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The MozCon Virtual 2020 Initial Agenda

Posted by cheryldraper

It’s the question that’s been on plenty of people’s minds: What’s up with MozCon this year?

We’re happy to report that 2020’s MozCon is on like Donkey Kong, and as you can tell from its brand-new name, the format this year is just a tad bit different. MozCon 2020 is now MozCon Virtual, an online conference experience delivering every ounce of digital marketing expertise you expect in-person with the safety and security of social distancing at home.

Today, we’re here to tell you all about it — changes, challenges, nitty-gritty details, who’s speaking and what you’ll learn, and more!

Here’s the skinny on MozCon Virtual

MozCon Virtual will take place from the comfort of your at-home office space across July 14 & 15, 2020. Business on top, social distancing sweatpants on the bottom — you’ll be cozier than ever while learning all the latest and greatest in the world of SEO.

Twenty-two industry thought leaders will walk you through the hottest topics of 2020, covering everything from SEO automation to modern content promotion to strategies for handling keyword research in the midst of a crisis. You’ll see fondly familiar faces and exciting new names to the MozCon stage, and you can rest assured that we’re keeping the bar as high as it’s ever been for content quality.

Additionally, we know that budgets are tight right now. We want to do our part to help by making MozCon Virtual as accessible to everyone as we can. Tickets are now priced at $129. This also includes full access to the MozCon video bundle once it’s released!

Save my spot at MozCon Virtual!

Changes, challenges, & nitty-gritty details

A note about transparency and making really hard decisions

We’re not going to lie — organizing this year’s MozCon was a challenge. As it became more and more clear that an in-person event was neither feasible nor responsible (not to mention illegal here in Washington state!), we had a relatively short window of time to pivot from a 1,600-attendee event that we ran year after year using a concrete, smooth-as-butter process, to the virtual unknown. (Pardon the pun.)

There were many, many meetings. There was research and projections and debate, and more than one idea changed form three or four times before it took shape.

In the end, it came down to what was best for our community. MozCon has never operated from a profit standpoint — most years we aim to break even — but even with the risk and cost associated with such a monumental change to the event, we knew the show must go on. SEO doesn’t just stop. And right now, it’s picking up speed: People are turning to the internet to solve their problems now more than ever before, and businesses of all stripes are depending on that online visibility to sustain them through hardship. SEOs and digital marketers still need access to cutting-edge thought leadership, techniques, and strategies, and MozCon can deliver — even if it means we only get to daydream about all the high fives, fist bumps, and Roger hugs.

Not your typical marketing couchference

It was important that we find ways to maintain that special MozCon magic that makes folks excited to wake up extra early on a Monday morning, don their conference badge, and skip happily to the Washington State Convention Center for a day full of educational goodness.

We’re gonna miss the snacks — that’s just the truth. Doughnuts and coffee aside, we’ve energized our virtual conference with that snazzy MozCon spirit you look forward to every year:

  • The highest caliber speakers and topics in town: Twenty-two of digital marketing’s top experts will share their very best advice, strategies, tactics, and research over two jam-packed days of learning. You’ll have all their decks available for download, and the new choice of attending the talks that most interest you.
  • Friendly neighborhood Mozzers emceeing the event: MozCon stage superstars Cyrus Shepard and Britney Muller will keep the sparkle going between session.
  • Interactive Q&A with the experts: You’ll be able to participate in live Q&A sessions with speakers to answer your most burning digital marketing questions and quandaries.
  • Virtual networking with Birds of a Feather breakout sessions: Birds of a Feather tables are a lunchtime hit every single year. And we’ve heard your feedback: networking is a huge part of the MozCon experience. That’s why we’re introducing Birds of a Feather virtual discussions — a special online experience where you’ll be able to join expert-hosted events, connect with like-minded marketers, and forge professional relationships through the magic of the internet.
  • Charitable donations: Our belief in giving back hasn’t changed just because we’re going online. For every ticket sold we’ll be making a donation, with more details to come as we draw closer to showtime.
  • Awesome partners: MozCon is fortunate to have the support of our fantastic sponsors who have stuck with us through all the changes this year. They’ll be sharing their expertise in special hosted breakout groups. Curious about who our partners are? Check them out: 97th Floor, Base Search Marketing, CallRail, Crowd Content, Duda, GatherUp, and PAGES!

