Mozcon 2016 Recap (Includes Slidedecks)

by | Jul 15, 2015

59 min read
Disclaimer: Notes brought to you by Unbouncers: Cody Campbell, @cody_campbell and Chelsea Scholz, @chelseascholz . Beers, Skittles and Praises to them, not us.

What a day! Lots of very smart, passionate marketers. Notes from the first day here. Rand’s opening address had many interesting points, but an opportunity is definitely SEO for apps. – I’ll add more notes after tomorrow and Wednesday.
Here are the key notes / agenda across the day and for the next two days.


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[Monday, July 13th]
Welcome to MozCon! Rand Fishkin, @randfish
How to Make Your Marketing Match Your Reality
How to Do Content Strategy (Probably)
An SEO’s Guide to the Insane World of Content
Delightful Remarketing: How You Can Do It
The Perfect Pair: Using PPC Data to Influence SEO
Tracking Beyond the Pageview
Too Busy to Do Good Work
Online Personalization that Actually Works
Ultimate Search and Social Mashup: Expertly Curate Owned Audience Cookie Pools
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[Tuesday, July 14th]
Surviving Google: SEO in 2020
Become a Mobile SEO Superhero
Digital Analytics: People, Process, Platform
How to Better Sell SEO to the C-Suite
Drive More Conversions with Lifecycle Email Campaigns
Reaching Critical Mass: 150 Active Members
Dark Search and Social – Run Rabbit Run!
Back to the Future with Local Search
The Time to Do the Web Right Is Incredibly Short
[gdlr_column size=”1/3″]
[Wednesday, July 15th]
Marketing Innovations: Creative PR, Content, and SEO Strategies
Upside Down and Inside Out
Get Hired to Do SEO
Rocking Your CRO Efforts with Radical Redesigns
Parole, Parole, Parole: Practical, Modern Keyword and Topical Research
The Psychology of Social Media
Astoundingly Useful Applications of Facebook Search for Marketers
Onsite SEO in 2015: An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Marketer


[Monday, July 13th] Welcome to MozCon!

Rand Fishkin, @randfish
Full slide presentation here:

  • If we don’t build the thing that kills us, someone else will
  • Industry disruptors focus on ideas that’ll make the 10x change – not the incremental difference
  • Our innovation is usually restricted to the areas we’re allowed to control and influence
  • Are we willing to disrupt our own model in order to innovate and grow?
  • Mobile search growing rapidly – desktop has flat lined


  • Facebook drives 90% of all social referrals
  • Social traffic is creeping up on organic search in total referral volume for some verticals
  • Email & SEO are the leaders in driving ROI


  • Search results continue to trend towards giving you an answer (without clicking through to a page)
  • Majority of people spend their time using 1 or 2 apps. SEO for apps may become a huge driver of new app adoption
  • Bing is moving towards encrypting search data – meaning marketer’s will lose even more keyword data in their analytics


How to Make Your Marketing Match Your Reality

Dana DiTomaso, @danaditomaso


  • Once upon a time…we did some marketing for manufacturing client. We got them great results, BUT we noticed they had tons of awful online reviews.
  • We brought it up to our client’s team yet nobody wanted to take responsibility for the problem
  • The company looked reputable from the outside, but once someone experienced the product and service, their experience was awful.
  • The real customer experience didn’t match their marketing. The marketing didn’t match reality.
  • It’s not only the silos in marketing that affect your brand, it’s the silos within your entire organization.
  • Your brand is your promise. “If you choose us, this is what’s going to happen.”


  • Every touchpoint with your customer is a chance to enhance your brand experience (WestJet Christmas example – buying presents for kids while they were flying on the plan – delivering them by the time they landed.)
  • Humans like consistency – keep your brand experience that way.
  • Good marketing feels right. Good marketing makes people make decisions they are unaware of.
  • Digital marketers should lead brand strategy because they are aware of all the things that contribute to a great brand experience.
  • Brand strategy is the future of marketing
  • Consider your core values when developoing your brand strategy
  • Brand strategy is how you execute the main message you want convey
  • Imagine your company as a person. There are things that make it good, and others that make it bad. Have a conversation about them.
  • If someone went up to your company and asked what they stood for, would they get 100 different answers or a consistent one?


Building a Brand Strategy

  1. Keep it as simple as possible
  2. Keep it consistent across all channels (online and offline)
  3. Living, breathing document that is a true expression of your company

Step 1: Why did it fail before? Be honest. What’s going to cause havoc for your strategy? Get the C-level on board. The most prominent person at the company will be leading your brand.

