Today was the first day of the very first MozCon Virtual! Although we weren't together in person, it was so exciting to bring the best people in the industry back together.

So much of the day was different than expected six months ago, but the only thing we can always rely on with our speakers is a MASSIVE amount of value. We're talking insights, fixtures, cheat codes – you name it, we have it – and this year was no different.

Let us begin.

Sarah Bird – Welcome and state of the industry

It's always inspiring to hear from our fearless leader. Sarah has experienced some of the changes we've seen this year and how it has affected both us as people and us as an industry.

Sarah also shared her thoughts on key SEO trends for 2020.

AAAAAND WE'RE OUT! #MozCon Virtual @Moz CEO, @SarahBird, explains their view of the state of the industry.

5 timely trends for 2020:
1. Greet our robot overlords
2. Entities
3. Knowledge panel
4. Localization of everything
5. New and improved search experiences

– James Wirth (@jameswirth), July 14, 2020

In conclusion, Sarah reminded us that we ascend and descend together and that the world is our work in the end. We have to come together in difficult times.

We are all so happy to be able to create this virtual experience and enable everyone to look forward to something (something) predictable that they can look forward to for two days.

Andy Crestodina – Thinking and SEO: The 3 Key Elements and Search Ranking Strategies

Andy first led us through the three key aspects of thinking: personal brand, taking a stand and demonstrating expert knowledge.

Then Andy very kindly explained exactly what to do to fulfill every aspect.

Expert insights

  • Create original research
  • Write books
  • Share new ideas

take position

  • Have a strong opinion
  • Don't be afraid of controversy
  • Inspire others

Build a personal brand

  • I have a social following
  • Be cited by others
  • Be influential

This presentation consisted of 163 slides with actionable insights. It is definitely one that we have to look at a few times!

#Mozcon Thank goodness I can watch this content again. @crestodina gave so much great knowledge. I have to watch again and again. # Win

– Seth @ Goldstein Media (@GoldsteinMedia), July 14, 2020

Shannon McGirk – Great Expectations: The Truth About Digital PR Campaigns

Shannon made it clear to us: we don't show the full picture when it comes to digital PR, and it's pretty toxic.

She started showing off some of her own tweets, noting that she rarely, if ever, shared anything about campaigns that weren't going "viral".

Shannon explained that we are talking about digital PR campaigns as if most of them were "big wins". However, the reality is that most of our campaigns will be consistent performers and the big wins are really just anomalies.

How we talk about campaigns:

How campaigns actually work:

If youIf you

Aira published a digital PR study and found that most of the campaigns contained only between one and 20 links. When Shannon broken down the numbers for Aira, they were consistent: approximately 17 links were won per campaign!

What are we doing against it? Shannon asked us to take as much time to investigate what didn't work as we did with what worked.

Using a bespoke success matrix, Shannon and her team were able to identify the trends for “successful” and “unsuccessful” campaigns and implement plans accordingly.

Your farewell strategy:

  1. Relieve the pressure of "virality" and focus on consistent performers and fail.
  2. Recognize that constant top performers can consistently impact weighty SEO KPIs.
  3. Use the Success Matrix to review campaigns and spot trends early.

Robin Lord – Whatever you do, place billboards in Seattle: Get brand awareness data from Google

Impressive! We are still excited about this presentation. Robin led us through some extremely valuable workflows to collect and analyze data.

When it comes to determining the success of your “brand”, the numbers are not easy. There are many data points to consider. In fact, Robin initially asked us if we used multiple records, collected and granulated data about our competitors. Needless to say, many of us knew we had to go.

Need? Brand Interest Data.

Your new best friends? Google Trends. Census data. Google Ads.

This analysis blew me away a bit (ok, a lot) ???? # MozCon

– Meisha Bochicchio (@MarketingMeisha), July 14, 2020

Frankly, this presentation was so full of information that it was difficult for us to keep up! Fortunately, at the end of his presentation, Robin gave step-by-step instructions on how to collect, assemble, and analyze all of this data.

Alexis Sanders – The science of looking for your customers

Determining your target group is not just about demographic data and affinity data. It's about really understanding your audience as people.

Alexis led us through four questions that we should answer when defining our audience:

  1. What is the most important information?
  2. How are they at their core?
  3. How do you choose products?
  4. How do you relate to technology?

She even provided a list of free and paid resources that anyone can use to collect this information.

