MarTech Interview with Tom Capper, Senior Search Scientist at Moz

Tom Capper, Senior Search Scientist at Moz shares some thoughts on the constantly evolving SEO game in this chat:


Welcome to this martech chat Tom, we’d love to hear about Moz’s latest feature release?

Thank you for the opportunity! Our latest feature is our new Performance Metrics suite, a beta feature within the Site Crawl toolset in Moz Pro. This gives our customers the ability to analyze thousands of URLs of their choosing directly within our platform and receive insights on how to meet CWV thresholds ahead of Google’s upcoming Page Experience update, as well as improving overall on-site user experience.

The update is coming this summer, and there’ll be a ranking boost available for pages that meet the key thresholds, so this is a big focus area for a lot of SEOs right now, but it’s a steep learning curve – a lot of these metrics and tactics are not traditionally part of the SEO toolset. Which is why we’re here to help.

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What are some thoughts you have in mind to talk about when it comes to the future of SEO and what it will take for marketers to stay abreast of tricks and changes?

SEO is constantly changing. Traditionally, the industry was focused on content and links, and while those remain necessary, they’re no longer sufficient. Marketers must understand the technical health of their sites, the experience they’re presenting to users, and the perception of their brand if they want to continue ranking. Taking a balanced approach to marketing will help marketers stay abreast of the changes — traditionally website-focused channels such as SEO benefit from branded marketing, but equally a bad website experience can color offline perceptions. 

We’d love to hear about some significant marketing tools you feel that marketers need to be paying more attention to today (besides tools like Moz!).

I think marketers, and generalist markets especially, are ignoring some of the powerful metrics (and related tools) that have evolved in specific digital channels over the years. Metrics like search impressions, branded search volume, and referral traffic could all be seen as replacements to some traditional offline metrics that are really showing their obsolescence at this point. 

Tell us your thoughts on the evolving SEO and SEM space and as things further evolve, how this will play out in terms of priorities in a marketing mix?

SEO has certainly become more complicated, and on the technical side, recent launches like our technical SEO certification and Performance Metrics beta are designed to help with that. As for the overall mix, Google is increasingly using SEO as a channel to pressure websites to up their game. I’m hopeful that in a lot of cases this will prove the benefits of SEO investment more generally, when it shows positive side effects in other channels.

If you had to give marketers five marketing technologies to use and nothing else, what would this look like?

HTTP, HTML, CSS, Apache, PHP? Okay, that’s a silly (and incomplete) answer, but my point is that we shouldn’t really think of “marketing technologies” – marketing is not a layer that is painted on top of a business, a website, a point of sale, or anything else. Providing a good experience to users is part of your marketing. At one point a website would have been considered a marketing technology, now we consider it equivalent to a brick and mortar store!

A few predictions that you have for the future of martech in general?

I think we’ll see a continued decline of technologies that rely heavily on cookies and third party JavaScript, in favour of server-side equivalents. This is possibly good news for SEO, though, which is less reliant on such tech than a lot of paid channels. 

Beyond that, I think we will see increasingly blurred lines between martech, BI, web-dev, and other related products.

A few takeaways for marketing leaders and CMOs in 2021?

The pandemic highlighted the importance of online channels, and particularly websites. But it’s important to remember that if you don’t have a strong, recognized brand it will be much more difficult to succeed in online channels. Your website benefits and benefits from your brand just as much as your storefronts do. Investing in a balanced approach will be key for marketers. Outside of that, be sure you are investing in the right data and metrics to drive business decisions.

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Moz offers robust data, accessible training and easy-to-use tools to help SEOs.

Tom Capper is the Senior Search Scientist at Moz

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