Our Top SEO Takeaways from Virtual MozCon 2020

Content Strategy Marketing SEO Strategy
Natalie Waring 5 Natalie Waring

We’re thankful that, in the middle of a pandemic, we didn’t have to give up attending the annual MozCon conference. Many SEOs, including our team, look forward to this event for its engaging speakers and marketing insights from the experts at Moz. 

We appreciated the in-person elements such as breakout discussion groups, virtual networking and a chat box where attendees could talk with each other and the speaker during presentations.

And did we mention there was never a line for the bathroom or snack bar? #win #WFH

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Key Takeaways

Didn’t make it to MozCon this year? I’ve summarized my top 5 favorite presentations with key takeaways that you can leverage right now to boost your marketing and level up your content game: 

1. Andy Crestodina | Thought Leadership and SEO: The 3 Key Elements and Search Ranking Strategies

Andy Crestodina, Co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media, gave a fantastic presentation on how to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk of a thought leader. With so many definitions of “thought leadership” floating around, he shared his own insight and audience survey results to uncover the term’s main elements: expert insights, taking a stand and your personal brand.
Virtual MozCon 2020 Thought leadership venn diagram

Having expert insights not only means your business is extremely knowledgeable about your industry, but it also means demonstrating your knowledge through original research, published books and new ideas. Your business needs to voice a strong opinion, be unafraid of controversy and inspire others through unique insights. Lastly, your personal brand should have a healthy online presence and social following as well as gain citations and be an influential leader in your industry.

Andy inspired our own team to incorporate more original research into our existing content efforts and always strive to create authoritative, unique content to #earntrust with our audience. A simple content production tip from Andy that we’ll be using: Make a list of everything you know and identify new topics to write about.

Overall, Andy reminds us that when we learn something useful, we should teach it to everyone. 

2. Pete Meyers | Moving Targets: Keywords in Crisis

Tracking keywords and understanding what your audience is searching for is essential for your business to stay relevant and meet customer needs. This is especially true during crisis times like these, where trends and priorities change daily. Dr. Pete, Marketing Scientist at Moz, gave tips on tracking keywords and search trends using the power of Google Trends. Pete explained how to track current search trends and shared how to spot emerging trends by using the “related topics” and “related queries” features when searching keywords. This tool is useful for identifying trending topics and producing relevant, timely content directed at your target audience.

Our Top Takeaways from Virtual MozCon 2020

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He also suggested additional tools like Twitter Advanced Search and Pinterest Trends for gathering even more trend data. These powerful tools make a great addition to your SEO toolkit. We’ll definitely be using these search methods in our own projects.

3. Ross Simmonds | Designing a Content Engine: Going from Ideation to Creation to Distribution

As someone who loves Disney, I may be a bit biased but this presentation confirmed the importance of using content as an asset for months and years to come. Ross Simmonds, CEO of Foundation Marketing, themed his presentation around Disney’s creation model and how you can leverage their content production techniques in your own content creation workflow. By following the four R’s (remix, revise, remove and redirect) and using what Ross called your inner “Sherlock Homeboy” to research new content opportunities, you can significantly boost your content efforts.

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And yet, what’s a good content process without a distribution plan? Strategizing your resharing, reposting, republishing and remixing efforts is key to successful content marketing. Ross shared a great quote from Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn regarding product promotion:
“If you are not building the strategy of product distribution into what you are doing, then you are relying entirely on a form of running into a field with a large metal pole hoping that lightning will strike, and that’s not usually a winning strategy.” #truth

4. Brian Dean | How to Promote Your Content Like a Boss

Brian Dean of Backlinko shared the struggles and strategies of promoting content. He pointed out that with 70 million WordPress blogs posted every month (and, not to mention, that 94% of blogs get zero links), it’s even harder to get eyes on your content. His promotion rule of thumb? Spend 20 percent of your time creating content and 80 percent promoting that content.

Here are a few of my favorite tips that Brian gave for furthering your promotion efforts:

  • Create content for the “Linkerati,” not just for your customers. The “Linkerati” (a term originally coined by Rand Fishkin) is a group of bloggers and journalists in your industry that are interested in reading your content and will ultimately be more willing to share it. By targeting this audience and finding ways to repurpose relevant content, you can increase your blog views and links. 
  • Expand your social posts by pulling out blog content in the social caption itself. Give users a taste of your content and take advantage of native content on social. Bonus tip! He even shared a LinkedIn post template to try out:

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  • Use the “Jedi Mind Trick.” Brian drives home the importance of sharing your new content with a small group of people before it goes live to give these potential influencers a heads-up. However, he warned not to ask them for a link or share. If they find the content valuable, they’ll reshare it. Your outreach method is more about building relationships than simply getting shares. 
5. Dana DiTomaso | Red Flags: Use a discovery process to go from red flags to green lights

This talk hit home for agency workers and freelancers. You’ve likely experienced those projects where, mid-way through, you uncover a significant scope change, a new functionality requirement or evolving stakeholder input. This results in duplicated efforts and redoing previous work.

To avoid these pitfalls, Dana DiTomaso from Kick Point Media demonstrated a vital project element: The Discovery Process. This is something we at SiteCrafting wholeheartedly support and put into practice in our own project process.

The discovery phase uncovers things such as:

  • Who are the stakeholders involved in the project and what are their hopes and dreams?
  • What problems has your client encountered with other vendors? How can you learn from these past mistakes?
  • Does the client have access to analytics that you can use?
  • What are their digital marketing efforts? Are they currently running digital ads? What social media platforms do they use? 
  • What are their brand guidelines? 
  • What are their website goals and needs?

Dana also recommends doing an inventory of all the customer touchpoints to incorporate into your overall plan. This plan should include these key pieces:

  • Goal charter
  • Analytics plan
  • Website blueprint 
  • Marketing strategy and tactics

A final piece of advice from Dana: Sometimes the answer to the client is, “You don’t need this.” Taking the time to research, align teams and expectations, and develop a complete plan of action will ultimately help guide your client and produce a successful outcome. 

MVP Presentation

I couldn’t not give a shoutout to Michael King for his short-film, er, presentation, on technical SEO. Think you’ve seen it all when it comes to presentation formats? Think again! Michael, Founder and Managing Director of iPullRank, shared a handful of technical SEO tips and tactics in an action movie-like animated presentation complete with an engaging storyline and characters. This was a great talk full of tips on using existing tools and methods, some of which aren’t widely used. Want to get different results from everybody else? Then you’ll need to do what others aren’t doing.

Final Thoughts

Overall, virtual MozCon 2020 was filled with engaging, valuable discussions as you would expect from their in-person conferences. Our team is excited to take what we’ve learned, put it into practice and explore new tools to better our SEO efforts. We hope this review sparked some ideas of how you can level up in your own work.

Did you attend MozCon 2020 too? Tweet us (@sitecrafting) and let us know your favorite presentations and takeaways!