While the importance of content and keywords stay steady in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), other aspects of SEO are constantly changing, making today’s SEO look almost nothing like it did 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago. Because of this, each year we have to stop and look ahead at the future of SEO, and how we can use emerging trends to create the best SEO strategies possible for the upcoming year. As we head into the new decade, here are four SEO trends that are going to matter for 2020.
Google’s latest algorithm update, BERT is something that will be changing SEO for 2020 and beyond. BERT analyzes the structure of a search, so it can weed-out keyword-flooded pages, and focus more on the context in which the keywords are used. Ultimately, this update is making it easier for Google to understand language like humans do. While there is no way to optimize for BERT yet, SEO strategists can focus more on writing content with human intent and less on writing out keyword strings that a user might search, since BERT’s main focus is on allowing search to better understand natural, human language.
#2 High-Quality Content
As always, content will remain the lifeblood of every SEO strategy in 2020, however the quality of the content is more important than ever. Users are attracted to timely, relevant content, and they will often close out of any content that is salesy, or seems to be thrown together strictly to put some keywords on the page. Businesses should focus on hiring writers who can really write, so they can put useful information on their websites in the form of blogs, articles, videos, and more. This way, Google will also rank your content higher, since your website is giving users the answers they are searching for.
#3 Voice Search
While the use of Siri, Amazon Echos, Smart TV’s, Google Home, and the like becoming more and more popular for people to perform searches on, making sure your website is optimized for voice search is a trend you should be following for 2020. In a voice search, users are more likely to ask questions versus entering a string of keywords into a search bar, so SEO strategists should focus on using more conversational, long-tail keyword phrases versus short, choppy keywords.
#4 Featured Snippets
Featured snippets, or the zero position on SERP, are the blocks of information, usually in a short paragraph, list, or table form, that show above the first organic search result. This SERP feature was created to show the exact answer for a user’s question. Since featured snippets steal traffic from even the #1 ranked search result, they are something that SEO strategists should optimize for in 2020. To do so, focus on question-form queries; make sure your content is neatly structured in paragraphs, tables, or lists; and consider adding a Q&A page to your website. Even continuing your proven SEO strategy and landing in the top search result could increase your chance of appearing in the featured snippet.
If you take BERT, high-quality content, voice search, and featured snippets into consideration while building your 2020 SEO strategies, you should start off the new year on the right foot. If you are interested in learning more about how RobMark can propel your business with our SEO services, feel free to contact us today.
Facebook announced earlier this month that they will be changing the game it started by hiding likes on Instagram posts. Although removing likes rolled out in places like Australia and Japan over a year ago, U.S. residents have just started seeing their likes disappear. While this is mostly a move by Instagram to address the problem of people determining their worth based on the amount of likes they get on a post, brands and influencers alike are also going to have to rethink influencer marketing based on this major change. Below are a few ways we predict Instagram hiding likes can actually change influencer marketing for the better.
Better performance metrics
Brands have a habit of reaching out to influencers who simply receive a lot of likes on their photos, hoping that this ‘vanity metric’ will determine how well a campaign will perform with said influencer. However, likes can actually be more misleading than they seem. Many people who follow an influencer on social media will like a post simply because they want to support the influencer, not necessarily because they like the brand’s service or product. Now that this metric will no longer be accessible, brands may start focusing more on conversions (i.e. when a user clicks the product tag within a post or swipes up), video plays, and comments which are more useful than likes ever were.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen brands start working with a handful of microinfluencers that have around anywhere from 3,000 followers to 200K followers versus one influencer with 1 million. This is because it is found that microinfluencers really have a way of communicating with their audience on a deeper level since people find them more relatable and therefore trustworthy. As brands start to focus less on likes and more on engagement, they will likely start to work with more and more microinfluencers, propelling them in the industry.
Higher quality content
Without the pressure of likes, influencers may also feel more inclined to post more creative content. In the past year, we’ve seen influencers post more branded content on Stories and less in their feeds, since branded content may not get as many likes as their other posts. With more creative freedom to post what the influencer wants instead of obsessing over how many likes it will get, we may start to see more in-feed sponsored posts, which are more valuable to the brand since it doesn’t disappear in 24 hours.
