Brodie Clark teamed up with Izzi Smith to create a new SEO quiz series, testing marketers’ knowledge of Google SERP features. In this post, read through the six most common misconceptions found in quiz answers, dealing with structured data, Featured Snippets, and more!


Local brands that had to make quick changes in 2020 to continue serving the public are now having to make longer-term decisions based on the COVID-19 recession, altered consumer behavior, and budget. How should you handle Google My Business listings when circumstances force consolidation?


Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

Link building isn’t always easy, but if you want to rank with SEO, links are often the cost of admission.

While Google says SEOs sometimes focus too much on links, links remain one of the few confirmed ranking factors. Indeed, every study over the past decade shows a high correlation between links and ranking. And while links alone can’t guarantee a #1 spot at the top of Google, previous research has shown that it’s nearly impossible to rank without any links at all.

For many, link building also presents a challenge. Folks get sincerely frustrated with wasted link building efforts, poor outreach processes, and lack of results.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Good link building actually helps everyone involved: the content owner, the linker, the audience, and search engines alike. Google evaluates links in so many ways, you could say its search engine couldn’t exist without them. Good link building also encourages the creation of useful content and good marketing practices. When done right, link building can also be a joy (and profitable!).

Read the Guide!

1. Updating an instant classic

Moz first published the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building in 2014. Back then, the SEO world was still adjusting to the fallout of Google’s Penguin Algorithm, which punished sites engaging in manipulative link building practices. The SEO world was looking to transition to more holistic, value-added forms of link building that wouldn’t run afoul of Google’s initiatives to sweep the web of shady practices.

Enter Paddy Moogan.

At the time, Paddy was already a respected voice among link builders, and had authored one of the few good books on link building. It was the same year that he and co-founder Matt Beswick conceived Aira, the digital marketing agency that would compel them to new heights. Moz was honored to have Paddy write the first edition of the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building.

Now, in 2021, Paddy has done it again.

A lot has changed in link building since 2014, and weirdly, much has stayed the same. Many of the tools and tactics have certainly evolved, along with Google’s algorithm (rel=ugc anyone?). As we worked with Paddy to update this edition of the guide, we realized how so many of the fundamentals of link building remain as true today as they did when we launched the first edition of the guide. As Paddy writes:

“Arguably, link building these days is more akin to great marketing, and the organizations who understand this are usually the ones who win long term.”

Without links, it’s likely Google would have never been invented in the first place. Understanding how websites link to one another allowed Google’s founders to create a search engine so superior to any other, that it grew to world domination. In fact, over 20 years later, links remain one of the most consistent Google ranking signals that we know of.

In this chapter, learn the fundamentals of why link building is important, how they help websites to rank, and other ways in which links are important to a web-based business.

Read Chapter 1 – What Is Link Building & Why Is It Important?

2. Types of Links

The truth is, not all links are created equal. In truth, the web consists of billions of links. Google, in its ranking algorithms, may only consider a fraction of these links. Indeed, algorithms like Penguin, released years ago, are specifically designed to ignore many types of links.

Understanding the types of links that you actually need, and that actually help you to rank, is crucial to effective link building.

This chapter covers:

  • Editorial Links (the most important kind)
  • User-generated links
  • Nofollow links
  • Risky vs Non-risky links
  • Sustainable links

Read Chapter 2 – Types Of Links

3. Structuring a Link Building Campaign

It all starts with a plan.

Some websites are able to attract links without much forethought, but this is rare. In truth, most successful sites have a plan for attracting links sustainably and at scale. Planning the right strategy in advance can make the difference between success and wasted effort.

Questions covered include:

  1. What are our goals?
  2. How many links do we need to rank?
  3. What assets can we use/create?
  4. How long will it take?
  5. What types of links do we need?

Read Chapter 3 – Structuring a Link Building Campaign

4. Finding your audience to get links from

Want to know what separates successful link builders from unsuccessful ones?

  • Successful link builders almost always know in advance who will link to their content, even before they create it.
  • Unsuccessful link builders build content based on guesses, and only later work to find an audience that may or may not link to it. More often than not, this approach fails.

This is a big, important chapter, involving a bit of competitive SEO research to lay the foundation in advance of your link-building campaign to better ensure success.

This includes identifying the types of content already earning links, the audiences linking to them, how to find contact information, and more.

Read Chapter 4 – Finding your audience to get links from

5. Link Building Outreach

Outreach good. Outreach bad.

Outreach has earned a rough reputation in SEO. We’ve nearly all been the recipient of really bad, really terrible outreach emails.

Good outreach makes all the difference.

Good outreach doesn’t get marked as spam. Good outreach actually adds value for the person you’re contacting. Good outreach builds links — and relationships.

In this chapter, learn the exact outreach tactics agencies use for successful link building campaigns, including detailed tips and real-world email templates to find inspiration.

Read Chapter 5 – Link Building Outreach

6. Link Building Tactics

This is what you came here for, right?

There are hundreds of legitimate link-building tactics. Which one(s) you choose will depend on your business goals, available resources, your niche, and available time.

