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Welcome, Happy Campers! The MozCon 2022 Day One Recap



Today, after three years, we gathered some of our best friends in the industry to kick off the biggest SEO party of the year in Seattle. That’s right, Camp MozCon is back in all of its real-life glory and we could not be more excited! Cue all of the fist bumps, Roger selfies, and snacks, because we are back in action!

It wouldn’t be MozCon without the top minds in the industry sharing their findings, and we were not disappointed yesterday. They really brought the heat to the campfire.

SERP Strategies — Andy Crestodina

Andy is always a fan favorite as he combines analysis with strategy. This year he’s done the same as he walked us through his research on SERP pages.

We all knew SERPs have changed a ton, but Andy — the professional SERP screenshotter he is — has collected visuals of multiple SERPs over the last few years. Not only was he hoarding this data, but he has been using it to his advantage.

Andy walked us through his process of keyword research, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t just end with “difficulty, volume, CTR.”

The process he uses:

  1. Keyword research

  2. SERP analysis

  3. Optimize for the searcher experience within: SERP features, Directories, Marketplaces, Associations

Search What You See: Visual Search Tactics, Tools, and Optimizations — Crystal Carter

Crystal broke down visual search in a new way, explaining to us that “Visual Search turns our camera into a tool for understanding the world.” She then explained the difference between image search/optimization and visual search/optimization – contrary to popular belief, they’re not interchangeable! Image optimization is about making sure images can be returned for text queries. Visual optimization ensures visual queries can return necessary answers for the searcher.

If you want to start understanding what entities you have available to you, use your camera roll as a dataset. Google allows you to upload your images and will organize them into entities for you. Google also relies on your branding to match your business to photos uploaded by you and your customers. They are looking at your logos and color schemes and the images uploaded to the internet to see if they can match them.

Places you need to think of your visual search opportunities in real life (IRL):

  • Sponsorships

  • Merch and uniforms

  • Well placed logos in your facility

  • Photo op corners (ya know, 100% that pic)

Unlocking the Hidden Potential of Product Listing Pages — Areej AbuAli

In her research, Areej found that 60% of organic revenue came from product listing pages. This is interesting because as SEOs, we tend to focus on site-wide changes as opposed to identifying parts of a site that have the biggest impact. This doesn’t just apply to e-commerce, though, real estate sites have product listing pages.

Break things down into building blocks. For example, in e-commerce, the three main building blocks are:

  1. Content

  2. Tech

  3. Filters

She showed us how she went through an entire process of identifying a tech issue, doing the research, creating a workflow, sending in a ticket and getting it implemented without any breaks.

Now, while we were all excited for her, she then admitted that there was no impact of the change on the organic revenue.

The moral of the story? It’s worth diving deep into the one opportunity that delivers value, but you’ve got to dive deep and deliver solutions with cross functionality. Because it’s not as effective to address one of the building blocks when you could address them all effectively.

Areej also hit on a TON of other stuff in her 250 slides, so you may wanna snag that MozCon video package.

Get Your Local SEO Recipe Right with Content & Schema — Emily Brady

Have you ever wondered how you can create unique content for each of your location pages? We have, too. That’s why we were so happy to have Emily, one of our amazing Community Speakers, grace the stage (for the very first time!) and share her recipe for unique content and schema.

The recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • Hyper-local content

  • Attributes

  • Staff bios

  • Hours

  • Address & phone number

  • Photos

  • Reviews

  • Inventory

  • Nearby locations

  • Specials & coupons

  • FAQs

  • Departments & services

Once the ingredients are in place, schema can be used to help provide context to the content you’ve been able to create. For instance, use person schema for your staff bio and place mark-up for your attribute.

Sometimes, the difference between you and the competitor is the time you are willing to take in order to implement the hard things. Hard work is truly unique.

SEO Gap Analysis: Leverage Your Competitor’s Performance — Lidia Infante

Lidia started off by reminding us that ranking is as easy, or as hard, as doing better than our competitors. She then broke SEO down into three main pillars: content, tech, and links.

As you think of how you can do better than your competitor, you have to identify which pillar(s) they’re executing better than you. But how do you do that? Well, first, you must identify who your true competitors are based on the keywords of which you’d like to rank.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, you can move into benchmarking their content metrics, brand metrics, and tech SEO metrics. You can compare these metrics to your metrics in order to identify your opportunities for improvement.

Now, go improve! As Lidia said, there is no growth without execution.

