Welcome one and all to April’s digital marketing monthly round-up. Yes, we’re all still locked down and we’re all still working from home, but it appears the social distancing measures are working making every change worth it. As we continue to share awesome dance routines on TikTok, enjoy pub quizzes on Zoom and clap for the NHS heroes, the world of digital marketing continues in the comfort of our own homes. Grab a cuppa and take a look at the latest developments in SEO, PPC and more!
1. Google Cuts up to 50% of its Marketing Budget
When we say that every business has had to adjust in recent times, we really mean it. Even the biggest businesses are adjusting budgets during the financial downturn. Google has announced that it will cut up to 50% of its marketing budgets for the second half of 2020. This is down to reduced advertising revenue during the pandemic. CNBC had seen an email sent out by Google which said, “There are budget cuts and hiring freezes happening across marketing and across Google… We, along with the rest of marketing, have been asked to cut our budget by about half for H2.” Cutting your budget will depend on your marketing needs and current industry demand, something Google has considered.
2. Google’s COVID-19 Response and Tools for You
To ensure users are well informed about Covid-19, Google has launched various tools. Firstly, a new tool in Search Console now allows web publishers to make coronavirus related announcements to their website. Announcements are designed for authority websites such as government, schools and health organisations. Secondly, if you’re not considered an authority website, you can make announcements using Schema which can appear in search results. Whatever can help inform and assure users at this point is certainly helpful right now.
Additionally, Google has now made Google Meet free for everyone, allowing people to connect with loved ones. This has been expanded from being just a G Suite exclusive, likely in response to the sudden popularity of Zoom.
3. Google My Business Impressions Decline
According to a US study of over 80,000 listings, there has been a 59% decrease in GMB impressions. The study showed every industry was rocked by recent events, which is no surprise considering more and more people were placed under lockdown. Clicks also declined 37%. However, signs of recovery are already there with automotive and retail seeing growth, while impressions and calls grew to restaurants offering takeaway after people settled into the new normal.
4. We examined the impact of Coronavirus on SEO
Coronavirus has had a massive impact on businesses across every industry as the world started to close down to manage the spread of the disease. With businesses affected, this had a knock-on effect on digital marketing and SEO. Looking at what we’ve seen and the SEO world in general, we’ve summarised the impact of coronavirus on SEO.
5. Extra Security features added to Google Ads
From this summer, Google Ads will have extra security in the form of an identity verification program. Advertisers will be required to provide business incorporation, documents, personal identification and other information to prove their identity and the country they work from. This gives users more information about the advertiser on Google SERPs, allowing users to find companies they trust.
6. Shopify boasts New SEO Features
Shopify has had a mixed reception from SEOs since its release and while many businesses use it successfully, it can be difficult to modify. Now that Cloudfare has full integration with Shopify, improvements can be made. You can now modify the robots.txt file, change the URL structure, collect log files and implement Hrefleng allowing users to implement SEO best practice to your e-commerce site.
7. New Features in Microsoft Ads
When any tool unveils a new design, it also represents a perfect opportunity to add new features for users. This was the thought process at Microsoft as it rolled out its ad platform redesign during April. The new multi-account view makes it easier for users to switch between accounts. This will be of significant benefit to marketers who manage multiple PPC campaigns from various clients. The new default page highlights this, which gives a complete overview of all accounts currently being managed – the tabs can also be customised for a tailored experience. Getting everything in one place will certainly help in making the right decisions for campaigns for multiple clients at once, so we can’t wait to get access to this new interface.
8. We explored How to Manage PPC During Coronavirus
Speaking of managing ad campaigns, we took the time during April to explore how you should manage your PPC during the coronavirus pandemic. While it may seem that pausing your campaigns is the right thing to do, in fact this will leave you behind your competition once normality has resumed again – at least a new normal. With a few little tweaks in targeting and messaging, you can manage your campaign successfully through this crisis.