Welcome once again to the digital marketing monthly round-up from your friends here at Ricemedia! For some lucky individuals, you may be heading back to work after a long, relaxing summer break; while you were away the rest of the world remained busy! England stunned Australia in the Cricket to win the third Ashes test with their highest winning run chase in history, Disney became the first studio of 2019 to have five films reach $1 billion at the box office and Stephanie Frappart made history as the first female referee of a match in a European football men’s tournament. Digital marketing also worked through the summer with updates aplenty in SEO, PPC and Social Media. Don’t worry if you’ve been relaxing on a beach or trying to navigate the last six weeks with your kids – we’ve got you covered! Here’s everything that happened in the world of digital marketing during August 2019.
1. Competitor Ads now appear on local Google My Business profiles
In a somewhat controversial move, Google are seemingly allowing competitor ads to appear on local business profiles. Part of the ‘Local Campaigns’ feature, these ads are designed to drive organic traffic to local businesses. You’ll likely see these ads pop up across Google. This includes SERPs, Maps and in YouTube. However, we’ve spotted competitor’s listings being pushed on local Google My Business listings. The general feeling amongst the SEO community is that ads from direct competitors shouldn’t be placed directly on their listings. Not only is it confusing – it may deter loyal customers. Let’s hope it’s only just a test!
2. The war of words between Google and DuckDuckGo steps up
In August, DuckDuckGo took the interesting step of releasing a video that directly criticised the use of data by Facebook and Google. They also suggested that users should stop using their services. Their five reasons are:
- Hyper-targeted ads,
- propaganda and discrimination,
- the filter bubble,
- user data being saved and shared with third-parties
- user data being sold to advertisers
Interestingly, Danny Sullivan of Google took the search engine rival to task on the “filter bubble” issue – the concept of manipulating search results based on what the search engine thinks users will click on. He presented evidence that DuckDuckGo has the same problem. No comments have been made about the rest of the claims. It seems DuckDuckGo are taking steps to aggressively highlight the importance of privacy in their search engine – we’re interested to see what they do next.
3. We looked at why authentic content matters
Content is everywhere and users are starting to mistrust the messages they’re being presented with. As marketing and PR teams spend hours crafting the perfect message, they forget who they’re actually targeting – real people. Content is a human-to-human interaction which must be maintained through authenticity. We had a look into Why Authentic Content Matters and Its Impact on SEO.
4. Less than half of Google searches result in a click
A study into Google searches has uncovered that the majority of recent searches to Google.com resulted in zero-clicks. Sparktoro found that in June 2019, no click searches ticked over to 50% while searches with organic clicks sat at 45%. For Q2 overall, zero-click searches reached 49%! There are various factors that affect the statistics here including the declining organic searches available on mobile, the increase in paid clicks and Google’s increase in SERP features which gives users all the information at hand. We’ve always known this was a possibility since the introduction of Featured Snippets. It’s important that marketers continue to target those SERP features in their SEO strategy.
5. We explored the 3 important Google Ads changes of 2019
2019 is the year of change for Google Ads – one has already implemented and a further two are due very soon. With such big changes on the horizon, PPC managers must prepare their current campaigns for the new features. Our own PPC guru Danny gave us the low down on the 3 Important Google Ads Changes of 2019.
6. Seasonality adjustments introduced for Smart Bidding in Google Ads
Something that’s already in Google Ads is Smart Bidding – this automatically helps advertisers improve the performance of campaigns. It already takes seasonality into account but this new feature gives marketers the chance for other opportunities outside of seasonality patterns to spend more on ads. This could be a launch of a new product for example which is likely improved conversion rates. The change is certainly welcomed as every business has their own unique seasons where more sales are made.
7. Bing makes it easier to verify sites in Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools has been given a new update offering support for Domain Connect, so users can easily verify sites. Domain Connect allows complete site verification without needing to access the source code. The update has been welcomed as this reduces the steps required to verify a site in Bing Webmaster Tools.
8. We examined E-A-T & YMYL
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust) and YMYL (Your Money Your Life) have had a massive impact on the world of SEO since the great health update of August 2018. With Google taking greater care of the information being presented to users in searches, E-A-T and YMYL is vitally important to marketers in getting their content ranking. Why is it important and what can you do? Coral tells us everything we need to know in E-A-T & YMYL Explained – How To Optimise for E-A-T.
9. We had a Morning with Facebook
August saw Ricemedia attend a training session with social media giant Facebook at their headquarters in London. The session offered great insight into the AI focused future of social media. Alongside this, there were some interesting stats about Instagram, information on people based targeting and so much more! Our own Account Manager, Elliot attended the session and wrote his findings in A Morning at Facebook.
10. Videos generate 10x more engagement on Twitter
Are you looking for more engagement on Twitter? Well according to the social network themselves, you need video content to attract engagement. This is because a tweet with a video can attract ten times the engagement in comparison to a tweet without video. With everyone being able to record video on their phones, compelling content can be created anywhere. So if you want more engagement, it’s time to get your phone out and be creative!