The Future of Link Building: What Got Us Here, Won’t Get Us There — Paddy Moogan

The fundamentals don’t change that often. In fact, 10 years ago Paddy went on stage and shared 35 link building ideas in 35 minutes. As he reviewed his epic talk from a decade ago, he found that over 20 of them are still “good” ideas. This just enforced the idea that the fundamentals of what we do as SEOs, don’t really change that often. Major core updates, they don’t “just happen” that often. But sometimes, they do.

Based on the changes that have come about the last 10 years, Paddy has decided that outreach alone isn’t a sustainable strategy. Aria found that SEOs spend about 3 hours to build a link, if you’re down 10,000 links.. Well, that’s a lot of hours. If you stop putting time in, you stop getting results. So, what’s the other option?

Paddy talked about creating a link building strategy that outlasts you. The biggest difference here is pivoting from focusing on who can link to you, to thinking about who is doing business with you.

This strategy focuses on four things:

  • Audience (who are they)

  • Pain points (what do they struggle with)

  • Solutions (what can you offer)

  • Keywords (what can you rank for)

When you string these things together you force relevancy. And relevancy, friends, is what we are aiming for.

How to Capitalize on the Link Potential of a Research Report — Debbie Chu

As Debbie, our second amazing Community Speaker of the day, started to scour the pages for some of the keywords she wanted to rank for, she noticed they all had one thing in common: they linked to research reports. After uncovering this, Debbie went all in with research reports.

She came up with a process for creating these research reports:

  1. Come up with the story by looking at the products, features, and related topics.

  2. Do research and identify any gaps of opportunities.

  3. Score your ideas using HOT: Headlines, Other Teams (like PR, data, etc.), and Timeliness.

  4. Gather data from multiple sources.

  5. Analyze data and find the newsworthy stats.

After going through this process, all that is left is to create the content and reach out to the appropriate people. For example, if you find that Seattle is the best city for working from home, reach out to Seattle associations, as they may want to share your findings.

Breaking into new areas with Topic Maps — Noah Learner

As most of you know, Noah nailed it last year with his presentation on using Google Data Studio to find opportunities in the keywords you currently rank for. But this year, Noah wanted to tackle finding opportunities for businesses who don’t rank for a ton of keywords.

He started by looking at the source: how they’re getting their data. He found things like the fact that Knowledge Panels point to Wikipedia more times than not. Google has documentation on how autocomplete works, and in it, Google cites that it’s pulling data from Google Trends — which has an API.

So naturally, as the curious guy he is, Noah found a way to use the API to map all of the related terms into a Google Sheet. From there, he removed irrelevant terms, pulled in keyword metrics using his favorite keyword tools API, and ran the cycle again for each related term.

The best part: he provided all the documentation you need to create this yourself!

With this tool, you’re able to make decisions based on client goals, high search volume, your ability to rank, and high transaction value. Then refer back to the clusters and find opportunities for internal linking.

But most importantly, Noah closed with a piece of advice he received from the late Hamlet Batista: give, give, give to others, any time you can.

Building Remote Culture that Feels Like a Culture — Ruth Burr Reedy

The pandemic left marks that are likely to stand the test of time, and one of them is working from home. It’s awesome, but it’s also super hard to do well as a business. When we’re all distributed, there are far fewer built-in opportunities for connection.

We were super lucky to have Ruth come talk to us as someone who has managed remote teams over the last six years. She started by challenging managers to ask themselves, “what do we want it to feel like when you work here?” and to ask employees, “what does it actually feel like to work here?”

Once you know what feeling you want to create, you need to figure out when and where you can create that feeling remotely. This should start as early as onboarding. Have employees meet each other during onboarding, create an agenda for your new hires, etc.

The most important part of managing remote teams is having a concrete way to measure whether or not the work is getting done.

Moneyball is the Future of SEO — Will Critchlow

If something was *almost* as hard as the thing, but it was worth just as much as the easy thing, which would you choose?

With SEO testing, we can focus on tested on-site changes, brand new content, lets skip the untested, hopeful stuff. Create a hypothesis and test both the control and the variant. Run the test and analyze your data.

Will shared a ton of tactics they’ve tested multiple times, and some of these tactics include things like moving hidden content out of an accordion, using pop ups, changing SERP appearance, using structured data, and so on.

