Tag Archive | "Takeaways"

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.


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


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


  • 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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Local Search Ranking Factors 2018: Local Today, Key Takeaways, and the Future

Posted by Whitespark

In the past year, local SEO has run at a startling and near-constant pace of change. From an explosion of new Google My Business features to an ever-increasing emphasis on the importance of reviews, it’s almost too much to keep up with. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, we welcome our friend Darren Shaw to explain what local is like today, dive into the key takeaways from his 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, and offer us a glimpse into the future according to the local SEO experts.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. I’m Darren Shaw from Whitespark, and today I want to talk to you about the local search ranking factors. So this is a survey that David Mihm has run for the past like 10 years. Last year, I took it over, and it’s a survey of the top local search practitioners, about 40 of them. They all contribute their answers, and I aggregate the data and say what’s driving local search. So this is what the opinion of the local search practitioners is, and I’ll kind of break it down for you.

Local search today

So these are the results of this year’s survey. We had Google My Business factors at about 25%. That was the biggest piece of the pie. We have review factors at 15%, links at 16%, on-page factors at 14%, behavioral at 10%, citations at 11%, personalization and social at 6% and 3%. So that’s basically the makeup of the local search algorithm today, based on the opinions of the people that participated in the survey.

The big story this year is Google My Business. Google My Business factors are way up, compared to last year, a 32% increase in Google My Business signals. I’ll talk about that a little bit more over in the takeaways. Review signals are also up, so more emphasis on reviews this year from the practitioners. Citation signals are down again, and that makes sense. They continue to decline I think for a number of reasons. They used to be the go-to factor for local search. You just built out as many citations as you could. Now the local search algorithm is so much more complicated and there’s so much more to it that it’s being diluted by all of the other factors. Plus it used to be a real competitive difference-maker. Now it’s not, because everyone is pretty much getting citations. They’re considered table stakes now. By seeing a drop here, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing them. They’re just not the competitive difference-maker they used to be. You still need to get listed on all of the important sites.

Key takeaways

All right, so let’s talk about the key takeaways.

1. Google My Business

The real story this year was Google My Business, Google My Business, Google My Business. Everyone in the comments was talking about the benefits they’re seeing from investing in a lot of these new features that Google has been adding.

Google has been adding a ton of new features lately — services, descriptions, Google Posts, Google Q&A. There’s a ton of stuff going on in Google My Business now that allows you to populate Google My Business with a ton of extra data. So this was a big one.

✓ Take advantage of Google Posts

Everyone talked about Google Posts, how they’re seeing Google Posts driving rankings. There are a couple of things there. One is the semantic content that you’re providing Google in a Google post is definitely helping Google associate those keywords with your business. Engagement with Google Posts as well could be driving rankings up, and maybe just being an active business user continuing to post stuff and logging in to your account is also helping to lift your business entity and improve your rankings. So definitely, if you’re not on Google Posts, get on it now.

If you search for your category, you’ll see a ton of businesses are not doing it. So it’s also a great competitive difference-maker right now.

✓ Seed your Google Q&A

Google Q&A, a lot of businesses are not even aware this exists. There’s a Q&A section now. Your customers are often asking questions, and they’re being answered by not you. So it’s valuable for you to get in there and make sure you’re answering your questions and also seed the Q&A with your own questions. So add all of your own content. If you have a frequently asked questions section on your website, take that content and put it into Google Q&A. So now you’re giving lots more content to Google.

✓ Post photos and videos

Photos and videos, continually post photos and videos, maybe even encourage your customers to do that. All of that activity is helpful. A lot of people don’t know that you can now post videos to Google My Business. So get on that if you have any videos for your business.

✓ Fill out every field

There are so many new fields in Google My Business. If you haven’t edited your listing in a couple of years, there’s a lot more stuff in there that you can now populate and give Google more data about your business. All of that really leads to engagement. All of these extra engagement signals that you’re now feeding Google, from being a business owner that’s engaged with your listing and adding stuff and from users, you’re giving them more stuff to look at, click on, and dwell on your listing for a longer time, all that helps with your rankings.

2. Reviews

✓ Get more Google reviews

Reviews continue to increase in importance in local search, so, obviously, getting more Google reviews. It used to be a bit more of a competitive difference-maker. It’s becoming more and more table stakes, because everybody seems to be having lots of reviews. So you definitely want to make sure that you are competing with your competition on review count and lots of high-quality reviews.

