#MozCon 2016 – Day 1 (Quick Insight)

Hello, internet marketer. The amazing MozCon days are back! For those who somehow still don’t know, MozCon is an annual marketing conference held by the marketing software company Moz in Seattle, WA.

‘Not your typical marketing conferencey2’- this is a tough claim to make, but I have to say that Moz really backs it up by bringing in all the amazing speakers and actionable stuff they provide at the conference. This is my 2nd MozCon and compared to last year, this year’s lineup looks amazing (at least as far as day 1 is concerned!).

The real essence of the conference is felt when it’s attended in person, but if you are not attending MozCon, you should follow the hashtag ‘#MozCon’ or follow me on twitter @mmhemani for live updates!

So here is a quick overview of what the speakers talked about. Grab a coffee and if you like, subscribe to our mailing list because a lot more interesting stuff is scheduled for the days to come.


8:00-9:00 AM                                             Breakfast

9:00-9:20 AM         Welcome to MozCon 2016! with Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin kicked off MozCon by giving ten big updates on the search world. He presented a brief overview of statistics suggesting how SEO stands in the digital scenario and how Moz is refocusing on SEO. SEO still dominates other forms of web marketing in search interest, but the job postings show otherwise. It is more of a skill than a job description. Most SEOs still ignore the search engine result page features, and dark traffic is still a huge issue. Ten blue links exist only in 3% of the searches, which, according to Rand, is like spotting a snow leopard in the wild. Major traffic on websites is either direct or via search, with social being as low as 5%.  Rankbrain and Hummingbird are changing the user experience by presenting quality search results. PPC continues to level off-trend and advertisers saw deceleration in Google, compared to Yahoo Gemini and Bing Ads.

  • While Google continues to get more subtle in formatting paid Ads in search results, clickstream data finally tells us how users interact with Google;
        • 98% people are searching for 2 word queries.
        • Search demand curve of 2016:
      • An average searcher will perform 3 queries per day on a desktop.
      • 19% of Google.com US search result in an ad click.
      • 51% of all the clicks that happen on Google.com US search results go to organic non-Google listings.
      • 49% of the clicks go to Google properties.
      • 40% of all searches result in no clicks (google answering them).
      • Weather queries 75% no clicks.
      • List of Top sites receiving traffic:

Download the full presentation
09:25-10:10 AM                Evolve Your A/B Testing Skills with Cara Harshman

A data-driven marketer relies highly on A/B testing – be it a single person or a team of testers. Cara explains that 70% of marketers say that conversion optimization is more of a priority in 2016 and 56% of teams will allocate more budget to conversion optimization in 2016. The challenges faced in optimization needs to be sorted out first.

  • Biggest Optimization challenges:
  • Inadequate Knowledge
  • Limited Resources
  • Not Knowing What to Test

– What is the optimal outcome of A/B testing evaluation?

  • Learn Rate 100%.
  • Business Growth and Higher Revenue.
  • Delighted Customers.
  • Stronger decisions and culture.

– Because we have removed the friction of payment. Results were amazing:

– Great A/B testing hypothesis comes out of reasons and data. Not white board sessions.
– Top Analytics Resources includes:

  • Funnel Report.
  • Heat map on home and high intent pages.
  • Form error submission report.
  • Exit/Bounce Rate Report.
  • High Traffic/Low Conversion Landing Pages.

– Understand the needs of the customer as a human.
– Voice of customer through listening channels such as:

  • Customer Success Team.
  • Recorded User testing sessions.
  • Coffee Shops.
  • On-Page Surveys.
  • Email Surveys.

Results :

– A/B Testing Hackathons (for more Optimizely.com/testing-toolkit).
– If you want to scale, then you have to take off that Get-Shit-Done hat.
– An emotion-free system to decide what to test is important.

– Optimizely.com/testing-toolkit for prioritization and standardization workflows.
– It’s important to decide how long will a test run before you stop it.
– Keep a check: Which unique segments deserve more attention.
– Who is responsible for optimization at your organization?

– Top 5 skillsets to have:

  • Project Management
  • Development skills
  • Designing
  • Analysis
  • Fearlessness

10:10-10:40 AM                                        Break

10:45-11:15 AM          The Big One: Relaunching Your Website with Lauren Vaccarello

It is both thrilling and risky when you are about to relaunch your site. Lauren defined each step in detail with real life examples of triumphs, what to do from designing a new site to marketing automation. Lauren presented 11 things one needs to know about relaunching their website.

