Four things I changed immediately after attending MozCon

MozCon 2019 has come and gone. Three days packed full of incredible talks about local search, quality guidelines, and tech SEO, all of which are well worth reviewing in full. 

This was my first time attending MozCon and as such, I expected to come home with a few ideas for long-term strategies and some minor jet lag. I was wrong on both counts – the jet lag was worse than I expected, and I learned a few things that I was already starting to change before our plane hit the tarmac in New York.

Here are four takeaways that have already started to benefit the Croud team:

1. Audited our content for inclusiveness

One of my favorite presentations of MozCon 2019, saw Emily Triplett Lentz discussing the importance of auditing content for inclusive language. This is a low-effort, high-impact initiative that ensures that content is accessible for everyone.

During her presentation, Emily listed a few words that many of us may not realize is ableist or otherwise non-inclusive language. I searched for a few of these on our company’s shared drive and was pleasantly surprised to see very few results from files going back many years. Still, how often do we say that something has “crippled our efforts,” or blamed our habits on OCD that we don’t actually have? As Emily pointed out – not every instance of this type of language is offensive or ableist, but we can create more inclusive content by building positive habits and finding better substitutions for words like these.

How to Audit for Inclusive Content – Emily Triplett Lentz

2. Started reviewing our practices for the Google filter

Search quality guidelines and E-A-T were the subject of a couple of presentations at MozCon 2019. Ruth Burr Reedy addressed it head-on by stating unequivocally that E-A-T is not a ranking factor (or rather, that she doesn’t care whether it is). 

More important to her is whether your site is optimized for the next “big thing” – in other words, is your site currently benefiting from a practice that Google may be trying to filter out?

This was a perfect encapsulation of something I’ve felt as an SEO for a long time. We talk at length about “best practices,” but that doesn’t stop at what John Mueller has explicitly told us during a webinar. To be the best SEOs we can be, we have to be a step or two ahead.

Currently, our team is reviewing our best practice guidelines to ensure we’re not falling back on tactics that could get us penalized in the future. 

BONUS QUOTE: “It’s time to start paying experts for their subject matter expertise.”

Human > Machine > Human – Ruth Burr Reedy

3. Got fired up about Wil Reynolds’ talk while explaining it to our paid marketing team

Anyone who pays attention to the digital marketing world knows that Wil Reynolds is a standout speaker, driven to deliver the absolute best from every campaign he runs. His talk on paid campaign waste was electrifying, and fired me up even if I don’t actually run ads.

Fortunately, Croud has a robust paid team in the same office as our SEO team, and those of us who attended MozCon and got to see Wil speak brought some of that energy back to New York.  We’ve already set alerts to let us know when the recording of Wil’s presentation is available, so that the team can watch it.

But it also got me thinking: isn’t campaign waste a takeaway for SEO? Our clients spend money with us, and we’re expected to deliver results. And while Croud does deliver excellent results, it’s good to be reminded that we need to make every dollar count.

Everything I’ve Told You Has Been Wrong – Wil Reynolds

4. Started naming reports in human language

At Croud, we’re fortunate to have strong support from an excellent DataViz team that lets us implement reporting at scale for our clients. Their efforts are guided by account managers and associates whose responsibility it is to understand what clients would to get out of their reports, and to drive continual improvement. 

So when Dana DiTomaso delivered an excellent keynote on improved reporting, she struck a particular note with me when she suggested we build reports that speak for themselves, reports that we don’t have to be there to explain to the client.

I immediately pinged our DataViz Manager with one of Dana’s slides that particularly stood out as excellent reporting. “Looks interesting,” he replied. “I’m sure we can improve our titles to make them more readable.” This has fed into a larger departmental conversation about what other improvements we could make to our reporting – all thanks to Dana’s presentation.

Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools – Dana DiTomaso, Kick Point

Two men; Adam and Anthony, at MozCon

If you would like to find out more about our time at MozCon, or talk to one of the team at Croud, get in touch.

by Croud
25 July 2019



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