Hey Kathleen, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! How are you these days?
Considering the last year, I am doing well. Those of us who work online have been lucky to be able to continue working without much change. I am grateful for the ability to work from home safely.
We’d love to know more about your career journey – how did you get to where you are today?
I started in ecommerce in 2005. I was the only non-biker at a motorcycle e-commerce site. In the two years I worked there I learned so much, all aspects of digital marketing in the early days. This is where I first learned the basics of SEO, ads, content, site architecture, and of course logistics (oh the joys of the return process). I continued to work in e-commerce for a few more years before attending university. At uni, I wrote my thesis on the e-commerce return process. I spent a few years in logistics working in automotive manufacturing, optimizing the return process. Before focusing back on digital marketing and niching down into SEO.
It looks like in 2015 you made an interesting pivot from automotive to digital marketing and SEO.
During university, I was interested in both tech and logistics. After graduation, I took a job in logistics at an automotive manufacturing facility. Many of the skills and processes I learned in automotive were later transferable to digital project management (Lean, Kanban, root cause analysis, etc). It was also a wonderful experience to work globally and apply aspects of my thesis research. While working full-time I was also developing maritime shipping software. It was fun to have my feet in two different worlds. Ultimately, when my software startup failed, I was encouraged to help out other startups with SEO as I had had a lot of success with it. This is how started to pursue SEO full-time.
Can you tell us more about ShipStrait, the company you founded in 2013? How did that experience shape your career path? What role, if any, did experimentation play into that experience?
Ultimately Shipstrait (maritime shipping software) never took off. It was super exciting to try to combine my two passions (tech + logistics). It opened so many doors and exposed me to the startup ecosystem. Even though it was a huge personal failure at the time, I came out of it with a whole new appreciation for business, as well as the opportunity to pursue SEO full-time. Experimentation was not a huge focus for me back then, instead, I was focused on UX and automation.
How do you incorporate experimentation into your SEO strategy? Is it even possible to do so?
Absolutely! Right now I lead SEO + CRO. I am lucky enough to develop strategies that bring experimentation into both of these disciplines. There are many interdependencies between SEO, and CRO and I anticipate more so in the future as well.
Finally, it’s time for the Lightning Round!
Bayesian or Frequentist?
If SEO became non-existent tomorrow, what would be your next move?
Either software QA or an esthetician 💅
What’s your hidden talent?
American Sign Language (ASL)
Describe Kathleen in 5 words or less.
A curious & resilient risk-taker
Who would you recommend we interview next?
Anyone on the team at Widerfunnel
Thanks for chatting with us, Kathleen!
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