“I think from an agency perspective, it’s always a positive to be able to have empathy for your clients and work through that.
Now at the same time, when you do run a digital agency, you have mouths to feed.
So it’s not as easy as signing contracts, doing the work, and getting checks coming in. You have a lot of more responsibilities than you do when you’re a consultant.
When you’re a consultant, you have yourself and your own family.
We have 30+ on staff. It’s a lot of dinners. It’s lot of kids. It’s a lot of trying to figure out how people live and how it affects them.
So luckily, going through this, we were able to bring on some new work as well, and some new clients as well.
Some of them were surprises and some of them were companies that actually did quite well through this pandemic and are still doing so. So that was really good to see.
I think we’re blessed from that perspective.”
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Today marks the 200th episode of The Search Engine Journal Show and what better way to celebrate this milestone than having Loren Baker, the Founder of Search Engine Journal, as a guest.
In June 2003, Loren launched Search Engine Journal on Blogspot as a personal project.
Fast-forward 17 years later, Search Engine Journal has survived to become an influential media channel in the digital marketing industry.
Get to know Loren Baker better in this edition of the podcast.
About Loren Baker
Aside from being Founder of Search Engine Journal and Advisor for Alpha Brand Media (SEJ’s parent company), Loren is also Co-Founder and VP at Foundation Digital, a boutique digital marketing and PR agency.
In a past life, he used to teach English in Japan as well as Brazil for several years.
He has also spoken at pretty much every conference you can think of and won a ton of awards, including U.S. Search Awards, PR Daily Awards, and The Drum Search Awards.
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Want to know what works in SEO and content right now, how to manage a digital agency during a pandemic, and what’s the best link building tool out there?
Listen to this episode to learn all this and more.
- Loren shares his thoughts on the recently concluded eSummit organized by Search Engine Journal and the future of marketing conferences. [3:48]
- On managing a digital agency during COVID-19 and how it has become a test of fortitude when it comes to offering services and working with clients. [7:34]
- The big changes and trends in the SEO world that are taking shape now and what to expect in the next few months. [10:23]
- What is Loren’s favorite thing about SEO? (There’s a lot.) [14:06]
- His best advice for new SEO pros getting started in the industry. [17:18]
- When you’re improving content using SEO, what is the range of time for it to take effect? [19:32]
- The worst digital marketing strategy Loren has ever witnessed? The time a leading blog decided to update all of their content’s timestamps – without changing their content. [21:32]
- Loren shares SEO strategies for ecommerce websites: Adding natural language Q&A to product and collection pages, as well as making sure that everything is coded within a product level for Schema markup. [24:22]
- Three of the most important ranking factors in Loren’s opinion: Links, performance (i.e., speed and mobile-friendliness), and content. [31:58]
- For Loren, the best link building tool is the publish button. He also talks about the power of the RSS feeds back in the day and how to distribute content nowadays. [36:22]
- What was it like back when Loren first started Search Engine Journal versus today? [39:20]
- Here’s what Loren would’ve done differently if he could go back in time and do it over again with how he built SEJ. [45:22]
- The primary goal of guest posts: “Positioning CMOs, CEO, someone I work with to be a thought leader in their industry.” [50:13]
- Does having a higher time on site help you rank better? [51:02]
- SEO for news: What’s working right now? [54:27]
- Loren’s must-have tools for SEO. [57:22]
- One outdated SEO tactic that doesn’t make sense anymore. [1:00:52]
- “Look at the value of your work as opposed to what the deliverable is.” – Bill Hunt [1:02:53]
- What’s Loren’s role at Foundation digital and what projects do they work on? [1:05:09]
- Some of his favorite SEO campaigns that he worked on and what made them special. [1:08:20]
- Taking on new clients? Here are some tips to help weed out prospects that may not be the best fit for your agency. [1:11:05]
- Are blog posts dead? Loren has this to say: “Instead of trying to write as many blog posts as possible, taking the time to put together one long-form guide that addresses all of that. Why splice up your equity amongst multiple hard to discover components of the site, when you can put together basically the equivalent of an e-book or a mini-book guide, that has the same format as a blog post, but is a lot longer? It brings people in, it gets their dwell time up.”[1:12:43]
- What excites Loren about SEO right now? [1:18:39]
Links from the Episode
How to connect with Loren Baker:
Watch This Search Engine Journal Show on YouTube
This show was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.
To listen to this Search Engine Show: Better Know an SEO Pro Podcast with Loren Baker:
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita