Gordon Carslaw. Joannie McLellan. Megan Reid.
This week, Gordon's gone Google again with improvements to its Dynamic Search Ads, Joannie's discussing the global roll out of Google's Rich Cards, and Megan's talking Facebook Stories. Enjoy!
Google Updates: Dynamic Search Ads are more effective than ever
Before we get into the nitty gritty, what is a Dynamic Search Ad (DSA)? Dynamic Search Ads are useful ways to finding customers searching for precisely what you offer without needing to actively manage ads or keywords. It works well for those with well-designed websites and high inventory. Without DSA, even well managed AdWords accounts with many keywords can miss relevant searches or experience delays producing ad copy for new products.
Well on Tuesday this week, Google announced 3 improvements to these type of ads: page feeds, expanded ads and quality enhancements.
The page feeds update now gives you more control over your DSA campaigns to make sure that only relevant products and services are shown to customers. All you need to do is provide Google with a feed of what you want customers to see and select the landing pages that you want to include in your auto targets. Google will then use this information to determine when your ads will show and where to direct your customers to on your website. Great! I'm sold.
In addition, earlier this year, Search and Display campaigns fully transitioned to expanded text ads and in April we will see this being rolled out in DSA, giving you longer headlines and descriptions to showcase your products and services. On top of this Google has also made quality updates such as location signals in the account to allow your ads to be as relevant as possible to those who are searching for products you are promoting locally.
The latest updates are already showing positive signs for advertisers in terms of increases in conversion rate and decreases in CPA.
You can find out more information on the new updates from Search Engine Land and as always let us know your thoughts.
Also worth a read this week Google hits 4 Billion tracked Store Visits.
Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive
Google's Rich Cards Now Available Globally
Last year, Google introduced rich cards – an expansion of the rich snippets feature within search results, however this was initially only available in the US.
Google has announced that the feature has been expanded globally.
“In 2016, we launched rich cards in the US, creating a new way for site owners to present previews of their content on the Search results page. Starting today, sites all over the world can now build Rich Cards across Google Search.”
Rich Cards give websites the opportunity to be more dominant in search results. Site owners can build rich cards by structuring the data within their website using schema.org. Content that can feature on a rich card so far include recipes and movies, however Google has made it clear that it is looking to expand into further types of content.
To help site owners with this Google has recently revamped the Structured Data Testing Tool so site owners can test their data to ensure that all necessary fields have been submitted and also preview how a rich card may appear when a user searches.
Not only will structuring data help websites to feature within rich cards but with the introduction to Mobile First Indexing only months away there has never been a more important time for site owners to finally begin to structure their data using schema.org.
For more information about the expansion of rich cards visit the official Google Webmasters Blog.
Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive
What's the “story” now...
The success of Snapchat has seen the proliferation of story-like functionalities across the social media landscape, particularly in Facebook products. First came Instagram Stories, then came Messenger Day, then WhatsApp status, and now Facebook Stories.
Of all of these Instagram Stories were met with the most fanfare and this has translated into usage, with most brands and influencers taking to them like a duck to water. This has been magnified by the fact that marketers prefer the openness of the photo sharing platform, to the closed nature of Snapchat.
Arguably the least well received has been WhatsApp Status, which was widely ridiculed and had been generally left dormant since its inception. The nature in which users use Whatsapp does not lend itself to sharing snapshots of one's day - many use WhatsApp for business, or personal conversations. Clearly this doesn't lend itself to selfies with your dog.
The real question is, after the success of Instagram Stories, and the ill fated WhatsApp Status, is there an opportunity for Facebook? And how successful will this really be?
Of the two recent additions, Messenger Day and Facebook Stories, it seems that Facebook Stories will be the more successful of the two - after all, who casually browses through their Messenger app? The positioning of Instagram Stories at the top of the main feed has been one of its main plus points, so we would expect that Facebook Stories, also being at the top of the Facebook navigation, will at least succeed in getting users to watch recent stories from their friends. However, will users bother to upload a story to Snapchat, Instagram AND Facebook? Probably not... and Facebook, being the latest arrival at the story party, could be the first one to lose out.
Take a look at the full details of Facebook Stories on Social Media Today and let us know what you think!
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!