EP#14 Tina Ehrensberger - SEO in Latin America and the community Latinas en SEO

Tina, a specialist SEO based in Mexico, discusses all things SEO in Latin America what are the challenges she faces and how different the SEO industry is from the USA or the UK. She shares why she co-founded the community Latinas en SEO and how the association is essential in developing the field of SEO.

Who is Tina?

Christina, also known as Tina, started as a SEO manager at Dafiti and later implemented the digital fundraising strategy at UNICEF Mexico. Since 2017 she is an SEO consultant, focusing on website audits, technical SEO and e-Commerce. Tina has been very successful working remotely with clients around the world (B2C and B2B) and as a SEO professor. She co-founded Latinas en SEO, a community that seeks to close the gender gap in the region, to promote and empower women to work in SEO.

🧡 Many thanks to Tina for sharing her experience with us.

Full transcript available: https://workinseo.com/blog 

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Useful links

Podcast Anchor Page: https://anchor.fm/workinseo

Isaline’s, the podcast host, Twitter: https://twitter.com/isaline_margot

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Sign up to “WorkinSEO” newsletter: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/workinseo

Getting in touch with our podcast guest, Tina Ehrensberger

Follow Tina on Twitter: https://twitter.com/consultinamx 

Follow Tina on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-ehrensberger/ 

Check Tina’s Website: https://consultina.com.mx/ 

#WorkinSEOPodcast full transcript with Tina Ehrensberger

Thank you to Ahrefs for sponsoring the Season 2 of the WorkinSEOPodcast!

Isaline: Hey, everyone. Welcome to a new episode of the WorkInSEO Podcast. I am Isaline Muelhauser, founder of WorkInSEO job board and podcast. Today's episode is about working as an SEO consultant in Latin America. Our guest today is Christina Ehrensberger. Tina is an SEO consultant and founder of the SEO consultancy, Consultina. But, actually, she had a big surprise because she just changed her job a week ago to work in an agency based in San Francisco. First of all, congrats for this amazing news! 

Tina: Thank you. Thank you for having me, Isaline. I'm very happy to be here. 

Isaline: Welcome to the podcast. How are you feeling? Are you ready to do this? 

Tina: I'm very excited. This is actually my first podcast in English, so I'm ready to go. 

Isaline: Oh! This is going to be fun.

Tina: That's going to be amazing. 

Isaline: I decided that we'll keep discussing working as an SEO consultant in Latin America, since you've had the experience anyway, and you have started like a week ago. So, it's completely relevant to discuss this and you are, of course, based in Latin America. Can you tell us a little more about you and what got you into SEO?

Tina: Yes, of course. I'm based in Guadalajara, Mexico. I've been working in SEO for about nine years now. I started at an eCommerce, which is actually part of Rocket Internet, so they had a lot of startups all around the world. This is the first place where I heard about SEO. I was very lucky that my boss back then -- I shout out to Mel Cantiño. He was like, "Oh, I have no time to do this." Actually, it was conversion rate optimization and SEO. He was like, "Can you talk to the team back in Berlin? Like, take a look at this." I instantly got it. Like my life was, I talked about SEO all the time and I read everything about it. All the beginner's guide started working a lot. SEO is very much about those technical aspect and content and design. I started to work closely with IT and learn a lot there in the Graphite, in this company. 

Afterwards, I started working on UNICEF. I was with UNICEF for a couple of years. I did the fundraising strategy. They did this fundraising strategy here in Mexico. Then, I decided to go independent because there's a lot of demand. As you know, everybody needs SEO, and Latin America is a region that is growing at a very fast pace. I noticed that I can just do it by myself. I've been working for five years. And now, I started at this new agency that is called, "Graphite." This is a growth agency. We've worked with very big clients that I'm very excited with clients such as Netflix, Robinhood, and Masterclass. I just over to top of starting there. But, I can tell you more about the Latin American work. All that's in Latin America. 

Isaline: What an interesting career path! Like, eCommerce, and then fundraising, and then consultants on your own for five years. That is a long time. What it is about SEO, that's made you go, "Oh, I want to do this and not something else." What did you like about this industry?

Tina: Yeah. I think, first of all, I get bored easily. I think most of us know it's very interesting, exciting. Because there's all new algorithm and everything's changed, and all of a sudden, all your rankings drop. So, you're constantly waiting for something to happen and are not waiting, but you have to be present and check what's going on.

Also, what I love, I always say that in digital, you can measure everything. You have the data, so you can see the results. It's very fun to see that it actually has a really very big impact on business, on the sales. It's just so fun to watch how it gives you results. Also, I love -- this is what I was telling you. I do work with the design team, there's IT, and this technical aspect also. You can be very creative. So, I really enjoy doing SEO. 

