MozCon is not your typical marketing conference. Organized by the inbound marketing software company Moz, the annual event attracts hundreds of really nerdy marketers—many of them working in SEO.
The annual conference in Seattle features “three days of forward-thinking, actionable sessions in SEO, social media, community building, content marketing, brand development, CRO, the mobile landscape, analytics, and more.”
The 2016 conference takes place in Washington State Convention Center on September 12 to 14.
If you missed the event or just want more info about the talks, check out my notes below.
- Welcome to MozCon 2016!
- Uplevel Your A/B Testing Skills
- The Big One: Relaunching Your Website
- The Hidden Talents of Email: Creating Customer-Centric Messages
- How to Do Reputation Marketing
- Rethinking Information Architecture for SEO and Content Marketing
- Breaking Patterns: How to Rewrite the CRO Playbook with Mobile Optimization
- Taking the Top Spot: How to Earn More Featured Snippets
- Content Chaos: Building Your Brand through Constant Experiments
- Social Media: People First, “Rules” Second
- You Can’t Type a Concept: Why Keywords Still Matter
- How to Be Specific: From-The-Trenches Lessons in High-Converting Copy
- Server Log Files & Technical SEO Audits: What You Need to Know
- Digital Marketing Skill Pivot: Recruiting New Talent
- Boost SEO Rankings by Removing Internal Links
- Improve Your UX & SEO through Navigation Optimization
- Local Projects to Boost Your Company and Career
- Reimagining Customer Retention and Evangelism
- Optimizing the Journey to Deliver Radically Relevant Experiences
- Putting Trust into Domain Authority
- The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling
- 29 Advanced Google Tag Manager Tips Every Marketer Should Know
- Engineering-As-Marketing for Non-Engineers
- Persuasion, Data, & Collaboration: Building Links in 2016
- Indexing on Fire: Google Firebase Native and Web App Indexing
- Mind Games: Craft Killer Experiences with 7 Lessons from Cognitive Psychology
- Link Building’s Tipping Point
Description: Opening remarks from Rand Fishkin, wizard (that’s his official title) and founder of Moz.
Main takeaway: Search is still bigger than social in terms of driving traffic to websites. SEO is now a skill, not a job title.
Moz founder Rand Fishkin kicked off the conference discussing the 10 big updates in the search world.
- Search and direct keep rising as traffic sources. Social traffic actually declined to 5.71%, although “dark traffic”—traffic that can’t be attributed to any of the channels, including social—is still huge.
- Google’s going all in on machine learning, and it will have a huge impact on search.
- AdWords is getting rid of more data in its platform, especially if you don’t have a big ad spend. Not a great news for SEOs.
- SERP features continue to roll out that 10 blue links in SERPs is now virtually a thing of the past.
- Quality in a site-wide metric. (Note: Admittedly, I didn’t quite get what this meant, so if you have more info, please leave a comment.)
- While SEO is still a dominant form of web marketing in search interest, jobs with an SEO title are trending down.
- Google’s RankBrain and Hummingbird are changing how content can rank. Google is getting smarter, and more content can rank for a variety of keywords.
- SEO is now a skill, not a title. Demand for people with SEO skills has never been this high, according to LinkedIn data.
- Paid search spending remains flat. As a result, Google is getting more subtle with paid ad formatting.
- Clickstream data shows how searches engage with Google.
Rand also shared some interesting search stats:
- The average searcher performs about 3 queries per day on their laptop or desktop. (I thought this number was surprisingly low.)
- Only 1.12% of Google.com U.S. searches result in an ad click. And yet Google makes billions of dollars per year.
- About 51% of all the clicks that happen on Google.com US search results go to organic, non-Google results. By non-Google, Rand meant pages that aren’t Google products (e.g. Google Maps) and pages. That means 49% of clicks go to Google properties, like YouTube, Google Maps and its ads.
- 40% of searchers results to no clicks. SEOs need to own the SERP—or else.
- YouTube, Wikipedia and YouTube are the top sites receiving traffic from Google.
- The top 1000 websites on the web get 45.58% of traffic from Google.
Rand also gave an update on Moz and its product, addressing the company’s recent decision to layoff employees as it re-focuses on search.
Description: 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.
Main takeaway: Creating a data-driven, optimization-oriented marketing team requires a strategy. A/B testing projects need hypotheses, not just random ideas. They need to scale and should leverage automation. Finally, A/B testing should include advocates in your team.
- 70% of marketers said conversion optimization is more a priority for 2016 – ConversionXL
- 56% of teams will allocate more budget to conversion optimization in 2016
What happens when you evolve your approach to A/B testing? Cara says optimal outcome for A/B testing evolution includes:
- Learning. 100% learning rate
- business growth. (Super important.)
- Delighted customers. Better user experiences, etc.