A few of the tactics covered include:

  1. Content-based link building (with examples)
  2. Guest blogging (no, it’s not dead!)
  3. Broken link building
  4. Link reclamation
  5. Buying links – against Google’s guidelines!

Read Chapter 6 – Link Building Tactics

7. Link Building Measurement and Metrics

If you build links, will traffic come?

Building links doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Regardless if you work for an agency, in-house, or build links for your own projects, measuring the success of your efforts is vitally important.

In this chapter, explore and understand how the proper use of metrics such as Domain Authority, Page Authority, and even PageRank help in link building and reporting.

Also, look at how anchor text and raw link counts may or may not influence your link-building campaigns. For more advanced link builders, even the position of the link on the page may be tracked!

Read Chapter 7 – Link Building Measurement and Metrics

Bonus: Link Building Case Studies

Updating the link building guide was a ton of fun. Paddy was an absolute joy to work with, and his experience and expertise added immense value.

We also wanted to include real-world examples from some of the top link builders working in the industry. To this end, we reached out to experts such as:

Collectively, these individuals have built thousands of links for some of the most successful brands and campaigns on the planet. They generously contributed their expertise to the guide, and we’ve sprinkled this wisdom throughout.

What are your greatest link building tips? Let us know in the comments below.

Read The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Posted by Nadya_Khoja

The events of 2020 have shown us just how important empathetic marketing is for businesses both large and small. The world has changed and businesses need to adapt to the new needs of their customers if they want to grow. The best way to do that is through empathy.

What is empathetic marketing?

Empathy is the ability to see events and situations from another’s perspective — to put yourself in their shoes. For brands, empathetic marketing is about seeing the world through the user’s point of view. It helps you place the customer at the center of your marketing strategy and work outwards.

But it’s important to remember that being empathetic also means being genuine — you can’t create emotional marketing campaigns for the sole purpose of manipulating customers.

Empathy is believable when it creates authentic connections between brands and users. You have to build trust and organic relationships throughout the customer journey.

Source: Venngage

Yes, increasing conversion rates is the ultimate goal of every marketing campaign, but brands need to change their mindset about how to achieve those conversions.

If your marketing strategy is focused on the hard-sell approach, it’s time to rethink your campaigns for 2021.

Why is empathy important in marketing?

We’ve outlined how empathy works in marketing, but there are numerous reasons why it’s important, especially in 2021 and beyond.

Emotion and connection are more necessary now than ever before. The way we live and work has changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined. “Business as usual” is a thing of the past, because a lot of emotion is being generated about the future — and these emotions impact how consumers react to marketing campaigns.

The range of human emotion is massive, from positive emotions like joy, interest, and amazement, to the more negative, such as fear, anger, or sadness (anger, especially, can be a powerful motivator for sharing content). Campaigns need to be geared towards evoking and connecting with these real emotions.

While brands still want to sell products and services and bring in revenue, the way they move users through the funnel has to change. And this approach needs to be from the ground up.

Adapt your content marketing, re-examine the customer journey, and educate your employees about the benefits of evoking emotion across marketing channels.

How to use empathy in marketing (+examples)

Brand marketing has been on one trajectory for a long time: sell products and amplify your brand image by emphasizing the characteristics of your company.

This mindset is ingrained in us, which makes it difficult to understand how to use empathy in marketing. But the world of marketing has had to adapt before, and we can do it again. Here are the best ways to switch to an empathetic marketing mindset.

1. Understand your audience’s pain points

We’ve mentioned the importance of walking in your audience’s shoes to get a feel for what they need right now. This is the time to update your buyer personas to reflect the new realities your customers are experiencing.

Source: Venngage

How can you do this? By understanding that customer empathy works in two ways:

  • What are the customer pain points in the real world?
  • What are the customer pain points regarding your business?

The real world, at the moment, is still reeling from the pandemic. That means your audience is missing out on traveling and meeting people, and is dealing with loneliness and uncertainty.

If your brand can step in to help with these feelings — such as offering virtual classes or providing entertainment — you’ll be able to make a powerful connection with your audience.

JetBlue has done a good job of understanding customers’ current pain points — how to travel safely in the pandemic in an emergency — and created videos addressing those issues:

When it comes to customers’ pain points with regards to your brand, you need to do a bit more digging.

Analyze your traffic and conversions each week and note the biggest movers, up and down. This is a great way to find out what aspects of your brand are attracting customers.

Use social listening to understand the sentiment around your brand. But don’t engage in every conversation, even if you’re feeling defensive. If customers aren’t happy with your brand, you should be learning why that is and how you can fix it.

Of course, nothing beats talking to your customers directly. Schedule a call or send out a short survey and ask them a few questions:

  • Are they happy with your brand?
  • What product/service has benefited them the most?
  • What would they like to see improved?

Don’t make any promises, but use this as a learning exercise to improve your customer interactions.

Once you’ve collated this information, you can design a customer traffic report that will help you adapt the direction of your marketing.

Source: Venngage

Another important component that brands need to keep in mind: avoiding confusion.

