1. Know your worth as an SEO professional
  2. Negotiating Rates and Increases: Practical Tips From Women In Search Engine Optimization
  3. Why titles are still important in SEO
  4. Top Takeaways for Women in SEO

SEO is constantly evolving according to the data, consumer behavior and algorithm trends.

However, when it comes to treating women as equals, the industry is much less developed.

SEO remains a male dominated industry, with men being 2: 1 more women than women, according to recent research.

This survey found that:

  • Women are far less likely to be technical SEO professionals.
  • Women are twice as likely to work as freelancers (see: unstable employment) than their male colleagues.
  • Men are more likely to charge monthly deductibles. Women are more likely to be paid by the hour or project.
  • Men's retainers are 28.6% higher than women's.
  • The project rates for men were on average 66.7% higher than those for women.
  • The mean hourly rates for men were 16.8% higher than for women.

And while the sample sizes were small for various aspects of this research, it's also worth noting that the study did not take into account the effects of combined gender and racial prejudice for black, indigenous, and other colored women in search engine optimization (which was studied in the coordinator) acknowledges and regrets).


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Had this been taken into account, we would most likely find even more extreme differences in pay and opportunities for these women.

Even so, many women continue to be drawn to careers and entrepreneurship in SEO and digital marketing.

Our world is fun, challenging and constantly changing.

And as more women get involved in the industry and grow in the industry, the tough battle these women face is being realized by more and more people.

It can be intimidating to ask about the rates we see in industry benchmarks and the companies or agencies that employ us to prove our worth.

In this column, co-authored by Stephanie Gifford, SEO Marketing Manager at Adigma.io, we asked women to share their best advice on their peers and things they would have liked to know earlier in their careers.

Read these tips to understand your worth as a digital marketer and SEO expert, get paid fair, and defend the title you deserve.

Know your worth as an SEO professional

Miracle Inameti-Archibong, Head of SEO at Erudite:

“One of the reasons women don't ask about their worth is because they feel like they're not good enough. Work on this cheater syndrome. Keep an eye on your successes, big and small, all year round. Don't wait for your review time.

Don't forget to value your soft skills as well as your hard skills. This affects the way you work and is so unique to you that you deserve to be paid to do it. "


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Robyn Johnson, owner of Marketplace Blueprint:

"If I know I'm good at what I'm doing and believe I'm offering a product that will make a difference to a customer, I'm doing them a disservice if I fail to make that offer assertive."

I realized earlier that I didn't want to pressure people, and then those same customers would go shopping with someone with sophisticated marketing or a more aggressive sales process, even if they have less experience and expertise. Think who your customers might be with if you fail to share your offer and the value you bring to the table.

You don't blow your own horn to be pleased or proud. You need to clearly highlight your skills and worth so that your customers or potential employers can determine if your offering is really producing the results they want. "

Julia McCoy, founder of Express Writers and Content Hacker:

“Give yourself an annual task of reassessing your prices. Be sure to check what you are charging every year and increase it as needed. You should ask for more as your experience, skills, and credibility / tenure increase.

Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back from taking your rightful place in the market. Support this by boldly speaking about the work you have done and the goals you have achieved for clients! "

Chelsea Alves, Content Marketing Specialist at Rio SEO:

“As a woman, knowing your professional worth not only creates trust, but also extends to the work you produce. This in turn leads to a higher quality of work, higher job satisfaction and a higher likelihood of promotion. Stagnation can be a career killer. Instead, we have to strive to overcome our comfort zones.

To do this, I encourage women to keep improving your skills, expanding your networks, and asking for mentoring if necessary, to truly make your mark in the SEO world. "

Navah Hopkins, Director of Paid Media at Justuno:

“General value: use data! Before setting tariffs or starting a salary negotiation, check what others are asking / being paid. Don't be afraid of different tariffs for different projects and always make sure you factor in overheads (taxes, utilities, software, etc.). To all the amazing power women who know their worth and are appropriately paid for our brilliance! "


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Jenise Uehara Henrikson, CEO of Alpha Brand Media, home of the Search Engine Journal:

"When in doubt … do it. Apply for this job, request this raise, and request more $$$ in your proposal. In the workplace, women generally tend to sit back and ask for less. A recent study by LinkedIn found that women get 20% fewer jobs than men.

