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Ready for S’more? The MozCon 2022 Day Two Recap

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Sneak Peek: The Initial MozCon 2022 Speaker Lineup

Day two of Camp MozCon was everything we expected it to be: more networking, more marshmallows, and more brilliant presentations from the top minds in the industry. Speakers covered the SEO gamut — from research and content creation, to e-commerce, and more!

Not only were the presentations chock-full of insights, but the storytelling had us feeling as though we were all sitting around the campfire. Everyone was dialed in and ready to turn insights into actions.

More Than Pageviews: Evaluating Content Success & Correcting Content Failure — Dana DiTomaso

Dana started the day by making us think: what is the best way to measure content success? And she didn’t just mean which KPIs should we measure, but also how we are going to track those KPIs.

The example she talked about was pageviews, which sounds easy enough. The issue though, is that every time a tab is refreshed (even by tag hoarders) a pageview is tracked. This can very easily skew your data.

To collect accurate data, Dana’s team used Data Studio connected to GA4, which uses events collected through Google Tag Manager. She did this by collecting the publish date, creating a custom formula that collects the publish date, and dividing the pageviews by day. Now the client can truly see how pages are performing without skewed data.

This wizardry was just the tip of the iceberg, though. Dana then went through how to measure whether people are reading your content, what percentage of people who actually see the CTA are clicking it, and more.

As always, Dana closed by reminding us to focus on what is important and ignore what isn’t. Don’t introduce doubt if you don’t have to.

Trash In, Garbage Out: A Guide to Non-Catastrophic Keyword Research — Tom Capper

Tom’s storytelling reminded us all too well of a situation we despise as SEO: clients focused on head terms. We’ve all had a client who just wants to rank for “flower delivery,” haven’t we? Our solution as SEOs is to create so-called exhaustive lists of metrics and keywords, but Tom argues this is just as useless.

Instead, Tom suggests:

  1. Capture intent instead of keywords

  2. Identify true opportunities for click traffic

  3. Aim for accuracy (pick good tools)

Should you choose to skip these suggestions, it’s likely you’ll end up with overly-inflated and far-from-helpful data. Tom showed us an example of Google Ads data overestimating clicks by a factor of 18x, what happens when a keyword list reports volume data without organic CTR estimates, and that over 15% of searches every day are brand new.

SEO in the Enterprise: Tips and Tricks for Growing Organic Traffic at Scale — Jackie Chu

It’s always a treat to learn from Jackie, and this year is no different. She walked us through how she works with enterprise teams to grow organic traffic. Anyone who has had this goal knows one thing – it takes a lot of convincing. Luckily for us, Jackie shared her solution for gaining buy-in.

First, she identifies the most impactful projects by asking these three questions:

  1. Does it impact crawling/indexing?

  2. Does it impact a lot of pages?

  3. Is it strategically relevant?

After identifying potential projects, it’s time to prioritize them through forecasting and storytelling. Jackie shared her thoughts on three forecasting strategies: top-down, bottom-up, and competitive share forecasting, along with the pros and cons of each one, and how she uses the RICE framework to prioritize projects.

To keep people in your corner after they’ve worked with you, be sure to thank them! Not just privately, but in front of their bosses and colleagues as well. Overthinking and over communicating your wins ensures that the cross-functional teams you work with understand the impact they’ve had through working with you.

The Future of Local Landing Pages — Amanda Jordan

This is Amanda’s very first MozCon and she spent it rocking the stage talking about local landing pages. Notice the added adjective “landing”? Amanda told us that she sees each local page as a landing page that should convince users to do business with her clients, kind of like a page built for PPC users.

She believes that if a user gets to your local page, they are trying to complete a goal, and it’s up to us to provide the tools they need in order to do so.

The top features included on top local landing pages include:

Aside from offering these tools, moving forward, local SEOs are going to need to pull data from their CRM to speak to the exact pain points of their customers, increase the use of local government statistics, and lean on user-generated content through surveys and polls.

How Marketing Data Intelligence Skyrocketed Our B2B Conversions — Tina Fleming

Tina took us down memory lane, and not necessarily in a good way. She reminded us of iOS 14 and the cookie-pocalypse, and how much that sent us spiraling. Tina used this example to assure us: it’s time for us to embrace being data-driven in order to create better user experiences (even when we feel like the data is impossible to collect).

And the best way to ensure you have data you can use is to collect your own! The first place this can be done is by using your CRM, but where the CRM falls off (i.e. unknown users) a data acquisition platform can pick up.

This data will then allow you to create personalized experiences for users. Tina even showed us the example of her company’s website, and how their homepage was optimized to speak directly to the user using the data they already had.

