It’s Women in Tech SEO week! Let’s chat to one of the amazing SEO speakers!
During this blog series, we talk to accomplished digital marketing professionals from a variety of backgrounds about their career journeys with the aim of inspiring jobs seekers, aspiring freelancers and the trailblazing entrepreneurs amongst you!
This week I spoke to Paige Hobart! As Head of the SEO department at ROAST, Paige plays a crucial role in the development and expansion of the ever-growing SEO team. Paige has been at the core of the company and the SEO department since its inception, developing the team on a variety of subjects to inform best-in-class SEO. With almost a decade in the industry, Paige has had the pleasure of working with notable brands across a wide range of sectors, as well as having the invaluable historic experience of the not-so-white-hat SEO practices of the past. She is also heavily involved in the SEO industry, having spoken at several events including Brighton SEO, SMX London, and is a long-standing member and advocate of Women in Tech SEO. Now onto the interview! Over to you Paige!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Strangely enough, I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to work in advertising or media. I think back to loving Media Studies and English in secondary school and admiring characters like Lynette Scavo of Desperate Housewives – the advertising “business shark”. I loved the look of these strong female characters, with their pencil skirts and stiletto heels (something you would probably never see me wearing today!). I was also a very practical child. I was bought a 1-year-old horse when I was 12 who I still have with me today at 18. I knew I needed a career in something that would pay well and would allow for a life outside of work – that was vet or dr off the list! Haha
What was your very first job?
My very first ‘proper’ job was in a bedding & curtains shop called Rosebys. I must have been around 16 as I would take my moped there and park it around the back. I was quickly trusted with tea making and got so far as hand-cutting net curtains before college meant I got a job closer to campus. This was then in a shoe shop on a very bust high street where I had a very humbling experience dealing with feet (I’ll let you imagine!).
How did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?
I discovered SEO like everybody else did at the time – you fell into it by accident! My marketing degree at Bournemouth uni was chosen for its 3rd-year work placement programme. Everybody on the course was sent away to work for at least 42 weeks and they would help you get placements. I ended up getting a ‘Junior Online Marketing Executive’ role with a small SEO company. What this actually turned out to be was a link building & outreach job where I worked with copywriters to spin articles to publish on various blogs and other sites. In the last few months of my placement, the Penguin algo update landed and sent everything into chaos. Luckily I went back to finish my degree for a year and when I came back to SEO, it’d sorted itself out for the most part!
Share a mistake you made or an event you regret from your career:
Ohh this is a tough one! Okay, so my most cringe-worthy career moment was probably the year the guys at Myposeo invited three of us out to Paris for the We Love SEO conference. It was such a fantastic few days and the conference itself was great! On the last night, I got way too drunk, danced with everybody from Myposeo & Oncrawl (lovely people btw!) and left my jumper in the bar. I ended up throwing up in the cab on the way back to the Airbnb and am shamed by my colleagues to this day. Good ending though as the absolutely amazing team at Oncrawl actually posted my jumper back to me in London after a very cold & hungover Eurostar back the next day.
Jumping in a time machine, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Dump the boyfriend before you leave for uni!
What industry skills do you wish you’d learned sooner and why?
The confidence to say “I don’t know”.
When I moved to ROAST as an exec I remember sitting in a client meeting with my colleague Camilla and her saying ‘we don’t have those numbers to hand, but we’ll email them over after this meeting if that’s okay?’. It was such a game-changer for me – the start of being able to curb imposter syndrome through the mantra ‘you literally can’t know EVERYTHING in SEO! And that’s okay.
Now I’m Head of SEO I try to instil this in the team – better to have team members that have a deeper understanding of certain areas and work collaboratively to share that knowledge within the team.
Who are you inspired by in the digital marketing industry?
Areej Abuali every single day.
If you were to publish an autobiography in 20 years time, what would it be titled?
White Wine Hangovers
What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?
Being supportive & approachable. Being an advocate and an ally to all those who need it.
What subjects were you best at in school?
English, Art & Science
Thank you, Paige, for taking part in this series. It’s always so nice to be able to share stories of marketers supporting others in the industry. We recommend everyone to follow Paige on social media and to learn more about her positive impact on the industry!
Keep an eye out for more of the MOAM series as I regularly publish new editions from other inspiring digital experts. Some previous articles you might enjoy are:
✨ Areej Abuali – Founder of Women in Tech SEO
✨ Rejoice Ojiako – SEO Mgr & CoFounder of B_Digital
✨ Stephen Kenwright – Co-Founder of Rise At Seven
Could your career story inspire others to further their digital marketing careers? Or, do you know someone whose story needs to be told? Feel free to fill out our new MOAM questionnaire or get in touch with me directly via email@example.com. Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore your career options in digital marketing, visit our job board or upload your CV