  • Good branding can help you do more with less. Do it right and you’ll get less angry customers and more satisfied ones. Attract the right people, not the tire kickers. Eliminate the marketing debt – the effort that attracts the wrong people – an innacurate marketing strategy.

Step 2: The brand is / is not?

  • 2 attributes that the brand is not (try starting here)
  • 2 attributes about what the brand is
  • 2 points about what it will be in the future

Try getting 1 on 1 feedback as much as possible (it’s usually more unfiltered)
Step 3: Define your voice & tone (Get HR & international on board)

  • brand strategy > voice
  • In a brand voice document try creating examples of “Write like this”, “Not like this”, and then a section on Why.
  • A good brand strategy defines culture fit. Are your new hires, inline with your brand?
  • Title tags, meta descriptions and PPC ads are a great place to stand out using a consistent brand voice. Don’t write the same thing as the other guys.
  • The post purchase experience is even more important than the pre-purchase. Think about how you can create customer retention and loyalty.
  • Get your service team on board to help your brand experience can stay consistent regardless of when and where your customer interacts with your company.
  • Remember “brand coach” not “brand police” – no one wants that.
  • Always be coaching – encourage your people to be consistent with the brand voice


How to Do Content Strategy (Probably)

Kristina Halvorson, @halvorson
  • There are secret slides and a PDF of her extended presentation!
  • Definition: Content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content
  • Helped us clear up the “what” of content strategy
  • Think about:
    for whom,
    by whom,
    with what,
    how often,
    what next
  • How is this applicable to our business goals and user needs!
  • If your content is for everybody, then it really is for NOBODY
  • Define your personas – this has to feed into your content strategy and plans
  • The big question: what next? What’s going to happen once that content is out there?
  • Content that just piles on top of more content without any strategic plan = you just end up with content that dies on the vine…
  • “Content Strategy For The Web” by Kristina Halvorson – her book!
  • Definition changed again:
  • Content strategy:
  • Defines how you’re going to use content to meet your business (or project) goals and satisfy your users’ needs
  • Guides decisions about content through its lifecycle, from discovery to execution
  • Then EPIC CONTENT MARKETING was on the rise (ay ai ai)
  • Content marketing and demand gen rose up at the same time
  • The only kind of content that’s left is the content that builds trust and affinity with your brand – custom publishing is important but the way that was translated within our industry was this:

  • This is big trouble!
  • It’s more and more critical that you’re looking at your content from a strategic angle now
  • Content marketing and content strategy are the two fastest growing verticals in the industry

  • Substance, structure, workflow, governance and strategy
  • At the center of this quad is the strategy
  • Make active decisions about where you’re going to focus your energy and resources to improve your content efforts
  • Any good strategy forces you to make a choice (ie, we’re going to focus on this and ignore that)
  • Marketers hate this but you can’t do it all. What will you say “no” to?
  • The work that search analysts do allows them to understand the science and art of content strategy
  • People, content are at the center of strategy
  • roles, structure, processes, tools = workflow – this is going to put structure around content lifecycle
  • governance is going to allow the content to empower, facilitate
  • Definition is now about content strategy in terms of the user experience
  • What do people do when they come across your digital content?

  • The second way that she talks about content strategy is in terms of adaptive content strategy
  • responsive design has messed with content
  • Third way to look at it is enterprise content strategy

There are 4 parts to getting content strategy done that she works with:

  • Assessment, Analysis and Strategy
  • Architecture and Editorial
  • Implementation
  • Maintenance

The first two are often where we can play in.

Think about what you can bring to the table in these stages!


  • The questions that get asked in the assessment stage are really important
  • When problems arise it’s because smart questions weren’t asked up front
  • Come to the table with questions and the content strategy checklist


Sample: we’ll deliver the right content, to the right person, in the right time, in the right place.
BOOO! – this is not a good strategy.
If you were a bear:

  • get food (like, fish) (many places to get food); you also have a bunch of ways in which you could get that fish
  • goal = get fish
  • strategy = go down to the river
  • tactic = stand in the river with your mouth open
  • no strategy? you’re standing in the middle of a field with your mouth open hoping to have a fish fall from the sky!

Sample of good, effective strategies:

  • “We will use our website as the primary vehicle to gather qualified leads.”
  • “We will evolve our print production model to deliver single-source, omnichannel content.”
  • Your documented content strategy should have:
  • Business goals and success metrics
  • Audience segments and needs
  • Content strategy statement and guiding principles
  • Priority areas of focus
  • Roadmap for implementation
  • You can get these, again, by coming to the table and asking good questions up front!