Two days chock full of conference goodness

We know it’s tough to take a full three days away from your day job, so we’re approaching MozCon Virtual with multi-track options to let attendees choose their own conference adventure — with full access to every talk via the MozCon video bundle once the conference is over.

A global experience at a more accessible price

We’re streaming MozCon!

Every year we’ve heard our community ask: I can’t make the trip. Will you be streaming MozCon? To our friends around the world, we’re glad to be able to answer yesthis year, MozCon will be fully available to remote attendees. While those in particularly opposite timezones may be enjoying the show in your jammies, for the first time MozCon will serve you on your sofa. And you won’t miss out on a single session — every ticket holder will have full access to the MozCon video bundle after the event, meaning you can re-watch your favorites and catch up on any you missed.

MozCon quality at a price more folks can afford: Tickets are now $129

We’ve lowered the price to attend this year’s conference for a couple of reasons.

One, while there are still some pretty significant costs to throwing a large virtual conference, those costs don’t include some of our biggest-ticket items, such as a conference space and food & beverage. Delicious treats and comfy seats are a real investment!

And two, times are really darn tough right now. We know agencies, brands, and freelancers are struggling in the midst of the economic downturn, and that it’s more important than ever to hone skills and build new ones. We originally lowered ticket prices by about 40%. Then, based on community feedback and suggestions, we decided to forego the idea of shipping out swag and snacks and lowered them again — to the tune of $129.

Every MozCon ticket purchased also includes full access to the MozCon video bundle, a $349 value. Our video bundles are professionally produced and fully shareable with your team, so you can keep the learning going throughout the rest of the year and revisit the talks that mattered most.

Register for MozCon Virtual

Initial agenda

Ready to explore what we’ve got planned for this year? Check out our current speakers and topics — and stay tuned for more information as the agenda evolves!

Alexis Sanders

Senior SEO Account Manager, Merkle
The Science of Seeking Your Customer

Users are at the core of everything we do in modern SEO. However, finding and understanding audiences can be daunting. Alexis will cover how to find your audience, share tools that are available for all price points, and show ways in which she’s found audience research to be useful as an SEO.

Andy Crestodina

Co-founder and CMO, Orbit Media
Thought Leadership and SEO: The 3 Key Elements and Search Ranking Strategies

Everyone wants to do it, but no one really knows what it is. So what is thought leadership? What isn’t it? And how does it affect search rankings?

This presentation is a data-rich perspective on the oh-so-popular topic of thought leadership, filled with practical takeaways for becoming an authority. And it’s all about the relationship between thought leadership and SEO. We’ll see how the research answers the questions and informs the tactics: Can brands be thought leaders? Can it be outsourced? Do you need to publish research? Or strong opinion? And how does it attract links and authority, rankings, and qualified visitors? Learn how a personal brand combines with content to drive big wins in SEO.

Britney Muller

Senior SEO Scientist, Moz

Last year, Britney wowed the crowd with a bevy of new research, data, and actionable tactics for understanding and winning featured snippets. We’re still piecing together all the intricate details of this year’s talk, so keep an ear to the ground as we continue to evolve our agenda!

Brian Dean

Founder, Backlinko
How to Promote Your Content Like a Boss

Creating content is easy. But getting people to see your content? That’s a different story. Brian Dean shares over a dozen practical strategies that you can use to spread the word about your latest blog post, podcast episode, or YouTube video.

Casie Gillette

Senior Director of Digital, KoMarketing
Counterintuitive Content: How New Trends Have Disrupted Years of Bad Advice

Content marketers don’t have it easy. We’re constantly adapting to our ever-shifting landscape and juggling an overwhelming amount of information and advice: Do we produce as much content as possible? Should we focus on quality, while still maintaining consistent schedules? And now, what about YouTube, voice search, and even TikTok?

