Lily Ray is an SEO professional who serves as Director of SEO at Path Interactive. Lily has provided SEO expertise for dozens of ecommerce, b2b, travel, real estate, local business and Amazon clients over the course of 8 years. She was nominated for Best Female Search Marketer in 2017 by Search Engine Land.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
My name is Lily Ray and I am the Director of SEO at Path Interactive.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
10 years ago it was much easier to spam the algorithm – in fact, it was almost a necessary evil in order to compete in organic search. Google’s algorithm has become tremendously more sophisticated each year, and with each year its artificial intelligence capabilities grow closer and closer to emulating the human brain. SEO has become less about deliberately inserting keywords into various places on the page, or counting how many links point to your website, and more about creating good experiences online and providing meaningful answers to users’ questions.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
I found an entry-level position doing social media marketing and SEO at a startup when I was in college, and I was instantly hooked. Coming from a family of software engineers, web developers and technical writers, it was the perfect way to apply many of my innate skills. Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays and its Beginner Guide to SEO were invaluable for learning SEO in those early days.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
Our SEO team offers tremendously thoughtful, strategic, and valuable SEO recommendations and best practices to our clients. We look beyond routine optimizations and into smart holistic marketing strategies that will help clients to achieve their online goals. We also go the extra mile to ensure that all of our recommendations are coupled with detailed steps for implementation, often working with our in-house web development team to provide specific instructions for our clients. As a broader organization, Path Interactive offers SEO, paid media, web and creative services, content strategy and creation, conversion rate optimization, page speed optimization, Amazon marketing services and more.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?
Page speed optimization and understanding the mobile-first index are most likely going to the two most significant SEO strategies to be mastered in 2018. The two go hand-in-hand, with the moral of the story being that Google is taking very seriously that the majority of their users are using their search engine from mobile-devices. Good SEO professionals and webmasters will spend this year ensuring all their client’s sites are following best practices for mobile-first indexing and serving fast, easy-to-use mobile experiences.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
Learn about digital marketing by actually doing it, not just by reading about it or taking a class on it. Particularly in the SEO world, things change on a daily basis and so you must be able to adapt and learn how to implement new tactics as they roll out. The best way to learn these skills is to launch a website on your own and market it, or to help a friend market his or her small business, etc. The best SEOs are the ones who have implemented many of their own recommendations themselves and have first-hand experience in how to achieve good results.