When creating strategy these are the pieces that are often overlooked:

  • messaging
  • topic maps
  • style guide
  • page tables
  • content models
  • content types
  • more available in Kristina’s PDF!
  • Don’t let your content ROT
  • ROT: redundant, outdated, trivial
  • Check out “The Content Strategy Toolkit” book
  • The hard stuff:
  • This framework does not eliminate creativity. But what is important, as marketers we tend to become subject to the bright shiny object syndrome. Instead of optimizing things that are we’re working on and building on, we get distracted by things like a new platform. 🙁
  • Make brave decisions about what you are gonna do and what you aren’t gonna do
  • How do you make the case for content strategy?
  • #1 way to get buy-in for content strategy is to talk about pain points.
  • Figure out what your boss or your boss’ boss is having trouble or frustrations within the content process
  • Then, step back and figure out how one of the pieces of the content strategy process might be able to solve one of these problems.
  • Find where you have the opportunities to ask smarter questions for strategy, or address unanswered questions.
  • Look for opportunities – how can you really, truly differentiate yourselves to improve visibility with your content.
  • How can understanding more about your audience or business objectives help prioritize your content opportunities.
  • Can you spot those opportunities? Can you articulate them?
  • How will you make content strategy a part of your world?
  • It’s up to us to shape this conversation, bring it to the table, and stand up for the user needs
  • What are you going to do, what are you not going to do – and they stuff that you are going to do – how are you going to kick-ass at it?

Download Kristina’s pdf at


  • Ultimately, people want pretty specific things from your brand – create content that’s valuable by listening to your audience
  • Make less content
  • Engagement is a bad metric – it doesn’t do anything to assess intent
  • What makes content quality/useful content? Content that addresses a specific need or task (it’s unsexy but SO worth it)
  • Content promotion – are eyeballs important?
  • Branded well is important, leads and conversions are important. That’s it.


An SEO’s Guide to the Insane World of Content

Matthew Brown, @matthewjbrown
  • What is content strategy?
  • The strategic planning and management of content creation and distribution for maximum effectiveness. Content strategy involves elements of user experience…
  • Change to B2C content:


  • Content strategy is now the #2 service offered by agencies
  • There are 2.5 million blog posts created per day – that’s a lot of noise
  • Change in B2B content creation:
  • 43% of businesses are moving to create “MORE” content. Most of these companies are putting this content on Facebook.
  • Facebook is now 25% of social traffic


  • With all this noise, it’s a struggle to get clicks on your articles – people are using any imagery they can to improve click through rates.
  • If you’re targeting “How to” content, you’re dealing with users who have A.D.D.
  • Should you be worried about them bouncing off your content?
  • Spending a low time on site?
  • 79% of marketers say their org is shifting to branded content (paid content)
  • Branded content is working – brands are not seeing a drop in engagement.
  • Content fatigue happens all the time – we see too much content every day so we stop paying attention to what we see.

Develop content loyalty by developing content that is timely and relevant – great way to build brand awareness

Ways to develop content loyalty

  • Long form content
  • develop highly specific content for a loyal audience – long term play
  • Target a specific persona
  • Evergreen 10x content
  • this content has long term relevance
  • It needs to be maintained, revised and iterated over time

So how can you make content that stands out?

  1. Let users control their story experience
  2. How can we give users something that they haven’t seen or done before
  3. Make your content about your reader – try personalizing it based on IP address location
  4. Break the standard article template
  5. Scroll page horizontally with mouse wheel

How can you get someone to consume 38,000 words of content?

  • Add interactivity every 2000 words or so
  • Linkable assets – give people useful chunks or resources throughout the article
  • Have fun – do something/give something that’ll make your audience laugh
  • Know your users persona
  • hit all the distribution channels
  • adjust your content to fit and work amazingly on each device
  • What can you remove from your content that will make the user experience even better on a smaller device?

What’s the goal for content distribution?
Biggest problem:

  • There’s no content distribution plan
  • There’s no success metrics

A better way to do it…

  • BuzzFeed’s POUND (process for optimizing and understanding network diffusion)


  • They began to understand how network diffusion brought them backlinks.
  • Therefore, the better we can diffuse our content socially, the less time we have to spend link building.
  • Old Way of Link building: Build all your links to to the hub
  • New Way: Publish all your content to right streams for the right audiences.
  • This drives the fastest social network diffusion, which improves the velocity of link building.

