To celebrate International Women’s Day (albeit belatedly), we at BrightLocal wanted to take this opportunity to highlight just a handful of women in local SEO doing great things right now.
In a male-dominated industry, it’s important to take these opportunities to showcase and lift women up. Though of course, it shouldn’t just take an event like International Women’s Day to amplify women’s voices; we should be doing it all year round.
Gender inequality in local SEO
This year, our Local Search Industry Survey (run by our very own in-house shoutout-able woman in SEO, Rosie Murphy), possibly unsurprisingly, highlighted an industry pay gap between men and women in local SEO, with women reportedly earning 14% less on average. The survey also displayed a disparity in positions of seniority between men and women, with more men reporting to fill senior roles than women.
In light of these results, it’s hard not to question whether or not women in local SEO are being afforded the same opportunities to grow and prosper as men. There are certainly fewer women in local SEO than men, but clearly there are also fewer making their way to the top. And given the abundant talent in the industry, that can’t be a coincidence.
Over the weekend, UK-based paper The Guardian reported that nine out of 10 people across the globe have been found to have a gender bias against women. What kind of impact might this have when it comes to jobs? And what measures can we take as an industry, and on an individual basis, to prevent this affecting job and promotion opportunities?
It’s vital we ask these kinds of questions if we hope to progress as an industry and a society, but in the meantime, the most important thing to do surely must be to listen to women. Listen to the women around you, at work and at home, and find out how they envision progress happening.
Inspiring women in local SEO
If you’re looking for a place to start getting inspired by the amazing women in SEO, last year Search Engine Journal published a great piece on women in SEO, where leading figures shared their best advice for women hoping to climb the ranks themselves. And looking more recently, guest contributor Diana Ford shared 13 stories of women shaping today’s SEO landscape.
On the journey to achieving real gender parity, it’s important to praise and showcase the great work that is being done by women every day, in local SEO and otherwise.
For #IWD20, Women in SEO (a great network to join if you’re not already a part of it!) shared this Tweet…
— Women in Tech SEO (@techseowomen) March 8, 2020
…and it got us thinking, why share just one woman’s inspiring efforts when you can share 11?
Men and women alike could all learn something from these women in local SEO, who are absolutely killing it right now — just see for yourselves.
For obvious reasons, this list is in no particular order (being a badass woman in SEO is not a competition!)
Meet the women shaping local SEO
International SEO consultant, speaker, and author — looking at Aleyda Solis’s Twitter bio you’d be hard-pressed not to view her as a triple threat. Luckily, Aleyda is a firm believer in sharing her knowledge.
Having regularly written for Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, and Moz, Aleyda is an expert in all things search, especially if you’re hoping to glean insights on the technical side of SEO, including mobile SEO.
If all that wasn’t keeping Aleyda busy enough, she also joined SEMrush for their ‘five hours of SEO’ event last week, contributing to the conversation on SEO for Marketplaces & e-Commerce Websites.
Follow Aleyda on Twitter.
As a keen participant in local SEO conversations, you’ve probably come across Crystal on Twitter before. In her role at Accelerate Marketing, Crystal prides herself on playing the part of superhero, “battling algorithms and fighting for [her] clients’ local SEO traffic”.
If that weren’t admirable enough, Crystal regularly shares insights in forums, Twitter chats (including our very own #LocalSEOChat), and on her own site.
If you’re looking for someone who really knows their stuff about agency work and building lasting client relationships, Crystal should be your go-to.
Follow Crystal on Twitter.
While Areej may not technically work in local SEO, we couldn’t possibly share this list without including her. As the founder of the Women in Tech SEO network, Areej has contributed greatly to highlighting women and providing a space to network and connect with one another.
In the past, Areej has lent her expertise to MozCon and BrightonSEO, two of the world’s most prominent search events.
If you’re looking to get inspired by and connect with fellow women in SEO, attending one of Areej’s world-class events is a must.
Follow Areej on Twitter.
SEO machine Niki Mosier truly does do it all — technical SEO, local SEO, and consulting, too. Niki’s portfolio as a speaker is surely one to admire, having shared her expert knowledge at events like SMX West, BrightonSEO, and a whole host of other search meetups.
In addition to conquering the world at speaking events, Niki is Senior SEO Manager at local marketing agency Two Octobers.
Most recently, Niki participated in SEMrush’s ‘five hours of SEO‘, but you can also find her popping up from time to time on Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays.
Follow Niki on Twitter.
Most people know Joy as the Queen of Local SEO, but she’s also proven herself to be an impeccable businesswoman. This past year alone, Joy has acquired LocalU, Local Search Forum, and initiated partnerships with the likes of Local Marketing Institute and Marie Haynes Consulting.
