MozCon 2011 Notes

MozCon 2011 in Seattle was so awesome I have to talk about it.  Met tons of cool people there and there were some excellent presentations.  The food was great too!  So I’m going to post a quick impression/takeaway for each talk.

Joanna from SeoMoz – Retargeting

Retargeting is the next big thing in online advertising.  The biggest hurdle seems to be not retargeting your current customers.  The hot tip seems to include your retargeting pixel in an email newsletter for people who have done demo accounts but not converted to full fledged paying subscribers.

David from

Talked about location based search and the challenges both for small business and big businesses trying to claim local listings.  One big takeaway was Google does not want you in local search, especially on mobile, unless you have a confirmed location.

Brian from

Really awesome talk from a firm who has worked with the who’s who.  Design that drives action.  The big takeaway was simple simple SIMPLE design changes can have incredible increases in conversions etc.  I highly recommend their blog.

Automating and Scaling Keyword Research – Richard Baxter

This was another great talk and another person to follow.  He presented an excel based adwords API tool that would take a huge list of keywords and return search volume data.  It was really amazing.  Big take home was that the tools are there to do massive amounts of keyword research quickly to find opportunities.

Building an online brand – Jamie Steven from SeoMoz

Another great talk.  Basically there are tons of ways to own your brand online and he showed just how important it is and how SeoMoz has done it with obviously great success.  Doing advanced segments in GA using branded and non-branded keywords was a really great tip.

Conversation markting – @portentint – Ian Laurie

Big message in this talk was if you pay like crap for content you are going to get crappy content.  Another tip which I have had a hard time accepting is it’s better to become a resource for great content, even when it’s not your own and possibly competitors, and build your list so when you have your content ready the audience is there.  Hard to swallow but it’s great advice.

Tony Wright – Marketing Smarter, Not Harder

Tony gave some great examples about companies doing novel things to gain customer loyalty, from UrubanSpoons efforts, Wufoo sending hand written notes, to Dropbox’s referral system.  What I got out of this was come up with marketing ideas that work for you and your brand and followers instead of copying methods that might not work well with your audience.

Scheme-ing The Web – Stefan Weitz from Bing

I came out of this talk realizing that Microsoft and Google want you to format your data for their own reuse, keeping traffic on their sites as long as possible.  If they could skip your site entirely to deliver the content they would.  Left me with a real sour taste in my mouth.

Matthew Brown AudienceWise formerly of the NYTimes

He talked about Panda proofing sites which you can find info on everywhere.  He had a great point in the email marketing and RSS are still the best ways of keeping people engaged on your sites.  He also talked about making share call to actions visible but not overkill.  It was a great talk.

Wil Reynolds SEER interactive

Will was very engaging and gave a great talk on building your social army and getting links without paying for them.  One great tip was to find college clubs to sponsor in exchange for links.

Eytan Seidman from

Eytan is a former Microsoft guy who started when of the best hotel sites out there.  His message was simple: build the most authoritative content you can.

Alex Shultz from Facebook

There was a ton of talk about Facebook at MozCon, and rightfully so, with Alex being the head of their Growth Team.  His big message was the web is being rewritten around the user/visitor.  A takehome was which site is going to convert more, one with your friends reviews/blessings for one without.  It’s the truth, like FB or not.

Adam Audette – Big Brand Competition

Most of Adam’s examples were from their firms work with Zappos.  He highlighted some of the biggest difficulties dealing with large sites, like faceted search results.  Adam had a great message in battling for URL preservation, especially at the category level, or all your SEO work has gone to waste.

Martin MacDonald – Creative SEO

Martin’s biggest shocker was that he had evidence to suggest search volumes influenced SERPS.

Avinash Kaushik – Web Analytics

This without a doubt the best talk and I would go as far as saying probably worth the price of admission alone.  Avinash’s energy is infectious.  There is a ton of great info and what he talked about on his blog and books.  He had two messages.  You cannot do meaningful analytics without doing advanced segmentation.  And you cannot do meanful analytics to justify you existence to your boss or clients if you aren’t able to show ROI and KPI improvements.

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