The first day MozCon madness is over. And what a day it has been! You really find yourself in a real-life video console, full of robots and space ships, bringing our colored Nintendo youth back in the blink of an eye. We often talk about creating a perceptive, memorable experiences for clients ... Well, the first words of Rand Fishkin on stage, the innovative sessions, the really interesting people you get to talk to, with "online marketing" as a universal language and, to top it off, no kidding, a pub-crawl and networking event ... Nothing is cheesy at MozCon! In a nutshell: the perfect recipe for a great first day. Here are my takeaways:
More featured snippets than everrrrr...
Even though MozCon is far more than a "search conference", the subject of SEO can, of course, not be avoided. Rob Bucci of Stats Search Analytics announced the results of a research project the company conducted: 1,000,000 searches were checked to see whether or not they resulted in featured snippets. The number of featured snippets on Google search result pages continues to rise. Featured snippets are highlighted clippings that appear above the search results. They are word-for-word answers to queries:
The fragments are either ordinary paragraphs, but may also show more advanced responses in tables or lists. The bottom line of the research conducted by Rob Bucciis is that the number of snippets that is displayed as a result of searches continues to rise. Google is clearly experimenting with this format and SEO marketers really regard it as "location 0" in the search results. Definitely something we can get to work on for our clients, especially now that this new feature has only been recently introduced.
Website structure needs to change
Websites change, that everyone agrees upon. The structure of a website, as we have known it, for the last 20 years, is as follows:
We are always trying to create great content, but do so for an isolated part of the website, i.e. the blog. From an SEO perspective we try to connect to the content mostly with internal links or by moving the content. But that's not what we want to do as a marketer. What we want is a kick-ass, future-oriented information architecture that goes beyond the silo structure that we have always known. The new structure should be as follows:
The main ideas of an organization should be the starting point: these are the basic concepts, the popular ideas from within the industry and the broad intent of the users. These concepts we then support with blog posts, articles, content that always stays relevant to your target audience and with specific content focused on the intent of the user. Your website's conversion points are then linked to this support content. These are your product pages, quotation requests, application forms, ... In addition you need to group all that is happening on your site through the main navigation, related ideas and a category structure. We will probably get back to you on this topic in a next blogpost, but this new vision is a very innovative takeaway with a major impact on information architecture and is important to keep in mind.
Optimize your mobile experience
With mobile traffic going through the roof, this is the moment to question ourselves. Is responsive design the answer to all of our questions? People search in a different way on their smartphones compared to their desktops. Going back in your browsing history, take a look at the searches, websites and programs you've recently viewed on your laptop and compare those with searches on your smartphone. As online marketers, we can no longer treat our smartphone visitors as "mini desktop users". Think about what your customer would like to see, and where he/she would like to see it on your web and mobile pages. Try to understand your clients better, get to know them better, try to understand their buying habits and work on an experience that is relevant and personal. If you succed, then you can be sure to expect more conversions. Guaranteed!
Every now and then, new marketing terms are launched. Reputation Marketing might be one of those terms that will make a difference. Now, what is a "reputation"? Briefly, it is the expectation of behavior in the future, based on past experience. A recent study in the US shows that only 7% of workers in the digital sector find that their agency exceeds customer expectations. That figure is dramatically low. It is in fact the reputation of a brand or company that is one of the unconscious triggers that persuade us to buy a service or product, often regardless of price. It is the reputation that creates loyal customers.
Reputation Marketing management is not review management, but does consist of exceeding the expectations of your customers consistently. According to Rhea Drysdale, there is only one magic element that ensures that a reputation is memorable, and that element is surprise. A nice twist, little elements of attention will surprise your customers and can make a big difference.