Hello and welcome to Ricemedia’s first digital marketing round-up of 2018. January seems like it has been the longest month ever, with half the nation committing to dry January (congratulations to our very own Chloé for lasting a full four days, you did your best and that is all that matters), and trying to stick to their New Years Resolutions. Our favourite presenting duo, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield thawed the nation’s hearts when Dancing On Ice graced our screens, and we were all ready to binge Friends on Netflix during the cold winter evenings. Ricemedia welcomed a new account manager (welcome Holly!) and our very own Head of Search, Laura Hogan gave a banging speech at SearchLDN. The month ended on a high with a Super Blue Blood Moon, and we’re ready to tackle February head on. January has been a pretty big month for the digital marketing world, with a lot happening in SEO, PPC, social media and Digital PR. So, without further adieu, it’s time to grab a coffee, put your feet up and check out our first digital marketing digest of 2018.
1. You can now schedule Instagram posts via Sprout Social!
At the end of January Sprout Social’s Paul Lenser gave social media professionals the best news. Using Sprout Social’s scheduling tool, it is now possible to schedule posts on Instagram Business Profiles *sobs*! At the moment, the scheduling is confined to single image scheduling – although users can still post Instagram stories, videos and multiple images in real-time via Sprout Social. Either way this is a step in the right direction and a change that we’re here for and excited about! Check out the excellent news here.
2. WhatsApp launches profiles and apps for businesses.
Last month messenger platform WhatsApp announced that they would be rolling out business-specific profiles and apps for marketers in order to help them manage their WhatsApp accounts. At the moment WhatsApp Business is only available for Android in the UK, Mexico and the US, but we expect to see it roll out globally in the coming weeks. WhatsApp Business enables marketers to create business-specific WhatsApp profiles that act similarly to Google My Business profiles, as they’ll contain all the relevant business information and show up on a map. Find out more about it here.
3. Google announced an update to their mobile algorithm.
Whenever Google announces any form of algorithm update, the world of SEOs buzz with excitement, fear and panic. This month Google were kind enough to announce that they will be adding a new ranking factor into their mobile algorithm this year. As of July 2018, ‘Speed Update’ will impact a sites with slow page loading speed. They stated that this update will, “only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page.” This impending update reinforces the importance of mobile optimisation, but we shouldn’t focus our SEO efforts solely on mobile. Find out why, here.
4. Mali told us everything we need to now about Digital PR.
When experts share knowledge of their fields, it is always interesting to see what they have to say. In January our Digital PR expert Mali Lewis shed some light on exactly why Digital PR is so important and everything a business needs to know. From building your brand’s reputation to strengthening your company’s SEO efforts, you can soak up her knowledge here.
5. 60% of voice users want a direct answer rather than SERPs showing a few results.
The start of 2018 feels like it has been all about voice search, and it shows no sign of relenting. Stone Temple Consulting undertook a survey to find out all about voice search users habits, from where they choose to use voice search to what they use it for and so much more. The results of the survey were really interesting, and has shown us how attitudes towards voice search is slowly changing. The results have shown that people are becoming more comfortable with using voice search in public however, 45% of people still find it annoying when they hear someone use voice search in a public space. Alongside this, 60% of voice users would prefer a singular answer instead of a list of search results. You can find out more about the survey here.
6. Instagram has rolled out an active status feature for their messenger service.
This month Instagram announced that they would be implementing an active status feature for their messaging service, similar to that of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This feature may be good for businesses who operate on specific opening hours, as customers can see when they were last active etc, and this feature can be turned off. The Daily Mail claimed that this feature was ‘creepy’, and they are after all a barometer for society and culture. However, they seem to have forgotten that read receipts and active statuses were around way before Instagram introduced them. Find out more about it here.
7. We gave a list of all the SEO events you should attend this year.
Networking. It’s a bit like marmite – you either love it or you hate it, but one thing is for sure; it is hugely beneficial for any professional. Our very own social butterfly Beth Leigh has put together a list of SEO and Digital Marketing events for you to attend this coming year! Find it out here!
8. Google released their new voice search guidelines.
This month Google released a new search quality guideline rating system in order to help sites battle for position 0. These guidelines focus on elocution, spelling, punctuation, quality of the information and formulation. Find out all about it here.
9. Google’s new search console was announced.
At the beginning of January, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced that they would be rolling out the new Search Console to all users of Search Console, after testing said version with a number of users. In the new Search Console, they’ve added the ability to share reports within your own business to help aid internal collaboration. Find out more here.
10. Google My Business implemented a video feature… but it didn’t work…
Last month Google announced that they were implementing a video feature for Google My Business local listings, and SEOs were thoroughly disappointing when said feature wasn’t working. They stated that this was a bug that has since been fixed, but we haven’t seen any success with the video uploads feature yet… check it out here.