14/04: Digital Marketing News


Gordon Carslaw. Lisa McAteer. Megan Reid.

This week we're treating you to news about the potential update to Google's Quality Score, looking through the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors and naming our top 5 social media trends as the year progresses. So grab yourself some Easter eggs and settle in for your weekly digital marketing news!

A week of Quality Score chat

So this week at Dog, Quality Score has been the hot topic on the Search Team’s lips. Last Year, Google launched a new version of their AdWords API that enables users to download in depth Quality Score information. This is interesting because Quality Score has been complex to work with in the past as Google didn’t really allow you to diagnose all of the factors that contribute to Quality Score at scale, but last year’s changes made that possible.

For those not familiar with Quality Score, this is how Google determines your Ad Rank on search results pages, along with your bid and ad extension data too. It’s the second biggest factor of Ad Rank, with your bid being number one.

This is all important because if we can achieve a high quality score then we can expect a:

  1. Decrease in cost-per-click (CPC)
  2. Increase in average position on Ad Rank

So if you’re looking to improve your average position without raising your bids then you need to look into increasing your Quality Score. The three main factors that make up Quality Score are:

  1. Click Through Rates (CTR)
  2. Ad Relevancy (AD)
  3. Landing Page Experience (LPE)

Last year we got a lot more information on these factors and we were able to understand the formula: 1 + Landing Page Experience + Ad Relevancy weight + CTR weight. For example if my scores were:

  • Landing Page Experience: Average – 1.75 points
  • Ad Relevance: above: Average: – 2 points
  • Click Through Rate: Average – 1.5 points

Then my Quality Score is: 1 + LPE (1.75) + AR (2) + CTR (1.5) = 6.25 but as Google doesn’t show fractions this would be rounded to 6 which would show in your account. This type of data is so valuable when it comes to improving Quality Score and yesterday (13th April) shows that another, a long awaited, update may just be around the corner in AdWords UI.

Currently the AdWords interface doesn’t offer much in the way of granular details contained in the individual pop-ups that makes analysis a bit vague, but is this about to change. A Blogger in Israel, Avner Pinchover, shared a post showing a new series of columns of Quality Score metrics in the AdWords UI back in March which hasn’t really been given the attention it deserves. As well as the information we spoke about above, the new updates would show Historic Data too, enabling advertisers to segment reporting to analyze end-of-day quality score data.

To find out more about the updates and more about Quality you will find it here on Search Engine Land. As always if you have any questions, please get in touch and we would love to hear your thoughts on Quality Score. Until next week folks, have a great weekend.  

Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive


Local SEO - 2017 Survey Results 

The Local SEO Survey results for 2017 were released this week, since its inception this survey has been the go to resource, allowing SEO practitioners to understand exactly where they should focus their efforts in a bid to increase local rankings. 

Local SEO is the practice of optimising your business so it stands out in the search engine results pages.  This is especially important to catch those local users on mobile devices; 78% of local mobile searches often result in an offline purchase.  More and more often, the trend is for users to search on the go for the best local business – these searches often have a substantial conversion rate.  I thought a really pertinent point was raised on local SEO at Brighton SEO this year, local SEO has a great return on investment.

“Unlike traditional advertising (e.g. local newspapers, leaflets, direct mail, etc.), with local SEO there is little wasted exposure. You reach potential customers when they need you — not when they don’t. This makes Local SEO both efficient and cost-effective.”

Simple tasks like claiming your Google My Business listing and ensuring the information is accurate and it will also help your rankings for locally based search terms.  This is a free listing that Google makes available and studies have shown that almost 44% of local business haven’t claimed theirs.

The survey presents a wealth of information and wisdom on what is required to ensure your business ranks well locally.  From onpage signals to how much Google My Business contributes it is well worth a read.

You can find the full results of the survey here: 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors.

Lisa McAteer, Senior Channel Manager - SEO


Top 5 Social Trends as 2017 progresses at pace

We’re officially a quarter of way through 2017 – where has it gone?! So it seemed sensible to lay out our thoughts on the social media trends for the next few months, unless Facebook or Instagram change the game again.

  1. Chatty Chatbots
    This one should come as no surprise to anyone. Chatbots are a great way to interact with your customers instantly, and satisfies the 2017 need for instant feedback and instant gratification. They’re particularly great for customer-facing businesses and have made a great impact for our client Rainbow Room International, as we are able to answer frequently asked question and direct customers to book appointments in a hassle-free, user-friendly manner. Chatbots can also be used develop a brand's persona online and can be particularly interesting if the brand has a mascot or well-known face associated with it.

  2. Expiring Content
    We have seen the proliferation of “story” like content that disappears, and we think this will only grow. The positives of expiring content is of course the FOMO-factor and the fact that your content won’t grow stale with time, with the downside being of a lot of work for something that disappears in 24hrs. It’s definitely worth it though!

  3. Consolidation of platforms
    We have already seen this to an extent with Facebook’s ownership of WhatsApp and Instagram, but we agree with Dakota Shane's points back in November 2016, that this period of change, resulting from a period of rapid innovation, is set to continue as the year progresses.

  4. Organic becomes uphill
    Getting your content out there organically on traditional platforms is becoming increasingly difficult, although definitely not impossible, as newsfeed curated feeds become the norm, versus the old school timelines. There are ways around this by boosting, and making the most of new channels and platforms, but boosted content will become more prevalent in developing audiences and getting your message to the right people.

  5. Social Influence is King
    Social Influencers are still a fantastic way to market your product or brand. We see this becoming more tied to long term partnerships, with fewer limits being placed on the influencers' activities and more importance being placed on authenticity, collaborating with the bloggers' ideologies that genuinely match those of the brand.

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!