This goes hand-in-hand with marketing strategies, but clarity often goes out the door when you’re trying out a new mindset. If you’re selling a complex service that will eventually help customers, you don’t want to lose them in jargon or multi-step process.

Share comprehensive guides that they can follow during the user onboarding process. Make it as visual as possible by sharing screenshots, video walkthroughs, or use a timeline template.

Onboarding guides are a good way to show customers that you care about them and are willing to take them through every step of the process. This will help to build trust and strengthen connections between customers and brands.

2. Adapt to audience needs

Now that you know what your audience needs from the world and from your brand, you need to adapt your business model.

eBay’s Up & Running program is a good example of this adaptation:

With so many small businesses struggling during the pandemic, eBay scaled back fees, made some services free, and offered more support to sellers.

There are lessons here that brands can take into their own campaigns. You may not be able to offer discounts, but how about opening up your premium tier to all audiences?

Take smaller steps, like adapting how front-facing employees handle customers. Design job aids, like this example, to remind teams how to display empathetic behavior towards customers.

Source: Venngage

It’s also worth looking into your current customer service process to ensure your wording and tone are more empathetic.

3. Capture everyday life

A key component of using empathy in marketing is capturing the wonders of everyday life. Major life moments are on hold for the foreseeable future, so why aren’t more businesses incorporating the little moments into their content strategies?

Brands can showcase their empathy by creating content around simple scenarios: the joy of a video call with a loved one, baking a great pie, or replicating an outdoor experience inside. For example, people aren’t going to movie theaters right now, so a video about recreating the theater experience at home would successfully tap into customer empathy.

That’s exactly what Verizon did with their short video on responsive lighting:

The video is instructional and fun, and it features a real person from the company who loves the movie theater experience enough to want to recreate it at home. Human connection, right there.

Brands sometimes believe that content marketing means high-definition video quality and expansive stories. But you have to take the world as it currently is into account. Consumers aren’t living high-end lives, so the brand message needs to reflect that. Customers are home, and will be working remotely for a while longer. Choose the home as a setting when sharing your brand story to create that real-world connection.

4. Take a visually engaging, educational approach

Your content needs to be valuable to customers if it’s going to enhance their brand experience, so an educational approach might be necessary.

Audit your existing content to find pieces that are relevant to your audience. You can also update older pieces that may have outdated information, but can evoke the right emotions.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of data-focused content being shared. Marketers can design content around key data to educate audiences. In fact, according to Venngage’s study into data marketing, most marketers are comfortable with data design.

This is the time to tap into data visualization skills and create data-related content to educate audiences. Customers want content that isn’t just attractive, but that also increases their understanding of the world around them.

Another way to educate audiences is to find the sweet spot between your business’ expertise and what your customers are interested in learning. That’s what Lush is doing with their “How It’s Made” YouTube series. It takes an educational and empathetic approach to showcasing their products:

This series works because customers want to know what’s going into the products they use. Lush has their experts explain the ingredients, and the overlap makes for great content.

When sharing educational content, create visuals that help tell your story. As a design solution, we’ve seen that visual storytelling can increase connections and conversions.

5. Add interactivity

Interactive marketing has been taking off over the past few years, since rapidly advancing technology (especially within social media) has made it more attainable for brands.

In the current global climate, adding interactivity in marketing content can be a great way to generate empathy in business models. As we have mentioned, consumers have had to give up on going out, meeting people, and traveling the world. If your brand can offer them solutions to these problems, then showcasing those solutions in your marketing should be a top priority.

And if you can make it interactive, like this BBC Scotland video, so much the better: 

The video works because of how simple the interactivity is. Users just need to use their touchpad to click through for more information and to change the direction of the video. Since people can’t travel right now and take in these sights in person, it has a great chance of engaging consumers.

According to recent video marketing research, YouTube not only draws in billions of monthly users, but it’s also the top purchase-driver among social media channels. So, if you have the resources to create interactive YouTube videos, you can showcase more brand empathy in your marketing efforts.

6. Utilize user-generated content

User-generated content has been a mainstay of social media marketing for a while now. But it’s also a strong tool for building brand connections with consumers.

What makes UGC stand out from other marketing strategies is how it bridges the gap between brands and customers. Users create content, either for their channels or for a brand contest, and that content is amplified on a company’s social media platform, website, or newsletters.

There are numerous benefits to UGC, the primary one being that your brand doesn’t need to create this content (though you will need to sort through entries to choose brand-appropriate content). Additionally, by showcasing users’ content, you can tap into their networks. People will feel happy about appearing on your brand’s platform and share the post or page with their circles.

Marketers should spend some time looking at the kind of content users are generating, as this will help them create a contest strategy that will appeal to their demographic, like Petco did.

Petco collected content from their customers about the little moments they share with their pets to create this video collage:

And there’s another benefit of UGC that is exemplified by Petco’s video: this kind of content acts as testimonials for the company. UGC shows that customers believe in a brand enough to send them their content. This proves to prospective customers that this brand is worth engaging with and purchasing from.

