In this week's episode, Aleyda Solis, international SEO consultant, speaker and author, discusses all things learning SEO. We also find out what inspires Aleyda and what empowers her to be the brilliant women she is today.
Where to find Aleyda
Sarah: Hello and a very warm welcome to the women in tech SEO podcast, where your hosts myself, Sarah McDowell podcaster and SEO content executive at Holland and Barrett and the absolutely wonderful SEO consultant and founder of Women in Tech SEO, Areej AbuAli.
This week, we have an awesome speaker lined up and that is Aleyda Solis, who is an international SEO consultant, speaker and author. So it's a good afternoon for the both of you. How are we doing?
Areej: Yeah, good thanks! Great to be here with both you Sarah and Aleyda
Aleyda: Hello. Hello. So nice to be able to be with you today, too.
Areej: Aleyda, we are so excited to have you. I think you get invited to every single Women in Tech SEO project and initiative.
Aleyda: No, thank you for having me as well. I'm more than happy. I'm so excited that you have started the podcast. And I think it will be refreshing and necessary also to follow up and see how many women are today in the industry. How many of all of us are contributing in different ways. And I think it should be refreshing because still today I see from time to time those questions over Twitter: “Oh, who are the women to follow?” So it will be so much easier to just point out to the group that since it is closed, sometimes it's a little bit harder. But with the podcast, like, yeah, take a look at all of the conversations. So many different women, so yes, so, so exciting.
Areej: A hundred percent completely agree. And yeah, can't wait to have a lot of awesome guests with us every week. So Aleyda, I'm pretty sure, most of the industry knows you and knows how awesome you are, but I'd love to share your story a little bit about how you got into SEO.
Aleyda: Yes. So I got into SEO in 2007 after I was given the chance to start working at an aligned marketing agency that was already doing SEO among yeah. PPC, social media, et cetera. And I was lucky that I didn't know about SEO at that point, but I started little by little by, by handling. Our website, like I was pretty much managing the websites of, of the agency monetizing and doing affiliates.
Do you want a little bit of content marketing, social media, SEO. And, and then I focus. After a while, more and more and more into SEO, only up to a point that when the SEO specialist of the company left, they offered me the opportunity to focus completely on SEO. So that is why, how pretty much it was like, very like serendipity, like, right.
And I'm, I'm still, I'm still very, very thankful for that opportunity, because I, I think that that has been like my best decision. Ever to to, to focus on becoming an SEO. Right. So, yes, it was like, it was a very very good, good luck from, from my side too. And, and I really enjoy SEO because it allowed me to do, let's say, like to blend the activities that I was doing, I, before becoming an SEI was What designer slash front, front end web developer.
So I continue going through the HTML of the websites, how to, well, well structure make websites, crawlable, good navigation, et cetera. Right. And then although they had it allow me to also do this extra of, of a little bit of more marketing side of, of activities, right? Like, yeah. The optimization. Of the content to connect with the audience search behavior, how to improve conversion.
So I, I think it was the blend that really, really attracted me to SEO and well, I've never looked back realistically. I love it. Wonderful.
Sarah: I love hearing everyone's story about how they got into SEO because yeah, it's never really a plan and it's just wonderful hearing. Everyone's sort of different paths into it.
Aleyda. I have some fun, quick fire questions. How do you feel about it?
Aleyda: Let's see if I can, if I can answer them.
Sarah: Sure you were the first one. Can you keep secret?
Aleyda: Yes. Yes, I can. do
Sarah: Do aliens exist?
Aleyda: wYes, it’s by logic, right?
Sarah: Yes. What's the clouds made of?
Aleyda: Clouds? Yes. Oh my God. Maybe it's what, Oh my God, I, now I feel silly. There's a type of question that probably, I should relearn that at some point I learn and I ask even myself, but now it's a mix of, I don't know. Oxygen, hydrogen, something like that.
Sarah: I love how you're giving me the science. I was waiting for a silly answer, like candy floss.
Aleyda: I'm taking your questions very seriously. I'm trying to give accurate answers.
Sarah: Are creepy or funny?
Aleyda: That it depends as you know SEO
Sarah: What is the best flavor of soup?
Aleyda: Oh. Well, it's so hard. Well, I really like, again, it depends, it depends on the time of the year, right? If it is in summer potentially gazpacho, I don't know if you can consider that a soup, to be honest.
Yes. That's a cold one. Yeah. Yeah, it did. So is summer. That is amazing. Right? You have Dan in in winter, it should be, let's say a good ramen soup. Very, very hot. Yeah.
Sarah: Would you find the last question similar to do aliens exist? Do Ghosts exist?
Aleyda: No. Yeah. Although I have to say that maybe some people think that they do.
Areej: I love how aliens definitely exists but then when it comes to soup where you're not too sure.
Aleyda: You know, I tried to be logical. And then of course, like the clouds, because I'm not scientific enough, but yes.
