My Top 3 Speakers at MozCon 2019
by Calvin Smith
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Seattle, I’m sure you’re aware of the sites to see: the Space Needle, gum wall, Pike Place Market, and the original Starbucks (if you consume coffee). A city known for its love of coffee, beautiful scenery, and cool weather—Seattle can be quite the destination spot.
However, every year there is one weekend in July where another destination pops up in the Pacific Northwest city. This destination is geared specifically for SEOs—SEO specialists, marketers, and anyone looking to brush up on their SEO knowledge. Yes, I’m talking about MozCon.
MozCon is the annual SEO conference hosted by Moz. Moz, if you are unfamiliar with its services, is an SEO software company that was originally founded in 2004. The conference has become an international attraction for SEOs around the world. SEO is defined by Moz as: “the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as ‘organic’) search engine results”.
This year, I had the opportunity to attend MozCon for the first time and discover the hype surrounding this annual conference. This blog is a recap of my experience and my top 3 speakers from the event.
The Speakers At MozCon Were Full of Best Practices
Before I go any further, I must state that all of the speakers at MozCon were tremendous. Each speaker discussed SEO practices relevant to their areas of expertise and I enjoyed learning a variety of SEO best practices. With that said, here are my top 3 speakers:
SEO Expert and Founder of Moz (2004) and SparkToro (2018)
Rand Fishkin co-founded Moz back in 2004 and after guiding Moz to unprecedented success, Fishkin left Moz in 2018 and founded a new company, SparkToro.
One of the main topics that Fishkin discussed is the growth that the SEO industry as a whole is experiencing. Since 2015, there has been a 470% increase in either titles or job descriptions on LinkedIn that contain the word ‘SEO’. What does this mean? SEO is establishing itself as an integral part of organizational marketing efforts and has proven that it deserves its own spot on the marketing team.
Fishkin also discussed the power Google has when it comes to search marketing. He shared that in 2016, there were 26 organic clicks for every one paid click. In 2019, that ratio is 11:1. In essence, Google is doing everything it can to keep you on Google instead of sending you to a particular site. Google wants to be your final destination.
This led to Fishkin’s presentation theme: how can your brand benefit without the click? Because according to the data collected by Fishkin, more than 50% of all Google searches are zero-click. This means, as an SEO you have a decision to make— which Fishkin labels as the “Zero-Click Decision Tree”—regarding the different paths to take if your brand can or cannot benefit from a zero-click query.
Expert in digital marketing, content experiments, B2B strategy and online communication.
Ross Simmonds is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Foundation Marketing.
Simmonds focused on the idea of creating click-worthy content. SEO keywords are simply not enough to drive traffic to your website. You must have content that people want to consume.
Simmonds discussed the idea of the three Rs: Research, Rethink, and Remix.
When it comes to research, you need to ask yourself one question: what is drawing in your audience?
What content does your audience spend the most time viewing, clicking, and absorbing altogether? Furthermore, what content performs well? Once you have this information, you can start to think about how you will repurpose that content and generate new content.
The rethink stage is about discovering what resonates with your audience and what pieces of content are connecting with them. In this stage, Simmonds encourages content creators to visit communities (i.e. Facebook or reddit) and browse groups. The overall purpose of this stage is to find out what content your audience desires the most and then develop insights about them.
This stage forces you to ask yourself two questions: can this content be ‘remixed’ further? How can we remix at scale?
It’s important to note that this does not mean simply stealing content and then publishing it on your website or blog. But rather, identifying content that is performing well and then adding to this content to make it even better. At this point, you know what content is performing or underperforming. Apply the first two Rs and create content that is better than what already exists.
What it ultimately comes down to is, as SEOs, how can you construct and produce content that will drive results? Following the three Rs is a great way to start this process.
Expert in digital strategy, content strategy, search engine optimization, and social media.
Andy Crestodina is the Co-Founder and CMO at Orbit Media Studios.
The theme of Crestodina’s speech was the idea of the ‘1% content strategy’ and how SEOs are failing to adopt this highly successful strategy.
The ‘1% content strategy’ is comprised of four components:
- Create original research
- Collaborate with influencers
- Publish everywhere
- Update older content
Crestodina stated that blog visitors simply do not have the intent of purchasing something from your website; they are there to consume information and then leave. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely here to read a recap of MozCon and then you will simply move on.
What Crestodina emphasizes is utilizing the popular success of blogs and driving visitors towards your sales pages (i.e. call to actions). Blog visitors do not have commercial intent—or they may not have commercial intent at first—but those who land on sales and product pages do have commercial intent.
Crestodina also reinforced the idea of generating original research (fortunately, this is the heart and soul of Aragon Research). Ask yourself: what do people say in our industry that is rarely supported? When you are able to answer that question, you have then been provided with a catalyst towards providing strong opinion and original research.
As SEOs, it’s important to update your old research and keep your content relevant. Maybe you have a particular blog that has a really high SERP standing. What are you doing to make sure that piece of content stays relevant and maintains its SERP? Perhaps you have created a blog that has great content and is ranking well on Google. It’s important to keep the content provided up-to-date. Continually updating blog posts with relevant information, links, and content is a great way to maintain that high SERP standing.
Another way to update content is to give it a makeover. Infographics and eBooks are an engaging way to allow your audience to consume content using a different format. Remember, It’s important for SEOs to constantly keep track of and update their high performing content.
SEO is clearly a growing industry and is critical for your organization’s marketing efforts. MozCon is ideal for any SEO at any stage of their career. As a first time attendee of MozCon, I learned of so many great practices that I can bring back and share with the marketing team here at Aragon Research. Many thanks to the insightful presenters at this year’s conference and I hope to be back at MozCon next year.