This year’s MozCon is packed with some of the most brilliant minds in the search marketing industry. New techniques and analysis in SEO, ranking correlation, social media and more is being discussed with rapid fire presentations by community speakers. This day-by-day summary highlights some of the more insightful talking points to come out of the conference.
Disclaimer: The conference moves VERY fast, so some of these notes are a bit incomplete. But, there’s a lot of good info in here. Please keep this in my while reading. I did my best to follow the presentations with ample notes, but it was quite difficult at times. Please leave a comment if you can provide clarity on any of these items. Also, not every presentation is covered in this recap. Lastly, I will be adding more links for the speakers in the near future to give them some link equity 🙂 Thank you for understanding.
MozCon Day 1 Recap
Rand Fishkin (Moz): 5 Big Trends in Web Marketing
- Brand Domination: It’s becoming tougher for small businesses to get a leg up with SEO, Social Media, etc. Carousel-style results in Google are filled with dominant brands mentioned in Google Plus. Rand showed a graphic from Dr. Pete that portrayed an upward trend of brands dominating the search results. Want to win the web? Become a brand. You have to be a marketer to win with online marketing in today’s world.
- More Crowded Field: Rand showed massive increases in the number of blogs, social media accounts and other online competitors in the market these days. It’s very hard to compete now. You need a unique value proposition and really need to stand apart from the crowd. My take is, most will fail without experience in knowing what works.
- Social is Fragmenting, Search isn’t: New social networks keep popping up as the industry figures itself out. Google has 90% marketshare worldwide and 80% in the US according to StatCounter. Privacy concerns (Prism) haven’t shifted this market share. Privacy isn’t an issue with Google search users.
- Loss of Free Data: We’re losing the Google AdWords Keyword tool (being replaced by the opaque Keyword Planner). Alternatives tools to use: SEMRush.com, etc.
- Multi-Device World: Half of cellphone users have smartphones and 34% of US adults have a tablet. Desktop use of search engines has not been shrinking, however. “More web use promotes more web use” – Rand. Apps are becoming their own channel, not taking marketshare.
Richard Baxter (SEOGadget): Really Targeted Outreach
- Guest Blogging: D0n’t start with Google when looking for guest posting opportunities. Find out where your target audience is sharing, where they’re hanging out and find out who to contact there. Google queries like [“write for us” + marketing] get you low-quality guest posting prospects that shortcut SEOs are using. Find influencers and “do some marketing.”
- Tagul: This is a tool to help find influencers like Hubspot, Mindjet, Buffer.
- The average Domain Authority of websites found in a Google search asking for guest contributions is 47. Stop using Google to look for guest posting opportunities.
- Find influencer intersect using FollowerWonk. What are they sharing? Find the sites that the target audience is sharing, following, etc.
- Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet: Bit.ly/twitterarchiver
- Twitter advanced search query:
from:richard baxter OR
- Helpful Template: http://bit.ly/mozcontemplate
- Rapportive – Helps to find contact information for link building opportunities
Avinash Kaushik: Simplifying Complexity for Higher ROI
- Use the Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics for better analysis (use search box to find it)
- Use sunburst graphs to show connections between channels
- Testing Process:
- Be less wrong (slowly over time)
- SimilarWeb tells you where your competition is getting traffic from. Get ideas for your own business.
- Note: Avinash spoke very fast and it was difficult to take it all in. The main takeaway was focus on the product in eCommerce stores. He showed examples from ModCloth and ShopBop doing a great job of this with big pictures, good descriptions and clear calls to action. He kept telling everyone “Don’t suck.”
Lena West (Influence Expansion): Swaggerjack the Power of Memes
- Wordless Wednesdays (Memes):Small brands are ranking in Google for competitive search terms. Google loves them. This could be great for eCommerce link building and social sharing for impacting organic rankings and building social traffic/followers.
- Infographics: These still work despite SEOs being sick of them. They ttract tons of social shares if they are resourceful or insightful. Search Pinterest or Google for existing infographics in the industry and share them. Put your data into a graphic form.
Ross Hudgens: Rapid Fire Link Building
- Link Building Tools:
- Email-Format.com – Easily find contact formats.
- Outdated Content Finder – Helps to find outdated content so you can find who is linking to them and reach out to get links to your newer/more relevant content
- BananaTag.com – Track email send opens to improve your email outreach in link building
- LinkClump – Chrome Extension to help you open multiple links at once to quickly analyze link opportunities
- Boomerang for Gmail – Allows for scheduling emails for followup. Ross improved it by creating AutoBoomerang.
