Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SearchCap: Google AdWords hack, SEO ROI & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google AdWords hack, SEO ROI & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.


True performance baselines & ROI for SEO without attribution modeling

How do you determine your SEO program's real performance, discounting the effects of seasonality, paid search spending or any other external factors? Columnist Chris Liversidge lays out a step-by-step process for reaching a reliable ROI calculation.

The post True performance baselines & ROI for SEO without attribution modeling appeared first on Search Engine Land.


3 Google AdWords hacks to drive high-quality leads

You might think you know AdWords, but do you know the most efficient way to get great performance? Columnist Todd Saunders shares three road-tested techniques.

The post 3 Google AdWords hacks to drive high-quality leads appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition

Posted by Dr-Pete

For the past couple of weeks, Google has been testing a major change to the width of the left-hand column, expanding containers from 512 pixels to 600 (a 17% increase). Along with this change, Google has increased the available length of result titles:

This naturally begs the question — how many characters can we fit into a display title now? When Google redesigned SERPs in 2014, I recommended a limit of 55 characters. Does a 17% bigger container mean we’ve got 9 more characters to work with?

Not so fast, my friend…

This is where things get messy. It’d be great if we could just count the characters and be done with it, but things are never quite that easy. We’ve got three complications to consider:

(1) Character widths vary

Google uses the Arial font for result titles, and Arial is proportional. In other words, different characters occupy different amounts of space. A lower- case ‘l’ is going to occupy much less space than an upper-case ‘W’. The total width is measured in pixels, not characters, and the maximum amount you can fit in that space depends on what you’re trying to say.

In our 10,000-keyword tracking set, the title below is the longest cut or uncut display title we measured, clocking in at 77 characters:

This title has 14 i's and lowercase l's, 10 lowercase t's, and 3 narrow punctuation marks, creating a character count bonanza. To count this title and say that yours can be 77 characters would be dangerously misleading.

(2) Titles break at whole words

Prior to this change, Google was breaking words at whatever point the cut-off happened. Now, they seem to be breaking titles at whole words. If the cut happens in the middle of a long word, the remaining length might be considerably shorter. For example, here's a word that's just not going to fit into your display title twice, and so the cut comes well short of the full width:

(3) Google is appending brands

In some cases, Google is cutting off titles and then appending the brand to the end. Unfortunately, this auto-appended brand text still occupies space and counts against your total allowance. This was the shortest truncated display title in our data set, measuring only 34 words pre-cut:

The brand text "- The Homestead" was appended by Google and is not part of the sites <TITLE> tag. The next word in the title was "Accommodations", so the combination of the brand add-on and long word made for a very truncated title.

Data from 10,000 searches

Examples can be misleading, so we wanted to take a deeper dive. We pulled all of the page-1 display titles from the 10,000-keyword MozCast tracking set, which ends up being just shy of 90,000 titles. Uncut titles don't tell us much, since they can be very short in some cases. So, let's focus on the titles that got cut. Here are the character lengths (not counting " ...") of the cut titles:

We've got a fairly normal distribution (skewed a little to the right) with both a mean and median right around 63. So, is 63 our magic number? Not quite. Roughly half the cut titles in our data set had less than 63 characters, so that's still a fairly risky length.

The trick is to pick a number where we feel fairly confident that the title won't be cut off, on average (a guaranteed safe zone for all titles would be far too restrictive). Here are a few select percentages of truncated titles that were above a certain character length:

  • 55% of cut titles >= 63 (+2) characters
  • 91% of cut titles >= 57 (+2) characters
  • 95% of cut titles >= 55 (+2) characters
  • 99% of cut titles >= 48 (+2) characters

In research, we might stick to a 95% or 99% confidence level (note: this isn't technically a confidence interval, but the rationale is similar), but I think 90% confidence is a decent practical level. If we factor in the " ...", that gives us about +2 characters. So, my recommendation is to keep your titles under 60 characters (57+2 = 59).

Keep in mind, of course, that cut-offs aren't always bad. A well placed "..." might actually increase click-through rates on some titles. A fortuitous cut-off could create suspense, if you trust your fortunes to Google:

Now that titles are cut at whole words, we also don't have to worry about text getting cut off at confusing or unfortunate spots. Take, for example, the dangerous predicament of The International Association of Assemblages of Assassin Assets:

Prior to the redesign, their titles were a minefield. Yes, that contributed nothing to this post, but once I had started down that road, it was already too late.

So, that's it then, right?

Well, no. As Google evolves and adapts to a wider range of devices, we can expect them to continue to adjust and test display titles. In fact, they're currently test a new, card-style format for desktop SERPs where each result is boxed and looks like this:

We're not even entirely sure that the current change is permanent. The narrower format is still appearing for some people under some conditions. If this design sticks, then I'm comfortable saying that keeping your title length under 60 characters will prevent the majority of cut-offs.

Note: People have been asking when we'll update our title tag tool. We're waiting to make sure that this design change is permanent, but will try to provide an update ASAP. Updates and a link to that tool will appear in this post when we make a final decision.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!


Monday, May 30, 2016

7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know

You may be using Google Analytics, but are you using it to its full potential? Contributor Khalid Saleh lays out 7 key reports with which every marketer should be familiar.

The post 7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Will Intelligent Personal Assistants Replace Websites?

