MozCon Virtual 2021 Interview Series: Dana DiTomaso

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Dana DiTomaso is the founder and president of Kick Point, a Canadian-based digital advertising company. She is well-known for her ingenious and progressive displays on monitoring and analytics, in addition to different progress advertising methods. She’s introduced at SMX, Local Search Summit, and Engage, and we’re thrilled to welcome her again to this yr’s MozCon Virtual the place she’ll focus on trendy net growth that places search engine marketing first. Check out what she has to share forward of this yr’s present!

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Question: 2020 was fairly the yr, what had been you as much as this previous yr? Any surprises or favourite initiatives you labored on?

Dana: Like many individuals I really ended up shifting! I now reside on Vancouver Island and I can virtually see the USA from my home — not that I’ve been in a position to go to. I additionally accomplished my first course, hopefully of many, for LinkedIn Learning on the subject of technical search engine marketing. My subsequent course is already in progress and might be overlaying methods to transition from Google Analytics Universal to GA4, and that must be out within the fall.

At Kick Point, we grew over the previous yr and we’re now a group of 12! Like a whole lot of businesses, we did see some good come out of an in any other case fairly terrible time for a lot of, we’re very lucky.

Q: What is the largest shift you’ve seen within the search engine marketing business over the previous yr? How does that affect your work at Kick Point, if in any respect?

D: The greatest change this yr was the rollout of Core Web Vitals, which as I write this, is barely simply occurring now. I’m extraordinarily curious to see the way it impacts search engine marketing over the rest of 2021. I don’t need to say an excessive amount of extra in case it ages badly!

Q: Last yr, you mentioned methods to use a discovery course of to show crimson flags to inexperienced lights. Will we see any of the identical themes come by means of in your presentation this yr? How so?

D: Absolutely! This yr can be a companion piece to final yr. Last yr I coated discovery for advertising initiatives, and this yr I am overlaying discovery for web site initiatives. These discovery processes have made such unbelievable adjustments at Kick Point when it comes to how we work with new purchasers — it is actually been superb. I hope that individuals who hearken to my speak are ready to remove among the classes that we have discovered and apply them to their very own processes.

Q: In your MozCon speak, you’ll be discussing methods to construct an internet site with a search-first mindset. What impressed you to debate this matter at MozCon 2021?

D: I feel it is a matter that is not coated sufficient. We sadly typically nonetheless see an actual divide between the developer and search engine marketing worlds and I am hoping that we will work in direction of bridging that. Particularly with the arrival of Core Web Vitals, these two groups have to work collectively greater than ever earlier than.

Additionally, this speak relies on a whole lot of our personal learnings when it comes to higher methods to run web site initiatives. Since we have now adopted this course of, web site initiatives are simply extra enjoyable — much less stress, on time, on funds, all these issues that all of us need in an internet site mission however appear unattainable to attain. I’m not saying this can magically repair every part however it’ll positively put you on a happier path.

Q: What are among the challenges SEOs face within the net growth course of?

D: Being taken significantly! I have been working on this discipline for 21 years now and I am unable to even inform you the variety of instances that I have been on a name with a developer or growth group discussing search engine marketing suggestions and simply being fully dismissed — that these suggestions aren’t obligatory, that we’re flawed, or that the developer is aware of higher. And it is an extremely irritating place to be in. I’m positive different SEOs studying this have had comparable experiences.

Q: Why is it essential for search engine marketing to be on the forefront relating to web site growth? How has the connection modified over time?

D: Because it is a lot simpler and cheaper to get search engine marketing suggestions added in in the beginning as an alternative of attempting to shove issues in later after the location is completed. I feel that builders are extra conscious of search engine marketing now however there may be nonetheless a whole lot of distrust. I feel it’s essential to set the tone that you simply aren’t there to throw the developer underneath the bus — they aren’t an search engine marketing professional, and shouldn’t be anticipated to study all this particular search engine marketing stuff. Showing that you simply’re there to assist proper from the beginning can actually assist that relationship thrive.

Q: What’s your #1 tip for making certain that search engine marketing will get a seat on the desk in an internet site rebrand?

D: You want to begin with schooling. Either the management group that you simply’re working with does not perceive the ability of search engine marketing or they could have a extremely outdated understanding of what search engine marketing is and what it may possibly do. Tom Critchlow has a wonderful article that he not too long ago revealed on methods to persuade executives to care about search engine marketing and I’d say that’s required studying.

Q: What are the important thing takeaways you need the viewers to stroll away with?

D: I would like individuals to grasp that there’s a house between waterfall and agile relating to web site growth processes. I hope that individuals will take pleasure in our blueprint course of and it’ll assist them make higher web site plans. Finally, I’m actually excited to point out off the key phrase analysis presentation concept that I bought from Rebekah Baggs and Chris Corak — it’s so good!

Q: Who within the MozCon lineup are you most excited to observe this yr? Anything else you’re looking ahead to?

D: The talks by Dr. Pete, Areej AbuAli, and Britney Muller all look nice! And in fact I’ll be watching Brie Anderson’s speak since GA4 may be very near my coronary heart. I’m additionally actually trying ahead to hopefully having an in-person MozCon subsequent yr! There is actually nothing that may substitute the expertise of chatting with a reside viewers.


A giant thanks to Dana for her time! To study extra about Dana’s upcoming presentation, see particulars on our different audio system, and to buy your ticket, ensure you click on the hyperlink beneath!



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