Tag Archive | "Industry"

Becoming an Industry Thought Leader: Advanced Techniques for Finding the Best Places to Pitch Guest Posts

Posted by KristinTynski

If you’re involved in any kind of digital PR — or pitching content to writers to expand your brand awareness and build strong links — then you know how hard it can be to find a good home for your content.

I’m about to share the process you can use to identify the best, highest ROI publishers for building consistent, mutually beneficial guest posting relationships with.

This knowledge has been invaluable in understanding which publications have the best reach and authority to other known vertical/niche experts, allowing you to share your own authority within these readership communities.

Before we get started, there’s a caveat: If you aren’t willing to develop true thought leadership, this process won’t work for you. The prerequisite for success here is having a piece of content that is new, newsworthy, and most likely data-driven.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Not all publications are equal

Guest posting can increase awareness of your brand, create link authority, and ultimately generate qualified leads. However, that only happens if you pick publishers that have:

  • The trust of your target audience.
  • Topical relevance and authority.
  • Sufficiently large penetration in readership amongst existing authorities in your niche/vertical.

A big trap many fall into is not properly prioritizing their guest posting strategy along these three important metrics.

To put this strategy into context, I’ll provide a detailed methodology for understanding the “thought leadership” space of two different verticals. I’ll also include actionable tips for developing a prioritized list of targets for winning guest spots or columns with your killer content.

It all starts with BuzzSumo

We use BuzzSumo data as the starting point for developing these interactive elements. For this piece, the focus will be on looking at data pulled from their Influencer and Shared Links APIs.

Let’s begin by looking at the data we’re after in the regular user interface. On the Influencers tab, we start by selecting a keyword most representative of the overall niche/industry/vertical we want to understand. We’ll start with “SEO.”

The list of influencers here should already be sorted, but feel free to narrow it down by applying filters. I recommend making sure your final list has 250-500 influencers as a minimum to be comprehensive.

Next, and most importantly, we want to get the links’ shared data for each of these influencers. This will be the data we use to build our network visualizations to truly understand the publishers in the space that are likely to be the highest ROI places for guest posting.

Below you can see the visual readout for one influencer.

Note the distribution of websites Gianluca Fiorelli (@gfiorelli1) most often links to on Twitter. These sites (and their percentages) will be the data we use for our visualization.

Pulling our data programmatically

Thankfully, BuzzSumo has an excellent and intuitive API, so it’s relatively easy to pull and aggregate all of the data we need. I’ve included a link to my script in Github for those who would like to do it themselves.

In general, it does the following:

  • Generates the first page of influencers for the given keyword, which is about 50. You can either update the script to iterate through pages or just update the page number it pulls from within the script and concatenate the output files after the fact.
  • For each influencer, it makes another API call and gets all of the aggregated Top Domains shared data for each influencer, which is the same as the data you see in the above pie chart visualization.
  • Aggregates all the data and exports to a CSV.

Learning from the data

Once we have our data in the format Gephi prefers for network visualizations (sample edge file), we are ready to start exploring. Let’s start with our data from the “SEO” search, for which I pulled the domain sharing data for the top 400 influencers.

A few notes:

  • The circles are called nodes. All black nodes are the influencer’s Twitter accounts. All other colored nodes are the websites.
  • The size of the nodes is based on Page Rank. This isn’t the Google Page Rank number, but instead the Page Rank within this graph alone. The larger the node, the more authoritative (and popular) that website is within the entire graph.
  • The colors of the nodes are based on a modularity algorithm in Gephi. Nodes with similar link graphs typically have the same color.

What can we learn from the SEO influencer graph?

Well, the graph is relatively evenly distributed and cohesive. This indicates that the websites and blogs that are shared most frequently are well known by the entire community.

Additionally, there are a few examples of clusters outside the primary cluster (the middle of the graph). For instance, we see a Local SEO cluster at the 10 p.m. position on the left hand side. We can also see a National Press cluster at the 6-7 p.m. position on the bottom and a French Language cluster at the 1-2 p.m. position at the top right.

Ultimately, Moz, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Land are great bets when developing and fostering guest posting relationships.

Note that part of the complication with this data has to do with publishing volume. The three largest nodes are also some of the most prolific, meaning there are more overall chances for articles to earn Tweets and other social media mentions from industry influencers. You could refining of the data further by normalizing each site by content publishing volume to find publishers who publish much less frequently and still enjoy disproportionate visibility within the industry.

