​The MozCon 2016 Community Speakers Have Landed!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

[Estimated read time: 6 minutes]

That’s right! Please join us in congratulating the four community speakers for MozCon 2016 — September 12–14 in Seattle.

This year, we received 140 submissions. And while the overall number of submissions were down, the quality of submissions has gone up. Typically, we’ve been able to eliminate ~100 submissions for not meeting the minimum bar, but this year, it was more like ~20. Which only means competition for these four slots was harder than ever before.

For those wondering more about what makes a great MozCon pitch, I’ve included the pitches, plus a comment from a committee member. (With a bit of the information redacted, because surprises on stage are good.)

Please congratulate…clapping hands

Alex SteinAlex Stein

SEO Manager at Wayfair

Alex Stein is currently SEO Manager at Wayfair.com, an online home goods store. Follow him on Twitter @sonofadiplomat for all things SEO, and he is, in fact, the son of a diplomat.

Alex’s pitch:

Boost Rankings by Removing Internal Links

A majority of SEO advice covers gaining high volumes of external links, but many site owners fail to pursue the low-hanging fruit by reducing the number of internal links to drive organic rankings. Listeners will learn easy ways to massively optimize internal authority flow to boost rankings, with case studies to demonstrate these wins in action.

Business cases that will be covered:

  1. Slimming down your header navigation: Using [X] data and [X] to remove links from header navigation, while increasing conversion.
  2. Slimming down your footer navigation: I’ll cover how we used A/B testing to prove footer links weren’t driving qualified visits, just “tourist visits.”
  3. For smaller sites, I’ll cover common mistakes with [X] that increase the total number of links on every single page.
  4. Reducing links on your most valuable pages: I’ll cover two concrete examples of how Wayfair reduced the number of links on product browse pages and drove additional visits.
  5. I’ll share a “Link Value Calculator”
  6. Lastly, I’ll also cover our formula for evaluating the dollar value of an internal link.

Felicia’s notes: Sounds very actionable. I like the straightforward, traditional simplicity of the topic, and am intrigued by the “link value calculator”/”evaluating the dollar value of an internal link” ideas. If not a finalist, this would make a great blog post.

Emma StillEmma Still

Marketing Lead at Seer Interactive

Emma Still leads all marketing efforts for Seer Interactive. Prior to that, she led a team of SEO professionals at Seer, where she leveraged her digital marketing skills to recruit team members to build stronger, more successful digital teams.

Emma’s pitch:

What if digital marketers thought about recruiting in the exact same way they thought about [smart] link building?

The highest commodity in our industry is human capital: the people on the teams, doing the work, getting. shit. done. Yet so many companies are desperate to find and recruit the talent they need.

The ironic thing is that the answer to their recruiting woes has been under their noses the whole time.

Using tools like [X] to find people who share content that aligns with your company’s mission or philosophy? Boom — list of candidate prospects.

All of those advanced search queries you’ve refined for identifying link prospects? You can easily use those for prospecting potential candidates. For example, [X query string]

Know someone who would be an ideal candidate but isn’t ready to make the leap to a new role? Use [X’s] feature to find people they’re closely connected to and you’ve got a whole new set of prospects.

Digital marketers have all the tools and resources they need to find and recruit other talented digital marketers; all it requires is a change in perspective.

Christy’s notes: Really interesting topic that tackles a pervasive problem in the marketing industry. Pitch is solid.

Robyn WinnerRobyn Winner

SEO Manager at Hornblower Cruises and Events

Robyn Winner is a passionate SEOer with a deep love for data analytics, user experience optimization, content strategy development, and her two adorable cats who fill her life with joy and fur…on everything.

Robyn’s pitch:

I’d love to present on Navigation Optimization. It’s a pretty meaty topic, and I could honestly talk for two hours on it, but in the 15 minutes I’d like to cover the key components that go into improving a site’s navigation structure. These components include: Understanding the buying funnel for both B2B and B2C, utilizing [X] to provide a guideline to the navigation structure, stepping away from narcissistic menuing (i.e. [X]), incorporating calls to action, the basic elements all b2b and b2c navigations should have, and ensuring each page is its own unique URL! No more of this one-page website with anchor text.

I’ve worked with a lot of clients just on this, and each time we’ve seen massive success because what we inevitably do is improve UX by bringing relevant pages higher in the funnel. We then see improved ranks for those pages because they’re naturally accessed more via the nav. Most importantly, we’re able to identify gaps in content once we whiteboard the new navigation structure based on [X, X, and X] (which inevitably leads to more ranks!).

Ronell’s notes: Highly relevant to EVERYONE.

Samuel ScottSamuel Scott

Director of Marketing and Communications at Logz.io

Samuel Scott is a global marketing speaker and Director of Marketing and Communications for log analysis platform Logz.io, as well as a contributor to TechCrunch and Moz.

Samuel’s pitch:

The 8 Things You Need to Check in Server Log Files in Technical SEO Audits

Server log files contain the only data that is 100% accurate in terms of how search engines crawl your website. Here’s what to check and how to fix any related problems.

Crawl budget and volume. If the number of times that a search engine is visiting your site suddenly drops, check your [X], [X], and [X].

Response code errors. Every single server log entry contains a response code. Group URLs by response code to look into those problems easily and in bulk.

Temporary redirects. Every log entry with a 302 response code is a temporary redirect. Those should be changed to 301 (permanent) redirects.

Crawl priority. Which parts of your website get the most attention from search engines? Does that match [X]?

Last crawl date. If an update page is not appearing in the SERPs, check when Google last visited the page. Try submitting that URL directly in Google Search Console.

Crawl budget waste. [X]

Matt’s notes: I like it. It’s a source of data that I think intimidates a lot of folks, and I’d love to see it made accessible. If he can make it short and simple, I think it’d be good.

Thanks to everyone who tossed in their hat this year! It’s a brave thing to even try.

Treat yo self!

Finally, I’d like to thank this year’s community speaker selection committee – Chiaryn Miranda, Christy Correll, Felicia Crawford, James Daugherty, Matt Roney, Ronell Smith, and Sam Weber.

Cheer on community speakers and buy your MozCon ticket today!

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