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1) Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog
My name is Joanna Vaiou and I am a Search Engine Optimization specialist. Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” is a combination of technical and internet marketing strategies for websites and other web properties in order to appear on the left side results of the 1st page of a search engine (like Google.gr), when someone types relevant keywords for products or services in the search box.
2) How did you get involved with SEO in the first place?
Well, if I have to sum my story up, I would say the following:
- In 2004, I got my Bachelor degree in “Science and Art of Economics” from ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI.
- After college I worked at several non-satisfying jobs.
- My SEO journey started 6 years ago in 2009.
- I was fired up to learn and start something new that I would totally love and find exciting as well as something that would allow me to have a better quality of life (more freedom and independence, less stress and more enjoyment).
- I knew from back then that some people run complete businesses online, working remotely from the internet. People who are allowed to live a lifestyle with more freedom, no 9am-5pm conventional office jobs, no waiting once or twice a year to take some days off work and go on holidays etc.
- Freedom and living my everyday life on my own terms was what I always dreamt about. My future occupation should fit these standards.
- As such, I started looking around the internet and ran into some online trainings courses on how to promote a business online in order to be found by people who were looking for exactly what a business owner has to offer.
- As such, I learnt how to make a website on my own through Wordpress content management system, with no coding or web development studies or background.
- I soon then realized that having a website was not enough. People must always be able to find a website and what it offers when they look for relevant information. And where do the majority of people look for all kinds of information? It is “Google” of course.
- As such, from March 2009 I started extensive online self-training in SEO exclusively.
- In September 2011, I applied and got a job as a SEO Director at Globe One Digital, one of the best Internet Marketing Agencies in Greece where I stayed for 1 year.
- In 2013 I started my own SEO consulting business in Athens Greece, where I do SEO for my clients two years now.
3) The present & future of being a SEO professional in Greece?
The present moment is the best to start getting involved with SEO in Greece and the future is even brighter. Every business owner wants to be found on top page of Google in the organic (left side) results for relevant searches. But there are only 10 spots there and not everyone can appear there most of the times without knowing how to do contemporary “SEO”. By simply appearing there, the business owner increases the authority and trust level for his brand and this is a great asset to have when it comes to acquiring new customers or clients in the near future. SEO is an “art and science” and it evolves (changes) so frequently that today’s SEO will probably be next week’s, month’s or year’s “water under the bridge” SEO. It is a digital marketing and business development expertise that every business owner in the world would love to acquire but very few professionals really have. That is because it requires constant fresh education daily and a huge passion to follow how the SEO industry evolves. It is not a 9am-5pm conventional job. Although in Greece, it is relatively easy to get one if you know just the basics and have one or two case studies to present to your potential employer. There is no real competition. SEO positions open every now and then in Greece and the road is wide open if you are in for the ride. If you are wondering “Where Can SEO Take Me?”, well this is totally up to you and what kind of life you want to live:
- Being a newbie with a little seo expertise, can get you a job at an agency or another company that can afford SEO in Greece, because there is little to no competition.
- If you have advanced knowledge in SEO plus you live and breathe with it, it can really take you anywhere you wish. If you want more than a SEO office job and you have the confidence and expertise to sell your knowledge and results to clients, you can work as an independent consultant from the comfort of your own home and offer your services remotely. You can be a trainer, do educational seminars, run your own affiliate websites selling other people’s products, build, rank and sell websites, whatever is that you really want. There are really no limits. This is how amazing seo is.
- Imagine SEO being like a relatively new weird FANCY “bicycle” that everybody stares at… But in order to ride it, it requires very special training... Knowing SEO allows you to ride that fancy bicycle to unknown destinations. You will choose your own destination that will fulfill your professional and personal goals.
4) Do small & medium business owners and companies really understand SEO and its benefits?
From my experience so far, small, medium and large business owners have little to no understanding of what SEO is and how it works, as well as the benefits of it for their business. This is a reason why I usually consult and train my potential clients before we close a deal. I want my clients to understand what they are buying and why they are buying it. I have found that not doing so can result in a future conflict that can break our deal. I wrote a post about what SEO is and how it works on my website.