- Stronger decisions and culture.
Analytics will help you formulate hypotheses. Aim to have both quantitative and qualitative information.
- Funnel report – Google Analytics. Where are people leaving?
- Heat map on home and other high intent pages (very close to a conversion event(
- Form error submission report (GA)
- Exit or page bounce report (GA)
- High traffic/low conversion landing pages
- Customer success team – Take them out for coffee. They have good intel about your customers.
- User testing sessions (e.g. usertesting.com) – Give people an action, and watch how they do it
- Coffee shops – Ask people to participate in between their lattes
- On-page surveys (e.g. Hotjar)
- Email surveys
- Life model by Wider Funnel- urgency and clarify and you can use it to vet the experience on your website
- Conversion equation from oil Gardner
- Psychology principles
- design principles – contrast, color blocking, etc.
- Neuromarketing – six principles of scarcity and clarity
- Give people access to data beforehand so they can peruse it
- Invite cross functional teams, like HR
- Give prizes
- Follow up
- Take off your “get shit done” hat – take a long view
- Prioritization: an emotion-free system to decide what you’re testing
- Success metrics. Get on the same page with your company on the metrics and actions you have to move. Start with company goals, then go more granular.
- Duration. how long will a test run before you stop it? Can’t rely on rule to stop testing after you reach level of statistical significance.
- Audience. Which unique traffic segments deserve more attention? You need to be more deliberate with the audience you’re testing with.
From team to advocates means you don’t want just colleagues—you want people to promote your work, not just people who do the work.
- Diverse skillset
- Project management – People who can take projects from A to B
- Analyst so you’re not in analysis paralysis
- Fearlessness – Be able to ask why.
- Opt-in email newsletter
- Weekly meetings for core crew
- Internal wiki or workflow tool (e.g. Jeera )
- Lunch ’n’ learns
- All-hands meetings
More info about Cara’s talk on evolving your A/B testing approach on her blog:
Resources to Evolve Your A/B Testing Skills
- Know why you’re re-launching your website – e.g. bigger revenue contribution, update messaging, etc.
- Set clear goals and metrics – e.g. increase pipeline and revenue contribution by 30%
- Make sure the entire team has emotionally bought in. goal: so they move faster. -> the power of why. explain why we are doing this and how everyone’s work contributes to the end goal.
- Get the entire company behind the project
- Do the pre-work: Define info architecture, create wireframes, build a content strategy, and make technical decisions before work begins. Define personas.
- De-couple the front-end from the backend. front-end: the things people can see – words they see, design. back-end: hosting platform, CMS systems. back-end first.
- Collocate design, copy, web and engineering. Put people in ‘the same room.’
- Test a few pages and iterate. Ot’s tempting to say, ‘we’re going to roll out everything right away.’ But you need to test things out. Don’t do a mass page build before you work through the bugs. The consequence of not doing this: You get design by committee and might need to build up the same pages over and over again.
- Go for slow, methodical site rollout. Also, when analyzing your iterations, make sure you’re looking at the right data set. (e.g. Remove customer data – i.e. not real bounces)
- Don’t underestimate the workload behind international websites.
- Consider the launch of your website as “day 1.”
Main takeaway: Customer-centric emails delight customers and, more importantly, move business results.
- Don’t “blast” – communication
- Don’t act like a spammer. spam is defined by the user – if it’s not something your customers want to receive, then it’s spam.
- Thumbnail: your company? someone from your company?
- Don’t use no-reply emails. It tells people that you don’t care.
- There’s no such thing as a perfect subject line
- Don’t look at open rates—a vanity metric
- Go further down the funnel. what’s happening after the opens? Look at actual conversions when evaluating the success of your emails.
- The preview text shows in the inbox, but not in the email itself.
- Don’t use “view images” or “if you have trouble displaying this email, view it as a web page.”
- Use something actionable or trackable.
- What do we know about the user to create a better experience?
- Technology – what device are they using?
- Environment – when and where am I?
- Task – what is the person doing when they receive your email?
- Make sure your images aren’t pixelated
- Save image at 2x intended display size
- Resize image with HTML
- Body copy: 16 px
- Headlines: 22 px+
- Buttons: 44 x 44 px
- Space: 40 px+
- Tappable touch targets for mobile.
- Behaviors, lifecycle factors
- Prospect versus current customers
- Trigger from action or inaction
- Geo-location: where they live. airbnb, e.g.
- CSS animations
- Image personalization
- Gamification (with live twitter feed IN the email): e.g. ask people to tweet and share the email to reveal the surprise city.
- Brands create impressions that make you think or feel something.
- Reputations make you act based on experience.
Where does your company place in the brand-reputation matrix?
Measuring reputation requires looking at both financial and marketing KPIs.
