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Page Experience is Here to Stay: Moz Launches Performance Metrics Suite

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Page Experience is Here to Stay: Moz Launches Performance Metrics Suite

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Way back in April 2021, I had the honor of announcing a new beta Moz product: Performance Metrics. It arrived just in time for SEOs to track and improve their sites through the anticipated May launch of Google’s Page Experience update. We uniquely offered at-scale tracking and issue identification against Core Web Vital metrics for hundreds of URLs per campaign, rather than the handful of URLs available in competing tools at the time.

Back then, we (correctly) anticipated a minimal initial impact from the update, but even we didn’t foresee Google’s delay of the full rollout until August. However, sites are now seeing a real world impact from Core Web Vitals, as our recent study showed back in October. Google is talking about extending that impact to desktop from February or March 2022 (something that our tool has always allowed you to compare cohesively in one campaign), and it seems likely that the importance of these ranking factors will only increase.

Now is the time, then, for us to bring Performance Metrics out of beta and help our customers prepare for the next stage of Google’s Page Experience update this spring. Today, we’re announcing the full launch of Performance Metrics, including a host of new features and improvements based on the feedback we’ve received from early adopters, as well as our own experts and data.

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What’s new

Many users have already been enjoying the bulk analysis, issue identification, and tailored, tactical advice we’ve been offering in Performance Metrics. However, since the beta launch, customers have consistently asked for automated, scheduled testing of lists of URLs, and displays of page performance over time. This makes total sense to us — tracking improvements to see the fruits of your efforts, and identifying when any issues appear, are both great uses for the tool. As such, we’ve included both of these features in the full launch.

Of course, the on-demand analysis you might have already been enjoying in the beta is still there, but with some UI improvements along the way. In particular, you can now re-test the same page multiple times per day, if you want to take some new changes for a quick spin.

Last but not least, as this tool is no longer in beta, you can now also track all of this alongside metrics like visibility, DA, Spam Score and any and all other Moz Pro data in custom scheduled reports.

Why now?

Core Web Vitals are for life, not just for Christmas. Yes, the update finally arrived in August 2021, but that was only the start of the journey — we can and should expect Google to ramp up the importance of these metrics as they gain confidence in the quality and coverage of their own data, and in the health of affected websites.

There’s also the desktop rollout this spring that I mentioned above. Lastly, there may be two new metrics coming — which we’ll of course be integrating into our product once they’re confirmed — probably relating to smoothness and responsiveness. Google has previously indicated an annual cadence of updates to Core Web Vitals, so as an industry we shouldn’t be surprised by this.

As a reminder, by late last year we were already seeing slower pages suffer in rankings, and Google’s methodology of using CrUX data means that sites will often be judged by their most highly trafficked pages.

Our Performance Metrics tool, even in beta, was designed to help marketers prioritize pages to work on, and then issues to address, within this paradigm — we let you sort pages by traffic or ranking or PA, analyze or track whichever ones interest you without limiting you to one page at a time, then see which pages are failing in which areas, and what specific issues and elements are causing those problems. Which might be leaving you wondering…

How to use Performance Metrics in Moz Pro

When you log into Performance Metrics (Moz Pro -> Campaigns -> Site Crawl), you’ll now see there are two tabs in the overview:

The second tab shows URLs which will be automatically tracked over time. You can add to this list using the same filters and menu that you might be familiar with from the beta. Just scroll down on the first tab, and you’ll see a table like this:

1642540927 777 Page Experience is Here to Stay Moz Launches Performance Metrics

Here you can add URLs in bulk or individually to analyze, track, or perform other actions.

To make things even easier, you can filter the table and charts even further, to include only your top ranking, top traffic, or top Page Authority pages:

1642540928 541 Page Experience is Here to Stay Moz Launches Performance Metrics

Within the tracked tab, you’ll then gradually start to see charts form like this one:

1642540928 276 Page Experience is Here to Stay Moz Launches Performance Metrics

And, when you inspect the individual URLs, you can see their own performance over time, as well as specific changes to individual metrics, and tailored advice on what to improve – down to individual resources or elements that need to be addressed, and jargon-free tips from the Moz team.

There’s more detailed guidance available over at the help section, and of course our customer support team is there for you with any questions.

Focus for 2021

There’s more to SEO than Core Web Vitals, but that doesn’t mean you can take your eye off the ball. Focus on a holistic user experience that will be robust to future metrics and tweaks from Google, and particularly on your high traffic pages that are more likely to be the basis for any judgment cast on your site. Lastly, remember your competitors aren’t standing still — they may even be reading this very blog post and using our Performance Metrics suite. The goal posts march inexorably forth.

Sign up for Moz Pro to access the suite!

Already a Moz Pro customer? Log in to access the suite!


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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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