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Sarah Bird (LinkedIn | Twitter) knows a thing or two about search engine optimization. As the CEO of Moz, it’s the main thing her company focuses on and for good reason. SEO is one of the most important tools in a marketer’s toolkit, but Sarah believes that few really understand how hard it is to become good at SEO and tap into its full potential. On this episode, Sarah explains some common misconceptions about SEO and gets us excited about the future of search.

3 Key Takeaways:

– There is a fundamental lack of understanding about how much work goes into a great longterm SEO strategy

– Local searching is easier to commercialize than broader or national search

– In order to get ahead in your career, search out problems and try to unlock new ways to solve them

Key Quotes:

“If you have a brick and mortar or areal life experience, like if you are a restaurant and you want people to come there and experience your restaurant, then you should be investing a lot in local search.”

“I don’t think voice response is going to be nearly as transformative as a lot of the articles will make you believe.”

“It’s, I think, a harder way to do business to have high standards and to be transparent and accountable to people for it. But I think it’s the right way to do it. Certainly, it’s the only way I want to do it.”

“If it’s all work all day, it’s, it’s easier to forget that all of us are complex human beings and work is only one section of our lives. And I think that when you reduce people to their work persona, it’s harder to exercise that empathy muscle and it’s harder to remember, ‘Wow, this person has a lot going on or this person wasn’t raised in my house. And they have different ways of communicating and they’re motivated by different things.’ So when you have fun together and you say, ‘Hey, it’s a legit work activity for us to sometimes just have fun together and not talk about work,’ I think you open yourselves up to better collaboration and trust and better teamwork because you remind each other of our full humanity and we can see each other more clearly and appreciate each other more clearly.”

“Remember to go where there is heat in your job. Go where there are problems, don’t avoid the problems in the workplace — go to where they are and try to help make it better. Unlock solutions because that’s also another way of thinking about value creation.”


Currently, Sarah Bird is the CEO of Moz, but she has had a long and winding career. According to the Moz website, “Sarah attended Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey; University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington; and East China University School of Law and Politics in Shanghai, China. After practicing law for several years, Sarah threw herself into the startup lifestyle and helped build Moz from the ground up. She sets the company strategy and drives execution through alignment, authentic company culture, and transparency. Sarah regularly speaks about entrepreneurship, business models, search marketing, women in tech, and fostering an inspiring company culture. Her credits include the University of Washington, Fledge, Startup Weekend, the Microsoft Accelerator Program, Seattle Tech Meetup, the White House Summit on Working families, Seattle Interactive Conference, Web Summit, Catalyst, and Defrag. She was named a Geekwire CEO of the Year Finalist three times, and Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 and a Top 100 Women in Tech.”


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