✓ Keywords in reviews

Getting keywords in reviews, so rather than just asking for a review, it’s useful to ask your customers to mention what service they had provided or whatever so you can get those keywords in your reviews.

✓ Respond to reviews (users get notified now!)

Responding to reviews. Google recently started notifying users that if the owner has responded to you, you’ll get an email. So all of that is really great, and those responses, it’s another signal to Google that you’re an engaged business.

✓ Diversify beyond Google My Business for reviews

Diversify. Don’t just focus on Google My Business. Look at other sites in your industry that are prominent review sites. You can find them if you just look for your own business name plus reviews, if you search that in Google, you’re going to see the sites that Google is saying are important for your particular business.

You can also find out like what are the sites that your competitors are getting reviews on. Then if you just do a search like keyword plus city, like “lawyers + Denver,” you might find sites that are important for your industry as well that you should be listed on. So check out a couple of your keywords and make sure you’re getting reviews on more sites than just Google.

3. Links

Then links, of course, links continue to drive local search. A lot of people in the comments talked about how a handful of local links have been really valuable. This is a great competitive difference-maker, because a lot of businesses don’t have any links other than citations. So when you get a few of these, it can really have an impact.

✓ From local industry sites and sponsorships

They really talk about focusing on local-specific sites and industry-specific sites. So you can get a lot of those from sponsorships. They’re kind of the go-to tactic. If you do a search for in title sponsors plus city name, you’re going to find a lot of sites that are listing their sponsors, and those are opportunities for you, in your city, that you could sponsor that event as well or that organization and get a link.

The future!

All right. So I also asked in the survey: Where do you see Google going in the future? We got a lot of great responses, and I tried to summarize that into three main themes here for you.

1. Keeping users on Google

This is a really big one. Google does not want to send its users to your website to get the answer. Google wants to have the answer right on Google so that they don’t have to click. It’s this zero-click search result. So you see Rand Fishkin talking about this. This has been happening in local for a long time, and it’s really amplified with all of these new features Google has been adding. They want to have all of your data so that they don’t have to send users to find it somewhere else. Then that means in the future less traffic to your website.

So Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm also talk about Google as your new homepage, and this concept is like branded search.

  • What does your branded search look like?
  • So what sites are you getting reviews on?
  • What does your knowledge panel look like?

Make that all look really good, because Google doesn’t want to send people to your new website.

2. More emphasis on behavioral signals

David Mihm is a strong voice in this. He talks about how Google is trying to diversify how they rank businesses based on what’s happening in the real world. They’re looking for real-world signals that actual humans care about this business and they’re engaging with this business.

So there’s a number of things that they can do to track that — so branded search, how many people are searching for your brand name, how many people are clicking to call your business, driving directions. This stuff is all kind of hard to manipulate, whereas you can add more links, you can get more reviews. But this stuff, this is a great signal for Google to rely on.

Engagement with your listing, engagement with your website, and actual humans in your business. If you’ve seen on the knowledge panel sometimes for brick-and-mortar business, it will be like busy times. They know when people are actually at your business. They have counts of how many people are going into your business. So that’s a great signal for them to use to understand the prominence of your business. Is this a busy business compared to all the other ones in the city?

3. Google will monetize everything

Then, of course, a trend to monetize as much as they can. Google is a publicly traded company. They want to make as much money as possible. They’re on a constant growth path. So there are a few things that we see coming down the pipeline.

Local service ads are expanding across the country and globally and in different industries. So this is like a paid program. You have to apply to get into it, and then Google takes a cut of leads. So if you are a member of this, then Google will send leads to you. But you have to be verified to be in there, and you have to pay to be in there.

Then taking a cut from bookings, you can now book directly on Google for a lot of different businesses. If you think about Google Flights and Google Hotels, Google is looking for a way to monetize all of this local search opportunity. That’s why they’re investing heavily in local search so they can make money from it. So seeing more of these kinds of features rolling out in the future is definitely coming. Transactions from other things. So if I did book something, then Google will take a cut for it.

