Welcome once again to the digital marketing monthly round-up! November was a busy month in the world as Black Friday and the start of Christmas shopping dominated advertising. Meanwhile, South Africa broke England hearts by taking the Rugby World Cup crown, Disney finally launched Disney+ in a number of territories and Oxford Dictionaries announced “climate emergency” as the word of the year. As ever, SEO and PPC were full of new developments that had digital marketers intrigued. Put your feet up and see what you might’ve missed!
1. Page Speed Report finally launches in Search Console
Google have been teasing the implementation of a speed report in search console for a while now. On 4th November, we finally saw it live after 9 months of waiting. This helpful report automatically groups URLs into three categories: Fast, Moderate and Slow, so you know instantly which pages are performing better than others. The report also identifies what is causing the slowdown of pages and places pages with similar issues together. While it might be experimental at this stage, this will have a huge benefit for site owners and marketers.
2. Google adds combined Audience Targeting for Search Campaign
While some Google updates are shouted about, others are quietly introduced. This is what happened when combined audience targeting launched on Google Ads. Advertisers can now layer combinations of in-market, affinity, demographic and remarketing using “AND, “OR” or “NOT” instructions. “OR” and “NOT” have been around for a while but “AND” is a huge addition, because you can target users who fall into multiple categories. Users who meet a combined criteria will see those targeted ads.
3. Black Friday 2019 Search Trends
Black Friday dominates advertising across November, as the American tradition continues to spread worldwide. With many deals to be found, people are turning to Google to find the best offers. What do people search for most? Which brands dominate sales weekend? Find out in our latest research piece, Black Friday 2019: Search Trends & Predictions.
4. BERT has been on Bing since April – beating Google!
Google made a huge noise about releasing the BERT update – the new algorithm which better understands and contextualises natural language/conversational queries. During November, Microsoft revealed that Bing has been using BERT on a larger scale since April. Currently, BERT affects just 10% of the search results in the US while Bing’s version is operating worldwide. You can add BERT to the list of things Bing does better than Google!
5. Most consumers have no idea how search results are ranked
Have you ever been in a meeting with a client or a prospect and they have no understanding of SEO and how pages are ranked on Google? Well BrandVerity conducted a US based survey which found that 63% of consumers think SERPs are based on relevance or advertising spend or don’t know at all. 31% also said search engines aren’t doing a good job of indicating what search results are organic or ads. This feeds into the 54% of consumers who trust the first result most, even though a brand has paid to be in that position with an ad. Marketers can exploit this ignorance by bidding on a competitor’s keywords to take top spot and a competitor’s audience.
6. We covered how to rank for Long-Tail Keywords
In SEO, there is a difference between head keywords and long-tail keywords. Head keywords is a general term that most people search often while long-tail keywords is a more specific topic or subtopic of a generic term. Ranking both is important for bringing in your audience. So how do you rank for long-tail keywords? Find out with us!
7. Facebook releases ad personalisation capabilities
Personalisation is what everyone expects from marketing materials these days, so Facebook has responded to this by adding more machine learning capabilities. First off is dynamic formats and ad creative for Dynamic Ads which gives users different ad formats based on a user’s format preference. The second is multiple text optimisation in single-media ads for traffic, giving you a responsive ad feature that allows advertisers to input multiple text options. The last feature allows for auto-translate single-media ads for international audiences. These features are great for smaller businesses, allowing them to target audiences with highly personalised content they want.
8. 50% of local businesses receive less than 500 visits per month
A study of Google Analytics by BrightLocal found that 11,000 local businesses websites get an average of 414 monthly users, with 50% being organic traffic. Some 13% of local businesses receive 100 visitors to their site each month, as they try to compete with bigger names for search terms. On the other end of the spectrum, 15% of local businesses receive over 2500 visitors a month. The research also breaks down the industries which gain the most traffic which includes medical, education, real estate and hotels.
9. SEO and Web Accessibility
Accessibility is vital for every website because people with disabilities need the support to read and navigate a website. Sites without them will see a higher bounce rate, fewer conversions and negative feedback. From image alt tags to semantic HTML, there is plenty to be done that will benefit not only web accessibility but also your SEO. Find out exactly what these are with the SEO and Web Accessibility Overlap.
10. Twitter backtrack on Inactive Accounts
Twitter announced plans in November to purge any account that has been inactive for 6 months. The move was designed to free up usernames for other people to use. However, there was a backlash from users who visited profiles of friends and relatives who had passed away. Twitter instead announced plans to find a way to memorialise accounts of deceased individuals.