Isaline: I heard that you must be very curious and open about new things and changes, and then like collaboration because you like working with different teams. Is there a specific type of challenge that you really like? Or, what is your favorite type of project? 

Tina: I really like working with eCommerce and the technical SEO. I've done a couple of migrations that has been quite fun. I know it's got to be daunting. Not everybody likes to be on migration. It's scary because you have to be very careful of the changes to do, but I really enjoy that. It's fun.

Isaline: So, eCommerce and migration. And the best is if it's a migration of an eCommerce website, right? 

Tina: Yes. That's a challenge I like. 

Isaline: It sounds like a nightmare, but a good challenge. A good challenge. Can you tell me what's motivated you to start your own consultancy? You mentioned that you realized that there were lots of companies who needed SEO. But were there other factors or criteria that made you go, "Hey, I'm strong enough. I want to go on my own."

Tina: Actually, I forgot to mention before that I founded that community of women. I'm going to talk about this later on. But, as a woman in Latin America, it's been tough. It's tough to really earn a lot of -- or have to be paid fairly, so to say. There are a lot of challenges and discrimination. To be honest, I mean, I'm very privileged. I'm a white woman. I speak English. I have had this contact with the Anglo-Saxon culture. So, I'm able to learn about SEO because most of the content, as you know, is in English in this part. 

What I love about SEO is that you can do it from everywhere around the world, and also you can work remotely. That's why I know that's okay. I can have my own clients, and I can charge -- I mean, in Latin America, to be honest, the pay is not very good also. I mean, I cannot charge as much because a lot of people maybe don't even know that SEO exists. First of all, you have to explain what it is. And so, that's the challenge. But I noticed that I can do that. I can have a couple of clients. Actually, during the pandemic, I worked with clients in other parts of the world. I have clients in Dubai, in Berlin, and the U.S. I worked with the clients from abroad. And then, if you get paid in U.S. dollars, it's actually -- there's a high opportunity for us to be paid fairly.

I always want it to be my own boss, and not have anyone tell me like, "Oh, you have to [0:09:29.6 unin], 9:00-to-5:00." I really just wanted to try it and it worked out. Actually, for me, to now go back to an agency and have a boss, it wasn't something that I never thought would happen. But, this company, the agency, they have flexible hours. They also, for example, have limitless vacations. You just have to focus on your work, on your objectives, and to keep ourselves motivated. 

Also, something important that happened is that if with all diversities, you know, like in the companies, at organizations, I worked at before, I sort of found out like a burnout. My mental health is very important for me and -- well, mental, physical, emotional, everything. I sort of have also the needs to do my own thing, and that helped me to just also be able to take care of myself better in that. So, I really enjoy.

Isaline: You mentioned that companies didn't know really about SEO and you had to first teach them about what it is. Can you tell me more about how is the market for SEO in Mexico? Because I think that in the SEO industry, it's very often USA and UK-focused. I'm interested to know really how it is in your country and how different it is from what you've heard other people discuss who are maybe based in the USA or in the UK.

Tina: Oh, I love what you say about teaching because it's actually -- I love to teach SEO. I am a professor, I don't know, I teach SEO. Also, my main objective with all of my clients is to teach them why we do the certain changes. Not just tell them, "Oh, yeah. The SEO has been done on your site, and go ahead and move along." It's not like that. I mean, you have to tell them what are the impacts of SEO as you know, of every change. Someone, for example, in the IT team, if they changed the structure of a site or the links or anything can have a huge impact on the rankings. The companies need to know what the impact of their actions is on the SEO strategy.

For me, it's really important to teach them. I do trainings, like how to create, generate their content, everything like that. What we were saying that there's not a lot of knowledge about SEO is, or the level of SEO is much lower than in the U.S., or UK or Europe.

For example, I was in a very big organization -- and I don't want to say names. But, for example, agencies tell that they have done the SEO, and you know that the SEO strategy is perfect but the website, for example, wasn't even indexed. So, they weren't even able to appear on Google, and they were paying a lot of money. This agency just told them, "Yeah, yeah. The strategy is on…" It's very, very important that companies and organizations and everybody knows how to check analytics, how to check the rankings, not just manually. 

I want to tell you a little bit about Latinas and say, I want to take the opportunity here because I know you're a part of Women in Tech SEO. For me, it's super dear to my heart. I want to thank Areej here. But, if you're wondering, like why did we create Latinas, I'd say that this is a community, that we are already 400 women.

Isaline: Wow! Congrats! 

Tina: Yes, it's really exciting. We started in March. Due to the fact, actually that we found this in most of us, all of us I would say have been surrounded by men. So, I didn't know -- I've been working in SEO for nine years and I didn't know another Latin woman. Just one that I worked with briefly from Brazil. But I didn't know any other Mexican. So, why did we create another community now in SEO? Let's say we're sister communities, so when I talked to Areej, it was really important for me to stress out how different the situation is in Latin America. And also, what you were mentioning, SEO has been very focused on the U.S., et cetera.

