Today, after three years, we gathered some of our best friends in the industry to kick off the biggest SEO party of the year in Seattle. That’s right, Camp MozCon is back in all of its real-life glory and we could not be more excited! Cue all of the fist bumps, Roger selfies, and snacks, because we are back in action!
It wouldn’t be MozCon without the top minds in the industry sharing their findings, and we were not disappointed yesterday. They really brought the heat to the campfire.
SERP Strategies — Andy Crestodina
Andy is always a fan favorite as he combines analysis with strategy. This year he’s done the same as he walked us through his research on SERP pages.
We all knew SERPs have changed a ton, but Andy — the professional SERP screenshotter he is — has collected visuals of multiple SERPs over the last few years. Not only was he hoarding this data, but he has been using it to his advantage.
Andy walked us through his process of keyword research, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t just end with “difficulty, volume, CTR.”
The process he uses:
- Optimize for the searcher experience within: SERP features, Directories, Marketplaces, Associations
We’re always searching for one of two types of intent: queries with a dollar sign (transactional) or a question mark (informational).@crestodina #MozCon
— James Wirth (@jameswirth) July 11, 2022
Search What You See: Visual Search Tactics, Tools, and Optimizations — Crystal Carter
Crystal broke down visual search in a new way, explaining to us that “Visual Search turns our camera into a tool for understanding the world.” She then explained the difference between image search/optimization and visual search/optimization – contrary to popular belief, they’re not interchangeable! Image optimization is about making sure images can be returned for text queries. Visual optimization ensures visual queries can return necessary answers for the searcher.
If you want to start understanding what entities you have available to you, use your camera roll as a dataset. Google allows you to upload your images and will organize them into entities for you. Google also relies on your branding to match your business to photos uploaded by you and your customers. They are looking at your logos and color schemes and the images uploaded to the internet to see if they can match them.
Places you need to think of your visual search opportunities in real life (IRL):
Merch and uniforms
Well placed logos in your facility
Photo op corners (ya know, 100% that pic)
The wonderful @CrystalontheWeb starting her talk sharing it all about visual search 👏 “visual search turns your camera into a tool to understand and explore the world” #mozcon pic.twitter.com/CDSZoXEUdY
— Aleyda Solis 🇺🇦 (@aleyda) July 11, 2022
Unlocking the Hidden Potential of Product Listing Pages — Areej AbuAli
In her research, Areej found that 60% of organic revenue came from product listing pages. This is interesting because as SEOs, we tend to focus on site-wide changes as opposed to identifying parts of a site that have the biggest impact. This doesn’t just apply to e-commerce, though, real estate sites have product listing pages.
Break things down into building blocks. For example, in e-commerce, the three main building blocks are:
She showed us how she went through an entire process of identifying a tech issue, doing the research, creating a workflow, sending in a ticket and getting it implemented without any breaks.
Now, while we were all excited for her, she then admitted that there was no impact of the change on the organic revenue.
The moral of the story? It’s worth diving deep into the one opportunity that delivers value, but you’ve got to dive deep and deliver solutions with cross functionality. Because it’s not as effective to address one of the building blocks when you could address them all effectively.
Areej also hit on a TON of other stuff in her 250 slides, so you may wanna snag that MozCon video package.
Don’t just look at search volume. Of course “dress” has 800x the volume of “long sleeve maxi dress,” but we both know which one’s going to convert. Assess oppty by what will lead to users converting.@areej_abuali #MozCon
— Ruth Burr Reedy (@ruthburr) July 11, 2022
Get Your Local SEO Recipe Right with Content & Schema — Emily Brady
Have you ever wondered how you can create unique content for each of your location pages? We have, too. That’s why we were so happy to have Emily, one of our amazing Community Speakers, grace the stage (for the very first time!) and share her recipe for unique content and schema.
The recipe requires the following ingredients:
Address & phone number
Specials & coupons
Departments & services
Once the ingredients are in place, schema can be used to help provide context to the content you’ve been able to create. For instance, use person schema for your staff bio and place mark-up for your attribute.
Sometimes, the difference between you and the competitor is the time you are willing to take in order to implement the hard things. Hard work is truly unique.
Do your landing pages have the right amount of the right ingredients?
You need unique value content, y’all@plotboilers #mozcon
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) July 11, 2022
SEO Gap Analysis: Leverage Your Competitor’s Performance — Lidia Infante
Lidia started off by reminding us that ranking is as easy, or as hard, as doing better than our competitors. She then broke SEO down into three main pillars: content, tech, and links.
As you think of how you can do better than your competitor, you have to identify which pillar(s) they’re executing better than you. But how do you do that? Well, first, you must identify who your true competitors are based on the keywords of which you’d like to rank.
Once you’ve identified your competitors, you can move into benchmarking their content metrics, brand metrics, and tech SEO metrics. You can compare these metrics to your metrics in order to identify your opportunities for improvement.
Now, go improve! As Lidia said, there is no growth without execution.
Ranking is as easy (or as hard) as doing better than your competitors. @LidiaInfanteM #MozCon pic.twitter.com/FM9oDr46ec
— Moz (@Moz) July 11, 2022
The Future of Link Building: What Got Us Here, Won’t Get Us There — Paddy Moogan
The fundamentals don’t change that often. In fact, 10 years ago Paddy went on stage and shared 35 link building ideas in 35 minutes. As he reviewed his epic talk from a decade ago, he found that over 20 of them are still “good” ideas. This just enforced the idea that the fundamentals of what we do as SEOs, don’t really change that often. Major core updates, they don’t “just happen” that often. But sometimes, they do.
