Advertisers got some good news as Google began mobile-first indexing new domain by default. 

Organic search using mobile devices took most of the searches for the first quarter of 2019.  Nearly 50% of web traffic is because of mobile users. What does this mean and how it mobile-first indexing tied to it?

Mobile-first indexing explained

Google said that the algorithms will change and favor the use of mobile versions of sites’ content. This means that Google is giving more attention to our phones than your desktop. Indexing and ranking are two different things but they are related. Indexing is how your page is read by web crawlers and Google bots. While the ranking is how an indexed content of your site is evaluated. If your content isn’t indexed, then your ranking takes a hit. 

Indexing is an important aspect of technical SEO. The traditional SEO is concerned about the content and user experience while technical SEO is concerned about the web crawlers and how they evaluate and rank web pages. 

Mobile indexing is now becoming more and more important to drive traffic and rate. Thus, pages must be set up for mobile indexing because people are now using their devices to visit sites and their pages. 

Mobile takes the reign

SEO optimization is hugely important in this digital age and the pool of competition is making the battle even fiercer. As of this year, the following have been reported:

  • Social media and paid research have the most significant gain of traffic share
  • 33% of ad clicks were because they directly answered a search query
  • Almost 50% of businesses implement digital marketing platforms minus the strategy thus the futile exercise of increasing traffic

Why use mobile-first indexing?

Mobile indexing for advertisers is beneficial especially in reaching their audience faster. Advertisers allocate their resources and make sure that their ads are seen, and not blocked. If the latter happens, then the company is losing money. 

People nowadays are glued to their phones more than they use their desktops. The mobile phones are the door to the gold mine of ad generation. 

It’s time to get a mobile website so that the audience will have a better way of scrolling through your content. Google is now focusing on mobile page indexing preferences as compared to web page indexing. Without your mobile site, you could be missing out on 50% of positive interactions with users who are using their phones. 

As an advertiser, it’s your job to look for innovations and use them. So, start checking your presence and your technical SEO game now, not later. 

Google’s algorithm updates have been crashing sites one by one. 

Google began in 1998 with a mission to deliver relevant search results starting with checking users’ search queries against several criteria. Among them is the frequency in which the search appears on a given web page. If the query appears frequently, then the page ranks higher in search results. Businesses then understood the importance of the ranking in the search engines so they paid their way through the top. 

Businesses started putting stock phrases in their sites to get traffic but this keyword stuffing strategy isn’t good for Google’s core mission and basically, Google isn’t one you trick and mess with thus the war between Google’s algorithm and the people who play with it or otherwise known as the SEO geniuses. 

Google updates 

The giant search engine releases updates to its algorithm every now and then to address this issue. The updates are subtle and aim to tweak the requirements for high-quality content. Google is now serious with the writing quality of the content including the sentence length to the level of grammar. They can be as tedious and technical as they want to be to ensure that the content is relevant and of stellar quality. 

Other SEO tricks such as unnatural links from other webpages and use of unnatural language are also looked upon. 

What is a Google penalty? 

Google’s penalty is a loose term that happens to sites or web pages that are negatively impacted by Google’s algorithm update. These sites are penalized if they are not following the Webmaster Guidelines. When your site is manually penalized, it means that your site is being reviewed by a Google employee after being tagged for not meeting the guidelines. The penalties are serious but can be resolved. 

If you are penalized, make sure to address the problem and find a solution. Your site will fare badly if you leave it penalized for a long time. There are guidelines available for every penalty that you can read and use as a reference. 

Not all dropped rankings are due to penalties, sometimes it’s because your competitors are improving their content better than you. 

Why is this important? 

Marketers value rankings because it brings traffic and it widens out the potential pool of clients you may have. But with Google keeping tabs with the content of your sites, it is important to always make sure that you produce high-quality and well thought of content. It’s not the quantity that contents but the quality that matters. 

Have you checked your content lately? You must if you want to stay on top of your niche. 

Content marketing is a strategy that’s used to get meaningful user engagement. Start-up companies and eve the bigger ones equip their websites with high-quality content including blog posts, videos, and infographics to stay on top of their game. 

However, content marketing isn’t only about putting content on your site, it’s also about regularly auditing them. Auditing your content can help to highlight underperforming content and get new ideas for editorial changes. It is also a good way to see the content that resonates most with your audience. 

What is a content audit?

The content audit evaluates the performance of your website for a specific length of time. The audit includes SEO tools and social media reports. A content audit is also a way to check if your site content is following the in-house style guides and brand guidelines. It can also check the word count, keyword focus, grammar, spelling, and voice, and tone. 