Conclusion: Use empathetic marketing to connect with customers in 2021 and beyond

The global situation has made empathetic marketing a top priority for businesses. It isn’t enough to talk about your product or the benefits of buying from your brand anymore. Brands now need to connect with customers on a deeper, more empathetic level. Show your audience that you understand their needs and are ready to adapt to them.

Including empathy in marketing campaigns is more of a mindset than a technique. And to instill that way of thinking in marketing teams, you need to follow these steps:

  • Understand your audience’s current pain points
  • Adapt to their needs
  • Take an educational approach in your marketing
  • Capture everyday life in campaigns
  • Add interactive elements
  • Utilize user-generated content

Each step is vital because the changes we’re seeing now will have long-lasting effects. Taking an empathetic approach can take a bit of time to get used to, but it isn’t impossible.

Have other tips for incorporating empathy in marketing? Let me know in the comments.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

Is a high bounce rate bad? The answer is: it depends, but yes, sometimes it can be. Is a high bounce rate bad for SEO? That’s where it gets a little more complicated. In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus gives you seven easy SEO tips to address your bounce rate, and increase engagement and satisfaction to make your users happier.

Anatomy of a Perfect Pitch Email

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Welcome, Moz fans, to a new edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Cyrus Shepard. Today we’re talking about bounce rate, specifically seven dead simple tips to reduce your bounce rate. 

So most of you already know what bounce rate is. But for those who are uninitiated, bounce rate is an analytics term. It simply means a single page or non-interaction visit. When a visitor comes from Google or another website and they visit one page, they have no interaction, and they leave, that’s considered a bounce. That is a high bounce rate.

So is bounce rate bad? That’s a common question. The answer is, yeah, it can be bad. For example, if everybody is coming to your homepage and you want to get them to your sales page or your checkout page, you don’t want a high bounce rate. In that situation, yes, bounce rate is definitely bad. But is bounce rate bad for SEO? Well, there it gets a little more complicated.

Now, to be clear, Google does not use bounce rate. It is not a ranking signal for Google. That said, we do know that there’s a lot of evidence that Google does use some sort of engagement signals for SEO that we don’t have access to. So in that way you can think of bounce rate as a proxy signal for engagement and satisfaction, and that’s really what we’re trying to measure here. We’re trying to measure how satisfied our uses are, how engaged they are with a page. In some instances, there is evidence that this could help your SEO in some circumstances. 

Now just lowering your bounce rate is not going to automatically improve your Google rankings. It doesn’t work that way. But lowering your bounce rate can have positive effects. In fact, your visitors may be more satisfied.

Now to be clear, before we get into these tips, I want to be very clear the goal is not to reduce your bounce rate number. It’s just a number. It doesn’t mean anything. The goal is to increase engagement and to increase satisfaction, to make your users happier. Just reducing your bounce rate, that doesn’t do anything. But if you make your users happier, give them what they’re searching for, that’s what we’re trying to do, and we’re using bounce rate as a proxy to measure that along with other metrics, such as time on site, the number of pages visited, and things like that.

1. Page speed

So we’re looking to make users happier. So how do we do this? How are we going to lower our bounce rate? Well, seven quick tips, very basic stuff in SEO. First of all, page speed. It’s not very sexy, but I included it here because out of all of these tips improving your page speed is probably the number one way to guarantee a reduced bounce rate.

I’ve seen it on hundreds of sites. Make your site faster, bounce rate goes down. Why? Well, for one, more people can simply access your content. They’re not waiting for it to load. They’re in the subway, on their cell phone, it loads faster. Second, it’s just a better experience than if they’re waiting for images to appear and things like that.

It will almost definitely guarantee to lower your bounce rate. This is the number one reason that, in my opinion, you work to improve the speed on your website. Yes, speed is a Google ranking factor. It is a confirmed Google ranking factor. In most cases, though, it’s a pretty small one.

But if you improve engagement and satisfaction with your speed, that has downstream effects that have much broader, wider SEO implications. It’s the number one reason to improve speed, not for the ranking benefit, but for this reason alone. Yes, this includes the upcoming Core Web Vitals that are coming out, that are going to be a ranking factor soon. We’ll link to some resources on how to improve that:

    2. Broaden intent satisfaction

    So one, nail your speed. Two, the easiest way to lower bounce rate is two broaden your intent satisfaction. Now what do we mean by this? Are we satisfying the intent that people came to your site for in the first place? 

    For example, someone searches for “Nike shoes.” Well, we want to rank for “Nike shoes,” but we don’t really know what the intent is of the person who searched. Do they want to buy Nike shoes? Do they want reviews of different Nike shoes? Are they looking for pictures of Nike shoes? It could be any one of those things. The more broadly we can satisfy that intent on the page or link to other resources, the better we’re going to do with engagement and our bounce rate.

    Deep competitive analysis

    So how do we do this? So one, you want to do deep competitive analysis. You want to see what’s already ranking for these terms, for your ideal search term and look at all of the ranking results and what’s working and try to satisfy those intents. If you’re not offering the same type of content as the top 10 ranking results, you’re probably not matching that intent very well.

