24/03: Digital marketing news

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Gordon Carslaw. Joannie McLellan. Megan Reid.

This week Joannie's provided an update on Google's mobile-first Indexing while Gordon's talking about the elimination of search on mobile. Megan moves away from mobile into the world of Facebook advertising and explores the new Facebook Collections format. Check it out!

Eliminating Search on Mobile - Google Shortcuts

Today, we as consumers are becoming ever more demanding. We want information at the touch / tap of a button and Google wants to make that easier for us. This week they did just that and eliminated the need to search on mobile with the launch of Google Shortcuts in America. Google Shortcuts is Google’s new way for mobile user to keep up to date with the latest news and what’s going on quickly and easily on the Google App for Andriod, iOS and Google.com on mobile. It gives you an easy way to access great tools to explore the topics you care about.

We already know the importance of Rank 0 in search these days with 40% of Searches now resulting in no click and the new Google Shortcuts will only take that further with instant answers. As it’s on the home screen you can easily find the answers to the latest sports news, local places to eat and drink, entertainment news and weather updates all at your fingertips. So whether it’s finding out if Scotland are winning (highly unlikely), or what’s on TV tonight, you’ll find it on Google Shortcuts. The best thing about Google Shortcuts is that you are able to customise it according to your likes, for example, for sports, setting it up for your favourite teams to get the news you want straight away.

So another week and another Google update, “woohoo” but who cares and why should we, as marketers, care? This only continues to highlight the importance of SEO going forward, as the update will impact both customer retention and acquisition.  Recommendations to prepare for the update centre around ensuring that your business is recognised at each potential touch point that facilitates customer interaction with your brand. Taking a local example - make sure your business is listed on Google My Business in order to appear in the listings. 

Although it’s only been launched in America, for now, it’s one to keep an eye on in the future. You can check it out here on Google’s Blog. Let us know your thoughts as always and any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Gordon Carslaw. Senior Digital Marketing Executive

 

Don’t Panic! Mobile First Indexing Update

Back in November we reported the change to Mobile-first indexing by Google. The move was down to the increase in users searching via mobile devices, having overtaken desktop searches in 2015. This change in indexing means that Google will rank websites and create its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users. 

However, this is not happening as quickly as we first thought so no need to panic...yet!

Google’s Gary Illyes has now announced that this is still in the experimental phase and has not yet been rolled out and told SEOs not to panic:

“The team behind the mobile-first index wants it to launch this year,” [...]“We’re still experimenting. We don’t have a timeline. It could be a few months or quarters, but it’s definitely not weeks [away]. Don’t freak out, especially if you have a responsive site.”

Although this latest announcement buys some time for SEOs to ensure that websites are ready for the rollout of mobile first indexing it is crucial to prepare for this launch, as any content that isn’t mobile friendly may cause a loss in rankings. Ultimately, as more consumers search, communicate and carry out everyday activities such as shopping or banking using their mobiles, it makes sense to optimise these experiences in any case and ensure that your customers' experience is at the forefront of your mind. Both your customer and Google will reward that type of strategy.

For more information on how Mobile First Indexing will be rolled out, click here.

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive

 

Facebook’s ‘Collections’ : The latest in immersive ad content.

Some of you may have caught one of these on your feeds a little earlier than last week, but this week saw Facebook announce its latest ad format ‘Collections’. When I first saw it I immediately tagged my social media colleague, as we are prone to do, with a “What on earth is this?” style remark.

It's true the new ad format is quite eye-catching and clearly geared towards brands complementing highly visual and beautiful creative with clear focus on product sales. The example I saw was for Burberry, which laid out their long format TV-style ad at the top, and allowed users to browse the products in the ad while still viewing it. With this new method, both the individual products and the ad itself are given priority and time, giving a strong brand experience, while delivering a commercially focused campaign.

Another great example of Collections is the Adidas example featured in Social Media Today’s article on the same subject.

Much like Canvas, Facebook Collections displays like a mini website and really makes the most of Facebook's product catalogue capabilities and loads fantastically on mobile. Advertisers can either choose which of their products display or allow Facebook to choose for them, based on what Facebook believes the user is interested in.

Collections is a great step forward for Facebook’s video ad offering and we can’t wait to use it for our eCommerce clients when it's fully rolled out in the coming weeks.

Megan Reid, Social Media Executive

 

So there you have it, the latest news from across the digital and marketing world that have caught the eyes of our marketing specialists. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!