Rocks Digital

In the news…Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal To Keynote in Dallas at 2015 Rocks Digital Marketing Conference

Rocks Digital is growing leaps and bounds and with this excitement, I am proud and humbled to announce Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal as keynote speaker at the 2015 Rocks Digital Marketing Conference. Read the full press release here.

Get to know more about Loren and what the knowledge he plans to impart on the 2015 attendees in the speaker profile below.

Photo Credit: Grant Wickes
Photo Credit: Grant Wickes

KEYNOTE Speaker Name: Loren Baker
Read Bio and Presentation Description

Company Name & Website:  

Search Engine Journal, Founder
Foundation Digital, Co-founder and VP of Business Development

Social Media Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Slideshare

What is your favorite thing about your work?

My work crosses the spectrum of SEO, paid advertising, social media and storytelling, so I get to involved myself and my brain in various aspects of client marketing strategy. On top of that, I work with clients whose businesses range from news publishing to classifieds and from online dating to selling jeans… so the industries that I’m involved in are as diverse as the marketing pieces that I can bring to the table. I absolutely love the diversity and bringing solutions that I’ve found in one industry and applying them to another.

Funny thing is, I’ve always worked this way, having always been on the agency side and never in-house.

What is your least favorite thing about your work?

That’s really hard to pinpoint but I can say that one of my least favorite things about being a consultant or working with an agency is sometimes dealing with unrealistic goals, or accounts that do not understand the timelines that success can sometimes take.

What is your presentation title at #RocksDigital 2015? ROCK with Google: Integrated Content, Search, Social and Local Strategies for Branding

What is the key take away you want every attendee at Rocks Digital to learn from you?

SEO is no longer about one set of rankings. Identifying successes proves a challenge for digital marketers because each users’ search result varies based on device, browser, location, type of content available and much more. I will share proven methods that I use for my digital marketing clients in this keynote address.

What do you hope to learn/accomplish at Rocks Digital 2015? 

Well, first of all I love the DFW area. I’ve worked with many companies in Dallas and in Fort Worth over the past decade and make it a point travel down at least twice a year, if for no other reason than to get my Whataburger and Taco Cabana fix!

I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the last Local Social and really enjoyed meeting a lot of folks in their own backyard, along with seeing some industry folks that I’ve known for a while. Just about every company I read about is moving down to Plano nowadays, so I get a sense of excitement amongst marketers when visiting, along with that balance of professionalism and giddiness really energizes me!

I’m really looking forward to learning more about how some of of the speakers work to develop the social voice of the companies that they represent and also learning more about day to day local search.

On top of learning, I hope to accomplish more strong connections at Rocks Digital and also share some of my story and observations from the world of publishing and consulting; two things I am very passionate about.

Special Awards/Recognitions/Write-ups: 

  • Founder of Search Engine Journal in 2003 with zero funding and turned it into a 6 figure blog within 3 or 4 years.
  • Been interviewed by CNN, NPR and various other publications.

What is your favorite book and why?

This may sound cheesy but the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Why? When I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s I spent a lot of time adventuring the world, only to finally find what I know and love back home in the US, right under my nose.

Tom Robbins is also one of my favorite authors, as is James Clavell. Recently I’ve been catching up on some Hunter S. Thompson.

I honestly have never enjoyed reading business books, I enjoy easily digestible nuggets of information, and usually the best parts of those books are available in magazine snippets.

Who do you consider has influenced you in your industry and why? 

That’s a really great and difficult question.

In my early days, Jill Whalen was a huge influence and what she did with regards to building a community around her company with High Rankings Forum was so far ahead of its time. She really hit the balance of branding herself while also contributing to the industry when there were very few resources out there in the early days.

I’d also say Bill Slawski. I had the pleasure to work with Bill around 2004 and also previously in Cre8asite Forums. Bill really pushed the concept of writing resourceful content meant for humans for the purpose of SEO more than 10 years ago and was a huge proponent for natural linking. Some of the clients we worked on at the time are still dominating in their respected industries because of that work.

Favorite Quote:

“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” Chumbawamba

Your Digital Marketing Advice for Readers of this post:

First off, I really like that you use the term “Digital Marketing” or “Digital Marketer” because that’s what I’ve always seen myself as.

I got started in 1998 buying digital media for clients. From there I learned SEO on my own to help those clients compete organically. From there I leaned to code PHP (well, enough to make things work) to launch a blog. From there I got involved with paid search campaigns. And then on to social media and visual content…

All of those disciplines are pillars in the world of a digital marketer, but since most people know me from the world of SEO, I would say that patience is a virtue in any form of organic digital marketing. That’s not saying that it should take forever to get things done, but the ability to step back and look at the big picture, and take the needed time to formulate a strategy and execute on a reasonable timeline is really key.

In addition to patience, practice is another virtue. I’ve learned most of my skill set either from my own trial & error or reading about the challenges that others have taken on. One thing to remember is that there are some SEOs out there who consider Google Webmaster Tools a new thing. We used to have to really figure out things for ourselves because at the time, there was no official voice from Google telling people what to do, or what not to do.

With Google Webmaster Tools came a flood of similar tools that released their own best practices. Best practices and checklists are nice, but SEO is such a industry specific discipline that what works well in one industry, such as news … may be obsolete in another… or undoable; especially if that industry is heavily regulated (take HIPPA compliant websites for example).

In the world of social, especially Facebook and Twitter, I would say that organic social media marketers really need to learn the ins and outs of paid social media; especially since Facebook is slowly making it more difficult to reach your own fan base unless you’re running a paid campaign.

So in a nutshell, think like a Digital Marketer and not an SEO or social media marketer or digital advertiser or blogger or content creator. Mix all of that together, experiment, connect the dots and make yourself the most well rounded digital marketer possible.

Loren’s philosophy is “Stay grounded. Don’t take short cuts and stay true to the big picture.”

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