Will assured us that we are able to run these tests ourselves, and encouraged us to do so! Even if we can’t have the tests 100% controlled or thought out, because in site testing Bing found that website experiments tend to bring rare but large wins.

So, as Dr. Pete would say, “run your own tests.”

On to day two!

Phew, can you believe that was just day one? Neither can we!

Now remember, what our speakers just shared with you is extremely valuable, but only if you put it into action! Take a second and write down one thing you can put into action next week.

Day one may be in the books, but we are so hype to see what today’s speakers bring to the picnic table.

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Content Operations Framework: How To Build One



Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

More and more marketers of all ilk – inbound, outbound, social, digital, content, brand – are asked to add content operations to their list of responsibilities.

You must get your arms around:

  • Who is involved (and, I mean, every who) in content creation
  • How content is created
  • What content is created by whom
  • Where content is conceived, created, and stored
  • When and how long it takes for content to happen
  • Why content is created (the driving forces behind content creation)
  • What kinds of content does the audience want
  • How to build a framework to bring order and structure to all of this

The evolving expectations mean content marketers can no longer focus only on the output of their efforts. They must now also consider, construct, implement, and administer the framework for content operations within their organizations.

#Content marketers can no longer focus solely on the output. It’s time to add content ops to the mix, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

What exactly are content operations?

Content operations are the big-picture view of everything content-related within your organization, from strategy to creation, governance to effectiveness measurement, and ideation to content management. All too frequently at the companies – large and small – we consult with at The Content Advisory, content operations are left to evolve/happen in an organic fashion.

Teams say formal content operations aren’t necessary because “things are working just fine.”

Translation: Nobody wants the task of getting everyone aligned. No one wants to deal with multiple teams’ rationale for why the way they do things is the right/best/only way to do it. So, content teams just go on saying everything is fine.

News flash – it’s not.

It’s not just about who does what when with content.

Done right, content operations enable efficacy and efficiency of processes, people, technologies, and cost. Content ops are essential for strategic planning, creation, management, and analysis for all content types across all channels (paid, earned, owned) and across the enterprise from ideation to archive.

A formal, documented, enforced content operation framework powers and empowers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible customer experiences throughout the audiences’ journeys.

A documented, enforced #ContentOperations framework powers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible experiences, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

What holds many content, administrative, and marketing teams back from embracing a formal content operations strategy and framework is one of the biggest, most challenging questions for anything new: “Where do we start?”

Here’s some help in high-level, easy-to-follow steps.

1. Articulate the purpose of content

Purpose is why the team does what it does. It’s the raison d’etre and inspiration for everything that follows. In terms of content, it drives all content efforts and should be the first question asked every time content is created or updated. Think of it as the guiding star for all content efforts.

In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek says it succinctly: “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year, says @SimonSinek via @CathyMcKnight and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Define the content mission

Once the purpose of the teams’ content efforts is clear (and approved), it’s time to define your content mission. Is your content’s mission to attract recruits? Build brand advocacy? Deepen relationships with customers? Do you have buy-in from the organization, particularly the C-suite? This is not about identifying what assets will be created.

Can you talk about your mission with clarity? Have you created a unique voice or value proposition? Does it align with or directly support a higher, corporate-level objective and/or message? Hint: It should.

Answering all those questions solidifies your content mission.


The marketer’s field manual to content operations

A hands-on primer for marketers to upgrade their content production process – by completing a self-audit and following our step-by-step best practices. Get the e-book.

3. Set and monitor a few core objectives and key results

Once your content mission is in place, it is time to set out how to determine success.

Content assets are called assets for a reason; they possess real value and contribute to the profitability of your business. Accordingly, you need to measure their efficacy. One of the best ways is to set OKRs – objectives and key results. OKRs are an effective goal-setting and leadership tool for communicating objectives and milestones to achieve them.

OKRs typically identify the objective – an overall business goal to achieve – and three to five key quantifiable, objective, measurable outcomes. Finally, establish checkpoints to ensure the ultimate objective is reached.

Let’s say you set an objective to implement an enterprise content calendar and collaboration tool. Key results to track might include:

  • Documenting user and technical requirements
  • Researching, demonstrating, and selecting a tool
  • Implementing and rolling out the tool.

You would keep tabs on elements/initiatives, such as securing budget and approvals, defining requirements, working through procurement, and so on.

One more thing: Make sure OKRs are verifiable by defining the source and metric that will provide the quantifiable, measurable result.