Based on the changes that have come about the last 10 years, Paddy has decided that outreach alone isn’t a sustainable strategy. Aria found that SEOs spend about 3 hours to build a link, if you’re down 10,000 links.. Well, that’s a lot of hours. If you stop putting time in, you stop getting results. So, what’s the other option?
Paddy talked about creating a link building strategy that outlasts you. The biggest difference here is pivoting from focusing on who can link to you, to thinking about who is doing business with you.
This strategy focuses on four things:
Audience (who are they)
Pain points (what do they struggle with)
Solutions (what can you offer)
Keywords (what can you rank for)
When you string these things together you force relevancy. And relevancy, friends, is what we are aiming for.
Why we should stop relying so much on linkbuilding outreach:
“We shouldn’t be sleepwalking into another Penguin [update], because Google might not make it as obvious next time” – @paddymoogan #mozcon
BRAVO! 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/0QbaABaXnd
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) July 11, 2022
How to Capitalize on the Link Potential of a Research Report — Debbie Chu
As Debbie, our second amazing Community Speaker of the day, started to scour the pages for some of the keywords she wanted to rank for, she noticed they all had one thing in common: they linked to research reports. After uncovering this, Debbie went all in with research reports.
She came up with a process for creating these research reports:
Come up with the story by looking at the products, features, and related topics.
Do research and identify any gaps of opportunities.
Score your ideas using HOT: Headlines, Other Teams (like PR, data, etc.), and Timeliness.
Gather data from multiple sources.
Analyze data and find the newsworthy stats.
After going through this process, all that is left is to create the content and reach out to the appropriate people. For example, if you find that Seattle is the best city for working from home, reach out to Seattle associations, as they may want to share your findings.
Use the HOT score (1-10 for each area) to grade research ideas:
H – what would potential Headlines say?
O – what do Other teams think?
T – how Timely is this idea?@justdebbb #mozcon
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) July 11, 2022
Breaking into new areas with Topic Maps — Noah Learner
As most of you know, Noah nailed it last year with his presentation on using Google Data Studio to find opportunities in the keywords you currently rank for. But this year, Noah wanted to tackle finding opportunities for businesses who don’t rank for a ton of keywords.
He started by looking at the source: how they’re getting their data. He found things like the fact that Knowledge Panels point to Wikipedia more times than not. Google has documentation on how autocomplete works, and in it, Google cites that it’s pulling data from Google Trends — which has an API.
So naturally, as the curious guy he is, Noah found a way to use the API to map all of the related terms into a Google Sheet. From there, he removed irrelevant terms, pulled in keyword metrics using his favorite keyword tools API, and ran the cycle again for each related term.
The best part: he provided all the documentation you need to create this yourself!
With this tool, you’re able to make decisions based on client goals, high search volume, your ability to rank, and high transaction value. Then refer back to the clusters and find opportunities for internal linking.
But most importantly, Noah closed with a piece of advice he received from the late Hamlet Batista: give, give, give to others, any time you can.
SEOs love spreadsheets, but lots of people don’t. Building a tool, think about how people who don’t think like you might want to see/use data@noahlearner #MozCon
— Ruth Burr Reedy (@ruthburr) July 11, 2022
Building Remote Culture that Feels Like a Culture — Ruth Burr Reedy
The pandemic left marks that are likely to stand the test of time, and one of them is working from home. It’s awesome, but it’s also super hard to do well as a business. When we’re all distributed, there are far fewer built-in opportunities for connection.
We were super lucky to have Ruth come talk to us as someone who has managed remote teams over the last six years. She started by challenging managers to ask themselves, “what do we want it to feel like when you work here?” and to ask employees, “what does it actually feel like to work here?”
Once you know what feeling you want to create, you need to figure out when and where you can create that feeling remotely. This should start as early as onboarding. Have employees meet each other during onboarding, create an agenda for your new hires, etc.
The most important part of managing remote teams is having a concrete way to measure whether or not the work is getting done.
“If you don’t have a way to tell if work is getting done, that’s not remote work’s problem.” @ruthburr #mozcon pic.twitter.com/3DqjG1mdLb
— Yosef Silver (@ysilver) July 11, 2022
Moneyball is the Future of SEO — Will Critchlow
If something was *almost* as hard as the thing, but it was worth just as much as the easy thing, which would you choose?
With SEO testing, we can focus on tested on-site changes, brand new content, lets skip the untested, hopeful stuff. Create a hypothesis and test both the control and the variant. Run the test and analyze your data.
Will shared a ton of tactics they’ve tested multiple times, and some of these tactics include things like moving hidden content out of an accordion, using pop ups, changing SERP appearance, using structured data, and so on.
Will assured us that we are able to run these tests ourselves, and encouraged us to do so! Even if we can’t have the tests 100% controlled or thought out, because in site testing Bing found that website experiments tend to bring rare but large wins.
So, as Dr. Pete would say, “run your own tests.”
You could almost hear everyone go “woah” in their heads when @willcritchlow finally made the connection from basketball to SEO testing by showing that the midrange shots weren’t worth taking… #mozcon
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) July 11, 2022
On to day two!
Phew, can you believe that was just day one? Neither can we!
Now remember, what our speakers just shared with you is extremely valuable, but only if you put it into action! Take a second and write down one thing you can put into action next week.
Day one may be in the books, but we are so hype to see what today’s speakers bring to the picnic table.