Posted by Tom-Anthony

[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]

Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) are capable of radically disrupting the way we search for and consume information on the Internet. The convergence of several trends and technologies has resulted in a new interface through which people will be able to interact with your business. This will have a dramatic impact — if your long-term marketing/business plan doesn't account for IPAs, you may be in the same boat as those people who said they didn't need a website in the early 2000s.

Your website is an API to your business

If we look to pre/early Internet, then the primary interface to most businesses was the humble phone. Over the phone you could speak to a business and find out what they had in stock, when they'd be open, whether they had space for your reservation, etc., and then you could go on to order products, ask for directions, or place reservations. The phone was an interface to your business, and your phone line and receptionist were your "API" — the way people interacted with your business.

As the Internet matured and the web gained more traction, it increasingly became the case that your website empowered users to do lots of those same things that they previously did via the phone. They could get information and give you money, and your website became the new "API" for your business, allowing users to interact with it. Notice this didn't necessitate the death of the phone, but lots of the requests that previously came via phone now came via the web, and there was also a reduction in friction for people wanting to interact with your business (they didn't have to wait for the phone line to be free, or speak to an actual human!).

Since then, the web has improved as technologies and availability have improved, but fundamentally the concept has stayed the same. Until now.

The 5 tech giants have all built an intelligent personal assistant

The 5 tech giants have all built an Intelligent Personal Assistant

Intelligent Personal Assistants apps such as Google Now, Siri, Cortana, and Facebook M — as well as the newer appliances such as Amazon Echo, the new Google Home, and the rumored Apple Siri hardware — are going to have a profound effect on the way people search, the types of search they do, and the way they consume and act upon the results of those searches.

New entries, such as Hound and Viv, show that intelligent personal assistants are growing beyond just something phone makers are adding as a feature, and are becoming a core focus.

In the last couple of years we've discussed a variety of new technologies and their impact on search; a number of these are all feeding into the rise of these personal assistants.

Trend 1: More complex searches

The days of searches just being a keyword are long since over. The great improvements of natural language processing, driven by improvements in machine learning, have meant that conversational search has become a thing and we have seen Hummingbird and RankBrain becoming building blocks of how Google understands and handles queries.

Furthermore, implicit signals have also seen the rise of anticipatory queries with Google Now leading the way in delivering you search results based off of your context without you needing to ask.

Contributing technologies & trends:

  • Implicit Signals
  • Natural Language
  • Conversational Search
  • Hummingbird & RankBrain

Watch this video of Will Critchlow speak about these trends to hear more.

Trend 2: More complex results

Search results have moved on from 10 blue links to include the Knowledge Graph, with entities and direct answers being a familiar part of any search result. This has also meant that, since the original Siri, we've seen a search interface that doesn't even do a web search for many queries but instead gives data-driven answers right there in the app. The earliest examples were queries for things like weather, which would turn up a card right there in the app.

Finally, the rise of conversational search has made possible complex compound queries, where queries can be revised and extended to allow the sorting, filtering, and refining of searches in a back and forth fashion. This phase of searching used to be something you did by reviewing the search results manually and sifting through them, but now search engines understand (rather than just index) the content they discover and can do this step for you.

Contributing technologies & trends:

  • Entities / Direct Answers
  • Faceted search
  • Data driven answers

You may like Distilled's Searchscape which has information and videos on these various trends.

Trend 3: Bots, conversational UI, and on-demand UIs

More recently, with the increased interest in bots (especially since Facebook's F8 announcement), we can see a rise in the number of companies investing in various forms of conversational UI (see this article and this one).

Bots and conversational UI provide a new interface which lends itself to all of the benefits provided by natural language processing and ways of presenting data-driven answers.

Note that a conversational UI isn't limited to purely a spoken or natural language interface, but can also provide an "on demand" UI for certain situations (see this example screenshot from Facebook, or the Siri/Fandango cinema ticket example below).

Contributing technologies & trends:

  • Conversational UI
  • Bots
  • On-demand UIs within the IPA interface

Trend 4: 3rd-party integration

Going back to the first versions of Siri or Google Now, there were no options for 3rd-party developers to integrate. They could only do a limited set of actions based on what Apple or Google had explicitly programmed in.

However, over time, the platforms have opened up more and more, such that apps can now provide functionality within the intelligent personal assistant on the same app.

Google Now, Amazon Echo, Cortana, and Siri (not quite — but rumored to be coming in June) all provide SDKs (software development kits), allowing 3rd-party developers to integrate into these platforms.

This is an opportunity for all of us integrate directly into the next generation search interface.

What's the impact of all this?

More searches as friction reduces

Google published an (under-reported) paper on some of the research and work that went into Google Now, which when combined with their daily information needs study indicates how hard they're trying to encourage and enable users to do searches that previously have not been possible.

The ability of intelligent personal assistants to fulfil more complex search queries (and of "always listening" search appliances like Amazon Echo and Google Home) to remove the friction of doing searches that were previously "too much work" means we'll see a rise in search queries that simply wouldn't have happened previously. So rather than cannibalizing web-based searches that came before, a large segment of the queries to IPAs will be wholly new types of searches.

Web rankings get bypassed, go straight to the top

As more and more people search via personal assistants, and with personal assistants trying to deliver answers directly in their interface, we'll see an increasing number of searches that completely bypass web search rankings. As 3rd-party integration becomes more widespread, there will be an increasing number of dynamic queries that personal assistants can handle directly (e.g. "where can I buy The Martian?," "flights to Berlin," or "order a pepperoni pizza").