How often should you audit?

The frequency of the audit depends on your type of content. Generally, an annual content audit is highly suggested. 

Types of a content audit 

  • Awareness content audit every 6 months – It takes three to six months for a post to begin ranking in Google in its top 3 pages. Traffic at that time comes from social media, existing users, or paid advertising. You need to revisit your content after six months to review its performance and review the success of the goals that were set. 

You can check the page views, time spent on pages, social shares, comments, backlinks, and unique visitors. 

  • Consideration content audit every 3-6 months – How to guides are often the most popular content in websites. Doing this content can result in fast user conversion gives you the time to adapt to the shifts in users’ behaviors and needs. 

You can check out unique visitors, time on page, bounce/exit rate, assisted conversion, social share, trust flow, and pageviews. 

  • Conversion content quarterly – For e-commerce sites that earns thousands of conversions a day, a quarterly audit is recommended. This is a good time frame to spot the data trends in your niche. 

You can check the pageviews segmented by paid/organic/direct, unique visitors, time on page, goals/conversions, and bounce/exit rate. 

  • Retention content annually – Contents like tips and tricks and upcoming products have low engagement due to the target market. 

You can check unique visitors, page views, social shares, backlinks, conversion/goals, assisted conversions, and bounce/exit rate. 

Marketing strategies aren’t a game of chance, with the right plan of action and the use of these tips marketers can find and retain an audience. Marketers and advertisers must set some time and schedule content audit on their site. 

Digital content marketing is growing rapidly, and brands are capitalizing on the rise. 

Major brands know that content is important to get engagement and more customers. Unlike other methods of marketing, content marketing is cheaper and has long-term benefits. This is why it has become a major digital tactic today and will continue to be one in the foreseeable future. 

According to research, 90% of B2B and almost 90% of B2C marketers include contents in their marketing campaign. 

Challenges in content marketing 

The growth of content brought about several changes. For example, content creation is exceeding content demand due to the amount of content that has already been created. It’s becoming more difficult to come up with content that is surprising and engaging. Bigger brands, who are building content in your niche, increase the content standards. These brands increase the expectations of the target audiences as well. 

But content marketing is far from dying.  Creative marketers are always looking for ways to innovate and improve their content. 

Thriving and surviving 

 Here are some popular marketing trends

Content collaboration – This is one of the popular trends and is helpful in connecting and bridging gaps. This method involves people inside or outside your company working together to create content. Content collaboration lets you see other angles and apply formats that you might not have tried in the past. This is also another way to make a business relationship with other companies in your niche. 

Other strategies in collaboration include influencer-driven contents and engaging your non-marketing employees in content brainstorming. 

  • Using question optimization – This method is used to accommodate Google’s new algorithm. Questions are more natural compared to keywords and Google understands and features questions. Also, it’s easier for marketers to see the problem of the customers and provide solutions to the issues in their published content. 
  • Content Personalization – This method is newer but gaining traction just as fast because of its effectiveness. Content personalization means customizing the web experience of every user. Customers will have personalized product suggestions and content suggestions. BigCommerce shared that a younger generation of US-based customers heavily relies on AI personalized product recommendations and social media ads. 

The digital content marketing is thriving and frequently evolving to accommodate the needs and demands of the users. Marketers must be ready to take on these challenges and address the changing trends with their innovative techniques.

Beginners are now provided with an overview of how Googlebot processes JavaScript. 

JavaScript is part of the web platform that provides features to make the web a powerful platform. Just last July 18, Google added a new section in its Search developer’s guide, specifically for JavaScript SEO basics. The new section has general descriptions of how Google processes JavaScript. 

What’s it about

This new section has an overview of how Googlebot processes JavaScript in three phrases – crawling, rendering, and indexing. 

Crawling – Googlebot gets the address for a page from a craw queue than follows the URL. If the page isn’t blocked by robot.txt, Googlebot will parse the page. This is the crawler stage and all the new links discovered by Googlebot go to the crawl queue. 

Rendering – This is the stage where the URL will be processed for the JavaScript. Rendering takes time depending on several factors. Once rendered, Googlebot moves the URL and forwards it as executed HTML to the index. 

Indexing –  This is the stage that you add content. 

