Tag Archive | "2019."

Get the Bingeable & Shareable MozCon 2019 Video Bundle!

Posted by FeliciaCrawford

MozCon 2019 was an absolute blast. There were endless snacks. There were Roger hugs. There were networking opportunities and Birds of a Feather tables and search epiphanies galore. And there were a ton of folks in our community who watched it all unfold from the perspective of a Twitter hashtag — fun to follow along with, but not quite the same impact as seeing the talks unfold in real-time.

If you’re still wishing you could’ve joined us in Seattle this past July, you’ll be happy to know that you can recreate the MozCon experience from the comfort of your home or office (or your home office, but hopefully not your office-home — seriously, Karen, the quarterly reports will still be there in the morning!).

Yep, you got it: the MozCon 2019 Video Bundle is available for your purchasing and viewing pleasure!

Get the MozCon 2019 video bundle


Tell me about the video bundle!

For those of you who attended in-person, good news: you’ve already got access! The video bundle is always included in the price of your MozCon ticket, so you can relive your three jam-packed days of learning as many times as you want — and if you aren’t too bummed that they already made you share your MozCon swag with them, be sure to share the vids with your team!

For the rest of us, the video bundle lets us enjoy the presentations at our own pace. It’s condensed MozCon-caliber information in a neat, on-demand package that you can — have we mentioned this? — share with your team. Seriously, we think they’ll like it. We were humbled to host some of the very brightest minds in SEO and digital marketing on our stage. With topics ranging from content marketing to technical SEO, PPC to local SEO, and just about everything in between, there are presentations to inspire just about any role in marketing (and your web dev just might be interested in a few talks, too).

What’s covered in the videos:

  1. The Golden Age of Search, Sarah Bird
  2. Web Search 2019: The Essential Data Marketers Need, Rand Fishkin
  3. Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents, Ruth Burr Reedy
  4. Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools, Dana DiTomaso
  5. Local Market Analytics: The Challenges and Opportunities, Rob Bucci
  6. Keywords Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing, Ross Simmonds
  7. How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom, Shannon McGuirk
  8. From Zero to Local Ranking Hero, Darren Shaw
  9. Esse Quam Videri: When Faking it is Harder than Making It, Russ Jones
  10. Building a Discoverability Powerhouse: Lessons From Merging an Organic, Paid, & Content Practice, Heather Physioc
  11. Brand Is King: How to Rule in the New Era of Local Search, Mary Bowling
  12. Making Memories: Creating Content People Remember, Casie Gillette
  13. 20 Years in Search & I Don’t Trust My Gut or Google, Wil Reynolds
  14. Super-Practical Tips for Improving Your Site’s E-A-T, Marie Haynes
  15. Fixing the Indexability Challenge: A Data-Based Framework, Areej AbuAli
  16. What Voice Means for Search Marketers: Top Findings from the 2019 Report, Christi Olson
  17. Redefining Technical SEO, Paul Shapiro
  18. How Many Words Is a Question Worth?, Dr. Peter J. Meyers
  19. Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future, Cindy Krum
  20. Killer E-commerce CRO and UX Wins Using A SEO Crawler, Luke Carthy
  21. Content, Rankings, and Lead Generation: A Breakdown of the 1% Content Strategy, Andy Crestodina
  22. Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right, Rob Ousbey
  23. Dark Helmet’s Guide to Local Domination with Google Posts and Q&A, Greg Gifford
  24. How to Audit for Inclusive Content, Emily Triplett Lentz
  25. Image & Visual Search Optimization Opportunities, Joelle Irvine
  26. Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic, Joy Hawkins
  27. Featured Snippets: Essentials to Know & How to Target, Britney Muller

What you’ll get:

For just $ 299, you’ll get all of the MozCon education and inspiration with none of the air travel or traffic. The bundle includes:

  • 27 full-length presentation videos chock full of leading SEO innovations, thought leadership, and tips & tricks
  • Instant downloads and streaming to your computer, tablet, or mobile device
  • Downloadable slide decks for all presentations

If we could include a download of a Top Pot doughnut and some piping hot Starbucks, we would in a heartbeat. Alas, they don’t have the technology for that… yet.

Free preview - Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right by Rob Ousbey

Speaking of doughnuts, we wouldn’t expect you to buy a dozen sweet treats without taking a little taste first to see if you like ‘em. It’s important to know that your doughnuts are both delicious, shareable, and relevant to your everyday work as an SEO — almost exactly like the MozCon video bundle. And just like the feeling of warmth and goodwill you receive when you come back to the office with a fragrant baker’s dozen, your teammates will thank you when you’ve got twenty-seven highly actionable talks to share with them — presentations that’ll hone your skills and level up your understanding of modern SEO and digital marketing.

That’s why we’ve released a talk we’re super proud of as your free preview of all the juicy goodness you can look forward to in the video bundle: Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right, presented by our very own Rob Ousbey. 

Google’s algorithms have undergone significant changes in recent years. Traditional ranking signals don’t hold the same sway they used to, and they’re being usurped by factors like UX and brand that are becoming more important than ever before. What’s an SEO to do? The answer lies in testing. Sharing original data and results from clients, Rob highlights the necessity of testing, learning, and iterating your work, from traditional UX testing to weighing the impact of technical SEO changes, tweaking on-page elements, and changing up content on key pages. Actionable processes and real-world results abound in this thoughtful presentation on why you should be testing SEO changes, how and where to run them, and what kinds of tests you ought to consider for your circumstances.

Gather the team, grab some snacks, and get ready to binge these presentations Netflix-Original-Series-style. 

Get the MozCon 2019 video bundle

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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3 Trends from Prime Day 2019 to guide your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Amazon strategy

Sellers focusing budget and discount efforts on specific, strategic product lines, rather than an entire catalog, are likely to see the biggest sales bumps.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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MozCon 2019: The Top Takeaways From Day One

Posted by KameronJenkins

Rand, Russ, Ruth, Rob, and Ross. Dana and Darren. Shannon and Sarah. We didn’t mean to (we swear we didn’t) but the first day of MozCon was littered with alliteration, takeaways, and oodles of insights from our speakers. Topics ranged from local SEO, link building, and Google tools, and there was no shortage of “Aha!” moments. And while the content was diverse, the themes are clear: search is constantly changing. 

If you’re a Moz community member, you can access the slides from Day One. Not a community member yet? Sign up — it’s free!

Get the speaker slides!

Ready? Let’s make like Roger in his SERP submarine and dive right in!

Sarah’s welcome

Our fearless leader took the stage to ready our attendees for their deep sea dive over the next three days. Our guiding theme to help set the tone? The deep sea of data that we find ourselves immersed in every day.

People are searching more than ever before on more types of devices than ever before… we truly are living in the golden age of search. As Sarah explained though, not all search is created equal. Because Google wants to answer searchers’ questions as quickly as possible, they’ve moved from being the gateway to information to being the destination for information in many cases. SEOs need to be able to work smarter and identify the best opportunities in this new landscape. 

Rand Fishkin — Web Search 2019: The Essential Data Marketers Need

Next up was Rand of SparkToro who dropped a ton of data about the state of search in 2019.

To set the stage, Rand gave us a quick review of the evolution of media: “This new thing is going to kill this old thing!” has been the theme of panicked marketers for decades. TV was supposed to kill radio. Computers were supposed to kill TV. Mobile was supposed to kill desktop. Voice search was supposed to kill text search. But as Rand showed us, these new technologies often don’t kill the old ones — they just take up all our free time. We need to make sure we’re not turning away from mediums just because they’re “old” and, instead, make sure our investments follow real behavior.

Rand’s deck was also chock-full of data from Jumpshot about how much traffic Google is really sending to websites these days, how much of that comes from paid search, and how that’s changed over the years.

In 2019, Google sent ~20 fewer organic clicks via browser searches than in 2016.

In 2016, there were 26 organic clicks for every paid click. In 2019, that ratio is 11:1.

Google still owns the lion’s share of the search market and still sends a significant amount of traffic to websites, but in light of this data, SEOs should be thinking about how their brands can benefit even without the click.

And finally, Rand left us with some wisdom from the world of social — getting engagement on social media can get you the type of attention it takes to earn quality links and mentions in a way that’s much easier than manual, cold outreach.

Ruth Burr Reedy — Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents

It’s 2019. And though we all thought by this year we’d have flying cars and robots to do our bidding, machine learning has come a very long way. Almost frustratingly so — the push and pull of making decisions for searchers versus search engines is an ever-present SEO conundrum.

Ruth argued that in our pursuit of an audience, we can’t get too caught up in the middleman (Google), and in our pursuit of Google, we can’t forget the end user.

Optimizing for humans-only is inefficient. Those who do are likely missing out on a massive opportunity. Optimizing for search engines-only is reactive. Those who do will likely fall behind.

She also left us with the very best kind of homework… homework that’ll make us all better SEOs and marketers!

