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  • Writer's pictureMordy Oberstein

SEO Agencies & The Struggle to Get Culture Right

How SEO Agencies Can Set the Right Tone with Their Work Culture: Summary of Episode #10

Mordy Oberstein Interviews Emma Russell on the SEO Rant Podcast

Emma Russel joins the podcast to talk about how to create a positive culture at an SEO agency:

  • The unique challenges SEO agencies have in creating a positive culture

  • What it takes to create a positive culture at an SEO agency

  • Women need to be treated with respect in the workplace. Period.


SEO Culture Shock: A Conversation with Emma Russel

There is a big cultural difference between doing SEO on the agency side versus working in-house. According to Emma, while most of everything depends on the people you are surrounded by, creating a strong culture working in-house is far easier.

When working in-house you're able to rally around the brand and the product to produce a culture that is conducive for being productive. However, SEO agencies don't have that liberty. Here, with agencies, the team itself becomes the focus.

You have to create something people can be proud of. When there's no product or brand per se to rally around, pride in the work becomes the focal point culturally. That means you have to trust the people you have working for you. You can't micromanage them. To create buy-in and pride the SEOs on your team need to feel a sense of autonomy and ownership.

For this to happen Emma emphasizes the need to create an environment of mutual respect. And there are no shortcuts here. Respect has to be genuine and substantial. Forget all the "beer nights" or whatever surface-like activity, culture starts with respect.

To emphasize this point, there has to be a culture of equality in your organization. Emma recalls numerous instances where she has experienced being mistreated in the workplace for being a woman. Respect has to be across the board, period. If a mistake is made, own up to it. Don't excuse it away. Make the change you need to make. Women, and people of all walks of life, need to be treated with respect in the workplace (and out of the workplace, for the record). End of story.


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