Griffin Roer – Digital Marketing Agency Owner Interview

Getting To Know Griffin Roer and Uproer!

Hi! 👋  We’re so glad to feature you on Please introduce yourself to our site’s readers.

My name is Griffin Roer, founder & CEO of Uproer. We’re a search marketing agency based in St. Paul, MN. I’ve been in the search marketing industry since 2012 spending my entire career on the agency side of the business.


Can you share the story behind founding your agency? What motivated you to start it, and what are the core values driving your business?

From a young age, I have always devised business schemes. I think the entrepreneurial drive was there early on. After graduating college, I initially worked in the financial services industry and found it less interesting than I had hoped. While there, I could feel that entrepreneurial itch growing, but I didn’t know where to direct that energy. SEO, and marketing in general, was not on my radar.

Working backward from the end goal of starting my own business one day, I thought I should teach myself how to build websites (my future company will need a website eventually, right?). It was through self-taught web development that I first encountered SEO. Learning that websites and content can be built to attract traffic and customers fascinated me. I decided then to leave the financial services industry and find a job in SEO.

I got my start in SEO as a junior sales rep (100% commission!) and spent entire days cold calling. While that might sound like a nightmare, I was excited to be learning and talking about this new passion of mine with small business owners. However, I did want to get away from sales and become more involved in SEO strategy and execution. 

After a few more years working at two agencies, I felt ready to strike out independently. I had put a lot of energy into developing my skills, but equally, if not more importantly, I had built a strong network. I was motivated to control my destiny and see if I could succeed as a business owner.

What’s great about starting your own company is that you can choose to take the things you benefited from while casting aside what didn’t work for you. I always thrived when given autonomy, which became an early core value at Uproer. Another came from recognizing that great relationships were central to all my most fulfilling client partnerships. Today, we continue to focus on providing our team with a high degree of autonomy and leading client engagements with the belief that relationships drive results.


SEO Industry Tip

How do you (and your team) stay on top of emerging trends and technologies in the search marketing industry? How does your agency adapt to changes in the market landscape to remain competitive and innovative?

We listen to intelligent people and get involved in the industry. We have a #level-up Slack channel where team members share summaries of interesting articles and industry developments. We’re also involved with industry organizations, like MnSearch and Women in Tech SEO, so we regularly connect with others in our industry and are “part of the conversation.” 

We constantly evaluate and test new ideas from these sources. As an agency working on behalf of clients, we must be attuned to cutting-edge practices but stay grounded in what actually works today.


Career Advice for SEO Candidates

What qualities or characteristics do you value most in team members at your agency? How do you assess whether a candidate possesses these qualities during hiring?

One characteristic that is high on our list is intrinsic motivation. We want people excited to establish and grow their careers and willing to “take the reins” rather than sit back waiting for instructions. It’s much more rewarding to guide someone already exploring on their own than to try and coax someone along while they drag their feet.

In our interviews, we ask plenty of behavioral questions that invite candidates to share stories of successes, failures, and other lessons learned. These help us to understand what drives people and how much of that is innate. We also look for candidates who take it upon themselves to learn and get involved in the industry.


What are some common challenges or misconceptions that individuals encounter when applying for SEO jobs, and how can they overcome them?

Nearly every hiring manager will ask an SEO candidate how they keep up with industry developments. The most common (and boring) answer goes something like, “I check Search Engine Journal… and I follow [SEO thought leader].” The best SEOs are active SEOs. So, one thing that can set a candidate apart in our hiring process is evidence of participation in the SEO community. We’re not looking for “influencers” but rather people who demonstrate their interest in SEO by joining the broader conversation in some way, like:

  • Posting SEO musings on LinkedIn or X
  • Writing articles for an industry publication or personal blog
  • Being a member of a networking or educational group
  • Participating in a Slack community
  • Attending webinars, conferences, or other events

What advice do you have for someone transitioning from a different career field into SEO?

Bring what you learned from your previous career into SEO. I’m always interested when people adapt frameworks, processes, or mental models that originate in other industries and apply them to SEO. 

Final Words and Getting in Touch

What type of customers does Uproer best partner with, and how can someone contact you to discuss an engagement?

Uproer partners with clients with complex SEO & Paid Search needs who have felt underserved by reactive, checklist-driven, shallow-thinking agencies in the past (we call these the “shitty agencies”). We partner with a lot of companies in the e-commerce and SaaS industries that have small, intelligent, in-house marketing teams that want to bolt on Uproer as an extension of their team. You can get in touch with us on our website.