- Improving Visibility
- Send paid traffic to pages that could appear in Popular Posts sections of other sites
- Like our content that is shared on other Facebook accounts to help improve EdgeRank
- Target newsletters – search in Twitter…see if you can get your content featured in them.
- Drop an article you found into Topsy and give credit to influencer
- Write a great article, link to influencers from within it, then reach out to them and let them know you linked to them. Improves likelihood that they will promote it on social
- Building Links
- Add images from non-related industries to list-style articles, galleries and such…and link to the source and follow up with them to see if they will promote
- Guest post links should be no followed
- Blogs with Link Pages – add value add comments to these blogs in two months, then do broken link building on their Links/Resources page and reach out to them to help + get your links. Helps improve conversion rate.
- Sort prospect links by external outlines to improve success probability. Filter out those who don’t link to anyone. Use CitationLabs as a good tool of this. Does Buzzstream use this?
- Google Consumer Surveys – gather interesting data for linkbait strategies.
- S.U.C.C.E.S Framework – Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibiltiy, Emotions, Stories – good way to evaluate content. Good book to read.
- Embeddable Slideshows – target huge markets (i.e. – cities) in the slides and then reach out to the blogs/social spaces/etc that cover those areas to promote the slide shows on your website. Smaller cities are more likely to link to it, vice versa.
- Find Roundup Posts – really good idea for RCLPs/etc…”tunisian crochet” + “Links”, etc.
- Create Gmail Filters for Haro.
- Read the Content Marketing Institute Blog – people steal their definition of “content marketing” but don’t link back…so they can reach out to stealers to request link back to their site. How can this apply to our content?
- A HREFS – Re-engage authoritative sites you’ve lost links from.
- Run a 404 test on aged link prospect list to do broken link building.
- Build Links with your content – This helps to avoid Penguin penalties by doing cleaner link building.
Matt Peters (Moz): 2013 Ranking Factors (Data Scientist, Moz)
- Page-Level Links: Page authority most important, number of links (from variety of domains) is often the source of this but linking page/domain authority a big factor. Linking page relevance is also correlated with higher rankings.
- Anchor Text: Exact and partial match anchor text have roughly the same level of value in a link despite Penguin. Also, external links are much more effective than internal links. Anchor text diversity is believed to be important by SEOs
- Site Speed: Moz partnered with Zoompf and found that document complete time/page load or render time had no correlation with ranking. 40% customers abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Conversion drops 7% for every page load second.
- Keywords on Page: Correlation studies show that keywords on the page are not as much of a ranking factor as what SEOs think according to a survey. But, keyword in the text has the most correlation with higher rankings, more than titles, meta descriptions. Subtitle keyword usage has lesser impact on rankings according to correlation study.
- Other On-Page Ranking Factors: Characters in HTML and image usage is correlated with higher ranking pages, but not considered causation. Google+ Authorship doesn’t influence rankings but can improve CTR due to making SERP stand out. EMDs still rank well but URL not as correlated with rankings. EMDs that are still ranking and lower quality EMDs have been removed from rankings.
- Brand Metrics: Fresh links and mentions (without links) to the domain are correlated with higher rankings.
- Social Signals: Google +1s that your page gets – 2nd highest ranking factor correlated with higher rankings outside of Page Authority. Not sure if causation, but more correlated with Facebook shares, and Tweets is 3rd. SEOs didn’t really think social was nearly as important as the correlation studies show.
- Top 3 Ranking Correlations:
- Domain Authority – determined by overal domain link quality/quantity
- Page Authority – determined by overall page link quality/quantity
- Page level keyword usage
- Future Ranking Correlation Predictions
- Perceived value to users
- Structured data
- Possible negative correlation with longer domains and greater number of directories in URL structure.
Matthew Brown (AudienceWise): Strings to Things: Entities and SEO
- Panda – Thin content, pages with lots of ads, pages that suck in general (high bounce rate)
- Mobile – It’s all about mobile/tablets. By 2015, 30% of all internet traffic will be mobile. They are trying to get people information they are looking for faster than every before, due to mobile needs.
- Structured Data Markup– This is the next big thing in SEO. Google needs structured data to win the mobile search war.
- “sameAs” tag helps to link pages about same content (i.e. – Wikipedia) which will help your page ranking higher b/c you are helping build Knowledge Graph.
- Don’t sleep on yahoo on semantic related links via structured markup…could score links on Yahoo home page.
- Freebase – missed details on this, but a tool to check out.
- Bottlenose – take entities from Freebase and other sources and put them into Bottlenose to create a entity graph that helps visualize a content model.
- Yahoo Glimmer – also missed details
- Fresh Web Explorer – Google doesn’t really look at brand mentions as brand mentions, but instead disambiguated entities so they can clearly know what the entity (brand name) is about. That helps their knowledge graph.
