Background: Kathryn Katz, aka urbanwebkat, has been writing and marketing on the Web since 1996. While she’s currently working as an in-house manager at Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, she’s worked both agency and in-house positions. Kathryn’s work has touched many fields including education, health, real estate, retail, and non-profit organizations. She’s spoken at Search Engine Strategies and other internet marketing conferences; assisted with the development of the University of San Francisco’s Master Certificate in Internet Marketing.
How did you get started?
I started writing for web design firms while I was putting myself through college. I didn’t get exposed to SEO until I got a full-time position at a web design firm. I learned SEO by reading Danny Sullivan’s book and living in the forums like Webmaster World, High Rankings and Cre8asite Forums. SEO was so different back then.
What do you prefer, in-house or agency?
I have to say that my favorite is in-house. Agency life is face-paced and exciting, but one of my frustration points was that I never had an opportunity to really grow with a project. Oftentimes, I would consult on a project and get it launched, but it was rare that I got to see all my ideas brought to fruition.
Being in-house gives me a personal investment in the business. I get to immerse myself in the business, watch my ideas grow, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Working for a non-profit has allowed me to use my craft to reach people and improve their lives. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
What do you love about the industry?
I never get bored. SEO is constantly evolving and changing. I’m learning something new all the time, and it never stops. SEO isn’t for the lazy or faint of heart. You have to test, test and test. Even as an in-house person. It’s especially crucial to keep your ties to the community so you don’t lose your edge.
Also, the folks I get to work with in this industry are sharp, fun and unique personalities. I’ve had a lot of people be kind of me over the years. I couldn’t find a better group of people to learn from, collaborate and work with.
What don’t you like about the industry?
All the noise and misinformation. Too many folks are focused on building their personal brand rather than contributing to the community. Sometimes they publish half-truths, outdated information or are flat out in the wrong. That’s why it’s so important to question and test ideas. You can’t read something in a newsletter or forum and take it as gospel. Always look at the source of the information.
What drew you to the Fire Horse Trail?
Over the past year, I’ve had an amazing experience at the SEO Dojo. That community has really drawn me in, and provided amazing support in my efforts. I just wanted to give back.