Welcome to the SEO Careers interview series. This week, we’re happy to welcome Anna Matviienko, Technical SEO Manager at iGaming LTD. She’s based in Ukraine, and has over 4 years of experience in the technical realm of SEO.
If you are interested in being featured in the SEO careers interview series, please submit your name and contact details on our contact page.
Let’s jump in:
Hi! We’re so glad to feature you on SEOjobs.com. Please introduce yourself to our site’s readers.
Hello, SEOjobs.com audience! I’m really excited to tell you my story. My name is Anna Matviienko. I’m from Ukraine, and despite the ongoing war I decided to stay in my Homeland. I’ve been gnawing granite of SEO science for 4 years already.
Please share with us your current SEO role and for what company you work for.
At present, I work as a technical SEO manager at iGaming industry. Recently, I was head of SEO at the digital agency, but in summer 2022 decided to switch to a less stressful position.
Now I regularly audit and monitor technical SEO aspects on international sites and define the global technical SEO roadmap, ensuring that new features are rolled out to the websites in a timely manner. The fun thing here is that I have two humanities degrees, and a few years ago I couldn’t even imagine myself in a similar role. Well, ways to the SEO industry are always unfathomable.
Can you share with us how you entered the SEO industry?
In my teens I dreamed of being a journalist, so I enrolled in a corresponding specialty. Soon I became disappointed in future prospects and was glad to seize an opportunity to enroll in another specialization. In two years I became a qualified teacher and taught humanities in middle and high school. After a while, I understood that I want to squeeze more from my life and try myself in digital marketing.
As it often happens in life, I was helped by chance: the mother of a pupil of mine found out that I was looking for a SEO-related job and offered me a full-time position of a content strategist at SEO crawler. Starting salary wasn’t high: I got around 400$ per month, but that was a great opportunity to dive into nuances of technical SEO.I created articles, guides, and case studies with best practices of log files analysis, crawler audits. on-page optimization, etc. The content was aimed at Heads of SEO departments, influencers, and decision-makers, and I was responsible for delivering actual tested, doable, and easy-to-understand SEO tips. During a year and a half, my articles were published on Polish, Canadian, American, and Ukrainian SEO-related websites.
After 1,5 year, I decided to move forward and get practical experience. I was hired as a junior SEO specialist by a marketing agency. I had a hunger for knowledge and experience and also initiated changes to improve the workflow. My efforts were rewarded: in a year I was promoted to the Team Leader position and then I got a raise to the Head of SEO department.
How did you start to learn SEO? What are you currently doing to keep up with the ever changing SEO industry?
Learning digital marketing may be overwhelming. It’s a complex niche, and the industry is rife with myths and misinformation. But with a bit of time and dedication, I believe it’s something that anyone can learn. I would recommend starting with the SEO roadmap so as not to get lost in the flow of information. For instance, Aleyda Solis created a really useful learning map https://learningseo.io/ where you’ll find a complete roadmap to learn the aspects of SEO. Also, Google SEO Starter Guide and Quality Raters are great sources to understand how Google Search works.
Keep in mind that if you want to succeed in SEO, you should be a lifelong learner.To move with the times, I recommend subscribing to SEO newsletters: SEOforLunch, Kevin-Indig, SEOFOMO emails might be useful additions to your mailbox.
Last but not least, don’t avoid reaching out to influencers on Twitter or Linkedin, if you struggle to understand some topic. The SEO community is really supportive and open-minded. Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re wise.
Can you share what factors are most important to you in an SEO career and why? When do you know it’s time for a new job? Do these same factors play a role?
Knowing your values will help you find job positions that have the same values as you do. In turn, this can help you apply for the right companies and avoid the ones that don’t fit with your values. Take your time to think about what would motivate you to excel in your work. Here are my most important work values: competitive base salary, autonomy, honesty, team spirit and positive attitude, especially in the face of challenges.
COVID pandemic continues to reshape work and I see no reason not to take advantage of remote positions. I like remote higher productivity, better work-life balance, healthier lifestyle. and more savings and a lesser carbon footprint…
What recommendations would you give to someone who is looking to join the SEO industry and get their first full-time SEO position?
The first and foremost advice I want to give to SEO newbies: don’t try to learn everything! The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. The bitter truth is that you will spend much time searching and sorting out information, trying to get some meaningful insights and tips but in the end very often you’ll feel like squeezed lemon, and have a new dozen of fresh resources to read. Yea, sorry for the sad picture, but I just want to be honest with you. Sometimes I see how media romanticize digital marketing too much and a lot of people have a wrong impression about the SEO job.
There will be reasons why you wanted to embark on SEO in the first place, and keeping your aims at the front of you is crucial. You should have good preparation to successfully succeed in your learning journey by realistic planning, good organization, effort, perseverance and a healthy work-life balance.
To take full advantage of your first SEO job opportunity to kick-start your professional development, I would recommend reading these notes.