- Are we going to profit from this? Google needs us to mark up their data and they’ll link to their sources.
Karen McGrane (Bond Art & Science): The Mobile Content Mandate
- American Cancer Society has a great mobile site. “Good content transcends platform”
- Chunk your blobs of content.
- Responsive Design won’t solve your content problem. Ensure all the content displayed on a mobile page is the right information for a user to read on a mobile experience.
- People are highly engaged when reading long-form content on mobile. The key is to be compelling and engaging. Don’t be afraid of it at all. Don’t dumb down the content.
Mackenszie Fogelson (Mack Web Solutions) – Building a Better Business with Digital Marketing
- 5 Step Process:
- “Goals not Tools”
- KPIs – not all of them are online
- Strategy – Not a 12-month picture. Try 2-3 months at a time and test things. Ongoing, evolving strategies.
- Execution – Stay on track and don’t get distracted from strategy aligned with goals.
- Analysis – what is/isn’t working. Go back and revise strategy as needed.
MozCon Day 2 Recap
Phil Nottingham (Distilled)- Video Marketing Strategies
- The video advertising market increased 46% in 2012 (in UK)
- Flip Camera is a cheap way to make good videos. A lapel microphone improves audio quality. Entry-level lights improve the lighting. Total cost: $1,100. Not expensive.
- Video is a better medium when the message will be lost by any other medium. An example is to help show the use of a product, which makes it twice as likely to convert.
- When producing videos for pages, remember to soft sell, give hard facts and use empathy when connecting to your audience.
- Put video transcript in the HTML, which are valuable for users and unique text for driving search traffic to product pages
- Use video rich snippet markup code to help the video stand out in Google’s search results.
- Paid hosting – Wistia is the best video hosting platform for small to medium sized businesses.
- Create and submit a video sitemap to Google (I’m assuming by linking from your main sitemap file and submitting to Webmaster Tools).
- Don’t put conversion videos on YouTube, because YouTube will rank for it. Average CTR is 0.72% from YouTube video with links back to your site. Best performing site was REI (4.37%). People don’t go to YouTube to buy products. YouTube is excellent for brand awareness, however.
- Measure engagement, not views.
- Video embed tool: dis.tl/video-embed-generator
- Video link building – Reach out to people linking to lower quality videos and offer them a higher quality video to replace. Find video links via Open Site Explorer (what crappy videos are getting a lot of links?). Also, interview authorities in your niche and they will link back to it from their site (ego bait).
- Blueprint for a Winning Video Strategy: Buy the gear, create tutorials and how-tos, then do video news releases for PR campaigns. Build library of interviews, product videos, etc. Get links from customers/affiliates via video link bait. Create videos to augment corporate and people pages to build trust. Hubble is a brand that does this well.
- Start slow, produce quality content via video, show ROI, then build from there.
- Phil Smith – Talked about the future of MozScape. Currently there are 900 billion links in Open Site Explorer/MozScape. Domain Authority over time is coming. Also wills how when links appear/disappear. Trying to get into predictive modeling where they will predict the traffic to your website tomorrow. This stuff coming Q3/Q4 of 2013.
- Aaron Wheeler – Go to customer service team and get the top 10 questions asked by customers to get content ideas.
Joanna Lord (BigDoor) – Customer/Brand Loyalty
- 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers today – 2012 Gartner Study
- Loyalty is built 1:1. Always has been and always will be.
- Customers will not succeed without customer loyalty
- 6 Steps to Building Loyalty:
- Brand storytelling – Figure out sexy ways to tell your company’s story and run campaigns (track, optimize, etc.).
- Connect with Customers – be transparent with your customers, revealing all your secrets and people will love you for it. Example: McDonalds told produced a video about how they photoshop their food, lie to us, etc. Honesty sells. Take the online relationships offline, like mailing loyal customers a t-shirt or something.
- Anticipate Needs/Add Value – Explore new product ideas, content areas, etc. Figure out what they’re excited about and take action on it. Curate content from other sources that your customers will love.
- Deliver on Promises – “Lowes fix in six” is great example.
- Be There During the Good and the Bad – Southwest Airlines and New York Times assisting during the Boston Marathon instead of “going dark” on social media. Offer to help instead of disappearing. Frequent touch points. “The Standard” does a great job of this. Multi-device, integrated experiences work best.
- Showcase Your Customers and Support Them – Dunkin Donuts does great with “Fan of the Week.” BetaBrand built a program called “Model Citizen Wall of Fame” on their home page.
- Premium Loyalty – This is high brand attachment, pride in purchasing. These are the people we should be going after, keep them excited and fuel their passion in our brand.