The new section also has basic tips and links to several other detailed resources. Some of which are the following: 

  • Unique titles and snippets: Using the JavaScript, you can give your page a more unique look with your own titles and meta descriptions. 
  • Writing compatible code: Developers must be aware of the JavaScript limitations and of Googlebot’s API. Google recommends using differential serving and polyfills because some browser features cannot be polyfilled. This will give you some of the potential limitations.  
  • Using meta robot tags: Removing or changing the robots meta tag using JavaScript may not work as expected says Google. 
  • Fixes images and lazy-loaded content: Google suggests using lazy-loading to decrease bandwidth costs and increase performance. 
  • Using HTTP status codes: Status codes alert Googlebot if pages are moved or if a page shouldn’t be crawled and indexed. Examples of HTTP codes are 404 for pages that can’t be found and 401 for pages behind a login. See the complete list of HTTP statuses and when to use them here

Why is this important

It’s a known fact that JavaScript is a powerful tool that developers use to enhance the user experience, encourage interaction, and improves site performance.  

Understanding and taking account of how Googlebot processes JavaScript web apps can make your sites more discoverable to potential clients or customers. This, in turn, will bring in more traffic and organic visibility. 

Microsoft has renamed their ad platform yet again 

Bing ads is gone and Microsoft Ads has taken its place. The benefits to Microsoft Ads is their access to automation services, AI, and big data.  The name change marks a new chapter for Microsoft. Moving forward, Microsoft will be focusing on AI and its implementation in personalized ads, and connecting businesses with their data.

Personalization has been a big push across ad platforms.  Whether that means peer-to-peer marketing or investing in Influencers to sell a product advertisers are working to make ads more specific to their audiences.

 Microsoft explains, “ it’s no longer just reaching more people that matters to growing your brand. It’s about making each connection feel one-to-one, at just the right time and place. More meaningful, more timely, and more valuable — this is how we see advertising evolving.” 

Through AI Microsoft wants to protect user privacy and control of their information.  In the coming future Microsoft plans to launch more ad products with AI wired into the framework of the products.  Last year Microsoft has released the Microsoft Audience Network.

Since its release last year, the company has been working on updates to, “help marketers reach consumers in brand-safe environments.” The updates include product enhancements with viewable impressions, image upload and management tools, and later this summer, the service will soon be expanding to the UK and Canada.  

Though Bing isn’t apart of the advertising moniker Microsoft reassures, “Bing remains the consumer search brand in our portfolio, and will only become more important as intent data drives more personalization and product innovation.” 

Microsoft is making strides to carve out a place for themselves in the Ad space, they are still a smaller player in the grand scheme.  While Microsoft works with half a million advertisers, just within story ads in Facebook there are 3 million advertisers, and Google exceeded a Million advertisers in 2009.  

As with any marketing effort advertisers need to see the whole scope of options to better serve clients. While Microsoft doesn’t have a huge user base trends in advertising are in a constant flux. Stay tuned for updates on Microsoft’s ad efforts and check out this article on Instagram’s release of ads on the platform’s discover page.  

Much needed notification tweaks and more are coming to YouTube!

Users and Youtubers rejoice! After a constant outcry from fans of the service, YouTube announced yesterday that they are finally making some improvements on the notification system of the platform. In the said post, YouTube aimed to address the reports from the creators of the irregular notification delivery system of the platform.

Due to the improvement, notifications are now personalized. This means that users will not be getting the same videos in their inboxes. Users have the freedom to choose whether they want to be notified from all the videos the creators they follow have posted. It’s a bit of a process as you will have to click subscribe, hit the golden bell button, and make sure that the notification is enabled in their account. Subscribing alone doesn’t get you notifications of the new videos from creators.

There has been a disconnect with Youtube creators that has continued to grow recently.  Though Youtube executives have tried to quell concerns, Youtubers complain that the majority of promoted content on the platform stems from traditional media platforms like late night tv.  

Subscriber ghosting addressed

Many creators suffered from subscriber ghosting due to the inconsistency of the previous notification fail. YouTube made few updates following the huge issue of March last year but very little improvements were felt by the creators. But now, YouTube introduced the two new metrics that creators can use to understand the number of subscribers who are getting their notifications.

The first one shows the number of subscribers who have signed up to get all the notifications but have not enabled the notification setting on their device. The second metric is for the subscribers who have can get all the notifications and have enabled the notifications on their device.

Mixed Reactions from Creators

It’s still unsure whether the change is positively adapted by the YouTube community. There has been a mixed reaction from the Twitter thread. Whilst it’s true that the metrics show transparency, but then how it works and how it will affect them, in the long run, is difficult to figure out. With these changes it makes following creators, with any subscriber count, easier.   