Snack at @alexisksanders
1. Use information from first, second and third party providers
2. Ask questions about Google Discover
3. Try the Sparktoro new tool for me!
4. Map the trip of your users to the content
6. Today is change and fast learning # MozCon #marketing

– Jackie Jiménez (@ Jackiecr86), July 14, 2020

Alexis also explained that audience research should not only take place once (at the start of a campaign), but should inform the entire customer journey.

Her farewell words encouraged us to learn quickly and adapt to constant change, instead of always trying to guess right!

Phillip Nottingham – How to build a global brand without a global budget

The marketing funnel is broken, we all know that. But if we don't focus on getting people to work down a funnel, what are we working towards? Building our brand. Correct. How do we do that?

Phil blew us away with insights into how he helped Wistia change her mind about creating “brand awareness”. The first step was to no longer call it brand awareness, but brand affinity.

Building an affinity for a brand means spending time with a brand. A KPI that is usually lost in the mix of impressions, clicks, etc.

In his presentation, Phil describes the exact method he used with Wistia to get people to spend as much time on the website as they read all 1,170 blogs.

Greg Gifford shared a great summary here:

Your new brand marketing strategy: @philnottingham #mozcon

– Greg Gifford (@GregGifford), July 14, 2020

Dr. Pete – Moving Targets: key words in the crisis

We were so excited that Dr. Pete could speak at his NINTH MozCon again this year. While this year's conference was different from any other, its presentation was just as revealing.

Dr. Pete talked everything about recognizing trends. Nothing could have been predicted this year. There was no way that hair salons could have predicted that "how to cut hair" would be a key word for the opportunity.

However, there is still a way to take advantage of these opportunities when we recognize them.

Dr. Pete showed us exactly how we can use tools that we are familiar with and some that we may not be familiar with to identify trends and use them in ways such as Google Trends, Pinterest, Twitter Search and even Boing Boing convert business.

There were some real gems in this presentation!

Limit yourself to your language and relevant date ranges in the advanced Twitter search and set a number of minimum likes. Go deeper than you think on this last point – but this way you won't get every random tweet about @ dr_pete #MozCon

– Ruth Burr Reedy (@ruthburr), July 14, 2020

Needless to say, Dr. Pete officially impressed MozCon nine years in a row.

Francine Rodriguez – Let It Go: How To Use Automation And Do Much More

2020 came out really lively. Francine said exactly what we all thought: "That's enough!"

We have enough to worry about. Do we really need to continue adding to the list?

When it comes to search engine marketing, there are lots of moving parts and it can be unbearable to try to keep up with all of that. However, there is a solution: ROBOT! (Someone is calling Roger!)

Google is always learning. So why not let your new knowledge be used?

Francine led us through the different areas of PPC automation:

  • Offer
  • Ad copy
  • Smart campaigns
  • Keyword matching

If you are looking for a great example of letting go and automation, Microsoft Ads is a good place. They allow you to import all of your Google ads directly into Microsoft ads so they can run immediately.

Rob Ousbey – A novel approach to website scraping

What do we say about this presentation anyway? Rob is unique.

If you look at the # MosCon feed on Twitter, you will find that far fewer people are twittering live – this is because they were busy taking notes!

Actual footage of me seeing this session with @RobOusbey …


– Brie E Anderson (@brie_e_anderson), July 14, 2020

Rob showed us how to scratch websites (including the capital G) with a few lines of code in a matter of seconds. He guided us through every code required to scrape off G2, Google, and even Google's Lighthouse tool.

Finally, he showed exactly what he did to integrate Lighthouse data into Moz Pro's SERP analysis.

This will also be one of those presentations that you will have to watch several times. Or maybe even half the speed!

Ross Simmonds – Designing a Content Engine: From the Idea to the Creation to Distribution

We ended the first day with the Coolest of Cool.

Ross came in hot with some Disney references to make us think.

Disney films – where do the storylines usually come from? Other stories!

In recent years, Disney has "revised" its earlier films to adapt them to the world today. Indeed, some of the original Disney films were “remixes” from Shakespeare's plays.

Ross loves his four Rs (rework, remix, remove, redirect) and this year he gave us even more actionable plans.

This final session really encouraged us to put on our Sherlock Homeboy hat and get curious about what others are doing and how we can do better.

Some places to find inspiration for innovations that Ross mentioned:

  • The sitemap of your favorite website
  • Wayback machine for industry leaders
  • Wikipedia

There is so much to do

At the moment we call it a day and rest because we can do everything again tomorrow!

If you want to access the speaker slides, you can log in with your Moz Community credentials and download them from this page.

If you came to us today, what was your favorite session? Your biggest snack? We can't wait to see you tomorrow!


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