So that’s the future. That’s sort of the news of the local search ranking factors this year. I hope it’s been helpful. If you have any questions, just leave some comments and I’ll make sure to respond to them all. Thanks, everybody.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

If you missed our recent webinar on the Local Search Ranking Factors survey with Darren Shaw and Dr. Pete, don’t worry! You can still catch the recording here:

Check out the webinar

You’ll be in for a jam-packed hour of deeper insights and takeaways from the survey, as well as some great audience-contributed Q&A.

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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15 Takeaways from Our Private Community (Plus Some Time-Savers for Writers)

Did you know we have a thriving private community of content marketers who get to sink their teeth into fresh, in-depth education every week? Well, we do — and this week we’re sharing insights from that community. On Monday, Jerod Morris recapped an epic answer he gave in one of our Authority Q&As recently. (As
Read More…

The post 15 Takeaways from Our Private Community (Plus Some Time-Savers for Writers) appeared first on Copyblogger.


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The E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study 2017: 15 Essential Takeaways

Posted by Alan_Coleman

Is your website beating, meeting, or behind the industry average?

Wolfgang Digital’s 2017 E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study is out with an even bigger sample size than ever before. Analyzing 143 million website sessions and $ 531 million in online revenues, the study gives e-commerce marketers essential insights to help benchmark their business’s online performance and understand which metrics drive e-commerce success.

This study is our gift to the global e-commerce industry. The objective is to reveal the state of play in the industry over the last 12 months and ultimately help digital marketers make better digital marketing decisions by:

  1. Better understanding their website performance through comparing key performance indicators (KPIs) with industry benchmarks.
  2. Gaining insights into which key metrics will ensure e-commerce success

You can digest the full study here.

Skim through the key takeaways below:

1. Google remains people’s window to the web, but its dominance is in decline.

The search giant generates 62% of all traffic and 63% of all revenue. This is down from 69% of traffic and 67% of revenue in last year’s study. In numerical terms, Google is growing — it’s simply that the big G’s share of the pie is in decline.

2. Google’s influence is declining as consumers’ paths to purchase become more diverse, with “dark traffic” on the rise.

This occurs when Google Analytics doesn’t recognize a source by default, like people sharing links on WhatsApp. Dark traffic shows up as direct traffic in Google Analytics. Direct traffic grew from 17% to 18% of traffic.

3. Consumers’ paths to purchase have gotten longer.

It now takes 12% more clicks to generate a million euro online than it did 12 months ago, with 360,000 clicks being the magic million-euro number in 2017.

4. Mobile earns more share, yet desktop still delivers the dollars.

2017 is the first year mobile claimed more sessions (52%) than desktop (36%) and tablet (12%) combined. Desktop generates 61% of all online revenue, with users 164% more likely to convert than those browsing on mobile. Plus, when desktop users convert, they spend an average of 20% more per order than mobile shoppers.

5. The almighty conversion rate: e-commerce sites average 1.6%.

E-commerce websites averaged 1.6% overall. Travel came in at 2.4%. Online-only retailers saw 1.8% conversion rates, while their multichannel counterparts averaged 1.2%

6. Don’t shop if you’re hungry.

Conversion rates for food ordering sites are fifteen times those of typical retail e-commerce!

***Correlation explanation: The most unique and most useful part of our study is our correlation calculation. We analyze which website metrics correlate with e-commerce success. Before I jump into our correlation findings, let me explain how to read them. Zero means no correlation between the two metrics. One means perfect correlation; for example, “every time I sneeze, I close my eyes.” Point five (0.5) means that as one metric increases 100%, the other metric increases 50%. A negative correlation means that as one variable increases, the other decreases.

From our experience compiling these stats over the years, any correlation over .2 is worth noting. North of 0.4 is a very strong correlation. I’ve ranked the following correlations below in order of strength, starting with the strongest.

7. Sticky websites sell more (0.6).

The strongest correlation in the study was between time spent on a website and conversion rate (0.6 correlation). By increasing time on site by 16%, conversion rates ramp up 10%. Pages per session also correlated solidly with revenue growth (0.25).

8. People trust Google (0.48).

According to Forbes, Google is the world’s second most valuable brand. Our figures agree. People who got more than average organic traffic from Google enjoyed a savagely strong conversion rate (0.48). It seems that when Google gives prominent organic coverage to a website, that website enjoys higher trust and, in turn, higher conversion rates from consumers.

