60 Mbps download, realistically, this becomes less of an issue, but can still be an issue.

You will still face slower loading pages when you have such large images on your site. If you use a tool like GTMetrix, you can see how fast your site loads these images.

Typical page speed analysis best practices say that you should take three snapshots of your site’s page speed.

Average out the three snapshots, and that’s your site’s average page speed.

It is recommended, on average, for most sites, that images should be at most 35 – 50K per image, not more. This is depending on resolution, and pixel density (including whether you are accommodating the higher pixel densities of iPhones and other devices).

Also, use lossless compression in graphics applications like Adobe Photoshop in order to achieve the best quality possible while resizing images.

Efficient Coding Best Practices

Some people believe that standard coding best practices say that you should be using W3C valid coding.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines recommend using valid W3C coding to code your site.

Use valid HTML

But, John Mueller (and even Matt Cutts) have mentioned in the past that it’s not critical to focus on W3C-valid coding for ranking reasons.

Search Engine Journal staff Roger Montti discusses this conundrum in even further detail here: 6 Reasons Why Google Says Valid HTML Matters.

But, that’s the key word there. Focusing on it for ranking purposes.

You will find at the top of Google, for different queries, all sorts of websites that ascribe to different coding best practices, and not every site validates via the W3C.

Despite a lack of focus on that type of development best practice for ranking purposes, there are plenty of reasons why using W3C valid coding is a great idea, and why it can put you ahead of your competitors who are not doing it.

Before any further discussion takes place, it needs to be noted from a developer perspective:

  • W3C-standard validated code is not always good code.
  • Bad code is not always invalid code.
  • W3C validation should not be the be-all, end-all evaluation of a piece of coding work.
  • But, validation services like the W3C validator should be used for debugging reasons,
  • Using the W3C validator will help you evaluate your work more easily and avoid major issues as your site becomes larger and more complex after completion of the project.

But in the end, which is better, and why?

Picking a coding standard, being consistent with your coding best practices, and sticking with them is generally better than not.

When you pick a coding standard and stick with it, you introduce less complexity and less of a chance that things can go wrong after the final site launch.

While some see W3C’s code validator as an unnecessary evil, it does provide rhyme and reason to making sure that your code is valid.

For example, if your syntax is invalid in your header, or you don’t self-close tags properly, W3C’s code validator will reveal these mistakes.

If, during development, you transferred over an existing WordPress theme, from say XHML 1.0 to HTML 5 for server compatibility reasons, you may notice thousands of errors.

It means that you have incompatibility problems with the DOCTYPE in the theme and the language that is actually being used.

This happens frequently when someone copies and pastes old code into a new site implementation without regard to any coding rules whatsoever.

This can be disastrous to cross-platform compatibility.

Also, this simple check can help you reveal exactly what’s working (or not working) under the hood right now code-wise.

Where efficient coding best practices come into play, is doing things like inadvertently putting multiple closing DIV tags where they shouldn’t go, being careless about how you code the layout, etc.

All of these coding errors can be a huge detriment to the performance of your site, both from a user and search engine perspective.

Common Ways Too Many WordPress Plugins Can Harm Your Site

Using Too Many Plugins

Plugins can become major problems when their use is not kept in check.

Why is this? How can this be – aren’t plugins supposed to help?

In reality, if you don’t manage your plugins properly, you can run into major site performance issues down the line.

Here are some reasons why.

Extra HTTP Requests

All files that load on your site generate requests from the server or HTTP requests.

Every time someone requests your page, all of your page elements load (images, video, graphics, plugins, everything), and all of these elements require an HTTP request to be transferred.

The more HTTP requests you have, the more these extra plugins will slow down your site.

This can be mostly a matter of milliseconds, and for most websites does not cause a huge issue.

It can, however, be a major bottleneck if your site is a large one, and you have hundreds of plugins.

Keeping your plugin use in check is a great idea, to make sure that your plugins are not causing a major bottleneck and causing slow page speeds.

Increased Database Queries Due to Extra Plugins

WordPress uses SQL databases in order to process queries and maintain its infrastructure.

If your site is on WordPress, it’s important to know that every plugin you add will send out extra database queries.

These extra queries can add up, and cause bottleneck issues that will negatively affect your site’s page speed.

The more you load plugins up, the slower your site will get.

If you don’t manage the database queries well, you can run into serious issues with your website’s performance, and it will have nothing to do with how your images load.

It also depends on your host.

If you suffer from a large website with too many plugins and too little in the way of resources, now may be the time for an audit to see exactly what’s happening.

The Other Problem With Plugins: They Increase the Probability of Your Website Crashing

When the right plugins are used, you don’t have to worry (much) about keeping an eye on them.

You should, however, be mindful of when plugins are usually updated, and how they work with your WordPress implementation to make sure your website stays functional.