Areej: Awesome. I love that.
So I think just before we kind of kick off the main topic that we're here to talk about, which is your awesome, awesome Veronica CEO, the IO platform. I'd love to, just for all of our audience, if there are women who are starting off in the industry, what advice would you give them?
Aleyda: I will say that the best advice will be to always.
Tests for yourself and keep courteous to identify yourself what works in your particular context, because there's so much advice out there. And at some point it can be calm, a little bit of a noise, right? You can even read and see like literally completely like. Like advice that is like the other way around exactly than all the boats are not necessarily not right.
Like, so for example, you can see, Oh, write long form corn content. And in the other guidelines you see, Oh the length of the content doesn't matter or, well, it, it depends as usual, right? So there is a lot of it depends on, and, and in SEO and that is the beauty of it also it's complexity because also that means that it cannot be completely automated, which is very lucky for us.
I have to say because. It depends on the context. Right. And so what my advice will be, you learn the building blocks, right. A vet. But it's so, so, so very important that in order to better understand how everything fits and what is the weight and the focus that you should give to certain things, depending on your own context, what it is Fundamental is that you test for yourself.
And at the beginning, I will highly, highly recommend that you build your own website even with a WordPress, right? Do you need to, you don't need to start it from scratch, but you're building a website. Would WordPress and start. Going through the configurations from a technical perspective, the process to do accurate research, to identify the search behavior of the audience to develop content, to connect with that, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Right. So doing that for yourself will allow you data in the future, when you. Develop these recommendations for customers or clients that you understand how much effort it takes, how it is not necessarily that much straight forward, how, how we some are an area. Certain things will matter most and all those, but not always right.
It depends a lot on the context. So I think it is, it allows us to become, on one hand, much more empathetic when, especially when we are on the client side. And then on the other hand, also to, to better connect because at the beginning, like I remember myself when I was learning how to do a cure research, how to do yeah.
How to analyze crawlability, how to do a content audit. But then the issue was like, how does it all fit together? Right. And so there's no way, no better way to understand how everything fits together by. By testing it for yourself. And then of course, by having your own website, you will be able to double check whatever you read out there, right?
Like if you say, Oh, this is far more important than nowadays, or I've seen that doing this generates that you can do on test that for yourself and see for yourself and implement things for yourself will allow you to always double check or will test and, and to also do, do, to do your own experiments too.
So I think. That will be my, my, my best advice, right. That you learn to. Build your own website to test for yourself, whatever you're learning.
Sarah: Great advice. I love that. Very actionable and practical. So we got you on today to talk about learning SCA. So everything that's sort of comes underneath that. So I want to start with sort of talking about, so you're the brains behind learning sca.io. So what is learningseo.io?
Aleyda: It is a roadmap that I created for anybody who will to learn SEO and not, not necessarily only learning from scratch, but learning about any particular area or let's say like developing or expanding their knowledge into a specific area in particular in SEO.
And sometimes there's so much again, so, so many resources, so many guides out there that sometimes it's so very difficult to know. Which, which are those with legit information on one hand. And then in the oldest one, when, when it is the scenario of starting to learn, as you always. In which order do you do it?
Right? Like what you should learn first. Because again, if you go into Twitter, it will seem that even for some times, like to become an SEO, the first thing that you need to learn sometimes is even to, to coding Python. Right. Right. Or even, even before. Before learning as you were. And actually that was one of the questions that I got last year when I was doing mentorship.
Right. Like the SEO was, Oh, but I'm still learning SEO, but I see so much about learning how to code. Should I do that at the same time? It was like, I'm like, well, if you have this superhuman and. 48 hours per day. You probably want to do that in parallel, but if you're actually wanting to become an SEO first learn the building blocks of SEO and what matters to execute that SEO process.
And then when you actually have the knowledge about. What matters, what doesn't and, and what takes every task. You may want to learn how to automate it, which is what a coding language will allow you to do. So, right. So this, this, this was a little bit of my point also wet learning SEO, that it will allow you to put things into perspective because also and I completely understand, right.
That there are some trends going on sometimes. So for example if you. When again, to either a year or a year, a half ago, you will see that a lot of the content. Sure, every time was about EAT. If you go now there's a lot of content regarding digital PR and sometimes it really likes tweaks. Your view of SEO.
So by creating a resource like learning as you're what I wanted, this was to give a little bit of more overview of. All the pieces of the puzzle in, of what it takes to, to learn SEO, the different topics, the building blocks and, and how also the different areas that you can focus on.
And if you don't master one particular area, it doesn't matter because there's so much more for you to focus on. On, depending on also you're on your own preferences and, and, and what you are good at, right? Like, I do believe that there's room to work and Excel as an, a CEO. If you're not technical or if you don't enjoy the technical side of things by.
Bina Greta really, really good content focus, SEO, or a really, really, really good link builder and vice versa. Right? If you don't enjoy link building and you love the tech side of things, you can be a really, really, really, really good technical SEO and, and, and Excel as such in your professional life without necessarily having to too.
