What is MozCon? Glad you asked. MozCon is an SEO conference put on by the folks over at Moz (formerly SEOmoz). They rightfully hype MozCon saying, “for three days, we bring you amazing, future-thinking content from industry leaders, deep diving into SEO, social media, marketing analytics, content strategy, data science, and so much more. You’re sure to come back home with a universe’s worth of actionable knowledge to start implementing.” This year’s conference (held July 8-10th in Seattle, Washington) was brimming with takeaways, all of which we’ve recapped for you (including copies of each presentation) in one action-packed post:
Do like Moz does:
1. TAGFEE for the win! TAGFEE is the code or “core values” of Moz and stands for: Transparent, authentic, generous, fun, empathetic and exception. The company’s financials, products, mistakes and more are all wide out in the open for everyone to see; no dodging or zigzagging around the truth, it’s all out there. Not all companies can afford to do that, but there are some great things this code offers that would be great to implement into your own team.
2. Use IFTTT to dominate everything – It’s a “service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: if this then that.” Make it do the hard work for you and pipe Twitter, Google Alerts and more right into Evernote, email and even texts. These productivity hacks are both eye opening and mind blowing. I was able to share some great ones with our team and start using IFTTT more myself.
3. Have a company mascot like a robot or some sort of monkey.
Day 1 Line up Highlights:
Intro: The Year in SEO, Marketing, and Moz: by Rand Fishkin | Download Slides
Nothing pumps everyone up like one of the coolest guys in search kicking off the conference. He gave a great overview and told all the Moz Pro users that they get beta access to the new Moz Analytics which got some whoops from the crowd of almost 1,200 attendees.
Really Targeted Outreach: by Richard Baxter | Slideshare
His first slide should have said, “hang on to your hats folks,” because Richard blasted some fast and furious Excel, Google Doc and scraping tips. I tried my best to take notes and live tweet, but I quickly gave up and just followed along Ruth Barr’s twitter. This is one session where I was glad they had the slides ready to download.
International SEO and the Future of Your ROI: by Aleyda Solis | Slideshare
I learned that making the move to international markets is something that SEOs and UX can make or break for your company.
Simplifying Complexity: Three Ideas For Higher ROI: by Avinash Kaushik | No slides
Google’s Kaushik was a (good) crazy, cursing madman who did nothing but inspire and drop truth bombs. Some of his great takeaways include: focus on all stages of the customer relationship, not just the final purchase and hypothesize, test, be less wrong.
Wordless Wednesdays: How to Swaggerjack the Power of Visual Memes: by Lena West | Download Slides
A picture is worth a thousand words and West brought that point home. People love memes, images and inspirational quotes, so give the people what they want. Use tools like Pinterest and Instagram to take full advantage of your images.
Rapid Fire Link Building Tips for Your Content: by Ross Hudgens | Slideshare
Ross Hudgens dominated this session with awesome takeaways that’ll help build good links for your business and site. Try locating old content with the Outdated Content Finder tool and update it, then ask for the link.
Hot Off the Press: 2013 Ranking Factors: by Matt Peters | Slideshare
Data hounds really dug this presentation. Matt Peters and the Moz team surveyed SEOs and others to see what they thought anking factors were and how they’ve changed over the year. Some really cool and useful information in this session. Hint: Social signals are getting bigger!
Strings to Things: Entities and SEO: by Matthew Brown | Slideshare
Matt Brown is the SCHEMA wizard! He preached to add schema (i.e. “html tags that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers”) and open graph code on your sites, as these are huge opportunities right now. Try using the schema “sameAs” tag that links to the wiki page (or some other trusted data source) to take advantage of the knowledge graph.
The Mobile Content Mandate: by Karen McGrane | Download Slides | More mobile info from Karen
Karen McGrane gave a simple but obvious argument as to how much mobile matters. She showcased examples and stats about the digital divide which helped drive her points home.
Building a Better Business with Digital Marketing: by Mackenzie Fogelson | Slideshare
Mackenzie Fogelson was another inspiring speaker and she stressed putting your businesses focus on building a community which in turn, will build your business.
The 7 Heavenly Habits of Inspired Inbound Marketers: by Dharmesh Shah | Download Slides
Dharmesh Shah was down-to-earth and gave great tips such as using LinkedIn to post your articles. He did do so (here), and it got him more than 80,000 views. He also suggested becoming an early adopter on social platforms because it’ll give you exposure that you may never get otherwise.
Day 1 Summary:
Rand Fishkin, CEO & Founder of Moz gave a good tip I should’ve followed: Pace yourself, take a break and breathe when need be. I jumped in to MozCon head first and by 3 pm on day 1, my brain was straight up melting and nearly outta service. I took it easy, and being a big baseball fan, had to check out SafeCo Field – home of the Seattle Mariners. The weather was amazing, the roof was open which made it the perfect setting for a night game and taking in the cool sights of the ballpark. The Ms won, I scarfed some pizza and headed back to my hotel for a much needed night’s sleep.
