Abi Cox blog avatar
Abi Cox
8 Jun 2022
AUTHOR:
Abi Cox
PUBLISHED:
8 Jun 2022
LAST UPDATED:
9 Jun 2022

Q&A with Chloe Smith, SEO Manager at Blue Array

We spoke to Chloe Smith, SEO Manager at Blue Array, about all things SEO - including their favourite tools, diversity in the SEO industry, hobbies outside of work, and more!

1. How would you describe yourself in three words?

▪️ Chaotic

▪️ Outspoken

▪️ Bookworm

2. If you could change one thing about SEO, what would that be?

I'd like to see more companies hiring in a way that is diverse and inclusive. A lot of marginalised groups are underrepresented in SEO because of the barriers in place (education, class, cost, and race to name a few). The industry needs to open up and bring that talent to light a bit more.

"The industry needs to open up and bring that talent to light a bit more."

3. What is your favourite SEO task?

A lot of my clients have a heavy content focus, so naturally, keyword research is a must. But I love being able to sink my teeth into a big site audit.

4. What’s your go-to SEO tool or resource that you can’t live without?

I use the SISTRIX Visibility Index tool regularly to diagnose/preempt potential drops.

5. What skills do you think have helped you succeed in the SEO world?

My loud mouth. I've always been loud and outspoken, but having that confidence is incredibly useful, particularly in a client-facing role. I've found that for the most part, they value honesty!

"I've found that for the most part, they value honesty!"

6. What are the three top mistakes every SEO expert will inevitably do at the start of their career?

Panic about Core Algorithm updates, take any metric a tool provides as gospel, and never asking questions.

7. We know you’re a writer at heart, what are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently doing a line edit on a sapphic fantasy novel, while also working on a first draft of a contemporary novel and forming the plot of a sapphic Bonnie & Clyde retelling but with dragons. Basically, I can't pick what to focus on… So I'm doing all of it.

8. How do you manage to juggle work and writing?

I'm an early bird, so because I work from home, I usually wake up early and get an hour or so of writing clocked in before I start work.

9. With this month being Pride Month, what are your thoughts on ‘rainbow-washing’? It’s becoming something of a hot topic in our industry…

I understand that companies want to signal that they support the LGBTQ+ community, but rainbow-washing is the wrong way to do it. There are better, smaller, less in-your-face ways of supporting queer people without slapping a rainbow on your logo for a month.

"There are better, smaller, less in-your-face ways of supporting queer people without slapping a rainbow on your logo for a month."

10. Have you faced any challenges in the digital marketing industry due to your disability or being part of the LGBTQ+ community?

For my April 2022 Brighton SEO talk, I put out an anonymous survey asking SEOs and Digital PRs for their experiences menstruating at work. Most of the responses were helpful, but I got a few abusive responses, with some homophobia, transphobia and death threats.

11. What inspired you to start designing and selling a range of products to support Mermaids, a charity dedicated to supporting trans youth?

After those survey responses, I posted one of them on Twitter that said "A big f**k you to the LGBT freaks entering the SEO space". So I thought I'd steer into the skid, and my partner designed the LGBT SEO Freak logo (and an ally one, too!). I handed out badges at Brighton SEO, and have so far raised £80 for Mermaids.

"I have so far raised £80 for Mermaids."

12. How can we promote diversity in SEO?

It's important to remember that no one is perfect, and that sometimes trying is enough. Elevating those in underrepresented groups in SEO is key, though. Follow people or organisations that are committed to this, and share their insights and activity where you can. For example: 

▪️ Women in Tech SEO

▪️ The FCDC

▪️ B-Digital

 

You may also like our Q&A with B-Digital Co-Founder Rejoice Ojiaku.

 

Head over to Chloe's socials for more insights:

 Chloe Smith

 @chloeivyroseseo