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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.

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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:

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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MARKETING

6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

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6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

Having worked at several organizations and dealt with many more vendors, I’ve seen my share of client-vendor relationships and their associated “gotchas.” 

Contracts are complex for a reason. That’s why martech practitioners are wise to lean on lawyers and buyers during the procurement process. They typically notice terms that could undoubtedly catch business stakeholders off guard.

Remember, all relationships end. It is important to look for thorny issues that can wreak havoc on future plans.

I’ve seen and heard of my share of contract gotchas. Here are some generalizations to look out for.

1. Data

So, you have a great data vendor. You use them to buy contacts and information as well as to enrich what data you’ve already got. 

When you decide to churn from the vendor, does your contract allow you to keep and use the data you’ve pulled into your CRM or other systems after the relationship ends? 

You had better check.

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2. Funds

There are many reasons why you would want to give funds in advance to a vendor. Perhaps it pays for search ads or allows your representatives to send gifts to prospective and current customers. 

When you change vendors, will they return unused funds? That may not be a big deal for small sums of money. 

Further, while annoying, processing fees aren’t unheard of. But what happens when a lot of cash is left in the system? 

You had better make sure that you can get that back.

3. Service-level agreements (SLAs)

Your business is important, and your projects are a big deal. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a prompt response to a question or action when something wrong happens. 

That’s where SLAs come in. 

It’s how your vendor tells you they will respond to questions and issues. A higher price point typically will get a client a better SLA that requires the vendor to respond and act more quickly — and more of the time to boot (i.e., 24/7 service vs. standard business hours). 

Make sure that an SLA meets your expectations. 

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Further, remember that most of the time, you get what you pay for. So, if you want a better SLA, you may have to pay for it.


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4. Poaching

Clients and vendors alike are always looking for quality people to employ. Sometimes they find them on the other side of the client-vendor relationship. 

Are you OK with them poaching one of your team members? 

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If not, this should be discussed and put into writing during the contract negotiation phase, a renewal, or at any time if it is that important.

 I have dealt with organizations that are against anti-poaching clauses to the point that a requirement to have one is a dealbreaker. Sometimes senior leadership or board members are adamant about an individual’s freedom to work where they please — even if one of their organization’s employees departs to work for a customer or vendor. 

5. Freebies

It is not unheard of for vendors to offer their customers freebies. Perhaps they offer a smaller line item to help justify a price increase during a renewal. 

Maybe the company is developing a new product and offers it in its nascent/immature/young stage to customers as a deal sweetener or a way to collect feedback and develop champions for it. 

Will that freemium offer carry over during the next renewal? Your account executive or customer success manager may say it will and even spell that out in an email. 

Then, time goes by. People on both sides of the relationship change or forget details. Company policies change. That said, the wording in a contract or master service agreement won’t change. 

Make sure the terms of freebies or other good deals are put into legally sound writing.

Read next: 24 questions to ask ABM vendors before signing the contract

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6. Pricing factors

There are many ways vendors can price out their offerings. For instance, a data broker could charge by the contact engaged by a customer. But what exactly does that mean? 

If a customer buys a contact’s information, that makes sense as counting as one contact. 

What happens if the customer, later on, wants to enrich that contact with updated information? Does that count as a second contact credit used? 

Reasonable minds could justify the affirmative and negative to this question. So, evaluating a pricing factor or how it is measured upfront is vital to determine if that makes sense to your organization. 

Don’t let contract gotchas catch you off-guard 

The above are just a few examples of martech contract gotchas martech practitioners encounter. There is no universal way to address them. Each organization will want to address them differently. The key is to watch for them and work with your colleagues to determine what’s best in that specific situation. Just don’t get caught off-guard.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Steve Petersen is a marketing technology manager at Zuora. He spent nearly 8.5 years at Western Governors University, holding many martech related roles with the last being marketing technology manager. Prior to WGU, he worked as a strategist at the Washington, DC digital shop The Brick Factory, where he worked closely with trade associations, non-profits, major brands, and advocacy campaigns. Petersen holds a Master of Information Management from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University. He’s also a Certified ScrumMaster. Petersen lives in the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Petersen represents his own views, not those of his current or former employers.

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