Posted by PJ_Howland

We’re digital marketers; we make our living in a constantly
changing (and consistently misunderstood) industry. It’s easy to
feel like even those who are closest to us don’t really get what
we do. Take me, for example, I once mentioned algorithms to my
grandmother, and ever since then, she’s been absolutely (and
adamantly) sure that I work with clocks. Did she think I said
analog?

But despite the dynamic nature of marketing, Moz has always been
a solid rock at the center of the storm. It’s been here since the
beginning, a place where all the marketing nerds and SEO geeks
could hang our hats and feel understood.

And MozCon feels like the culmination of that culture of
acceptance.

MozCon: Helping you build your best self

As I’ve chatted with the good folks at Moz about this year’s
MozCon, it’s clear to me that they pay attention to data. Why do
I say that? Because they’re doubling down on making this year
their most actionable year ever. As a past attendee, I can say that
hearing that MozCon’s biggest focus is a dedication to actionable
tactics gets me excited.

The creative media surrounding MozCon have an under-the-sea
theme going on. These nautical nods are setting us all up for the
deep dive into digital marketing we’re sure to see this year.
Since there’s a good chance that most of us marketers never made
it to prom (just me? Okay then…), it’s kind of fun to get a
second chance to experience oceanic decor in a congregate
environment (What, you’ve never dreamed about being Marty McFly
at his parent’s Enchantment Under the Sea dance? Was I the only
one?)

The point is that the upcoming MozCon is poised to do what it
does so well: Offer a delightful mix of predictability and variety,
presented in a way that’s designed to improve us without
reforming us. New players will share the stage with established
thought leaders and strategists. Innovation will go hand in hand
with cherished tradition.

After looking at the initial agenda, here
are a few of the front runner speakers and sessions I’m excited
for in particular.

Casie Gillette — Thanks for the Memories: Creating
Content People Remember

Digital marketers like data, right?

[Cue nodding heads and incoherent mumblings]

While I certainly love data, I also struggle with data.
Sometimes I rely on the data so much that I become hesitant to take
risks. And if there’s one thing our industry as a whole can
improve on, it’s taking more risk.

Casie is taking to the stage with a mission to teach us how to
make content memorable. With the promise that MozCon 2019 will be
more tactical and strategic than ever before, I am earnestly giddy
(feel free to picture that emotion however the mood takes you) to
hear about what I can do to take a step back from the data, and
instead put it on the line for something my audience will never
forget.

Shannon McGuirk: How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital
PR Newsroom

Link-building, anyone? Yeah, it’s still a thing. After all, if
you link-build it, they will come. Shannon promises to teach us
how to set up a “digital PR room.” AKA, a link-earning machine!
It sounds like she’s pulling back the entire curtain and will be
showing us some concrete link-building tactics. I know how many
hours go into earning a single link, so I am eagerly awaiting a
process that scales.

Ross Simmonds — Keyword’s Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content
Ideas Worth Chasing

Like many SEOs, I’m a firm believer in the power of valuable
content. So when I hear about a session titled, “Keyword’s Aren’t
Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing,” it’s
eye-catching. Maybe more than eye-catching, it’s paradigm
challenging. I love keywords, LOVE’em! Content marketing without
keywords makes me a little uneasy. Let’s just say keywords are at
the center of most of my strategy for content marketing decisions.
I’m glad I have time to prepare my mind for what mad brilliance
Ross will be sharing this year at MozCon.

Heather Physioc — Mastering Branded Search

Before I even jump into Heather’s digital game, let’s start
with her taste in music. Her walk-on music was strong last year —
real strong.

. @HeatherPhysioc
I don’t know who chooses the walk-on music. But you win! Ready to
listen to everything you have to say.
#mozcon2018

— PJ Howland (@askPJHowland)
July 10, 2018

This year Heather is going to be chatting us up on branded
search. At one glance I’m like, “Okay, color me intrigued…”
Branded search seems so surface-level, but knowing Heather, it will
be an engaging presentation replete with answers to (what I thought
were) unanswerable questions about branded search. Heather has a
background in working with enterprise brands, so for me, the
opportunity to learn how to leverage big brand names for unique
perspectives on what many may think is a pretty straightforward
subject, is one I don’t dare pass up. Very excited for what’s
sure to be a wild ride.

Britney Muller — Topic TBD, but looking forward to it
nonetheless 

I’ve never left a conference with more notes from a single
session that I have from Britney’s MozCon address in 2017. I
recall her sharing her trepidation about being the lead SEO for
Moz. A quick project Britney took on was gutting some old and thin
pages on Moz.com — about 70,000 community pages if my notes from
the event are correct. But shortly, Moz.com saw a modest organic
traffic bump. Britney is fearless as an SEO, and there’s
something beyond the sheer value of case studies here. As SEOs, we
too should be fearless in our work. I’m looking forward to
Britney sharing data, insights, and her gutsy spirit with all of
us.

Moz with Benefits…

Speakers and sessions are cool and all, but can I just say that
all the little extras MozCon has to offer are amazing.

Networking is something that every conference touts. And sure we
all like networking, cause that’s what we have to say right?
What’s the phrase? “If you’re not networking, you’re not
working”? At MozCon, networking is not a chore; it’s easy and
enjoyable. Even productive. From an agency perspective, it’s a
cool place outside the office to connect with clients too.

And how have I gotten this far and not mentioned the food at
MozCon? The meals are excellent, but can I say a word about the
snacks? Moz does not skimp when it comes to eats. Sure, I talked
about some cool speakers and topics above, but you know what’s
actually stolen my heart at MozCon? Top Pot donuts. I may be that
guy that leaves a session 5 minutes early just to get a head start
on these donuts. Does that mean I might miss out on valuable
insights or strategies? Absolutely it does, and I don’t care. My
goal has always been to get a couple of donuts down the hatch
before I run into someone I know. That way, when they see me with a
donut in each hand, they think that’s all I’ve had.

“Just two donuts this time, PJ?”

“Yeah, haha, just two…” Suckers.

Donuts aside, Moz cares
immensely about their community
and has done everything
possible to make this the best year yet. So come as you are, and
leave as you were… only better. The Moz culture of acceptance and
education stands to deliver a MozCon experience that will keep you
going throughout the year.
I can’t wait to take a deep dive into the sea of SEO with all of
my fellow marketing geeks. And if you want to chat, I’ll be the
guy hovering around the donut table.

Well, what did I miss?

For all the long-time MozCon attendees out there, what are you
excited for?

Which speakers and sessions are you looking forward to most?

Do you have any favorite moments from years past?

Where are you grabbing dinner in the city?

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