- Reciprocal loyalty – This is a new type of loyalty. How does the brand become more loyal to the customer? Talking about the customer should be the start of company meetings. Teams who stay invested in the customer, stay invested in each other…even cross-departmental.
- KPIs for Measuring Customer/Brand Loyalty – Lifetime Value (LTV), % of Customer Retention, % of Customer Attrition, V vs. IV Churn Ratios, Net Promoter Score, RFM Cohorts, % in Loyal Program, # of Registered Users, Latency of Visit.
Adam Audette (RKG)- eCommerce SEO
- There is a change in the industry. Brands discovered SEO so they got better and created more competition for smaller companies who had leg up with early adoption of SEO. Internet users hate SEO (poor copywriting focused on keywords, etc.), and Google is targeting thin content and link spam to weed out the older, poor quality SEO techniques.
- Content Strategy – Who is using the keywords is what we really care about. Categorize they keywords by personas so you can understand what they are trying to accomplish and what the solution should be. This feeds into the way you create the content.
- Technical SEO is more valuable today than it was before. 500 errors are a problem, since every site has finite crawl resources from Googlebot and too many errors and bloat pages means the real content doesn’t get crawled effectively. It’s not smart to fix every server error, but fix them when they spike. Parameter handling is good to customize. The “site:” Google query stat is not accurate. The only accurate way to monitor total site pages is by XML site maps. 304 is helpful. Log files with tons of red is very bad. If Google is suddenly crawling tons of 404/500-type error pages, there’s gonna be a drop in 200 pages (good crawls) that are crawled. In this case, the good content isn’t getting crawled by Googlebot. The “rel prev, next” and “rel canonical” header codes should work together. Expiring product pages that are still live should be 301 redirected or 404’d.
- iOS6 Traffic – This accounts for 80+% of all mobile organic search traffic (Safari browser on iPhone), and is not being attributed to organic in Google Analytics.
- 35% of keywords are now showing up as “not provided” in Google Analytics today, and this is growing.
- PLA’s (Product Listing Ads in from Google in SERPs) are taking up 33% of non-branded PPC traffic.
- Image Search for eCommerce – Now, images are blown up in Google Image Search and now we’re all losing tons of Google Image Search.
- Impact vs. Reliability – When deciding on strategies for your business, decide which ones are going to have the most impact and be the most reliable, dependable strategies. For example, “going viral” is high impact but low reliability. On-page optimization is lower impact but higher reliability.
- Mobile Traffic – 25% of organic traffic and going up. Tablets now are outpacing smartphones for usage. Windows tablet is higher “revenue per click” than Desktop/Laptop, and iPad is not far behind for their clients. Tablet users look at more pages (they are “browsing” more as they kick back and use the device).
- Get Google+ page on Google’s “Recommended List” – work with the Paid Search people to get onto the list. The number of Google+ followers will skyrocket. But, “not provided” searches will go up too b/c you’ll get more and more people logged into Google who are searching/coming to the site.
Brittan Bright (iAcquire)- Relationship Building
- Get good at “communication” because people are unavoidable.
- Your success depends on other people
- Communication Skills: empathy, emotional and social intelligence, self-awareness, confidence
- Using visualization techniques can help inspire empathy
- The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said
- Communicate with people in the form that they like to communicate
- Think about the kind of intelligence that the person you’re talking to has, and adjust to that
- Preparation increases confidence
- Effective collaboration is critical business success
Kyle Rush (New York Times, formerly Obama Campaign) – Optimization and Testing (Landing Pages)
- User testing – Kyle used a program called “Silverback” to watch users using the website
- Testing Process = Experimentation, Observation, Data Gathering
- Experimentation Process = Identify Goals, Create Hypotheses (ensure you stay focused. Create high level hypotheses such as “less copy creates more conversions than more copy), Create experiments (test it multiple times), Prioritize with ROI (adding quote from Obama above payment button increased conversion 17%. This was a small, easy change), Test your ideas, Record Results (build a Google Doc)
- Changing/Testing Copy – highest ROI you can experiment with and it’s easy. 21% increase in conversions by making copy more direct like “Now, save your payment information” instead of “Save your payment information for next time.”
- Changing Imagery – Using images that clearly display a visual of the message being presented by the text increased conversion 19%
- Optimizing Performance – You want a page load time less than 2 seconds. They started with 5-7 seconds.
- Use “Web Page Tests” – to determine “time to paint” (user taking an action on the site). 80% faster time to paint led to 14% increase in conversions.
- User Experience – They chunked Obama’s campaign donations into four pre-determined amounts as buttons, instead of a form to fill out with deciding own amount. This resulted in a 5% conversion improvement on an already optimized page.