Content Loyalty – Loyalty through return visits drives a solid content strategy

  • 2.6 days is the median pageview peak for articles
  • For any single piece of content, you’ll get that peak and then traffic will decline.
  • You don’t have a lot of time to get your content seen
  • Find out what get’s your reader to come back more.
  • Identify which content attributes improve this metric.
  • Optimize for those attributes and measure your progress

Which Content types create loyalty?
Implementing a content strategy can take 12-17 months before you see a good ROI
Where can you start?

  • Do a content audit
  • [get links to content audits from slide deck]
  • Use SEMrush to benchmark the monetary value of your content
  • Scope out your potential ROI [siege media slide]
  • Use Buzzsumo to identify which content topics are popular on social
  • Add traffic and on-page engagement into one on-page performance score (Moz Content tool)

[Matthew also announces Moz Context API at #MozCon. Yay!]

Main Takeaways

  1. Optimize your content for return visitors. Find out what makes them come back and make sure you do more of that. Sometimes it will be a certain aspect of your page layout, other times it could be the type of content you used or how you delivered it.
  2. Optimize for faster social diffusion (social sharing and amplification). This can replace time spent on old-school link building.


Delightful Remarketing: How You Can Do It

Duane Brown, @duanebrown

Why delightful remarketing is important

  • over 60% of people abandon a shopping cart every year
  • Of the 40% that don’t

What is Delightful remarketing?

  • Message match
  • context – when the ad will be soon, where they’ll see it, what they’ll be doing when they’ll be seeing it
  • B2C
  • B2B
  • A burn pixel is a pixel that fires on your page, for example, after someone purchases something in order to put them on a remarketing list so they never get targeted with a buy something ad again.
  • A burn pixel keeps your customers from seeing ads for products they’ve already bought.

Commerce + Burn pixel = Ateam
SaaA +Intercom = Marketing

  • Intercom is great because you can communicate with your customer in your app or website and direct them to helpful resources.

AdWords Customizer
Use countdown timer on your ads
Send people to a landing page and get them added to your remarketing so you can show them these ads
The Dos of Delightful of Remarketing:

  • Set the ad frequency (how often you show someone an ad)
  • 2-3 ads per day for any one brand
  • Age: only target people in your target age demographic
  • Location: Try targeting a region of a country – maybe your audience is only in certain places. Consider testing this at the city level too.
  • Spend your time going after your major markets & defending territory, not going after the whole world
  • Look back window – use 30 days, if people haven’t converted by then, they likely won’t.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 21004 PMpng
Creative: Understand what your customers want to see
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads
Takes a search campaign in adwords and layers on a segmented audience from a remarketing list. The benefit is that your CPC will be lower
Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 21043 PMpng


  1. Make your customers a better version of themselves. Know what they want and why they want it.
  2. Experiment with your creative and use it to your advantage
  3. Use those burn pixels!
  4. Check in on your campaign constantly and update accordingly


The Perfect Pair: Using PPC Data to Influence SEO

Stephanie Wallace, @swallaceSEO

SEO & PPC should work together to…

  • increased visibility in the SERPs
  • increased perceived brand authority
  • right?
  • Well, in reality SEO & PPC are usually siloed in organizations and they don’t tend to work together effectively.
  • So how can we make these 2 areas work together effectively?


1. Testing MetaData

  • use PPC ads to test title tags and meta descriptions
  • start by using the search analytics report in Google WEbmasters Tools.
  • Once you define the pages you want to test, start testing.
  • I like to create a separate campaign for my test
  • Create different ad copy (headlines and body text) to test the metadata you’d like to get results for
  • Be sure to point all these ads to the same landing page
  • Ad Rotation: optimize for clicks
  • Once you get conclusive data, be sure to apply the winning headline and body text from ad to your website’s pages as title tags and meta descriptions.


2. Identify Content Gaps

  • Start by looking at multi channel funnels in Google anltyics
  • look at top conversion path (30 day look back)
  • secondary dimension filter by path “paid search”
  • Identify paths that don’t include “organic”
  • So the question becomes “are we targeting this keyword organically? If not, Why?” “Should we create new content for this opportunity?”