9. Tablet shoppers love a bit of luxury (0.4).

Higher-than-average tablet sessions correlated very strongly with high average order values (0.4). However, pricey purchases require more clicks, no matter the device.

10. Loyal online shoppers are invaluable (0.35).

Your best-converting customers are always your returning loyal customers. Typically they show up as direct traffic, high levels of which correlated very strongly with conversion rates (0.35).

11. Speed matters (0.25).

005Onsite Engagement.jpg

Average site speed was 6 seconds. This is far higher than the generally recommended 2 seconds. There was a strong inverse correlation between average page load time and revenue growth (0.25). Reducing the average load time by 1.6 seconds would increase annual revenue growth by 10%.

12. Mobile is a money-making machine (0.25).

009Revenue Growth.jpg

Websites that got more mobile pageviews (0.25) and more tablet pageviews (0.24) grew revenue faster.

13. Email pays dividends (0.24).


Email delivers three times as much revenue as Facebook on a last-click basis. Those who get more traffic from email also enjoy a higher AOV (0.24).

14. Bing CPC represents a quick win (0.22).

Websites with a higher share of Bing CPC traffic tend to see a higher AOV (0.22). This, coupled with lower CPCs, makes Bing an attractive low-volume high-profit proposition. Bing has made the route into Bing Ads much easier, introducing a simple one-click tool which will convert your AdWords campaigns into Bing Ad campaigns.

15. Pinterest can be powerful (0.22).

Websites with more Pinterest traffic enjoyed higher AOVs (0.22). This demonstrates Pinterest’s power as a visual research engine, a place where people research ideas before taking an action — for example, planning a wedding, designing a living room, or purchasing a pair of pumps. The good news for digital marketers is that Pinterest recently launched its self-service ad platform.

Black holes

We used Google Analytics to compile the report. Once installed correctly, Google Analytics is very accurate in the numbers it does reports. However, there are two areas it struggles to report on that digital marketers need to keep in mind:

  1. Offline conversions: For 99% of our data set, there is no offline conversion tracking setup. Google is introducing measures to make it easier to track this. Once marketing directors get visibility on the offline impact of their online spend, we expect more offline budget to migrate online.
  2. Cross-device conversions: It’s currently very difficult to measure cross device conversions. According to Google themselves, 90% of goals occur on more than one device. Yet Google Analytics favors the sturdy desktop, as it generates the most same-device conversions. The major loser here is social, with 9 out of 10 Facebook sessions being mobile sessions. Instagram and Snapchat don’t even have a desktop version of their app!

Google is preparing to launch enhanced reporting in the coming months, which will give greater visibility on cross-device conversions. Hopefully this will give us a clearer picture of social’s role in conversion for our 2018 study.

The full report is available here and I’d love to answer your questions in the comments section 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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TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World


Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the world. To say that the team from TopRank Marketing was excited to attend, is putting it lightly. Lee Odden, Alexis Hall, Josh Nite and I made the journey to Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest content marketing minds in the industry.

In a perfect world we would have been able to attend every session, but we consumed, live blogged and shared all that we were physically able to do. Below are some of what we considered to be the top takeaways and best speaker quotes from Content Marketing World 2015.

Top Content Marketing World Takeaways

Lee Odden – Participation Marketing Must Have’s


TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be.

So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program?

To find out, read: Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing

Michael Brenner – How to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy


NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

For Michael’s solution to these problems, read: Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools & Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy

Ian Cleary – Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing


RazorSocial Founder Ian Cleary is passionate about using tools to make content marketing better. At RazorSocial, he trains companies to use technology to increase their reach, search ranking, and audience relevance.

Ian took us on a whirlwind tour through 15 common content marketing problems and the tools he uses to solve them.

For our five favorites read: Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing

Erin Monday – Achieve Greater Social Visibility


Traditional SEOs have long obsessed over how to hack the Google algorithm to move to the top of SERPs. Now the new kids on the blog, social platforms like Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, each have their own algorithm.

Improving the visibility of your content within social media can be as calculated as your SEO efforts. Erin Monday, marketing manager at Lenovo, shares tips to hack the new social algorithms in her presentation at #CMWorld.

