Joanna Vaiou – Solopreneur and Search Engine Optimization Strategist/Consultant

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The solution lies in each and every woman in Tech to initially realize her worth and then create or join communities with like-minded women to empower and help each other grow.

Joanna Vaiou is a Search Engine Optimization Strategist/Consultant at her own SEO company SEO Consultant: Joanna Vaiou, helping high-end companies and organizations with their targeted visibility and sales from Google organic traffic channels.

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

I prefer the word my “business” instead of “job” since well, it is mine and I love it so much that I don’t see it as a job.

Greetings to all, it is an honor to be here and contribute to your global female tech community. I prefer the word my “business” instead of “job” since well, it is mine and I love it so much that I don’t see it as a job. In a nutshell, my business is in the Search Engine Optimization industry (SEO) which is the art and science of making websites and other web properties rank on the top page of Google organically for relevant to each business’s keywords and as high as possible. The way Search Engine Optimization professionals achieve this is by initially optimizing the entire core website elements technically, content wise and on a page-to-page level, to make the property friendlier to Google bots and easier to consume for users. The second and ongoing part of Search Engine Optimization processes has to do with promoting the property’s pages on many different types of other websites in a strategic way, aiming to acquire backlinks which counts as “votes” in Google’s eyes and increase the relevance and authority of the property’s ranking factors. SEO results depend on more than 200 factors that Google checks to rank websites. Google’s algorithms are complex technologies and perform updates (small and large ones) very often. Google is reported to change its search algorithm around 500 and 600 times per year. Technology plays a major role in the SEO industry and as SEOs our role is to always adjust our strategies so our web properties “lay” on the “sunny side” of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

My professional journey started in early 2009. It was when I had managed to save some money doing jobs that I did not find any joy or purpose for few years after I got my Bachelor degree in the Science and Art of Economics major. I decided to invest the next few years of my life in studying SEO online. I have also documented in detail my journey of learning SEO online step by step (without a mentor). In a nutshell, after studying at home, learning how to build WordPress websites and ranking them high on Google for particular keywords, I had built my initial portfolio of case studies and got a job as an SEO Director at a Web Performance Agency in Athens, Greece. I stayed for one year and later on, I started my own SEO Consulting and SEO Project Management business that I run remotely from early 2013 with my own clients.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

When I first started studying SEO, ranking was relatively easy. Having a website with some content on and building some backlinks having the main target keyword enough times, was enough to rank most of the times. In my experience, the greatest transformation in Google’s algorithms technology was “Penguin Update” in 2012, which caused a lot of websites (some of mine included) to fall off the top page of Google due to the large amount of backlinks that had the main target keyword as anchor text (or linkable text). I remember it very clearly as I rarely get hit by Google updates.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

“Women” and “technology”… When I think of these words together, my mind goes to “Women in Tech SEO” Festival in London that I attended on March 2020. It was the first full-day event arranged by “Women in Tech SEO” community, coordinated by Areej AbuAli who is really making a difference and helps female SEO professionals network and grow through conferences, meetups, seminars and mentorship programs. The whole event as well as the after-drinks we had was an experience I will always remember and cherish. Times are changing. I am really proud to be a part of this global community and experience the change as it happens in our industry.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?

The solution lies in each and every woman in Tech to initially realize her worth and then create or join communities with like-minded women to empower and help each other grow. The “Women in Tech SEO” community is a bright example of doing just that. Changing the industry and working towards achieving gender equality. When it comes to Women in SEO who work in the corporate world, I will share with you a spot on article of Jessica Foster, a friend and well-known SEO Copywriter who writes for Search Engine Journal: “I Am a Woman in SEO: How I Create my Own Seat at the Table”.

Which was the best decision in your career?

The point I want to make is that even when you go solo, if you are strong enough, love yourself, genuinely help people improve their life or their business, and believe in your strengths, you can become a 6-figure per year solopreneur and keep moving forward.

The best decision in my career was to start as a solopreneur. It is said that success is very hard when you have no partners in business or a big team and maybe that is valid some of the times. In my experience, running my business solo with few independent remote assistants (not employees), helps me make decisions fast, end a business relationship when it is more emotionally draining than beneficial, and generally, I really enjoy the absolute freedom to act as I feel according to my personal values and principles without waiting for someone else’s approval. I have also invested in my personal development all these years. As a result, I have immense self-awareness and faith in me that whatever comes my way, I will tackle it. And I will reach my goals and then set more for me to conquer. The point I want to make is that even when you go solo, if you are strong enough, love yourself, genuinely help people improve their life or their business, and believe in your strengths, you can become a 6-figure per year solopreneur and keep moving forward. It is possible.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in the world it would be to help women realize how capable they are and find the strength and confidence to create and live the life of their dreams.

If I could change one thing in the world it would be to help women realize how capable they are and find the strength and confidence to create and live the life of their dreams, without depending on anyone else (other than themselves).

Joanna Vaiou is a Search Engine Optimization Strategist/Consultant at her own SEO company SEO Consultant: Joanna Vaiou, helping high-end companies and organizations with their targeted visibility and sales from Google organic traffic channels.

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