Moz is Doubling Down on Search

Posted on: August 17, 2016 by in Local SEO Strategies
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Hi Moz community,

We wouldn’t be here without you, so I wanted to give you a brief update on some big changes happening at Moz.

Tl;dr: We’re focusing our efforts on core SEO such as rank tracking, keyword research, local listings, duplicate management, on-page, crawl, and links. In the future, we’ll no longer offer Moz Content or Followerwonk.

How is Moz’s strategy changing?

Back in 2012, we started to invest in a broad feature set because we wanted to serve all aspects of inbound marketing. We thought it would increase retention by providing more value to customers, and also align with where we believed the industry was headed. Thus, we invested in many new directions: social media marketing, local SEO, content marketing, keyword research, on-page optimization, topic analysis, a next-generation link index, enterprise sales, customer success, ambitious infrastructure projects, events, education programs, and more.

Increasing the breadth of the product suite added a lot of complexity to the business, but didn’t result in the growth we expected. We do, however, have momentum in our core SEO products, especially Moz Local and the new features in Pro.

Moz Local continues to provide a ton of value for customers who care deeply about Local SEO. Our new duplicate management features are cutting-edge. We’re seeing passion and enthusiasm like we haven’t seen in years about our Keyword Explorer feature in Moz Pro. We believe it’s the best of its kind in the market. Our rankings technology has also improved by leaps and bounds with more coming soon. Really soon.

Churn rates are at all-time lows and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is climbing for all of our SEO-focused products.

After a lot of analysis and soul searching, we decided to radically simplify our strategy to re-focus on what we love and what our customers value from us: search. Reducing product complexity also creates space for us to invest in the technical and business infrastructure we need to support growth. We’re also increasing investment in product marketing, CRO, SEO, and email marketing.

<3 Search is our hedgehog <3

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. Organic results still get 80% of the clicks and a fraction of the marketing spend. Further, with a phone in every pocket, mobile and local searches continue to grow. Organizations ignore search at their peril.

We’re passionate about search, we’re good at it, and it’s driving the growth in our business. Classic hedgehog.

What does this mean for the company?

This is the gut-wrenchingly painful part. The hardest part of my job is asking people who have put their hearts and souls into Moz to part ways. To align the organization with this strategic shift, we will be asking about 28% of Mozzers to leave. They are a part of the Moz family and it is heartbreaking that they will not be working alongside us in the future.

We will do everything we can to give them the Mozziest transition possible, including severance, coaching, and assistance finding new roles. Because I know the caliber of folks we’re parting with, I am confident they will go on to do great things.

What does this mean for customers?

Customers will enjoy increased investment in core SEO features, especially in local. 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. We know we’re behind in link technology right now, and we’re working on something ambitious. If you love SEO, please keep watching the blog for updates.

The strategy shift means we will not be investing in Followerwonk or Moz Content. Despite our efforts, we’re not seeing the growth we hypothesized from these products. We will find a graceful way to sunset Moz Content. We’re also looking for a good home for Followerwonk. It is beloved by many, but isn’t having the revenue impact we believed possible, and isn’t close enough to our core base to make sense in our product offering. More details to come.

Send good vibes.

As you can imagine, this is an emotional time for us internally. Hug a Mozzer near you because we need it this week. We’re so grateful for this community’s support and look forward to making SEO software you truly love.


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