In Latin America, we're facing different strengths. There are a lot of reasons why we created this community. For example, the language barrier. And so, we're creating content in Spanish, and also in Portuguese. We always forget about Brazil. Brazil is the biggest or one of the biggest industries in this region. It's growing so, so fast.

We are starting and learning together at a more basic level. Because the level is not what we don't -- and in English as is our foreign language, it's just so complicated. So, I'm very, very proud of this community. It has given me the strength to actually be here with you. Yeah, there's a lot I could tell you what the [0:15:27 unin]. I'm very excited.

Isaline: First of all, congrats on your achievements because it takes lots of time to foster a community. I can relate to what you say to Women in Tech SEO community. Because in Switzerland, the market of SEO is as completely different. For many things, my daily life seems very different from what I read and what I heard about people in the U.S. or UK. Can you tell me after what it was in March? It's the biggest part of a year. Did you meet easily women working in SEO? Where are they? Did they exist or were they hidden? Or, why didn't you see them? 

Tina: Yeah. I love your question. Actually, yes, I don't even know why we didn't do this earlier. I was part of Women in Tech SEO. We're five founders, co-founders. It's also Rita and Flor from Argentina, Natalia from Puerto Rico, and Carla from Brazil, and myself. Carla posted something on Women in Tech SEO, "Where are the Latinas here?" I didn't actually see that, but I met Flor via LinkedIn. I wrote her and I just started to add randomly women that Worked in SEO on LinkedIn, Latinas. And so, we started writing and she was like, "Oh, yeah. I have this friend. Let's meet up and talk about this." I'm very happy. We met, we had a Zoom call. And, Flor is very much like to take action. She was like, "You know what? Let's create the channel right now and let's do this!"

We started adding women and telling them if they want it to be part of it. It's amazing, the reaction and all the love that we're receiving and how we are supporting each other. Now, we have this Slack community, but we also meet online. We have webinars, we give each other feedback. We practice how to present because our objective is also to be a one day an international event and present. We don't have Latin speakers, many so we really want to be there. 

Now, actually, thanks to Flor. She created a way to register, an intranet on the website. We have videos there, and we're preparing a course. It's just amazing how we're interacting. We are also meeting now in person. A couple of weeks back, I met Andrea. Andrea Valdez, she was the first Mexican that I met online in Women in Tech SEO. In Mujeres En SEO, there's also a community called "Mujeres En SEO." And the thing is, with Mujeres En SEO, we also support each other, and we're looking at what we can do next. Like this upcoming year together, we're building a huge sisterhood around the world. But, Mujeres En SEO is mostly Spanish women. Also, the situation in Spain is very different to Latin America.

I met Andrea and she was in Guadalajara. She was like, "Oh, my God. I am in Guadalajara. Let's meet up." And it was so special because I think she's the first that I've met in person from lots of Latinas in SEO. Well, I met an Argentinian one that also lives here, Natalia. Andrea was the first Mexican. And it's just scary to see, like how did we not know each other? So beautiful now that we've found each other. We're not the only ones. A lot of them. In Argentina, they're meeting up. It's fun to watch.

Isaline: So, you're providing resources in Spanish, and I expect too Brazilian people, they can understand Spanish, right? Or is it much different? 

Tina: No. It's been a challenge because of course we want to have the accessibility for both. For example, we have a very special event at the beginning of December. It's called, "Indexadas." We're planning on having it again this year. 

What we did is we tried to have people present in Spanish and in Portuguese. We had workshop in Portuguese, and the other ones are in Spanish. We tried to do that. Also, with the webinars. We had in 2021, we had 12 webinars. Some of them are also in Portuguese.

It's not easy. I don't understand it but because I've worked with people in Brazil, a lot. Actually, you have to be concentrate a lot, and it's been hard. So, what we're doing now is we're translating it so you can watch the recording afterwards. 

Isaline: Wow. That is an awesome work. Congrats!

Tina: Thank you.

Isaline: I think we have to say here that's we are doing this interview in our third language. Because I think speaking in Spanish, German, and English is actually your third language, right? 

Tina: Yes. 

Isaline: Yeah, same here. It's French, German, and then now, English. 

Tina: Next time, we do the talk in [0:21:34.5 unin].

Isaline: What are you hoping to share and to achieve to the younger women who are starting today in SEO? What are you hoping to bring them and to share with them, with Latinas En SEO? 

Tina: For me, actually, that is what drives me. Thinking about the younger generations and other women in general, other Latinas. Because I didn't have a role model, to be honest. I want that they see us, that we are all starting to -- that more and more women from our community, more and more Latinas, are being successful and thriving. That other younger women can see, "Oh, I can actually do technical SEO." Because most women here in Mexico are actually, as you know, that their region is very mature. In Latin America, that society is very mature.