This is a massive opportunity — it does not matter how many links and how much great content your competitor has to help them in "classical SEO" if you've integrated straight into the search interface and no web search is ever shown to the user. You can be the only search result shown.

The classic funnel gets compressed; checking out via IPAs

This part is probably the most exciting, from my perspective, and I believe is the most important from the impact it'll have on users and businesses. People have modeled "the funnel" in a variety of different ways over time, but one common way to look at it is:

The search is separate to the browsing/checkout process, and that checkout process happens via a website. Apps have had some impact on this classic picture, but so far it hasn't been a big part.

However, conversational search/UI combined with the ability for developers to integrate directly into IPAs opens up a huge opportunity to merge the interfaces for the search step and the steps previously fulfilled by the website (browsing and checking out). There are already examples of the funnel being compressed:

In this example, using Siri, you can see I was able to search for movies playing nearby, pick a particular movie and cinema, then pick a particular showing and, finally, I can click to buy, which takes me to the Fandango app. I am most of the way through the checkout process before I leave the intelligent personal assistant app interface. How long until I can do that final step and actually check out inside the personal assistant?

Integrating with intelligent personal assistant apps currently normally happens via the app model (i.e. you build an app that provides some functionality to the assistant), but how long until we see the possibility to integrate without needing to build an app yourself — the intelligent personal assistant will provide the framework and primary interface.


Intelligent Personal Assistants bring together all the recent developments in search technology, and as integration options improve, we will see an increasing number of queries/transactions go end-to-end entirely inside the personal assistant itself.

People will conduct searches, review data, and make purchases entirely inside that one interface, completely bypassing web search (already happening) and even checking out inside the personal assistant (within the next 12 months) and thus bypassing websites.

IPAs represent an absolutely massive opportunity, and it would be easy to underestimate the impact they will have (in the same way many people underestimated mobile initially). If you've been on the fence about building an app, you should re-evaluate that decision, with a focus on apps being the way they can integrate into intelligent personal assistants.

What do you think? I'd love to have a discussion in the comments about how everyone thinks this will play out and how it might change the landscape of search.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!


Friday, May 27, 2016

SearchCap: Google iOS app, food and brand queries & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google iOS app, food and brand queries & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Google App for iOS gets AMP content & sports highlights in Now cards

Google says today's improvements for its IOS app with save users a combined 6.5 million hours this year.

The post Google App for iOS gets AMP content & sports highlights in Now cards appeared first on Search Engine Land.


What content strategists need to know about SEO

Today’s algorithms want great content. Unique, high-quality content is valuable to search engines in a way that is now translating into better search rankings, which is big news for content marketers. What exactly do content strategists need to know about SEO, and why? In “The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Content Marketers,” Contently teams up […]

The post What content strategists need to know about SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Brand queries: the AdWords performance illusion

If your AdWords optimization efforts are focused toward terms and ads you credit with last-click conversions, you're not alone. But columnist Tim Mayer contends you're being shortsighted.

The post Brand queries: the AdWords performance illusion appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Share conversions and remarketing lists across paid search accounts

Managing multiple search accounts for a single domain doesn't have to mean juggling tons of conversion and remarketing tags. Contributor Amy Bishop shares steps to seamlessly share data across accounts without cluttering your website's code with duplicative tags.

The post Share conversions and remarketing lists across paid search accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Search in Pics: Google Dance Tokyo, gBrau beer & a pink penguin engineer

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Google pink penguin Android figurine: Source: Google+ Google Dance Tokyo: Source: Twitter Google Zurich rock-climbing wall […]

The post Search in Pics: Google Dance Tokyo, gBrau beer & a pink penguin engineer appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Google now displays image thumbnails next to search snippets for food related queries

Now when you search for food related searches on Google, Google may now show image thumbnails right in the snippets.

The post Google now displays image thumbnails next to search snippets for food related queries appeared first on Search Engine Land.


How to Research the Path to Customer Purchase - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Moving your customers down the funnel from awareness to conversion can make for a winding and treacherous road. Until you fully research and understand the buying process inside and out, it's far too easy to make a misstep. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand steps back to take a higher-level look at the path to customer purchase, recommending workflows and tools to help you forge your own way.

How to Research the Path to Customer Purchase Whiteboard

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to chat about the path to customer purchase and how to research that path. The reason this is so critical is because we have to understand a few things like our content and conversion strategy around where do we need to be, what content we need to create, how to position ourselves, our product, our brand, and how to convert people. We can't know this stuff until we truly understand the buying process.

We've done a lot of Whiteboard Fridays that involve very, very tactically specific items in one of the steps in these, like: how to understand the awareness funnel and how to build your social media audience; or how to get into the consideration process and understand how you compare against your competition; or how to convert people at the very end of the buying cycle on a landing page.

But I want to take a step back because, as I've talked to a lot of you out there and heard comments from you, I think that this bigger picture of, "How do I understand this research process," is something we need to address.

Buyers: Who are they?

So let's start with: How do we understand who our buyers actually are, and what's the research process we can use for that? My general sense is that we need to start with interviews with a few people, with salespeople if you're working with a team that has sales, with customer service, especially if you're working with a team that has customer service folks who talk to lots of their audience, and potentially with your target demographic and psychographic audience. Demographic audience would be like: Where are they, what gender are they, and what age group are they? Psychographics would be things around their interest levels in certain things and what they consume and how they behave, all of that type of stuff.