    Answer questions

    So you might want to rejigger your content. The second thing you should be doing is answer questions more deeply. Now we talk about long-form content typically performing better in search results. Long-form content isn’t a ranking factor. But the more complete you can answer questions, that usually has a better impact. So simply answering questions better can deepen the intent satisfaction.

    Link to related content

    Finally, and this is my number one trick/tip, link to related intent. An example is on Moz we have literally dozens of articles that we’ve written about various SEO topics, such as canonical tag. Each has a slightly different intent. When someone lands on any of those pages about a canonical tag, we can link to all the other resources about canonical tags in a prominent position.

    Now you often see related articles that are like little widgets at the end of articles. I generally like to place those much higher in the content, where people can see them and engage and click on those articles because we may not have captured the intent perfectly on this page, but we can link to all those related resources and capture the intent that way.

    As soon as they click and go explore the other page, they’re getting their intent satisfied, and we have lowered our bounce rate. So find those related articles on your site and link to them prominently. You’re going to do well. 

    3. Smart CTAs

    Number three, smart CTAs. Oftentimes that’s what you’re trying to get people to do. You’re trying to get them to click your CTA to go buy your product or check out your download or whatever it is.

    The smartest way to improve your CTAs is include the ranking keyword in the CTA itself. So this means go to Google Search Console, go to Moz Keyword Explorer, find what your pages are actually ranking for, and take those top keywords and insert them into the CTA itself. For example, if my page is about credit reports or getting a credit report score, I could have a CTA that says “Add to Cart,” or I could have a CTA that says, “Get my credit report.”

    This is psychologically 100 times more powerful than saying “Add to Cart” because I just typed “credit report” into Google, and aha, here it is. I want to get my credit report. So including your keywords in the CTAs is a very smart way and simple way of improving engagement and lowering your bounce rate.

    4. Use inverted pyramid writing

    Number four, I got this from Dr. Pete Meyers. Thank you, sir. Use the inverted pyramid style of writing. So we want to engage people in our writing, when they come looking for answers, and that means we want to hook them early and draw them into your content. The inverted pyramid style of writing, borrowed from journalism and I’m going to link to Dr. Pete’s post on this, is start with a lead. Start with a quick answer, go into the details and then your content. So you want to grab them. Show them what you’re going to promise them and pull them into the details. That’s all about creating more engaging content, drawing people in, and having good, clean content that looks great and works all well. 

    5. Make site search simple

    Moving on, make site search simple and obvious. Here’s why. If you can provide an easier search solution than Google, that gives the user a reason to search your site instead of going back to Google, which counts as a bounce. If they search on your site, you have engaged them. They’re looking at more content on your site, and you’ve reduced your bounce rate and improved engagement.

    So I like making site search very obvious, very simple. Especially if you’re a resource heavy site and people think that they can find what they want on your site, it’s going to improve it. Don’t make them search Google. Let them search your site instead. 

    6. Add media

    Adding video, images, and different media. Some of our highest engagement pages here at Moz are these Whiteboard Fridays.

    Why? They have a video. One thing I would suggest though, something we’ve learned over and over again, is mix your formats. The average person watching one of these videos stays on the page and the site for 9 or 10 minutes, which is huge for us. But one thing we did several years ago is we started adding transcripts and images to these posts.

    So mixing the media usually does much better than just adding a video or images by itself. So pages with images, video, and text generally do better than pages with just those things by themselves.

    7. Reduce rage and dead clicks

    Finally, something I’ve been getting into recently is reducing what’s known as rage clicks and dead clicks.

    Rage clicks are when people are hitting something that they think is supposed to be a button or a link and it doesn’t work. Same with dead clicks. They’re hitting something, an element on your site, maybe it’s an image, maybe it’s a special color text that they think is supposed to be a link or they think is supposed to be a call to action, and it doesn’t work. Maybe JavaScript is not loading correctly or something like that.

    Or maybe an image looks like a button. Every site has these. You can generally find these with heat tracking software. Microsoft just came out with a new product that’s free — Microsoft Clarity. There’s Hotjar. Any sort of heat tracking or heat mapping software can generally show you these rage clicks and dead clicks.

    If you fix these, people are going to click the elements that are actually workable, and it will give you insight on how to reduce these. These are definitely going to reduce your bounce rate. All right. So if you have any tips on reducing your bounce rate, please leave them in the comments below. If you like this video, please share. Let your friends know about it.

    Thanks, everybody. Bye-bye.

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    Posted by cheryldraper

    Come one, come all to the hottest ticket in virtual! We’re packing up the MozCon big top and bringing all the MozCon magic straight to your front door.

    Last year we took MozCon to the virtual stage for the first time, and we loved it so much, we’re doing it again! Only this time, we’re taking it to the next level with exclusive performances by world-renowned local SEO jugglers, automation acrobats, link building magicians, and so much more!

    We know SEO doesn’t stop — searchers keep on searching, and marketers need to stay on their toes to meet their needs. (Cue the tightrope walkers!)