  • Read the Quality Rater Guidelines
  • Ask what your site is currently benefiting from that Google might eliminate or change in the future
  • Write better (clearer, simpler) content
  • Examine your SERPs with the goal of understanding search intent so you can meet it
  • Lean on subject matter experts to make your brand more trustworthy
  • Conduct a reputation audit — what’s on the internet about your company that people can find?

And last, but certainly not least, stop fighting about this stuff. It’s boring.

Thank you, Ruth!

Dana DiTomaso — Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools

Freshly fueled with cinnamon buns and glowing with the energy of a thousand jolts of caffeine, we were ready to dive back into it — this time with Dana from Kick Point.

This year was a continuation of Dana’s talk on goal charters. If you haven’t checked that out yet or you need a refresher, you can view it here

Dana emphasized the importance of data hygiene. Messy analytics, missing tracking codes, poorly labeled events… we’ve all been there. Dana is a big advocate of documenting every component of your analytics.

She also blew us away with a ton of great insight on making our reports accessible — from getting rid of jargon and using the client’s language to using colors that are compatible with printing.

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any more actionable, Dana drops some free Google Data Studio resources on us! You can check them out here.

(Also, close your tabs!)

Rob Bucci — Local Market Analytics: The Challenges and Opportunities

The first thing you need to know is that Rob finally did it — he finally got a cat.

Very bold of Rob to assume he would have our collective attention after dropping something adorable like that on us. Luckily, we were all able to regroup and focus on his talk — how there are challenges aplenty in the local search landscape, but there are even more opportunities if you overcome them.

Rob came equipped with a ton of stats about localized SERPs that have massive implications for rank tracking.

  • 73 percent of the 1.2 million SERPs he analyzed contained some kind of localized feature.
  • 25 percent of the sites he was tracking had some degree of variability between markets.
  • 85 percent was the maximum variability he saw across zip codes in a single market.

That’s right… rankings can vary by zip code, even for queries you don’t automatically associate as local intent. Whether you’re a national brand without physical storefronts or you’re a single-location retail store, localization has a huge impact on how you show up to your audience.

With this in mind, Rob announced a huge initiative that Moz has been working on… Local Market Analytics — complete with local search volume! Eep! See how you perform on hyper-local SERPs with precision and ease — whether you’re an online or location-based business.

It launched today as an invitation-only limited release. Want an invite? Request it here

Ross Simmonds— Keywords Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing

Ross Simmonds was up next, and he dug into how you might be creating content wrong if you’re building it strictly around keyword research.

The methodology we marketers need to remember is Research – Rethink – Remix.

Research:

  • Find the channel your audience spends time on. What performs well? How can you serve this audience?

Rethink:

  • Find the content that your audience wants most. What topics resonate? What stories connect?

Remix:

  • Measure how your audience responds to the content. Can this be remixed further? How can we remix at scale?

If you use this method and you still aren’t sure if you should pursue a content opportunity, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will it give us a positive ROI?
  • Does it fall within our circle of competence?
  • Does the benefit outweigh the cost of creation?
  • Will it give us shares and links and engagement?

Thanks, Ross, for such an actionable session!

Shannon McGuirk — How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom

Shannon of Aira Digital took the floor with real-life examples of how her team does link building at scale with what she calls the “digital PR newsroom.”

The truth is, most of us are still link building like it’s 1948 with “planned editorial” content. When we do this, we’re missing out on a ton of opportunity (about 66%!) that can come from reactive editorial and planned reactive editorial.

Shannon encouraged us to try tactics that have worked for her team such as:

  • Having morning scrum meetings to go over trending topics and find reactive opportunities
  • Staffing your team with both storytellers and story makers
  • Holding quarterly reviews to see which content types performed best and using that to inform future work

Her talk was so good that she even changed Cyrus’s mind about link building!

For free resources on how you can set up your own digital PR newsroom, visit: aira.net/mozcon19.

Darren Shaw— From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

Next up, Darren of Whitespark chronicled his 8-month long journey to growing a client’s local footprint.

Here’s what he learned and encouraged us to implement in response:

  • Track from multiple zip codes around the city
  • Make sure your citations are indexed
  • The service area section in GMB won’t help you rank in those areas. It’s for display purposes only
  • Invest in a Google reviews strategy
  • The first few links earned really have a positive impact, but it reaches a point of diminishing returns
  • Any individual strategy will probably hit a point of diminishing returns
  • A full website is better than a single-page GMB website when it comes to local rankings

As SEOs, we’d all do well to remember that it’s not one specific activity, but the aggregate, that will move the needle!

Russ Jones — Esse Quam Videri: When Faking it is Harder than Making It

Rounding out day one of MozCon was our very own Russ Jones on Esse Quam Videri — “To be, rather than to seem.”

By Russ’s own admission, he’s a pretty good liar, and so too are many SEOs. In a poll Russ ran on Twitter, he found that 64 percent of SEOs state that they have promoted sites they believe are not the best answer to the query. We can be so “rank-centric” that we engage in tactics that make our websites look like we care about the users, when in reality, what we really care about is that Google sees it.

Russ encouraged SEOs to help guide the businesses we work for to “be real companies” rather than trying to look like real companies purely for SEO benefit.

Thanks to Russ for reminding us to stop sacrificing the long run for the short run!

Phew — what a day!

And it ain’t over yet! There are two more days to make the most of MozCon, connect with fellow attendees, and pick the brains of our speakers. 

In the meantime, tell me in the comments below — if you had to pick just one thing, what was your favorite part about day one?

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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MozCon 2019: Day Two Learnings

Posted by KameronJenkins

We had another amazing day here at MozCon — our speakers delivered some incredible expertise for Day two. But there was plenty of moments in-between that was also just as spectacular. 

In no particular order, today also consisted of: 

  • Areej parading 180 slides-worth of knowledge in 14 minutes — like a boss!
  • 1,000+ attendees singing Marie happy birthday
  • Dr. Pete bringing the “wizard” in SEO wizard to his talk (and now everyone wants to know which House everyone belongs to)
  • Dogs DO like birthday cake, thank you for coming to our TED talk
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • This tender moment between Wil and Stacy, our live event captioner
  • Cat puns

And much, much more. Let’s get to it! Read on for our top takeaways from day two of MozCon.

Heather Physioc — Building a Discoverability Powerhouse: Lessons From Merging an Organic, Paid, & Content Practice

Heather kicked off day two by making a strong case for un-siloing our search teams. When paid, organic, and content teams join forces, they can reach maximum effectiveness.

By using her own team’s experience as an example, Heather helped us see what it takes to build a powerful, cross-functional team:

  • Start with a mantra to guide your team. Theirs is “Connected brands start with connected teams.”
  • Rip the bandaid off. Get people involved in the mission and brainstorming as soon as possible.
  • While you want to start collaborating as soon as possible, make the actual changes in small, incremental steps. Develop committees dedicated to making certain aspects of the change easier.
  • “No process is precious” means establishing clear, living processes (they use Confluence to document these) that can adapt over time. Check-in regularly and ditch what isn’t serving you.
  • Commit to cross-team training not so you can do each other’s jobs, but to promote empathy and to start thinking about how your work will affect other people.
  • Just like we should avoid siloing our departments, we should avoid siloing our reporting. Bring data from the channels together to tell a cohesive story.
  • Create a culture of feedback so that feedback feels less personal and more about improving the work.
  • Even if you’re not able to change the org chart, you can still work on un-siloing by collaborating with your counterparts on other teams.

Visit https://mozcon.vmlyrconnect.com/ for even more wisdom from Heather!

Mary Bowling — Brand Is King: How to Rule in the New Era of Local Search 

Mary took the stage next to shed some light on why brand is so critical to success in this latest era of local search.

  • With so much talk about Google taking clicks away from our websites, Mary posited that Google’s actually giving local businesses a ton of opportunity to increase our conversions on the SERP itself.
  • According to research from Mike Blumenthal, 70% of local business conversions happen on the SERP with the smaller percentage happening on websites. While both are important, Mary says that local businesses really need to concentrate on owning our branded SERPs.
  • Google loves brands, and one way we can tell Google we’re a good one is to take control of what other websites say about us.
  • Want to understand Google’s recent attention on local? They’re moving from a company that helps you find answers to a company that helps you get things done.
  • Control whatever you can on your branded SERPs, whether that’s managing reviews, making sure your GMB is up to date and accurate, and investing in PR to influence news and other mentions that show up on your branded SERP.
  • Google is giving small businesses a lot of ways to attract customers. Use them to your advantage!

Casie Gillette — Making Memories: Creating Content People Remember 

Casie told us that only 20% of people remember what they read, which means you might not remember this. We’ll try not to take it personally. In the meantime, how do you create something that people will actually remember and come back for again and again?

