A dedication to SEO education
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
In this blog, we’re celebrating the career of Mordy Oberstein!
Mordy is the Head of SEO Branding at Wix. Concurrently he also serves as a communications advisor for Semrush. Dedicated to SEO education, Mordy is one of the organizers of #SEOchat, the host of the SEO Rant Podcast, co-Host of Edge of the Web, and a popular industry author and speaker.
Over to you Mordy…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your very first job?
I flipped burgers at this nasty burger joint (I would tell anyone I knew who came in to run for the hills). I guess my first legit job where I wasn’t shooing away customers was as a part-time receptionist for a property management company (Fun fact, I eventually became the COO of the company. Life is weird.).
How did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?
I’ve always been a solid writer. In grad school, I was a firm believer that if I wrote 50 pages as opposed to the required 10, no one would actually read it and they would just fork over an A. It worked.
After doing Teach For America in Baltimore I took a job as a pedagogue for an education software company where I would write a lot of their educational resources. I was also one of the only native English speakers working there. At one point, they asked me to write their web content with the goal of bringing in organic traffic. For one to bring in organic traffic one would need to understand how search engines work – hence my SEO life began.
Share a mistake you made or an event you regret from your career:
Thinking about what I can say that won’t get me in trouble. I regret saying things that have gotten me in trouble.
Jumping in a time machine, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Don’t take the things folks say on social media too seriously and it’s OK to acquiesce even when you’re 100% convinced you’re in the right.
What industry skills do you wish you’d learned sooner and why?
Link building. So I would have more links. I actually hate link-building. In all seriousness, I don’t think there’s one thing. There are always things I’ve wanted to have a deeper understanding of. I’ve always wanted to be a real Google Analytics nerd (well, now GA4) and to be able to have supreme command over the platform. That kind of thing.
Who are you inspired by in the digital marketing industry?
I’ve definitely been inspired by different people at different stages of my career. I remember when SERP features became the big thing and having chats with Dr. Pete about what was happening and really appreciating his thoughts. I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for Glenn Gabe and his outlook on Google updates and SEO overall (doesn’t hurt that he’s a massive Yankees fan).
Most recently, it’s been my own team at Wix. Seeing the level of genuine care for the SEO industry and community that folks like Crystal Carter and George Nguyen have is very motivating. The same goes for the folks on the team who work behind the scenes that you may not see (Hi Tal, Inbal, Bar, and Noam!)
Oh, and I have to give a nod to Barry Schwartz who’s a real mensch and has helped me develop my career over the years.
If you were to publish an autobiography in 20 years’ time, what would it be titled?
I’m Not Grumpy, Now Get Off My Lawn Before I Call The Cops
What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?
At the end of the day I think I want people to remember me for being helpful. If you asked me what I want people to respect me for I think that would focus on whatever it is I achieved but when you ask about being remembered that’s more personal. I’d rather be remembered for taking the time to help people out than I would any specific “thing” I did.
What subjects were you best at in school?
Thanks, Mordy! Keep an eye out for more of the MOAM series as I regularly publish new editions from other inspiring digital experts.
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 get in touch with me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore your career options in digital marketing, visit our job board or upload your CV.
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