    Join Ringmaster Roger and marketing experts from around the world for three days packed with presentations on SEO, search marketing, mobile, conversion optimization, local search, and more — all from the comfort of home.

    Not your typical marketing conference

    Get connected

    Meet fellow attendees and don’t miss a minute of MozCon fun — follow #mozcon and join the MozCon Facebook Group!

    Birds of a Feather networking groups

    Who doesn’t love making new friends and engaging in lively discussion? After all, a big part of the conference experience is meeting new connections and reconnecting with older ones. Birds of a Feather at MozCon are purposeful yet unstructured peer discussion groups organized around topics that matter to today’s digital marketers. Grab yourself a snack or beverage and come network with some new friends! Topics vary each day at the conference and offer something for everyone.

    Tickets start at $129 for Moz customers

    Going virtual means affordability! You can snag your ticket for as low as $129 if you’re a Moz customer, and tickets include access to the virtual video bundle after MozCon wraps up.

    Save my spot at MozCon Virtual!

    Initial agenda

    Time to pull back the curtain and reveal the exciting acts we’ve got planned. Let’s bring out our MozCon Virtual stars!

    Amanda Milligan

    Marketing Director | Fractl
    A Live Guide to Finding & Filling the Gaps in Your Link Strategy

    Is your link portfolio strong enough to withstand everything Google and your competitors throw at you? If you’re hyper-focused on acquisition and you ignore strategy, you can end up with a pile of weak backlinks that aren’t relevant — and won’t move the needle. Competitive analysis is your key to finding and filling the gaps in your link building strategy. I’ll walk you through the process start-to-finish.

    Areej AbuAli

    SEO Consultant
    Taking Charge of Your Indexability: How to Optimize and Prioritize Your Technical Work

    Take charge over the indexability of your website! With a focus on aggregators and classifieds, Areej will share advice on how to best reduce index bloat for large websites. Diving into parameter handling, sitemap logic, robots directives, and more, we’ll also assess how to analyze the most impactful changes, how to get sign-off from senior stakeholders, and how to prioritize work with product teams.

    Brie E Anderson

    Owner, Founder | BEAST Analytics
    The Value of Perspective: A Use-Case for External Audits

    Remember that phone call from your client? The one where they wanted to talk to you about a “free audit” another agency did for them? Let’s talk about it. In this session, we’ll uncover the value of audits and how they can (and should) be conducted with integrity. It’s time to take back the value of perspective!

    Britney Muller

    Serial Entrepreneur + Data Science Student | Data Sci 101
    The Cold Hard Truth about CTR

    Reporting on website performance is an integral part of SEO, but not all metrics are created equal. If you think your CTR metrics are telling the full story, think again. Start building more insightful reporting methods with data science. In this session, Britney will show you how to quash your reporting woes and make easy work of identifying exactly why your website’s performance changed.

    Casie Gillette

    Senior Director, Digital Marketing | KoMarketing
    Counterintuitive Content: How New Trends Have Disrupted Years of Bad Advice

    Along with the always-shifting landscape, one of the biggest things we as marketers struggle with is the sheer volume of information. For years we were told we had to produce as much content as possible. Then we were told to focus on quality but we still had to have a consistent schedule. What about YouTube or voice search or TikTok? The fact of the matter is, there’s no one way to do content marketing. In this session, we’ll look at content from an entirely different perspective and talk about how you can start creating content on your own terms.

    Cyrus Shepard

    SEO Consultant | Moz
    Mastering 3 Click + Engagement Signals for Higher Rankings/Traffic

    Successful websites are all different, yet nearly all Google-ranked websites succeed in the exact same fundamental ways. In our quest to optimize for Core Web Vitals, mobile-first indexing, and JavaScript rendering, have we lost sight of the content and user experiences that dominate the very top of Google search results? In this presentation, Cyrus explores the three Google click and engagement signals that top-ranking web pages master: clicks, long clicks, and last clicks. Using examples and experiment results, he demonstrates how any website — and SEOs of all skill levels — can leverage these signals for improved Google traffic.

    Dana DiTomaso

    President & Partner | Kick Point
    Build for Search: Modern Web Dev That Puts SEO First

    With the debut of Core Web Vitals, modern SEO is more relevant to website development than ever before. Sure, we’ve always been thinking about title tags and making sure our pages convert — but the actual underpinnings of a website might have been left to your web development team and maybe that one technical SEO. They’re likely very skilled people, but the chances of them thinking about how development decisions impact SEO are typically slim to none. Let’s modernize the relationship between the web development process and SEO.

    Flavilla Fongang

    Founder & Creative Brand Strategist | 3 Colours Rule
    The Science of Purchasing Behavior: How to Use it Effectively to Attract & Convert More Prospects Into Customers

    Some brands have achieved the dream: a large audience who believes in them, buying from them time and time again without questioning the value or authenticity of the products and services. And they’ve done it by developing an emotional connection with that audience. These days, it’s more about building a community around your brand, rather than simply having clients. We’ll explore the power of brand psychology that’s been used by huge, successful brands such as Apple or Starbucks to earn customers that are loyal long-term.