Do that or Excel at this other type of activity, or you can be a world around that strategy. I know a little bit about everything, right? So there are so many ways to tackle and, and, and DNS, yo. Right? So that, that, I also wanted to reflect that in learn and Lawrence, you like a lot of people used to and still as me, sometimes over social media I get messages all the time.
Also through my website asking me up. How can I learn SEO? What is the best way, or, or do you have any resources to point me out, point me out about international SEO for eCommerce SEO or internal linking or whatever. Now I have an easy way just to send the, the learning seo.io website to, to diamond, say, okay, look into this area and you will find those resources there.
Areej: Absolutely love that. And I think even within the one in the tech SEO community, that's always a very normal question for people who are starting out in the industry and they can feel very, very overwhelmed. They don't know where to start. And so I love that it is built like a roadmap and, you know, you kind of start at the beginning of it and then it's up to you what you want to deepen your knowledge in and the different tasks.
And I think something you don't give enough credit to yourself about, Aleyda, is the fact that this resource amplifies. A lot of the pieces of writing and articles and talks that people in the industry have done because you, you know, people feel really proud to be learning SEO, the IO by featuring their article or so forth.
So how have you felt the industry's response been to it?
Aleyda: Yes. Well, I I'm, I am delighted. I am so very happy to see that people who are proud to be featured there because, well, I try to be those let's say resources that my first criteria is that they should be free. So it is easy for anybody who has access to them.
And, and, and I know very well that sometimes there are resources that have been published, let's say not so popular blogs or publications, or they are in the, in the presentation format as in SlideShare, for example, publish. But these are wonderful resources that are very insightful, that are comprehensive.
That can be completely like anybody can go through another, not because they are in this format and. Miss that they are less worthy or anything else. So what I try to do is to go through those resources that I think should be those top five, four or five. Six resources maximum that you really should read about any given topic to be able to have a good well-rounded view about it.
And then you can start like doing stuff for yourself in it. So yes, I'm, I'm so very happy to see one, whenever someone says, Hey, I have been featured here. Thank you Aleyda. I am proud to be featured here and they should, right, because this is the thing, right? I do feel that as in SEO, there's so much willingness to share and the information that we share for free.
And I think that at this point, we take that as a given, we don't, they will think. We don't stop to think about this stuff because it's like we have it by default, like, like right now, like this, right. But back in the day when I was starting in SEO in 2007 there wasn't a wealth of information like this.
I remember going to the SEO most block and and the will master. Ward forum, whatever. And there was much less information. So there's a wealth of information. People, people like willing to share and so much great stuff that literally like, if you want to start learning SEO, you don't need to be spending thousands in courses.
There's. There's if, if you have self-discipline you, you can definitely do it. So for free and start learning for free. And so I also wanted to give this visibility and allow people to eliminate the barriers, right. To enter the field, to enter the, the, the SEO as an industry as a professional one hand.
And then on the other hand, To give a little bit of more visibility to those amazing resources that are written sometimes, but they are not in big publications, too.
Sarah: Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. I mean, what you've already achieved so much with learning is that future plans for it or where do you visit G like growing or doing?
Is there any, is there anything that you can sort of say about it that you're hoping to achieve in the future? Yes.
Aleyda: So what I, what I like my first goal. So today is to like, let's say, like try to have a good coverage of the most, the most popular areas or common areas of knowledge. And now I am going into more more specific scenarios, like how to, well, like do ranking drops analysis.
Or a content cannibalization or keyword cannibalization analysis or crawl budget analysis. So it's more, a little bit more specific now because I have already covered the main ones. And I, I also still need to identify the best way to reflect some of them so as to not overwhelm the, the, the, those users.
Are still trying to sort out how to prioritize our learnings into them. But yes, I still need to cover, I think that I still have room to cover more information that is still not yet there, once that I cover all of the most common scenarios and information. Let's see. Where, where, where I can take it.
I want it to be a little bit more practical and to facilitate things even more. So I have thought a few thoughts that I have had is to, for example, to, to create small. Let's say videos about each area and potentially, you know, that I have also Crawling Mondays that are very topic focused and potentially also have like a couple of 'em have a guest with me discussing about each one.
These topics are covered in learning SEO for ensuring videos of 10 minutes, something like that. That is highly digestible for someone who is going through those. Those documents to help them to go through them and to give them a little bit of more context about this particular topic, something like that.
So I am planning to do this. Hopefully once that I am, that I am able to finish a little bit of like the most common is in areas as an extra layer to, to help people. So my, my, my goal will learn. And as he always like someone who, again, has no knowledge. Goes, there wants to start an SEO. They can do it very, very easily without having to pay for anything.
So as much as possible. I, and now, now if you see, I'll also have the tips at the bottom. So ideally also in the future, I would like to have like those tips, but focus for each area. So for...