How to get started with reputation marketing:
- Develop your own reputation score.
- Track your mentions by sentiment and type.
- Adopt a process that communicates feedback enterprise-wide.
- Improve employee happiness and retention by sharing good feedback with them
- Audit your About Page and Content (for your mission & values).
How to start a reputation gap analysis:
- Start with the data you have access to.
- Track trends over time.
- Go higher and put your data in context.
- Zoom up and follow the trail, not a process.
Description: 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.
Think beyond linking and content marketing.
The consequences of bad information architecture (IA) from an SEO perspective:
- Increased likelihood for duplicated content and taxonomies
- Poor internal linking
- Distributed topical authority
- Confusing or incomplete main navigation
- Overall lower user experience
How SEOs traditionally fixed bad IA:
- internal linking is just a band-aid
- moving content – problem: need a plan to execute without losing ranking. e.g. redirects
- unnatural links
- buying links
How to design kick-ass information architecture:
To build successful information architectures, you need to focus on where you’re going, not what you’re doing now.
- Where you’re going-> marketing
- What you’re doing -> web development
Part 1: Start by identifying your main ideas:
- Main concepts that define an organization
- Popular ideas with in an industry
- Broad user intent
Part 2: Develop “supporting content,” following traditional sales funnel:
- Blog posts/articles
- Evergreen content
- Targeted user intent
Part 3: Develop conversion points:
- Product pages
- Lead generation forms
- User sign ups
Part 4: Develop the main taxonomy:
- Can define main navigation
- Can influence URL structures
- Develops category hierarchy
- Can influence content development
Main taxonomies are responsible for organic positions 1, 2, and 3.
Part 5: Think about supporting taxonomies:
- Defines relationship between content in separate sections
- Grows internal linking organically
- Can act as secondary navigation
- Can grow and change over time
Part 6: Build supporting taxonomies with NLP
Joe’s IA recommendation looks like this:
A successful IA should aid in the development of awareness, respect and trust.
Why is having your blog in a separate folder bad?
If you put it in a subdirectory, WordPress will have its own taxonomy structure. Oftentimes, you will do a stellar content marketing campaign, have tons of links, visitors, but their value stays on the blog.
How to use IA to optimize content: SEO best practices is ideal. From IA standpoint:
- Location, tagged correctly
- Consider breadcrumbs
- Use schema to help Google understand what that page is about
Description: 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.
Main takeaway: The key to mobile conversion is to consider the fact that people’s behavior and frame of mind is different when they’re searching on mobile versus desktop.
Mobile web visitors rarely convert. There’s a 270% conversion gap between mobile web conversion and desktop conversion.
This HUGE gap is because the mobile state of mind is different.
Mobile behavior is different. When people search on mobile, they’re usually looking for things that are more fun. People’s frame of mind is different when they use mobile to search.
Things to consider:
- What percentage of your traffic is mobile?
- What do they search for?
- What are their top landing pages?
The key to mobile conversion is to understand people.
Personalization in mobile: 86% of consumers will pay for more a personalized experience
Mobile CRO equation:
Consider Google’s 4 micro-moments
- I want to know
- I want to go
- I want to do
- I want to buy
No matter what you’re selling, what customers really care about isn’t the WHAT, it’s the WHY.
60% of mobile web visitors expect sites to load in less than 3 seconds.
Other tips for mobile CRO:
- Rethink images on mobile
- Offer ways to save for later. If people aren’t ready to check out, let them save their preferences or selection.
- Offer relevant information.
- Help people navigate to you quickly.
- Help people contact you easily.
- Help people learn and explore.
- Avoid solutions built for desktop (like annoying popups that ruin the mobile experience. Make sure the right keyboards are being used.
Tell your mobile visitors what to do.
Build trust with your mobile visitors:
- One call to action
- Look native
Incentivize mobile purchase.
People don’t use mobile as a replacement to mobile; people use mobile in a different way. Mobile visitors are not mini-desktop visitors.
More info: bit.ly/mobileguidebanana
Paragraph snippets are the most common, for now.
The format of your content determines the format of the featured snippet. If google has selected your site as a snippet and your content is in tables, then the snippet will be tables, etc.
You don’t have to be position #1 to be the featured snippet.
- On Reddit, every single community is a little different.
- Review the top content in every subreddit to figure out what works.
- To succeed on Reddit, you need to build and share content worth sharing.
- Quora is promising as a media or PR tactic, but not so much as a traffic driver.
Another experiment: Instagram influencer marketing. By giving Instagram influencers shoutouts, Ross grew his Instagram following from 0 to 50,000 in less than six months. That worked until Instagram introduced its algorithm. Now, Ross is experimenting with Instagram Stories.
Another experiment: Slideshare. (Ross says Slideshare is the most underrated B2B channel.)