Here’s some of the advice she offered:

  • People care about brands that care about them. Make your audience feel seen and you’ll win.
  • Pay attention to your audience demographics and psychographics! Make your content resonate with your audience by knowing your audience.
  • Keep your content clear and simple to give your audience the answer to their question as quickly as possible.
  • Add movement to our images when possible. It grabs attention among a sea of static images.
  • Choose colors wisely. Color can drastically impact conversions and how people respond in general.
  • Messages delivered in stories can be 22 percent more effective than pure info alone.
  • Whatever you do, commit to not being forgettable!

Wil Reynolds — 20 Years in Search & I Don’t Trust My Gut or Google  

Wil Reynolds brought the honesty in a continuation of his talk from last year’s MozCon. Massive opportunity is at our fingertips. We just need to leverage the data.

Here are some of the best nuggets from his presentation!

  • There’s power in looking at big data. You can usually find a ton of waste and save a bunch of money that helps fund your other initiatives.
  • Every client deserves a money-saving analysis. Use big data to help you do this at scale.
  • Looking at data generically can lead you to the wrong conclusions. Instead of blindly following best practices lists and correlation studies, look at data from your own websites to see what actually moves the needle.
  • Always stay in hypothesis mode.
  • Humans are naturally inclined to bring our own bias into decision-making, which is why data is so important. You can’t know everything. Let the data tell you what to do.

Bonus! Go to bit.ly/savingben if you want to stop losing money.

Dr. Marie Haynes — Super-Practical Tips for Improving Your Site’s E-A-T

Dr. Marie Haynes serves up incredible tips for how to practically improve your site’s E-A-T — something every SEO and marketer needs.

Those tips included things like:

  • Using Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to get authoritative mentions in publications
  • Publishing data — people love to cite original research!
  • Create articles that answer previously unanswered questions (find those on forums!)
  • Create original tools that solve common problems
  • Run a test and publish your results

Sounds a lot like link building, right? That’s intentional! Links to your site from authoritative sources is a huge factor when it comes to E-A-T.

Areej AbuAli — Fixing the Indexability Challenge: A Data-Based Framework 

How do you turn an unwieldy 2.5 million-URL website into a manageable and indexable site of just 20,000 pages? Answer: you catch Areej’s talk. 

  • When doing an audit, it’s a good idea to include not only what the problem is, but what effect it’s causing and the proposed solution.
  • The site Areej was working on had no rules in place to direct robots, creating unlimited URLs to crawl. Crawl budget was being wasted and Google was missing what was actually important on their site. Fundamentals like these needed to be fixed first!
  • She used search volume data to determine what content was important and should be indexed. If a keyword had low search volume but was still needed for usability purposes, it was no-indexed.
  • Another barrier to Google indexing their important content was the lack of a sitemap. Areej recommended creating and submitting separate sitemaps for the different main sections of their website.
  • The site also had no core content and its only links were coming from three referring domains.
  • Despite all of Areej’s recommendations, the client failed to implement many of them and implemented some of them incorrectly. She decided to have a face-to-face meeting to clear things up.

If she were to do this all over again, here’s what she would do differently:

  • Realize that you can’t force a client to implement your recommendations
  • Take a targeted approach to the SEO audit and focus on tackling one issue at a time.
  • At the end of the day, technical problems are people problems. It doesn’t matter how good your SEO audit is if it’s never followed.

Go to bit.ly/mozcon-areej for her full methodology and helpful graphics!

Christi Olson — What Voice Means for Search Marketers: Top Findings from the 2019 Report 

Microsoft’s Christi Olson gave us the down-low on everything you need to know about voice search now and into the future based on findings from a study they ran at Microsoft.

  • 69 percent of respondents said they have used a digital assistant
  • 75 percent of households will have at least one smart speaker by 2020
  • Over half of consumers expect their voice assistant to help them make retail purchases within five years
  • Search is moving from answers to actions — not smart actions like “Turn on the light” but “I want to know/go/do” actions
  • Smartphones, PC, and smart speakers are the main ways people engage with voice
  • 40 percent of spoken responses come from featured snippets. This is how you win at voice search.
  • To rank in featured snippets: 1) Find queries where you’re already ranking on page one, 2) Ask what questions are related to your query and answer them on your site (hint: even without voice search data, it’s safe to assume that many of the longer and more conversational keywords in your tools were probably spoken queries!), 3) Structure your answer appropriately (paragraph, table, or bullets), however, voice devices don’t usually read tables, 4) Make sure your answers are straightforward and clear, and 5) Don’t forget SEO best practices so it’s easy for search engines to find and understand!
  • Although speakable schema markup says it’s only available for news articles, she’s seen it used (and working!) on non-news sites.
  • 25 percent of people currently are using voice to make purchases

Main takeaways? Voice is here, use schema that helps voice, and bots/actions will help enable v-commerce (voice shopping) in the future.

Visit aka.ms/moz19 to view the full report Christi based this talk on.

Paul Shapiro — Redefining Technical SEO 

Take your textbook definition of technical SEO and throw it out the window because there’s more to it than crawling, indexing, and rendering. And Paul definitely proves it.

  • We’re used to thinking of SEO sitting at the center of a Venn diagram where content, links, and website architecture converge. That idea is an oversimplification and doesn’t really capture the full spirit of technical SEO.
  • If technical SEO is: “Any sufficiently technical action undertaken with the intent of improving search results” then it broadens the scope beyond just those actions that impact crawl/render/index.
  • There are four main types of technical SEO: checklist, general, blurred responsibility, and advanced-applied:
    • Checklist-style tech SEO is essentially an itemized list of technical problems you could answer yes-or-no to.
    • General technical SEO is similar to a checklist with some additional logic applied.
    • Blurred responsibility technical SEO are those tasks that lie in uncertain territories, such as items that an SEO checks but a developer would need to implement.
    • Advanced-applied SEO involves things like SEO testing, adopting new technology, data science for SEO purposes, Natural Language Processing to enhance content development, using Machine Learning for search data, and creating automation. It involves using technology to do better SEO.
  • Advanced-applied SEO means that all SEO can be technical SEO, including:
    • Redirect mapping
    • Meta descriptions
    • Content ideation
    • Link building
    • Keyword research
    • A/B testing and experimentation

Visit searchwilderness.com/mozcon-2019 for some of Paul’s python scripts he uses to make “traditional” SEO tasks technical.

Dr. Pete Meyers — How Many Words Is a Question Worth? 

Rounding out day 2 was Dr. Pete, asking the important questions: how do we find the best questions, craft content around them, and evaluate success?

  • The prevalence of People Also Ask (PAA) features has exploded within the past year! Last year they were on 30 percent of all SERPs Moz tracked and now they’re on 90 percent.
  • Google is likely using PAA clicks to feed their machine learning and help them better understand query intent.
  • Since Google is using them so often, how can we take advantage?
  • Once you know what questions people are asking around your topic, you can vet which opportunities you’ll go after on the basis of credibility (am I credible enough to answer this intelligently?), competition (is this something realistically I can compete on?), and cannibalization (am I already ranking for this with some other piece on my site?)
  • When you target questions, you’ll often get much more than you bargained for… in a good way! Don’t get discouraged if your keyword research tool shows a low search volume for a query target. Chances are, ranking for that keyword also means you’ll rank well for lots of related queries too.

Dr. Pete also announced that Moz is looking into the possibility of a People Also Ask tool! For now, he’s testing the model with a manual process you can check out today. Just go to moz.com/20q and he’ll send you a personalized list of the top 20 questions for your domain or topic.

Day two — done!

Only one more day left for this year’s MozCon! What stood out the most for you on day two? Tell us in the comments below!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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MozCon 2019: Everything You Need to Know About Day Three

Posted by KameronJenkins

If the last day of MozCon felt like it went too fast or if you forgot everything that happened today (we wouldn’t judge — there were so many insights), don’t fret. We captured all of day three’s takeaways so you could relive the magic of day three. 

Don’t forget to check out all the photos with Roger from the photobooth! They’re available here in the MozCon Facebook group. Plus: You asked and we delivered: the 2019 MozCon speaker walk-on playlist is now live and available here for your streaming pleasure. 

Cindy Krum— Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future 

If you were hit with an instant wave of nostalgia after hearing Cindy’s walk out music, then you are in good company and you probably were not disappointed in the slightest by Cindy’s talk on Fraggles.

  • “Fraggles” are fragments + handles. A fragment is a piece of info on a page. A handle is something like a bookmark, jump link, or named anchor — they help people navigate through long pages to get what they’re looking for faster.
  • Ranking pages is an inefficient way to answer questions. One page can answer innumerable questions, so Google’s now can pull a single answer from multiple parts of your page, skipping sections they don’t think are as useful for a particular answer.
  • The implications for voice are huge! It means you don’t have to listen to your voice device spout off a page’s worth of text before your question is answered.
  • Google wants to index more than just websites. They want to organize the world’s information, not websites. Fraggles are a demonstration of that.