Webmasters.Googleblog.com is a good example of this. They publish 3 to 4 times per month, and yet because of their influence in the industry, they’re still one of the largest and most central nodes. Of course, this makes sense given it is the only public voice of Google for our industry.

Another important thing to notice is the prominence of both YouTube and SlideShare. If you haven’t yet realized the importance and reach of these platforms, perhaps this is the proof you need. Video content and slide decks are highly shared in the SEO community by top influencers.

Differences between SEO and content marketing influencer graphs

What can we learn from the Content Marketing influencer graph?

For starters, it looks somewhat different overall from the SEO influencer graph; it’s much less cohesive and seems to have many more separate clusters. This could indicate that the content publishing sphere for content marketing is perhaps less mature, with more fragmentation and fewer central sources for consuming content marketing related content. It could also be that content marketing is descriptive of more than SEO and that different clusters are publishers that focus more on one type of content marketing vs. another (similar to what we saw with the local SEO cluster in the previous example).

Instead of 3 to 5 similarly sized market leaders, here we see one behemoth, Content Marketing Institute, a testament to both the authority of that brand and the massive amount of content they publish.

We can also see several specific clusters. For instance, the “SEO blogs” cluster in blue at the 8-9 p.m. position and the more general marketing blogs like Hubspot, MarketingProfs, and Social Media Examiner in green and mauve at the 4-5 p.m. position.

The general business top-tier press sites appear quite influential in this space as well, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Adweek, Tech Crunch, Business Insider, Inc., which we didn’t see as much in the SEO example.

YouTube, again, is extremely important, even more so than in the SEO example.

Is it worth it?

If you’re already deep in an industry, the visualization results of this process are unlikely to shock you. As someone who’s been in the SEO/content marketing industry for 10 years, the graphs are roughly what I expected, but there certainly were some surprises.

This process will be most valuable to you when you are new to an industry or are working within a new vertical or niche. Using the python code I linked and BuzzSumo’s fantastic API and data offers the opportunity to gain a deep visual understanding of the favorite places of industry thought leaders. This knowledge acts as a basis for strategic planning toward identifying top publishers with your own guest content.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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Take the 2019 Local Search Marketing Industry Survey

Posted by MiriamEllis

We couldn’t do it without you! In 2018, over 1,400 marketers responded to our State of Local SEO industry survey. We all learned so much from your responses about the day-to-day realities of marketing local businesses. This year, we can do even better because your answers will give us all valuable comparative data to analyze, YoY.

Who can take the survey?

Anyone who markets local businesses in any way is eagerly invited. Whether you market a single location, work for an agency with some local business clients, or are an in-house SEO for a brand with thousands of locations, we would love your participation! Whether you do just a little local search marketing or a lot, are a novice or an adept, your insights have value.

What is the survey about?

Unlike a typical local ranking factors poll, The Local Search Marketing Industry Survey digs deep into marketers’ experiences with tactics, challenges, clients, Google, and the working environment. For example, we learned last year that:

  • 90% of respondents felt Google’s emphasis on proximity was detrimental to SERP quality
  • 62% felt there aren’t enough quality local search marketing training materials available
  • 60% lacked a comprehensive review management strategy
  • 49% felt utilization of Google Business Profile features were impacting local rank
  • 35% had no link building strategy in place
  • 17% of enterprises had no in-house SEO staff

With your help, we’ll see what’s changed and what hasn’t. There are fresh questions, too, which we hope will uncover new stories to spark new strategies for local brands and their marketers.

There will be four lucky winners!

Everyone is a winner with access to the data we’ll be sharing from this large survey. But we’d like to offer a little extra thank-you for your time and knowledge.

Every respondent who completes the full survey will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of four $ 50 Visa gift cards. Winners will be selected at random, and we hope they will use these gift cards to shop someplace local and awesome this holiday season!

Take the survey

Look forward to seeing the results in early 2020, when we compile them into our State of Local SEO 2020 Industry Report. Curious about last year’s insights? Check them out here, and thank you for participating!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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Ask MarketingSherpa: Maturity of conversion rate optimization (CRO) industry

Marketers and experts weigh in on where CRO is in the adoption lifecycle.
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Turo Car-Sharing App Gets $250 Million From IAC To Take On Car Rental Industry

“As we continue to grow and invest in our brand more and more people are sharing their vehicles,” says Turo CEO Andre Haddad. “With our app, you can actually share your car so that you can earn money when you’re not using your car. Last year we ended the year with more than 400,000 vehicles listed and our community is now more than 10 million strong. We’re growing really rapidly. We’re hoping to be in the next few years in the same realm as ride-sharing and home-sharing.”

Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo, discusses the $ 250 million in new funding from IAC, the tremendous growth of their car-sharing app, as well as fights with Enterprise Rent-A-Car which has been trying to stop them in their tracks in an interview on CNBC:

We’re Hoping To Be In The Same Realm As Ride-Sharing

Turo is a great business. There are almost one-and-a-half billion cars around the world and they are idle the vast majority of the time. With our app, you can actually share your car so that you can earn money when you’re not using your car. In the last few months, we’ve seen people earning more than $ 500 a month sharing their car a few days a month. It’s a great opportunity for car owners to share their cars and earn money with them when they’re not using them.

We focus a lot on building trust and safety. We have a great partner with Liberty Mutual to cover all the insurance for both the car owner that is sharing their cars with their guests as well as providing coverage for guests that are driving these cars. It’s all about bringing that new idea to market and building trust and building safety for our community. As we continue to grow and invest in our brand more and more people are sharing their vehicles. Last year we ended the year with more than 400,000 vehicles listed and our community is now more than 10 million strong. We’re growing really rapidly. We’re hoping to be in the next few years in the same realm as ride-sharing and home-sharing.

We’re Very Excited To Partner With IAC

We’re very excited to partner with IAC. IAC is an incredible company that has a lot of expertise in the world of marketplaces. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Joey Levin and the team at IAC to help accelerate our progress and help accelerate our growth. We obviously want to invest more in our expansion. We want to refine our customer experience and we’d like to expand into more markets. Those are the key priorities for us in the next few years.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen that the average host is sharing their vehicle roughly a third of the time, about ten days a month. With that ten days a month they’re earning roughly $ 550 of earnings on a monthly basis. As you can imagine with $ 550 of earnings you can pay for your car payment. It’s an incredible deal for a lot of people who are using the app. Traditional ownership implies utilization that’s less than 10 percent of the time. It’s a very inefficient use of an asset that depreciates really rapidly and has a lot of fixed costs. Turo is a tremendous opportunity for people who want to make better use of their asset.

Enterprise Is Trying To Avoid Competition So We’re Fighting Back

We are faced with a lot of challenges on the regulatory front. Really it’s driven by the traditional rental car industry and by Enterprise in particular. I think the traditional car rental players are concerned that consumers now have a bit more choice. They are concerned that we have probably a better selection, better value, and better convenience as an alternative to the traditional options of car rental. We’ve definitely been battling Enterprise this year. There are 37 states in the United States alone where we have gone into government relation battles with Enterprise. They’re trying to pass laws that will restrict the ability for consumers to share their cars. They’re trying to avoid competition so we’re fighting back. 

We’ve been building a strong coalition of like-minded people. We have great support from the car manufacturing industry and from the insurance industry. We have prevailed in all of these regulatory battles this year. We have prevailed in 25 state regulatory battles last year as well. We’re trying to be very vigilant when it comes to protecting the ability for consumers to share their cars and we’re going to continue to fight these battles.

Turo Car-Sharing App Gets $ 250 Million From IAC To Take On Car Rental Industry – Turo CEO Andre Haddad

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The Disruption In Our Industry, It’s Manic, Says Ogilvy CEO

“The pace of change, the disruption in our industry, it’s manic,” says  Ogilvy Global CEO John Seifert. “We’re all trying to get our arms around it. The hope I have for convening moments like Cannes is the clients and their partners in tech and creative communications and data start to come together and work harder as partners to design the models of the future.”

John Seifert, Global CEO of Ogilvy, discusses how technology such as AI is disrupting the advertising industry in an interview on CNBC International on location in Cannes:

The Disruption In Our Industry, It’s Manic

The pace of change, the disruption in our industry, it’s manic. We’re all trying to get our arms around it. The hope I have for convening moments like Cannes is the clients and their partners in tech and creative communications and data start to come together and work harder as partners to design the models of the future. 

Some have predicted AI will eliminate jobs or reframe jobs that require intense new levels of training. So far that is not the challenge we’ve had. It’s really about how do we think about the impact AI can make in making work and doing better work and getting insights that we can translate throughout marketing and communications. It’s additive at the moment, at least for us and for our business. I think it’s like everything else in life. These things are changing, they’re very dynamic, and how we apply and learn them in real time with clients on everyday big important challenges is going to be critical.

