Digital Content Specialist
Google has published a new document on SEO link best practice, adding useful tips on anchor text copywriting and placement as well as internal and external linking. Here are a few key takeaways to make links crawlable and in turn improve ranking in search engine results pages:
Anchor text placement: Google suggests placing anchor text – also known as link text – between <a> HTML elements.
Writing anchor text: To help users and search engines navigate your site, make sure your anchor text is descriptive, concise, and relevant to the page it lives on and links to.
Internal links: To help readers better understand a page’s content, link to at least one relevant page on your site.
External links: Google highlights the importance of external linking to build trust and give context to your visitors about what they can expect.
“It's great to see Google publishing more helpful best practice documentation regarding linking,” says Laura Davies, iCrossing UK’s SEO director. “Linking is an effective way to build authority but only if it's done correctly. For example, we've known for ages we should avoid generic 'click here' anchor text and instead create micro copy that’s relevant to the content you’re linking to. Through Google publishing these guidelines, it helps us reinforce these points to both clients and website owners.”
Men’s Journal recently published the first AI-generated health article – ‘What All Men Should Know About Low Testosterone.’ According to a report by Futurism, the piece included medical claims and advice as well as academic-looking citations and a disclosure that was reviewed and fact-checked by the editorial team. However, it contained errors and misleading information on a serious health issue.
Publishing inaccurate information that could impact a person’s health or safety is not only dangerous, it could impact E-E-A-T – expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – which are the four factors Google uses to measure and evaluate the overall quality of a web page. And this, in turn, could affect Men’s Journal’s ranking in search engine result pages in the future.
iCrossing UK’s content manager, Kathy Manson says: “AI can’t replace human writers and editors and this example demonstrates why. AI-generated content can only replicate information that’s already out there, so not only is it unable to generate new ideas, it has no way of knowing whether the information it’s drawing from is factual or not. An editor is needed to ensure information is accurate, as well as relevant to the topic under discussion and the audience it’s for. Fact-checking by a human is essential for all content, but especially Your Money or Your Life content like health.”
Instagram is launching ‘Instagram Channels’, a new feature that enables creators to broadcast to an unlimited audience. According to Mark Zuckerberg’s recent IG story, this new broadcast chat feature will support text, images, polls, reactions and more. More specifically, creators will be able to control who can send messages, while their followers and fans will be able to read, react and vote in polls posted in the chat. This will give brands the opportunity to interact with their audience in an organic way instead of constantly trying to keep boosting feed engagement.
“During the last few years, Instagram has focused heavily on competing with TikTok, prioritising video features more than anything else,” says Athina Nikoletopoulou, paid social manager at iCrossing UK. “After a recent internal report showed time spent on Meta is on the rise, yet creation and engagement is declining, the platform is now finally exploring new ways to help creators directly reach their audience and form deeper connections within their communities.
“This could be a great opportunity for creators and businesses to connect with their followers, sharing updates and exclusive behind-the-scenes moments; testing and using the variety of content formats available within the new ‘Channels’ feature.”
Google Analytics (GA) has introduced new features for reports with large amounts of data. The aim? To make reporting easier and give advertisers the chance to improve campaigns and spot any potential data quality issues. One of the main highlights is the data quality icon, featured at the individual card level and showing specific messages that apply to each card in a report. The company’s article also includes best practices to decrease the (other) row, as well as new sampling controls for Google Analytics 360 properties.
“Providing a data quality icon is particularly useful, as it gives marketers an indication as to how much they can rely upon the data being presented to them and enables them to make more informed decisions,” says Rob Dennis, paid media manager at iCrossing UK. “It also offers an opportunity to be proactive in rectifying data issues before they've had a chance to ‘bed in’ and drastically impact the data being presented.
“The option to control the sampling that Google Ads 360 offers to marketers is extremely useful, as it allows them to get a more precise representation where the decisions being made may be more business critical and speed isn't of the essence.”
To help brands get to know their audience better, TikTok has added more than 70,000 new insights to its Insights tool, which was launched in May. The tool helps advertisers understand their audience behaviour, content effectiveness, and the overall performance of campaigns. The new insights cover everything, from how the platform’s community behaves, to creating impactful ads and allow users to filter the result by different locations, audiences, industries and more.
The additional insights can help marketers better understand trends and make their in-app promotions more impactful. TikTok Creative Center could also be another helpful tool to discover useful data, such as popular hashtags, songs, creators and videos that perform well – and use it to create successful campaigns. Taking into consideration that 69% of TikTok users in the UK feel a deeper connection to the brands they interact with on the platform, these insights can be a good starting point to optimise your campaigns. Give them a try to engage with your audience, drive brand awareness and maximise your content’s success.
iCrossing UK conducted research to explore the intentions and priorities for senior marketers towards digital transformation projects in 2023. The results showed that marketing decision makers understand the importance of focusing their efforts on digital transformation to increase revenue. However, they face challenges when trying to achieve their goals.
In his recent article in Performance Marketing World, Roger Barr, chief digital officer at iCrossing UK, comments: “What really stands out is that with such a high percentage of businesses seeing digital transformation and customer experience as a priority, the fact that many CEOs don’t understand the benefit or have the willingness to invest is shocking and suggests marketers chances of success in pushing change through is challenged.
“Outstanding leadership, people who can demonstrate and speak about the benefits of the business and make a compelling case for sustained investment, will be key for marketers to deliver successful digital transformation in 2023.”
Big tech’s Q4 earning reports have been released and can be a great opportunity for paid social advertisers to review their strategy and make the most of it. In an article for the Drum, iCrossing UK’s paid social director, James Mortimer rounds up the latest updates from Meta, Snap and Pinterest, presenting key takeaways and important learnings for brands and advertisers.
“At the start of 2023, brands face significant headwinds and challenges outside of their control. But there are reasons to be optimistic about opportunities for the year ahead,” writes James in The Drum.
“New frontiers are emerging; AR and VR offer unlimited opportunities for brands to reach users in innovative new ways and drive growth. The lack of clarity around attribution has slowed development for many brands that heavily relied on paid media as a growth pillar. But major platforms, especially Pinterest, are developing solutions to make attribution clearer. This, in turn, should aid growth and make it easier for brands to understand the value of their media investments.”
The AI field continues to evolve and the demand for human-like conversational search engines is growing. But what does this mean for digital marketers? In an article in Performance Marketing World, Daniel Liddle, senior SEO director at iCrossing UK, explores the new AI-powered search landscape. He also offers useful advice to help SEO specialists keep up with recent advancements and develop a new set of core skills.
Daniel also discusses the next steps for businesses: “We are at the very beginning of the change to a more AI and generative text search, therefore, things could switch quickly. It’s imperative to ensure your team or SEO partner has the innovation, scalability and insight to be able to inform you of what is going on and define a strategy that can encompass this new search.”
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