Luke Carthy — Killer Ecommerce CRO and UX Wins Using A SEO Crawler 

Luke Carthy did warn us in his talk description that we should all flex our notetaking muscles for all the takeaways we would furiously jot down — and he wasn’t wrong.

  • Traffic doesn’t always mean sales and sales don’t always mean traffic!
  • Custom extraction is a great tool for finding missed CRO opportunities. For example, Luke found huge opportunity on Best Buy’s website — thousands of people’s site searches were leading them to an unoptimized “no results found” page.
  • You can also use custom extraction to find what product recommendations you or your customers are using at scale! Did you know that 35% of what customers buy on Amazon and 75 percent of what people watch on Netflix are the results of these recommendations?
  • For example, are you showing near-exact products or are you showing complementary products? (hint: try the latter and you’ll likely increase your sales!)
  • Custom extraction from Screaming Frog allows you to scrape any data from the HTML of the web pages while crawling them.

Andy Crestodina — Content, Rankings, and Lead Generation: A Breakdown of the 1% Content Strategy 

Next up, Andy of Orbit Media took the stage with a comprehensive breakdown of the most effective tactics for turning content into a high-powered content strategy. He also brought the fire with this sound advice that we can apply in both our work life and personal life.

  • Blog visitors often don’t have commercial intent. One of the greatest ways to leverage blog posts for leads is by using the equity we generate from links to our helpful posts and passing that onto our product and service pages.
  • If you want links and shares, invest in original research! Not sure what to research? Look for unanswered questions or unproven statements in your industry and provide the data.
  • Original research may take longer than a standard post, but it’s much more effective! When you think about it this way, do you really have time to put out more, mediocre posts?
  • Give what you want to get. Want links? Link to people. Want comments? Comment on others people’s work.
  • To optimize content for social engagement, it should feature real people, their faces, and their quotes.
  • Collaborating with other content creators on your content not only gives it built-in amplification, but it also leads to great connections and is just generally more fun.

Rob Ousbey — Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right 

Google’s algorithms have changed a heck of a lot in recent years — what’s an SEO to do? Follow Rob’s advice — both fashion and SEO — who says that the answer lies in testing.

  • “This is the way we’ve always done it” isn’t sufficient justification for SEO tactics in today’s search landscape.
  • In the earlier days of the algorithm, it was much easier to demote spam than it was to promote what’s truly good.
  • Rob and his team had a theory that Google was beginning to rely more heavily on user experience and satisfaction than some of the more traditional ranking factors like links.
  • Through SEO A/B testing, they found that:
    • Google relies less heavily on link signals when it comes to the top half of the results on page 1.
    • Google relies more heavily on user experience for head terms (terms with high search volume), likely because they have more user data to draw from.
  • In the process of A/B testing, they also found that the same test often produces different results on different sites. The best way to succeed in today’s SEO landscape is to cultivate a culture of testing!

Greg Gifford — Dark Helmet’s Guide to Local Domination with Google Posts and Q&A 

If you’re a movie buff, you probably really appreciated Greg’s talk — he schooled us all in move references and brought the fire with his insights on Google Posts and Q&A  

The man behind #shoesofmozcon taught us that Google is the new home page for local businesses, so we should be leveraging the tools Google has given us to make our Google My Business profiles great. For example…

Google Posts

  • Images should be 1200×900 on google posts
  • Images are cropped slightly higher than the center and it’s not consistent every time
  • The image size of the thumbnail is different on desktop than it is on mobile
  • Use Greg’s free tool at bit.ly/posts-image-guide to make sizing your Google Post images easier
  • You can also upload videos. The file size limit is 100mb and/or 30 seconds
  • Add a call-to-action button to make your Posts worth it! Just know that the button often means you get less real estate for text in your Posts
  • Don’t share social fluff. Attract with an offer that makes you stand out
  • Make sure you use UTM tracking so you can understand how your Posts are performing in Google Analytics. Otherwise, it’ll be attributed as direct traffic.

Google Q&A

  • Anyone can ask and answer questions — why not the business owner! Control the conversation and treat this feature like it’s your new FAQ page.
  • This feature works on an upvote system. The answer with the most upvotes will show first.
  • Don’t include a URL or phone number in these because it’ll get filtered out.
  • A lot of these questions are potential customers! Out of 640 car dealerships’ Q&As Greg evaluated, 40 percent were leads! Of that 40 percent, only 2 questions were answered by the dealership.

 Emily Triplett Lentz — How to Audit for Inclusive Content 

Emily of Help Scout walked dropped major knowledge on the importance of spotting and eliminating biases that frequently find their way into online copy. She also hung out backstage after her talk to cheer on her fellow speakers. #GOAT. #notallheroeswearcapes.

  • As content creators, we’d all do well to keep ableism in mind: discrimination in favor of able-bodied people. However, we’re often guilty of this without even knowing it.
  • One example of ableism that often makes its way into our copy is comparing dire or subideal situations with the physical state of another human (ex: “crippling”).
  • While we should work on making our casual conversation more inclusive too, this is particularly important for brands.
  • Create a list of ableist words, crawl your site for them, and then replace them. However, you’ll likely find that there is no one-size-fits-all replacement for these words. We often use words like “crazy” as filler words. By removing or replacing with a more appropriate word, we make our content better and more descriptive in the process.
  • At the end of the day, brands should remember that their desire for freedom of word choice isn’t more important than people’s right not to feel excluded and hurt. When there’s really no downside to more inclusive content, why wouldn’t we do it?

Visit http://content.helpscout.net/mozcon-2019 to learn how to audit your site for inclusive content!

Joelle Irvine — Image & Visual Search Optimization Opportunities 

Curious about image optimization and visual search? Joelle has the goods for you — and was blowing people’s minds with her tips for visual optimization and how to leverage Google Lens, Pinterest, and AR for visual search.

  • Visual search is not the same thing as searching for images. We’re talking about the process of using an image to search for other content.
  • Visual search like Google Lens makes it easier to search when you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  • Pinterest has made a lot of progress in this area. They have a hybrid search that allows you to find complimentary items to the one you searched. It’s like finding a rug that matches a chair you like rather than finding more of the same type of chair.
  • 62 percent of millennials surveyed said they would like to be able to search by visual, so while this is mostly being used by clothing retailers and home decor right now, visual search is only going to get better, so think about the ways you can leverage it for your brand!

Joy Hawkins — Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic 

Proximity varies greatly when comparing local and organic results — just ask Joy of Sterling Sky, who gets real about fake listings while walking through the findings of a recent study.

Here are the seven areas in which the local algorithm diverges from the organic algorithm:

  • Proximity (AKA: how close is the biz to the searcher?)
    • Proximity is the #1 local ranking factor, but the #27 ranking factor on organic.
    • Studies show that having a business that’s close in proximity to the searcher is more beneficial for ranking in the local pack than in traditional organic results.
  • Rank tracking
    • Because there is so much variance by latitude/longitude, as well as hourly variances, Joy recommends not sending your local business clients ranking reports.
    • Use rank tracking internally, but send clients the leads/sales. This causes less confusion and gets them focused on the main goal.
    • Visit bit.ly/mozcon3 for insights on how to track leads from GMB
  • GMB landing pages (AKA: the website URL you link to from your GMB account)
    • Joy tested linking to the home page (which had more authority/prominence) vs. linking to the local landing page (which had more relevance) and found that traffic went way up when linking to the home page.
    • Before you go switching all your GMB links though, test this for yourself!
  • Reviews
    • Joy wanted to know how much reviews actually impacted ranking, and what it was exactly about reviews that would help or hurt.
    • She decided to see what would happen to rankings when reviews were removed. This happened to a business who was review gating (a violation of Google’s guidelines) but Joy found that reviews flagged for violations aren’t actually removed, they’re hidden, explaining why “removed” reviews don’t negatively impact local rankings.
  • Possum filter
    • Organic results can get filtered because of duplicate content, whereas local results can get filtered because they’re too close to another business in the same category. This is called the Possum filter.
  • Keywords in a business name
    • This is against Google’s guidelines but it works sadly
    • For example, Joy tested adding the word “salad bar” to a listing that didn’t even have a salad bar and their local rankings for that keyword shot up.
    • Although it works, don’t do it! Google can remove your listing for this type of violation, and they’ve been removing more listings for this reason lately.
  • Fake listings
    • New listings can rank even if they have no website, authority, citations, etc. simply because they keyword stuffed their business name. These types of rankings can happen overnight, whereas it can take a year or more to achieve certain organic rankings.
    • Spend time reporting spam listings in your clients’ niches because it can improve your clients’ local rankings.

Britney Muller — Featured Snippets: Essentials to Know & How to Target 

Closing out day three of MozCon was our very own Britney, Sr. SEO scientist extraordinaire, on everyone’s favorite SEO topic: Featured snippets!