    Jackie Chu

    SEO Lead, Intelligence | Uber
    Internationalization Errors: How to Go Global Without Losing All Of Your Traffic

    Internationalization is one of the leading causes of technical SEO debt for multinational companies. We’ll talk through common internationalization mistakes and how to avoid them so you can win visibility and grow anywhere.

    Joy Hawkins

    Owner | Sterling Sky Inc
    To Post or Not to Post: What We Learned From Analyzing Over 1,000 Google Posts

    What value do Google Posts have, and how should the average SMB prioritize them? Dive into the data from two studies conducted by Sterling Sky to answer these questions.

    The first study analyzes over 1,000 Google Posts to see what types perform better based on clicks and conversions, and measures the impact of various features such as stock photos, emojis, titles, and more. The second looks at whether posting on Google has any influence on where your business ranks in the local pack. Findings from both will have you reevaluating your clients’ Google posting strategy!

    Joyce Collarde

    SEO Supervisor | Obility
    Maximize Your Conversions: Harnessing full-funnel optimization for B2B success

    The long sales cycles presented in B2B pose a unique set of challenges for converting visitors into coveted users. Success requires a strategic approach that goes beyond the landing page to include your entire site. In this session, we’ll look at three tried-and-true methods for increasing your conversion rate and winning more business.

    Kameron Jenkins

    Content Lead | Shopify
    The Content Refresh: How to Do More With Less

    No matter where you work, there’s something we all seem to have a shortage of… time. Combine that with ambitious traffic KPIs and you’ll quickly realize that a 100% new content strategy isn’t sustainable. Enter the content refresh. Learn how to identify and execute the best refresh opportunities so you can rank faster and increase your existing content ROI.

    Lily Ray

    Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research | Path Interactive
    From the Medic Update to Now: How the E-A-T Ecosystem Has Transformed Organic Search

    Learn why E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) has taken a front seat in SEO discussions in recent years, the numerous places where Google focuses on E-A-T, and how the growing emphasis on surfacing authoritative content has drastically changed the organic search landscape across search, News, Discover, YouTube, and more.

    Luke Carthy

    eCommerce Consultant
    The Ultimate How-To for Faceted Navigation SEO in E-commerce

    One of the biggest FAQs in e-commerce: “How do you handle faceted navigation when it comes to SEO?”

    We’ll ask the tough questions and answer them head-on! Join Luke as he walks through case studies, real-world examples, and how to leverage faceted navigation to really capitalize on high-converting long-tail keywords. If you’re in e-commerce, you won’t want to miss this!

    Miracle Inameti-Archibong

    Head of SEO | Erudite Agency
    Let the API Do the Work: Harnessing Natural Language for More Productive SEO

    Keyword research is a vital process in getting insights into your consumer behaviour. However, it is often a very manual and labor-intensive process. How can we speed up the process so we can get to working on our implementations and getting results? Miracle walks through practical ways marketers can use APIs to do the heavy lifting and save time.

    Noah Learner

    Product Director | Two Octobers
    Game-Changing Ways to Use the Google Search Console API

    Let’s face it, you aren’t getting what you want from your keyword data. Unlock your newest SEO secret weapon with this deep dive into the power of the Google Search Console API. This game-changing tool will help you crush the competition, sell SEO to your team, and win prospects with deep SEO insights you had no idea were available.

    Dr. Pete Meyers

    Marketing Scientist | Moz
    Rule Your Rivals: From Data to Action

    Most competitive analysis ends in an avalanche of potential keywords to target, leaving you buried in indecision. Real case studies will show you how to forge your data into an actionable plan that drives strategic, targeted content. Escape from under the keyword pile and conquer your content rivals.

    Rob Ousbey

    VP Strategy | Moz
    Beyond the Basics: 5 SEO Tricks for Uncovering Advanced Insights from Your SEO Data

    Modern SEOs have no shortage of data, but you could learn even MORE about your site, content, links, and competitors by working smarter, not harder. Rob will show you how to breathe new life into your standard SEO data, and walk away with more advanced insights that are sure to impress your team (and your boss!)

    Ross Simmonds

    Founder, CEO | Foundation Marketing
    Why Marketers Should Think More Like Investors To Drive Content Results

    Every single piece of content your brand creates is an asset. So why do we view them as an expense? In this session, Ross will talk about the parallels between content marketing/SEO and the world of investing. From the techniques that take blog posts and landing pages to the moon, to the fundamentals of content investing to create a competitive advantage, learn how an investment mindset can drive results.

    Shannon McGuirk

    Client Services and Delivery Director | Aira
    Doing the Perfectly (Im)Possible: Debunking Digital PR & Link Building Myths in 2021

    “You better be pitching that campaign into the press before 9am and definitely not on a Friday or Monday!”
    “Link relevancy is important if you’re a link builder, but if you’re a digital PR, it doesn’t really matter.”
    “You’re asking the impossible to get links to category and product pages.”

    Tired of hearing bold claims and questions like these? We are too.

