On July 8th – 10th, Moz’s annual MozCon brought over 1,000 marketing professionals to Seattle to learn the latest techniques and trends in the world of search marketing as presented by an all star panel of industry leaders. The topics discussed included SEO, social media, ranking correlation, and much more. Below is a sampling of the most enlightening topics and speakers from the three days of the convention.
Day 1 Recap:
Rand Fishkin (Moz) – Trends in Web Marketing
- Web marketing is becoming more crowded – The number of social media accounts, blogs, and other online competitors has increased rapidly without any sign of slowing down. This is making it extremely difficult for marketers to differentiate themselves, and the need for a unique value proposition is more important than ever.
- Brands are dominating the web – Search ranking is becoming more and more difficult for small business as search is becoming dominated by brands. If you want to remain competitive, you must position yourself or small business as unique brand.
- People are becoming multi device users – Half of all cell phone users now are using smartphones and about one in three US adults owns a tablet.
- Social is fragmenting while search is quite the opposite – More and more social media keep sprouting up, but Google still is king of search. Google has 90% marketshare worldwide and it looks like that will continue into the near future.
Richard Baxter (SEOGadget) – Really Targeted Outreach
- How to find the right guest bloggers – Do not necessarily start with Google when looking for possible guest posters. First, begin by finding out where your target audience is, and then begin your search there. The goal is to find actual influencers, and not just anybody that may be willing to write a blog. This will require a little marketing on your behalf.
- Helpful tools – There are some helpful tools that are available that can assist in finding the right influencers. Tagul is a useful tool that helps identify influencers. FollowerWonk is another site that can help find influencer intersect.
Matt Peters (Moz) – 2013 Ranking Factors
- The top three ranking correlations – Domain authority, which is determined by the quality and quantity of domain links. Page authority, which is determined by the quality and quantity of page links. Then page level keyword usage.
- Social signals are important – Google +1s, Facebook shares, and Tweets.
- Brand metrics – Mentions and links to the domain correlate to a higher ranking.
- Keywords on the page – Keywords that appear in the page text have more of a ranking correlation than titles and meta descriptions.
- Speed of the site – The time that it took the site to load did not correlate with page ranking, but a slow site will significantly drop your conversion rate.
- Anchor text – Anchor text diversity is correlated to a higher search ranking.
- Page level links – Page authority is important, as well as the number of links. Linking page relevance is another factor that will affect page rank.
- Ranking correlation predictions – Ranking will be affected by perceived value to users, authorship, and structured data.
Day 2 Recap:
Phil Nottingham (Distilled) – Video Marketing Strategies
- Utilizing video – Video advertising is on the rise and technological advances are allowing anyone to get on board (ie: Flip Camera). Even professional lighting (entry level) can be acquired for around $1,000.
- Video effectiveness – Video is proven to be the best medium to encourage conversion. When showing a new product with video, consumers are twice as likely to convert.
- Video link building – target people that are linking to low quality videos and offer them a higher quality alternative.
- Steps for success – Get the gear. Focus on how-tos and tutorials then advance to PR campaigns. Start slow and always focus on producing quality content.
Kyle Rush (New York Times) – Optimization and Testing Landing Pages
- The testing process – Experimentation, observation, and data gathering
- The experimentation process – Identify your goals and create hypotheses that are focused on your goals. Then test your hypotheses and record your results.
- Changing copy – Changing your copy is the easiest way to increase your conversions. Make the copy more direct like: “Now, save your payment info” instead of “Save your payment info for next time”.
- Changing imagery – Changing imagery is another effective way to increase conversion. Clearly displaying an image of the message will increase conversion by 19%.
- Page load time – You want your page to load as quickly as possible to maximize conversion. Shoot for less than 2 seconds.
- User experience – The user experience should always be kept in mind when designing a landing page.
- Gather data – Remember to gather and record data about your findings. You will be able to use the information to increase conversion.
- Stay focused on what matters – For instance, testing what color buttons work best can be a waste of time. Optimizing imagery and copy is a much more effective way to increase conversion.
David Mihm (Google) – Local Search
During David Mihm’s presentation he offered a list of things that he would focus on if he was consulting for a company today:
- There should be a three way connection between the website, location, and the brand.
- Google Plus authorship is important for your brand/company.
- Have a simple storte locator on your website that would be crawlable by Google.
- Put local store content on the local pages.
- Work out student discounts to try to get .edu links.
- Get your business involved in local events. Often times these local events will do marketing for you.
- Reach out to authority reviewers on yelp, but do not ask them for a review. Keep interacting with them via social media, and eventually they will give a review.
- Maintain a quality in-store experience.
Day 3 Recap:
Dr. Pete Meyers (Moz) – Beyond 10 Blue Links (The Future of Rankings)
- How it was – When people would search Google there would be 10 blue links that appeared on the page. That’s it.
- What has happened – Now there are 85 SERP (search engine results page) features that contribute to the results. There is more and more rich media that is appearing in the search results that can possibly distract people from (or to) your site’s results. Today, 85% of SERPS contain rich information.
What you need to do to be more effective:
- Broad and strategic change is required – You will need a strategy that covers authorship, social, user, links, and on-page optimization.
- Change your SEO tactics – the days of keyword stuffing and link purchasing are over. Focus on your content and relevant links to improve your page rank.
- Google is focused on entities – You need to position yourself as an entity (a brand), and add value through building unique content. Google will reward the effort with a higher ranking.
Jen Lopez (Moz) – Building Community
- Your organization’s goals should be the starting point for building community. For instance your goal could be to increase engagement with the community. Going forward, everything that you engage in should have that goal in mind.
- There are some tools that can help you build community. The tools do not matter as much as the way that you use them. For instance, Moz uses Sprout Social to manage its Twitter postings.
- Community should be built by focusing on content and interaction. Find out what certain people in your organization are good at and assign them community building tasks based on their strengths.
- Start small and then begin to build. Pick one or two things to start the building process and remember that community is a team sport.
Kelsey Libert (Fractl) – Viral Link Building
- An extremely effective way to begin a viral campaign is to tap into people’s emotions. For instance, pick a topic that is polarizing or elicits an extreme emotional response from people. Topics like weight, drug use, or politics.
- Emotions are not enough by themselves to go viral. You will also need high production value. A high production value will attract a much higher percentage of people than a low quality production.
- Taste makers/influencers do not take hold of everything that comes their way. You need to produce something that really stands out to get the attention of influencers and get them to push the content out to their followers.
- With viral content you are more concerned with audience than follow/unfollow links.
- 1 link from BuzzFeed can generate over 1,200 backlinks.
For the complete list of speakers along with slide shows from all three days check out Content Harmony’s MozCon 2013 Recap.