- Best Practices in Testing – Start simple (get it out there and test up), always have a test running, don’t be afraid to fail (only 20% of their tests increased the conversion rate but they didn’t let it get them down. Example: Checkbox on payment page to “save payment information” decreased conversion 44%. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t testing enough.)
- Data Gathering – They had over 600M custom Google Analytics events
- Adding text-field hints, to help users know what to enter, helped to reduce abandonment rate
- Design Embellishments – Testing things like button color proved to be a waste of time in their tests. The imagery and copy affected conversion the most.
Natalie Nahai (Webs of Influence) – Web Psychology
- 3 Secrets to Online Success – Know who you’re targeting. Communicate persuasively. Sell with integrity.
- Culture is the software of the mind
- Google Translate – This application is used over 1 billion times per day. Global internet penetration is on the rise. Smartphones bring access to content for less developed countries, which is a big driver of this.
Annie Cushing (Annielytics)- Breaking Up with Keyword-Based KPIs
- October 18, 2011 (“Not Provided” Keywords) – Google stopped showing keyword data for logged in Google users. Keywords showed as “not provided” in Google Analytics. Matt Cutts said this would be single digits. We’re now at 40% “not provided” on average, and this is higher for tech sites with more Google users as site visitors.
- July 2012 (Firefox Switches to Encrypted Google Search) – According to StatCounter, 14% of users worldwide use Firefox.
- June 18th, 2013 (Google Carousel results) – When clicked on, users are sent to a new query related to what you clicked on. It’s like Google won’t let you go. This results in less non-branded keyword traffic being tracked in Google Analytics.
- Say Goodbyes:
- Keyword trending data from Google Analytics (comparing a keyword from one month to previous month) is now junk data.
- Reporting branded versus non-branded keyword data
- Organic traffic per keyword
- Revenue per keyword
- Bounce rate per keyword
- …anything else per keyword. We no longer have data from web savvy users (who are logged into Google or using Firefox, etc.). We’re left with a “Representative sample” which isn’t useful.
- What we CAN use:
- Keywords for individual landing pages. Click on a keyword and set secondary dimension (in Google Analytics) to Landing Page.
- Webmaster Tools Keyword Data – Search Traffic > Search Queries. Click on the keywords to drill down to the pages on your site competing for the keywords. Click the “Filter” button, then choose to analyze Web, Mobile, etc.
- Keyword reports from SEMRush or Keyword Spy – very valuable for competitive analysis to see who is ranking for what keywords for optimization opportunities. Must use pivot tables for fully analyzing this data.
David Mihm – Local Search
- 50% of Local SEO is Place Page signals, Citations signals and Review signals
- Desktop and mobile local ranking factors are nearly identical
- Foundational local ranking factors: Quantity of citations
- What David would do if he was consulting for a company today:
- Establish a 3-way connection between website, location and brand.
- Google Plus Authorship/Publishership markup is key.
- Use a simple store locator on your website that is easily crawlable by Google (i.e. – hub page using HTML that links to a unique page for each location).
- Google Places for Business is critical for connecting the brand to the location.
- Put local content on the local store pages. Have store managers add 200 unique characters about the store and have them answer the top 10 most commonly asked questions about the store, and put that content on the page too. Also add customer interviews sourced from mining Facebook fans and reaching out to them. Also reclaim filtered Yelp reviews since Yelp is so aggressive with filtering spam reviews…they don’t always get it right. Repurpose them on your webpage after reaching out to the customer and requesting permission.
- Use open data sources to produce Geo Mashups
- Work out student discount programs to try and get .edu links
- Get your business involved with events, or host events for niche citations. The events you get involved with typically do the marketing for you. Llcal news sources can cite your own hosted event.
- Find authority reviewers on Yelp and reach out to build relationships, not asking for reviews. Interact with them on social media (retweet them, etc.) to build an online relationship. They’ll eventually leave a review as they interact more with your business in a positive, engaging manner.
- Look at competitive businesses on the outskirts of town who are really successful (since Google prefers to rank downtown businesses higher) and see where they are getting their links/citations from for ideas.
- Most importantly, have a quality in-store experience.
- Infogroup, Acxiom and Neustar provide Google’s citation data. Google crawls these sources and tries to match with sites across the web to understand how many mentions you have.
Will Critchlow (Distilled) – The Future of User Experience
- Apps like Pocket give readers more control over when and how they want to read content, not how publishers want them to read it (with ads on their website)
- We follow people we trust and increasingly refuse to do exactly what brands want us to do. The main reason people like brands on Facebook is not to read their timeline/status updates, but because they actually like the brand.