Wikipedia’s content is all user-submitted. This means that the information you see in the site is added by people around the globe. It’s a platform for a good exchange of knowledge but the downside, is that it’s probably the easiest to manipulate.

The North Face under fire

Wikipedia’s results tend to be the top answers for Google queries.  With that in mind, Brazil’s branch of The North Face partnered with the Leo Burnett ad agency, and replaced photos of famous spots in Wikipedia and replaced them with ones now featuring people wearing the brand’s products.

The photos then appeared at the top of Google Images search for travel sports. Included in the swapped images were Guarita State Park, Peninsula do Cabo, Cuillin Hills, Serra Fina, and others.

Outside Online stated, “A TNF-branded marketing video, produced by an arm of Leo Burnett, bragged: “We hacked the results to reach one of the most difficult places: the top of the world’s largest search engine, paying absolutely nothing, just by collaborating with Wikipedia.””

The North Face claimed that they partnered with Wikimedia for their SEO campaign but later apologized after Wikimedia Foundation published their response denying the partnership. According to this post, they are disappointed with the company for unethically manipulating Wikipedia and risking their trust in the process.

Wikimedia Foundation clarified that they, along with Wikipedia, did not collaborate with The North Face. The foundation operates profit free and with the purpose of promoting free sharing of knowledge and preserving the public good. These are overridden by the apparel company when they added content that was for commercial promotion and not the common good.

Wikimedia editor volunteers already removed the photos by The North Face.

Booed by SEO the community

The campaign resulted in increased exposure for the company. In a sense, they were able to get what they wanted but that came with a cost. The company defaced public property and was heavily criticised in social media. SEO experts called on the company for its bad behaviour and said the campaign was advertising at its worst.

SEO works magic in boosting brands and products but still, a stunt such as this is spammy at best and is not beneficial in the long run. The North Face found a way to reach a larger audience through an ethically dicey manner, but the lesson we as marketers should take away from this is – through considerate and informed direction there are ways to reach your audience in creative ways.  This should be what we strive for, ingenuity in marketing. An example of this, if executed properly, is programmatic Audio.


97% of the most popular searches on Pinterest are unbranded, this leaves a huge window for advertisers to interact with their audience on a platform that has 291 million monthly active users.

Close to 70% of online consumers who’ve used Pinterest to search for products have found an item they purchased or wanted to purchase. With this in mind, 25% of the Global fortune 100 companies utilize Pinterest. 150 million monthly users are led to sites like Google, Facebook, and Amazon from Pinterest.  

Pinterest explains their platform fills a gap for small business. In a press release Pinterest explained, “Small businesses turn to Pinterest to reach new customers since pinners often come to the platform when they are actively considering what to do or buy. This means they are open to seeing new and engaging ideas from businesses.”

Basics

–   Setting Pinterest apart from search engines like Google or Bing, Pinterest’s ranking factors are more dependent on engagement statistics such as social shares as opposed to linking back to other sites. Though without understanding the best practices in Pinterest search engine optimization it’s difficult to succeed.

Start with a Business account

(or change a personal account to a business account) Making this change gives access to the ad manager and analytics.

Decide on an SEO friendly Username

Think on what users will be searching for because the username is included in the user profile.

Fill out all of the account fields

Adding to the “about you” section with pertinent information and a company logo.

Create boards with company products

This is the first step to adding products-

–   Similarly to many social media platforms businesses can transfer data from the company website directly to Pinterest campaigns. With this functionality users can also be directed to your businesses website to make a transaction.  To get this process started there are some preliminary steps.

Add the Pinterest Tag

Basically Pinterest’s version of a Facebook pixel, Setting up a Pinterest Tag is an important set in the process of improving SEO. This snippet of JavaScript allows businesses to create conversion events linked to the company website. With this functionality site admin can report profile performance and segment audiences.  

Save Button

With just a small piece of HTML, Businesses can increase reach and provide users with the ability to save images from the business site to their personal boards.  This “SAVE” button will appear when users hover over your sites images.

Get your Site Verified

Doing this will add a profile picture to all of your pins. Above is a link to help you start the process.  

Set your Business Goals

Pinterest reports the following stats explaining how valuable their network can be as a lead generator-

Through Pinterest the gap in a user’s purchase journey can be bridged.  

Using your historical site data you’ll be able to find a direct path for your business’s goals on Pinterest.  With this in mind you can decide what aspects will be taken care of by organic searches. Starting with a trial period within a Pinterest SEO campaign will help to direct goals moving forward. A good rule of thumb is to start pushing commercial efforts after you’ve earned trust with your audience and Pinterest as a site.  