Lastly, Tina told us to focus on collecting the data we can’t collect using public data. If people are willing to share that information, they are much more likely to be sales qualified.

Achieve Accessibility Goals with Machine Learning — Miracle Inameti-Archibong

Asking for help in any situation is hard, which often means the ask isn’t brought to those who can help. For that reason, we feel so grateful to have Miracle at MozCon to remind our industry of the importance of site accessibility.

She reminded us that some of the tasks that we find to be “less important” for SEO are actually extremely important for site users. For instance, one-third of all images have questionable or repetitive alt text — despite the fact that we know how to monitor alt text, and how to change it for the better.

To be sure you aren’t contributing to the problem, Miracle equipped us all with the pillars of an accessibility audit. Your website should be:

  1. Perceivable

  2. Operable

  3. Understandable

  4. Robust

She also shared tools that help you with this audit, and demonstrated why using a screen reader yourself to assess your content is the best way to understand how your content will be consumed by a user who needs one.

How True Leaders Transform a Marketing Department into a Dream Team — Paxton Gray

You’re a badass marketer, which means you have likely — will likely — be asked to lead a team of marketers. Here’s the thing, though: our job changes every day, and there are very few resources to become educated on that job.

Due to this lack of education, once you become a part of the marketing leadership team, the fear of failure can become real. To overcome that fear, focus on clear, attainable goals. This may require you to dig a bit deeper than you’re used to and ask more questions, but it will help you to not just find more happiness in your role, but to help your clients more as well.

Once you have a clear focus to work toward, it’s time to close the feedback loop. Identify everyone involved with your campaigns and ensure they have access to all of the data. Doing so allows your team to work together more cohesively.

Lastly, remove the barriers to beneficial risk-taking by openly sharing the burden of campaign outcomes. Let your team know you are there with them, and you’re not going to let them fall.

Myths, Misconceptions, & Mistakes (Lessons Learned from a Decade in Digital PR) — Hannah Smith

Hannah used this talk to review some of the things she has said over the years. The first thing: “you don’t need luck, you just need to work really hard.” Which sounded nice, but she has come to realize that much of her success can be attributed to luck.

Hannah found that she just tended to downplay the role of luck, as she was afraid it made her appear as though she didn’t know what she was doing. She then reviewed a mistake she made which was simply stopping at “study what worked.” Instead, she admits the saying should have finished with “and find out why it worked.”

When it comes to PR, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. What stories were told in the pieces?

  2. Did the coverage of the piece feed into something else that was happening in the news cycle?

  3. Were there waves of coverage that led to the success of the piece?

  4. What emotions did this story invoke?

  5. What vertices covered the story?

  6. Did the piece get coverage in multiple countries?

She then closed by sharing a piece of misinformation she has been fueling: that it’s normal to be wildly successful. It’s not. Hannah assured us that only 10% of the pieces she’s been part of have generated notable results.

E-Commerce SEO Horror Stories: How to Tackle the Most Common Issues at Scale and Avoid an SEO Nightmare — Aleyda Solis

Aleyda brought so much energy to the stage as she spoke about e-commerce SEO. No matter the amount of tools we have access to as e-commerce SEOs, it’s still true that our job is really hard, which makes it very easy to overlook detrimental mistakes.

The first mistake Aleyda covered was allowing any and all internal search results to be indexable. This can create duplicate or thin content, and an overall poor user experience that will hurt your bottom line. While this is scary, the solution isn’t terribly complex, you could just canonicalize or 301 redirect these links to relevant facet pages.

Another mistake she discussed was poor unique descriptive content on product pages. The consequence of this mistake can be hundreds or even thousands of “crawled, not indexed” pages in Search Console. Google marks these pages as duplicate or thin content and therefore deem them unworthy of indexing.

To combat this problem you will want to add unique images, use descriptive language in your copy, incentivize reviews on product pages, and use structured data. By putting this effort in, Google will recognize that the product is unique and reward the page by indexing it. Alternatively, you may not want to index each page, instead you may want to focus on those facet pages.

These are just two of the issues Aleyda covered in her talk, but if we tried to cover all seven as in-depth as she was able to, we would be here all day. If you want to see all seven horror stories and how to defeat them, pick up the video bundle and watch her talk. Believe us, it’s worth it for this talk alone.

There is still one day left!

Can you believe MozCon is two-thirds of the way complete? We certainly can’t, but we aren’t letting anyone leave camp without enough new skills to fill their vest. Come back for day three to learn more about SEO, marketing, and growth.



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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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