Women in SEO
Do you know what got me thinking lately? Are women not as interested in search engine optimisation (SEO) as men? Being the only women doing the Search and Social Media Marketing course, I started to wonder why there are few women in SEO despite the fact that it’s not really that technical as women think it is. I mean there has certainly been a rise in women SEOs but women are still taking a back seat.
I find it quite surprising that most of the SEO firms are male dominated furthermore even when I attended the SAScon conference held in Manchester on 29th October 2010 the ratio between men to women was quite significant. While reviewing the SAScon Manchester delegate list I was quite amazed with the difference. Out of approximately 157 people in the conference 125 were male and only 32 females. In addition looking at the 30 most influential people in UK SEO – The Results show only 3 women out of 30 that are most influential, now as a women I feel there need to be more SEO women in that list and more and more women in SEO need to come forward and take a lead!
However, on a positive note, I am proud to say that the most influential and popular SEO business, SEOmoz is owned by a women. Also SEO Chicks play a big role as top Women in SEO. The most popular women in SEO industry that are at the top of the field are Judith Lewis, Dana Lookadoo, Ann Smarty, Donna Fontenot, Lisa Myers and Nichola Stott. I am sure you have heard some of these names before and the list will expand further as more women join SEO like social media or search engine marketing.
Reasons for fewer SEO women
Here are two opinions from Mindy Gofton and Ben McKay about the reason behind fewer women in SEO:
“People either don’t understand what SEO is or feel it’s primarily a technical role – it’s not yet seen as an arm of marketing – and for whatever reason, women don’t tend to gravitate towards technical careers”. Head of SEO at I-COM Mindy Gofton
Ben McKay, Justmeandmy.com “I say sadly, as I think it’s a real shame that it seems like a techy, male-orientated industry…there are too many niches that are male / female orientated. So what can we do to sell the idea to get more women SEOs? Do we need to sell the idea to women some more? After all, SEO does rock! The women that I know in Search tend to be PPC / Display / Business Dev / PR / Social Media…not many in SEO though. From the people that I know, maybe 1 in 10 might describe their responsibilities to include SEO”
How to encourage women to join SEO?
“I think including SEO into marketing curricula and treating it as a marketing discipline while working basic web development into digital marketing courses would probably encourage women. I also think more women being vocal and involved in more high profile positions within the industry and even in local networking groups and events would help too. Or maybe grants/internships directed at women might encourage women who would maybe gravitate towards advertising or more traditional marketing to get into SEO”. Mindy Gofton, I-COM
I certainly hope that more women take the Search and Social Media Marketing course starting again in February 2011; it has allowed me to enhance my SEO knowledge and skills and with SEO you never have enough, there is always something new to learn every day. Furthermore, I believe it is a great field to work in for men or women I would recommend and encourage everyone to take this course if you are interested and enthusiastic about online marketing, it’s an exciting world to be in!