Another famous study found that women feel they have to meet 100% of the job criteria before they can apply … while men typically apply after reaching ~ 60%.

Women are twice as likely as men to report a complete lack of comfort when asking for a raise. We have to ask for more. What if we don't get it? Instead of giving up, learn to take a different approach, dust yourself off, and try again.

It took me a long time to develop my response to rejection: it's not a judgment on me or my worth and I should just stop. Rather, I learn from failure so that I can try again, fail better, and finally … succeed. "


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Ivy Boyter, SEO Strategist:

"As someone with HR experience years ago, your title isn't as important as the meat to put on your resume … the dates and results that matter to the person hiring someone. what you bring to the table by including valuable measurements in your descriptions instead of daily activities. However, in general, titles can help you figure out what salary ranges to expect. There are many websites out there that will help you find salary ranges based on Position, years of experience, where you live, etc. And I agree with PP … bargain high (read “Never Share the Difference” if you want to learn serious negotiating skills) When you can't get the money there are sometimes benefits like vacation / PTO negotiable for the right candidate. "

Negotiating Rates and Increases: Practical Tips From Women In Search Engine Optimization

Motoko Hunt, AJPR, President at Motoko Hunt:

“Show your business data value, not just because you were there X years or X hours, but because your work added X% (added to the growth) to the business or increased sales by X USD. Also, always keep paper / digital records of communications, projects, etc .; whatever proves what you did / said. "


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Shelly Fagin, founder, highly sought after:

"Never be afraid to negotiate if the offer isn't right for you. I believe women tend to bargain less for fear of being seen as aggressive or demanding. On the other hand, if someone isn't ready, Giving them what you deserve don't be afraid to walk away. If the company or customer really understands your worth, they'll work with you. If they don't, you probably dodged a bullet. "

Anna Crowe, Head of Content & SEO at Leadfeeder:

“Stop giving out your number.

I've worked both internally and freelance. Over the past four years, after talking to my friends about their salaries and tariffs, I've realized how underpaid I was. I would come to the negotiation myself and play lowball. I followed the motto "Hustle hard" and "Slay your day". In reality, however, your bills won't get paid if you follow the advice of an Instagram listing.

I realized that it's all about how you refine the numbers.

First I found my line in the sand of what I had to do to survive. Then add a little extra ($ 10,000 to $ 15,000 per year). When asked for a number, "What's your budget?" Or, "What are your salary requirements?", Flip the script over. Ask your client or potential boss about their budget or salary range. You might be surprised with the number you get back.

When I first did this, I wanted to quote $ 3,000 a month. By the end of the conversation, I had more than tripled my money. It's like poker. Don't show your cards. I had beaten my company, my self-esteem, and my time. I was just happy to get a customer. Now I understand my bottom line. And I like to say no, be it for customers or for a project. "


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Robyn Johnson, owner of Marketplace Blueprint:

“Don't base your prices on what you're“ worth ”. I know this doesn't sound like intuitive, but what if you have self-esteem issues? It made me underestimate my services.

Instead of focusing on what I am worth, I now ask myself: How much value will I bring to this customer? When I focus on the value I bring to the customer, I can separate my service fees from my feeling about myself on a given day. "

Bibi Raven, founder at Bibibuzz

“I think a lot of women have the idea that negotiations have to be confrontational, so they try to avoid getting fully involved.

They also don't like to be in the spotlight and think it's a bad thing to talk about their accomplishments.

What I've learned works best:

Evaluate your own worth and double that value (as you are likely aiming too low and the outcome of the negotiation may be lower).

Determine your BATNA: Best alternative to a negotiated agreement. This is one of the pillars of the Harvard Method. This means that before a negotiation, you decide when to step away from the table. This is a great protection against agreeing to something you are not comfortable with.

Do not take it personally. Separate what you do for work and business from your personal worth. Refusing to negotiate says nothing about who you are. Of course, the other party could mean it personally, but you don't have to play along. Water off a duck's back.

