Ekaterina Vasileva is the SEO Executive here at Bigwave media. When she’s not boosting website search rankings, she’s playing acoustic guitar or exploring the Devonshire beaches with her dachshund Louis.
Outside of her passion for music and dogs, Ekaterina is a self-confessed ‘tech-geek’. She loves anything digital and creative. Luckily for her, she was able to turn her hobby into her work. But how did she end up on her career path, and what are the in’s and out’s of her role?
We interviewed her to find out more.
Tell us about yourself
I’m 22 (23 in June, the Gemini squad!) and originally from a seaside town in Bulgaria called Burgas.
How did you get to where you are now?
I’ve always been fascinated by design, marketing and branding.
I started off in Adobe CC from the age of around 13. By 18, I was already a freelancing graphic designer, at one point responsible for all things printed and electronic for Interact and Rotary Bulgaria. Newsletters, promotional posters, handbooks, even logos re-draws, you name it, I worked on it. I had a lot of other similar interests too, including typography.
At University I studied law but even then, I was still doing several graphic design, SEO and photography gigs on the side. I’ve always said that I’ll end up working in the creative industry one way or another. It’s just such a passion of mine and I cannot seem to stay away for long.
Why did you specifically branch out to SEO?
SEO is the one thing that encompasses everything that I’m interested in. From brand vision to the technical side of things and outreach to content marketing. SEO is varied and keeps me interested and engaged every day.
What is a day in the life of an SEO Executive like?
In the mornings, I roll into Bigwave and head straight for the kitchen. A coffee is a must for me. From there, I check my emails, keep up to date on any trends or industry changes by reviewing a few SEO Blogs (Ahrefs Blog is my favourite) and work through the varied tasks for the day.
If time permits in the afternoon, I use it to stay up to date on various platforms like AdWords and Analytics. I work in collaboration with the whole search team on different projects – Tag Manager setup, content creation and Analytics reports. Often, I also speak to clients to liaise about different points of SEO advice and guidance.
What are the positive and negative points of your role?
To be honest with you, there are hardly any negative points that I can think of.
Perhaps working on several campaigns at the same time can be challenging to some people but that for me is one of the most exciting things in my role. Many SEO experts on a company side can get bored with working on just a single website and in the same sector.
As for the positives: the flexibility, a vast number of things to learn and better myself at, a great deal of responsibility, communication with different teams – Web Development, Account Managers and Designers. I like that there’s a good work-life balance (but that’s also due to the fact that I live really close to work!).
What are the career progressions in your profession?
An SEO specialist can take many possible routes. From an agency side, the route often goes from Executive up to Manager, Head of Department or even Digital Director. Alternatively, many choose to move to freelancing and work for themselves.
Some people start from a client-side and move to agency, or vice-versa. There is a great degree of flexibility within the profession, which also allows for being a ‘digital nomad’ – being able to work from anywhere, as long as there’s internet. I think that’s the future.
What are your favourite moments at BWM?
All of them! I’m relatively new to Bigwave and may still be in the honeymoon period but two things stand out to me. In the first two months of working here, I went to an Online Influence Conference in Bristol. It was super exciting to meet like-minded people and to exchange ideas. I particularly liked the talks about Artificial Intelligence.
Another one is how I feel listened to and that my views matter. Recently, we did a branding workshop where everybody had the opportunity to propose their ideas about the direction the company is heading. That, to me, is awesome!