If you auto-update your plugins, you may have an issue one day where a plugin does not play nice with other plugins. This could cause your site to crash.

This is why it is so important to manage your WordPress plugins.

And make sure that you don’t exceed what your server is capable of.

This Is Why It’s Important to Tackle Technical SEO Before Link Building

Many technical SEO issues can rear their ugly head and affect your site’s SERP performance long before link building enters the equation.

That’s why it’s important to tackle technical SEO before you start link building.

Any technical SEO issues can cause significant drops in website performance long before link building ever becomes a factor.

Start with a thorough technical SEO audit to reveal and fix any on-site issues.

It will help identify any weaknesses in your site, and these changes will all work together with link building to create an even better online presence for you, and your users.

Any link building will be for naught if search engines (or your users) can’t accurately crawl, navigate, or otherwise use your site.

Summary

Timeframe: Month 1, 2, 3 and every quarter

Results Detected: 1-4 months after implementation

Tools needed:

  • Screaming Frog
  • DeepCrawl
  • Ahrefs (or Moz)
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics

Link building benefits of technical SEO:

  • Technical SEO will help you get the maximum performance out of your links.
  • Technical SEO like a clean site structure and understanding of PR flow is very key for internal link placement.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
In-post images/screenshots taken by author, July 2019



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Critical Vulnerability Strikes WordPress Ad Inserter

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Critical Vulnerability Strikes WordPress Ad Inserter


Ad Inserter, a popular Ad management WordPress Plugin was discovered to contain a critical vulnerability. The vulnerability allows an authenticated user as low as a subscriber to execute code on the affected website. It is advised that users of the plugin update immediately.

Screenshot of WordPress Dashboard Update LinkThis is a screenshot of the WordPress dashboard. In the top left hand corner is a link that allows you to update your plugins.

Description of Ad Inserter Vulnerability

There are actually two vulnerabilities.

Authenticated Path Traversal Exploit

The first vulnerability is called an Authenticated Path Traversal Exploit. This exploit exists in Ad Inserter version 2.4.19 and under.

This is a type of exploit that allows an attacker to access to areas of a site by adding variables to the URL, variables like ../. This allows an attacker to “traverse” to an area that may allow them to execute code or see private information.

According to Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) web page about traversal exploits,  on a website that is maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, this is how a path traversal exploit works:

“The software uses external input to construct a pathname that is intended to identify a file or directory that is located underneath a restricted parent directory, but the software does not properly neutralize special elements within the pathname that can cause the pathname to resolve to a location that is outside of the restricted directory.”

The second vulnerability is labeled as critical. The vulnerability was discovered on Friday July 12th by the WordFence team and swiftly fixed by Ad Inserter the following day, on Saturday July 13, 2019.

Authenticated Remote Code Execution

The second vulnerability is called an Authenticated Remote Code Execution (RCE). This allows any user who is registered with the site, with permissions as low as a subscriber to be able to execute arbitrary code on a WordPress installation.

The RCE exploit affects Ad Inserter version 2.4.21 and under.

According to the WordFence website:

“On Friday, July 12th, our Threat Intelligence team discovered a vulnerability present in Ad Inserter, a WordPress plugin installed on over 200,000 websites. The weakness allowed authenticated users (Subscribers and above) to execute arbitrary PHP code on websites using the plugin.

We privately disclosed the issue to the plugin’s developer, who released a patch the very next day.

This is considered a critical security issue…”

Ad Inserter Plugin Reacted Swiftly and Ethically

Almost all plugins and software may contain a vulnerability. What’s important is how quickly a developer responds to issues and how transparent the developers are about it.

Ad Inserter WordPress Plugin ChangelogScreenshot of the Ad Inserter changelog showing that they responded ethically and transparently.

The Ad Inserter team deserve praise for how quickly they responded and for their transparency about the updates. Ad Inserter alerted their users to the vulnerability through the changelog that is visible on every user’s update page. This is important because it alerts users to the urgency of the update.

The Ad Inserter team acted swiftly and ethically. That’s the best that can be expected from any WordPress developer.

Update Ad Inserter

All users of the Ad Inserter WordPress plugin are urged to log in to their WordPress installation and update their Ad Inserter plugin.

Read the WordFence announcement here.



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15 Must-Have Features for Ecommerce Sites

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15 Must-Have Features for Ecommerce Sites


All websites are unique in their own way.

We’ve seen trends in ecommerce website design like animation, 360-degree product previews, advanced filtering, and dynamic product search.

However, trends don’t guarantee conversion rates or robust user experiences. There are certain elements that every ecommerce site should have to stay relevant and competitive.

Here is a list of 15 must-have features that attract online shoppers.

1. User-Friendly

This comes from the old K.I.S.S. adage about keeping it simple.

Simplicity should be a goal in good design and you don’t have to sacrifice elegance to achieve it.