Day 2 Line up Highlights:
Building a Winning Video Marketing Strategy: by Phil Nottingham | Slideshare
Phil Nottingham killed it at Moz. When you open your session with a Whiteboard Friday parody that has the audience and Rand Fishkin lol-ing, you’re off to a great start. Nottingham had great takeaways and recommendations for some low cost professional looking video equipment. One great takeaway he gave was to host your awesome videos on your site first (vs. on YouTube), recommending Wistia and then said to post your video elsewhere.
The Next Generation of Mozscape: by Phil Smith | Download Slides
If you love the Mozscape API, you would’ve dug Smith’s session. The massive scope of Mozscape is impressive, which now has over 9 million links! Moz is getting faster and faster with these crawls, pumping one out a week. They’re aiming to get faster and produce at almost a daily rate. Here’s some Moz link building survey data.
How-to Moz Lingo: Cross-Team Communication When Crisis Hits: by Carin Overturf | Download Slides
Sometimes the “s” hits the fan and Carin Overturf gave great tips on how to take control of a crisis. Here are the 6 methods to recover from a crisis within your business as quickly and painlessly as possible:
1. Accept that everyone makes mistakes
2. Have a dedicated email distribution
3. Clearly define what constitutes an emergency and make sure everyone on the crisis team is aware of it
4. Clear and concise email is crucial – put your 2-3 sentence conclusion first
5. Set realistic expectations internally and externally
6. Take the time to follow up with a postmortem – let everybody know what happens and what you’re going to do to prevent it from happening again
Empower Your Customers to Become Your Evangelists: by Aaron Wheeler | Slideshare
Aaron Wheeler rocks at making customers do the hard work for him. He recommends making an emotional connection with users/readers/customers so they’ll be more tied in with you and your products/services. A quick tip: Add a link to your customer service emails that makes it easy to tweet and share.
Engineer Your Life: Agile for Work and Play: by Miranda Rensch | Prezi Slides
Engineering can scare some people away, but Rensch did a great job! She loves Agile (because it helps you remember your big picture goals. She also suggesting that having a personal mission statement can help propel you and your team forward. Here are some useful links that Miranda suggested: workplayagile and agiletrelloboard
Let’s Play for Keeps: Building Customer Loyalty: by Joanna Lord | Download Slides
Every company wants a loyal customer and Lord shared excellent tips to building loyalty. She suggests being transparent with your customers, asking for your customers feedback, listening to it, and taking action based on it. A point I loved was to take the online relationship offline, which will help you get personal with the people keeping you in business.
Ecommerce SEO: Cutting Edge Tactics That Scale: by Adam Audette | Download Slides
Audette wasn’t the only one to stress this point, but it does bear repeating: Don’t chase the algorithms, chase people and stand behind your work!
Building Your Business: Relationship and Other Critical “Soft” Skills: by Brittan Bright | Slideshare
Bright dominates soft skills as she knows how to read and feel people. She always experiments with different forms of communication because email doesn’t always work for everyone and sometimes face-to-face interactions are the best.
Win Through Optimization and Testing: by Kyle Rush | Download Slides | Related post from The Moz Blog
Rush helped the Obama Campaign raise a gazillion dollars in the President’s re-election campaign and he shared his tips for success with MozCon including: Test constantly! His team tested everything, gathered all the data and tested some more. Check out his Moz blog post for a detailed explanation.
How Gender and Cultural Differences in Web Psychology Affect the Customer Experience: by Nathalie Nahai | Slideshare
Nahai delivered an interesting session and her key tip was to know who you’re targeting and to communicate with them persuasively to provide the best customer experience.
Breaking up with Your Keyword-Based KPIs: Presented by Annie Cushing | Slideshare
Annie Cushing suggested looking at the landing page report to see which landing pages are getting traffic from the same keyword, then optimize your site to minimize the number of pages for each keyword. The tools she uses are SEMRush or Keyword Spy.
End-to-End Local Optimization: by David Mihm | Download Slides
Local SEO is heating up these days and Mihm from GetListed was on point with his session. His top tips were to create a unique page for every store location so Google can recognize them and use Followerwonk and Yelp Elite to get prolific reviews for your biz.
Next Level Local Tactics: Making Your SEO Stand Out: by Dana DiTomaso | Slideshare
DiTomaso had some super sweet local tips to help you stand out, so check out her Slideshare. One of her most powerful tips: Become a part of your customer’s life and they’ll stick with you like family.
Cater to Your Audience via UX: by Allison Urban | Slideshare
Urban provided excellent tips for a great user experience, aka UX. Her main tip: Make things as easy as possible to understand and use by humanizing your site and making your product delightful to the target audience. She showed some great examples of adding little surprises in your UX to make your customer feel at home, and last but not least, say “thank you!”
Living in the Future of User Behavior: by Will Critchlow | Slideshare
Critchlow’s point, that everyone else doesn’t seem to want to accept, is that citations, authorship, authoritative links are going to be around for a long time. So get on that Google Authorship guys! He also said the more attention you get, the more links you’ll get.