We’re seeing more featured snippets than ever before, and they’re not likely going away. It’s time to start capitalizing on this SERP feature so we can start earning brand awareness and traffic for our clients!

Here’s how:

  • Know what keywords trigger featured snippets that you rank on page 1 for
  • Know the searcher’s intent
  • Provide succinct answers
  • Add summaries to popular posts
  • Identify commonly asked questions
  • Leverage Google’s NLP API
  • Monitor featured snippets
  • If all else fails, leverage ranking third party sites. Maybe your own site has low authority and isn’t ranking well, but try publishing on Linkedin or Medium instead to get the snippet!

There’s lots of debate over whether featured snippets send you more traffic or take it away due to zero-click results, but consider the benefits featured snippets can bring even without the click. Whether featured snippets bring you traffic, increased brand visibility in the SERPs, or both, they’re an opportunity worth chasing.

Aaaand, that’s a wrap!

Thanks for joining us at this year’s MozCon! And a HUGE thank you to everyone (Mozzers, partners, and crew) who helped make this year’s MozCon possible — we couldn’t have done it without all of you. 

What was your favorite moment of the entire conference? Tell us below in the comments! And don’t forget to grab the speaker slides here

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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Link Building in 2019: Get by With a Little Help From Your Friends

Posted by kelseyreaves

Editor’s note: This post first appeared in December of 2015, but because SEO (and Google) changes so quickly, we figured it was time for a refresh! 


The link building world is in a constant state of evolution. New tools are continually introduced to the market, with SEOs ready to discover what works best.

In 2015, I wrote an article for Moz about how our team switched over to a new email automation tool that drastically improved our overall outreach system — we increased our email reply rates by 187 percent in just one month. Which meant that our number of attainable backlinks also drastically increased.

 I wanted to see what’s changed since I last wrote this post. Because in 2019, you need a lot more than new tools to excel in link building.

But first…

Looking back, it was pretty ingenious: Our link building program had automated almost every step in the outreach process. We were emailing hundreds of people a week, guest posting on numerous websites, and raking in 20–30 links per week. If anyone has been in the game long enough, you’ll know that’s an insane amount of links.

With its success at my first company, I took the concept and applied it to several freelance link building projects I was working on. It proved to work for those sites, too. Later on, I built out a similar system for the second startup I worked for. And again, it proved to be just as successful. Every link building project I took on, my thinking was: How can I scale this thing to get me 10x the number of links? How can I email 5x the number of people? How can I automate this as much as possible so I can create a link building machine that’s completely hands off?

Well…at least for a period of time.

While I had the best of intentions, this thinking is what ultimately got me in trouble and lead to the inevitable: I was hit with a manual action for participating in link schemes.

I remember opening up Search Console and reading that message. At that moment, I felt like a kid caught with their hand in the cookie jar. My stomach was in knots. I had heard of people getting manual actions before but didn’t think it was something that would happen to me.

In hindsight, this was probably one of the most important moments of my SEO/growth career. It sobered me up and pushed me into thinking about outreach in a whole different light, and taught me the most important lesson to date: building links isn’t about using automation to create processes that scale. It’s about building relationships — and value — that scales.

What outreach looked like in 2015

I’m not surprised I got away with what I was doing for so long. From 2015 to 2017, it seemed like everyone and their Mom was guest posting. During that time, this is what I noticed:

1. It was a numbers game

Most of the SEOs I talked to from 2015 to 2017 were using a similar strategy. It was all about finding tools that could help scale your guest posting program and contact as many people as possible. Most companies had some arbitrary link quota for their outreach teams to hit every month, mine included.

2. It promoted somewhat decent content that was templatized

In our outreach program, we were pitching the same three to four topics over and over again and while the content we wrote was always original, there was nothing novel about the articles we were putting out there. They were cute, engaging — but none of it was on the cutting edge or had a solid opinion. It’s what our friend John Collins from Intercom calls Happy Meal content:

“It looks good from a distance, but you’re left feeling hungry not long after you consume it.”

3. It idolized automation and processes

At the time, most outreach programs were about leveraging tools to automate processes and scale every step of the way. We were using several tools to scrape websites and hired virtual assistants off of Upwork to find email addresses of just about anyone associated with a company, whether they were actually the ideal person to contact or not.

This process had worked in 2015. But in 2019, there’s no way it could.

What outreach looks like in 2019

Since joining the team at OG Marketing this last fall, I’ve vastly altered the way I approach outreach and link building. Our strategy now focuses on three main concepts.

1. Helping editors cite good sources

The link building relationships I’ve built this year are almost entirely centered around editors and content managers of notable sites who only want to link to high-quality, relevant content.

And luckily for us, we work with some of the best content creators in the B2B SaaS-verse. We don’t have to go out and beg for links to mediocre (at best) content: We’re building authority to pages that truly deserve it. More importantly, we’re actually fulfilling a need by providing great sources of information for other quality content.

2. Understanding backlinks are only one piece to the puzzle

Link building is only one lever and shouldn’t be your whole SEO strategy. Depending on the site you’re working on, building links may be a good use of your time — or not at all.

In our strategy, we account for the fact that sometimes links aren’t always necessary. They will definitely help, but it’s possible to excel without them.

For example, Hotjar recently published an article on 5 ways to use scroll maps. Looking at the backlink profile for the top three results for “scroll map,” CrazyEgg has more referring domains than Hotjar, but is currently in position three. Omniconvert has zero backlinks and still ranks above CrazyEgg in position two. With only three referring domains, Hotjar has earned the 1st position and a coveted featured snippet.

2015 me would’ve had a knee jerk reaction to kick off an outreach campaign as soon as we hit publish on the new article. But considering the fact that you may not even need a ton of links to rank well, you can actually spend your time more efficiently elsewhere.

3. Creating quality content that earns links naturally

There’s definitely a tipping point when it comes to generating backlinks naturally. When your article appears on page one for the query you’re targeting, your chances of having that article cited by other publications with zero effort on your part just naturally goes up.

Why? Because people looking to add credible citations to their article will turn to Google to find that content.

This prompts our team to always ensure that each piece of content we create for our clients satisfies searcher intent. To do this, we start off by researching if the intent behind the keyword we want to rank for has purchase, consideration or informational intent.

For example, the keyword “best video conferencing camera” has consideration-based intent. We can determine this by looking at the SERPs. In the screenshot below, you can see Google understands users are trying to compare different types of cameras.

By seeing this, we know that our best bet for creating content that will rank well is by writing a listicle-style post comparing the best video cameras on the market. If we had instead created an informational article targeting the same keyword about why you should invest in a video conferencing camera without a list of product comparisons, the article probably wouldn’t perform well in search.

Therefore, if we start off on the right foot by creating the right type of content from the very beginning, we make it easier for ourselves down the road. In other words, we won’t have to build a million links just to get a piece of content to rank that wasn’t the right format, to begin with.

What we’ve found with our outreach strategy

Centering our strategy around creating the right content and then determining whether or not that content needs links, has helped us prioritize what articles actually need to be a part of an outreach campaign.

Once this is determined, we then call on our friends — or our content partners — to help us drive link equity quickly, efficiently, and in a way, that enhances the source content and makes sense for end users (readers).

A few months into building out our homie program, there are several things we noticed.

1. Response rates increased

Probably because it’s not as templatized and, generally, I care more deeply about the email I’m sending and the person I’m reaching out to. On average, I get about a 65–70 percent response rate.

2. Opt-in rates increased

Once I get a response, build the relationship, then ask if they want to become a content partner (“friend”), we typically see a 75 percent opt-in rate.

3. You get the same amount of links, using half the amount of work, in half the amount of time

I’m gonna repeat that: we generate the same, if not more, backlinks month over month with less effort, time and manpower than with the process I built out in 2015.

And the more partners we add, the more links we acquire, with less effort. Visually, it looks like this:

I (somewhat) paid attention during economics class in college, and I remember a chart with this trajectory being a really good thing. So, I think we’re on to something…

How our outreach process works (and how you can create your own)

Our current link building program still leverages some of the tools mentioned in my post from 2015, but we’ve simplified the process. Essentially, it works like this:

1. Identify your friends

Do you have friends or acquaintances that work at sites which touch on topics in your space? Start there!

I got connected to the CEO of Proof, who connected me with their Content Director, Ben. We saw that there was synergy between our content and each needed sources about what the other wrote about. He was able to connect me with other writers and content managers in the space, and now we’re all best of friends.

2. Find new friends

Typically we look for similar sites in the B2B SaaS space that we want to partner with and are relevant to our client sites. Then, we use several tools like Clearbit, Hunter.io, and Viola Norbert to identify the person we want to reach out to (usually SEO Managers, Marketing Directors or Content Managers) and find their email.