Be as relaxed as possible. The strange thing is, when the other party notices that you are relaxed, they often agree with you. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the movie "Office Space".

Use "Okay and …" when the other party is offering something that you do not want, but that is not entirely at the BATNA level. Create an opening for yourself. Don't say no right away, but create an opening by countering with a demand that makes yours acceptable. For example, if they say, we want you to work full time, say, hey cool, but I'd like to have three months of paid vacation with it.

When you get the idea that you just aren't the kind of person to ask about things, pretend you're someone else you admire and channel them. "


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Why titles are still important in SEO

Libby Stonehawk, Owner and SEO Consultant at Stonehawk Digital:

“At the beginning I seriously undercut myself by calling myself“ junior ”in my job title and calculating far too little to work properly with tradition.

I soon realized that many so-called experts (usually men) knew as much about me as I did, but would mystify clients using SEO jargon so they wouldn't ask questions!

When my husband started freelancing for me under the Stonehawk Digital name, many of the more technical questions were directed to my husband during client meetings even though I had the formal education.

If I could go back I would say drop the term "junior", calculate more, and get in touch with other women in tech sooner for advice and assistance. "

Navah Hopkins, Director of Paid Media at Justuno:

“Never let yourself be called an“ associate ”or“ junior. ”You are a strategist, advisor, or entry-level specialist.

If you're a single Rockstar employee who doesn't feel like managing employees, you can add a "Senior" or a "Team Leader" to any role you perform.

"Director" and higher is usually faster to secure in smaller companies and usually requires you to have as much business strategy behind you as digital marketing.

For agency owners: you are a CEO unless you have passed control to someone else. We all tend to think of CEOs as the boss. President can work too! "


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Rachel Libby, Marketing Director, Salt Lake City:

“I learned early on that if I wanted to develop quickly and grow in my career, I had to be hungry for opportunities and proactively look for ways that would get me where I wanted to be. These experiences wouldn't just fall into my lap by paying my dues and sticking to the routine. I had to pursue every opportunity, take risks, and pursue the things that ultimately gave me the growth I wanted.

I was fortunate enough to meet with colleagues who recognized my talent and ultimately helped me reach my full potential and achieve what I could achieve. This encouragement has always helped me when the road inevitably becomes difficult.

Ultimately, my advice is to really think about where you want to be ten years from now. What do you do? How much money do you make? What is your work-life balance like? What makes you happy

Then create a plan that gradually gets you there with small, doable daily goals. Be flexible with your dreams and be patient with yourself and your journey.

Finally, surround yourself with a supportive network that believes in you and recognizes your potential. That encouragement will get you through the mounting pain that is always inevitable. "


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Top Takeaways for Women in SEO

Know your worth:

  • Track your success with measurable data.
  • Have confidence and work to fight imposter syndrome.
  • Communicate and accurately highlight your skills.
  • Review and re-evaluate the professional pricing and pricing annually.
  • Keep improving your skills and building connections.

Negotiate more successfully:

  • Show your growing expertise in skills through data.
  • Keep a record of the results of successful projects and outcomes.
  • Don't be afraid to push back and bargain more for the right price or walk away if it's not right for you.
  • Know your bottom line and ask the right questions.
  • Focus on the value you bring to your customers.

Why titles are still important in SEO:

  • Don't fall below yourself by accepting "Associate" or "Junior" titles. Titles can always be customized so that you don't feel like you are selling yourself.
  • Concentrate on “strategist”, “specialist” or “consultant” in the entry area.
  • Director and above can be reached more easily in smaller companies, but requires equal parts technical expertise and business and marketing strategy.
  • Imagine your ideal career path and take step-by-step steps to get there.

Ultimately, we're all in it together.

We need to remember that the value we bring to the companies and customers we work for and with whom we work is different from our value as an individual.

Tracking our achievements and results will lead us all to better progress and future prospects to show the value we bring to the table.


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Finding and connecting with other women in the industry can be difficult. So we'd like to provide some additional resources to connect with more women in search engine optimization.

These are among the solid and supportive communities we connect with women in search engine optimization:

More resources:


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