To learn Erin’s 5 steps read: 5 Step Algorithm Hack to Achieve Greater Social Visibility

Complete List of TopRank Marketing’s Coverage From CMWorld

10 Snackable & Inspirational Speaker Quotes











CMWorld eBook Triple Feature

If you were unable to attend Content Marketing World but want even more tips on everything from content marketing strategy to measurement, check out the content marketing triple feature that TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute co-created with speakers from this year’s event.

If you attended Content Marketing World 2015, what was the most impactful thing that you learned? If you weren’t able to attend this year, we hope to see you next year!

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The post TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Rapid-Fire Takeaways from Authority Rainmaker


Authority Rainmaker came and went two weeks ago, but its impact is still being felt.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and Jerod Morris go back and forth delivering quick-hit takeaways from the conference that stuck with them once they left Denver.

Among the speakers Jerod and Demian discuss:

  • Dan Pink
  • Scott Brinker
  • Pamela Wilson
  • Sonia Simone
  • Ann Handley
  • Bernadette Jiwa
  • Chris Brogan
  • Sally Hogshead
  • Danny Sullivan
  • Michael King
  • Joe Pulizzi
  • Sean D’Souza
  • Joanna Lord
  • Scott Stratten and Ryan Deiss

And, of course, Henry Rollins — though they save the majority of the Rollins talk for next week’s follow-up episode.

Click Here to Listen to

The Lede on iTunes

Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM

About the author


Rainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post Rapid-Fire Takeaways from Authority Rainmaker appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Social Media Marketing: Tools and takeaways to implement today

Featuring tips on social media marketing, this post takes insights from three speakers and the organizer of the recently held DFW Rocks Social Media Day event held in Dallas, Tx. Find out what these social media experts have to share and take advantage of a number of useful links to no-cost social media analytics tools.

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By examining the wealth of knowledge in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report, the top mobile tactics marketers are focusing on for the next six months are also the most popular topics for recent MarketingSherpa case studies. Read on for the top 5 takeaways from essential mobile marketing case studies.
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A Few Takeaways from the Big Boulder Conference on Social Media Data

Posted by adamf

Last week I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Big Boulder conference put on by GNIP in Boulder, Colorado.  Around 200 attendees joined together in the St. Julien Hotel to attend what was billed as the world's first social media data conference. GNIP, a company focused on aggregating and providing social data, assembled a great lineup of speakers, the majority of whom provide or consume social data. I enjoyed the conference and took the opportunity to learn more about social data that is now available to consumers, hear about the creative ways people are using such data, meet some great minds in the social media space, and enjoy the great food, beautiful scenery, sunny weather, and friendly vibes that are hallmarks of Boulder.

View of Flatirons

The Big Boulder presentations were mostly in a Q&A format with a few panels mixed in. I've pulled together some of the key themes that I observed from the sessions to share in this post. GNIP also posted some detailed summaries of the presentations on their blog. If anyone who attended or presented at the conference sees anything that needs to be added, please let me know!

Panel Discussion at Big Boulder

Major social networks continue to invest in sharing their rich data to third parties, though in a measured way

Folks from Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all presented at the conference in some form. All noted that they are continuing to develop their APIs to provide better access to their huge data sets, though there weren't any big announcement of specific new capabilities. 

Twitter confirmed its intention to continue sharing data from their firehose through a limited set of partners in all but a small number of cases where customers have unique needs. Their rationale for limiting access is that the vast quantity of data that comes through the firehose is too expensive for most companies to consume, store, and parse. It makes more sense for them to work through third parties who can help provide only the most relevant data to businesses looking for that data. They were asked whether they would be providing a location-based API, but they have no short-term plans to do so. They say that currently only 4% of Tweets are geocoded.

Facebook provides API access to a lot of valuable data, and states that they want to provide realtime insights to businesses. Howeve, they do not yet offer a firehose like Twitter. When asked about making more data from their social graph available, they noted that the biggest challenges they face are with managing privacy and in balancing syndication with standardization. If the language and methods for measurement are all different between sources, it gets hard for everyone to understand what the data means. Facebook said that they are looking for ideas from the community for new data to offer and some great use cases to show how it would be valuable.

LinkedIn didn't talk much about their API specifically, but presented interesting insights and use cases about how they are using that data to drive their business forward. I'll share a few of these insights  later on.