Generation of People In Our Company Who Are Thirsty For the Change

We’re just trying to get everybody very externally focused. We’ve had a couple of years in our transformation. We did a lot of change on the inside that was obviously disruptive for people, unsettling sometimes and makes you insecure. But there is a generation of people in our company now who are thirsty for the change and want to apply it. We’re at that moment of transition now where a lot of the what I call, rewiring the company, is done. Now it’s about how do we work together differently? How do we execute to a new level of ambition that our clients are asking for? Then frankly, how do we show the accountability of that work through better results?

I’ve said to everyone in the company, in fact, I just came from talking to someone who’s reinvented a service model in Singapore for one of our largest clients, that you just have to get to the coalface of experiencing what people who are driving change are going through every day. Then frankly, my job is to just take the noise and the pain out of the process, the more that I can be serving them, making it easier for them to get what they need in the company. We’re a global company of 14,000 people. We have tremendous assets but sometimes people find that hard to navigate. My job is to make sure that they can navigate it easily, get the tools they need and feel the support that they have from me to just get on with it.

We’ve Got To Prove That What We Do Matters

We have to get back to revenue growth in the range of two to five percent. We’re a big company, we’re a $ 1.7 billion business. We’ve got to get out of the flat era and get back to sustainable growth. We’re going to do that I think fundamentally by reinventing our model to serve clients more effectively and efficiently so they want to spend more and do more things that the marketing environment right now calls for. I’m hugely optimistic about the future but we’ve got to continue to prove that what we do matters to clients and building their brands.

The Disruption In Our Industry, It’s Manic, Says Ogilvy CEO John Seifert

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IBM Says Blockchain-Powered Shipping Industry Platform Will Dramatically Reduce Costs

Major ocean container carriers CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are joining TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM. With the addition of these carriers on the TradeLens platform, nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo will be using blockchain technology to dramatically improve costs and efficiencies.

Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President of IBM Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain at IBM, discusses the addition of major ocean carriers to the TradeLens blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform in an interview on Bloomberg:

Blockchain Technology Could Reduce Shipping Industry Costs By 20%

Essentially we announced yesterday that with the addition of MSC and CMA on to the TradeLens blockchain more than 50 percent of the volume of the containers of the world’s shipping industry will be on a blockchain that we’ve developed in collaboration with Maersk. What this means is full transparency and a massive reduction of paper exchange. An average shipment takes about 200 document exchanges between the multiple parties; the freight forwarders, the shippers, the carriers, customs, and ports.

The World Economic Forum estimates that’s about 20 percent wastage from inefficiencies in the supply chain. The technology of blockchain allows all these multiple parties to immutably store the records and advance the records as the shipments move. This means less wait times. It means carriers and shippers know where the goods are. It basically means things can be cleared a lot faster, all leading to bigger inclusion in the shipping industry.

Starting To See Blockchain Technology For Enterprise Really Scale

The whole ecosystem will benefit so much in terms of the efficiencies. If you think about it, rather than having to interface 200 document times, it occurs once by putting your data on the blockchain. This is a situation when the ROI for every single industry participant is very strong.

The second thing, which is really important and why we’re starting to see the blockchain technology for enterprise really scale in terms of what IBM has been building for our clients across numerous industries, is that there’s a level of security in here and there’s a level of speed and efficiency. It’s easy to actually set up these networks. The difference is that these solve problems that no one company could solve on their own.

Blockchain Technology Reducing Costs

The way that the system works is that all the participants pay a very small amount to belong to the blockchain. It is a flat rate but does change according to volume. It is a very de minimis amount and the real way that the blockchain works is by many many participants belonging to the network and by the fact that those participants have a reduced cost.

Another example of this is we have a blockchain in the consumer and retail industry called Food Trust which tracks provenance and sustainability of food built in conjunction with the industry. It allows food to be tracked and recalled in two seconds versus six days. That has got such a strong economic and consumer value. The other big payback is that for many of our clients they’re looking at the idea to have trackable, sustainable, consumer presentations. So you can put diamonds on a blockchain and say they aren’t conflict diamonds. This is very powerful for consumer provenance and sustainability.

Blockchain-Powered Shipping Industry Platform To Dramatically Reduce Costs

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The State of Local SEO: Industry Insights for a Successful 2019

Posted by MiriamEllis

A thousand thanks to the 1,411 respondents who gave of their time and knowledge in contributing to this major survey! You’ve created a vivid image of what real-life, everyday local search marketers and local business owners are observing on a day-to-day basis, what strategies are working for them right now, and where some frankly stunning opportunities for improvement reside. Now, we’re ready to share your insights into:

  • Google Updates
  • Citations
  • Reviews
  • Company infrastructure
  • Tool usage
  • And a great deal more…

This survey pooled the observations of everyone from people working to market a single small business, to agency marketers with large local business clients:

Respondents who self-selected as not marketing a local business were filtered from further survey results.