As a matter of fact, studies show that 76% of consumers say the most important characteristic of a website is ease of use.

The objective is to help shoppers get to what they want faster and without running into unnecessary complexity that can clog up the path to purchase.

Online sellers have minutes, if not seconds, to make a sale. Focus on the user experience by providing shopping categories, filters, and comparison capabilities.

To make your ecommerce site more user-friendly, consider the following:

  • Improve search functionality with an autocomplete option like Under Armour:

1.usability-autocomplete

  • Create effective, visual navigation like Stanley:

2. navigation-stanley

  • Pre-populate forms like Target:

3.usability-forms

Ecommerce sites should be a competitive advantage instead of a troublesome experience.

2. Mobile-Friendly Website

Mobile shopping accounts for 50% of online transactions.

With a responsive website, content intuitively adapts to whatever device is accessing it to provide the most user-friendly experience.

Walmart increased mobile sales by 98% after optimizing its mobile site.

4. walmart-mobile

And Intelligentsia created a better purchase experience on mobile that led to a 16% increase in mobile transactions.

It doesn’t matter if you have millions of product pages or five.

Creating a mobile-friendly experience for your shoppers will improve sales and potentially your rankings.

3. High-Resolution Photos & Video

Gone are the days of posting one photo with a few bullet points and a price tag.

Shoppers want to see multiple angles and people using the product in different environments. They want to be able to zoom in and get a feel for the product.

Technical considerations for images are crucial. Images that don’t load or take too long to load will see a consumer drop-off rate of 39%, according to Adobe.

And, we’re not talking about just professional photos. Vanity Planet found that adding Instagram photos to their product pages increased checkouts by 24%.

5.vanity planet-instagram photos

Images sell, not text.

Ecommerce websites should display multiple photos per product. The photos need to be high-resolution and optimized for page load.

4. User-Generated Reviews

Shoppers read reviews. About 95% of them, in fact.

And 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars.

You might think that having negative reviews is a sale killer. The opposite is actually true.

Having negative reviews can often be positive. It’s shown that products without negative reviews are seen as censored and, in turn, shoppers will assume the positive reviews are fake.

Depending on website functionality, ecommerce sites can use plugins from the most popular review platforms including Yelp, Foursquare, and Facebook.

Forward-thinking ecommerce sites, like Paiwen paddleboards, are using reviews as user-generated content to drive social proof and build raving fans.

Paiwen-UGC

5. Special Offers

Most ecommerce sites are using special offers in their standard marketing practices via email, social, text, etc.

Next-level ecommerce sites take advantage of the prime real estate in the header section to promote special offers.

kendra-scott-offers-header

When shoppers realize they’re getting a special deal, it motivates them to buy more and spend more time searching the site.

If ecommerce sites are using ongoing promotions, providing a unique webpage that lists the offers will not only drive more sales but also improve SEO.

Consider the shopper searching [ZIP code + toyota special offers] and the value of that organic search result.

gst-special-offers

6. Wish Lists

Oh, how I love wish lists. One for fashion, one for books to read, one for holiday gift ideas.

Shop, save, and share!

Ecommerce sites that aren’t using wish lists are leaving revenue on the virtual desktop table.

What’s better than having customers bookmark items they want and will most likely buy in the future? That’s just gold in the pocket. And a remarketing campaign dream.

Just take a note from Amazon.

6. Amazon - wish lists

Retailers are creating these individualized options to drive engagement.

In this webinar by Brendan Witcher of Forrester, he shares how these can drive open rates as high as 80%, and 5x-10x higher return to purchase.

It’s also an opportunity to share a brand with new buyers. When shoppers share their wish lists with family and friends, it sends free traffic with built-in social proof to a website.

7. Find-in-Store

Not all ecommerce sites have brick-and-mortar stores. However, those that do must have a find-in-store feature.

Sometimes you don’t want to wait for an item to ship. You want instant gratification.

Shoppers are going online just to research and then complete the purchase in person. This is especially true for millennials, as they tend to research online before purchasing in a store.

This makes it incredibly helpful to see which local stores have products in stock.

8. Related Items

Simply seeing the phrase, “you might like this” causes a serotonin release signaling curiosity and excitement.

A ‘Related Items’ feature on an ecommerce site creates the desirable stickiness effect that so many marketers strive to achieve.

It happens like this:

You saved the AeroPress coffee maker to your shopping cart.

A section emerges that says, “you might like this.”

Would you like some freshly roasted, fair trade whole coffee beans?

Maybe a digital scale to measure the exact amount of coffee grounds to achieve the perfect cup of coffee?

You get the picture.

When an online seller uses the related items feature to sell more, it’s actually signaling to the buyer that “they get me.”

Related items can also include similar product categories to comparison shop, “people who bought this item also searched for”, and so on.