- Our audience is fragmented. They’re not following us, there following curators of our news/content on social media, etc. Owning our audience is increasingly valuable. That’s what we need to be doing…building audiences.
- People are less forgiving and easier to mobilize, so there is more risk in building an audience.
- We need to be marketing to people who are in control of what they consume. We need to be “wanted” by them. Be wanted.
- 77% of mobile searches are done in a location where a computer was available. Why? Because they are convenient. Stop thinking of mobile as a device. Think about it as being “connected.”
- Desktops/laptops are becoming more like mobile phones. Instant turn on. Apps. Some are touch screen. File system is less important (we just search for the file to get it quickly).
- Play nice with tech (Instapaper, screen sizes, connection speeds, etc.)
- Robots are starting to understand, not just index.
- Query = Explicit query + implicit query (robots are learning what we really mean to better deliver). We start trusting the robots that we start to query differently, assuming sites like Google will know what we mean. Implicit searches are rising. For example, searching for “breakfast” while show you local breakfast restaurants in your area. This is an implicit query.
- Theory: Google is fundamentally trying to make EVERYTHING less about keywords, and more about user intent. Things like Priority Inbox (Gmail) and Edgerank (Facebook) hide things we don’t interact with to create a better personal experience.
- De-indexing and Panda/Penguin are less about penalty and more about invisibility.
- Social signals and authorship are incredibly powerful for Google to understand who the influencers are.
- Watch out for robots learning what humans like.
- Do the things that make our website really good. It’s more about being understood and less about being indexed, etc.
- The way we can dominate like TV marketers did is to earn attention and build real audiences instead of trying to game the system for short term gains.
MozCon Day 3 Recap
Dr. Pete Meyers (Moz) – Beyond 10 Blue Links (The Future of Rankings)
- We used to have 10 simple results in Google, then we got Site Links and also local results added to the top of the SERPs. Then, we got KnowledgeGraph with quick answers (not links) atop the SERPs.
- If all you know is where you rank, you don’t know anything.
- 85 SERP Features – Some examples: 10-site links for domain name queries in Google (i.e. – Apple.com), Related searches at bottom of SERPs, Similar Searches, Video rich snippets, symptom treatment boxes, local time, math equations, graphs, definition box, holidays, image thumbnails (like recipe queries), etc. More than anything, the Knowledge Graph space on the right side of SERPs is stealing eyeballs away from the organic results (i.e. – “justin timberlake” query)
- Of 10k SERPs that he looks at, only 15% have no rich information. So, 85% of the SERPs have rich snippets to distract clicks to your site.
- Bing is changing the SERPs based on CTR (need for compelling meta titles/descriptions, reputable brand, etc)
- New Google Maps (Beta) has no SERP at all. Desktop is becoming more like mobile experience. Google Now, on mobile, shows the weather…but no links to weather sites.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Broad strategic change is needed. Need a stragey the covers, authorship, social. user, links and on-page optimization.
- Google is trying to build the web of entities. Authors and brands are entities. They are trying to model the world, understand who is important and who should rank. You can be an entity.
- We buy/trade links, stuff keywords, count followers, spin articles, buy a name, fake local search…etc…all to rank…in order to sell. What if you don’t rank? You don’t sell. Our approach to our tactics need to change: attract links, target concepts, build following, show expertise, make a name and think locally. Do all those things to sell…and thus, build a real business. It’s time to be a real marketer.
- The people who are suffering the most now are comparison sites, affiliates, etc. Brands and entities are surviving. Add value in your own unique way to build an audience…an entity that Google can recognize.
Carrie Gouldin (ThinkGeek) – Using Metrics to Build Social Media Engagement
- ThinkGeek has a two-person social media team…yet 500k Facebook fans with 25-50% of them talking about them. 700k Twitter followers. 75k Google+ circlers w/ 3,000 plusses. 25k Pintrest pinners and 55 repins on average.
- Instead of promoting products, they talk about the things and topics that make their product popular in the first place.
- Valuable content = timely, informative, useful, entertaining (humor)
- Use quotes from product as social media share content
- Engagement rates are the best metrics to use, not follower count
- Social ROI: branding (tell your company’s story), customer loyalty (why not shop at Amazon?), customer evangelism (why should they share your company with friends?), customer feedback (use their product feedback as suggestions to fix product pages, etc.).
- Frequency: Twitter (4-7 times per day, never more than once per hour), Facebook (3 times per day), Pinterest (as much as they want)
- Time of day: Twitter (noon is peak time), tailor content to time of day, Facebook (4pm, before people leave work, and evening times get most activity)
- Time of week: Twitter is more silent on the weekends. Facebook is a bit more steady with Tuesday/Friday being peak days
- Facebook’s EdgeRank uses affinity (what kind of post Facebook thinks a follower likes), weight (value assigned to comments, types of posts, etc.), time decay (how long it’s being liked, shared and commented).
