Hello one and all and welcome back to the Digital Marketing Monthly Round-Up. June is here which means we’re closing in on the halfway point of the year! May meanwhile was a busy month, with Manchester City completing a historic domestic treble, the Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest (The UK finished last!), Killing Eve swept the TV BAFTAs, The Big Bang Theory aired its last ever episode and the BBC announced that Gavin and Stacey would return for a Christmas special later this year – Oh my christ! It was also a busy month in the world of SEO, PPC and Social Media with plenty of new developments. So what’s occurring? Grab a cuppa, take a seat and let us take your back through May 2019.
1. Google’s Indexing Woes Continued
It’s fair to say Google has had a few issues lately. We’ve seen pages being deindexed on Google, to inaccurate reporting and during May, a new bug appeared. As Search Engine Journal reported on 22nd May, Google confirmed a bug preventing new content from being indexed. That new content we had worked hard on wasn’t being recognised for its purpose, leaving many frustrated. Google claimed to fix the problem a day later, but this turned out to be a false dawn as the error returned just hours later. The problem was eventually resolved on 26th May. What caused the error is not known, while some rumours linked the bug to human error by someone within Google. It’s best to keep an eye on things in the event of another Google bug.
2. Google Marketing Live 2019
Every year, Google presents the Marketing Live Event to unveil new Google Ads products. This year the event took place in San Francisco and a few interesting features were announced. The first is Discovery ads which helps advertisers create campaigns that cover various Google feeds (Google app, YouTube, Gmail etc). Gallery ads that will bring visually compelling ads at the top of SERPs. Showcase Shopping Ads will allow retailers to showcase a special list of products responsive to non-branded searches. Meanwhile, Google Shopping has been redesigned to incorporate Google Express, meaning users can buy directly through Google, in an attempt to compete with Amazon.
3. Campaign Monitor’s Ultimate Email Benchmarks for 2019
The team at Campaign Monitor know their stuff when it comes to email campaigns. With email marketing still an important part of a marketing strategy, it’s interesting to see how that equates to day-to-day. Their new Email Marketing Benchmarks resource is the undisputed guide for marketers who want to compare open rates, click rates, unsubscribers and more across various industries. You can even find out which day is best for your email marketing campaigns – perhaps it’s best to leave people alone on Sunday. Check out Campaign Monitor’s fascinating findings to inform your next email marketing campaign.
4. New Speed Tool in Search Console
Google I/O also took place during May 2019 and great new feature was announced for testing in Search Console. With the importance of page speed on rankings, a new tool will measure the speed of pages within Search Console. At the moment it’s only available for those who apply to use it and are approved by Google by filling out this form.
5. Mobile First Indexing for all New Sites By Default From July
At Ricemedia, we’ve been highlighting the importance of Mobile-First Indexing for a while, and soon it will take centre stage. From 1st July, all new websites or sites previously unknown to Google Search will have mobile-first indexing by default. The reason for this change is that most websites are already mobile-ready from the moment they are created. The advice from Google remains the same for this change: Make sure your website has a responsive web design and is ready to be used on mobile devices.
6. Google Experimenting With Zero Search Results Pages
Google love their experiments and their latest one has perked some interest. Multiple users reported seeing search results which had no relevant links to sites displayed at all. The experiment is limited to a certain amount of queries. It will be interesting to find out the entire list of queries that trigger these blank pages. It could be a way for websites to take advantage by creating content for queries Google posts no results for.
7. Say Goodbye To The Old Keyword Planner
All things to come an end and that includes the old Keyword Planner. Launched originally in 2018, the new Keyword Planner finalised its new version during May so the old version could retire gracefully. The new version is easier to use and has such great features such as saving keyword ideas for existing campaigns, daily budget suggestions and forecasts for all languages.
8. Google Ads Removing Two Bidding Strategies
Google announced it is planning to remove ‘Target Search Page Location’ and ‘Target Outranking Share’ as bid strategies in late June. Last November, Target Impression Share was introduced to the platform which encompasses both strategies, meaning they aren’t required as separate entities. All campaigns using both defunct strategies will be automatically migrated to Target Impression Share.
9. We Shared Our Favourite Tools for UX
While gaining organic traffic to your site is great it’s more vital to convert those users. However, if your website isn’t satisfying the needs of the user, what is the point of that traffic? Without a good experience for the user, this will hamper sales and also your visibility. This is where UX comes in. To understand how your users are interacting with your site, there are various tools that can be used. Our Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) expert Carl explored Our Favourite Tools for Testing UX.
10. Instagram Testing an “Order Sticker” for Stories
It seems that every month contains a story about Instagram and how the company keeps expanding its shopping capabilities. Since last year, shopping in stories has been available, and it seems the social media platform want to add a sticker related to that. A new sticker ‘Order’ was spotted being tested by users. It’s unclear what this will be used for, so we’ll keeping our eyes peeled to see what Instagram will allow users to order through stories.