But Joy is by no means a one-woman machine, she’s always the first person to elevate other talented local SEOs, even recruiting some of them to join her ever-evolving Dream Team at Sterling Sky (new recruits include Carrie Hill, Jason Brown, and now Brian Barwig!)
Not only does Joy continue to run a successful agency, but she regularly takes the time to respond to those in need on the Local Search Forum, the Google My Business Community forum, and of course, Twitter, to solve their local search woes.
Follow Joy on Twitter.
Another member of the Sterling Sky squad, Carrie Hill is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to local. At Sterling Sky, Carrie appropriately holds the role of Local Search Analyst and Community Manager — lending her hand to the Local Search Forum and beyond. Meanwhile, at LocalU, Carrie is responsible for community and event management.
You can often find Carrie in the threads at Local Search Forum, as you might expect, but she’s also another person who’s very active on Twitter — so a great person to follow if you’re looking to fill your feed with local SEO insights.
Follow Carrie on Twitter.
Algorithm expert extraordinaire, Marie is my first port of call if I want to get into the data behind a dip in organic SERPs traffic. Another female founder, Marie owns and runs Marie Haynes Consulting, the publishers of one of my favorite weekly roundups, “Search News You Can Use.”
Each week, Marie provides her readers with insights from the world of search, including a newly introduced local search section.
If you’re looking for someone who has their finger on the pulse of algorithm changes, I couldn’t recommend Marie any more.
Follow Marie on Twitter.
A one-woman marketing machine, if you’re not following Claire on Twitter, you’re not only missing out on amazing local SEO insights, but also a heck of a lot of fun, too. Claire Carlile single-handedly manages multiple clients and always does her bit to help progress conversations in local SEO, too.
This year she released her very own ultimate guide to UTM tagging — an issue we’ve often found to puzzle users to no end. She even included her very own spreadsheet to auto-populate tracking codes, going above and beyond to help out her fellow local SEOs and SMBs.
Follow Claire on Twitter.
A true pro at local SEO, Miriam’s writing for Moz is some of the best around. At Moz, Miriam is responsible for providing questions to any Q&As that come through the site’s forum — and as you can imagine, that proves quite the task. Miriam also works in the YouMoz department, editing posts submitted by community members.
In addition to her work for Moz, Miriam runs a web design shop with her husband, Solas Web Design, which serves local businesses throughout the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Follow Miriam on Twitter.
SEO by day, DJ by night — does it get much cooler than that? If you’re not following Lily on Twitter already, you’re missing out, big time. Lily continuously shares great insights into the world of search — local and otherwise. She recently wrote a fantastic piece for Moz, highlighting the trust relationship between consumers and major tech corporations like Google.
In her 10 years practicing SEO, Lily has been nominated for a whole host of awards, including Best Female Search Marketer 2017 (Search Engine Land).
Follow Lily on Twitter.
President and partner of her very own search agency, KickPoint, Dana truly is a force to be reckoned with (except not in a scary way — have you seen that smile?)
Based in Canada, Dana is no stranger to travel, given how many conferences she speaks at. This year alone, Dana is set to speak at SMX Munich (now being held virtually), Confab, and MozCon. She also appears frequently on webinars, including our own!
If you want to hire Dana as a speaker at your own event, you can do so through her website.
Follow Dana on Twitter.
Plus, a bonus shoutout to the women at BrightLocal!
How could we celebrate women in local SEO without giving a shoutout to our very own BrightLocalers? (Including yours truly!)
At BrightLocal, we’re fortunate enough to have some truly inspiring women leading our in-house initiatives: from research guru Rosie Murphy, who is responsible for our most shared piece of content ever (Local Consumer Review Survey), to customer success queen Vicky Chandler who has led BrightLocal’s efforts in achieving a record-breaking customer satisfaction score, and our incredible Operations team who work endlessly to make sure invoices are paid on time, the office is taken care of, and provide our team with health insurance, socials, and other perks.
Not to mention all the other women working behind the scenes to make BrightLocal what it is, including our incredibly hardworking QAs and developers in Kyiv, Ukraine (can we get a certifiably classy “Woop Woop” for women in tech?)
There are so many women who make BrightLocal what it is — whether they’re leading the charge on citation building, managing product updates, or providing our customers with round-the-clock support — unfortunately, we’d be here all day if I named everyone!
Where do we go from here?
International Women’s Day may provide a great opportunity to shout out and highlight the work being done by women across the globe, but the work doesn’t stop here. It’s up to all of us to listen to women and strive towards a more equal future. What part will you play in the fight towards gender equality?
Use the comments below to shout out a woman in SEO who’s inspired you!