For example, let's say we're going to go target Scotch whisky drinkers. Now, I am personally among that set of Scotch whisky drinkers. I'm big fan of a number of scotches, as are many Mozzers. In fact, I have a bottle of Ardbeg — I think it's the Uigeadail — in my office here at Moz.

So I might go, "Well, let's see. Let's talk to the people who sell whisky at stores. Let's talk to the people who sell it online. Let's talk to the customer service folks. Let's do interviews with people who are likely Scotch buyers, which are both male and female, perhaps slightly more demographically skewed male, tend to be in a slightly wealthier, maybe middle income and up income bracket, tend to be people who live in cities more than people who live in urban and rural areas, tend to also have interests around things like fashion and maybe automobiles and maybe beer and other forms of alcohol." So we can figure out all that stuff and then we can do those interviews.

What we're trying to get to is a customer profile or several customer profiles.

A lot of folks call this a "customer persona," and they'll name the persona. I think that's a fine approach, but you can have a more abstract customer profile as well.

Then once you have that, you can use a tool like Facebook, through their advertising audience system, to research the quantity of people who have the particular attributes or affiliations that you're seeking out. From there, you can expand again by using Facebook and Twitter. You could use Followerwonk, for example in Twitter specifically, to figure out: What are these people following? Who are their influencers? What are the brands they pay attention to? What are the media outlets? What are the individuals? What are the blogs or content creators that they follow?

You can also do this with a few other tools. For example, if you're searching out just content in general, you might use Google Search. You could do this on Instagram or Pinterest or LinkedIn for additional networks.

There's a very cool tool called FullContact, which has an API that essentially let's you plug in let's say you have a set of email addresses from your interview process. You can plug that into FullContact and you can see the profiles that all of those email addresses have across all these social networks.

Now I can start to do this type of work, and I can go plug things into Followerwonk. I can go plug them into Facebook, and I can actually see specifically who those groups follow. Now I can start to build a true idea of who these people are and who they follow.

What needs do they have?

Now that I've researched that, I need to know what needs those folks actually have. I understand my audience at least a little bit, but now I need to understand what they want. Again, I go back to that interview process. It's very, very powerful. It is time-intensive. It will not be a time-saving activity. Interviews take a long time and a lot of effort and require a tremendous amount of resources, but you also get deep, deep empathy and understanding from an interview process.

Surveys are another good way to go, but you get much less deep information from them. You can however get good broad information, and I've really enjoyed those. If you don't already have an audience, you can start with something like SurveyMonkey Audience or Google Surveys, which let you target a broad group, and both of those are reasonable if you're targeting the right sorts of broad enough demographics or psychographics.

The other thing I want to do here is some awareness stage keyword research. I want to understand that this awareness phase. As people are just understanding they have a problem, what do they search for? Keyword research on this can start from the highest level.

So if I'm targeting Scotch, I might search for just Scotch by itself. If I plug that into a tool like Keyword Explorer or Keyword Planner or KeywordTool.io, I can see suggestions like, "What's the best Scotch under $50?" When I see that, I start to gain an understanding of, "Oh, wait a minute. People are looking for quality. They also care about price." Then I might see other things like, "Gosh, a lot of people search for 'Islay versus Speyside.' Oh, that's interesting. They want to know which regions are different." Or they search for "Japanese whisky versus Scotch whisky." Aha, another interesting point at the awareness stage.

From there, I can determine the search terms that are getting used at awareness stage. I can go to consideration. I can go to comparison. I can go to conversion points. That really helps me understand the journey that searchers are taking down this path.

It's not just search, though. Any time I have a search term or phase, I want to go plug that into places like Facebook. I want to plug it into something like Twitter search. I want to understand the influencers on the networks that I know my audience is in. That could be Instagram. It could be Pinterest. It could be LinkedIn. It could be any variety of networks. It could be Google News, maybe, if I'm seeing that they pay attention to a lot of media.

Then once I have these search terms and awareness through the funnel, now I've got to understand: How do they get to that conversation point?

Once I get there, what I'm really seeking out is: What are the reasons people bought? What are the things they considered? What are the objections that kept some of them from buying?

Creating a content & conversion strategy.

If I have this, what I essentially have now is the who and the what they're seeking out at each phase of this journey. That's an incredibly powerful thing that I can then go apply to...

Where do I need to be?

"Where do I need to be" means things like: What keywords do I need to target? What social platforms do I need to be on? Where do I need to be in media? Who do I need to influence who's influencing my audience?

It tells me what content I need to create.

I know what articles or videos or visuals or podcasts or data my audience is interested in and what helps compel them further and further down that funnel.

It tells me a little bit about how to position myself in terms of things like style and UI/UX.

It also tells me about benefits versus features and some of the prototypical users. Who are the prototypical users? Who should I showcase? What kinds of testimonials are going to be valuable because people say, "Ah, this person, who is like me, liked this product and uses it. Therefore it must be a good product for me."

Lastly, it tells me about how we can convert our target audience.

Then it also tells us lastly, finally, through those objections and the reasons people bought, the landing page content, the testimonials to feature and what should be in those. It tells me about the conversion path and how I should expect people to flow through that: whether they have to come back many times or they make the purchase right away. Who they're going to compare me against in terms of competitors. And finally the purchase dynamics: How do I want to sell? Do I need a refund policy? Do I need to have things like free shipping? Should this be on a subscription basis? Should I have a high upfront payment or a low upfront payment with ballooning costs over time, and all that type of stuff?

