Digital Digest 13 February

Digital Digest 13 February

Digital Digest FEB

Note from our CEO, Anthony Baxter:

February has been a HUGE month for digital marketing. Where do I start…

Google – rolled out the biggest search algorithm change it’s done in over 5 years. Welcome to the world of BERT. More on that below.

Our team has been trialing new features with Google ads including Google Lead Ads for some of our service based businesses such as Anytime Fitness. You can now submit a lead from a google search result without even getting to the landing page. Very interesting and more to come on this soon.

No surprises with social media too, I think the biggest area to pay attention to are micro transactions that will take place on platform. In the near future, more ecommerce transactions will actually happen on Facebook and Instagram rather than the need to send traffic to your ecommerce store. We will be paying close attention to this.

2020 is a very exciting year for the agency, as we look to strengthen our team and add further capabilities around our performance marketing solutions. We welcome our new account manager Kate to the Firefly family, and are excited to welcome a SEO director to the team soon, helping strengthen our SEO proposition for all sized companies.

Thank you for being a valued customer of Firefly. As part of our new year focus we look to provide a monthly summary of all key changes in the digital marketing landscape as well as key learnings our agency has made across our campaigns. Enjoy..

Digital marketing update: SEO

Trend #1: BERT & User-Focused Optimization
At the end of 2019, the launch of Google’s new BERT algorithm got a lot of attention.

No we are not talking about BERT from Sesame Street. We are talking about a new algorithm update focussed on human interaction.

Naturally, every SEO professional wants to learn how to optimise for BERT.

This isn’t new for Google, as algorithm changes are constantly rolled out to improve the user experience. In fact in 2018, Google reported a staggering 3,234 updates, on average more than 8 algorithm changes per day.

So what does BERT actually do?

BERT allows Google to understand search queries that are more human-like and conversational, and understand content that is based on natural language. BERT helps Google better understand the context of words in search queries and better match those queries with relevant results.

This means your website should naturally be more informative and conversational, rather than creating content purely focussed and for SEO.

This is great news for marketers and the end user, as naturally websites with true value and a conversational style of content are going to appeal to the end user more than a website with keywords stuffed throughout a bunch of dribble on the front page.

Trend #2: Mobile SEO
Surprised to see mobile SEO as an important 2020 trend? Don’t be.

Most clients that have approached Firefly for help have a mobile site that is a mess. If you are going to survive in 2020, you need to implement and focus on the changes that happened back in 2017 and fix your mobile website!

With over 50% of all visitors coming from a mobile site, the mobile version of your website is MORE important than your desktop version.

What’s that mean?

“Build sites for mobile-first, then make them compatible for desktop,”. “That way those sites don’t have to be optimized for speed after launch.

Trend #3: E-A-T & Your Unfair Advantage
In 2020, Google will continue to look at the overall reputation and E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) of a given company and the individuals who publish content on behalf of that company, said Lily Ray, SEO Director, Path Interactive.

“Companies that struggle with a poor reputation, customer service issues or other trust issues will have a harder time competing,” Ray said. “These trust issues not only manifest themselves as reviews and feedback about your brand, but they also take the form of technical or security issues on your site.”

Trend #4: Mobile SEO
Surprised to see mobile SEO as an important 2020 trend? Don’t be.

Most clients that have approached Firefly for help have a mobile site that is a mess. If you are going to survive in 2020, you need to implement and focus on the changes that happened back in 2017 and fix your mobile website!

With over 50% of all visitors coming from a mobile site, the mobile version of your website is MORE important than your desktop version.

What’s that mean?

“Build sites for mobile-first, then make them compatible for desktop,”. “That way those sites don’t have to be optimized for speed after launch.

Trend #5: Structured Data
We know high-quality content will be important in 2020. However, algorithms still don’t fully understand context.

So we need to give search engines “hints” to better understand and deliver results, based on a searcher’s intent, said Jeremy Knauff, CEO, Spartan Media.

Trend #6: Entity & Knowledge Graph Optimization
The search of the future increasingly is about real-world objects, said Bill Slawski, Director of SEO Research, Go Fish Digital.

“Google is finding ways to include entity related information in search results through things such as augmentation queries,” Slawski said. “You can optimize entities that your site is about by doing things such as optimizing those for Google’s Knowledge Graph and making sure that they appear in Knowledge Panels.”

Trend #7: Link Building & Brand Building
Want to acquire top-tier links in 2020? Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR and Content, Aira Digital, said it’s time to move link building from the dark ages into a consumer-first approach for 2020.

That means focusing on three types of journalistic writing:

Planned editorial: Topics that are covered by journalists every single year at a given point (e.g., Black Friday, Valentine’s Day).
Planned reactive editorial: Features written by journalists on a topic that ties to a seasonal event or theme that we know is being covered due to time frame, but we don’t know the exact story until editors or journalists write it on the morning of their editorial meeting.
Reactive editorial: Features written in the here and now that are unplanned and can’t be predicted and are dictated due to a news story breaking.

Trend #8: Focus on Visibility, Not Just Blue Links
Zero-click searches have been a big reality in 2019. On-SERP SEO will only continue to grow in importance in 2020.

Thus, adapting to zero-click searches will be key, according to Cyrus Shepard, Founder, Zyppy.

Trend #9: Programming
In 2020, you should tap into programming languages like Python and R to eliminate your most time-consuming and redundant tasks, according to Britney Muller, Senior SEO Scientist, Moz.

SEO automation will free you up to harness the power of marketing fundamentals.

Digital marketing update: Google Ads

As the world of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) becomes increasingly competitive, it has never been more important to ensure you are spending your budget efficiently and maximizing your Return On Investment (ROI). But with new PPC strategies and opportunities emerging all the time, which ones should you pay attention to?

PPC automation
Pay-per-click advertising has changed digital marketing forever. According to Alphabet Google has reportedly generated $32.6 billion in revenue from advertising, a jump of around 16% over the same period last year. Now throw in the opportunity to reach your target audience when they’re ready to buy through automation and AI and it’s surely a digital marketer’s dream. Googles in house A.I tools have been tested by the Firefly team, and we are proud to announce that they have been outperforming 2nd tier A.I solutions we have been testing over the years. We’ve migrated all conversion based optimisation directly with Google to get the best possible results across Google ads.

Google lead ads [BETA]
As a Google premier partner, we have been testing lead form extension ads with some of our clients.

Lead form extensions help you capture interest when potential customers are searching for your company, products or services on Google. We are pleased to announce that they have generated positive results, and we will be continuing to test these further before rolling them out to all service based businesses running Google ads with us.

Digital marketing update: Social Media

Facebook has this week launched a new ‘one-time notification’ API for businesses on Messenger, which will enable brands to get in back contact with potential customers with updates relevant to their interests.

As explained by Facebook:

“In December, we announced our plans to introduce [a new] API to support valuable use cases like price drop alerts, back in stock alerts, and other important follow-ups that people have requested notifications for. The way the API works is simple: Businesses can send a message to the user asking if they want to be notified on a topic. If the user asks to be notified, the business receives a token and can use this token to send out the notification with the information the user requested at a later time.” The option adds to business’ capacity to stay in touch with users via direct message.

The latest social media insights have come out from Social media today for 2020

Summary:

Facebook currently has 2.41 billion users
Facebook is currently the worlds third most visited website
On average Facebook users are spending 38 minutes on platform per day
On average each user clicks 13 ads per month

We hope you enjoyed our monthly digest, thank you for your attention.

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