This step has been crucial in our process. In the past, we left this to the virtual assistants. But since bringing this in house, we’ve been able to better identify the right person to reach out to, which has increased response rates.

3. Reach out in an authentic way

In our outreach message, we cut to the chase. If you’ve identified the right person in the previous step, then they should know exactly what you’re trying to do and why it’s important. If the person you outreached to doesn’t get the big picture and you have to explain yourself, then you’re talking to the wrong person. Plain and simple.

Compared to 2015, our lists are much smaller (we’re definitely not using the spray and pray method) and we determine on a case by case basis what the best method for outreach is. Whether that be email, Linkedin, or at times, Instagram.

Here’s an example of a simple, straightforward message I send out:

4. Share content priorities

Once someone expresses interest, I’ll find a place on their website using a site search where they can reference one of our client’s content priorities for the month. In return, I’ll ask them what content they’re trying to get more eyes on and see if it aligns with our other client sites or the other partners we work with.

If I think their content is the perfect source for another article, I’ll cite it. If not, I’ll share it with another partner to see if it could be a good resource for them.

5. See if they want to be a “friend”

Once we have that first link nailed down, I’ll explain how we can work together by using each other’s awesome content to enhance new blog articles or article contributions on other sites.

If they’re down to be content friends, I’ll share their priorities for the month with our other partners who will then share it with their wider network of websites and influencers who are contributing articles to reputable sites and are in need of content resources to cite. From there, the writers can quickly scan a list of URLs and cite articles when it makes sense to help beef up new content or improve existing content with further resources. It’s a win-win.

If the site is interested in being friends, I’ll send over a spreadsheet where we can track placements and our priorities for the month.

Here’s the link to a partner template you can download.

Unlike the guest posting programs I was doing over the last few years, with this process, we’re not leaving a digital footprint for Google to follow.

In other words, we don’t have our author bios mentioning our website plastered all over the internet, essential saying “Hey, Google! We guest posted here and inserted these links with rich anchor text to try and help our page rank. Oh, and we did the same thing here, and here, and here.”

With this process, we’re just offering a list of resources to well-known writers and other websites creating badass content. Ultimately, it’s their choice if they want to link to it or not. I’ll definitely make suggestions but in the end, it’s their call.

6. Grow the friend list

Now, if I’m looking to drive link equity to a certain page, I don’t have to build a new list, queue up a campaign, and kick off a whole automation sequence to an ungodly amount of people like I did in the past.

I just hit up one of our partners on our friend’s list and voila! — quality citation in 0.45 seconds.

And on a personal note, waking up to emails in my inbox of new citations added with zero effort on my part feels like the Link Gods have blessed me time and time again.

Results

With our friend network, the numbers speak for themselves. This last month, we were able to generate 74 links. In 2015, I was hitting similar monthly numbers, but link building was my full-time job.

Now, link building is something I do on the side (I’d estimate a few hours every week), giving me time to manage my client accounts and focus on everything else I need to do — like drive forward technical SEO improvements, conduct keyword research, optimize older pages, and use SEO as an overall means to drive a company’s entire marketing strategy forward.

Building out a friend network has also opened up the door to many other opportunities for our clients that I had never dreamed of when I viewed my link building relationships as one and done. With the help of our friends, we’ve had our clients featured on podcasts (shout out to Proof’s Scale or Die podcast!), round-ups, case studies, video content, and many, many more.

Final thoughts

As an instant-gratification junkie, it pains me to share the honest truth about building a friend network: it’s going to take time.

But think of the tradeoffs — everything I mentioned above and that in a way, you’re acting as a sort of matchmaker between high-quality content and sites who are open to referencing it.

I also believe that this type of outreach campaign makes us better marketers. Spamming people gets old. And if we can work together to find a way to promote each other’s high-quality content, then I’m all for it. Because in the end, it’s about making a better user experience for readers and promoting content that deserves to be promoted.

How has your link building program evolved over the years? Have you been able to create a network of friends for your space? Leave a comment below!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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The 2019 MozCon Final Agenda Has Arrived!

Posted by cheryldraper

If you can believe it, we’re only about a month away from MozCon 2019! July 15th can’t come soon enough, am I right?!

In March, we announced the initial agenda and in May we announced our community speakers. Today, we’re excited to bring you our final agenda — a fully loaded list of all the knowledge you can expect to gain from this year’s conference. 

Haven’t snagged your ticket yet? Don’t worry — we still have some left!:

I’m going to MozCon!

With the schedule set and the speakers hard at work polishing their presentations, here’s a look at the three action-packed days we have planned for you.


Monday, July 15th


7:30am–9:00am

Breakfast & registration


9:00am–9:20am

Welcome to MozCon 2019!

Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz

Our vivacious CEO will be kicking things off early on the first day of MozCon with a warm welcome, laying out all the pertinent details of the conference, and getting us in the right mindset for three days of learning.


9:20am–10:00am

Web Search 2019: The Essential Data Marketers Need

Rand Fishkin, Sparktoro

It’s been a rough couple years in search. Google’s domination and need for additional growth has turned the search giant into a competitor for more and more publishers, and plateaued the longstanding trend of Google’s growing referral traffic. But in the midst of this turmoil, opportunities have emerged, too. In this presentation, Rand will look not only at how Google (and Amazon, YouTube, Instagram, and others) have leveraged their monopoly power in concerning ways, but also how to find opportunities for traffic, branding, and marketing success.


10:00am–10:30am

Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents

Ruth Burr Reedy, UpBuild

The push and pull of making decisions for searchers versus search engines is an ever-present SEO conundrum. How do you tackle industry changes through the lens of whether something is good for humans or for machines? Ruth will take us through human-readable quality signals and their machine-readable equivalents and how to make SEO decisions accordingly, as well as how to communicate change to clients and bosses.


10:35am–11:15am

Morning break


11:15am–11:45am

Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools

Dana DiTomaso, Kick Point

Covering the intersections between some of our favorite free tools — Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager — Dana will be deep-diving into how to improve your reporting and analytics, even providing downloadable Data Studio templates along the way.


11:45am–12:15pm

Local SERP Analytics: The Challenges and Opportunities

Rob Bucci, Moz

We all know that SERPs are becoming increasingly local. Google is more and more looking to satisfy local intent queries for searchers. There’s a treasure-trove of data in local SERPs that SEOs can use to outrank their competitors. In this session, Rob will talk about the challenges that come with trying to do SERP analytics at a local level and the opportunities that await those who can overcome those challenges.


12:20pm–1:50pm

Lunch


1:50pm–2:20pm

Keywords Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing

Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing

Many marketers focus solely on keyword research when crafting their content, but it just isn’t enough if you want to gain a competitive edge. Ross will share a framework for uncovering content ideas leveraged from forums, communities, niche sites, good old-fashioned SERP analysis, tools and techniques to help along the way, and exclusive research surrounding the data that backs this up.


2:20pm–2:50pm

How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom

Shannon McGuirk, Aira Digital

Everyone who’s ever tried their hand at link building knows how much effort it demands. If only there was a way to keep a steady stream of quality links coming in the door for clients, right? In this talk, Shannon will share how to set up a “digital PR newsroom” in-house or agency-side that supports and grows your link building efforts. Get your note-taking hand ready, because she’s going to outline her process and provide a replicable tutorial for how to make it happen.


2:55pm–3:35pm

Afternoon break


3:35pm–4:05pm

From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

Darren Shaw, Whitespark

From zero web presence to ranking hyper-locally, Darren will take us along on the 8-month-long journey of a business growing its digital footprint and analyzing what worked (and didn’t) along the way. How well will they rank from a GMB listing alone? What about when citations were added, and later indexed? Did having a keyword in the business name help or harm, and what changes when they earn a few good links? Buckle up for this wild ride as we discover exactly what impact different strategies have on local rankings.


4:05pm–4:45pm

Esse Quam Videri: When Faking It Is Harder than Making It

Russ Jones, Moz

Covering a breadth of SEO topics, Russ will show us how the correct use of available tools makes it easier to actually be the best in your market rather than try to cut corners and fake it. If you’re a fan of hacks and shortcuts, come prepared to have your mind changed.


7:00–10:00 pm

Monday Night Welcome Party

Join us for a backyard tiki bar party at beautiful Block 41 in Belltown. Meet with fellow marketers over drinks, music, and catching sun on the patio. We look forward to bringing our community together to inaugurate MozCon on this special night. See you there!


Tuesday, July 16th


8:30am–9:30am

Breakfast


9:30am–10:00am

Building a Discoverability Powerhouse: Lessons from Merging an Organic, Paid, & Content Practice

Heather Physioc, VMLY&R

Search is a channel that can’t live in a silo. In order to be its most effective, search teams have to collaborate successfully across paid, organic, content and more. Get tips for integrating and collaborating from the hard knocks and learnings of managing an organic, paid and performance content team into one Discoverability group. Find out how we went from three teams of individual experts to one integrated Discoverability powerhouse, and learn from our mistakes and wins as you apply the principles in your own company.