3. Define Ranking Opportunities

  • Find keywords we are ranking for but haven’t spent any time targeting organically. These are the low hanging fruit within striking distance.
  • Start by looking at top converting keywords in AdWords
  • Export to Excel
  • Pay attention to clicks, impressions, CTR, Conversions
  • Identify whether you are targeting this keyword? Based on your current rankings, identify which terms are worth targeting.
  • Tier 1 = keyword on the 1st page
  • Teir 2 = keyword on the 2nd page


How to Leverage PPC for CRO


  • Instead of looking at pages by keyword themes, look at them through the “buyer journey” point of view.
  • Test different sets of ad copy and send them to different landing pages.
  • Run the test.
  • Identify your top performing page in your PPC campaign based off Clicks Impressions CTR and Conversions.



How do you select what pages are the best to test?

In Google webmaster tools you can look at pages that have a low click through rate.

How do you match up keywords in PPC vs SEO? They are similar, but not quite the same.

I like to look at keyword themes instead of individual keywords themselves. The idea is to identify similarities

Do you test individual elements on landing pages or do wildly radical changes?

We’re talking about pages that already exist. We test which ones are more likely to convert based off a single keyword theme.


Tracking Beyond the Pageview

Adrian Vender, @adrianvender

We all have a part in creating Awesome Content. Some content is going to turn out great and some not so great. So how do we know when our content is working?
Answer: Content Analytics

  • Analytics tells us how people get to and through our content. There’s a story to be told, but the truth is most people are poor at understanding and measuring content success.
  • Standardized Google Analytics reports don’t tell a very good story.


  • We’re not really tracking content interaction. We’re tracking Page views – what about the people reading it?
  • How can we track people reading, downloading, navigating?
  • Analysis is hard. How can we report on event tracking and conversion influence? Finding these reports is not easy…
  • So what we need to do is make sure we’re tracking the right things and we also have to be able to collect the right data and report on it in a meaningful way.

So what do you do to start tracking?

  • Add some additional javascript to the page
  • BUT, this requires IT help. Most often, devs are too busy to help you.

The solution: Google Tag Manager

  • All you need to do is add one piece of code to your site to start tracking. From there you have a centralized way to add tracking scripts and event tracking to your site. Google Tag Manager (GTM) makes tracking cleaner and easier.

Components you need to know about in GTM

  • Tags: What should fire?
  • Triggers: When should tags fire?
  • Variables: Values used within Tags and Triggers

How it works

  1. Choose and configure a tag
  2. Set up a trigger based on URL, clicks, form submissions etc.

i.e. fire the tag when someone lands on page “”

  • Protip: use inspect element in Chrome DevTools to identify IDs and Titles that you can use for triggers.

What else can you track?

  • Tracking Content Scrolling
  • Track outbound link clicks
  • Youtube & Vimeo tracking (see instructions link in slide deck)
  • Track URL Fragments (i.e. AJAX pages)

So now that you’re tracking all this – GREAT!
But what the heck are you going to do with all that data?

  • We have to become better analysts. These tools are not made for data scientists, they’re made for digital markters.

Get started by Understanding Event Reporting in Google Analytics

  • Events are described via categories, actions and labels
  • Use shortcodes and Dashboards
  • Configure your perfect report then create a shortcut and/or custom dashboard in Google Analytics so you can reference your favourite reports at any time.
  • Connect content interaction to conversion using Custom Segments in Google Analytics
  • Use the “sequences” tab in Custom Segments to start tracking a particular user path or sequence of user behaviour.



There are tons of tools people can use to track analytics data. What’s your recommendation?

Some tools play well with Google Tag Manager and others do not. Make sure the tools you use work well with GTM. If they don’t, you’re probably better off using the other dedicated tracking platform.


Too Busy to Do Good Work

Marta Turek, @mturek

Are you really doing great work?

  • 80% of CMOs say they need to restructure the marketing function to better support the business.

What’s changed?

  • Marketing is being seen on the PNL statement vs a cost
  • Marketers have increasingly more responsibility – the entire customer experience from the first touchpoint to post purchase.
  • We need to be conveying our marketing message through multi channels
  • We now need to grasp new data, operations and technology to do our jobs well
  • We’re completely overwhelmed – we experience 50-60 interruptions everyday. If the average interruption is 5 min, we are wasting over half our work day.
  • If 80% of those interruptions are rated as “little value”, we’re wasting approx. 3 hours of every work day.

So let’s focus on improving the effectiveness of the granular day to day grind of what we do.
Goal: Make timely specific changes in our daily work habits so that we can become more effective, so that we can have more time to think, to create, to innovate.
21 Days to better PPC processes
These examples are PPC specific, but they can be easily implemented for any discipline.
What we’ll be doing: implement a new tactic every day so that the habit becomes unconscious and automatic.
What We need:

  • Capacity – time
  • Context – Priority, interdependence, clarity
  • Mindset – Focus, efficiency
  • Review – Feedback
  • The biggest time waster in a day is meetings. Let’s focus on taking back control of your work day.
  • Review your calendar. Ask yourself: How much time do I have to do real work – meaningful work (email is not included in meaningful work!).

