Marketing tool developer, Moz has made a bold move to reshape for the future. CEO Sarah Bird recently announced that the Seattle-based company will cut 28 per cent of its workforce (approximately 60 people) in a desire to move away from flagging areas, and make SEO the core focus. ‘Followerwonk’ and ‘Moz Content’ are products expected to be axed by Moz, with Bird explaining the shift in an official blog post:
“Increasing the breadth of the product suite added a lot of complexity to the business, but didn’t result in the growth we expected,” said Bird. “We do, however, have momentum in our core SEO products, especially Moz Local and the new features in Pro. We believe the search industry is as important as ever, and surprisingly doesn’t see near the investment it should given the clear value of SEO as a channel.”
The downsizing is said to be just part of a large shape up for Moz (who changed their name from SEOMoz in 2013), with the company said to be fully aware of their position, but aiming for ambitious and improved products. “Customers will enjoy increased investment in core SEO features, especially in local,” Bird added. “We’re on a roll with these products; we’re out to win this market and we believe we can. We’ve got updates planned for crawl and rank tracking that we think you’ll love.”
Moz aren’t alone in making SEO such a priority in their business plans, German hosting company 1&1 have also introduced an SEO Pro feature, which is said to provide instructions on improving a website’s content, as well as tips on climbing the search engine results. ESPN too, have only just made espn.com their official domain name, after having coped for years with their former domain espn.go.com since 1998. The sporting news giant were quite fortunate with their timing, as a fairly recent SEO rule means that the site will not lose Google juice by being penalised for redirecting traffic.
A helping hand
With SEO such a buzzword for any website owner, perhaps especially those with an e-store, now’s a good a time as any to provide a few quick pointers to remember when wanting to build your online presence and climb Google’s ranks.
- Provide a quick site
The speed of your website is a significant part of Google’s algorithm, but it’s not just your ranking that could be affected, your website visitors too will be greatly put off by a slow loading time and are unlikely to return. Your hosting provider should be your first port of call if you need to upgrade your speed.
- Optimise for mobile
This really isn’t a choice anymore; any website wanting to improve their SEO needs to make sure their site is catered for mobile users. More searches on mobiles are occurring, as opposed to desktops, than ever before, and buying via a smartphone has become second nature.
- Create a blog
Providing useful and interesting content on a blog will go a long way to gain backlinks and increase visibility. It’s also a good chance to show how experienced and knowledgeable you are in your area of business.
- Allow for reviews
People are much more inclined to try a product if there are previous reviews. Google will look kindly on sites with good user interaction, so it’s a bonus for everyone, provided the reviews are positive.
- Keep product descriptions unique
Search engines despise duplicate content, so it’s a wise move to write separate product descriptions for everything on your site. The ranking will be assisted with new and original content being provided regularly.
- The look of your brand
Finally, you’re likely already familiar with how important social media is with regards to improving your SEO, but Zach Kitschke from graphic design software company Canva, has some insightful tips on standing out from the competition:
“Many brands spend time thinking about their content strategy, yet many forget to think about their visual brand,” said Kitschke. “Every time you post, you need to differentiate your content from the flood of updates that fill people’s social feed. It’s been proven that images result in more retweets, likes, and comments. When it comes to visuals, make sure you’re consistent in what you post. Use consistent colors, fonts, photo filters and icons or logos. People will begin to recognize your visual style and will look out for your posts.”