Welcome to Kate Ideas Marketing

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Kate Ideas Marketing is run by Kaitlin McMichael. I started this digital marketing consulting side business in January 2013, so that I could help others bring their great business ideas to fruition.

I currently am the iStock SEO Manager at Getty Images in Seattle, WA. Before joining Getty, I specialized in SEO at Portent in Seattle. Previous to joining Portent, I was the marketing manager for a South American travel company. I have a graduate certificate in Advanced Interactive Marketing from the University of Washington, and am certified in Google Analytics. I have spoken at the University of Washington as a guest lecturer, and have done pro bono marketing consulting for various non-profits. I have written on marketing, travel, and music & arts for dozens of websites and magazines, including Seattle Met.

Kaitlin McMichael Visual Resume 2016

This was made using Vizualize.me 

The Long Version

So, on LinkedIn and in the graphics above, you get the short version. Here’s the longer version of my qualifications and experience.

2015-Current  I currently work at Getty Images, mainly on the iStock brand. Getty Images is one of the most prestigious brands in visual media in the world. I am the iStock SEO Manager there, previously the Sr. International SEO Strategist. In April 2017, I was chosen for the Getty Images Leadership Principles Award for “Bringing Solutions.”

I work on the following tasks:

  • Grow organic traffic to istockphoto.com
  • Work with cross-functional teams to manage the organic international search strategy
  • Participate in efforts through research, strategy development and presentations to grow the Getty Images brands
  • Lead SEO and search-discovery projects including kickoff, requirements analysis, development, testing and launch
  • Provide direction on generating highly-creative on-brand content that gets noticed in local markets
  • Research and analyze industry changes/developments in search engine optimization and search discovery across multiple channels and programs including content and social
  • Analyze business websites and provide well-defined strategies to improve site conversion and ROI
  • Create and present recommendations for search performance improvements

2014-2015- I worked at Portent.com, a digital marketing agency in Seattle, WA. I was a SEO Strategist, with an emphasis on International SEO. I worked on over a dozen different websites in several different industries, including travel, cloud computing, workflow automation, outdoor apparel, and truck accessories. Some of my responsibilities included:

  • Specializing in international SEO. I consult on strategy, best practices for site structure, regional content optimization, and hreflang implementation
  • Optimizing organic traffic and revenue for a variety of clients, including some well-known national and international brands that pull in over $1 million in organic revenue per month. Results from one of my clients: organic revenue grew from $984,689 to $1,070,089, a 9% growth year-over-year. That’s $85,400 in added value from organic alone. Organic unique visitors for that same client increased from 84,247 in 2013 to 103,275 in 2014, a 23% percent increase year-over-year
  • Delivering on-page SEO recommendations, SEO audits, keyword research, UX audits, and off-site SEO link outreach
  • Acting as project manager in coordinating and delivering SEO strategy and recommendations to some of my clients
  • Strengthening Portent’s brand as a thought leader in the SEO community via blogging, webinars, and guest lectures
  • And be generally awesome at everything I do as part of Team Portent!


international seo expert kaitlin mcmichael

Here I am giving a company training on the subject of international SEO.

Some of my clients during my tenure included:

  • PrincessLodges.com
  • WestmarkHotels.com
  • RealTruck.com
  • Shaklee.com
  • CenturyLinkCloud.com
  • GoreApparel.com
  • Ahrefs.com
  • Nintex.com
  • Cloud.DimensionData.com
  • AsianFoodGrocer.com

And a pro bono SEO audit for:

  • OnTheBoards.org

Check out the blog posts, webinar and slide decks that I created during my time at Portent.

2011 – 2013 Before Portent, I worked as the in-house marketing manager for SouthAmerica.travel, a tour company that specializes in custom trips to South America. I learned a lot about South America and taught myself as much as possible about digital marketing, especially SEO. At SouthAmerica.travel, I built a blog from scratch in 2011, wrote over 150 blog posts and managed a team of writers, and by the time I left it in 2014, it was generating 12% of all leads. For a lead gen site that could convert about 10% of all leads to sales, and with the average sale being around $7k, this was not an a insignificant revenue-generator. I was also responsible for several other marketing channels.

kaitlin iguazu falls

Here I am working hard (or hardly working?) at the Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina/Brazil, January 2014.

When I was just starting out at SouthAmerica.travel, I also did a 6 month intensive graduate program with the University of Washington, and got a graduate certificate in Advanced Interactive Marketing. This gave me the “street cred” and confidence to run an in-house marketing program, and within 6 months of finishing the program, I was promoted to marketing manager at my company.

During this time, I also realized how much I liked working with the “little guys” – the small business owners and entrepreneurs who are just starting out or are now trying to take their online marketing to the next level. So I started this site in January 2013 and began taking clients.

2010 – I first realized that I wanted to make digital marketing my career when I was living in Lima, Peru, in 2010. I had recently graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a double major in Creative Writing and History (Latin America emphasis), plus a minor in Latin language studies. If ever a nerdier degree was earned, I have yet to hear about it. After a brief interlude out of college where I wrote for Seattle Met Magazine, I decided to go work for a travel agency in Lima, where they were hiring for marketing writers. I applied, got the job, and moved across the hemisphere. During my time at the travel agency, I got a crash course in how SEO, or “search engine optimization” really works (and how it blends wonderfully with writing), and from that point on, I was hooked.

kaitlin machu picchu

The investigative journalist/SEO/shutterbug in action, hiking to Machu Picchu, 2010.

So that about sums it up. I’ve been bent on this online marketing path for several years now, and have loved every minute of it. There are, however, some limits to my knowledge, and so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite friends and colleagues who can help you out with services that I can’t provide. Check out my network of recommended marketing professionals here.

View My Portfolio

View More About Me

 Interested in hiring me to help you with your website or online marketing strategy?

Contact me at kaitlin(at)kateideas.com or fill out the contact form here:


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