- Open with a bang. The lead should be in the first 5 slides.
- Use content upsells. Add unique CTAs.
In your content marketing, use the 70-20-10 model:
- 70% low risk content
- 20% innovative content
- 10% high risk content
Description: You can follow all the “rules” about perfect post length, perfect time to post, perfect image size, and everything else and still not see any financial impact from social media. Dana doesn’t think social media should always revolve around community building and group hugs. When you show the right people what they want to see, when they want to see it, you’ll start attributing revenue increases to social media efforts.<
Main takeaway: Your social media posts are boring! User ‘attention research’ to change that.
Most social media updates from brands are boring and very commercial.
To fix social media, Dana recommends SMUX: social media user experience.
- Psychographics: #ThisIs40ish example from Chatelaine Magazine. Point: we’re all unique.
- Pick up the phone. Ask unusual questions.
FullContact -> recommended tool
- Pick up the phone. Ask unusual questions.
- Analytics: Strategic metrics need to be decoupled with tactical metrics
Dark social: anywhere between 20 to 60%| of your social media traffic.
- Platform. Are you on the right platforms? (Do you really need to be on Facebook?)
- Message: Use a brand voice. Use your keyword research. Consider the voice of the market.
- Intent. Ask yourself why before you post. Consider all your interactions. Is your intent even possible?
- Play. Play is why snapchat has more users than Twitter.
Example of SMUX in action:
- SouthSideChannel (https://twitter.com/SouthSideChapel/status/756653695320850432)
Description: 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?
Search is evolving:
- May 2013: Google launched conversational search on desktop
- August 2013: Hummningbird algorithm update.
- October 2015: Google announces RankBrain algorithm, but was probably launched April 2015. RankBrain makes Google search even more powerful, allowing it to guess (with impressive precision) users’ intent.
In the post-RankBrain era, creating great content isn’t enough.
Google is moving beyond basic synonym and stemming associations.
— Tylor Hermanson (@MyNameIsTylor) September 13, 2016
One thing for sure about RankBrain: it uses deep learning.
Rank Brain is not translation.
— Matthew Decuir (@MattBasically) September 13, 2016
It’s all in 3 Gs:
- Gather all the keywords.
- Group keywords.
- Generate ideal phrase for each keyword group.
- Bonus: Gap. Find gaps and use those gaps to add concepts.
How to pick ideal phrases:
- Find keywords in Moz Keyword Tool.
- Put them on a list.
- Use keyword clustering to determine their similarity.
We don’t have to learn voice search. We have to unlearn voice search because people now use natural language to search. Google has to adapt.
Description: 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.
Joanna opened her presentation by sharing some mind-blowing stats about the amount of messages people are exposed to every day:
— Cement Marketing (@cementmarketing) September 13, 2016
Being safe is a terrible idea. Inertia is an issue. Voiceless copy won’t cut it.
Joanna shares tips on how she helped Wistia improve conversion by 3.5x:
Keep people’s attention by being specific. There are 3 ways to be more specific:
1. Make it obvious that the copy is for/about them.
Side note: Conversion copy is almost always longer.
Feed your customers’ ego. Connect to their lives. What can your customers’ do with the information you’re sending them. Put CTA in first person.
2. Connect every single dot.
3. Be specific so your customers can visualize.
Every feature of your product has a story—and a story has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Description: Server log files contain the only data that is 100% accurate in terms of how Google and other search engines crawl your website. Sam will show you what and where to check and what problems you may to need to fix to maximize your rankings and organic traffic.
The data that you see in Google Analytics is wrong.
— Matthew Decuir (@MattBasically) September 13, 2016
Samuel asks the audience, “who in your company has access to server logs?”
The difference between GA and server log analytics matters because
ELK Stack is a tool for log analysis. It’s an open-source program.
Log analysis has a wide range of uses, including business analysis and product management. But it can also be used for technical SEO.
Here’s how you can use log files.
302s don’t pass authority (or at least not as well). No matter what Google’s saying. Sorry guys. #mozcon
— Ian Lurie (@portentint) September 13, 2016
Technical SEO matters. If Google can’t access, crawl and parse your website, nothing else will matter. Server log analysis is a crucial part of technical SEO.
Description: Torn between your marketing work and hiring? Emma shares how to take the skills you already have, flip them on their head, and find people to hire on your growing marketing teams. Spoiler: they’ve been under your nose the whole time.
SEO jobs are in high demand. So are marketing managers. The inability to recruit for these positions has a high opportunity cost.
Emma makes the case that link building is similar to recruiting. If you know how to do link building, you know how to do recruiting.
Marketing and HR have a lot of similarities.
One idea from Emma is to do a site search (for instance, the Moz Community) and use advanced queries.