While many people may be applauding Instagram’s effort to consider the mental health of its users, others are not so quick to accept that this is the sole purpose of the platform’s change. Some speculate that this is all Instagram’s way of trying to get people to engage and post more on the platform for the benefit of the business, not technically for the benefit of the user. Also, by hiding likes, brands who work with Instagram influencers as well as businesses who evaluate Instagram’s data will now have to go directly through Instagram to obtain users’ data, which is also a benefit to Instagram itself. While we will never know the true reasons behind Instagram making likes private, there are positives that can come out of this change for users, influencer marketing, and Instagram as a whole, so we’re excited to see how hiding likes impacts all parties in the coming months.
We are halfway through October, and you know what that means — even though we have not even reached Halloween yet, we are being bombarded by holiday decor left and right when we walk through Lowe’s, Walmart, and the like. Although it may seem too soon to start decking the halls for most people, marketers who have yet to finalize their holiday marketing strategy are starting to fall behind. If you are starting to feel the pressure to plan out your holiday strategy, here are some last-minute digital marketing tips.
Optimize your website.
As stores begin to crowd and parking lots start to flood, more and more people are going to opt to complete their holiday shopping online versus in-store. Whether you are a retail store selling the latest in fashion or a business selling gift cards for your services, when a customer enters your site, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Before the holiday season begins, be sure to do a thorough analysis of your website. Is the homepage eye-catching? Does it feature your holiday deals? Do the pages load quickly enough? Is your shopping cart system running as it should be? Making sure that your website runs smoothly and your best deals are featured on the homepage hero before the holidays kick off to attract more consumers.
Start asking customers to write reviews.
Around the holidays, people are going to be scouring the internet in search of gifts and deals. One of the easiest ways to boost your website’s visibility and business’ reputation for these online shoppers is by asking your customers to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, etc. Google favors sites with more positive reviews, which will increase your ranking and get you higher up on the search engine results page. This type of user-generated content also influences your customers and gives them a better sense of trust in your business. If you start asking past and future customers to leave a review about customer service, products, and more now, this can increase the likelihood that a user will head to your site when Christmas and Black Friday rolls around.
Send out a holiday e-blast.
Although email marketing may seem like a more old-fashioned digital marketing avenue compared to SEO and social media, sending e-blasts are still an effective and relatively inexpensive way to get your holiday message out to your established customers. While your generic “happy holidays” messages can stay on your social media platforms, e-blasts are the perfect spot to reveal a holiday deal. For example, if you send out an e-blast on Cyber Monday, you will be catching customers during a holiday that is centered around online shopping. Give your subscribers a discount code, offer free shipping, or direct them to the nearest store to save for holiday gifts.
Focus on social media.
For a last-minute marketing strategy, social media can be used to your advantage through regular posting, advertising, and influencer marketing. When you post content, be sure to link to helpful holiday tips from your website’s blog, focus on certain products that can be bought as holiday gifts, or mention new holiday deals. You can also take these concepts and turn them into social media advertisements across Facebook, Instagram, or whichever platform best suits your business. Facebook’s quick and easy-to-understand ad platform can target your audiences while they are scrolling through their News Feed, talking to friends on Messenger, and more. Consumers nowadays also crave content from trusted, local influencers, so partnering up with a local boutique or Instagram users with large followings to showcase your business can give your products or services more exposure before and/or during the holiday season.
Creating a compelling marketing campaign with only a few months to go to the holidays can be a daunting task. However, by implementing some of these digital marketing ideas, the pay off will be worth all the last-minute planning and you can give your consumers a seamless holiday experience with your brand. For any digital marketing assistance before the holidays or throughout the rest of the year, contact us today!
Google announced earlier this year that it would be phasing out its average position metric in Google Ads, and now we know exactly when this change will occur. Starting on September 30, 2019, average position will be retired in Google Ads. To fill the average position void, Google recommends using average position’s newer alternatives: search top impression and search absolute top impression.
Google sunsetting the average position metric comes as both a shock and an expected change. Average position has been used for years to measure where an ad appeared in search results, however, as digital marketing continued to develop, this metric started to become less reliable. Google has made changes to the layout of ads on its platform, and average position cannot tell you if your ad is placed as a top-of-the-page ad or bottom-of-the-page ad. Marketers are now interested in seeing if their ad is placed at the top or bottom of a page, and average position does not answer this question.
According to Google, the following functions will be disabled beginning the week of September 30, 2019:
- Rules using average position
- Custom columns using average position
- Saved reports that filter on average position
- Saved filters with average position
To prepare for average position’s termination, Google released two new metrics in November 2018 that are being suggested to take the place of average position: search top position and search absolute top impression. Search top position shows the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results, and search absolute top impressions shows the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
While the retirement of average position is over six weeks out, marketers should be proactive in learning about average position’s alternative metrics and considering new ways to report on these metrics. By staying on top of these changes in Google Ads, marketers will enjoy a smooth transition to newer, more reliable metrics in place of average position.
