POV

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28.12.21

January digital marketing news

Michele Baker

Digital Content Specialist

Google Ads updates experiments page

In a nutshell

Google Ads is rolling out updates to its Experiments page, meaning advertisers will no longer need to create a separate campaign draft. Any changes made to the original campaign will also be carried over to the experiment – again, saving valuable time and keeping experiments as fair as possible.

What does this mean?

The PPC team here at iCrossing is celebrating changes to the Google Ads drafts and experiments process. According to Abbie Dunne, our senior paid search manager, “While the update will not impact the way ads are served, nor their performance or cost, it will save PPC teams time that can now be put into pushing and optimising those tests to perform at their absolute best. We’d certainly welcome more updates like this in the future!”

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Search console launches desktop page experience report

In a nutshell

To support the upcoming rollout of page experience ranking to desktop, Google Search Console has a brand-new dedicated desktop section in its Page Experience report.

What does this mean?

The addition of desktop page experience highlights that Google is focused on improving user experience across all devices. ​

“For certain industries, topics and search intent, the user will search on either desktop, mobile, or both – so good page experience is critical across both devices” explains iCrossing senior SEO manager, Laura Davies. “For example, let's say you’re buying a car. In the exploration phase, you might look for inspiration through videos, reviews and images in search on your mobile; but when it comes closer to decision-making time, you may switch to desktop for a more thorough comparison. Also, now that most of us are working from home, we’re spending more time on our computers again, so I wonder if desktop is seeing a bit of a resurgence.”

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Instagram tests option to rearrange post display

In a nutshell

Instagram has announced that it’s testing a new option to allow users to drag, drop and rearrange the order of posts on their profile page, effectively doing away with the chronological default sequence with which we’re so familiar.

What does this mean?

iCrossing’s digital strategist, Jill Alger explains that the importance of aesthetic on Instagram has typically seen brands be overly precious about what they publish in-feed to not disrupt the overall look of their grids, which often dictates the order content is uploaded in. ​

“The update would open up new opportunities for brands. From spotlighting hero campaign content at the top of the grid for the duration of a campaign, to dragging promotional posts further down the grid once activity has ended. We’re very intrigued by the Pinterest-esque update and the freedom it would unlock for both brands and users alike.”

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Google beta testing new enhanced autocomplete box

In a nutshell

SEO experts have noticed that Google has begun pulling the top three People Also Ask questions and a People Also Search For section into its search box as search suggestions. While Google hasn’t said anything on the matter at time of writing, our interest has been well and truly piqued!

What does this mean?

“Optimising for the People Also Ask section, and for long-tail and question-based keywords, is about to become even more important and valuable if this rolls out,” says iCrossing SEO manager, Katharina Forchhammer. “I expect search volumes for question-based terms to increase. Currently users lean towards short-tail keywords but, with an extended autocomplete box, they’ll have more options to refine their search. Ultimately, I think this is another reason why brands should focus on ranking well for long-tail keywords rather than primarily focusing ranking for head terms where competition is a lot higher.”

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iCrossing PPC Team gear up for Performance Max campaigns in 2022

In a nutshell

Google Ads announced in November that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns are to be rolled into Performance Max this year. Now, with 2022 underway, the PPC team here at iCrossing is already fully versed in the changes and is ready to start optimising client accounts accordingly.

What does this mean?

Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to place their ads across all Google-owned and operated properties, negating the need to create specialised ads on a per-channel basis. “It's designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google's channels, like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps,” according to Google Ads Help.

“Performance Max is becoming increasingly important,” says iCrossing senior paid search manager, Abbie Dunne. “For iCrossing clients, your PPC team will soon be discussing this with you, and how it fits within your 2022 roadmap.”

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iCrossing's Winter Challenge: Let's walk to Beijing!

In a nutshell

For our Winter Challenge this year, everybody at iCrossing is putting their best foot forward to raise money for YMCA DownsLink Group. By logging our daily walks, runs, and bike rides, together we’re aiming to cover the distance from London to Beijing – a total of 5,089 miles.

What does this mean?

2021 may have been difficult for all of us, but it’s been especially hard on young people. The YMCA DownsLink Group, which works to prevent youth homelessness and support young people’s mental health across Surrey and Sussex, has seen a 25% increase in the number of young people presenting as homeless over the last year, as well as the growing crisis in young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health.

“We’re delighted for iCrossing's continued support,” says Ruth Cobb, head of marketing communications, YMCA DownsLink Group. “2021 was another tough year for us in terms of trying to support so many young people impacted in various ways by Covid. iCrossing’s efforts with their 2022 Winter Challenge will enable us to do more for the young people who desperately need our support. So, a massive thank you to the team, to all those who have supported us and continue to do so.”


To find out more about YMCA DownsLink’s work, and to make a donation, click the link below.

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