8 Valuable Takeaways from Mozcon 2013

Every year, Moz brings together some of the most innovative and forward-thinking online marketers for three full days of presentations that are overflowing with insights and tips. Here are some of my key insights from Mozcon 2013.

moz-1Become an Early Adopter to Get Disproportionate Rewards

Darmesh Shah talked about how he was one of the first people invited to publish articles on the new LinkedIn Today publishing platform and already has over a million views. He suggests that in order to get leverage in marketing you can’t do what everyone else is doing. First movers who can take advantage of new opportunities have an advantage in inbound marketing.

Like Engineers, Marketers Can Make a Huge Impact by Using Leverage

Darmesh Shah observed that engineers and marketers both make an impact by using leverage. For engineers the leverage is the code for software that is used by the masses while for marketers a piece of content can also be leveraged to impact large audiences.

There’s No Excuse for Not Producing High Quality Videos

Phil Nottingham gave a compelling argument for producing high quality video and explained how it is fairly inexpensive to produce “White Board Friday” quality video content. He showed how using a $100 lapel microphone and a $500 lighting rig makes a tremendous difference and looks highly professional. He gave an example of Zillow’s smart strategy to interview local realtors which naturally led to the realtors embedding the video on their own site. Interviews of customers or tutorials also make great content which can be transcribed to produce unique text content for product pages.

Changing Copy or Images Can Make a Huge Impact on Conversion

Kyle Rush, who worked on the Obama Campaign, suggested focusing on changing the copy or the image on landing pages to make the biggest impact on conversion. Changing the headline on a page to be more direct: “Now, save your payment information”, led to a 21% increase in conversion. Also, changing the image for the contest to win dinner with the President from a first person view to an image of two people having dinner with the President led to a 19% increase in conversion. Conversely, focusing on colors or shapes of buttons was largely a waste of time.

Be Prepared When Google Eats Your Lunch with New Search Results

Dr. Pete’s presentation showed numerous variations of search results that can make your top ranking irrelevant. In many cases they are providing answers and information in the search results so that you don’t have to leave Google. This is frightening because Google can intercept a lot of your traffic overnight if it targets your vertical. Some examples provided include auto insurance comparisons, flight information, and sports scores. Dr. Pete recommends focusing on selling before ranking so you are less dependent on Google.

Google +1’s Have a Surprisingly High Correlation to Rankings

According to Moz’s 2013 Ranking Factors study, Google +1’s are highly correlated to rankings. The .3 correlation that was calculated was the second highest correlation found and higher than the number of linking root domains (.29). Facebook shares (.26) and Tweets (.21) also had relatively high correlations. Are social signals catching up to links? It looks like social signals have become more of a factor in the algorithm.

Email Communication Hacks to Be More Effective

Carin Overturf from Moz shared some valuable tips for being more effective with email communication. She suggests to use your subject line as a headline that sets expectations for the recipient. Using bold and underline can make your email easier to skim and make your team’s communication more efficient.

Internet Traffic Will Shift to Smart Phones

Karen McGrane discussed the digital divide that many people don’t realize still exists in the United States. 20% of Americans have no Internet access and 35% don’t have broadband Internet access at home. However, almost everyone has a phone and most will eventually have a smart phone. Will Critchlow shared the fact that 77% of mobile searches are done at a location where a PC is available. Matthew Brown stated that 30% of Internet traffic will be mobile by the end of 2013 if the trend line continues. As most of the population shifts their Internet time to mobile, marketers will need to provide a great experience for smaller devices.

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Charles Sipe is an online marketing specialist from Seattle. He shares interesting marketing links on Google+ and Twitter (@charlessipe).