- Advanced YouTube tip – Add “&t=1m5s” at the end of YouTube URLs to get to 1:05 section of the video you want to reference (as an example).
- Involve your community meaningfully. Example: they had their Facebook fans ask their interns questions as part of the interview so they could see how they interact with fans, spelling, timeliness, etc.
Wil Reynolds (SEER Interactive) – The Internet Hates Us. Can RCS Change That?
- SEOs are lower on the food chain than brand-building marketers. You can’t just change your title, you must change your ways. Change what you do. Change who you talk to.
- Real Company Shit (RCS) – Requires respecting other disciplines
- “There is no “Just”” – Tom Critchlow (just 301 it, just create an infographic, just…etc.)
- Do content because you love something, don’t do content for SEO.
- The introvert is going to get their energy from getting shit done. Learn how to hire and manage introverts.
- Learn how to create experiences for people, like how a concierge creates an experience for customers at a boutique hotel.
- bit.ly/batman-campaign – incredible content marketing campaign – Company that does it is 42 Entertainment (not even on Twitter)
- Great design agencies are typically much better at content marketing than SEOs
- SEOs need to start building amazing content marketing campaigns
- Volkswagen slowmercial – keep the text on the page for a long time so as people scroll past to try and skip the commercial on YouTube, they see the message
- Volkswagen “Like a Boss” campaign in Google Image Search – a design agency pitched that and got the optimization to work…not SEOs. Been done. Too late.
- Follow @GuusterBeek on Twitter to see epic marketing tweets
- Create things that add value for the long term
- “My clients won’t invest in RCS” really means “I don’t know how to pitch”
- Look at the “How Do they Make Money” infographic from Seer – 1,000 linking root domains in a month. It’s incredibly useful content. SEOs said “why did you put that on a sub-domain?” Wil didn’t do it for SEO value. He did it to build his brand. He wanted to be creative for once and a safety net to fail (he built it when clients said no to the idea…so he paid for it). 20% of the people that hit it were on mobile, and an agency paid for making a responsive design version of it to improve mobile traffic engagement/experience.
- Build epic shit. Search for your brand name in Google Suggest…does anyone search for your assets (i.e. – “seer interactive screaming frog,” ” seer interactive san diego,” etc.)
- Know who’s feeding who b/c you can get on major news sites
- BEST STUFF
- Sign up on competitor newsletters in Evernote. Share your Notebook with interns in Evernote with Pro ($5)
- Find Feeds over the web. Use Page2RSS to create an RSS feed from a URL to see all the links coming in to your competitor links for prospecting.
- Newsle – this is a tool that connects to your LinkedIn and allows you to stalk your competitors (get news about when they are mentioned to find link opportunities)
- Search Twitter for “for a story” and make it a column in Tweet Deck to help contribute stories as link opportunities via citations.
- Find partners who are the best at what they do so that they are long-term partners that don’t compete, and vice versa. Specialize and work with other specialized businesses.
Jen Lopez (Moz) – Building Community
- Start with your organization’s goals. Moz Goal: Increase engagement within the community on-site, off-site and off-line. Megan’s goal is to increase engagement on Facebook 25%. Communicate it to everyone. In 2010, Moz wanted to reach 6,500 Facebook fans. You have to start somewhere.
- Sprout Social – good tool for managing social communities. Not about the tools, however. It works for Moz because they receive a nice weekly report.
- Assess internal staff to tap into resources for building community through content and interaction. Find out what people are good at and assign them to community building tasks like the Facebook page, the Twitter account, blogging, etc.
- Start small and build up from there. Pick one or two things to start with for building community, and kick ass at it. Tell your story and show your personality.
- “Community is a team sport” – Jen Lopez
Sha Menz (BF Design Studio) – 10 Link Removal Pro Tips That Will Change Your Life
- Link removers can be TAGFEE too, despite having a bad reputation
- Assumptions: The work is thankless, success is impossible, nothing good can come of it. These assumptions are all just wrong.
- Great Link Removal Tips
- Create a separate inbox at the target domain and turn spam filters off. This gives credibility, and turning the spam filters off ensures that webmaster emails don’t end up in the Junk folder.
- Identify directory sites you want to remove links and serve them a 404 via .htaccess file. The bot will then drop the link from their index.
- Get to know the sites that don’t accept email and go straight to the submission forms.
- Be grateful when you discover that ArticleSnatch is on your list of removals. The owner, Matt Ellsworth, cooperates and offers people the option to reclaim bot-submitted articles, rewrite them or delete them.