- Klear – to find who your employees are engaging with on social. These are people you can reach out to or poach.
- BuzzSumo – to find people who shared a link
- Followerwonk – to find people who are following you from a certain geographical location
— Lauren Grabowski (@up_for_GRABS89) September 13, 2016
Description: Learn how to optimize internal link structure for an easy and surprisingly large SEO ranking wins. Alex will cover the math behind how authority flows through your site, how to evaluate links in your global navigation, common mistakes on CMSs, and other tactics to improve your site’s most important pages.
Authority flows through a site via internal links. You need to be more intentional with internal linking. Here’s why:
Authority is divided by the number of links on the page; 15% of it disappears.
— Gianluca Fiorelli (@gfiorelli1) September 13, 2016
Wayfair cut about 150 links and saw:
- Fewer internal searches
- Conversion rate boost
- Increased rankings
- 5 to 10% increase in SEO traffic
If you’re thinking of removing links from your header, consider:
- Search volume
- Click data
- Page revenue
Do you really need all the links currently in your footer? Wayfair reduced the number of links in its footer. The result: better SEO.
WordPress adds links automatically: Tag clouds, archive links, etc. Consider removing these, unless they provide real business value.
Exceptions for doing this:
- Low authority sites, like brand new sites. You need a baseline authority.
- Small sites. If you have 30 pages, you’re probably fine.
How to build a business case: By removing X number of links, we’ll make this much money.
Main takeaway: Less is more. Be intentional with internal linking.
Description: Learn the tactics for creating a navigation that increases your organic visibility, streamlines user experience, and boosts conversion rates as Robyn walks you through the most important steps to getting your navigation in order.
When it comes to UX and SEO, simple isn’t better—it’s best.
Content discoverability is a UX/SEO destruction suspect. Your navigation matters.
How to optimize your navigation:
Use your personas. Be empathetic to the people you are marketing to. Run a usability test.
Look at Google Analytics session data. Look for gaps in the experience. Compare it to all users.
Leverage keyword rank analysis. Take your keywords, apply them to a concept. Apply your categories to your stage funnel to determine if the right pages are ranking.
Avoid narcissistic navigation.
— Leo Martinez (@untypicalman) September 13, 2016
Description: 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.
Main takeway: Tackle on unique, passion projects related to your field. That’s how you build your personal brand.
People tend to use living organisms to represent their personal brand:
- LeBron James -> lion
- Shark Tank judges -> sharks (obviously)
- Dwayne Johnson -> rock (which is, apparently, a living organism)
What living organization represents your brand?
Mark then shared a few stories of people he know who approached him with original studies:
- The relationship between scholarships and SEO: bit.ly/scholarship-study
- The use of 10x content by law firms: bit.ly/2x10x
- Landing page design study: bit.ly/local-landing
- Competitive link building worksheet: bit.ly/competitor-links
— Rachel Wright (@rewrightme) September 13, 2016
- Local, reviews and schema: bit.ly/review-schema
These projects were “hustle” projects—they took grit to do.
Mike’s challenge: go out and do a bristlecone project. Tackle something hard. Tackle something that’s perplexing.
Description: True customer loyalty and retention lies in the experience people have with your brand. Kristen will show you how to leverage video to optimize for experience, foster loyalty, lower churn, and create evangelists.
Main takeaway: Delivering a great customer experience is the key to customer retention. Make the customer the hero in your marketing campaigns and use the principles of familiarity to deliver better experiences.
We want lifelong customers.
- Price – not a good idea
How to turn experience into a differentiator:
- Familiarity – We prefer things we see more often. Example: BambooHR‘s ‘voicemail’ video
- Put real people on camera. That’s ho you build an authentic experience. Hide shadows with light. Script your video.
- Don’t try to be all things to all people. Embrace things that are unique and polarizing about you.
- Use precise language.
- Don’t hide idiosyncrasies.
- Prioritize the personal over the professional.
- Show personal appreciation.
- Heighten emotion with music.
- Leave room for humor.
Evangelism is the holy grail of customer retention. Making the customer the hero in your marketing materials is a good start.
- Use the “you” language.
- Show different perspectives.
- Piggyback on emotional moments.
Description: How do you connect your search rankings to your long term conversion rates? Customer journey mapping. Rebekah will show you how to bridge the gap between SEO, content, design, and UX with an effective framework your team can use to deliver radically relevant digital experiences when and where it matters most.
Main takeaway: Don’t ignore the power of customer journey mapping. Building empathy for customers is the first step to delivering radically relevant experiences.
Data doesn’t tell us the whole story. It lacks the why.
You don’t deliver great user experience just from following best practices.
Three kinds of insight:
- Strategic direction
- Use experience
- Design decisions
Context isn’t tied to devices. It’s tied to people. Start with context.
Use an empathy map.