Thanks to you, this free report is a window into the industry. Bring these statistics to teammates and clients to earn the buy-in you need to effectively reach local consumers in 2019.

Get the full report

There are so many stories here worthy of your time

Let’s pick just one, to give a sense of the industry intelligence you’ll access in this report. Likely you’ve now seen the Local Search Ranking Factors 2018 Survey, undertaken by Whitespark in conjunction with Moz. In that poll of experts, we saw Google My Business signals being cited as the most influential local ranking component. But what was #2? Link building.

You might come away from that excellent survey believing that, since link building is so important, all local businesses must be doing it. But not so. The State of the Local SEO Industry Report reveals that:

When asked what’s working best for them as a method for earning links, 35% of local businesses and their marketers admitted to having no link building strategy in place at all:

And that, Moz friends, is what opportunity looks like. Get your meaningful local link building strategy in place in the new year, and prepare to leave ⅓ of your competitors behind, wondering how you surpassed them in the local and organic results.

The full report contains 30+ findings like this one. Rivet the attention of decision-makers at your agency, quote persuasive statistics to hesitant clients, and share this report with teammates who need to be brought up to industry speed. When read in tandem with the Local Search Ranking Factors survey, this report will help your business or agency understand both what experts are saying and what practitioners are experiencing.

Sometimes, local search marketing can be a lonely road to travel. You may find yourself wondering, “Does anyone understand what I do? Is anyone else struggling with this task? How do I benchmark myself?” You’ll find both confirmation and affirmation today, and Moz’s best hope is that you’ll come away a better, bolder, more effective local marketer. Let’s begin!

Download the report

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15 Years Covering The Search Industry

15 years ago today was the first time I wrote a blog post on this site, the Search Engine Roundtable. Since then I have continued to write daily, almost without any time off, every single day of the work week. It is a passion I had no clue would last for 15 years, but I continue to love doing on a daily basis.


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SearchCap: Google My Business Insights, search industry honors Barry Schwartz, more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Ecommerce Startup Zola Seeks to Reinvent the Wedding Industry

The wedding niche is a $ 100 billion industry in the US alone and is ripe for ecommerce startups. In 2013, Shan-lyn Ma and Nobu Nakaguchi realized through their own experiences that they could not only improve on but literally reinvent the wedding industry, so they started Zola.

According to Shan-lyn Ma, Zola is the fastest growing wedding company in the US, with the goal of reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience. To date, it has received over $ 140 million in funding.

Shan-lyn Ma, CEO, and co-founder of Zola recently talked about how Zola came about and where it’s going:

Personal Experiences Were the Spark

Zola means love in the Zulu language. In 2013, which was the year that we were brainstorming was also the year all my friends got married at exactly the same time. I was shopping on a lot of my friend’s department store registries and finding that it was the worst ecommerce shopping experience I had ever seen. Talking to my co-founder Nobu Nakaguchi, he’s married and he was complaining about how painful it was from the couple’s perspective.

We had worked in design and product and technology together building great products and so we knew we could do a much better job and we knew our friends getting married deserved a much better product. Before Zola launched a couple would have an average of three registries and Zola takes that down to just one registry.

Zola Weddings Launched Last Year

Last year we launched a second product called Zola weddings. That includes is free a wedding website, our guest list manager,  and our checklist for all your to-do’s in order to plan your wedding. This was the number one request we were hearing from couples who were saying I love you for my registry, why can’t I just add a few more details about my wedding and I’ll make it my wedding website and then I’m done.

Pitching Zola to Investors

Regarding how we pitched Zola to investors, it was harder to show that emotional connection to a problem and how the product sold this better than anything else. We focused on how is this business model is innovating how we are redoing retail and we had the numbers to show it and they absolutely got it.

Weddings are a $ 100 Billion Industry

Weddings are a $ 100 billion industry in the US and globally it’s a $ 300 billion industry. When you think about it, weddings is one of the few industries remaining where we haven’t seen a dominant startup player or disruptor emerge to take the market.

There’s no one that does everything that we do and there’s certainly no one that does it all on the website and on your mobile device serving every couple no matter who you are, no matter what your sexual orientation, no matter what you want your wedding to look like, or your religion. We are there to serve you and that is what is unique and that’s why we’re the fastest growing wedding company.

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