So, it is expected for women to actually stay at home, and take care of the children, and not do anything. It's okay. But I believe that SEO is -- I mean, it's okay to stay at home. It's not you can do whatever you want to do. What I think is that SEO can provide opportunities for women. It's a perfect job for a Latina because you can stay at home, you can watch your children, if you have children. We actually have Mamas En SEO group in our community, which is really great. If you haven't finished school, or if you cannot pay for a career at the university, you can learn SEO. You don't need so many resources and we want to make this possible. I think this is very important. 

Isaline: I love it. I love your passion about it, and I love that you are driven to help others. When I hear you, I'm convinced that it's going to be great. Tell me what is planned for Latinas En SEO for next year? Because we're doing this interview, it's December. We're finishing 2021. What do you have in mind for next year for your community? 

Tina: Oh, I have so many ideas and I actually, also the community, we are all very participative. Everybody has ideas. We're like, "Oh, let's do this and that." For example, the event was so inspiring to us because we had it open. Everybody could apply, every Latina from the community can apply to be a speaker. And so many applied that we even had to create like panels, and we are going to have like after events, after the main event, because so many women applied. And also, it's live, we like women to talk, to be speakers because we really want to speak. We want to be there. We were so excited to participate.  

We are going to create and have another Indexadas event for next year. This time, we're going to prepare more in advance. Because in 2021, it was like a one and a half months' time to organize everything. It's a lot of work. We're going to have Indexadas, we have so many ideas, actually. I also want to say like, if somebody wants to sponsor, or if you're like an agency in Latin America, and if you want to have some tips on how to be more diverse, more inclusive in your workforce, we are going to also offer, consultancy like this and teach about SEO. We want to go to universities. Here in universities, as I've seen most of them, of course, there's no career like a master's in an SEO or something like that. Also because it always changes but we want more Latinos to know that SEO even exists.

We have a lot of ideas. One that is very, very important is -- so, last year, we did a survey because there's not much data. There's not much data about what is the gender, how many women work in SEO, et cetera, and what should we -- I mean, the salary. A lot of discrepancy because men are much more than women. We did a survey and we're going to launch it in 2022. We're going to have another one. We just want to collect that data and show you. 

So, I want to take the opportunity also to invite everybody to follow us on social media, Latinas En SEO. We're going to publish it there and Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And then, you can see all our information there.

Isaline: Of course, I'll make sure to add both your links if people want to get in touch with you and the links of the community so people can reach out. 

I see that time is flying already and to close this conversation, do you have a piece of advice or something you want to say to someone who is in Latin America, who's thinking about starting in SEO, but not really feeling it? So, what would you say to this person? 

Tina: Yes, I would say you can do it. You can learn technical SEO. You'll understand everything. Don't be afraid of the difficult words. Definitely, the SEO has its own language, and it can be very daunting and scary when you start learning about it. But, I promise you that it's not as complicated. Actually, it's very straightforward so you can do it. You can do it. That's what I would say.

Isaline: Of course, that person should join the community. 

Tina: Yes, exactly. We have so much fun together. We really support each other. We can help you, actually. If you have any questions, anybody can just join, any Latina. We support each other. We can help you with the projects or if you have struggles. 

Isaline: That's great. I'll make sure to share the message, of course. It has been totally lovely to chat with you. I'm very impressed with your career path, with the different steps you have taken. And now, working in a big agency, and all the energy you share with your fellow SEOs, organizing events and such. So, congratulations on all of that.

I'm very excited, too. I personally follow Latinas En SEO on Twitter. So, I'm very interested to see what's coming next, and I'll make sure to retweet, of course. 

Tina: Oh, thank you so much, Isaline. It's really been a pleasure to be here with you. So nice to virtually meet you. Actually, you know what we want is to create the content also to translate. We're seeing how we can like simultaneously translate in English, all of our -- like the next event and our content so that you can also benefit from one another. We can reach further with what we create with our work. I'll let you know. 

Isaline: That's great. Of course. I'll keep in touch. Thanks a lot for being here for this interview. Thank you everyone for listening to us today. That was Tina, and she discussed working as an SEO in Latin America and the great, great community, Latinas En SEO, which of course you find on Twitter. Give me the Twitter handle of the community, Tina. 

Tina: Yes, of course. It's Latinas En SEO. It’s N. Instead of "in," it's E-N. En SEO. 

Isaline: Awesome. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot, everyone. And you can now follow WorkInSEO in Twitter. We are @WorkInSEO. And, in case you have any feedback or suggestion, just reach out to me or to the profile WorkInSEO. I'm always happy to answer, and I'm looking forward to the next podcast. Thank you and bye. 

Tina: Thank you.