- WordPress hosted blogs – Email at wordpress@<subdomain>.wordpress.com
- Write your link removal request as if it were a potential customer. Focus on the relationship and approach people with the type of communication that you want in return. It could actually bring you new business.
- Lodge a Spam Report to have egregious Spam removed through the various blog services (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) – last resort
- You’re asking for favors. Paying for link removal can be fun, if necessary. Send them cupcakes, cookies, etc. LOL
- 3 Basic Rules – 1) Be a real person. Include your phone number, real name, etc. 2) Every interaction is human to human. 3) Do everything you can to protect your brand.
- Get a complete look at the link profile. Use Bing Webmaster Tools (they give you the data), Majestic, A Hrefs, and even look at the referral traffic in Google Analytics for a long time back and look at referring links within only 1 visit (often from previous spammy link builders, checking to see if they worked)
Mike Arnesen (SwellPath) – How to Build a One-Person Link Building Army
- Time to stop whining about link building being hard and find ways to build links. Do whatever you can, whenever you can.
- What it takes? Efficiency. Being agile. Be linkable (content). Be serendipitous.
- Efficiency – Grab a competitive URL, grab their Just Discovered Links reports, and enter their URL into Page2RSS.com. Have IFTT email you when new links are discovered. Also set up Google Alerts for your company and competitors. You can also do this stuff with Fresh Web Explorer. Send personal handwritten notes when link building to make them feel special and increase the chance of getting the link. Use HARO since everyone’s an expert at something. Haro is largely a numbers game, but you can score citations/links. Text Expander is a nice app for speeding up outreach.
- Agility – Be nimble and opportunistic. You need to be doing it constantly. Turn on Twitter notifications for people you want a link from, interact with them and increase the chance that you’ll get a link from them in the future. Use AuthorCrawler, enter 3 similar sites, and get a report of people using Google Authorship who are linking to those sites and build relationships with those people.
- Linkability – Make your content more interactive and linkable. Don’t just use text. Embrace new technologies like rich snippets when they first launched, to become an authority and get linked to. Be a specialist in something, and you will attract links. “Get to the guts of one thing” – Mark Twain.
- Serendiptiy – Do things that make people want to link to you down the line. Links will trickle in over time. Use Google+ Ripples and FollowerWonk to find your advocates and build those relationships.
- Mike will spend 8 hours per week in between his core job tasks to do link building.
Kelsey Libert (Fractl) – Viral Link Building
- Tapping into emotions is a secret ingredient in viral campaigns, and enables your site to get picked up by top-tier publishers who want to support the message/cause. Topics like weight, drug use, etc.
- The Engagement Project – A study. “The Fascinating Familiar” – seeing the miraculous in the mundane (i.e. – the “will it blend” campaign). The “Energy exchange,” the social smile…create new emotion-tapping experiences for people to engage with.
- Upworthy.com – Reframing emotions as data is the X Factor. You can’t control it and you can’t afford to ignore it.
- Viral Emotions Study – Took the top 20 images of all time and categorized by emotion. The top 4 images of all time had the most emotions attributed to them. Top 3 emotions: Amusement, Interest and Surprise. Include these all in your marketing campaigns. Contrasting emotions are sadness, and despair. Pair the negatives with the positives to get full emotional impact.
- Emotions aren’t enough to go viral. You need high production value.
- Publishers are getting inundated with emails, so you need to create your campaigns on the web and get them to noticed.
- With viral content, you are more concerned with audience than you are follow/nofollow links.
- 1 link from BuzzFeed can generate over 1,200 backlinks
- frc.tl/ROI-calculator for determining ROI of content strategies.
Rand Fishkin – Secret Ingredients of Better Marketing
Well….you’ll just have to come to Mozcon next year! Register here. Thanks, Rand. 🙂
General Mozcon Takeaways
- Less “silos” between web strategy teams. Get together social media and editorial teams to strategize better. Build community through better content and outreach as a result.
- Huge thanks to Aleyda Solis for talking through the “hreflang” code for an international SEO project I’m working on.
- Very inspired by Wil Reynolds and reminded me how important creating truly amazing content and being groundbreaking is. Taking shortcuts and looking for tricks is a path to mediocrity at best.
- Thanks To Ross Hudgens for walking through few link building questions with me, like whether links to pages producing a 404 error evaporate the link equity. Our general opinion is that yes, it does. Of course, we don’t know for sure. Matt, are you listening?
- Thanks to Darren Shaw for the tip about using Link Prospecter to feed link opportunities into Buzzstream for managing link building outreach. We’re going to try that.