The fact is, there’s no one way to do content marketing. Casie will showcase content in an entirely new light, with ideas and tips on how you can start creating content on your own terms.

Dana DiTomaso

President and partner, Kick Point

MozCon veterans know the value and vibrancy Dana brings to the stage, and this year will be no exception. Be on the lookout for juicy details about her 2020 talk — we can’t wait to share.

David Sottimano

VP, Keyphraseology
Everyday Automation for Marketers

As a general rule, we shouldn’t be doing things that a computer can do better. However, a lot of automation is achieved through programming expertise — and that expertise isn’t usually a marketer’s forte. In this session, you’ll learn how to gather data, use machine learning, and automate everyday tasks for marketers using low-code or no-code solutions.

Flavilla Fongang

Brand Strategist, 3 Colours Rule
How to Go Beyond Marketing for Clients: The Value of a Thriving Brand Ecosystem

Too many marketers serve their clients the bare minimum of what’s expected from an agency. To stand out among the crowd, cultivate real loyalty, and maximize the lifetime value of your clients, you have to go beyond mere marketing — developing a thriving brand ecosystem that aligns with the brand’s ultimate goals. Flavilla Fongang shares her tried-and-true framework for optimizing the customer journey, improving acquisition and retention, and going beyond what’s expected to serve your clients well.

Francine Rodriguez

Manager of Customer Success, WordStream
Let It Go: How to Embrace Automation and Get Way More Done

Let the robot uprising begin! We’ve all heard horror stories about the dangers of automating your tasks, but now is not the time to deny yourself extra help. Robots never sleep. They don’t get tired or overwhelmed by their to-do lists, and they’re ready to work round-the-clock to accomplish whatever task we set before them. In this talk, you’ll explore all the areas were automation is kicking butt in PPC — and how you can harness the power of robots to make more time for other efforts.

Heather Physioc

Group Connections Director, Discoverability, VMLY&R
Competitive Advantage in a Commoditized Industry

SEO isn’t dead — it’s commoditized. In a world where search companies are a dime a dozen and brands tout bland “unique selling propositions” that aren’t unique at all, how can you avoid drowning in the sea of sameness? What are you doing that’s any different from every other SEO firm? In this talk, you’ll learn how to find, activate, and articulate your competitive advantage. Learn how to identify unique strengths and innovative offerings that equate to competitive advantage through these real, working examples so you can bring them to life in search. You’ll leave with actionable tips and homework to help your search business stand out — and that you can use with clients to help them find their competitive edge, too.

Izzi Smith

Technical SEO Analyst, Ryte
How to Be Ahead of the (CTR) Curve

Let’s face it: Carrying out SEO magic is all in vain when you’re forgetting about how your brand and products are being surfaced in the SERPs. By not properly analyzing or enhancing our organic CTR, we’re greatly limiting our potential. Izzi will help you create the perfect SERP engagement strategy by covering practical ways to uplift your significant CTR, such as remedying your critical keyword rankings that could soon be lost, leveraging brand-empowering entity features (and assessing the risks of doing so), more intelligent testing of rich & featured snippet optimizations, and a whole lot more. CTR-you-ready?? You better be!

Joy Hawkins

Owner, Sterling Sky Inc.
Google My Business: Battling Bad Info & Safeguarding Your Search Strategy

What’s the harm in a little misinformation here and there? In the realm of local SEO, Joy Hawkins is here to outline exactly that. When it comes to local search and Google My Business, it can be make or break for your campaigns. Follow real data from a recent case study that illustrates why strategic decisions should be based on accurate information — and what can happen when that info is bad, wrong, or just plain incomplete.

Mike King

Managing Director, iPullRank

Mike redefined technical SEO and its importance in our industry back in 2016. In 2018, he taught us everything we didn’t know about SEO. This year, he’s back to share the hottest technical tactics to uplevel your efforts, plus the case studies and data that should be guiding your decisions.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

Marketing Scientist, Moz
Moving Targets: Keywords in Crisis

Too often, we take a once-and-done approach to keyword research, but Google changes at the pace of information, and that pace speeds up even more during a crisis. How do we do keyword research in fast-paced industries and during world-changing moments? Dr. Pete provides concrete tactics for adaptive keyword research and spotting trends as they happen.