  1. Know why you are relaunching your website.

You need to brainstorm why you are making this change and answer the question clearly.

  1. Set clear goals, metrics and timings. Make sure that the entire team has emotionally bought the reasons.

Lauren called this the ‘The Power of Why’. Explain to your team why you are doing this, and tell them why their input is going to make a visible difference to the final outcome.

  1. Get the entire company behind the project.

These things happen before you even start working on your [re]launch. Now that you’re geared up,

  1. Do the pre-work: define IA, content strategy, wire frames, and make technical decisions.
  2. Decouple the frontend from the backend.
  3. Collocate design, copy, web and engineering.
  4. Test a few pages and iterate.

Lauren suggests that it’s better not to do a mass page build before all the bugs are sorted out and dealt with. If not taken care of, you will have to build the same pages over and over again.

8. Slow, methodical site rollout.

9. Don’t underestimate the workload behind international SEO

10. Congratulations! The new website is live – Day 1.

11:15-11:45 AM    The Hidden Talents of Email: Creating Customer-Centric Messages with Justine Jordan

Email is the most powerful tool of marketing in today’s world and it is here to stay. As Justine calls it ‘Email got talent’. It is the best way to communicate messages because it is:

  • Preferred
  • Measurable
  • Direct
  • Personal

However, the wrong usage of email can land you in huge mess. So don’t act like a spammer so that your customers can take you seriously.

– Hierarchy of subscriber’s needs

– Subscriber Experience

  • Who is sending the email?
  • Behind every ‘from’ name.
  • Subject line optimization.
  • Open rate vs. click rate.

– What a user wants in a subject line

– Preview Text Optimization should be optimized.

– Optimized inbox.

– Contextual Awareness

  • Technology
  • Environment
  • Task

– Apple Watch? No text version – no email

– Few do’s and don’ts of sending emails:

    • Know your Audience.
    • Style your Alt Tags.
    • Stop putting images as buttons.
    • Cell with background color to make it look like a button.
    • A/B test your CTAs.
    • Stop saying ‘click here’.
    • Bigger is better on email (thumb size).
  • Video with email and not in email
  • Animated Gifs.

–   Context-aware emails:

  • Prospects vs. customers.
  • Triggers from action or inaction.
  • City specific emails.
  • AirBnb email game is amazing.
  • CSS Animation in email.
  • Image Personalization.
  • Interactivity in email.
  • Gamification is possible in email.
  • Combine subscriber experience with hierarchy to unlock the secrets of emails.
  • Good emails make people open. Good emails make people click. Great emails make people think, feel, act and share!
  • So share awesome experiences.
  • #makeemailbetter

Get this amazing presentation here.

11:45-12:15 PM          How to Do Reputation Marketing with Rhea Drysdale

Rhea explains why it is important to work on your company’s reputation to be able to do better marketing. Better reputation diversifies the company’s options and cuts a few costs. 7% of employees say that their agency was exceeding.

–  Reputation Marketers need to know the company’s stakeholders.

– Stake holders:

  • Reputation marketing is what happens when you consistently exceed stakeholder expectations.
  • Brand and Reputation can take cost up, just like in the stats below it is shown that a Hermes bag is a better investment than gold:
  • Brands vs. Reputation.

How to measure reputation:

  • Financial Perspective.
  • Marketing perspective.
  • Reputation KPI.
  • Market value – Tangible assets = reputation.
  • Client Reputation Score.
  • Track sentiments.
  • Split into comment type.
  • UX team needs to know.
  • Improve employee happiness and retention by sharing good feedback with them.
  • Audit your About page and content.
  • Stakeholder
  • InVision is making a great example of building reputation:
  • Optimizing Reputation
  • Start with data.
  • 1st page non-branded organic data.
    • Track trends overtime.
    • Go higher and put your data in context.
    • zoom up
    • Core Strategy
  • com/reputation-marketing


12:15-01:45 PM                                        LUNCH

01:50-02:20 PM    Rethinking Information Architecture for SEO and Content Marketing with Joe Hall

Joe Hall describes the before and after process of applying Information Architecture to your strategy. He identifies the problem that many sites have great SEO but no traffic and rankings. The reason is bad architecture;

How to re-define information architecture?

  • What is bad Information Architecture
  • To fix the SEO by internal linking is a good but not the best idea. Hall prompted that even moving content doesn’t work all the time and unnatural links present a different kind of struggle.

