Jake Quade (pictured below) from Finder.com.au has just returned from Mozcon in Seattle, one of the globe’s biggest inbound marketing conferences. Here are the 12 biggest tips that he learned over the three days for advertisers, content producers, SEO and PRs.
- Mobile isn’t disrupting desktop usage – just everything else in our lives
According to Rand Fishkin (CEO of Moz)’s initial keynote, February 2013 saw the number of minutes spent online on mobile devices sitting at around 400 billion, with desktop just above at 500 billion. As of April 2015, even though mobile had skyrocketed to just under 900 billion, desktop was still around 500 billion. The key learning here is to not kill your desktop advertising – it’s still powerful and obviously more consistent.
- Your mobile apps have an inherently bountiful search potential
With Google aiming to provide a smoother and more direct experience, apps now are highly likely to include their own callout above search results. If you’re running PPC ads for a phone app, you may be wasting your money and getting a premium spot for much less (if not for free). When nearly 65 per cent-plus of smartphone owners don’t download apps regularly, this tactic could open up the market.
- Personalise landing pages through keyword tracking
Are you using PPC to target people looking for a particular type of service? Cara Harshman revealed a scenario in which SecretEscapes used keyword targeting to personalise their landing pages when visitors had searched for ‘spa breaks’. The result? A 32 per cent uptick in conversions.
- A dominant provider or service might cancel out your PPC spend
It’s becoming more clear that Google is focusing on efficient, seamless user experience. Do a Google search on the terms you want to funnel PPC ads into, and look at the auto-suggest results on mobile devices. Is there a direct link in there? If so, it’s probably hacking away at the competition – revisit your chances with another search term.
For Content Marketers:
- Make your content global
Content that is scaled to a global extent is not only more comprehensive, it also becomes more personalised – people want to want how their nation compares to others. Rather than creating new global content, begin by revisiting your big hitting pieces and taking them international.
- If you’re losing out to competitors, integrate rather than compete
Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp when they realised they provide better UX for consumers than their products – in another example, Google Contributor is looking to kill their traditional ad revenue. These are both scenarios of big hitters sacrificing revenue in order to provide better experience. If someone else in your industry does a better job, integrate their services and find your own niche revenue off their back rather than going head-to-head.
- Learn 10X content that can’t be scaled
Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz and SEO genius, outlined 10x content as being above and beyond the content in the first page of the topic you want to be known for. Review each result for your keywords and identify what, after review, is still missing that the user would want. Once you’ve done this to the extent that competitors would find it hard to scale your work, you’ve created a powerful resource.
- Split test everything – literally everything
Split testing is crucial to knowing what users actually want (especially when it’s impossible to pin down exactly who the user ‘is’. This study even revealed the surprising difference that alternate faces had on conversion pages. Having a human feel on your content isn’t enough – even the face needs to be tailored and optimised. Yes, the guy on the left had more conversions.
- 2015: The beginning of a dual-metric age
In his final keynote of the conference, Rand mentioned the beginning of an age in which traditional algorithm influencers are merging intrinsically with user-generated signals. Keywords and link building now exist alongside the tangible metrics of user satisfaction, return visitation and social referral. A key idea is to keep both in equal standing for your profile-building techniques, and lean toward UX optimisation.
- Hacking Search result ‘snack boxes’
Moz’s in-house Data Scientist, Pete Meyers, noted a strong correlation between exactly answering a question and the probability of being shown in Google’s snack boxes (the instant answers shown for some questions) – even if your page didn’t sit in first position in the search results. Google’s algorithm is a machine – it can’t definitively know the most human answer, but it can certainly see that you’ve addressed the question outright.
- Prioritise time on page and natural page progression
One of the key, new-algorithm metrics coming into play involves user time on page. We’ve all known creating interactive content is a good idea, but keeping users on a page while still engaged gives off awesome signals when Google’s trying to assess whether or not your page meets user expectations. Video and interactive content = better user metrics.
- Don’t bank on your current positioning in the search results
Position in the search results has traditionally been a score out of 10. While we’ve seen this change in recent times, a simple product-based search will show that Google is shifting away from focusing on SERPS and becoming a user-hub of information. Another key example is when looking for restaurants in a particular area. Do you really want to compete with a Google Maps snack box? No matter your answer, you may not have a choice in the near future.