Tactic 1: Stop mindlessly accepting meeting invites

  • If there is no agenda, its unclear why it exists. Decline it.
  • If a meeting pops up in your calendar on the same day, Reschedule it to a better time.
  • If there are only 15 or 30 minute gaps between your meetings, reschedule your meetings.
  • That time between meetings is lost time – it won’t be used for anything useful.

Tactic 2: Create blocks of uninterrupted work 2-4 hours per day

  • Now you need to know what to work on.
  • Practice systematic time planning to figure out what you need to do
  • Master list – everything you can possibly think of that you could do
  • Monthly list – strategic list of high level elements you want to work on this month
  • Weekly list – create it on Sunday night and define the priorities for the coming week. The idea is to be proactive and not reactive.
  • Day list – create this at the end of the day. These are items from monthly and weekly lists transferred to your daily list.
  • Avoiding distraction during your blocked off time: Switch off all pings, popups and notifications. Do not check email Try doing this for 2 hours. You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve if you work on a single task.
  • For every distraction, you lose 20 minutes of productive time.
  • Time yourself – understand how long work actually takes.


Organize Your information

The average executive loses 6 weeks per year just looking for lost information

  • Start with naming conventions

create a naming structure that can be shared with anyone involved.
Email is not a storage container. It’s a shipping container. Extract critical information from your inbox and organize it in the right place…

  • Document management platform
  • master task list
  • master knowledge base

Label File Names clearly

  • Have a hierarchy and make sure everyone on the team can navigate it intuitively.
  • Make sure there is a clear context in how your documents are named.

Set up a master client knowledge base

  • This is a single place with all the information on a client and the work you are planning to do for them. It doesn’t matter what platform you use.
  • PPC Example: an Excel workbook that has separate tabs outlining campaign organization, campaign strategy etc.

Account Change Sheet

  • Create this to help keep track of high level changes. This helps when you need to look back and identify why a campaign has shifted in performance metrics.

Email Subjects

  • Write clear subject lines


Move your communication to the relevant platform:

  • project management tool
  • Group chat tool
  • Face to face/Phone communication
  • Ask yourself, do I really need to send an email? Try to reduce the # of emails you send.

Use a Shared Google Doc to collaborate on Client Agendas
Actionable Tips to shave seconds off your day:

  • Bookmark all frequently used programs
  • Use Pocket to save articles to read later
  • Use a password mgmt tool
  • standardize
  • Everytime you work on a repeatable task, add instructions to it to make it more efficient. That way you’ll eventually be able to delegate the task.
  • Use a project brief for all new projects/tests/campaigns.
  • Make sure all the key info you’ve talked about before launching a project is summarized so that any other key stakeholders can quickly understand your project without hunting through 100’s of email to get the info they need.
  • Set aside 30 minutes a day to update your skills.
  • If you don’t have the knowledge you need to work, you’ll become redundant


What should you do if you get a meeting without an agenda?

Ask the meeting setter what the main goal of the meeting is and what is going to be covered/talked about

What is your favourite platform for each use…

Client knowledge base: Excel, Communication: Hipchat, project mgmt: Asana and monkeyworks


Online Personalization that Actually Works

Cara Harshman, @caraharshman

Cara says we all look amazing – aww thanks!

  • Personalization is something that we all experience online
  • could be ads that are haunting us on the internet or websites like amazon and netflix that are doing a good job at personalizing our experiences
  • most of us don’t have the army of amazon engineers behind our websites and marketing – how can we do personalization that actually works?
  • Personalization is a really big word (preach!)
  • How are we going to use personalization at each of our businesses


Story of how personalization worked well on Cara:

  • Cara’s two roommates moved out (Jared and Kate) – this means she got to move upstairs to a room with the best view!
  • Problem = she had no furniture. She goes on the hunt to CB2 and found a peekaboo media console (great choice).
  • So she’s browsing, looking at the console but it’s too expensive so she bounces.
  • 2 days later she got an email from CB2 that said 15% off of all acrylics (her table is acrylic!)
  • So she goes back to the site, but she’s still not ready to own this thing. She wants to browse craigslist, etc. to find it for cheaper.
  • The next email she got it for CHEAPER – It said “still deciding?”
  • So she goes back to the website and decides this is the right time! And purchases.
  • It’s still pleasing her to this day in her living room.
  • A company is using what they know about Cara to get her to convert.