10:00am–10:30am

Brand Is King: How to Rule in the New Era of Local Search

Mary Bowling, Ignitor Digital

Get ready for a healthy dose of all things local with this talk! Mary will deep-dive into how the Google Local algorithm has matured in 2019 and how marketers need to mature with it; how the major elements of the algo (relevance, prominence, and proximity) influence local rankings and how they affect each other; how local results are query-dependent; how to feed business info into the Knowledge Graph; and how brand is now “king” in local search.


10:35am–11:15am

Morning break


11:15am–11:45am

Making Memories: Creating Content People Remember

Casie Gillette, KoMarketing

We know that only 20% of people remember what they read, but 80% remember what they saw. How do you create something people actually remember? You have to think beyond words and consider factors like images, colors, movement, location, and more. In this talk, Casie will dissect what brands are currently doing to capture attention and how everyone, regardless of budget or resources, can create the kind of content their audience will actually remember.


11:45am–12:25pm

20 Years in Search & I Don’t Trust My Gut or Google

Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive

What would your reaction be if you were told that one of Wil’s clients got more conversions from zero-volume search terms than search terms with 1000+ searches per month? It’s true. Wil found this out in seconds, leading him to really look at his whole client strategy through a new lens. It also made him question company-wide strategies. How prevalent is this across all clients? Don’t they all deserve to get these insights? It required him to dig into the long tail, deep. To use big data and see PPC data as insights, not just marketing.

What would your reaction be if you were told that Google’s “bad click” business could be generating as much annually as Starbucks or McDonalds?

Wil will be making the case for big data, agencies, and why building systems that looking at every single search term you get matched to is the future of search marketing.


12:30pm–2:00pm

Lunch


2:00pm–2:15pm

Super-Practical Tips for Improving Your Site’s E-A-T

Marie Haynes, Marie Haynes Consulting Inc.

Google has admitted that they measure the concept of “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness” in their algorithms. If your site is categorized under YMYL (Your Money or Your Life), you absolutely must have good E-A-T in order to rank well. In this talk, you’ll learn how Google measures E-A-T and what changes you can make both on site and off in order to outrank your competitors. Using real-life examples, Marie will answer what E-A-T is and how Google measures it, what changes you can make on your site to improve how E-A-T is displayed, and what you can do off-site to improve E-A-T.


2:15pm–2:30pm

Fixing the Indexability Challenge: A Data-Based Framework

Areej AbuAli, Verve Search

How do you turn an unwieldy 2.5 million-URL website into a manageable and indexable site of just 20,000 pages? Areej will share the methodology and takeaways used to restructure a job aggregator site which, like many large websites, had huge problems with indexability and the rules used to direct robot crawl. This talk will tackle tough crawling and indexing issues, diving into the case study with flow charts to explain the full approach and how to implement it.


2:30pm–2:45pm

What Voice Means for Search Marketers: Top Findings from the 2019 Report

Christi Olson, Microsoft

How can search marketers take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of today’s voice assistants? Diving into three scenarios for informational, navigational, and transactional queries, Christi will share how to use language semantics for better content creation and paid targeting, how to optimize existing content to be voice-friendly (including the new voice schema markup!), and what to expect from future algorithm updates as they adapt to assistants that read responses aloud, no screen required. Highlighting takeaways around voice commerce from the report, this talk will ultimately provide a breakdown on how search marketers can begin to adapt their shopping experience for v-commerce.


2:50pm–3:30pm

Afternoon break


3:30pm–4:00pm

Redefining Technical SEO

Paul Shapiro, Catalyst

It’s time to throw the traditional definition of technical SEO out the window. Why? Because technical SEO is much, much bigger than just crawling, indexing, and rendering. Technical SEO is applicable to all areas of SEO, including content development and other creative functions. In this session, you’ll learn how to integrate technical SEO into all aspects of your SEO program.


4:00pm–4:40pm

How Many Words Is a Question Worth?

Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Moz

Traditional keyword research is poorly suited to Google’s quest for answers. One question might represent thousands of keyword variants, so how do we find the best questions, craft content around them, and evaluate success? Dr. Pete dives into three case studies to answer these questions.


Wednesday, July 17th


8:30am–9:30am

Breakfast


9:30am–10:10am

Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future

Cindy Krum, Mobile Moxie

Before you ask: no, this isn’t Fraggle Rock, MozCon edition! Cindy will cover the myriad ways mobile-first indexing is changing the SERPs, including progressive web apps, entity-first indexing, and how “fraggles” are indexed in the Knowledge Graph and what it all means for the future of mobile SERPs.


10:10am–10:40am

Killer CRO and UX Wins Using an SEO Crawler

Luke Carthy, Excel Networking

CRO, UX, and an SEO crawler? You read that right! Luke will share actionable tips on how to identify revenue wins and impactful low-hanging fruit to increase conversions and improve UX with the help of a site crawler typically used for SEO, as well as a generous helping of data points from case studies and real-world examples.


10:45am–11:25am

Morning break


11:25am–11:55am

Content, Rankings, and Lead Generation: A Breakdown of the 1% Content Strategy

Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media

How can you use data to find and update content for higher rankings and more traffic? Andy will take us through a four-point presentation that pulls together the most effective tactics around content into a single high-powered content strategy with even better results.


11:55am–12:25pm

Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right

Rob Ousbey, Distilled

Google’s algorithms have undergone significant changes in recent years. Traditional ranking signals don’t hold the same sway they used to, and they’re being usurped by factors like UX and brand that are becoming more important than ever before. What’s an SEO to do?

The answer lies in testing.

Sharing original data and results from clients, Rob will highlight the necessity of testing, learning, and iterating your work, from traditional UX testing to weighing the impact of technical SEO changes, tweaking on-page elements, and changing up content on key pages. Actionable processes and real-world results abound in this thoughtful presentation on why you should be testing SEO changes, how and where to run them, and what kinds of tests you ought to consider for your circumstances.


12:30pm–2:00pm

Lunch


2:00pm–2:15pm

Dark Helmet’s Guide to Local Domination with Google Posts and Q&A

Greg Gifford, Wikimotive

Google Posts and Questions & Answers are two incredibly powerful features of Google My Business, yet most people don’t even know they exist. Greg will walk through Google Posts in detail, sharing how they work, how to use them, and tips for optimization based on testing with hundreds of clients. He’ll also cover the Q&A section of GMB (a feature that lets anyone in the community speak for your business), share the results of a research project covering hundreds of clients, share some hilarious examples of Q&A run wild, and explain exactly how to use Q&A the right way to win more local business.


2:15pm–2:30pm

How to Audit for Inclusive Content

Emily Triplett Lentz, Help Scout

Digital marketers have a responsibility to learn to spot the biases that frequently find their way into online copy, replacing them with alternatives that lead to stronger, clearer messaging and that cultivate wider, more loyal and enthusiastic audiences. Last year, Help Scout audited several years of content for unintentionally exclusionary language that associated physical disabilities or mental illness with negative-sounding terms, resulting in improved writing clarity and a stronger brand. You’ll learn what inclusive content is, how it helps to engage a larger and more loyal audience, how to conduct an audit of potentially problematic language on a site, and how to optimize for inclusive, welcoming language.


2:30pm–2:45pm

Image & Visual Search Optimization Opportunities

Joelle Irvine, Bookmark Content

With voice, local, and rich results only rising in importance, how do image and visual search fit into the online shopping ecosystem? Using examples from Google Images, Google Lens, and Pinterest Lens, Joelle will show how image optimization can improve the overall customer experience and play a key role in discoverability, product evaluation, and purchase decisions for online shoppers. At the same time, accepting that image recognition technology is not yet perfect, she will also share actionable tactics to better optimize for visual search to help those shoppers find that perfect style they just can’t put into words.


2:50pm–3:30pm

Afternoon break


3:30pm–4:00pm

Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic

Joy Hawkins, Sterling Sky Inc.

Google’s local algorithm is a horse of a different color when compared with the organic algo most SEOs are familiar with. Joy will share results from a SterlingSky study on how proximity varies greatly when comparing local and organic results, how reviews impact ranking (complete with data points from testing), how spam is running wild (and how it negatively impacts real businesses), and more.


4:00pm–4:30pm

Featured Snippets: Essentials to Know & How to Target

Britney Muller, Moz

By now, most SEOs are comfortable with the idea of featured snippets, but actually understanding and capturing them in the changing search landscape remains elusive. Britney will share some eye-opening data about the SERPs you know and love while equipping you with a bevy of new tricks for winning featured snippets into your toolbox.


7:00pm–10:00pm

Wednesday Night Bash

Bowling: check! Karaoke: check! Photo booth: check! Join us for one last hurrah as we take over the Garage. You won’t want to miss this closing night bash — we’ll have plenty of games, food, and fun as we mix and mingle, say “see ya soon” to friends new and old, and reminisce over our favorite lessons from the past 3 days.


