Contrarian Take: Don’t Start Your Content Marketing with “What Do My Customers Want?”

If you’re in the business of content marketing, I know you’ve seen advice like this: “Start with your customer personas.” “Create content that will resonate with your customers.” “Great content is content that your customers actually want to consume.” It sounds compelling. But in my experience, it’s wrong. Or at least, incomplete. Why?…

How to Choose a Startup Name that Reduces Marketing Friction

A few months ago, I settled on a name for my new company. Since the launch two weeks ago, I’ve received the question, “why SparkToro?” a few dozen times. Unlike my prior entrepreneurial venture (in which I started with the very awkward SEOmoz.org, and later rebranded to Moz.com), I was far more thoughtful and intentional this time around. And since…

Is SEO Opportunity Growing or Shrinking?

It’s our existential question as SEO professionals — is SEO still growing? Or have Google’s actions reduced the opportunity potential? I see this phrased in all sorts of ways: Are there more searches on Google this year than last year? Is Google taking more of the search traffic for themselves? Do more or fewer clicks go to the organic results…

How Cultural Conditioning Biases Us to Make Bad Decisions in Our Lives, Our Work, & Our Marketing (my talk from INBOUND 2017)

This week I was invited to give a spotlight talk at Hubspot’s INBOUND in Boston. INBOUND is a unique event for me. It’s typically the largest in-person audience I’ll speak to in a given year (often in excess of 3,000 people in the room), and a less SEO-focused crowd than usual. Most of the time, I’m just trying to impress…

A Case Study in Google’s Use of Visit & Click Data

There’s still a weirdly large percent of the SEO and web marketing worlds that, despite overwhelming evidence, don’t believe that Google is collecting or using visit, engagement, click-through or clickstream data. This week, we stumbled across a superb example of the search giant doing just that, so I had to share. Something funny happens when you Google from the Mozplex…

What Are the Most Powerful, Mind-Expanding Ads You’ve Seen?

This year at Mozcon, we’re doing something new — featuring some of the most unique, creative, and mind-expanding advertisements of the last few years during the breaks (just before we introduce the next speakers). e.g. this praise-garnering Deutsche LA Volkswagen ad from 2011 But rather than just editorially select the ads, we’d love to have your contributions and +1s on…

SEO Consultant/Agency Pricing, Structure, & Services (US & Canada Survey Results)

In late November/early December of 2015, I ran a survey of consultants and agencies asking deep questions about their structure, fees, employees, projects, and more. Thanks to responses from over 400 folks around the world, I’m able to share what I hope will be some of the most useful data from that project. Survey takers were primarily founders, owners, and…

A Look at the Keyword Research Tool Universe in 2015

In 2015, I’ve been pretty obsessed with keyword research and the tools web marketers are using to do it. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m working with Russ Jones (after our SERPscape acquisition) and a small team at Moz to build something in this space (and it’s now live! Moz’s new keyword research tool, Keyword Explorer). But,…

Does Making a Website Mobile-Friendly Have a Universally Positive Impact on Mobile Traffic?

From October of 2004 to April of 2015, Moz’s website remained entirely mobile-unfriendly. The experience on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices was the same, and if your screen was small, you had to pinch and zoom. Many of our readers complained and many more wondered why a technology company in the web marketing field would de-prioritize such a crucial element…