Moz cuts staff to focus on SEO

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After 12 years of success and steady growth, Seattle data marketing company Moz is paring down its staff by 28 per cent to focus more of its efforts on SEO.

Moz CEO Sarah Bird said in a blog on the company website that the company invested in a broad feature set to serve all aspects of inbound marketing, which the company thought would increase retention by providing more value to customers and align where they saw the industry 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,” said Bird’s post.

“Increasing the breadth of the product suite added a lot of complexity to the business, but didn’t result in the growth we expected,” she added.

Moz needed to shift its business and focus on what it does best, and has been doing since its founding in 2004 – SEO. Moz is sticking with its core products – Moz Local for local SEO and Moz Pro, which adds features like its popular Keyword Explorer. The company noted that organic results still get 80% of the clicks with a fraction of marketing spend, and with mobile, local search continues to grow. The focus on the search products, which drives the company’s growth, meant that it needed to shed the products that weren’t producing.

“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,” said Bird’s post.

The post went on to say that, as difficult as it is to lose its valued staff, the company would have to lay off 28% of its workforce, something that sounded painful in the post.

“We will do everything we can to give them the Mozziest transition possible, including severance, coaching, and assistance finding new roles.”

While the move may not be good for some Moz employees, the company sees it as the right move for its 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,” concluded Bird.

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