  • Today, email is a really powerful channel for personalization (along with retargeting).
  • See Duane Brown’s talk above for more on remarketing.


Your website

  • Your website is underutilized when it comes to personalization.
  • We’re spending a ton of money and effort on email and paid only to send people to our websites (boo!)
  • We have so much information about our visitors

  • It’s time that the web kept up with us

Framework for personalization:

  1. WHO to target
  2. Slice your audience into unique segments
  3. WHAT to show them
  4. What are you showing the unique who
  5. HOW to prioritize
  6. You have no limit on the ideas you have to how to personalize


  • How you’re slicing your audiences:
  • Contextual (Where they are coming from, are they logged in?)
  • Demographic (you innately know these to be true about the visitor)
  • Behavioral (the things that your visitor has done on your site)
  • Some examples of businesses who have been slicing their audiences in the above 3 ways:
  • Secret Escapes
  • Spending a TON of money on adwords

Sending all of that traffic to a landing page

  • Tried personalizing the landing page based on the keyword a visitor was coming in from – really powerful
  • Personalized page for the keyword “spa breaks”: changed the images and the copy to put people in a luxury environment
  • They saw a 32% increase in conversions just by making the messaging on the ad symmetric to the messaging on the landing page (=message match)

  • Not only more conversions, but saved money on adwords, and quality score going up!
  • Using context or the status of the visitor to personalize the experience for the visitor
  • Adroll
  • Pre-sale experience gets a phone number to call
  • Post-sale they’re giving a link to the support center


  • Another example, is when they targeted the site to enterprise audiences and smb audiences

they think splitting this demographic is going to be more personal and relevant to the visitors

  • Clymb
  • Behavioural example
  • They want to show the right products to the right people who will actually buy them
  • They found the leading indicator of whether someone would buy or not is whether they’ve purchased in the past

They created a different version for people who had purchased in the past with Oakley products

  • Saw a 10% increases in conversions on oakley products from people who were past purchasers
  • 10% is really significant on one segment – if you could do this across mutliple segments your going to see a big, collective change
  • So how can you slice and dice your visitors, change the experience based on demographic, or optimize based on visitor behaviour?
  • Remember that you have existing audiences right under your nose. You can start personalizing experiences for those people!
  • There is no one size fits all way to do this because personalization is personal.


  • This is really a hypothesis – there is not one thing that’s always going to be amazing for old visitors or new visitors.
  • This is a great time to flex your a/b testing muscles.
  • Start thinking of how can I move the needle on this segment? etc.
  • Say you go to a DYI website and you’re coming there as a new visitor.
  • One idea is to show a tour of everything you offer to get the visitor to come back.
  • If you’re a return visitor, capture value by asking for a newsletter sign-up and get that person to come back.
  • Say you’re a retail site.
  • You know the shopper is located in San Fran.
  • There’s a hypothesis that if you have the opportunity for in-store pick-up you might have more opportunity to make a sale.
  • If the visitor hasn’t visited the site in 90 days, offer a discount to see if they come back
  • Take these ideas to your team and try them out!
  • BUT don’t be creepy!
  • Don’t be creepy – Cara wasn’t creeped out by CB2’s super personal emails, but someone could.
  • Be careful about how you approach personalization.
  • Stay true to your company values.
  • Again, remember ‘what’ is a hypothesis.
  • Personalization will come naturally when thinking about what to do that’s best for a certain segment of your audience.


  • How to build and ship these ideas that you just came up with.
  • Comes down to 3 things for prioritizing personalization:
  • Potential business impact
  • Technical effort to execute
  • Requirements to sustain
  • When thinking about prioritization:
  • Take BIG bites for big impact
  • A  lot of traffic for a lot of value
  • Think about who makes up most of your traffic
  • Don’t get too aggressive for 1:1 personalization right off the bat; start small.
  • The audience that takes the most amount of money to acquire is who you should be personalizing for.
  • Be realistic about the technical effort that it’s going to take to execute this campaign.
  • There’s a lot of software, but if you don’t have it think about: programming resources, product resources, etc.
  • Diversify and see what feels good and natural
  • Don’t slice your audiences too thin.
  • This is going to create a content problem because you might not have the content resources available or spending too much time on unique content for each of those audiences.
  • Give the audience enough time to surprise you. Don’t pigeonhole what they think about you either.
  • The who to target, what you’re going to show them and how you’re going to prioritize it.
  • The power of personalization is in how you wield it.
  • There are many ways we can use personalization for good, not for evil.
  • We as small/medium businesses need to start thinking about leveraging this strategy to also be more competitive and relevant in the world.
  • Personalization as delivering value to your customers is amazing.
  • Personalizing for the sake of personalizing is useless.
  • After this, think about:
  • Who are you personalizing for (what experience you would deliver to them, create a list of hypotheses)?
  • Tweet at Cara to tell her about your own personalization successes/failures! 🙂



