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7 months ago · · Typical

Tech Champion Spotlight – Meet Monica

What has your Digital Culture Network journey looked like so far?

I took on the role of a Tech Champion for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in February 2023, and in the ten months I’ve worked at the DCN I have offered one-to-one support to more than 70 organisations and individuals.

I have worked in the digital sphere since 2008 – several years in the not-for-profit sector – and SEO has always been my passion. Working at the DCN gives me the unique opportunity to work with a wide array of organisations and individuals – each with their own objectives and unique circumstances. I particularly value the ability to engage with organisations face-to-face (online) and being able to tailor my advice to their individual needs and capabilities.

What is happening in the world of “your specialism” right now?

When I first started in SEO, in 2010, the process of optimising websites looked very different. The Google results page looked a little drab, with none of the colourful rich results we see now. SEO did not have the best reputation as many strategies were directed at tricking Google into ranking pages of low value. They were known as “black hat SEO” and despite adding no value, they did often work.

SEO has changed a lot since then. Thankfully, optimising pages nowadays means aligning them with user-intent, providing high-quality information and easy-to-navigate websites, rather than looking for loopholes in Google’s algorithms to exploit.

However, it still is an ever-changing landscape. Google keeps improving its results pages, introducing more and more rich results, which sometimes can completely bypass your website. Voice search is another area of change – an increasing number of people are using voice to conduct searches. Recent reports estimate that currently half of the US population uses voice search features daily. This will no doubt change how we do SEO.

And then there’s AI. This is going to be a huge game-changer, but it’s a little early to come up with predictions just yet!

What are you working on right now?

I have just delivered my first webinar: Demystifying SEO: Actionable Tips for the Cultural Sector. Teaching has always been my passion (in a previous life, I used to work as a teacher), so I’m planning on creating more educational content for the DCN Knowledge Hub.

How can you help organisations?

When an organisation comes to me for SEO advice, the first thing I will always do is to look at their website. I’ll do a “light” SEO audit. This looks at the health of their website, the keywords they’re currently ranking for, and opportunities for improvement. This is so that when we meet, I can offer them actionable advice that will improve their rankings. Sometimes, SEO is not the right strategy for an organisation. If that is the case, I will of course let them know – so that they concentrate their efforts on other strategies that are likely to bring better results.

Having worked in the not-for-profit sector, my other specialisation is Google Ad Grants. This is a free grant from Google allowing registered charities to advertise on Google’s search results page. I can help organisations throughout their Ad Grants journey – from eligibility and applying for the grant, through to strategy, audit and troubleshooting, to reinstating suspended and lapsed accounts.

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