An interview with Sara Taher

Sara Taher

We spoke to Sara Taher, SEO Manager and consultant, about her career journey and insights into the industry.

“I haven’t always known what I wanted to do as a career, not at all. I knew I wanted to be an Engineer so I studied Computer Science & Engineering. I loved programming so much but I knew that I didn’t want to be a developer once I graduated. I just didn’t see myself doing that for 8 hours every day for a living and I wasn’t sure what my other options were at all at the time…

Did you know that according to PWC only 16% of females have had a career in technology suggested to them, compared to 33% of males? A lack of female role models is another issue, reinforcing the perception that a career in any STEM field isn’t for them.

I accidentally stumbled into the world of SEO. I launched an online magazine and I was managing a team of editors and we were writing this great content and I wanted more people to visit our website and this is how I started learning about the art of search engine optimisation. 

My advice to those looking to break into the industry would be to build a WordPress blog, a simple website and learn from there. Google’s own Google webmaster central blog is the best reference and place to learn about SEO.

Something that happens often in my line of work is that people often underestimate the value of SEO! They look at it as an add on or something that can be done later while in fact, it’s essential to the growth of any online business. It is at the core of the online business world.

I love all aspects of my job. Analysing websites, finding the best recommendations that will help clients grow their websites, seeing a website actually grow in traffic, being around smart people and SEO is challenging – and I like a good challenge! It has a wonderful community with many people who are very helpful and supportive. That said, as an SEO you can sometimes feel lonely because most of those relationships are online.”

Trials and Tribulations

“The largest challenge I’ve faced in my career so far is relocating from Dubai and moving to Canada. I had to start over from scratch and without Canadian experience, it isn’t easy to get a job. I persevered and here I am today!

Men outnumber women by more than 2 to 1 in SEO

Moz

Other challenges have included proving myself to be as good at my job as my male counterparts. Add to that the fact that I wear a hijab, which makes me look incompetent from some peoples perspectives – in my eyes.

Whilst COVID-19 posed a challenge to a lot of industries over the last few years – it’s been quite the opposite for the SEO world. Good SEO has reliable longevity meaning that during the peak of the pandemic and the time following it, it presented the perfect opportunity to work on SEO. The pandemic also helped me convert a hobby into a small side business.”

More people are talking about mental illness than ever before, but less than half of UK employees would be comfortable speaking to their line manager about it, according to data from the Mental Health Foundation.

Champion Health

“On the topic of mental health, I don’t think it is spoken about enough in the workplace. On the contrary, I feel as though you cannot discuss these things with your co-workers or your managers no matter how friendly they say they are or how much they say you can trust them because the next thing is you’ll get labelled and perceived as less productive because of your “issues”. Unfortunately, the reality is, I don’t recommend talking about those issues in the workplace, although we should be able to and it’s something that needs to be improved across the board.

As always, I feel the industry is evolving a lot with many new tools emerging like AI content writing tools and the upcoming Metaverse, there’s so much going online right now so fast and we need to catch up quickly!”

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/

https://moz.com/blog/seo-gender-gap

Talk about mental health in the workplace

Impact of COVID on SEO

Importance of SEO during covid

Connect with Sara on Linkedin
Find Sarah on Youtube

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