Meet the team – Claire

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It’s ‘Meet the Team’ week 5! This week we have 2 questions each for our SEO Specialist Claire. Here’s what we asked her!

What’s the biggest misconception in SEO?
I think the thing that people seem to struggle with the most is the fact that you aren’t ever going to see results or changes just by sticking some ‘keywords’ into your page titles or meta descriptions. Once upon a time, this might have been possible but the search engines are much smarter now and what they are looking for is good quality websites that are regularly updated with new and relevant content. It can take a long time to get a site ranking, and this is also something that people struggle with. In fact, only just over 5% of new websites will rank in the top 10 within the first year so when you are formulating an SEO strategy, it needs to be with this in mind and with realistic expectations.

North or South?
I am most definitely a proud Yorkshire lass!
However, I have lived ‘Down South’ for over 17 years now, and this is now where my life and family are so it’s very difficult to choose one over the other.
London is genuinely my favourite city in the world – it has completely captured my heart, and I still get a buzz from walking around and being a part of it. However, even though I doubt I will ever live there again, I do definitely still consider Yorkshire to be my home. There are certain places that I have to drive through when I travel up to see family or friends that are so beautiful they truly take my breath away and I do get that warm feeling that I think you only find when you are home. So – the bottom line is that I love both The North & The South!

Why did you decide to become an expert in SEO?
Honestly – Almost by accident! Before I was doing what I am doing now, I used to work in a laboratory for a research company. I have a degree in molecular biology and genetics and science will always be a huge passion of mine. What I particularly like about it is the research – spending hours pulling information together, reading about new techniques or technology and then formulating a plan of action drawing on all of this information to achieve the best possible results. Working in a laboratory was great regarding hands-on science but left very little time for all of the above.
When I first heard about SEO, I was instantly intrigued and began learning as much as I possibly could. I think having an analytical brain helped as I could see why things would work and why something else might not. Luckily I had a couple of friends who were happy to let me experiment a bit with their websites, and before long I was seeing real results and my friends were getting more and more enquiries. It actually became quite addictive – It was like a super long experiment that kept giving me the results I wanted to see. Eventually, I realised that this was what I should be doing for a living so made the decision to hand in my notice and begin working as an SEO consultant. It was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made! I love what I do, and I love the people I work with – I honestly feel very lucky!

We’ve seen you have quite a few different hair colours, what’s your favourite one?
Haha – I do get bored very quickly when it comes to my hair! I think my favourite was when I died it pink for the first time before going to The Isle of Wight festival. It washed out really quickly though which was a bit disappointing!

When you were a child, what was your dream job and why?
I have always loved animals, and when I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet. I don’t really know why I didn’t try and do it – lack of confidence maybe! I still think it’s a job I would love to do.

What do you struggle with the most in SEO?
I kind of covered this in the first question but I think it has to be managing client expectations regarding the amount of time it takes to see results. When people are paying you to do a job for them, they understandably want to see and understand what they are paying for. It can be tricky trying to explain that it’s likely to be a good few months before I’ll have any real results for them.

Explain SEO in a sentence.
Hmm… That’s hard!! Maybe something like… Using techniques, tactics and strategies to increase rank placement in the search engine results pages and drive more visitors to a website.

If you could only drink one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
I think it would have to be Yorkshire Tea – but I would truly miss Prosecco with all my heart!

If you won £1million on the lottery what would you spend it on?
I would use it to buy some land so that Matt & I could build a dream home for the kids and us! It’s something we have talked about doing at some point in the future – we would love it! I’ve also always wanted a horse, so if we had enough space (and any money left!), I’d get one.

The Google algorithms are regularly updated/changed – how do you keep up?
It can be difficult keeping up with the search engines as they are regularly being updated and usually with no warning. I think if you practice good and honest SEO and don’t try to fool the search engines the updates shouldn’t have a huge impact on your rankings. The updates are there to improve user experience, so if you always keep the user at the forefront of your mind, you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
I read a lot anyway to keep up with all the industry changes, and I also have software that analyses ranking patterns – sometimes you can see a definite pattern shift, and that can be indicative of a change to the algorithms. If I see that I’ll always try and find out what has changed and what impact it may have going forward.

You are going to get a new pet – what animal would it be and what would you call it?
Well, Matt has already promised the kids that we can get another kitten when we move but only if he can call it Octopussy!

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