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?…

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Why Elon Musk’s “People as Vectors” Analogy Resonates

In his keynote at INBOUND last year, Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot’s cofounder) shared a personal story of meeting Elon Musk and their short but powerful conversation about aligning people on a team as you would vectors in an equation. Unlike many folks in the startup world, I’m not a die-hard Musk fan. I appreciate his creativity…

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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…

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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 INBOUNDĀ 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…

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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…

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Moz Returns to SEO

Preface: This is a hard post to write, and one that’s taken far longer than I hoped to publish. Never before have I been so challenged to walk the line between empathy and transparency. Never before have I had to get a blog post approved by my boss, board, and legal team. And so I…

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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…

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