This research process is not super simple. I certainly haven't dived deep on every one of these aspects. But you can use this as a fundamental architecture to shape how you answer these questions in all of the web marketing channels you might pursue. Before you go pursue any one given channel, you might want to try and identify some of the holes you have in this.

If you have questions about how to do this, go through and do this research first. You'll have far better results at the end.

All right, everyone. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

SearchCap: Voice search SEO, SEMPO survey & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Voice search SEO, SEMPO survey & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.


SEMPO’s latest salary survey shows search marketer average pay up 16% over 2013

Survey participants included nearly 600 search and digital marketing professionals, from entry level to executive.

The post SEMPO’s latest salary survey shows search marketer average pay up 16% over 2013 appeared first on Search Engine Land.


​Preview the MozCon 2016 Agenda (and Other Exciting News!)

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

Like the talking mice to Cinderella, we're already working hard on MozCon and crafting Roger one heck of a ball gown. (And letting our metaphors get out of control in the meantime.) Which means I'm here to share with all of you the current MozCon 2016 Agenda and a ton of other preview goodies.

If you're suddenly like "Oh snap, I haven't bought my ticket(s)!", I'll pause while you:

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

Roger hugs at MozCon

New emcees: we're mixing it up!

As some of you know, Cyrus won't be emceeing MozCon this year. (We still adore him, and I'm sure his face will make it into a few slide decks.) So we decided to take this opportunity to shake it up.

Emceeing MozCon is a hard job. We want each and every speaker to feel supported by our stage and have the emcee warm up the audience for their talk. Instead of having one emcee for three days, we're having three different emcees, one each day.

Please congratulate them!

Jen Sable Lopez

Jen Sable Lopez

Sr. Director of Community and Audience Development at Moz

Leading our community and audience development efforts here at Moz, Jen Sable Lopez's the biggest fan of you: our community. She's deeply invested in being TAGFEE and bringing educational content and community love to you. Jen also does a great Grumpy Cat impression, serves as Moz gif maker, and loves traveling and her family.

Ronell Smith

Ronell Smith

Strategist at RS Consulting

Ronell Smith is a business strategist with a passion for helping brands create a user experience their customers will recognize, appreciate, and reward them for with their business.

Zeph Snapp

Zeph Snapp

CEO at Altura Interactive

A bilingual, bicultural marketer, Zeph Snapp helps international companies reach Spanish speakers in the US and Latin America. If you want him to go on a rant, ask him about machine learning as it relates to translation and content.

The sneak peek MozCon 2016 Agenda

Because we're releasing this earlier than ever, there's still a few TBD spots and topics. I can't thank our speakers enough for being so gracious and super hard-working to settle on their topics.

Wil on the stage

You'll also notice that community speakers are still forthcoming. That's right — they're coming soon (keep an eye out for the submission post!), and we wanted to give you a head start to noodle on your potential topic.



Rand Fishkin

Welcome to MozCon 2016! with Rand Fishkin

Wizard of Moz

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand's an unsaveable addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.

Cara Harshman

Uplevel Your A/B Testing Skills with Cara Harshman

Content Marketing Manager at Optimizely

A/B testing is bread and butter for anyone who aspires to be a data-driven marketer. Cara will share stories about how testers, from one-person agencies to dedicated testing teams, are doing it, and how you can develop your own A/B testing expertise.

Cara Harshman just celebrated her four-year anniversary at Optimizely. Besides managing content strategy, customer case studies, and the blog, she has been known to spend a lot of time writing parody songs for company all-hands meetings.

AM Break

Lauren Vaccarello

TBD with Lauren Vaccarello

VP of Marketing at Box

Lauren Vaccarello is a best-selling author and currently runs corporate and field marketing at Box.




Joe Hall

Rethinking Information Architecture for SEO and Content Marketing with Joe Hall

SEO Consultant at Hall Analysis LLC

Information Architecture (IA) shapes the way we organize data, think about complex ideas, and build web sites. Joe will provide a new approach to IA for SEO and Content Marketing, based on actionable insights, that SEOs can extract from their own data sets.

Joe Hall is an executive SEO consultant focused on analyzing and informing the digital marketing strategies of select clients through high-level data analysis and SEO audits.

Talia Wolf

Breaking Patterns: How to Rewrite the CRO Playbook with Mobile Optimization with Talia Wolf

CMO at Banana Splash

Best practices lie. Talia shares how to build a mobile conversion optimization strategy and how to turn more mobile visitors into customers based on A/B testing their emotions, decision making process, and behavior.

As CMO at Banana-Splash and Founder of Conversioner, Talia Wolf helps businesses optimize their sites using emotional targeting, consumer psychology, and real-time data to generate more revenues, leads, and sales. Talia is a keynote speaker, author, and Harry Potter fan.


PM Break

TBD with Ross Simmonds

Founder at Foundation Marketing

Dana DiTomaso

TBD with Dana DiTomaso

Partner at Kick Point

Dana DiTomaso is a partner at Kick Point, where she applies marketing into strategies to grow clients' businesses, in particular to ensure that digital and traditional play well together — separating real solutions from wastes of time (and budget).