– Research your Keywords

Beginning the process of looking for keywords within Pinterest is a good place to start. The next few bullets should help you choose the perfect board and pins topics.

Use Guided Search                                                                                                                   

Starting This function on Pinterest narrows the users focus and find more searches that fit the users inquiry.  Based on this initial search Pinterest will suggest modifiers based on the search. These can be a good choice for keywords.  

These practices, and the statistics above are important for the early process of Pinterest SEO, and will help to jump start the process.  It’s important to cover as many bases as possible when considering search engine optimization. Remember to always stay updated with the best SEO practices, algorithms in the digital landscape are always changing.

Online Marketing changes literally every day. With this short guide, you will be given the foundation to online marketing so that you can act on the changes that occur within the industry. Once you understand all of the essentials of online marketing, you will be able to stay ahead of the curve!

1. Keep Attention on Your Customers

All the contacts (customers, leads, partners, etc) in your funnel are what keep you in business. So, you need to keep your strategies centered around serving them. You need to fully grasp what your customers want from you. We are not saying that this is an easy task, but when you understand that the people that live in your ecosystem of clientele are what keep your doors open, it makes it easier to realize the importance of catering to what they want and need.

2. Build Your Strategy

Poor Marketers worry about campaigns while the best marketers are intentional about their strategy and they STICK TO IT. You always got to position your overall marketing strategy into something that will encourage growth. Sustainability is key, and should be at the fore front of any conversation that you have about marketing.

3. What is Your Brand’s Story?

Most people think that companies are selling the benefits of a specific product. STOP DOING THAT! Selling has little to do with how good a product is (although a strong product helps), but has much more to do with the story that you tell. Take your audience on a journey that attaches your company directly to them on a personal level. This will make the customer feel like they are missing out if they do not buy your product. What story can you tell?

4. Bring Traffic to Your Website

Your website is doing nothing for you if people are not engaging with it! It can be the most creative design, most informative blog, or the greatest product anyone has ever seen, but if no one sees it, then what does it matter? What are you going to do to bring traffic to your website to acquire new customers? This is a foundational question that needs to be answered, or your online marketing strategy will not be successful.

5. Conversion Strategy

Ok, you have decided how you will bring people to your website. That’s great!! You’re halfway there. Now, how are you going to convert that traffic into customers? It’s time to develop a strategy that converts first time website visitors into first time customers and then turn those new customers into repeating buyers. What’s your conversion strategy?

One tool that makes building these online sales funnels really easy is a software called Clickfunnels. Click here to see how to get started using a funnel building software to convert cold visitors to customers.

6. Build Trust By Producing Content

We aren’t just talking about putting up a blog on your website. When content marketing is done thoroughly, it can include articles, guides, online trainings, webinars, or vlogging. All of these different content producing mediums can be really powerful when it comes to growing your business. If you are intentional and providing amazing quality, you will earn the trust of your viewers and readers.

7. Grow Your Audience by Paying For Them

The world is being introduced more and more everyday to online paid advertising. You may know this as Facebook Ads, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, Google Adwords, or pay per click marketing. Online marketers will often interchange each of these terms to describe the same idea, which is traffic that you pay for through ads that are ran online. A lot of companies do not like this strategy because it will cost them money, but if executed properly, it can be a game changer for your company. If you are properly tracking your ROI, then you should feel comfortable running an online ad with uncapped budgets because they are making you money.

8. Be Intentional with Your Email Marketing

Most people view email marketing as dead or “annoying”. In some cases, that is correct. Some companies have neglected using their email campaigns to connect one on one with their customer list. However, when email marketing is done correctly, it can completely change your business. If you make an attempt to connect with your customer on a personal level rather than try to make a sale, then you will see an improvement in this strategy.

9. Use SEO for Traffic

What’s the answer to every question known to man? That’s right, “Google it”. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are extremely powerful channels for attracting an audience. Use the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to rank above the competition to attract the audience to your website. Some refer to SEO as a “black art” because of how competitive and complex the algorithms can be, but the best strategy is to be consistent with posting content and engaging with your website.

10. Begin a Social Media Strategy

Having a social media strategy is more than just getting up a Facebook page. You must form a strategy around your social media accounts as it can be a great way to engage with your audience. The wrong thing to do is create a page or profile on every social media platform because you must master one platform at a time instead of launching all of your pages at once. The right plan of action is to focus on your top channels first and then branch out from there. This will not guarantee success, but it will get you moving in the right direction.