15 Actionable Takeaways from #MozCon 2019

Marketers of all stripes gathered at The Washington State Convention Center in Seattle this week to discuss the emerging search landscape, exchange SEO successes and challenges, strategize how to invest for the future and more.

As a first time attendee at MozCon, the extremely actionable presentations, unique perspectives, and cutting edge strategies that were shared blew me away. The impressive line up of speakers included industry leaders like Rand Fishkin, Britney Muller, Wil Reynolds, Dr. Marie Haynes, Casie Gillette, Greg Gifford, Paul Shapiro, Ruth Burr Reedy, Andy Crestodin and the list goes on.

Here are some of the key takeaways from MozCon 2019, including a compilation of thoughts from speakers, attendees and industry influencers at the conference.

1. Search is evolving, and SEOs must adapt.

Rand Fishkin talked about the many ways in which the search industry (and Google) is evolving, and how digital marketers can adjust their strategies to be more successful. We learned that it all comes down to establishing site authority, improving content accuracy and ensuring information is aligned with authoritative consensus.

2. We need to optimize for humans AND machines.

Ruth Burr Reedy discussed the importance of writing and optimizing content for both human and robot readability. Oftentimes, there are commonalities. Both robots and humans want you to be clear, be concise, provide accurate information, get to the point, avoid jargon and cover subtopics.


3. Digital marketing reports should stand on their own.

With so many different Google tools available to us, sometimes it can be confusing and difficult to figure out the best way to utilize each and how they can work together. Dana DiTomaso covered this, and how to make reports more valuable for clients.

4. Localization matters.

We know that Google changes SERPs based on the location and device of the searcher, but what are we actually doing about it? Rob Bucci talked about the challenges involved, and how SEOs can better leverage localized SERPs. He also introduced a new Moz tool, Local Market Analytics.


5. Keyword research isn’t enough anymore.

Ross Simmonds explained that it’s time for us to think beyond keyword research when creating content. What content ideas should you chase? What’s the best angle? What’s the best format? He answered these questions, and shared the secret sauce to gaining a competitive advantage – research, rethink and remix content.


6. Interactive content takes the cake.

In today’s extremely noisy digital world, link building is not easy. Shannon McGuirk shared how to set up a digital PR newsroom that will generate valuable links. The key? Create a content bank of evergreen, newsworthy, interactive and attributable pieces.

7. There is power in interdisciplinary teamwork.

Heather Physioc’s presentation was like no other. She covered the ins and outs of creating an integrated and collaborative search team that is set up for success. Simple right? Not so much. But, interdisciplinary teamwork will certainly make it easier.

8. Visual content is no longer an option, it’s essential.

80% of people remember what they see, compared to 20% of people remembering what they read. What does that mean for marketers?

If you want people to remember you, creating engaging visual content is no longer an option – it’s an absolute necessity. And, you have no excuses anymore since Casie Gillette shared a variety of free tools to help in the process.

If you missed the presentation or simply want to read more about it, be sure to check out this recap: Creating Content People Remember (MozCon 2019)


9. Every client deserves thorough data analysis.

There’s plenty to say about Wil Reynolds – his presentation was passionate, engaging, funny, cutting-edge and so much more. I hope that the compilation of thoughts below is helpful, but it does not even come close to covering all of the important tactics that Wil shared.

If you want to drive better results from your paid search campaigns and save money, I highly recommend checking out the full video (set to become available in August).


10. Technical problems are people problems.

Areej AbuAli generously explained a methodology that she created and used to restructure a large aggregator website that had a variety of complex indexability issues. While this was not a case study that shared a happy ending, with upward trending traffic charts and major keyword wins, she shared the real life challenges that SEOs face everyday.

11. Technical SEO needs to be redefined.

Paul Shapiro talked about why we need to throw our traditional viewpoints on technical SEO out the window, and how we can integrate modern SEO concepts with our broader search engine marketing programs.



12. Google realized that people want answers, not websites.

Google is on a quest for answers, which means our keyword research must evaluate the questions that people are asking online.

But, how can we find the best questions to answer, craft content around them, and evaluate our successes from doing this? Dr. Pete Meyers and Cindy Krum covered this topic in their presentations.


13. The world is not waiting for mediocre content.

As an SEO, your main goal should be to make the best page on the internet for your topic. Andy Crestodina explained how we can leverage data to find content refresh opportunities that will increase our rankings and drive more traffic.

14. We need to test, test and test some more.

Rob Ousbey discussed the idea that many traditional ranking signals don’t hold the same value that they used to, and factors like UX and brand are becoming more impactful. This means SEOs need to test, tweak and learn from our experiments.

15. Featured Snippets aren’t going anywhere.

To end the conference, Britney Muller of Moz gave us a breakdown of featured snippets and the variations currently happening in search results. Based on a recent analysis by the Stat team, we learned 65% of SERPs contain People Also Ask boxes, 24% of SERPs contain snippets and what types of queries were likely to have a snippet.



Final Thoughts

To recap, MozCon 2019 was packed with exceptional speakers, actionable takeaways and fun.

While this is just a compilation of some of the key takeaways that I was exposed to at the conference, I’m sure that there is more to be shared. I would love to hear your thoughts on actionable tactics that you learned at MozCon 2019.

Feel free to share in the comments below, or reach out to me directly on Twitter.

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