Dr. Pete Meyers

You Can't Type a Concept: Why Keywords Still Matter with Dr. Pete Meyers

Marketing Scientist at Moz

Google is getting better every day at understanding intent and natural language, and the path between typing a search and getting a result is getting more winding. How often are queries interpreted, and how do we do keyword research for search engines that are beginning to understand concepts?

Dr. Pete Meyers is Marketing Scientist for Seattle-based Moz, where he works with marketing and data science on product research and data-driven content. He has spent the past four years building research tools to monitor Google, including the MozCast project.

Joanna Wiebe

How to Be Specific: From-The-Trenches Lessons in High-Converting Copy with Joanna Wiebe

Creator and Copywriter at Wiebe Marketing Ltd

Abstracted benefits, summarized value, and promise-free landing pages keep marketers safe — and conversion rates low. Joanna shares how and why your copy needs to get specific to move people to act.

The original conversion copywriter, Joanna Wiebe is the founder of Copy Hackers and Airstory. She's optimized copy for Wistia, Buffer, Crazy Egg, Bounce Exchange, and Rainmaker, among others, and spoken at CTA Conf, Business of Software... and now MozCon.

AM Break

Community Speakers


Mike Ramsey

Local Projects to Boost Your Company and Career with Mike Ramsey

President at Nifty Marketing

Mike will walk through the projects that his individual team members took on to improve how they handled local links, reviews, reports, and lots of areas in between.

Mike Ramsey is the President of Nifty Marketing, which works with big brands and small businesses on digital marketing. He talks about running agencies, local search, and Idaho a lot.

Kristen Craft

Reimagining Customer Retention and Evangelism with Kristen Craft

Director of Business Development at Wistia

As Director of Business Development at Wistia, Kristen Craft loves working with Wistia's partner community, building connections with other companies that care about video marketing. Kristen holds degrees in business and education from MIT and Harvard.

PM Break

Rebekah Cancino

TBD with Rebekah Cancino

Co-Founder and Content Strategy Consultant at Onward

Rebekah Cancino spent the last decade helping clients, like Aetna and United Way, overcome some of their toughest content problems. Her consultancy offers workshops and training for in-house teams that bridge the gap between content, design, and technical SEO.

Wil Reynolds

TBD with Wil Reynolds

CEO/Founder at Seer Interactive

Wil Reynolds — Director of Strategy, Seer Interactive — founded Seer with a focus on doing great things for its clients, team, and the community. His passion for driving and analyzing the impact that a site's traffic has on the company's bottom line has shaped the SEO and digital marketing industries. Wil also actively supports the Covenant House.



Kindra Hall

The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling with Kindra Hall

Strategic Storytelling Advisor at Kindra Hall

Whoever tells the best story, wins. In marketing, in business, in life. Going beyond buzzwords, Kindra will reveal specific storytelling strategies to create great content and win customers without a fight.

Kindra Hall is a speaker, author, and storytelling advisor. She works with individuals and brands to help them capture attention by telling better stories.

Mike Arnesen

29 Advanced Google Tag Manager Tips Every Marketer Should Know with Mike Arnesen

Founder and CEO at UpBuild

Google Tag Manager is an incredibly powerful tool and one you're likely not using to its full potential. Mike will deliver 29 rapid-fire tips that'll empower you to overcome the tracking challenges of dynamic web apps, build user segments based on website interactions, scale the implementation of structured data, analyze the consumption of rich media, and much more.

Mike Arnesen has been driven by his passion for technical SEO, semantic search, website optimization, and company culture for over a decade. He is the Founder and CEO of UpBuild, a technical marketing agency focusing on SEO, analytics, and CRO.

AM Break

Tara Reed

Engineering-As-Marketing for Non-Engineers with Tara Reed

CEO at AppsWithoutCode.com

Tara shares how to build useful tools like calculators, widgets, and micro-apps to acquire millions of new users, without writing a single line of code.

Tara Reed is a Detroit-based entrepreneur and founder of AppsWithoutCode.com. As a non-technical founder, she builds her own apps, widgets, and algorithms without writing a single line of code.



Cindy Krum

Indexing on Fire: Google Firebase Native and Web App Indexing with Cindy Krum

CEO and Founder at MobileMoxie, LLC

In the future, app and web content will be indistinguishable, and Google’s new Firebase platform allows developers to use the same resources to build, market, and maintain apps on all devices, in one place. Cindy will outline how digital marketers can use Firebase to help drive indexing of native and web app content, including Deep Links, Dynamic Links, and Angular JS web apps.

Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, and author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, and regularly speaks at US and international digital marketing events.

Sarah Weise

Mind Games: Craft Killer Experiences with 7 Lessons from Cognitive Psychology with Sarah Weise

UX Director at Booz Allen Digital Interactive

Sarah Weise is UX Director at Booz Allen Digital Interactive. She has crafted experiences for hundreds of websites, apps, and products. Over the past decade, she has specialized in creative, lean ways to connect with customers and build experiences that matter.

PM Break

Rand Fishkin

Earning, Nudging, and (Indirectly) Buying the Links You Still Need to Rank with Rand Fishkin

Wizard of Moz

Links still move the needle — on rankings, traffic, reputation, and referrals. Yet, some SEOs have come to believe that if we "create great content," links will just appear (and rankings will follow). Rand will dispel this myth and focus on how to build the architecture for a link strategy, alongside some hot new tools and tactics for link acquisition in 2016.

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand's an un-save-able addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

Don't worry, we've got your MozCon evenings covered!