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Complex purchases require confidence with a seller and detailed information when buying products online versus face-to-face.

Fine Watch Bank (disclosure: they were a client) sells expertly crafted high-end watches.

The company’s buyers need confirmation of watch authenticity and detailed product information to feel comfortable when making a purchase.

An additional information section details frequently asked information, which establishes credibility and builds confidence with the buyer.

finewatchbank-additional-ino

FAQ sections also provide a self-help area to address common customer problems. Buyers often ask about product support, returns, lost account passwords, etc.

10. Social Proof

Brands and online sellers that connect with their buyers on an emotional level create brand trust and advocacy.

Social connection is undeniable and the opportunity to bond with an audience is easier now than ever.

Linking social profiles and user-generated content with an ecommerce site are must-have features that will give online sellers brand character.

Shoppers are inundated with a constant flow of “buy now” and “get this”. It’s those brands that engage with customers socially that create customers for life. They are offering products that help others and that people care about.

Social media allows ecommerce brands to show authenticity and associate an emotional connection with their products.

  • Look at Nike’s Pinterest account to see how incorporating products with motivational images makes a huge impact.
  • See how Ikea uses user-generated content to share design ideas and inspiration for how to use its products.
  • Check out how Lowe’s produces how-to videos that teach people how to use its products.

11. Security Features

Online transactions are an integral part of our lives.

As such, ecommerce websites can be a lucrative target for cybercriminals. It’s crucial that online sellers protect customer information and take steps to ensure privacy.

It all starts with a secure ecommerce platform.

With their sophisticated security features, it’s no wonder that Magento and WordPress paired with WooCommerce are the top two platforms for online sellers.

Other must-have ecommerce security features to consider are:

  • SSL certificate: Establishes secure connectivity between a user and the website. Look for HTTPS and a green lock in the address bar before trusting an online store with your information. Select an SSL certificate vendor with name recognition. The enterprise ecommerce giants almost always use Symantec.
  • Two-factor authentication: Adds an extra layer of security by requiring username/password and a system-generated code sent via email or text.
  • Use a firewall: Provides a gateway or wall between two networks and permits authorized traffic and blocking malicious traffic.
  • Privacy policy link in footer: Addresses the website’s privacy policies and promises customer data is not shared with third parties.

12. Advanced Payment Options

In the world of Apple Pay and PayPal, advanced payment options are a must-have feature for an ecommerce site.

Just consider the ease of use associated with Amazon one-click shopping. Shoppers with registered accounts can literally buy with the click of a button.

There are many popular online payment options. The key is understanding who the buyer is and implementing the most effective solutions.

If your website is limiting payment options, make sure to explain why.

For example, an ecommerce site may not offer Bitcoin as a payment option after determining its value isn’t reliable.

If buyers are technology-savvy individuals who tend toward this payment method, it’s important to be transparent as to why it isn’t an option. This transparency establishes that the brand understands its buyers and builds trust.

13. Detailed Shipping Information

Alarmingly, unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment.

It’s critical that ecommerce websites include shipping information early in the checkout process, including a ZIP code calculator showing cost.

It’s also helpful to include delivery time and options for faster delivery. Sites should list countries that are outside normal shipping zones.

Interestingly, shoppers spend 30% more per order when free shipping is included. Be sure to present codes for free shipping on all pages of the site through the header navigation, if applicable.

victorias-secret-offers-header

14. Multi-Touchpoint Contact Page

When it comes to running an ecommerce site where most business takes place online, nothing builds trust more than an overly obvious and well-presented “contact us” feature. This is especially true when selling high-end merchandise or technical products.

Never make it hard for a buyer to get in touch or request support.

Consider the contact page a feature of the website. Include multiple ways to reach out, including phone, email, and an online form.

Some companies with brick-and-mortar stores offer online appointment setting via their contact page. Be sure to add customer service social links and Google maps for locations.

15. Return Policy

Return policies are an essential feature of any ecommerce website.

Your return policy should be clearly visible and well-written or illustrated.

This is another trust-building feature of online selling. It reassures buyers that if they are unhappy or just need a different size, the brand is there for them.

Start Creating Fantastic Shopping Experiences

These must-have ecommerce site features could be grouped into categories like Duh, DOH! and Ahhh. Marketers and web designers might say “duh” when it comes to incorporating ease of use, high-resolution photos, security features, and contact information. As they are best practices and trademarks of good design.

There are others who would say “DOH!” when considering elements like special offers, user-generated reviews, and social sharing. They know they should be using these features but just haven’t gotten around to implementing them. It’s never too late!

Finally, the “ahhh” moment when you get excited about planning for robust related items, shareable wish lists, and find-in-store features.

No matter what category you’re in, ecommerce sites have an incredible opportunity to use tried-and-true features blended with innovative new elements to create fantastic shopping experiences.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by author



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