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Being an NBS student gave me the theoretical foundations of marketing and management, while also allowing me to apply these concepts to real-world scenarios through case studies and practical projects.

More about Caitlin

We spoke with Caitlin about her time at NTU and her career journey after graduating BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing as a Nottingham Business School alumni.

What did you learn as a Nottingham Business School student – both inside and outside of lectures?

Being an NBS student gave me the theoretical foundations of marketing and management, while also allowing me to apply these concepts to real-world scenarios through case studies and practical projects. This gave me a better perspective of the working world after graduating, which was very helpful.

I frequently think about the city campus library - it was one of my favourite places! I don’t think I’ve been able to replicate the same deep work focus and productivity as I have done there - I miss it dearly, and weirdly miss doing the occasional all-nighters before a deadline.

What does your current day involve?

As an SEO manager at a company with over five brands to work on, my typical day involves a mix of tasks that are both strategic and tactical. At the start of the day, I review organic performance metrics and analytics to see how our websites are performing, which helps to prioritise the most impactful tasks. I spend a significant amount of time conducting keyword research, reviewing and recommending improvements to website content and structure, as well as identifying opportunities to improve search rankings.

Our team works closely with our content team and tech team to complete tasks - there’s often a lot of collaboration to ensure that our SEO efforts are aligned with our overall business goals. Throughout the day, I also monitor industry news and trends to stay up to date on the latest SEO news, strategies and algorithmic trends.

How has your experience studying at Nottingham Business School helped you in your current role?

My course at NTU played a crucial role in laying the foundations of my career in SEO. Learning in-depth about marketing communication theory, customer experience, and buyer behaviour provided me with a strong understanding of the principles behind effective communication and persuasion. This knowledge has been invaluable as it has allowed me to develop informed strategies that speak directly to my target audience and their buying behaviours. By learning the psychological factors that drive consumer decision-making, I have been able to optimise websites for search engines while also creating content that resonates with their customers.

What attracted you to this field of work?

I was fascinated when I found out about SEO and how it marries content analysis with technical analysis. I fell in love with how enriching of a role SEO can be, as you’re ultimately looking to connect people with the answers and resources they're looking for when they search online. There are so many opportunities and strategies to achieve this, which allows you to take a creative approach to your work and create unique roadmaps.

What challenges have you faced?

Working in SEO can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting stakeholder buy-in for SEO projects. One of the biggest challenges SEOs repeatedly face is on getting non-technical stakeholders to understand the value and importance of SEO, as it's not always easy to see the results right away. Often, SEO involves making technical changes to a website, which can be hard to explain to stakeholders who are not familiar with the technicalities of the field.

It takes a lot of communication and collaboration to get stakeholders on board and to showcase the long-term benefits of SEO. If you have the capacity to help develop the SEO knowledge of stakeholders and keep them informed on the latest trends and algorithm updates, you can overcome this challenge with time.

What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?

The highlights of my career include working with wonderful clients, each with their unique challenges and opportunities to grow in their respective industries. One of the most exciting (and most challenging) moments of my career was when I spoke at brightonSEO, a world-renowned conference for SEO professionals.

What are your plans for the future?

I believe that data-driven decision-making is essential to achieving success in SEO, and I'm always looking for ways to improve our data analysis capabilities. I enjoy experimenting with different tools and techniques to identify patterns and trends that can help us make better decisions, and optimise our SEO efforts.

I’m also starting my journey into management within the SEO field. I'm excited about the prospect of leading a team and guiding them to achieve their goals.

If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at University?

If I could go back in time and give my past self some advice, I would tell myself to learn as much as I could about digital marketing. Looking back, I feel like this would have been the most important thing for me to focus on, given how vital online presence and marketing have become for businesses today and how imperative it became in my roles.

I would also encourage myself to experiment with learnings through personal projects, such as building a basic website or publishing articles on a blog. This would have been invaluable to demonstrate my interest in my field and start building a personal portfolio of projects.

Caitlin Hathaway LinkedIn

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