Customer journey mapping is an exercise in empathy.
Create a high level picture of the journey. Understand the feelings, thoughts, etc. of your customers.
Talk to customers. Formulate a problem statement.
Look at what people search and identifying their intent. Two kinds of intent:
– Active: Explicitly said
– Passive: Implicitly described
Uncover intent by looking at:
What is: Talk to customer service. Analyze search logs.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Categorize your keywords into semantically related topics. Look at themes.
Design decisions: How should it look, sound and feel.
Three tools of understanding the journey:
Description: Domain Authority is a trust sentiment, not a pure numeric value. Wil will show real examples of sites that build authority and trust by understanding and then solving users’ problems. He’ll also give you practical ways to use Google SERPS to uncover the many ways to best solve these problem.
Main takeaway: Wil’s keynote was more aspirational than tactical. The crux of his energetic talk was that marketers need to stop ‘shaming’ their customers—using tactics like pop-ups that guilt users into clicking—and start providing value.
How to start building empathy for your customers:
Chat logs at scale
Sit on sales calls
Have people google a solution
Video what they think versus ours
Stop shaming your customers. (Applies to forms, especially)
Wil went after gated marketing pieces. “Marketer first marketing” needs to stop, he says. Are you really providing value or just asking and begging people for their contact info?
— Mor Zucker (@MorZucker) September 13, 2016
— Emma Jelsma (@WordperfectNZ) September 13, 2016
Useful content—those that really answers people’s questions—have a long shelf life. Your goal as a marketer isn’t to go viral—it’s to be helpful.
— Andrew Dennis (@AndrewDennis33) September 14, 2016
— Dave McMahon (@4realtalk2010) September 13, 2016
— Natalie Wilgus (@natgoessocial) September 13, 2016
— Lauren Grabowski (@up_for_GRABS89) September 14, 2016
Description: 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 to win customers without a fight.
Why does storytelling work so well?
Science shows it works! Story changes brain chemistry, according to neurologist Paul Zak.
Story inspires action. A study on Facebook advertising shows that sequential ad campaigns (those that tell a story) resulted to more subscriptions and view-through.
Stories are memorable. Stories are a unique advantage that has nothing. It’s co-creative. As you’er telling a story, the audience is making one on his or her mind.
Why aren’t marketers telling stories?
Goal: To redefine story, what it is and what it is not
What it’s not:
a list of features
a catchy copy
a vague, high-level abstract
happens in a particular moment
has a beginning, middle and end
The biggest storytelling mistake: take often, we allude to the story, but we don’t actually tell it.
3 steps to creating stories:
1. Find it
2. Craft it
3. Tell it
1. Look for your differentiators
2. List your customers—and their transformations
3. Identify prospects’ objections so you can tell stories that address them
Crafting the story:
Normal – what was
Explosion – what happened?
New normal – what is now?
1. Focus on one moment and go deep
2. Be vivid
3. Include emotions: the struggle and hope
4. Offer a directive
Budweiser’s Puppy Love video
Apple’s “Misunderstood” video on YouTube
Save the Children’s Syrian Crisis
Places where to tell a story: Basically, everywhere.
Social media, blog posts, email campaigns
Presentations and in-person meetings
Description: 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.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager is like the movie The Martian. It’s about breaking things down and trying to do things others aren’t doing yet.
1. Practice good housekeeping. Make sure it’s installed properly.
3. Harvest clickstream data. Track all the click data you want.
HTML – For each element, attach click handler and function to push data data…
Universal analysis – catch the data and send to GA
4. Test and release
Build and QA your whole container locally.
Get Tag Manager Injector to debug your own container, anywhere.
5. Leverage environments. Manage environments for even better enterprise-grade testing. (There’s also a section called Workspaces—another tool for collaboration.)
6. Make semi-permanent changes. For example, after an AB test, you can copy the code from Optimizely to GTM to direct 100% of the traffic to the winning action.
7. Track file downloads, like PDFs, MP3s, etc.
Activate built-in variable. Add file extensions to track.
8. Track (offsite) downloads, like emailed assets and sales materials. You can do this by creating a pseudo-download page.
9. Track outbound links to your site. Track and segment clicks in meaningful ways for better intelligence.
10. Configure cross-domain tracking (not sub-domain tracking).
Cross-domain tracking is good for using multiple domain names in one user experience. Set allow linker to true. auto link domains with variable and set up referral exclusion list.
11. See full hostnames. Vies page paths with subdomains or other TLDs.
12. Strip out personally identifiable information (PII) before it’s passed to Google Analytics.
It’s illegal to send PII to Gogole Analytics, according to Google TOS:
Your entire GA profile can be suspended.