See you there?

It’s not too late to sign up for MozCon 2019! We sell out every year, but we’ve still got tickets left for you to scoop up.

Grab my MozCon ticket now!

As much as we’d love to see you all there, we know that a trip to Seattle isn’t always feasible. If that’s the case for you, be on the lookout for the video bundle we’ll have available for purchase after the conference — get all the great insights from MozCon from the comfort of your home or office, and share them with your whole team!

Have questions? Pop them in the comments or head on over to our MozCon resource center where you can view FAQs, learn about our speakers, and get travel information. Once you buy your ticket, be sure to request access to our MozCon Facebook Group for enhanced networking with your fellow attendees!

Let the final countdown to MozCon 2019 begin!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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Early data around the Google June 2019 core update shows some winners, losers

This Google update that began rolling out on Monday seems like it was pretty big and the scary part, it isn’t done rolling out yet.



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BlockchainWeek NYC 2019 Recap

For the last five years, every spring CoinDesk has been hosting its blockchain technology conference Consensus in New York City. The idea is to bring together the top brands and developers in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces to learn what’s new and what’s next. The event has grown to include the surrounding Blockchain Week, which includes both official and unofficial events thanks to the volume of attendees.

What’s New in Blockchain?

Cryptocurrency is moving past the toddler stage and people are starting to pay more attention to the underlying blockchain technology as many are looking to make money from blockchain. The CryptoNouveau event was a great place to meet the top thinkers in the blockchain space and learn where they think the technology is going next.

David Chaum, inventor of eCash, was there representing the company he founded, Elixxir, and to talk about cMix, which uses blockchain to create a secure, anonymous, digital method of communication, payments and app creation and usage. This has the potential to be revolutionary because it couples speed with protection of metadata, something not many blockchain applications can yet claim.

Jules Miller, partner at IBM Blockchain Ventures and cofounder and parter at Prose Ventures, spoke about IBM’s Blockchain accelerator in her opening remarks. This was followed by a lightning round of short talks by other industry leaders.

Tomer Sofinzon, founder and CEO of 20|30, spoke about his company’s efforts to create a universal wallet, as well as the Pillar Project, which is an open-sourced, nonprofit blockchain application that will give consumers control over their own personal information and reshape the relationship between consumers and service providers.

Ryan Feit of SeedInvest discussed how his company is raising funds for highly vetted startups, which began with a movement to change securities laws to allow companies to raise funds online, opening the market to people who had previously lacked access to capital.

Sebastian Serrano announced Ripio’s launch of its all-in-one fintech platform, which serves South American populations who have traditionally not had access to banking and credit. The platform offers users access to peer-to-peer loans with smart contracts, digital banking and more.

Additional presenters at this lightning round event included Antonio Brasse of BlockQuake, a cryptocurrency network built on regulation and transparency, and Alex Mashinsky of Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency investing network that guarantees the highest returns on cryptocurrency investments thanks to their internal rules and methodologies. I also met Brian Zisk there and we talked about Chia, an environmentally friendly, enterprise-grade cryptocurrency.

Consensus: The Big Show, But Not the Only Show

Last year Consensus was packed. They ran out of room at 8500 people after expecting 4000. As a result, people made plans for auxiliary activities in the area and Consensus was much less crowded. There was a distinct lack of Lamborghinis parked out front, and from what I have been told the conversations were more prevalent and of a higher quality thanks to the lack of overcrowding of the space. 

While not registered for the main event, I was able to get together with a number of industry professionals, speaking with companies like Tangem, which makes smart bank notes with high grade security and irretrievable private keys to keep a user’s cryptocurrency safe.

crypto summit
100x Crypto Summit PHOTO: BRIAN WALLACE

Blockchain investor, advisor and evangelist Ian Balina spoke at the Consensus 100x Crypto Summit.

“We believe the bitcoin price has bottomed and we are now entering a bull market with a strong likelihood of surpassing prior bitcoin highs of $ 19,000,” Balina said. “The initial exchange offering (IEO) trend has been a strong catalyst for the new bull market. Exchanges now have the responsibility of doing due diligence on new token offerings before making them available to their audience. They are regulatory concerns around this in some jurisdictions, but we don’t think the trend will go away. However the investment returns might decrease as the IEO space becomes saturated.”

Blockchain week is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world who are working on developments in the blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces, whether you attend official Consensus events or unofficial blockchain week events. Next year promises to be even better.

This post initially appeared on CMSWire.

The post BlockchainWeek NYC 2019 Recap appeared first on WebProNews.

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Step into the Spotlight as a Community Speaker at MozCon 2019

Posted by Danielle_Launders

With MozCon 2019 right around the corner, we’re excited to announce our annual open call for community speakers! Are you the person that everyone in your office goes to for digital marketing advice? Dreaming of breaking into the speaking circuit to share your innovative ideas? Now’s the chance to submit your pitch for an opportunity to join industry leaders on stage in front of 1,500 of your peers. (No pressure!)

Not sure what a community speaker is?

At MozCon, we have a speaker selection committee that identifies practitioners at the top of their professional field, with a mean speaking game. But these sessions are by invite only, and we know the community is bursting at the seams with groundbreaking research, hot tips, and SEO tests that drive results.

Cue our community speaker program! We reserve six 15-minute community speaking slots throughout our three-day event. Now’s the time of the season when we encourage anyone in the SEO community to submit their best and most exciting presentation ideas for MozCon. Not only are these sessions incredibly well-received by our attendees, but they’re also a fantastic way to get your foot in the door when it comes to the SEO speaking circuit.

Interested in pitching your own idea? Read on for everything you need to know:

To submit a pitch:

  • Fill out our community speaker submission form to enter.
  • Only one submission per person — make sure to choose the one you’re most passionate about!
  • Your pitch must be related to online marketing and for a topic that can be covered in 15 minutes.
  • Submissions close on Monday, April 15th at 5pm PDT — no exceptions!
  • All decisions are final.
  • All speakers must adhere to the MozCon Code of Conduct.
  • If chosen, you’ll be required to present your winning pitch July 15–17th at MozCon in Seattle, WA.

I’m ready to submit my idea!

If you submit a pitch, you’ll hear back from us regardless of your acceptance status, so please be patient until you hear from us — we’ll work hard to make our decisions as quickly as we can!

As a community speaker you will receive:

  • 15 minutes on the MozCon stage for a keynote-style presentation
  • A free ticket to MozCon (we can issue a refund or transfer if you’e already purchased yours)
  • Four nights of lodging covered by Moz at our partner hotel
  • Reimbursement for your travel — up to $ 500 for domestic and $ 750 for international travel
  • An invitation for you and your significant other to join us for the pre-event speakers’ dinner (warning: it’s always delicious.)

How we select our speakers:

We have an internal committee of Mozzers that review every pitch. We analyze each topic to make sure there’s no overlap with our current sessions and to confirm that it’s a good fit for our audience. Next, we look at the entirety of the pitch to help us get a comprehensive idea of what to expect from your talk on the MozCon stage. This is where links to previous decks, content, and videos of past presentations is helpful (but isn’t required).

Here’s how to make your pitch stand out:

  • Keep your pitch focused to online marketing. The more actionable the pitch, the better.
  • Be detailed! We want to know the actual tactics our audience will be learning about — not just a vague reference to them. Remember, we receive a ton of pitches, so the more clearly you can explain, the better you’ll stand out.
  • Review the topics already being presented — we’re looking for sessions that are new and that round out our agenda to add to the stage.
  • Brush up on how to prepare for speaking.
  • No pitches will be evaluated in advance, so please don’t ask :)
  • Using social media to lobby your pitch won’t help. Instead, put your time and energy into the actual pitch itself!
  • Linking to a previous example of a slide deck or presentation isn’t required, but it does help the committee a ton.

Leading up to MozCon:

If your pitch is selected, the MozCon team is here to support you along the way. It’s our goal to make sure this is your best talk to date, whether it’s your first time under those bright stage lights or you’re a seasoned speaker who feels perfectly at home in front of a big crowd. We’ll answer any questions you may have and work with you to deliver a talk you’ll be proud of. Here are just a handful of ways that we’re here to help:

  • Topic refinement
  • Helping with your session title and description
  • Reviewing any session outlines and drafts
  • Providing plenty of tips around best practices — specifically with the MozCon stage and audience in mind
  • Comprehensive show guide
  • Being available to listen to you practice your talk
  • Reviewing your final deck
  • A full stage tour on the Sunday before MozCon to meet our A/V crew, see your presentation on the big screen, and get a feel for the show
  • An amazing 15-person A/V team to support your presentation every second it’s on the big screen and beyond

We’ve got our fingers crossed for you. Good luck!

Submit my pitch!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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