MozCon Virtual 2021 Interview Series: Areej AbuAli

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You in all probability know of rising website positioning star Areej AbuAli from her work main the Women in Tech website positioning (WTS) neighborhood, for her shows at conferences like SMX or BrightonSEO, or for her insightful and informative tweets. And now, we’re so excited to welcome her to the MozCon Virtual stage for the primary time! 

Before the present, we talked with Areej in regards to the success of WTS, what drew her to website positioning, and what viewers can look ahead to in her MozCon presentation. 

Read the total interview under, and do not forget to seize your ticket to see Areej and our different wonderful audio system at MozCon Virtual 2021: 

Secure Your Seat

An illustration Ringmaster Roger in the MozCon Virtual big top tent spotlighting SEO Consultant Areej AbuAli.

Question: 2020 was fairly the yr, what had been you as much as this previous yr? Any surprises or favourite tasks you labored on?

Areej: Yes, it was undoubtedly fairly a yr! I’ve quite a bit to be glad about. I am wholesome, I’ve a job, and I am surrounded by folks I really like. I do know it is not the identical for others. 

In phrases of my favourite 2020 venture, I managed to host the primary full-day Women in Tech website positioning Festival proper earlier than lockdown (I am extraordinarily fortunate!). It befell in London in honor of International Women’s Day. I spent eight months organizing it from my eating desk and I could not be happier with the way it went. 

Post-lockdown, I centered on our international neighborhood and I launched quite a lot of neighborhood initiatives together with WTSWorkstore, WTSPodcast, WTSNewsletter, and extra. I made essentially the most out of the time that was not misplaced in commuting to the workplace and I am pleased with how a lot the neighborhood grew throughout that interval.

Question: You’ve been working the Women in Tech website positioning group for about two years now. What impressed you to begin this neighborhood?

Areej: The sincere reply is for purely egocentric causes. A number of months earlier than I began Women in Tech website positioning, I used to be feeling actually demotivated. I did not know if I needed to proceed being an website positioning, I all the time felt judged for asking questions, I did not suppose I used to be ok in what I do. I could not discover a secure group or neighborhood that I might be part of. There had been a number of “exclusive” teams that I used to be informed I could not be part of as a result of I have never been within the trade for x variety of years or as a result of I have never spoken in particular occasions. So I made a decision to begin my very own secure group, one which has values that revolve round kindness and is a judgment-free zone, one the place all ladies are welcome, even when they’ve simply heard in regards to the phrase website positioning the opposite day.

Question: Was there something sudden that occurred as you started this neighborhood?

Areej: I by no means anticipated it to develop a lot organically. I put a tweet out saying “Women in Tech SEO, rejoice, we now have a safe group…” and on the primary day, over 100 members joined the group. I additionally did not anticipate it to seize the eye of such a world viewers. In the primary yr, I used to be very centered on London-based occasions but we nonetheless stored having a number of members from all all over the world be a part of us. I assume I by no means realized how a lot it was wanted till I began it. There’s now over 4K of us and we continue to grow.

Question: John Mu just lately mentioned that you’re doing a few of the most impactful work in website positioning proper now. How does that really feel realizing that you’re driving actual change in an trade that has been male-dominated for therefore lengthy?

Areej: John is extraordinarily type and I actually admire all of the assist he offers our neighborhood and the trade as an entire. It’s humbling to get the assist of John and lots of others for the work I do and it retains me going. It’s not all the time rosy, I get a handful of unkind feedback, I am typically informed that it is sexist and unlawful to host occasions which are just for ladies. It’s additionally a variety of work, time, and vitality. So once I obtain these type feedback, it retains me going and helps me keep motivated to work on the subsequent massive venture.

Question: What particular adjustments are you hoping to affect within the website positioning trade within the coming years? In what methods are you hoping to encourage the subsequent era of girls in Tech?

Areej: I am going to contemplate Women in Tech website positioning to be a profitable venture when the day comes that we not want it. There are a number of challenges that ladies within the trade at present face which require communities like WTS to be round. I hope that the day comes the place there’s equality in illustration and pay, in addition to kindness and respect throughout, for us to not want communities like Women in Tech website positioning.

Question: Outside of the Women in Tech neighborhood, you’re additionally an completed website positioning and speaker. How did you first get began in website positioning and the place you’re in the present day?

Areej: I studied Computer Engineering again dwelling in Egypt then moved to the UK to do a post-graduate in Business IT. This is once I got here throughout digital advertising and I did a couple of internships whereas learning that launched me to the idea of website positioning. This was eight years in the past and I wasn’t actually positive what I needed to do with my profession at that time. I ended up becoming a member of an company that was in search of an Arabic speaker for a couple of campaigns and in a month I obtained moved to the Tech website positioning staff. I beloved Tech website positioning as a result of it was this good bridge between Computing & Marketing. I have been doing website positioning ever since, I spent round 5 years agency-side then moved onto client-side. Currently, my day job is spent heading up website positioning for a world e-commerce firm and my evenings and weekends are spent rising Women in Tech website positioning.

Question: Could you inform us just a little bit about what you’ll be discussing at MozCon this yr?

Areej: I am actually enthusiastic about my discuss this yr as a result of it is as sincere because it will get. As Tech SEOs, we are usually fixated on our personal metrics; the whole lot from crawlability, indexability, efficiency, and many others… But these metrics aren’t ones that align with the enterprise KPIs and it is troublesome for us to get sign-off from engineers and senior stakeholders for large Tech website positioning tasks. It took me a very long time to know that so in my discuss, I share a case state of affairs of a automotive aggregator web site that has an indexability problem and the way I tie these to enterprise KPIs.

Question: What do you hope our readers will take away out of your presentation?

Areej: I hope that everybody who attends my discuss is ready to tie their very own technical website positioning hurdles with enterprise KPIs and talk these with stakeholders.

Question: What suggestions do you may have for different ladies seeking to elevate their private model within the website positioning house?

Areej: A number of issues come to thoughts. Firstly, be your genuine self! Work on tasks, write posts, and converse in conferences that align with YOUR values. Reach out to individuals who inspire you and introduce your self. And most significantly, do not be fixated on numbers (variety of followers/likes/retweets, and many others…) Instead, deal with the standard and worth of your interactions with others.

Question: Who within the MozCon line-up are you most excited to observe this yr? Anything else you’re looking ahead to?

Areej: Let me simply begin off by saying that I completely love how various the MozCon speaker line-up is! With 14 sensible ladies (aside from myself) taking the stage, it is troublesome to choose a particular speaker that I am most enthusiastic about. If I completely need to, then I would like to present a shout-out to Shannon McGuirk. I grew to become good mates with Shannon in MozCon 2019, she was my Seattle buddy who made me really feel very snug about getting on the MozCon stage for the primary time ever. Her talks are all the time extraordinarily sincere and she or he’s an exquisite storyteller.

An enormous thanks to Areej for her time! To be taught extra about her upcoming presentation, see particulars on our different audio system, and to buy your ticket, ensure you click on the hyperlink under!

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