13. Use nested variables.
14. Merge GA and CRM data (for B2B marketers).
To do this: Find a unique key that both datasets share:
Cookie variable grabs UID
Send UID to custom dimensions
Import CRM data using UID (universal import) as a key
15. Leverage dataLayer.
16. Measure scroll depth. Capture scroll data at pre-defined points.
17. Observe dwell time. Understand which visits are sticky and which visits aren’t.
18. Monitor pogosticking. Idea from sioahava.com.
Log new browser history entry.
19. Include outsiders only. Filter out your team’s traffic without relying on IPs. Traditional way is problematic: people traveling, working from home, etc.
Designate a team parameter. Tagged as Team
20. Update metadata. Change or apply metadata without touching your code. Inject a tag into the site and then override it.
21. Implement structured data.
22. Hack site search tracking. If you don’t have query string, it’s no problem.
23. Configure analytics for web apps. Use advanced listening or ask nicely for a dataLayer.
24. Measure video engagement. Leverage YouTube’s API to fire events during the play.
25. Monitor form abandonment. Add form progress to an Array.
26. Measure adblocking traffic. Populate a customer dimension based on whether or not a fake ad gets blocked. You can get an approximate idea of how many visitors are using adblockers.
27. Close with personalization. Cookie users entering the funnel. Move it from conversion. Modify the site experience for folks who are still cookied
Set “enteredFunnel,” let them progress through, and then remove “enteredFunnel.”
You can then fire additional HTML tags: if they still have “enteredFunnel” cookie, show this content.
28. Create flexible lookups.
29. Use export and import containers.
Get yours at upbuild.io/gtm/eru
Description: 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.
Engineering as a marking when you build interactive tools to acquire, convert and engage leads
Most marketers don’t think of themselves as engineers, and we tend to stay in our own box. But that’s limiting, says Tara.
Reimagine your role as marketers.
Your plan for lingering marketing:
1. Build tools to convert millions of users
2. Acquire millions of pageviews
3. Boost engagement rates
Toolkit: 25 best software tools for your engineering as marketing plan (they don’t require writing a code)
Why should you care as engineering marketing?
Stop begging engineering to help you with every campaign
Double conversion rates and engagement
Differentiate from the same boring tactics your competitors use
Part 1: Build tools to convert millions of users
Example: Moz. An entire tab on the website for free tools for new users to engage with.
Hubspot: Using calculators
Crew.co: Using quiz (originally a blog post)
Ikea: Augmented reality
Use surveys as a “choose your own adventure” tool. Hack a quiz to do that. Leverage the built-in logic.
Motion.ai allows you to use artificial intelligence without writing a code. Might be useful for onboarding experience, FAQs, etc.
Stencyl allows you to use video games
Bubble allows you to create mobile apps using click and drop.
Bubble has 3 tabs:
1. Design – drag and drop to build the look of the app
3. Workflow – in plain English (e.g. “When the user does X, do Y.”)
Yes engineering marketing to acquire users:
Overlaps between engineering as marking and growth hacking
Edgar – schedule social media updates and republish them at the best times
Socedo – instead of ads, it looks for keywords people use.
Growthpup – finds customers for you on Instagram on autopilot
Engineering as marketing to boost engagement rates
Intercom – messaging people at the right time
Zapier – piece different software tools to create triggers
Use tools to transform marketing roles as builders. It’s all about iterations and experiments.
Description: Securing links can be tough, and it’s not about how creative or productive or smart we are, but how persuasive we are. Kirsty will walk you through how to get clients and managers to say yes to your best ideas, how to get interesting, affordable data, how to get experts to collaborate with you, and how to create outreach emails that compel people to cover your campaign.
Building links is hard, more than ever.
Challenges in building links:
Clients (or bosses) say no to ideas
Can’t get good data
Experts won’t collaborate
Our emails don’t get replies
We get coverage but not links
Tips on how to get clients to say yes:
1. Quit jargon. Clear simple language come across as more intelligent. Avoid acronyms.
2. Pitch something insane. Use data and then think of absolutely insane pitches.
3. Pitch ideas using questions.
When you have data, your likelihood of success goes up. Look for good, affordable data.
Get your surveys to people who care.
Use expert opinions and quotes. Expert endorsement increases replies.
Pay journalists (for content feedback, strategy advice and press release amends).
Use Amazon new releases. It’s a goldmine.
Avoid shitty outreach.
– Get to the point. No need to say “How are you?”
– Don’t lie. Don’t say “I’ve been reading your blog.”
– Don’t be apologetic and be specific.
– Put your story as your headline/subject line.
Use sexy language like embargo and exclusive.
The #1 thing both SEOs and PRs should stop doing: blanket outreach.
Send less emails, and start picking up the phone.
For infographics, citation isn’t enough. There has to be a specific reason to link: original data.
Description: 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.
