Rebecca Richardson. Joannie McLellan. Gordon Carslaw.
Our marketing team's top picks this week: Becca looks into the launch of Facebook Watch, Joannie recaps the SEO implications of online reviews, and Gordon delves into the latest Google update to its Adwords Extensions. Enjoy!
Watch out for...well...Facebook WATCH
We’ve all been there…at 3am lying in bed promising ourselves that this is the last cat video we’ll watch before moving towards our slumber…but of course it never is. And Facebook knows it!
As such, the social media giant has jumped on an opportunity which is currently being tested in the US. So hit pause on little Whiskers the kitten as he attempts to leap from sofa to sofa and listen up on how your viewing behaviour is about to change in the very near future.
Facebook Watch, is the latest platform introduced to facilitate the consumers growing desire for short form videos. In essence, the platform will allow audiences to go to a dedicated place to find the clips and videos they love. The real winners, however, will be the creators and publishers who are offered a space to find an audience, build their fan base and earn real cash in return.
So how does it work?
Watch is a tab which will soon be living on the Facebook app and desktop in the UK. The tab will feature personalised recommendations for users of live or recorded shows as well as key categories like, ‘Most talked about; What is making people laugh and show your friends what you’re watching.’ No longer will you feel alone sitting in your bed watching cat clips, instead you’ll be discovering an abundance of cat videos through your friends and having live discussions about how cute little Whiskers is online. Before you know it, it’ll be 7am, you’ll be watching your 185th video and you’ll be part of the 'Little Whiskers' community.
What can we expect?
Right now publishers on the platform have to be invited by Facebook however over time the expectation is that everyone will be granted publishing access. Currently only dozens of shows are available, however should Facebook decide the update is to be spread globally, we can expect hundreds of publishers to evolve overnight. Obviously Youtube has a 12 year head start, but Facebook is not to be underestimated. Not when they have billions of dollars in the bank, millions of users worldwide and a goal that Mr Zuckerberg aims to achieve.
Rebecca Richardson, Content and Social Media Executive
How Online Reviews Affect Your Business SEO
- Online reviews impact a purchase decision for over 93% of consumers
- Users are likely to spend 31% more on products/services from businesses that have excellent reviews online
- 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- A negative review can drive away approximately 22% of customers
- 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
It is estimated that review signals account for 9.8% of the total ranking factors for a business. Just like users, Google favours high rated sites.
It is not surprising that the majority of reviews online are negative with consumers using reviews as a chance to get their voice heard, so it is essential to have a strategy in place to show that you are listening and engaged to the opinion of your consumers.
Positive reviews also increase click through rate, with users able to judge a company at a glance through their visible star rating. Star ratings may lead to an increased conversion rate of up to 17%, research has shown.
The social proof that comes from a positive online review is a highly powerful selling asset to any business there is no debate to that. However, did you know that good online reviews could also boost your search engine rankings?
So how can you make the most of customer reviews?
- Ask for them! Encourage reviews from your consumers through social media, email marketing (with a personal touch if possible) or on your website. All reviews should be welcomed; negative reviews are not ideal, but use the feedback to try and improve your consumer experience.
- Always respond to reviews; with a negative review it is best to respond in public and try and solve the issue by taking it private. With a positive review say thank you. Simple!
- Use rich snippets to show off your reviews. Help your reviews to show up in search results by providing the right information for your products or services to Google.
- Use a consistent brand tone when replying; use this as a chance to enhance the user experience with your brand.
- Understand who and when to ask for reviews; brand loyal consumers are more likely to give a positive review than one time purchasers. Also understand that there is a time and a place in the user journey to ask for reviews.
- Use a third party review site. Google relies on these sites as well as Google My Business reviews to determine a company rating.
- Use Facebook ratings too! Reviews should also be included in your Social Media strategy; for most brands Facebook is a popular platform during the consideration phase of the consumer buying cycle so make the most of it.
Joannie McLellan, Senior Digital Marketing Executive
Google AdWords Mobile Extensions Upgrades
Another week and another update. It’s what I live for...seriously! This week we bring you another Google update, this time around Ad Extensions. First of all what is an Ad Extension? Ask Google ‘what is an ad extension’ and you may find Bing as the featured snippet answering that very question. Strange I know, but anyway:
"Ad extensions are additional pieces of information about your business, like a phone number or a link to a specific page on your website, you can add to your ads. Ad extensions are free to add to your ads, with the usual charges for any clicks you get."
So despite Bing telling me what ad extensions are, this week’s news comes from Google with changes to sitelink extensions on Mobile. So far 2017 has already seen a lot of changes and updates to ad extensions, some of which we have covered in our Friday Briefings:
- Location extensions for display
- Automated call extensions
- Global rollout of price extensions
- Call extension bid adjustments
While Google AdWords extensions are more advanced than ever, they haven’t taken their foot off the gas and have instead accelerated to enhance Mobile Extensions. How are they doing this you ask? Through Interactive Sitelinks.
Users 2 x times more likely to interact with the new Extensions
More and more people are using call outs and structured snippets to appear with their ads and it has become a common feature for users to click on when they are displayed an ad. Anything that is going to get people to their desired destination quicker, Google is going to favour. These new updates will only increase the popularity of ad extensions.
Ad Extensions will become more tappable with the new scrolling functions and click through to previous sitelinks for deeper parts of the site, enabling users to choose sitelinks that relate to them. Unlike Organic, where these are automated in some cases if structured data is not in place, the advertiser has the control on what is available to the user.
In the past sitelinks would be truncated but the new update now solves that issue and early results show that people are twice as likely to interact with the new formatting of the site extensions. This may also be down to changes of where they will be placed. From now on extensions will appear in-line with ad copy in paragraph form rather than on a separate line below ads, allowing more callouts and structured snippets to appear with your ads. Awesome!
So there we have it, another week, and another update. To read more on the new update and see how it will look you can find it here on Search Engine Land here.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my hot picks for this week, some bias here as they are both dog related:
- Brand Safety in a Programmatic World
- Brilliantly Tailored: An Evening with Dog & Sky (Free Sign Up | 31st Aug | Glasgow)
All that’s left to say is, as always, until next week folks, have a great weekend!
Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive