From Reddit to ChatGPT: Our Top Takeaways from MozCon 2024

Written by Explore Digital June 17, 2024

This year, several members of the Explore Digital team had the chance to attend MozCon 2024 for the first time (and on its twentieth anniversary!), one of the most anticipated digital marketing conferences in the U.S. Over the course of two days, our team soaked up inspiration from speakers like Rand Fishkin and explored the latest in digital marketing industry innovations.

Though it was tough to narrow down favorites, here are our highlights from the event.

MozCon 2024 Recap: Insider Insights from Our Team

MozCon was a two-day event, taking place on June 3 and 4, 2024, at the Seattle Convention Center. It was packed with enlightening sessions from top-tier experts who shared groundbreaking keynotes on the future of digital marketing. Suffice it to say, we were on the edge of our seats.

Below, you’ll find some of the high notes from MozCon, according to our team:

AI and LLMs

  • Trust is everything. In an era dominated by bots and AI, earning user and customer trust is your most precious commodity. Reflect on how your brand currently gains trust and ask: What are some ways we can further our trust with our users?

“Our relationship with audiences relies on trust. 88% of people believe trust is more important in times of change.”

Bethan Vincent, Managing Partner at Open Velocity

  • Opinions are attractive. Another reason user-generated content is in demand is because AI and redundant content is flooding Google and other engines. Opinions are one of the clearest ways to differentiate because AI doesn’t have an opinion.
  • Leverage human elements.  As AI advances, the human element will become even more important. To stand out in an AI-dominated content landscape, use video to show a human face, express clear opinions, and collaborate with others.
  • LLMs have limitations. Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT struggle with common sense, representing marginalized groups, and maintaining 100% accuracy. LLMs are best used as a powerful tool with human oversight.

“LLMs are not search engines! LLMs are not information retrieval systems, nor are they deterministic. LLMs generate randomized outputs based on a probability distribution.”

Britney Muller, Founder of Data Sci 101

  • AI overviews are expected to dominate searches. This is especially true in informational queries where there is a broad consensus. AI overviews provide summaries of well-known information, enhancing search efficiency and user experience. There are still opportunities to rank highly for local and transactional queries.
  • Automate with AI wherever possible. If you’re not utilizing AI to create automation for tasks you do repeatedly throughout the day, you’ll be replaced by someone who can. AI won’t take your job; people who know how to use AI will.
  • Think twice about what you post. If you’ve ever shared anything online, like a tweet, blog post, review, or Instagram selfie, it’s probably been used to train today’s generative AI. Be very careful about any personal information you post online.

“Bold prediction: I don’t think AI/LLMs are ‘coming for your job.’ In fact, I’m willing to bet $5,000 (in a charitable donation).”

Rand Fishkin, Cofounder of Sparktoro

Reddit on the Rise

  • Forums and discussion-based content are on the rise again. Platforms like Reddit and forums are regaining popularity as they offer authentic responses from real people, standing out amongst AI-generated content. There’s now a dedicated section on Google SERPs just for discussion-based sites. This indicates uniqueness is being rewarded.
  • Reddit is appearing more in search results. Google purchased Reddit to help train AI, with Google functioning as the “brain” and Reddit as the “heart.” Reddit is now showing up more in search results and is almost acting as its own search engine.
  • Include Reddit in your marketing strategy. Google’s access to Reddit’s Data API will likely boost Reddit content in search results. Now’s the time to integrate Reddit into your marketing, as Google’s results may soon highlight Reddit’s content more prominently.

“These [Reddit] queries don’t always fit in a funnel, but they still matter.”

Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Comms at Wix

Branding and client relationships

  • Integrate SEO with brand development. SEO is no longer just about optimizing for keywords; it’s about holistic brand development. By incorporating SEO with branding strategies, you can help solidify brand identity and improve customer loyalty.
  • Brand preference beats brand salience. Strive to be the brand that customers actively choose (brand preference), not just a brand that almost everyone can recognize (brand salience). Salience doesn’t necessarily indicate a customer will purchase.
  • Emotions profoundly impact purchasing decisions. This includes B2B. By leveraging emotional triggers—how customers desire to feel about themselves and how they want to be perceived by others—you can craft strategies that significantly boost conversions.

“One story might be told many ways to many people.”

Joel Klettke, President of Business Casual Copywriting

  • Collaborate with subject matter experts to boost content quality. Working with SMEs allows you to tap into specialized insights, promoting authenticity, depth, and also engagement rates. Setting high standards for content fosters innovation.
  • Adopt “good enough” data analytics. Data analytics is rife with imperfections–not to mention the high usage of ad blockers–and requires a focus on directional trends. A pattern-focused approach will ensure you make informed decisions.
  • Rethink how analytics are presented to clients. Bar charts are a more effective way to provide data to clients, offering a way to show results visually. It’s also helpful to round numbers up or down and remove decimals to eliminate confusion.

“Which landing page is doing a better job of driving signups? Is this video encouraging people to buy our products? These are directional questions.” 

Dana DiTomaso, Founder and Lead Instructor of Kick Point Playbook

Need a Digital Strategy That Delivers? Let Us Take the Lead

At Explore Digital, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of digital innovation–whether it’s drawing search traffic from Reddit or adapting to Google’s latest changes. We then use these fresh ideas to help large and small businesses boost their online presence with an airtight digital strategy. Can we do the same for you? Reach out to have a conversation.

The team having drinks together
The team walking together under umbrellas
The team indoors at Mozcon
The team outside of the public market

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