A landing page is one of the most crucial parts to any advertising campaign. Whether the source is PPC ads, social media ads, email blasts, or banner ads, landing pages allow us to capture users’ attention at a much higher rate than directing users to an existing webpage because of its focused, direct message. Since landing pages are the cornerstones of lead generation, product sales, data collecting, and more in advertising campaigns, here are six tips for building your highest converting landing page.
Keep the design and copy simple
Information or design overload is one of the most common reasons a user may click immediately off your landing page. When it comes to design, use white space to your advantage, ditch navigations, include only a few captivating photos or videos, and keep your font large enough to be easily read but small enough to not be distracting.
As for your copy, stay focused on the goal of the specific campaign, and do not add in a bunch of other unrelated information. Also, keep your copy simple and organize your information in bullet points to improve readability. Designing your landing page to be free of clutter will keep your users focused on the call to action at hand, thus moving them down your conversion tunnel.
Maintain consistency in the headlines and copy
When a user clicks on your ad, it is the headline and/or text of that specific ad that has grabbed their attention. If they then go to your landing page, and the copy does not match what they saw in your ad, they will likely leave the page instead of digging around for the offer, survey, etc. To keep this confusion from increasing bounce rates, be sure to be consistent in your headlines and copy in ads and landing pages. In a perfect world, your ad elements and landing page elements should almost be identical.
Include a clear and convincing call to action button
One of the most obvious tips for creating an effective landing page is to clearly display your call-to-action button above the fold. However, when designing a landing page, the call-to-action button can occasionally be lost in the content if you are not careful. As a user navigates to your landing page, they may be ready to Book Now, Learn More, Submit Form, etc. immediately, so the button needs to stand out. Since this button is how you turn page visits into conversions, you should work your design around the call-to-action, making sure it stands out on the page.
Request the minimum amount of information
In today’s society where online privacy issues continue to make headlines, users are more likely to be skeptical of entering their personal information in long forms. When a user comes to your landing page to claim an offer or get in contact with the company, they will be most likely to enter only simple information such as first name, last name, and email address. Because of this, if you are including a form on your landing page, be sure to ask for only the most necessary information from users to keep it short and sweet.
Display trust elements
If a user has never interacted with your business before, including trust elements on your landing page will immediately show them that you are a reputable company. Whether you accomplish this by displaying your contact information or social links, including testimonials, or adding membership or award icons, building trust with a new user or showing a current user that others have benefitted from your product or service could make a user more inclined to take the action you are trying to push.
When it comes down to it, testing your landing page is the best way to determine its effectiveness at driving conversions. With A/B testing, you can tune into how users interact with your landing page- which videos they watched, what button they clicked, and more. By learning these interactions, you can find the perfect combination of landing page elements for your audience, ultimately leading to more conversions.
When you create simple yet compelling landing pages, your advertising campaigns benefit immensely. By adhering to these six tips to creating a converting landing page, your next landing page will be more likely to drive home conversions. If you need help creating an advertising campaign with a compelling landing page, contact us today!
Design changes will be rolling out in your search results on mobile. From the rearrangement of information in ads to the addition of favicons in organic results, Google’s search result revamp is the search engine’s way of decreasing a user’s search time and emphasizing the sources that information is coming from.
Search Ads Branding & Design Changes
The most noticeable changes coming to mobile search results are the branding and layout revamps for search ads. Currently, we have come to expect each search ad to be accompanied by the word ‘ad’ in green, outlined text next to a web address and underneath the ad’s headline. However, with Google’s new changes, search ads will now have the word ‘ad’ in bold, black text displayed next to the web address and above the ad’s headline. Changes to the design and layout of search ads is expected to make sources of information more obvious to users.
Organic Search Results Changes
You may have noticed Google testing website icons in search results on and off over the years, but these favicons are now set to appear in organic search results on mobile over the next couple of days. These favicons are icons that will show up at the top of a search result block to the left of the website’s name and breadcrumbs. The name and breadcrumbs will also both now appear in black text instead of green. Favicons should represent the website’s company or organization’s branding. To set up a favicon for your website, you can follow the steps on Google’s support page here.
Although Google is first making these changes only for mobile, it is expected that they will add them to desktop in the near future. In an effort to highlight sources behind information, these changes to search results are rolling out just as Google has also started adding more images and other visual elements to mobile search result pages to also enhance the overall user experience.