Beyond traditional social media, we are now seeing other sources of social data become available

A good percentage of the presentations at Big Boulder were from companies that are providing data that is social, but perhaps not from the traditional companies that come to mind when you think of social media data. Some were blog platforms, like WordPress.com and Tumblr. Others were blog commenting platforms like Disqus, or forum-based like Vanilla Forums and Get Satisfaction. Formspring provides a forum for general discussions around specific questions, and GetGlue is a rich community and check-in service centered on TV, movies, and books. StockTwits was another, which curates stock data from Twitter and provides a layer of social information to inform investors beyond just the traditional data.

I was seriously impressed by the volume and variety of interesting data that is being collected, curated, and shared via APIs. 

One of the biggest challenges with social data tools and platforms is in providing actionable insights

A fascinating panel discussion brought together Zach Hofer-Shall (Forrester Research), Susan Etlinger (Altimeter Group), Nathan Gilliatt (Social Target), and Shawn Rogers (Enterprise Management Associates) to discuss emerging trends in analyzing social data. They discussed the challenges of integrating social data into enterprise organizations. 

The four panelists were in agreement on the majority of topics disucssed. The first is that social media data is most frequently brought into organizations by PR folks, but hardly used to its full extent, as PR is usually not focused on detailed quantitative analysis. It's used more at surface level to catch and engage with positive and negative press and to do "damage control". 

Another barrier discussed is that social data has not yet been integrated with BI teams at enterprises where the focus is mostly web analytics. At the enterprise level, there are challenges not just with siloed organizations, but siloed data. There a lots of different roles that benefit from social data insights and each has a different context. Integrating that data and offering it in ways that provide the most useful insights to those who need it is a challenge that plenty of companies have yet to surmount. 

The panelists also agreed that one of the biggest challenges with getting value out of social media software is not necessarily with analytics to understand how the data relates to a business, but rather in existing software's abilities to provide actionable insights. Though there are some pieces of this out there, the panel saw a lot of opportunity for social analytics software to really step up in this space. 

You can learn all sorts of interesting stuff from the enormous (and growing) public data set out there

There were a few insights that were shared throughout presentations, including:

From Martin Remy at Automatic (which runs WordPress.com)

  • Fashion bloggers are the most "chatty." Baseball, religion, and politics are also high on the chatty list. At the bottom of the list, interestingly, are advertising and social media. Tech falls in the middle
  • Turkish speakers are most conversational, followed closely by Hebrew. Japanese and Korean speakers are some of the least chatty. 

From Yael Garten, Data Scientist at LinkedIn

  • Yael shared a chart of growing vs. shrinking industries. Unsurprisingly, the newspapers industry shrinking most. The renewable industry was the fastest growing (by a bigger margin than I would have guessed).
  • She shared a test of a hypotheses that people would be leaving the banking industry after the financial crisis. This turned out not to be the case. Lots of people left the banks at that time, but mostly ended up moving to different banks rather than finding new fields.
  • We also learned that male CEO names tended to be short (or shortened), approachable, 1-sylable names, while female CEOs tended to have more classic names multi-syllable names. Short names were even more popular in sales, with names like Chip or Trey.

Spam in social data is a big focus for social media data sources

Spam in social data has become even more of an issue with people paying for data feeds. For example, if you are paying by the tweet for your Twitter data, you don't want to pay for the spammy tweets.

Given that notion, Twitter is working hard on combatting spam and noted that their spam team has grown to be one of the biggest teams at the company. Twitter combats spam through initial filtering, which would keep it out of the firehose feed, though they can't catch everything that way without risking pulling legitimate content, too. Therefore, some spam gets through the system initially and is pulled after the fact.

Ken Little, Director of Engineering for Tumblr, also talked about spam being a big priority. They try and shut down spammy looking registrations right out of the gate. Tumblr uses a simple 3rd party content analysis to identify some spam and have been are developing an in-house system that identifies spammy accounts based on behavioral analysis. Some people just don't use their accounts in ways consistent with your average human.

Verification of the sources of social content is a big problem yet to be solved, and critical for social media data use in public service

For most businesses, verification of the content and source of social data is important, but not critical. In one panel discussion, however, we learned about some fascinating uses of social data for the public interest that are providing insights, but struggle with the verification of social data sources.