    Shannon is going to challenge many of the digital PR and link building myths you’re seeing debated on Twitter. From the old classic myths that stand the test of time and are always asked, through to new beliefs that are hot topics, she’s going to use data, insights and case studies to show you how to cover come some of these beliefs and improve your link building and digital PR efforts in 2021.

    Tom Capper

    Senior Search Scientist | Moz
    The Fast & The Spurious: Core Web Vitals & SEO

    Core Web Vitals are all the rage, but do they live up to the hype? Tom explores the real SEO impact of Google’s shiny new metrics, which ones you actually need to worry about, and how to prioritize fixes.

    Wil Reynolds

    Founder & Vice President of Innovation | Seer Interactive
    The 3 Most Important Search Marketing Tools…Your Heart, Your Brain, & Your [Small] Ego

    Search is a game of rankings. Only one can win the #1 spot and small tweaks can mean the difference between ranking #1 and #5. If you’re using the same tools as everyone else, what competitive advantage are you bringing to the table? Wil shows you how to transform your data into winning insights with 3 tools everyone has at their fingertips: your heart, your head, and a willingness to question everything you thought was true about SEO.

    We hope to see your smiling faces online in July!

    Yes, I’m going to MozCon!

    Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

    NJ SEO Pro

    Posted by Brie-E-Anderson

    Website analytics can tell us a lot about our audience and how they interact with our site. Oftentimes, we rely heavily on these analytics for reporting. But what if I told you that Google Analytics provides data that can be used as a strategy tool?

    In this post, we are going to quickly look at three very specific, very actionable Google Analytics views for uncovering SEO opportunities.

    Track Core Web Vitals

    Google has verified that Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) are now part of the Page Experience ranking factor. These metrics together make up Core Web Vitals. This topic has already been covered many times in the SEO industry, and Google itself has covered the topic along with how to measure the metrics, so we won’t dive too deep into the metrics themselves.

    In the documentation provided by Google, they break down how you can pull LCP, FID, and CLS in data into Google Analytics. This can be done by setting up custom events using the code found on GitHub.

    Upon setting up those events, you’ll be able to see all of the Core Web Vital metrics in Google Analytics. They will show up when you go to Google Analytics > Behavior > Events > Top Events and toggle over to Event Action. To get further insight into how each page is performing in each category, use a secondary dimension of Page.

    Source: Noise to Signal

    To find the underperforming pages, use advanced filters to look for pages that fall under the “good” benchmark according to Google.

    Using this data, you can tackle Core Web Vitals head-on and keep a close eye on performance as you make changes.

    Find and fix 404s

    The last thing you want is for people to finally come to your site just to be sent to an “Oops” page. This can happen for a variety of reasons: a mis-shared link, a forgotten redirect, a misspelled word in the URL, etc. It’s important to find these pages early and set up a fix right away to create the best possible experience for users.

    The easiest way I’ve found to identify these URLs is to navigate to a page I know doesn’t exist on my website. For example, you may type in, then, when the page loads a 404, grab the title tag. Now you can navigate to Google Analytics > Behavior > All Pages and toggle over to Page Title. Once here, do a search using the title tag of your 404 page.

    You’ll be shown one row with all of the stats for your 404 page. If you click on the title name, you’ll be presented with a new screen with all of the URLs that resulted in a 404 page. These are the URLs you need to research, determine why people are going to them, and then decide what you need to fix.

    Again, those fixes may require creating or fixing a redirect, fixing a link (internal or external), creating content for that URL, and so on.

    Find and capitalize on easy traffic opportunities

    Search Console is a great tool for SEOs, as it gives us insights into how we’re performing in the search engine result pages. The downfall of Search Console is that the filtering options make it tough to manipulate the data — this isn’t the case with Google Analytics.

    In Google Analytics, under Acquisition, you’ll find Search Console. If you have correctly connected your Google Analytics account with Search Console, your position, CTR, query, and landing page data should all be there.

    So, if you go to Google Analytics > Acquisition > Search Console > Query, you can use the advanced search bar to help you find the data you want. In this case, let’s include Average Position less than 10, include Average Position greater than 3, and include CTR of less than 5%.


    After applying this search filter, you’ll find a list of keywords you currently rank well enough for, but that could use just a little boost. Increasing the CTR may be as simple as testing new title tags and meta descriptions. A higher CTR may lead to an increase in rankings, but even if it doesn’t, it will lead to an increase in traffic.

    Pro tip: track your changes

    The only way to know what is affecting your traffic is to track your changes. If you update a page, fix a link, or add a new resource, it may be enough to change your rankings.

    I find that tracking my changes in the annotations section in Google Analytics allows me to deduce potential effects at a glance. When a date has an annotation, there is a small icon on the timeline to let you know a change was made. If you see a bigger (or smaller) than usual peak after the icon, it could be a hint that your change had an impact.

    But remember, correlation does not always equal causation! As Dr. Pete would say, run your own tests. This is just meant to be a quick reference check.

    In conclusion

    Google Analytics is often used for reporting and tracking. But, that same data should be used to put a strategy into action.

    By taking your analytics just a step further, you can unlock serious opportunities.

    Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

    NJ SEO Pro