“I believe that technology can substantially improve our lives and I want to do everything in my power to make the right technology visible and available to the right people.“
Born as the son of an American Doctor and a German nurse, I wanted to be a doctor all my life. Well, not all my life. When I became 18, I realized as a doctor you can help only so many people and often don’t get the support you need (and earn). Being a “digital native”, I realized what technology can do FOR people. So I set out into the tech world as a digital marketer.
The dream of becoming a doctor and helping people instilled a set of highly valuable skill in me. The most important one: reverse engineering. Doctors look at symptoms and are able to analyze them until they have a diagnose. Then they develop a plan to improve the state of the patient, not only erase the symptoms.
I do the same with brands. I reverse engineer their target users to help them make their product fit to the market and scale that strategy up.
A selection of brands I worked with
The Long Story
Chapter 1 – Rookie
I wouldn’t be who I am today without having developed a huge passion for computer games at a young age. Much to the frustration of my parents, I got addicted as soon as my father brought home the first GameBoy.
What went on over all gaming consoles you can imagine and a lot of ask from my mother to “go outside and play more”, turned into online gaming when flat rates come up. I spent hours and hours playing all kinds of games online, from Starcraft to Counter-Strike, and soon ended up in a “clan” (a group of online gamers). When our clan needed a website to join online gaming tournaments, it became my task to figure that out.
I taught myself HTML and Photoshop through lots of trial and error and some help in forums. That eventually lead to asking myself where the people came from that landed on our website and after some research, I discovered that there are different sources for traffic and that search engines exist.
I started collecting experience speaking at small barcamps and SEO conferences and wrote my first SEO blog posts.
It was the start of my SEO career.
Chapter II – Learning
I already knew I wanted to get into online marketing before I even finished my bachelor in economics and marketing. A personal connection got the opportunity to move to Lugano, Switzerland, and start in the web department of a private bank (BSI), where I’d mainly take care of a big relaunch, some CMS administration, and the launch of the mobile app. I think they still use the same CMS and layout as when I worked there.
As grateful as I was (and am) for that chance, I quickly realized that learned online marketing in a swiss private bank isn’t the best way. So I move back to Germany to a city called Hamburg, where I joined the company TRG – The Reach Group (a different one back then, the name was bought) as SEO Consultant Trainee. After 9 months of learning tons of things, I moved up to SEO Consultant and started consulting clients directly, some of which were Xing, LTUR, Eatsmarter, Bosch, Super RTL and more.
I can easily say that I have learned the foundation of my craft and many valuable lessons at TRG. The traineeship was a jump booster for my career.
Chapter III – Growing
Moving on from TRG, I got the chance to grow my skills at uniquedigital, also in Hamburg, Germany, as SEO account manager. In this role, I was mainly responsible for acquiring new business, lead consulting our biggest clients, Samsung and UBS Bank and designing and implementing content marketing campaigns. The time was very valuable because it allowed me to refine the skills I learned at TRG and learn what it means to lead a team and handle more enterprise accounts.
Chapter IV – Accelerating
In December 2013 I talked to Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of Searchmetrics, about an opportunity to move to the Silicon Valley and building out the professional services team. It had always been my dream to move to the US, especially California, as I grew up with an idolized view of the life there.
So I did it.
After a challenging interview at Searchmetrics and an onboarding phase in Berlin of a couple months, I moved to San Mateo. Not only did I build the professional services team with Jordan Koene, but also took care of Searchmetrics biggest US clients, such as eBay, Columbia, Ringcentral, Homes.com, Forrent.com, The Enthusiast Network, Pinterest and CapitalOne.
I had also been actively involved in research Searchmetrics publishes (e.g. the annual ranking factor study) and started to publish articles in other publications.
In September 2015 I got the chance to join Dailymotion as Director of SEO, where I built the basic infrastructure from scratch: roadmap, KPIs, metrics, reporting, monitoring, etc.
I put a lot of work into optimizing the internationalization of the huge site construct, constructing and implemented anti-spam algorithms and evangelizing SEO throughout the company. I really enjoyed the time with my colleagues. When Dailymotion decided to follow a geographically centered approach in 2016, i.e. continuing only NYC and Paris offices, I took a new opportunity…
Chapter V – Higher
I’m very proud to call myself part of Atlassian from 2017 on. Don’t worry about not knowing the name, I didn’t either. It’s the company that brings you Jira, Hipchat, Bitbucket, etc. ;-).
Being a former consulting client of mine, I eventually got the honor to be hired by Moriah Scoble, who I already worked with when I was part of Searchmetrics and her of Ringcentral.
It’s a VERY productive and dynamic company with a great purpose. People there work hard and are dedicated. My job description is “SEO Ninja” ;-). In my function, I’ll be responsible for all things technical SEO, including platform enhancement, OnPage optimization and much more.