Mercy is an SEO from India and this was one of the reasons why I wanted to feature her early on in the season.
When you observe SEO-related publications and podcasts there is a severe lack of South Asian representation. And should you come across a webinar or audio podcast featuring an SEO profession from Southern Asian, they usually have a westernised accent.
There are a lot of stereotypes of Indian SEOs. Some of it stems from poor link building practices. Some of it comes from racism.
This is why this episode was so important for me and I hope you will enjoy listening to Mercy share her professional journey as much as I did.
Interesting things about Mercy.
- most of her SEO career has been agency-side
- she used to be a link builder
- as Group Head of SEO at Webenza, Mercy leads a team of 11 overseeing a portfolio of 25 clients
- both her parents were teachers
- her starting wage in SEO was USD25 per month
- she now earns 100x this
Indian SEOs are not spammers.
We’ve all received those emails.
And we’ve all regretted approval certain LinkedIn connections.
Guess what? Mercy used to be a link builder.
I asked Mercy if she was comfortable talking about this – I didn’t want to put the entire burden on her because that’s not fair. Thankfully, she was ready and had an important message to say.
“I still see there are good chunk of people that think SEOs in India are spammers and that they are all link-builders.”
“But this is not the case”
She continues, “I’m seeing a lot of good folks coming from India who are representing India on the international stage and I am very happy about that.”
Mercy acknowledges there are a certain percentage of people in the Indian SEO community who work solely in link acquisition.
“They think that link building is all there is to SEO. At the same time, there are some great SEOs coming out from India who are taking to international stage at conferences in the UK and USA.”
If there is one takeaway from what Mercy says, it is that people in SEO need better access to SEO education and this is not something that is unique to specific region of the world. And this is something I feel very strongly about – so much so that I’ve poured thousands of dollars having my technical SEO checklist translated into major languages outside of English.
Her manager changed her SEO career path (for the better).
Following on from our conversation on why Mercy thinks why there is a misconception that Indian SEOs are all link-building spammers, Mercy revealed how she was able to escape from the trap of link-building spam.
It had to do with moving to another agency where her line manager was not focused on link-building alone. Her manager mentored her and showed her another way to approach SEO and she credits her career path to this critical point in her professional life.
There is a lot of opportunity in SEO in India.
When I asked Mercy about career opportunities and salary negotiation in India for SEOs, she had the following wisdom to share:
“You have to keep learning and keep improving your skill set.”
“Otherwise, you will not be able to advance.”
Similarly, Mercy adds, “You can often find better opportunities in a larger city so if you can relocate, you can command a better salary.”
How to communicate your wins.
Asking for a raise or job title promotion can be scary.
For many people and cultures, asking for more is frowned upon.
This is why I asked Mercy for actionable advice on how you can document your wins so that you can use them to prove your worth to your manager(s).
This is what she had to say:
- find the main communication medium that your organisation uses (e..g, Slack, Teams, Google Chat, Discord)
- drop in your accomplishments into the group chat (squad, company-wide)
- include client feedback
- doing this gives management, your colleagues, and your leadership team evidence and visibility of your achievements
- so that they cannot deny it when you bring it up in your one-on-one meetings and 360 feedback sessions.
Connect with Mercy.
- find her in the Women in Tech SEO speaker hub
- you can also read her interview spot on Women in Tech SEO
- hear Mercy on another podcast (Traject) sharing her technical SEO insights and experiences and also on Tech SEO Podcast.