Get to know Christian Walther, Gatorworks's new SEO Specialist!

Say hello to Gatorworks’ new SEO Specialist, Christian Walther! With a background as a small business owner in Baton Rouge, Christian’s journey into the digital marketing landscape was shaped during his global adventures with a remote work community. Motivated by SEO’s ever-changing techniques and problem-solving skills, Christian utilizes a human-first approach to technical SEO and content strategy to help companies connect with the right audience. Join us in welcoming Christian to the Gatorworks team!

SEO is known for its constant changes. How do you stay updated with industry trends? What motivates you to remain on the cutting edge?

Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land are great resources for SEO news and trends. I also subscribe to a few newsletters, read Reddit (r/SEO), and follow a few people on LinkedIn who are leaders in the field. John Mueller, the head of search at Google, in particular.

There are a ton of SEO “influencers” on LinkedIn. So you have to be careful not to fall for bad advice. Be wary of so-called “experts” (you’ll know they’re an expert because they’ll tell you in their bio) posting screenshots with graphs going up and to the right from Search Console that make outlandish claims about doubling clicks overnight. Quality SEO takes time, patience, and experimentation to be successful.

Your time traveling with a group of remote professionals sounds fantastic. How has this global experience shaped your approach to digital marketing?

You know, that was really where I started to explore the world of digital marketing in earnest. I was not working at the time of the trip, but about 70% of the group was and consisted of developers, designers, cybersecurity professionals, social media marketers, SEOs, customer support reps, you name it. I got the chance to learn a little bit about each of these parts of the digital marketing “umbrella” over the course of the program. I’ll say that it opened my eyes to just how much all of the aspects have to work with each other to produce successful campaigns.

As the previous owner of a BBQ food truck, what was your favorite thing on your menu? 

That’s such a tough question. This was a labor of love for myself and my partner in the truck, a good buddy of mine. We painstakingly crafted everything we did, from making our own rubs and sauces to staying up throughout all hours of the night making sure the smokers were maintaining the proper temperatures.

People get sticker shock at BBQ prices, but when you know the amount of work that goes into producing it you start to understand why it can be so expensive. I loved our brisket sandwiches, but an under-the-radar hit was our smoked brussels sprouts that we tossed in a honey-balsamic glaze. Try that yourself next time you fire up your grill!

You utilize a human-first approach to technical SEO and website optimization. How does this philosophy guide your strategies and decision-making in the digital marketing landscape? 

When I look at a website to see how we can improve it from an SEO perspective, I try to look at it from the point of view of a user who’s landed there after an organic search. Does the site load quickly, have everything I’m looking for in a readily accessible place, and give me the information I’m looking for in an easily digestible way?

Think about when you search for a recipe online. Isn’t it annoying when you land on a food blog and you have to read the author’s entire life story before getting to what you need? I think we can do better than that. Keeping the content and elements of a site relevant to the topic at hand and helpful to users is my ultimate goal.

You have visited over 30 countries! Do you have a personal favorite, and where are you hoping to visit next? 

Oh gosh, it’s so hard to pick a favorite because there’s something great about each one. I will say that one that sticks out is Cuba. A good friend and I had a chance to visit Havana several years ago for his 30th birthday, and it just completely blew us away. It was like stepping back in time; the sights, smells, and sounds were all incredible, but the warmth and hospitality of the people there were what really impacted us the most. On our last night there, these fishermen on the Malecon called out to us while we were walking around after dinner, and we ended up swapping stories in broken spanglish and drinking Cuban moonshine with them well into the evening. Finding common ground with a culture that is seemingly so different from your own really opened my eyes.

The next place I’m hoping to visit is probably Asia, mainly Thailand and Vietnam. I’ve spent a good bit of time in Europe and Central/South America, so that feels like the natural next step. Also, I’m a pepper head and love the food.