After a day of learning and possibly discovering a brand-new city, I know I sometimes struggle with what to do after the conference closes for the day. At MozCon, we work to bring you three evening events where you can chill, network, make new friends, and grab some food and drinks. (We will also have a post in late August or early September with a ton of great recommendations for things to do and food to eat in Seattle!)

Monday's MozCrawl from 7–10pm

The best part of our MozCrawl is being able to explore a neighborhood in Seattle. Bring your walking shoes (or load your favorite rideshare app), and get to know a little about the flavor of Seattle. While the locations are still TBD, Moz and our MozCon partners will each host a bar with light appetizers and drinks.


To ensure you see as much of Seattle as possible, each bar will have a scavenger hunt element. Our sweet, bar-hosting partners:

(We also have two other partners, STAT and Wistia, who will be keeping a low profile that night.)

Tuesday's MozCon Ignite from 7–10pm

In my completely biased opinion, this is my favorite MozCon evening event. For those who've never been to an Ignite-style talk, they are 5 minute talks with auto-advancing slides. Because we're learning all day at MozCon about online marketing, our Ignite talks are 100% not about marketing or business. They are passion projects, hobbies, and interests.

MozCon Ignite

Last year, our 16 talks ranged from a touching tale about helping a terminally ill child musician record an album, to how to love opera, to how to make frosting. You can sit back, relax, laugh, and cry. Plus, beforehand, there are networking opportunities to chat with your fellow attendees.

If this sounds like something you'd want to speak at, we'll be opening up pitches in early July. Our venue is currently TBD.

Wednesday's MozCon Bash at the Garage from 7pm–12am

MozCon Bash

Make sure to book your flight home the day after MozCon so you can join us at our annual MozCon Bash to celebrate another great year of learning. Put on your bowling shoes and see if you can out-turkey your new friends! Or play a round of pool, or sing your heart out with some karaoke. Food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are on us. You'll take home even more memories and some photobooth mementos to look back on.

Grab your ticket today — we've sold out for the last 5 years.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

If you have any questions about MozCon programming, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!


The future of voice-related SEO for local business

Google's recent developer event revealed details about how the search giant is thinking about the future. Columnist Chris Marentis shares tips on how local businesses can learn how to be found in the environment that's taking shape.

The post The future of voice-related SEO for local business appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Well played, Google: Advertisers (finally) get more device bidding controls

The most widely disparaged aspect of Advanced Campaigns is eliminated at last. Contributor Andy Taylor extols the change, explains what it means for marketers and makes a couple of suggestions for further improvement.

The post Well played, Google: Advertisers (finally) get more device bidding controls appeared first on Search Engine Land.


The 5 strangest search terms in 2,000+ AdWords accounts

Contributor Jacob Baadsgaard shares cautionary tales of AdWords bidding gone terribly, terribly wrong.

The post The 5 strangest search terms in 2,000+ AdWords accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Frankie Manning Google Doodle honors man behind “Lindy Hop” swing dance moves

Manning's signature swing dance moves included spinning, flipping and tossing your partner in the air.

The post Frankie Manning Google Doodle honors man behind “Lindy Hop” swing dance moves appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Here's How I'm Using Moz Content for Mining Local Link Opportunities

Posted by David_Farkas

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.

[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]

Creating content for local link building can be intimidating.

Sure, you know your business. You know your area, but do you know what locals want to read about?

You can always guess, and you might strike gold. My guess is you don’t have the time, resources, or budget for guesswork.

I don’t either, which is why I like to go in educated.

Enter Moz Content.

Even if you don’t have a Moz account, Moz Content allows you to audit any website and find its most popular content. You can figure out which pages and posts have the most shares, the most links, and the sort of reach each page might have.

You can go much more in-depth with the paid version of the tool, and it’s absolutely worth the money.

But this post is about using the free version to remove the intimidation factor from local-based content, so we might as well start slowly.

By the end, you should have a good idea how to create local content that resonates with your audience and attracts links.

Local links

To my mind, the best links come from relevant websites, but there are (at least) two types of relevance:

  • Industry-based
  • Local

So, for this article, let’s say you own an auto repair shop in New Haven, Conn., and you want to build links.

You’re just starting, so maybe you don’t have the time or the budget to build a fantastic piece of content about auto repair, the kind that draws links from gearhead hobbyists, dealership blogs, and parts manufacturers.

Local links should be your priority. Local links can be easier to be build and there’s not as much of a barrier to entry.

But you still must create a useful, engaging piece of content that people want to read.

You don’t have to guess, though. You can use the free version of the tool to come up with great ideas for local content, and you’ll have numbers to back it up.

For this hypothetical auto shop in New Haven, I didn’t analyze a single hypothetical competitor. Instead, I analyzed sites focused on New Haven.

I wanted to analyze three things:

  • An official city website or a reputable tourism website to see what the big dogs are doing right;
  • A popular local site or blog to see how small websites are appealing to locals;
  • Content from a big, national brand that writes area-specific content about multiple cities to see how national brands are trying to get links and shares from regional-based content.

Here are the three sites I analyzed and the content ideas they gave me:

Site #1: VisitNewHaven.com

The first site I analyzed was VisitNewHaven.com. It’s full of tourist information, meaning it probably has a good handle on why people enjoy New Haven, and it knows what they like about it.

Heck, many New Haven residents probably use it, too. It’s full of information about local events, businesses, and websites. I thought it was a good start.

