February is upon us, and digital marketing love is in the air!
There never seems to be a shortage of news and changes pertaining to how we do our jobs and what we need to know. Let’s review some recent announcements that all digital marketers should be aware of going into the new month.
Summary: Every year in recent memory seems to be the year of mobile. As more users utilize the computers in their pockets to conduct research, find places, and make purchases Google and other top search engines have made changes to improve the experience for users on their mobile devices. If you haven’t been paying attention to this, you’ve most likely missed a big opportunity to serve your prospects a tailored digital experience to their most convenient device. There has been a lot of chatter over the years about mobile site speed factoring into ranking. Google is now officially stating that as of July 2018 that mobile site speed will impact mobile rankings. Even though the reported update is claiming that it will only impact a small number of queries we should all know by now that the longer your site is taking the load the more users will abandon their visit.
Action: To prepare for this update, and ultimately for the usability of your site on mobile devices, you should have already transitioned to a responsive design and be checking site speed regularly. Frequent site speed checks can ensure that new elements and scripts are not bogging down the load time and leading to user abandonment. The PageSpeed Insights tool (link) from Google can help to quickly analyze your site and provide recommendations, and instructions on how to resolve, of low hanging fruit to improve load times.
Summary: There are four major feature additions coming to Google Search Console that should make SEOs excited. Performance reports will begin showing data for the past 16 months, enhanced Index coverage reporting and guidance/validation for issue resolution, as well as AMP and Job listing reports for the domain.
Action: Obility SEOs are pleased to finally be receiving data that extends beyond the current Search Console period of 90 days, and explore insights into Job Listing reports. Obility has currently been testing the beta version of Search Console and are anticipating a full rollout for all clients later this year. Keep following the blog for findings from our beta test of the new Console in the coming months.
Summary: Google has officially retired Review Extensions from all AdWords accounts as of Feb 1st. If the data associated with this was important to you hopefully you’ve already pulled your reports as the data will be removed from accounts. Google also announced that it will be providing users with more options to mute ads. Some insights from this article include providing prospects with the ability to block advertisers from remarketing through the Google Display Network. This will mute the ads across all devices, when signed in, and “ad mutes” will last 90 days.
Action: Obility has pulled review extension data for our clients that want to preserve it. In regards to ads being muted, Obility will continue to use best practices that lead to serving ads to interested prospects. These strategies will include, but are not limited to, frequency capping, granular audience segmentation, and the creation of ads/offers that add value. We do not anticipate any major changes from this round of updates, but believe that in general improving where ads are served and ensuring that they are relevant to the users will only help the performance seen from display campaigns.
Summary: Mark Zuckerberg, in a change that is aimed at improving the value of the Facebook experience for users, will be changing the News Feed to focus on serving content that is more focused on what a user’s friends and family are saying. The market responded negatively to this news with Facebook’s stock price dropping after the announcement. On the advertising side all major social thought leaders are reminding everyone that Facebook organic reach has been on the decline for years. The change is meant to improve the quality of time on the platform vs. the quantity of time.
Action: Obility’s Social Team will be monitoring changes that may occur for advertisers as the changes to the News Feed are implemented. Initial thoughts may indicate that prices may go up and volume slightly down as time on site decreases and more advertisers are fighting for clicks and attention. We don’t anticipate any major changes for B2B performance and strategies, but will monitor and adjust if it is required