Day 3 Line up Highlights:
I knew with Pete Meyers, Wil Reynolds and Rand Fishkin speaking, I was going to have to bring my listening A game. I also needed to hit a few more coffee joints, so I doubled up on espresso and Mighty-O donuts. I arrived at the final day of MozCon jittery, but eager to fill my brain with more Moz awesomeness.
Beyond 10 Blue Links: The Future of Ranking: by Pete Meyers | Slideshare
Meyers’ presentation was one of the most in-depth, detailed and honestly overwhelming analysis of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). “If you are in a space where Google wants to play, you better watch out and not in a good way,” Meyers warned.
Using Metrics to Build Social Media Engagement: by Carrie Gouldin | Download Slides| Detailed blog post at Moz.
Yet another monkey mascot brand makes an appearance at MozCon with ThinkGeek’s, Gouldin. Her most powerful takeaways were based on four things:
- Branding strength
- Customer Loyalty
- Customer evangelism & recruitment
- Customer feedback
The Search for Company Culture and Why It Matters: by Sarah Bird | Download Slides
Sarah Bird from Moz said not to be fake with your “culture” at your company. She says, “be authentic, if you’re not true to yourself and others, you can’t fake it.” I loved to hear things like, “don’t be afraid of fun” and great point she made was saying that everyone needs to be on board because one rotten apple can ruin the whole barrel.
Why the Internet Hates Us and Can #RCS Change That Perception?: by Wil Reynolds | Slideshare | Diigo
Reynolds coined “real company sh%$” at 2012 MozCon and I’m fully on board after his energizing session at MozCon. Some of his many inspiring points included: Don’t keep doing the same old thing you’ve always done, and focus on innovation, not just volume. His pro tips: Keep tabs on your competitors by subscribing to their newsletters, by using a combo of IFTTT and Evernote. We’ve shared his Diigo account he plugged in the links above.
Building Your Community From the Ground Up: by Jen Lopez | Slideshare
Be passionate about something – nothing will excel like the things you’re passionate about. Lopez suggests engaging with your community not just online but off-line and off-site as well. When building out your community start small then grow as you are able and tell your story, which will help people see your personality and connect to you.
10 Link Removal Pro-Tips That Will Change Your Life: by Sha Menz | Download Slides
Need to remove toxic back links from your site? Menz provided 10 great tips to help you do just that.
- Create a separate inbox at the target domain, then turn the spam filters off
- Identify directory sites you want to remove links and serve them a 404 status via. htaccess
- Get to know sites that don’t accept email and go right to the submission form
- ArticalSnatch directories
- WordPress hosted blogs have a default email address
- Write your link removal request as you would write an email to a potential new customer’
- Canadians can be contacted through the register
- For the UK check WhoIs
- Lodge a spam report to have egregious spam removed
- Asking for favors? Send cupcakes, etc.
How to Be a One-Person Link Building Army: by Mike Arnesen | Slideshare
Arnesen had productivity hacks that he uses to be a link building master, and stressed leveraging tools, processes and relationships to build links effectively. He also uses IFTTT and Page2Rss to find out when competition is getting a new link, along with Google Alerts, FreshWebExplorer and HARO to be a one person link building army.
Throw Out Best Practices, Double Email Conversion: by A. Litsa | Download Slides | Also a Vimeo of the preso
Lista used a responsive template for her mobile emails to double her email conversions. She also stressed that email marketing still works (we love hearing that)! She also recommend finding the channels on your site that get more mobile traffic and target them with mobile-optimized emails.
Anatomy of a Viral Hit: Reach Millions, Cultivate Relationships, and Generate Links: by Kelsey Libert | Slideshare
No doubt that Libert has worked on some massive viral projects. She recommended that in order to create viral success, you have to create emotionally compelling content. She said her company doesn’t really take on the type of clients who aren’t willing to take chances with big, emotional campaigns.
The Secret Ingredients of Better Marketing: by Rand Fishkin | Slide Download
Rand Fishkin closed out the 2013 MozCon with a powerful session. He nailed home the point of “Let your influence define your role, not the other way around!” He, as well as others, stressed to stop optimizing for SERPs and be authentic in your marketing.
Day 3 Summary:
What a great way to end MozCon. Rand was nice enough to be around for most of the third day and I was able to get a picture with him.
If you want even more scoop on MozCon, here are some other nice recaps:
- Content Harmony: MozCon 2013 Coverage
- Blast Tam’s Daily Recap: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3
- Random Observations About MozCon Speakers
- Ghergich & Co: The SEO State of the Union
- Cool Infographic from 97th Floor
Tools: These tools were mentioned by (at least) one of the speakers during MozCon and in my recap. These are mostly used for productivity for link building and daily tasks.
- email-format.com: to find contact emails
- Use AuthorCrawler to find people writing for competitors sites, but not yours yet, then reach out to them
- Keyword Spy
- Yelp Elite
Well MozCon, Moz and Seattle, it was grand, see ya next year! If you were at MozCon, wanted to go or will be there next year we’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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