Kelly Johnson
Director of Content and SEO at Udacity

Where did your story begin?

My story began in 2004 when I decided to pivot from working in publishing to working in tech. At the time, it was viewed as a bold change because the dust was just starting to settle after the "" bust in the early Aughts. However, I knew that there was more opportunity working in tech than in the print industry - that was flagging at the time.

What was a pivotal life moment where your story changed?

My story dramatically changed when I started working at in 2004. I learned a lot about writing online content and had my first brush with SEO. At first, I dismissed the practice, but then I realized that SEO data can tell writers what kind of information readers are looking for  - and I was hooked. I began to study SEO and learned as much as I could. Once I gained that knowledge, it became easier to produce engaging, informative content that ranked in SERPs.

Who made the biggest impact on your story?

Two people had an immense impact on my story. The first was the Head of Marketing when I worked at Nextag in 2010. She helped me build my project management skills, which in turn, made me a better content leader. The next person that left an impression on me was the Vice President of Content at Future PLC.  We worked at Future together in 2012, and she put a lot of trust in me to drive the SEO strategy when we launched in the U.S. (now a popular consumer tech site). Having that level of support gave me and the team confidence to create content that not only had a unique point of view on technology, but also ranked highly for us in SERPs.

What’s an unpopular opinion you have about content?

The more input, the better. I like to have input on content topics and themes from various stakeholders in the business. Some content leaders may want to limit the number of cooks in the kitchen, but I like to know how content can help various business owners achieve their goals.

If you could define your story using one sentence, what would that sentence be?

"It's you versus you." This phrase captures my competitive spirit and desire to improve myself personally and professionally every year.

About Kelly Johnson

Kelly is the Director of Content & SEO at Udacity. She has been at Udacity for less than a year but has been working in the content and SEO world for 15 years. Prior to working at Udacity, she headed up content for TechRadar,, and fin-tech companies, like Ripple and Forge.


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