Make sure objectives and key results are verifiable by defining source and metric, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

4. Organize your content operations team

With the OKRs set, you need people to get the work done. What does the structure look like? Who reports to whom?

Will you use a centralized command-and-control approach, a decentralized but-supported structure, or something in between? The team structure and organization must work within the construct and culture of the larger organization.

Here’s a sample organizational chart we at TCA developed for a Fortune 50 firm. At the top is the content function before it diverges into two paths – one for brand communications and one for a content center of excellence.

Under brand communications is each brand or line of business followed by these jointly connected teams: content – marcom, social/digital content development and management, center of excellence content – creative leader, center of excellence PR/media relations, customer relationship management, and social advertising.

Under the content center of excellence is the director of content strategy, manager of content traffic, projects, and planning, digital asset operations manager, audience manager, social channel and content specialist, creative manager, content performance and agility specialist, and program specialist.

Click to enlarge

5. Formalize a governance model

No matter how the operational framework is built, you need a governance model. Governance ensures your content operations follow agreed-upon goals, objectives, and standards.

Get a senior-management advocate – ideally someone from the C-suite – to preside over setting up your governance structure. That’s the only way to get recognition and budget.

To stay connected to the organization and its content needs, you should have an editorial advisory group – also called an editorial board, content committee, or keeper of the content keys. This group should include representatives from all the functional groups in the business that use the content as well as those intricately involved in delivering the content. The group should provide input and oversight and act as touchpoints to the rest of the organization.

Pointing to Simon Sinek again for wisdom here: “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive, it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

6. Create efficient processes and workflows

Adherence to the governance model requires a line of sight into all content processes.

How is content generated from start to finish? You may find 27 ways of doing it today. Ideally, your goal would be to have the majority (70% or more) of your content – infographic, advertisement, speech for the CEO, etc. – created the same or in a similar way.

You may need to do some leg work to understand how many ways content is created and published today, including:

  • Who is involved (internal and external resources)
  • How progress is tracked
  • Who the doers and approvers are
  • What happens to the content after it’s completed

Once documented, you can streamline and align these processes into a core workflow, with allowances for outlier and ad-hoc content needs and requests.

This example of a simple approval process for social content (developed for a global, multi-brand CPG company) includes three tiers. The first tier covers the process for a social content request. Tier two shows the process for producing and scheduling the content, and tier three shows the storage and success measurement for that content:

Click to enlarge

7. Deploy the best-fit technology stack

How many tools are you using? Many organizations grow through acquisitions, so they inherit duplicate or overlapping functionality within their content stacks. There might be two or three content management systems (CMS) and several marketing automation platforms.

Do a technology audit, eliminate redundancies, and simplify where possible. Use the inherent capabilities within the content stack to automate where you can. For example, if you run a campaign on the first Monday of every month, deploy technology to automate that process.

The technology to support your content operations framework doesn’t have to be fancy. An Excel spreadsheet is an acceptable starting place and can be one of your most important tools.

The goal is to simplify how content happens. What that looks like can vary greatly between organizations or even between teams within an organization.

Adopting a robust content operations framework requires cultural, technological, and organizational changes. It requires sponsorship from the very top of the organization and adherence to corporate goals at all levels of the organization.

None of it is easy – but the payoff is more than worth it.

Updated from a November 2021 post.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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SEO Recap: ChatGPT – Moz



SEO Recap: ChatGPT - Moz

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.

We’re back with another SEO recap with Tom Capper! As you’ve probably noticed, ChatGPT has taken the search world by storm. But does GPT-3 mean the end of SEO as we know it, or are there ways to incorporate the AI model into our daily work?

Tom tries to tackle this question by demonstrating how he plans to use ChatGPT, along with other natural language processing systems, in his own work.

Be sure to check out the commentary on ChatGPT from our other Moz subject matter experts, Dr. Pete Meyers and Miriam Ellis:

Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Tom Capper from Moz, and today I want to talk about how I’m going to use ChatGPT and NLP, natural language processing apps in general in my day-to-day SEO tasks. This has been a big topic recently. I’ve seen a lot of people tweeting about this. Some people saying SEO is dead. This is the beginning of the end. As always, I think that’s maybe a bit too dramatic, but there are some big ways that this can be useful and that this will affect SEOs in their industry I think.

The first question I want to ask is, “Can we use this instead of Google? Are people going to start using NLP-powered assistants instead of search engines in a big way?”