You don’t need tools to start personalizing (there are a lot though). There are many things you can do right now to reach your visitor.
Is there an inexpensive way to personalize for small business?

Yes! Any person can take advantage of the data you have about your visitors and personalize for them. Think about the list you have today and you don’t have to measure all the different segments, etc. right now. For small business, don’t be super focused on measuring the effect of every single personalization.

Anything from offline we can put in the online experience?

Not sure! Tweet about it with Cara or with each other

Have you seen personalized content, like on a blog and can you personalize it?

Vertical based content is a really good way to slice your audience. Have different blog feeds (like, newsletters) that people can choose from.

Cara is working on a blog post right now for Optimizely about how personalization will affect SEO – keep your eye out for that!

Ultimate Search and Social Mashup: Expertly Curate Owned Audience Cookie Pools

Marty Weintraub, @martyweintraub

Turning readily available huge-social-data into attribute table conversion.

  1. Sell with internet wide with psychographics

Selling with internet wide social psychographic data
Use any and all available data to segment your marketing lists. Don’t just focus on big networks like Facebook.

  • Example: Selling mortgage insurance – Layer targeting like household income, apartment square footage etc.
  • Sell with Internet-wide psychographics..personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles
  • Psychographic: Home square footage + home loan year + income + like online investment = mortgage persona
  • You know what’s totally whacked about social psychographic intent? IT’S JUST KEYWORDS!

Example: individuals who are high spenders at mid range restaurants
Dual Root Personas: Behiavour & Class
Example: Use Facebook interests to…
Social Goals – why we care about social

  • Scalable psychographic traffic
  • attributable conversion
  • real links from good authority sites
  • social signals from strong users
  • focused likes, follows, shares
  • insulation from harsh SEO algorithm updates
  • PR Distribution to bloggers & Media


  1. New expectations for social marketers

Remarketing lists for search ads should work very well (likely to convert higher than regular keyword targeted ads)
Don’t segment your remarketing lists simply by targeting people who visit a certain page on your site. That is too basic and won’t provide a solid user experience.
Curate Lists as valuable brand assets – “Owned Assets”
The way you target is completely up to you. What matters is that you use available data to segment deep enough to target customers who are more likely to convert.
Example:  If you’re an ecommerce site selling a high priced good, wouldn’t it make the most sense to retarget your visitors who make the highest household income?

  1. Filtered retargeting from social cookie pools

Psychographics > retargeting filter by search
Search > retargeting filter by psychographics
Search > retarget filter by SEarch
Psychographics > retarget filtering by psychographics
Marketing is building lists. We buy data. It’s your job to convert these lists by psychographically targeting them correctly.
When you drive someone to your site, make sure you are able to grab the variables out of the URL and retarget them based on those variables.
If you want to sell snow to eskimos – you better learn that you can target red snow to male eskimos and blue snow to female eskimos and convert each better.


In 2012 you told us. that the internet would allow us to remarket to people who performed particular actions on our websites. Then you told us we’d be able to remarket by actions that people can be targeted based on actions that they’ve taken on other websites/platforms. Now you’re telling us that we can target people based on  a combination of data from our website or another platform and use that data to run AdWords campaigns?

Yes. Now you can market using your most profitable keywords and then only show those ads to richer people. Or to people with good credit or any other attribute you can get your hands on.
Google doesn’t give us great options to layer our retargeting, because they know that would increase CTR to 45% and incredibly lower CPA’s so that they’d make far less money.

Can I take custom audiences and put that in my own remarketing pool?

We use a lot of Facebook native and a lot of API tools. We developed a device called reach rocket.


Main Takeaway

You can serve ads to people on various networks like Facebook, target them by specific demographics like > $40,000 income, Female, Has Kids.
When someone clicks the ad and visits your website, you now know that the user from Facebook has those specific psycographic/demographic profile, so you can track and remarket to them.


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