Moeed Ahmad, Head of New Media at Al Jazeera Media Network, talked a fair bit about the challenges and need for data verification, especially for his news organization. Al Jazeera's charter is to provide voices to the voiceless. This proves a challenge in the regions they traditionally report on most, where media is generally state-run. Social media has proven to be a great way to hear directly from the the people and surface amazing stories and viewpoints that might never have been heard otherwise. The challenge with this, as with in any reporting, is to ensure that the information shared is correct and can be verified. To try and manage this, Al Jazeera Media added procedures to the usage of social data in reporting. This change was largely an issue of verifying as much as possible and setting context in the report itself. Conversely, Moeed talked also about using social channels for verification of information. He spoke of a particularly gruesome video that had been sent to Al Jazeera showing what was reported to be a recent atrocity. Unable to verify the video and story, he posted it on Twitter and quickly found out that the video was 3 years old, and was actually from a totally different country than suggested by the person who had submitted it. 

Katie Baucom, Geospatial Analyst at the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, has been working to use social data to aid in disaster response and in assessing the damage done by natural disasters. Her organization is traditionally focused only on satellite imagery, but can receive social data and photos far faster than the satellite images can be processed. Their process seems like an incredibly powerful use of social data, but verification of authenticity and location is critical in their context. They need to ensure that they are providing accurate data to ensure that disaster response is applied first where it is needed most. 

Rumi Chunara, instructor at Harvard Medical School, works on a project called Healthmap, which  seeks to discover and track the spread of infectious diseases in real-time using as many data sources as possible. Her challenge in this is determining fact from rumor in Tweets. To help solve this issue, they've been comparing information from social sources against trusted data from doctors on the ground. Her team is hoping to compare where the differences lie and model how they might be more accurately predictive using the social data. She also noted that Google Trends has been a great tool in finding outbreaks. For instance, when the flu hits an area, the searches for flu symptoms in certain geos increases noticeably.

Light engagements may be the key to building further engagment amongst lurkers

We heard this topic discussed from a good number of people in the blog, forum, and commenting space. One panel focused specifically on how people engage online. A rule of thumb that was generally substantiated was the 90-9-1 rule. 90% of blog or forum readers are passive lurkers, 9% engage lightly, and  1% of the readers create most of the content. Everyone in the panel seemed to agree that making light social engagements, such as likes, or thumbs up, or even smiley faces easy to engage with is the path toward starting to draw in more of that 90%. One of the reasons this is so important, beyond further engaging the readership, is that it further engages the bloggers, who in turn write more content.

If you are looking to build an entrepreneurial community, there are four principles to keep in mind

Brad Feld of Foundry Group led off day 2 of the conference with a quick talk about why Boulder has a thriving startup scene and shared his thoughts about principles to build an entrepreneurial community. His four points for a successful community are: 

  1. The community must be lead by entrepreneurs. 
  2. The community must take a long-term view. There will be good and bad times for business and entrepreneurship, so you need to take a look at the last 20 years to see the bigger future trends. 
  3. Your community must be inclusive of anyone that wants to engage in the startup community in any way. 
  4. There must be institutions that engage the entire stack of the startup community. TechStars and Startup Weekend are two great examples of this as they help bring mentorship, investors, and teachers together with entrepreneurs. 

Boulder, Colorado is a pretty cool town

Beyond putting on a great conference and pulling together some fascinating people, GNIP sought to show off their hometown of Boulder, Colorado. They definitely succeeded, starting with the conference hotel. We stayed at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa right off of Pearl Street where we enjoyed the great food and drink in the walkable neighborhood, and were amazed at the throngs of students, profs, techies, families, and aging hippies all hanging out late on a school night. 

To show how outdoorsy Boulder is, GNIP lined up a bunch of 'healthy' events for us to enjoy while there. Unfortunately I missed the morning yoga sessions at 6AM and a hike planned out at 6:30AM as sleep won out. However, Jamie and I made it out for the biking pub crawl after the close of the conference. GNIP sprung for a bunch of bikes from a local rental service that allows you to pickup bikes from standing bike racks and return them to any of their racks around the city when you are done. We all converged on a row of bikes just outside the hotel and cruised around the area, looking cool with our bright red bikes with big baskets on front. After a few pints and biking in 90+ degree heat, we were all feeling fine. A fun and unique way to close out a fun and uniqe conference.

Jamie and his rental bike


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