How to design a kick ass IA:

  • Let’s talk about Wheel chairs.
  • In order to design successful IA you need to focus on where you are going.
  • Find the sweet spot between marketing and web development.

In short, to be able to design a smooth IA, Hall suggests that you focus where you are going and pick up supportive, evergreen content that gets you unlimited conversion through thick and thin.

02:20-02:50 PM    Breaking Patterns: How to Rewrite the CRO Playbook with Mobile Optimization with Talia Wolf

  • What makes people buy?
  • $275 billion loss in online revenue.
  • All are going mobile but most people can’t find what they are looking for.
  • 270% gap from desktop to mobile.
  • Mobile experience is watching a horror movie.
  • Not state of mind only but mobile behavior is also different.
  • What mobile traffic is searching for?
  • What are their top landing pages?
  • Convert more on mobile? Understand people better.
  • Understand their behavior.
  • Set a personalized experience.
  • A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
  • The mobile CRO equation
  • Micro moment

I want to know stage:

  • No matter what you are selling, customer care about what’s in it for them.
  • Your customer is the hero… you are not!
  • What’s in it for the customer should be delivered within 3 seconds.
  • 60% of mobile web visitors expects site to load in 3 seconds.
  • 1 sec delay in page load can make you lose …
  • Images take time.. rethink about that.
  • Offer relevant information.
  • Right call to action.
  • I want to go stage:
  • Help people navigate to you quickly.
  • Help people contact you easily (YP example).
  • I want to do stage:
  • Help people learn and explore.
  • I want to buy stage:
  • Consider Keyboards (huge issue).
  • Avoid solutions built for desktop.
  • Do not offer too many CTAs.
  • Device related messaging.
  • It’s all about trust:
  • Immediate.
  • One call to action.
  • Look native.
  • Incentive mobile purchase.
  • Free shipping increases conversions.


  • Mobile is not a replacement for desktop.


02:50-03:20 PM    Taking the Top Spot: How to Earn More Featured Snippets with Rob Bucci

  • Google featured snippets create the sense of instant credibility.
  • Key features of research;

More snippets than ever… worth more than ever before

Snippets type:

  • Paragraph
  • Table
  • Lists
  • Format of content determine the format of your featured snippet.
  • Wikipedia owns 15% of snippets with images.
  • Universal results.
  • Local Intent
  • Slides for PAA.
  • Tweetable tip.
  • Be careful about implied questions.
  • Pay attention to keywords variants. Snippets only appear for some.
  • Common snippet query types;
  • Uncommon snippet query types;
  • Reviews and opinions based content can now snag snippets.
  • Snippets frequency for finance word.
  • Snippet formats vs. query types
  • Snippet format in finance words.
  • Snippet format in info/help words.
  • Use the format Google wants.
  • Research the featured snippets in each category query space and format your content accordingly.


03:20-03:50 PM                                        PM Break

03:55-04:25 PM    Content Chaos: Building Your Brand through Constant Experiments with Ross Simmonds

Definition of Experiments

  • Experiment formula: Build, ship, learn, decide.
  • Common myth: experiments don’t work for SMBs.
  • You just have to do them right. Risk is always present.
  • Experimentation on content works too.
  • Embrace the chaos.
  • Meme + Reddit is not equal to success.
  • Build content worth reading.
  • Reddit code.
  • Media loves pop culture references.
  • Using Instagram as a content marketing platform rather than other social media channels.
  • Shoutouts and influencers’ love drives traffic.
  • Instagram was great until the algorithm.
  • Slideshare:
  • Create unique content on slide share decks
  • Coca cola

04:25-05:10 PM    Social Media: People First, “Rules” Second with Dana DiTomaso

Dana DiTomaso unraveled the difference between good social media and dark social media, explaining why emotions and ethics come above rules. Social media is beyond personas and strategies, so if you are a brand who really cares, break some rules and engage in a powerful relationship with your audience. This will automatically increase your revenues. Here are some important points from his excellent presentation:

“I can’t wait to engage with my fav. brand on social media.”-Bullshit

  • Consider what works for your market… Not what works for your company.
  • Start with your market in mind.
  • Pay attention to the signals and not the noise.
  • What happened to social media?
  • Brands are changing from analog to digital.
  • Vertical video sucks.
  • What makes good SMUX?
  1. Engage the community.
  2. Charity engagement.
  3. Show support.

People come first, rules come second! Get the presentation here.

Hope you enjoyed this insight from MozCon’s Day 1. Stay tuned for more!

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