Phil Nottingham

Brand and Video Marketing Strategist, Phil Nottingham Ltd.
How to Build a Global Brand Without a Global Budget

As funnel-based marketing becomes less effective and harder to measure, “building a brand” is frequently touted as the panacea for all marketer’s woes. But it’s unclear how this can be achieved scalably and with a limited budget. Large enterprises resort to huge creative advertising campaigns that get their names out there by force of spend alone — but this isn’t realistic for the smaller companies and the number of impressions is not the number of people impressed. In this session, Phil explains how modern brands are built through advocacy more than awareness alone, offering a deliverable method of brand marketing to radically shake up your content strategy.

Rob Ousbey

VP Product, Moz

Rob is no stranger to the MozCon stage — he’s graced it in the past as emcee, and in 2019 he covered the intimidating topic of running your own SEO tests (and how to do it right.) While we’re still nailing down the details of his 2020 talk, we’re confident that this year’s topic will be every bit as impressively daunting.

Robin Lord

Consultant, Distilled
Whatever You Do, Put Billboards in Seattle – Getting Brand Awareness Data from Google

How can you harness the vast power of Google data to gain special insight into city- and product-level brand awareness? Robin will lead us on a journey through his Google Trends methodology to use Adwords search volume data for better brand intelligence.

Ross Simmonds

CEO, Foundation
Designing a Content Engine: Going from Ideation to Creation to Distribution

What does it take to develop a content engine that drives results? In this presentation, Ross will share data around the power of having a content engine, tools & strategies for content ideation, tools and tactics for content creation, and frameworks that brands can use to ensure that their content is distributed effectively after hitting publish. This presentation will help you not only uncover content-market fit, but also capitalize on it.

Russ Jones

Principal Search Scientist, Moz
I Wanna Be Rich: Making Your Consultancy Profitable

How will your company weather the next update? How will you avoid layoffs and salary cuts? Being a master of SEO doesn’t guarantee that your consultancy will succeed. After a decade and a half of experience, Russ Jones will outline the techniques that will keep your clients happy and your bottom line healthy.

Sarah Bird

CEO, Moz
Welcome to MozCon Virtual + the State of the Industry

Sarah has a storied history of kicking MozCon off with a bright, sparkly bang. The fearless leader of Moz will be welcoming each and every one of us to this year’s virtual event, laying out all the pertinent details of the conference, and setting the tone for two jam-packed days of learning with a look at the State of the Industry.

Shannon McGuirk

Head of PR & Content, Aira
Great Expectations: The Truth About Digital PR Campaigns

In her talk, Shannon will challenge the desire for virality over consistency when it comes to digital PR and link building campaigns, while exploring the impact on the industry, team morale, and client expectations. By honestly sharing her own shortcomings, she’ll push you to learn from your own campaign failures using tried and tested frameworks that’ll mean you can face any creative campaign or outreach struggle head-on.

Wil Reynolds

Founder & Vice President of Innovation, Seer InteractiveThe CMO Role Has Been Disrupted – Are You Ready for Your New Boss?

CMOs have the shortest tenure in the c-suite, and the CMO role has been eliminated at some of the largest brands. CEOs are now asking tougher and tougher questions about the value of marketing — and oftentimes marketers are not prepared.

Connecting your data and building your data flywheel is one way to support the swift answers CEOs expect from their CMOs. We need to get stronger at bridging our day-to-day work to the value it drives. And more than ever, “brand lift” isn’t enough to satisfy CEOs.

This presentation will start at the top. How businesses are run, how CEOs talk, and how we as search marketers can use the data we have access to everyday in new ways to answer the questions of the c-suite and raise our visibility and value in organizations.

We hope to see your smiling faces online in July!

Thanks to each and every one of you for your patience as we hammered out the details of this year’s conference, for the questions you’ve asked and the honest feedback you’ve given us. We’re super excited to try out something new this year! Join us this July for our first MozCon Virtual and let’s explore the future of digital marketing together:

Yes, I’m going to MozCon!

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