learning to rethink SEO: insights from MozCon 2013
Last week, I attended my first Mozcon and I left inspired with new ideas and a reinvigorated love for marketing. Don’t you just love the feeling you get from conferences and the opportunty to learn from the best in the industry?
Prior to the conference, SEOmoz changed their name to Moz. They had many reasons for doing this and one of the main ones being “SEO is bigger than just SEO”. This theme was present throughout the entire conference resulting in a less technical conference than previous years (at least what I heard from other attendees) and an emphasis on respecting and working with other types of marketers.
In Dr. Pete Meyers presentation, “Beyond 10 Blue Links: The Future of Ranking (PPT)”, he explained how SEO is not as easy as it used to be and ranking on the top of search engines is no longer the main goal. Google has been making many changes to the way they display search engine results pages (SERPs), from showing personalized results, images, most recent news and even the carousel, which takes away from the #1 ranking result. Often times, pushing it down the page completely below the fold.
One example he showed was a search for “family portraits.” With the inclusion of advertisements, a large image block and a map taking up most of the real estate on the page, the actual results are not shown until you scroll down below the fold.
There are many new additions to SERPs that are taking the attention away from the results. To read more about this, check out “Understanding the SERPs in 2013“ from Authority Labs.
With these new changes, we need to find a better way to do SEO with new goals that go beyond just being #1 in search results. We need to stop giving all of our attention to being #1 and put the focus back on the business where it belongs, not the tools or latest changes Google is making. Mackenzie Fogelson discussed the need to create a strategy that brings in all members of the team from the beginning and, based on your goals, generated ideas that can help you achieve them. Then you need to think about the tools you’ll be using for this including:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
My background is in PR and corporate communications and all this got me wondering: have we all always had the same goals and some of the same tools but have been using different key performance indicators (KPIs)? Wil Reynolds brought this up in his presentation where he expanded on his well known message of doing “Real Company Shit” or #RCS. He discussed how #RCS requires respect of other disciplines and referred to the campaign dubbed “one the most interactive movie campaigns ever hatched by Hollywood.” The Dark Night became the biggest opening day of all time with the highest number of pre-sale tickets ever sold, with the help of 42 Entertainment. They are killing it and they aren’t even in the SEO industry! Then he asked an important question of everyone in the room,
“will advertising agencies get better at tech tools before SEOs learn storytelling, pitching, journalism and branding?”
I don’t believe that the need for SEOs will disappear, but I do think that we will all become part of a greater team that is built around doing what’s right for the business and writing content for the love of content, not the need. I’m glad to say that our team at booj realized this a little over a year ago. We noticed our marketing and SEO departments had many of the same goals and similar tactics, so it made sense to put us all in one room to create a bigger and better team.
What do you think of these changes for SEO and creating a multi-talented team that’s focused on real business goals? Do you think this will help build a better reputation for SEOs and marketers alike?