What will you find in January’s edition?
December core update
Passage indexing not yet live
Search Console brings back request indexing tool
Google Discovery ads can now use your 4:5 social image assets
Mobile shopping is gaining share
Google is adding new user controls for alcohol and gambling ads
New content to get stuck into
Content takeaway tip
Be in the know with Koozai’s new Digital Secrets page
Getting creative & client wins: Ancasta
Google has been busy again and announced their December Core Update, which was rolled out on the 3rd. As with all core updates, this didn’t come with any additional information about particular industries or aspects that were targeted (for example links).
Koozai tip: If you noticed a dip in traffic around the 3rd December 2020, it’s likely to be because of the Core Update. There may not be an issue with your site, it may simply be that Google have decided that pages on other sites better answer the queries you’ve been ranking for, or that Google have recalibrated what they believe the intent to be behind a certain keyword, or group of keywords.
Google confirmed on 23rd December that passage indexing was not yet live, and on the 29th, that a passage indexed search result snippet would not look any different from the current snippet layout. Passage indexing refers to Google’s ability to rank pages based on a specific part of the text on a page, rather than just the overall topic of the page in its entirety.
Koozai tip: SEOs should keep their eyes on the search news for any announcements around passage indexing so they can assess the positive or negative impact (if any) on their site when it does roll out.
After a long 69 days for SEOs and Webmasters, the Request Indexing functionality has returned to Google Search Console. This feature allows website owners to request the indexing (and therefore re-crawling) of a particular URL. This is particularly useful for getting a brand-new page indexed more quickly, or getting the changes to an existing page crawled by Google, and the latest version cached in the search results.
Koozai tip: Using the Request Indexing button could certainly get new or existing pages crawled and indexed more quickly, but to give pages the best possible chance, make sure you also link to them internally, and via the XML sitemap, through social and any other owned platforms you control.
A 4:5 portrait aspect ratio layout is now available allowing for Discovery ad images to be shown more prominently. Updates are also being rolled out by Google affecting audience selection workflow for Discovery campaigns, running across not only the Discover feed, but Gmail and YouTube too.
Search Engine Land highlights: “Google will soon show the estimated conversion volume lift estimates when ‘Audience expansion’ is enabled during campaign set up. Google says its internal data shows audience expansion for Discovery ads on average yields a 52% lift in conversions at a comparable CPA. It’s designed for new customer acquisition”.
Google Discovery campaigns are typically used for brand awareness, getting visually rich ads in front of your potential customers. If you’re looking to drive awareness, then speak to us about discover ads. It’s now easier than ever to get these set up, especially now we can use images from social media campaigns that have already been created.
Gone are the days where mobiles were considered the first stop in a conversion journey. Back in 2014, digital sales through mobiles was sitting at just 13%, however marketing platform Digidip are now reporting that in 2020, just over 60% of transactions were made through mobile devices as opposed to desktop.
Although data does show that average order values on mobile are still lower than desktop (for example people are not buying holidays on their mobiles), it does suggest there’s still plenty of potential for mobile transactions in the future.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile accounts for a majority of paid social conversions. However paid search campaigns didn’t always see mobile conversion share increase, instead it grew in line with desktop. Search Engine Land reports on findings from Tinuiti: “For Google retail paid search, 46% of our ad-driven sales were attributed to phones from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, which is identical to the share we saw last year for the same time frame,” said Andy Taylor, head of research at Tinuiti, “with desktop sales share ticking up from 48% to 50%, and tablet going from 6% to 3%. Phone sales grew 36% YoY for the five-day period, compared to desktop sales growth of 41%”.
With more and more users starting and competing their purchase journey on mobile devices, it’s vital that retailers invest in mobile commerce. From a paid media perspective, we must ensure our campaigns are optimised towards mobile as it’s no longer just the start of the user’s journey, but instead plays an important part in the full purchase journey.
Google has announced that soon, new user controls will be launching in the US concerning alcohol and gambling ads. Starting with YouTube in the US before rolling out to other countries across 2021, the new feature will limit ads across certain categories such as alcohol. This update will not affect countries with legal restrictions around alcohol and gambling ads.
Elijah Lawal of Google global communications and public affairs has explained the decision in a blog post: “We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so today, we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option.”
Whilst this seems like a negative move for advertisers in these industries, we believe it’s more of a positive. To be clear, this is a user control and not an advertiser control. Therefore, advertisers in these industries will still be allowed to advertise these products, but it’s the user’s choice to apply the setting to see fewer of these ads.
For advertisers, it may mean fewer impressions and clicks, but it does mean that we won’t be advertising to the users who don’t want to see these ads. Therefore, we can expect performance improvements as budget has been saved on the users who have opted out.
As we welcome a brand-new year, there are some content marketing trends emerging which are definitely worth exploring in 2021. Video and webinar content (this may come as no surprise), improving on the content experience for your users (think about whether it’s easy to access, are popups blocking access etc), repurposing high-quality content across different channels, and really focusing on SEO are some of our favourites, and we recommend considering each one in detail for your 2021 content strategy.
We’ve always got some new blog content to cast your eyes over. Our Koozians have been busy putting blog content together so you have a great source of information for any SEO, Paid, Content or PR queries and questions. We’ve recently published the following:
Remember to keep checking back as multiple new posts go out each month.
Takeaway content tip: Don’t forget to include captions and transcripts alongside your videos and webinars. Video content cannot be read by Google, but closed captions and transcripts can, so they can help to increase your keyword depth.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing and gaining some valuable insights from some of our experts, you’ll want to join our new Digital Secrets Facebook page.
We’re delighted to be continuing to smash our goals with new and used boat seller Ancasta, with organic sessions up overall by 72% YoY (41,592 vs 24,148). This was above the YoY surplus for overall traffic which sat at 33% up YoY.