So just being meta here, I asked ChatGPT to write a song about Google’s search results being ruined by an influx of AI content. This is obviously something that Google themselves is really concerned about, right? They talked about it with the helpful content update. Now I think the fact that we can be concerned about AI content ruining search results suggests there might be some problem with an AI-powered search engine, right?

No, AI powered is maybe the wrong term because, obviously, Google themselves are at some degree AI powered, but I mean pure, AI-written results. So for example, I stole this from a tweet and I’ve credited the account below, but if you ask it, “What is the fastest marine mammal,” the fastest marine mammal is the peregrine falcon. That is not a mammal.

Then it mentions the sailfish, which is not a mammal, and marlin, which is not a mammal. This is a particularly bad result. Whereas if I google this, great, that is an example of a fast mammal. We’re at least on the right track. Similarly, if I’m looking for a specific article on a specific web page, I’ve searched Atlantic article about the declining quality of search results, and even though clearly, if you look at the other information that it surfaces, clearly this has consumed some kind of selection of web pages, it’s refusing to acknowledge that here.

Whereas obviously, if I google that, very easy. I can find what I’m looking for straightaway. So yeah, maybe I’m not going to just replace Google with ChatGPT just yet. What about writing copy though? What about I’m fed up of having to manually write blog posts about content that I want to rank for or that I think my audience want to hear about?

So I’m just going to outsource it to a robot. Well, here’s an example. “Write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO.” Now, at first glance, this looks okay. But actually, when you look a little bit closer, it’s a bluff. It’s vapid. It doesn’t really use any concrete examples.

It doesn’t really read the room. It doesn’t talk about sort of how our industry might be affected more broadly. It just uses some quick tactical examples. It’s not the worst article you could find. I’m sure if you pulled a teenager off the street who knew nothing about this and asked them to write about it, they would probably produce something worse than this.

But on the other hand, if you saw an article on the Moz blog or on another industry credible source, you’d expect something better than this. So yeah, I don’t think that we’re going to be using ChatGPT as our copywriter right away, but there may be some nuance, which I’ll get to in just a bit. What about writing descriptions though?

I thought this was pretty good. “Write a meta description for my Moz blog post about SEO predictions in 2023.” Now I could do a lot better with the query here. I could tell it what my post is going to be about for starters so that it could write a more specific description. But this is already quite good. It’s the right length for a meta description. It covers the bases.

It’s inviting people to click. It makes it sound exciting. This is pretty good. Now you’d obviously want a human to review these for the factual issues we talked about before. But I think a human plus the AI is going to be more effective here than just the human or at least more time efficient. So that’s a potential use case.

What about ideating copy? So I said that the pure ChatGPT written blog post wasn’t great. But one thing I could do is get it to give me a list of subtopics or subheadings that I might want to include in my own post. So here, although it is not the best blog post in the world, it has covered some topics that I might not have thought about.

So I might want to include those in my own post. So instead of asking it “write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO,” I could say, “Write a bullet point list of ways NLP might affect SEO.” Then I could steal some of those, if I hadn’t thought of them myself, as potential topics that my own ideation had missed. Similarly you could use that as a copywriter’s brief or something like that, again in addition to human participation.

My favorite use case so far though is coding. So personally, I’m not a developer by trade, but often, like many SEOs, I have to interact with SQL, with JavaScript, with Excel, and these kinds of things. That often results in a lot of googling from first principles for someone less experienced in those areas.

Even experienced coders often find themselves falling back to Stack Overflow and this kind of thing. So here’s an example. “Write an SQL query that extracts all the rows from table2 where column A also exists as a row in table1.” So that’s quite complex. I’ve not really made an effort to make that query very easy to understand, but the result is actually pretty good.

It’s a working piece of SQL with an explanation below. This is much quicker than me figuring this out from first principles, and I can take that myself and work it into something good. So again, this is AI plus human rather than just AI or just human being the most effective. I could get a lot of value out of this, and I definitely will. I think in the future, rather than starting by going to Stack Overflow or googling something where I hope to see a Stack Overflow result, I think I would start just by asking here and then work from there.

That’s all. So that’s how I think I’m going to be using ChatGPT in my day-to-day SEO tasks. I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned. Let me know. Thanks.

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What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]



What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]

The definition of a whitepaper varies heavily from industry to industry, which can be a little confusing for marketers looking to create one for their business.

The old-school definition comes from politics, where it means a legislative document explaining and supporting a particular political solution.


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