So, I put the URL into Moz Content:


When I scrolled down to view "popular pages," I saw that, other than the home page, the annual events page had the most links. The dining and nightlife pages did OK, too, so we’ll file that away for later use.

We’re after links, and the annual events page has the most links, so it’s a good place to start.

I clicked on the analysis for that page:


Reach isn’t great, and it doesn’t have many links, but it beats anything else on the site, so I decided it was worth a look. People like this page enough to link to a tourism website, so they’re doing something right.

Here’s what the annual events page on VisitNewHaven.com looks like:


There’s little text here, but it does the job, providing relevant, up-to-date info about annual events with appropriate links.

Since there’s little here, you could make something better. If it’s good enough, you could probably even get your first link from VisitNewHaven.com, especially if you credit them for inspiring you.

Content Idea: Build a guide to local events from your point of view. You could build one for a complete year or make several and target them to winter, spring, summer, and fall tourists.

To one-up this piece of content, you’d have to write a paragraph about each event, and give local insight.

You’d already have an outreach list, too. You could email the organizers of each event you mentioned and see if they want to link to your guide.

You know people are interested in annual events, and by one-upping this page, you could generate at least five relevant, local links.

When you’re just starting, five links are an excellent bounty.

Site #2: ConnecticutLifestyles.com

Next, I did an audit for ConnecticutLifestyles.com. It has good content, and it does well in Google search results.

It’s not backed by a city government or tourism board, but it’s about as good as you'll find for a local website that’s not a business blog.

I plugged in the URL:


Next, I scrolled down to look at popular pages:


I found that recipes dominated their other blog posts. They had the most shares and links, even when there weren’t many shares or links.

Clearly, Connecticut audiences are interested in authentic food.

Content Idea: Offer some recipes.

Even if you own an auto shop, you still eat food. You probably have family recipes, or you can get them from friends, family, and employees.

Content that focuses on local recipes can work for almost any local business. The recipes must come from you or your employees.

So, you could publish a few recipes, or you can make a guide to spicy Connecticut food or Connecticut desserts and link to recipes from other authentic Connecticut sites.

You could even try to replicate the food from your favorite restaurants. You might even get them in on the action.

As long as you focus on authentic recipes, coming from authentic Connecticut residents, you have a good shot at building links. People care about recipes. We have the proof. They outperform all other content on ConnecticutLifestyles.com.

Site #3: Movoto

Next, I analyzed Movoto’s New Haven section. Movoto is a real estate website, but they also pump out local-based content that strokes the egos of local residents and earns plenty of links and shares.

You’ve probably seen your friends share some of their content on Facebook. Movoto puts a lot of money into earning shares and links from locals, so I thought they were a good site to analyze.

I plunked the URL into Moz Content:


Immediately, I looked at this section of Movoto’s most popular pages:


And we’re not seeing many links. That’s a bummer.

But we are seeing plenty of shares on one post.

You might have guessed it, based on the previous two websites. An article about restaurants is in the lead.

Here’s what it looks like:


These Movoto articles might not be getting the links they do in other cities, but knowing that a list of 15 restaurants blows everything else away might give you some ideas.

Content Idea: This piece of content features a quality photo for each restaurant. They could be stock photos, but they look authentic. It also gives each restaurant’s Yelp score, with a paragraph about the food.

And that’s it.

Chances are, you eat food every day. You might not be a food critic, but you’re qualified to talk about why you like your favorite restaurants. All you’d have to do is take photos, write something more in-depth, and keep it authentic.

Hear me out.

Restaurants write about their own food all the time, and it often comes off as salesy.

As a non-food-related, local business, you’re writing about the food you like. You’re not trying to sell it. That puts you at an advantage, because you’re inherently trustworthy.

Plus, you could likely get a link from most restaurants you write about.

This wouldn’t have to be a huge piece of content. It would just have to be better than an article that’s 15 paragraphs and 15 photos.

That’s doable.

Putting it all together

So, what’s the real reason I analyzed three websites for content ideas?

I wanted to see if I could combine three ideas into something unique.

You could find success with a single idea from any of these websites I audited, but I wanted to dig a little deeper.

So, in the VisitNewHaven audit, dining and nightlife were popular, although not as popular as annual events. With ConnecticutLifestyle and Movoto, recipes and restaurants blew away all the competition.

You could combine them all into:

  • A piece that shows New Haven’s favorite foods based on ConnecticutLifestyle’s recipes;
  • The best restaurants to find those foods in New Haven;
  • The best annual events for foodies in New Haven.

Basically, you’d make a post that highlights annual food-based events. Within the post, you’d highlight the participating restaurants and food vendors and then talk about the New Haven favorites they serve.

Heck, you could even link to recipes for those foods.

That post seems like a win in my book.

You’d have a big list of restaurants, food vendors, event sites, tourism sites, and lifestyle blogs to contact for links as well.

Creating content for local link building need not be overwhelming or scary. With just an hour or two of extra research, you can find out what people in your area are reading about.

Then, no matter your industry, you can come up with an idea for local content that kills the competition.

I always advocate starting small. I recently wrote a post about building links at the neighborhood level and working your way up. You can use Moz Content for local link building at any level.

If you start small, armed with the knowledge of what a local audience wants, you’ll be creating bigger and better content in no time.

You have the tools. They’re free and at your disposal. You simply have to get started.

What about you? Have you tried Moz Content yet? Do you have other tools/workflows you'd recommend?

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!