Meet your SEO: Freia Muehlenbein
Today we are interviewing Freia Muehlenbein who is the Off-Page Manager at Search Laboratory. Freia oversees all off-page activities and works closely with the On-Page page team to deliver great results for the company's clients. Freia has worked for Search Laboratory since October 2010.
What do you enjoy most about SEO?
"I really enjoy the creative aspect of SEO, not just in terms of 'writing' content but concerning all kinds of content creation like interviews, design pieces, funny posts etc. It's also about being able to spot existing opportunities that can bring a client those quick SEO wins they're looking for. For example, when companies have got a page that is full of great content, we can utilise this content in a creative way. Sometimes existing opportunities are overlooked so it is important to stay attentive, creative and on top of campaigns."
"Besides the creativeness, it is also important to be strategic and analytical at the same time. If you don't have a strategy and you're not analysing the results then SEO doesn't work as you need to take all three into account simultaneously when undertaking any SEO activities."
"A strategy can't exist without creativity but neither can it exist without analysing campaign results"
"Besides this, I also enjoy the fact that SEO is an ever-changing industry so you have to adjust to these changes which prevents your job from getting boring! I don't want to work in an industry that is inflexible and doesn't change at all. Some people surely prefer that but when you work in SEO you have to be able to change and adapt."
What is the biggest SEO trend that people should know about?
"I think people are already moving away from thinking that SEO is some kind of black hat mystery. Instead, people now know that SEO is moving towards a more relationship based marketing approach that involves many marketing techniques including online marketing, online reputation management, customer relationships marketing and even sales. So the biggest SEO trend in my opinion is that SEO is becoming more of a profession whereby it is all about strategic thinking and exploring the endless opportunities of the web."
What is the biggest misconception you heard about SEO?
"That it is 'easy' and 'quick'. People who are new to SEO quite often don't think about the planning, on-going analysis and strategy implementation – aspect of SEO. I have heard people ask "How long does it take to get me on #1 for all main terms" and quite frankly, there is no answer to this question. It depends on too many factors such as the already existing link profile, on page changes, flexibility of the clients etc. Another misconception is people believing that "everyone can do SEO". SEO requires you to have a lot of different skills and isn't for everyone."
So, what set of skills does a modern day SEO need in order to succeed, in your opinion?
"Well there are many but I will list the main ones that I believe are most important. First of all, a modern day SEO needs to have communication skills in order to effectively and efficiently communicate with not only webmasters and bloggers but with their customers as well. Besides this, you also need to have sales skills in terms of being persuasive as our product is the content we try to put out there."
"As I mentioned before, strategic, analytical and creativity skills are vital in SEO. Without these, you won't be likely to run a successful SEO campaign. Also, you have to understand how people use the internet and also understand social media. Social media is not as complicated as people think – great content = likes and tweets. It's quite simple in theory. Then finally, being able to write well and create other types of content is essential as well because after all, it is all about having great content."
Finally, what would be your ideal algorithm update?
"I kind of like Panda and Penguin to be honest! These updates dictate that everyone needs to stop spamming the web and start creating quality content. I think that this is the ideal algorithm update because this is exactly what everyone wants and it is good for both users and the search engines. Now the chance of users finding sites relevant to what they are searching for is far higher. Before users might have found spammy sites that appear in the SERPs as a result of black hat SEO techniques which helped no one."
Watch this space to meet more of the Search Laboratory team! Send us your questions and we will consider using them in the next 'Meet your...' blog!