“That’s always my goal – to try and improve the user experience. It’s one of those things that never has an end to it because the way that people even interact with what you’re offering them changes as our culture and technology change. So it’s a constant. There’s never really a ‘set it and forget it.’ It can be everything from the wording and the interface that we’re using to the language and the colors and the imagery. It’s the full scope of what each person is sort of going to encounter when they’re trying to communicate on whatever platform with your brand.”
Mary Davies is among the nicest, most generous, and helpful people you’ll ever meet.
Ask old-timers in the SEO industry and you’ll discover how much Mary (and her husband Dave Davies) have contributed to the community by offering both personal and professional advice to those who need it.
Mary’s willingness to listen, connect, and help people around her serves as an inspiration for more of us in the industry to do the same.
In episode 194 of The Search Engine Journal Show, learn all the reasons why Mary Davies is an SEO pro you need to know better.
About Mary Davies
Mary Davies is President of Beanstalk Internet Marketing.
After starting out in web design in 2002, she moved into SEO in 2004 and her focus now also includes user experience and social media.
She is currently a contributor to Search Engine Journal and helps manage our Friday Focus columns.
Recently, she also joined the Search Engine Journal team as Social Media Manager.
In 2019, Mary was awarded the first-ever Search Engine Journal Community Award for all the awesome work she does on Friday Focus.
She has spoken at industry conferences including Pubcon, State of Search, and SMX, among others.
Mary will also be speaking about social media at Search Engine Journal’s upcoming virtual conference, SEJ eSummit, on June 2.
Listen to this episode and learn about her passion for user experience and social media, being actively involved in the SEO community, and more.
- What’s the focus of Beanstalk and what do they offer clients? [2:30]
- How is Mary holding up both professionally and personally amid the Coronavirus pandemic? [5:22]
- Some unexpected lessons that we can learn right now. [8:45]
- What is user experience (UX), why is it important, and how does UX play to SEO rankings and conversions? [12:26]
- Who’s doing a great job with UX right now? [22:32]
- The key metrics you should be looking at to measure user experience and find out areas for improvement. [26:40]
- Mary is seeing massive improvements on those sites where they’re really cutting content like crazy. [28:35]
- Dos and don’ts for people managing social media during the pandemic. [36:09]
- Mary was going into social work before getting into web design and eventually SEO. Here’s what led her into the SEO world. [45:01]
- The idea of starting an SEO company came about in 2004 while Dave and Mary were in New York. [50:03]
- What is was like for Mary going to SES in the early years “just to be there” and then eventually speaking at conferences and being very involved in the community. [52:06]
- If she could go back to the beginning and change something, Mary would work on separating business from personal matters. [56:07]
- How does Mary define success for herself and for Beanstalk? [58:41]
- On finding out whether there is a good fit with potential clients. [1:00:26]
- Some of her favorite client projects and what made them special. [1:03:02]
- Mary shares a frustrating “horror story” with a past client. [1:07:49]
- What should the audience look forward to about Mary’s presentation at the upcoming SEJ eSummit? [1:09:49]
- On how the Friday Focus column came to be and why Mary decided to get involved: “The whole purpose behind the column is really to normalize our realities, which is that we struggle, and it’s OK, and that we’re not alone in it.” [1:13:02]
- Mary opens up about her struggle with Imposter Syndrome and how she’s managing. [1:19:30]
- If she wasn’t in search or marketing, she would love to be doing community outreach type work instead. Mary’s dream job would be to be a philanthropist. [1:25:31]
- The best thing that has shaped her career more than anything is a simple reminder from Dave that she’s capable. [1:27:08]
- Mary is tired of hearing the advice: “Content is king.” She says, “the idea that content on its own as just a thing being so important is off.” [1:28:33]
- Key tips for newcomers to the industry who want to become successful. [1:30:23]
- “The more we move into AI-driven anything, the more excited I am.” [1:31:33]
- What’s next for Mary Davies? [1:32:52]
Links from the Episode
How to connect with Mary Davies:
- Mary Davies on Search Engine Journal
- Mary Davies Wins Search Engine Journal Community Award (Search Engine Journal)
- Finding Focus, Peace & Joy During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Search Engine Journal)
- State of Search 2018 Session – UX – Behind & In Front of the Curtain (SlideShare)
- SEM Summit 2016 – Increase Conversions and Rankings with User Experience (SlideShare)
- SEJ eSummit: Virtual Conference for SEO and Digital Marketing
- Friday Focus on Search Engine Journal
- How I Deal With Imposter Syndrome & The Core Belief ‘I’m Unworthy’ (Search Engine Journal)
- What a Health Crisis Taught Me About Business (Search Engine Journal)
- Dave Davies
- Kim Krause Berg
- Carolyn Shelby
- Cindy Krum
- Jill Whalen
- Jay Baer
- Blake Denman
- Jeremy Knauff
- Duane Forrester
To listen to this Search Engine Show: Better Know an SEO Pro Podcast with Mary Davies:
- Listen to the full episode at the top of this post
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita