MozCon 2012 Recap

The Blue Tent Marketing SEM team returned this week from MozCon, SEOmoz’s annual search marketing conference in Seattle, and boy was it a rewarding experience. SEOmoz has put together such an unbelievable community of people that are truly passionate about our web marketing industry. It was incredible to see such a diverse cross section of the talented and dedicated writers, developers, software engineers, and online marketers that make this industry so exciting.

Our production manager, Braeden, and I decided to take a few days to explore the Pacific Northwest and meet some of our clients before the conference. We started with a couple of nights in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. Thanks to Blackcomb Peaks Accommodations, we stayed in a lovely Aspens Condo, and had a fabulous time playing in the mud at the renowned Whistler Bike Park (it really was that muddy), perusing the beautiful local, produce, breads, and art at the Whistler Farmer’s Market, and eating some of the best sushi we’ve had in ages. If you haven’t been to Whistler, get there. The stunning drive on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler is worth the trip alone.

On to Seattle, where SEOmoz rounded up 28 experts in a variety of different facets of web marketing, representing companies from all over the country and all over the world. Roughly 800 attendees filled the gigantic room at the Westin Seattle—nearly double that of MozCon last year! It was huge! Even Roger, SEOmoz’s lovable robot mascot, was there for daily photo sessions, dancing on stage, and hugs.

Some of the highlights from the 3 days included:

  • Paddy Moogan from Distilled’s presentation on link building strategies in the post-panda and post-penguin era
  • Cyrus Shepard, former web strategist for SEOmoz’s discussion on how to boost your SEO ROI with targeted and precise content
  • Mike Pantoliano with Distilled took us deep within Google Analytics to discuss attribution modeling
  • And Dr. Pete Myers with SEOmoz revealed an exciting new algorithm project that just SEOmoz just launched: MozCast!

Many of the presentations were very data-driven and analytics-focused, but the overarching theme of the 3 days was how SEO is merging with traditional marketing and PR. As we’ve been saying on the Blue Tent blog for the last year, gone are the days when SEO was easy, when we’d tweak a few things on the back-end, add a few keywords to a page, and submit links to low-quality directories and bam, you were at the top of Google.

Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive hit the nail on the head with his “Real Company Shit” (RCS) presentation, one of the highlights of the conference. SEO is about doing RCS—it is not about voo-doo and it is not about tricking the search engines to get your company to rank well. SEO is about building relationships, not links. It’s about creating a real marketing plan, producing great content, and building an audience that wants to hear from you and follow you.

Mike King followed up Wil Reynolds’ ideas of RCS by stressing the importance of selling big ideas to our clients, instead of #1 rankings. Let’s be honest, companies pay their bills with earned revenue, not with rankings, right? So why do we continue to chase the search engine rankings? Chasing Google’s algorithm will only end up wasting time and frustrating both clients and SEOs. As smart SEOs, we need to evolve by finding a smarter way of marketing our websites and building a long-term presence on the web.

MozCon 2012 helped validate the fact that Blue Tent Marketing is on the right path with our white-hat SEO practices. We have the right tools to lead our clients to the top with big ideas, creative content marketing, smart social media, effective PR, and dialed-in pay-per-click advertising. Contact us to learn how we can help you with a better search marketing plan.

See you next year, Seattle!

Brynn Flaherty is Director of Search Marketing at Blue Tent. She is passionate about the outdoors, traveling, and helping people win on the web! You can view other blog posts written by Brynnhere.

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