Online Marketing

MozCon Recap 1

The first weeks back from holidays are always the hardest! Between catching up on work (and there was lots of that), catching up on sleep (my flight was 2.5 hours late on Sunday, which meant I did not get home until 4:30 am Monday) and catching my breath – this week has been a very hectic one!

Still, surprizingly, I’ve had lots of time to think about MozCon and everything that I’ve learned! During my drives to and from work, before falling asleep… these were the times when my best ideas came to me! :)

Me and Roger MozConShift from SEO to Inbound Marketing

This one is not new. I think we’ve know this for quite some time.  What I learned at the conference though is the idea that when you build community around your brand, you will naturally earn the inbound links and mentions that you need to rank well.  And if you build great content, you will attract quality links and be seen as an authority. Bottom line is that every activity we take on should add value for the users.

Building that One-On-One Relationship

MozCon really challenged my approach to marketing.  There was one topic that almost every one of the speakers touched on – and that was the shift in focus to the customer.  One of my favourite presentations was from Joanna Lord, who is now the CMO of Big Door.  She said that in the past, marketing has been a one-on-one relationship. The company is able to tailor their messaging to speak specifically to the customer.  What she said after really hit me – she said “But we don’t live there anymore.”  Whether it is because of a lack of resources, a need for growth or for whatever reason, that kind of marketing is just not possible anymore.  So the challenge for me is, how can we create that one-on-one relationship with customers in today’s world?

Mastering SERPs

Dr. Pete said “Google’s job is not to build the perfect, fair environment, their job is to model the real world.”  In his presentation, he talked about 85 different search results page features. Carousel, knowledge graph, map, Top 7 pack… and the only way to succeed in SEO now is to have Google recognize your brand as a brand entity.  And engagement, authorship, social, content – all of these have to work together to achieve brand equity. If you optimize your site and content for users, you will be optimizing for Google.

Joanna Lord and Dr. Pete were two of my favourite talks.  I also really enjoyed Dana DiTomaso when she talked about working with teeny tiny budgets and small businesses, and Mackenzie Fogelson’s presentation on thinking bigger and outside of the box.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to put together another recap blog soon!

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We Are All Guilty… of Being Multi-Screeners

All Day ConnectedThe first time I saw this picture, I laughed out loud! Describes me to a tee.  Someone had sent it to me late one night, and of course I was still on my phone. Yep, I was in bed with the lights turned off holding my phone above me.  It made me laugh :D I can be on the computer all the day for work, and all night after work and still want to be on my phone late at night!

Our phones and tablets have become our lifelines in addition to being our communication devices, our entertainment, our diaries, our cameras and so much more! Without a doubt, the mobile trend is growing fast and strong. In terms of media consumption, TV no longer dominates our attention – the time we spend in front of a screen is now split also between our smartphones, tablets, and laptops/PC’s.

A few gems from this useful report on Multi-Screen Usage from Google:

  • 80% of searches conducted on a smartphone are spontaneous vs. 48% of searches on a PC/Laptop are planned
  • Sequential Screening: 98% of people will move between devices  in one day
  • We use an average of 3 different screen combinations each day
  • Simultaneous Screening: smartphones are the most common companion devices
  • 78% of simultaneous usage is multi-tasking, while 22% of simultaneous usage is complementary
  • 67% of users start shopping on one device and continue on another

So what does that mean for marketers such as myself?

As marketers, I believe it’s essential for us to understand that visitors will visit our websites a number of different ways.  The device they access the websites on will depend on the context of their visit – where they are at, what they are looking for and the amount of time they have.

Site content should be optimized for use on tablets and smartphones – whether they are responsive designs or mobile-friendly sites.  Shopping sites especially, have to recognize that the devices might change in the middle of the sales funnel and must aim to make the transition as easy as possible. Content on desktop versions of sites should be optimized for desktop use (given that it is mostly used for research and complex activities) while content for mobile sites should be optimized for speed and convenience (because most interactions initiated on smartphones and tablets are spontaneous with shorter visit durations).

During the design process, marketers have to consider all these facts. It is important to understand the motivation behind site visits  and tailor the content and site experience to meet the visitors’ needs. There’s so much more here to think about – in terms of how it will affect web design and user experience. Lots and lots to learn, that’s for sure! It is a new age of marketing no doubt.  It is the world of the multi-screen – and we are all guilty of it!

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