Thursday, 24 January, marked a spectacular occasion for South Africa's SEO community as celebrated SEO gurus, SEOmoz and their charismatic founder, Rand Fishkin, descended on the Cape for their annual conference/networking extravaganza, the 2013 MozCation. The esteemed event took place at the MegaVu Theatre at Ratanga Junction, attracting an eclectic crowd ranging from established local SEO leaders to trailblazing bloggers.
SEOmoz is a leader in the international quest to educate, inform and promote the power of SEO through ground-breaking SEO software, online tutorials and forums, marketing events and social meetups. Shaune Jordaan, co-founder of White Hatters and CEO of digital agency, Synergize, explains the significance of the event when he says that "anyone who has a passion for SEO knows that SEOmoz is a leader in SEO growth, development and knowledge. If you're not excited about this, you're in the wrong industry."
Spirits were high amongst the local SEO community who embraced the opportunity to see one of the world's pre-eminent SEO software and marketing companies in action. However, it's no coincidence that SEOmoz chose Cape Town as their hosting city; it was due to the efforts of local SEO collective, the White Hatters, that SEOmoz decided to bring their expert insight to the Mother City.
The plan to secure Cape Town as MozCation's hosting city was executed quickly. With Shaune Jordaan and Allen Jaffe at the wheel, the White Hatters team set to create an infographic design and accompanying video clip detailing the unique qualities that make Cape Town such a special city. Both the video clip and infographic were hosted and shared across a number of dedicated sites and social media channels, quickly gaining over 200 tweets and securing Cape Town as the host of MozCation 2013.
The SEO spectacle kicked off with a panel of sterling local experts, including members from local non-profit SEO collective, the White Hatters. White Hatters co-founder, Shaune Jordaan, opened and moderated the live forum, discussing hot topics in the local digital marketing sphere with panellists Allen Jaffe, Christina da Silva, Chris Mills and Rafiq Phillips, before engaging in an interactive Q&A session with the audience. General consensus amongst the group concluded that the biggest challenge faced by local SEO practice and industry leaders is the need to further educate companies and communities about the power and push behind practised SEO.
What followed was a captivating and colourful presentation by SEO 'Mozzers', Matthew Peters and Eric McGillivray about content marketing and blogging, as well as an exclusive preview of a 'top secret' analytics package being developed for digital marketers.
The moment everyone had been waiting for arrived as SEOmoz founder, Rand Fishkin, took to the stage, exuding incredible charisma and clear passion for the industry. His fascinating presentation on consumer psychology focused on the psychology of the nudge in the online marketing sphere, illustrating how the most miniscule changes made to copy, layout and even naming conventions can transform the way users interact and experience a website.
Unique insight and powerful presentations made MozCation a memorable event in the local SEO calendar and showed positive signs that while still growing, South Africa's SEO industry is clearly moving in the right direction.