Historically, crawlers have been locked out of some mobile content.
Google has gotten better at indexing apps—both in iOS and Android.
Two types of apps:
Native apps – you need to download these.
People love the native app experience, so developers are trying to change the web app experience to mimic the same native app experience.
Only 20% of websites are not mobile friendly.
Mobile-Friendly is gone, but will it soon replace slow?
Google’s favorite type of web apps: Progressive web apps (PWA). These are fast.
AMP apps require HTTPS.
PWA apps – can allow you to push notifications in the browser.
Users love PWAs:
3x more time spent on site
40% higher engagement rate
70% higher conversion rate
3x less data (PWAs are lighter and faster)
When making apps: don’t let fancy web development kill your SEO.
Indexing for native apps is all about providing entry points. Create links.
Firebase: Google’s new app platform
Google needs app developers to use Firebase
Description: How often are you asked to influence people to click a button? Buy a product? Stay on a page? We like to think of ourselves as logical, yet 95% of our decisions are unconscious. Sarah shares how to weave cognitive psychology concepts into your digital experiences. Steal these persuasive triggers to boost engagement, conversions, leads, and even delight.
As marketers, we’re always trying to persuade customers. Please click this button. Please download this e-book, etc.
95% of our decisions are made unconsciously
The most persuasive websites and campaigns tap into 3 parts of the human brain:
1. Social proof
Reviews, testimonials, likes, etc. add social proof
Scarcity appeals to your ‘survival brain.’
– Add a countdown
– Mention how many tickets/seats are available left
– Mention how many people are waiting to get the ticket
3. Loss aversion
People hate to lose even if it’s not theirs to lose.
– Example: crossing out original price to highlight how much the customer is saving.
– Example: a badge or a label – e.g. “Amazon’s choice!”
HTTPS (the lock symbol, the word ‘secure’) also help
– Add the reasons for making that decision.
Example: REI example: the reasons (100% satisfaction guaranteed, etc.) are below the CTA button.
Does your website say “because?”
Videos are great for showing reasons to buy or convert.
You can also show the reasons through visuals. Words aren’t always the solution.
Description: 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 dispell this myth and focus on how to architect a link strategy, alongside some hot new tools and tactics for link acquisition in 2016.
Content and links are still important for SEO.
There are dozens of factors Google use. But those factors are note the future…
Google is asking: Are searchers satisfied with the results?
Google uses aggregate behavioral data to figure out if searchers, on average, short click some results?
Thanks to deep learning, Google is able to determine BOTH domain reputation and author authority.
To build a sustainable link strategy for the future, every marketer needs:
A strategic roadmap
KPIs or metrics
Need a balance of both long-term investments and short-term hacks
5 long-term strategies that work
1. Community and user generated path – get a community submit content, reviews, etc., and invest in amplifying that content.
Examples: Product Hunt, Ravelry, ForexFactory. Creating a community that contributes and links.
2. Press and media. Focus on the people or product or industry that’s naturally attracting blogger/influencer interest. Associate your narrative that’s most important to your search traffic.
Examples: Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, Uber, Simple, Glowforge
3. Embed path. (Most risky of all 5 paths.) Create a platform that works via 3rd party websites. They take your stuff and they embed it to their websites.
Example: Vimeo, Rotten Tomatoes, Walk Score, TradingView, Slideshare
4. Partnership and alliances. Find an audience that forms links alongside the partnership/relationship. Craft a common structure for the ask or nudge you use in the partnership. Vary link
Examples: ReturnPath, FullContact, ox, SendGrid, Otis Elevators
5. Content marketing. Publish content, market your content, grow for scalable amplification. (Note: Content marketing is
Examples: Master of Malt, Collectors Weekly, Politifact, GrooveHQ
Manual link acquisition strategic?
Beaus it doesn’t scale. It’s very manual.
Strategy: over time, less work yields more
Flywheel: Moz’s *scalabale* approach to gaining links
Challenge: Find the flywheel “friction” and then use short-term growth hacks to solve that friction
10 of Rand’s favorite hacks:
1. Republishing. Take an existing piece of content, recreate a part or the whole and then create additional traffic.
Example: Republish on Medium
(There’s a webinar on republishing.)
2. Guest contributions.
TIP: search your keyword and then “become a contributor”
3. Geography – i.e. local links.
4. Small site/content acquisition
5. Be someone else’s press
6. Bio link. Anchor links on your bio could to better ranking. Get your C-suite to link to your site.
7. Resource links
8. Testimonials. Giving testimonials to other people. (Case studies work as well.)
9. Brand, image and reclamation.
10. Orthogonal alignment. Links from sponsorships, social causes, etc.
The biggest ask: align your strategy to where google is going.
– How people find you outside of search?
– Are your link sources pointing to content searchers find valuable?
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