Is technical SEO a female-friendly place to build my career? Ask an SEO

Today’s Ask An SEO question comes from Kate. She asks:

Hi connoisseurs,

I’m a beginner in SEO and I’m struggling with doubts whether this is a female-friendly field or not?

I’ve read a lot of brilliant men in SEO, but what about women? I’m into tech SEO, but I’m afraid people won’t see me as a tech SEO specialist.

How to avoid this impostor syndrome? Thanks in advance!

Kate is not alone. Unfortunately, impostor syndrome is rampant.

A KMPG study found that 75% of women have experienced feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt at certain points in their careers.

Here’s another hard truth: SEO is a male-dominated industry.

A 2020 State of SEO Survey highlighted the gender gap in SEO, where men outnumber women twice.

But times are changing. We are seeing more and more women breaking the grass ceiling, finding their voice, creating a seat at the table and sparking change everywhere.

But how do you overcome both the negative voice in your head and the gender-related career obstacles?

I reached out to women in the SEJ community and asked them to share their stories and advice for Kate or any woman who doubts herself as she pursues her career in tech SEO.

Here’s what they have to say:

Founder and CEO, AS Marketing

“First of all, impostor syndrome is real, so don’t feel guilty about it!

Second, there are plenty of women in SEO who are absolutely brilliant. You can find a the whole community of them here. Please join us! There are regular free mentoring cohorts here.

As a woman in tech SEO, my best advice is to trust yourself; Believe in yourself, and others will too!

Take every opportunity to learn and improve your skills, because your own experience will give you confidence.

Is technical SEO a female-friendly place to build my career?  Ask an SEOSEO Manager, Digital Darts

“Impostor Syndrome is a natural part of the growth process and a sign that you care about what you do.

I’ve been in the industry for a few years and I still have those moments. The bigger the client, the bigger it is! Give yourself grace and time as you gain experience and confidence in your skills.

There are so many women making waves in SEO – now is the perfect time to get started.

I believe that being a woman in the profession is refreshing for some clients and companies. At the end of the day, clients just want results, not a gender stereotype. »

Buyer LisaFounder and Editor-in-Chief, Female Disruptors

“Get credentials with certifications from reputable SEO training sources and talk technical SEO on LinkedIn.

Create a TikTok channel and talk about technical SEO hacks, like Miss Excel. You can know more about her in this article.

Host free webinars and live streams on FB or IG to teach and share ideas with other women in technical SEO. Be the host and invite other female SEO experts to interview. You can talk about how technical SEO can be influenced by creativity and right brain intuitiveness women have already naturally against men.

Finally, be the agent of change. Don’t let SEO men rent space in your brain!

Tessa Nadik, Senior Director of SEO Product and Content StrategySenior Director of Product, SEO and Content Strategy, Cox Automotive Inc.

“Working in a male-dominated field is challenging, but if it’s your passion, it’s so rewarding.

I’ve worked at companies where there were more challenges than it was worth, but eventually I left and found companies that supported and championed women in tech, like Cox Automotive. We have an incredible support system here, women in leadership roles, mentorships, etc.

I report directly to the SVP Product & Engineering, and early in our conversations he asked me if I would like a female mentor in a leadership position.

He connected me with a woman in a VP role who mentored me for the past two years, and it was a complete game-changer for my career. She gives me the opportunity to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions and gives me her experience and honest feedback.

I’ve dealt with impostor syndrome my entire career, and even as a senior director, I still do. Over the past 12 months I have managed to grow and put my fears aside and jump in head first!

I make sure I’m very intentional in my communications, transparent about the goal I’m trying to achieve, always asks questions, and speaks up when it’s something I’m willing to push.

I learned that not every battle is a hill to die on. You should pick a few things you can’t compromise on and stick to them!

Being a woman in tech is an incredible opportunity for me personally, and the more I achieve and the more I learn, the more I get involved in helping others, because there is room for everyone at the top! I volunteer and participate in diversity and inclusion groups, author articles and more to help shed light on these areas.

Chelsea AlvesSenior Content Marketing Specialist, Rio SEO

“It can be daunting for women to break into a male-dominated field – be it technical SEO or any other industry.

However, I believe this presents an untapped opportunity for women to differentiate themselves and stand out in an industry historically dominated by men.

The more women start a career in SEO, the sooner it will become common practice for women to pursue this career path and prove that women are just as capable in technical SEO roles as their male counterparts.

As cliché as it sounds, the biggest risks you take in life are often worth the reward.

Angie NikoleychukContent Marketing Manager, Search Engine Journal

“I find it kind of helps vaccinate me.

Usually in these situations I start thinking about what other people have and what I don’t. Or someone is trying to convince me that I don’t belong.

So before I get into a daunting situation, I review what I bring to the table. I also find comfort in evidence. When I start doubting myself, I list all the reasons why I made the decisions I made, why I have my opinions, or why I’m here.

And I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t know. It’s normal not to know things. This is when the most interesting discussions and learnings happen in my experience. »

Maddy OsmanBest-selling author of “Writing for Humans and Robots” and founder of The Blogsmith

“Many technical fields are male dominated, and SEO is no different. That being said, there are so many support communities you can look to belong to: Women in tech SEO (Coward) and Sisters in SEO (a Facebook group).

The founders and members of these groups are committed to increasing diversity and representation in the field by providing opportunities for mentorship and learning.

For women to be recognized as the brilliant SEOs that we are, it helps to make the things we work on publicly known: in blog posts, as conversation starters, and helping others on #SEO Twitter. »

Owner, Tasty Tie

“I think the best thing you can do is get your voice and expertise heard on reputable SEO websites (SEJ is a great example, which I think is also women-owned and women-run !).

With enough of your name, you can point people towards your expertise because not only do you have a great article that shows you know your stuff, but you prove that the big players in the industry trust your point of view enough. to publish it.

It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end. Good luck, you got that!”

SEO Consultant and CEO,

“I also fought impostor syndrome, and what helped me a lot was joining the Women in Tech SEO group and – at first, only there – to start sharing my knowledge, my ideas and my articles.

Receiving so much support and kind words gave me the courage to go beyond this wonderful community and dive into deeper waters like Twitter or LinkedIn.

If you like technical SEO, that’s all that matters.

Whenever you start doubting yourself, remember that a white man with 25% of your knowledge would never doubt himself. And neither should you.

SEO Consultant, Larkin SEO

“Yes, SEO is a female-friendly field. You control what SEO content you read online and control who you work with.

Brilliant women in technical SEO are not unicorns. They exist and they are active online. Connect with SEJ contributors on Twitter and interact in the Facebook groups: Sisters in SEO and Women in Tech SEO.

Welcome to the community, Kate. We’re glad you’re here!”

In conclusion

Thank you to each of the women for their participation in this play.

While many women suffer from impostor syndrome, the good news is that it can be overcome.

And when it comes to closing the SEO gender gap, we’re making progress.

It is up to all of us to foster an environment where people of all genders and races are valued, empowered and can thrive with confidence.

More resources:

Featured Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

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