The MnSearch Summit Interview Series: Lee Odden

leeoddenWe had the opportunity to interview several experts who are speaking at MnSearch Summit to help you learn more about them prior to the event so that you can get to know these industry leaders as friends. Keep reading and don’t miss Lee’s keynote on Friday June 27th at the MnSearch Summit!

Bio: Lee Odden is the Founder and the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing. He is a veteran internet marketer, accomplished speaker and author of, “Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. Keep up with him on Twitter.


1. What are you most excited for at the MnSearch Summit in the Twin Cities this summer?

That’s a great question because I think there’s a lot to look forward to at MnSearch. Minnesota has always been a confluence of smart marketing talent and ideas, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how robust the search and digital marketing community has become since the days of the MIMA Search Marketing Geek Group way back when. I know Jolina Pettice from TopRank has been on the MnSearch board helping to grow membership – I have no doubt we’ll see evidence of that in the attendance at the Summit. Events like MnSearch are a great way for people to connect with industry thought leaders from other areas as well as peers at all stages of their careers.

Plus local rock stars like Marty Weintraub and famous people like Rand Fishkin. I’m definitely excited about the first rate speaker lineup of agencies, platforms, and vendors as well as two of our clients: Connie Bensen from Dell and Jason Miller from LinkedIn. It’s like a national conference in our back yard!

Anyone in the online marketing space from the MidWest, whether search is part of their role or not, really should get registered before MnSearch sells out.

2. What actionable tips could attendees expect to walk away with after your keynote?

The common wisdom about keynote presentations is that they should be 90% inspiring and 10% tactical. I like to break free of that approach and share both context and practical advice like:

– The danger of SEO hubris and how not talking about search will earn you more search business

– How to architect a digital marketing plan that optimizes for customers, not just search engines

– Clever ways to crowdsource and scale creative content that’s optimized and socialized

– What digital marketing executives really think of search, where they’re investing and areas for growth

I’ll be sharing stories about my experiences working with different companies as well.

3. What piece of career advice could you give to someone new to the search marketing field?

Unless you’re going to be in a very specific role, like a “SEO Mechanic” or a Paid Search Specialist, a lot of opportunities with search will come from being a strategist that has many skills – search being one of them.

For those that focus on being a SEO or Paid search specialist, it’s important to think with your own mind vs. just parroting what Search Marketing blogs and websites publish. Get insanely good at developing an approach of hypothesis, testing and performance refinement. Rely on first hand data as much as possible to inform your opinions along with what you can learn from networking with peers. Lastly, don’t confuse “search marketing famous” with “search marketing talent”.

4. Minnesota is your home state. What can the lineup of national speakers look forward to most about our fair state and the Twin Cities search community?

That’s a great question and I’d have great answers if I spent any time in Minnesota!

Seriously, the Twin Cities are an amazing place in the summer with events, night life, the lakes, arts and entertainment. The digital marketing community at large is full of experienced and talented professionals that probably don’t talk about themselves quite as much as people from the coasts do. That’s a Minnesota thing. But they’ll have plenty to talk about once the networking events are underway, so don’t be shy.

Don’t Miss Lee’s Keynote!

Join us on June 27th for the first annual MnSearch Summit to see Lee and many others share their marketing knowledge!

Register Now

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