Digital Content Specialist
Google has released its September core update – a change to its search ranking algorithm and systems. The aim? To prioritise and rank content that best answers people’s queries. The update will be completed by the end of the month and can affect a site’s performance, decreasing its organic visibility and traffic. So, site owners should check their analytics and rankings over the following weeks to see how the algorithm changes have impacted them.
The update highlights the importance of reviewing your content and developing a strategy that defines its purpose. In her recent article, Laura Davies, iCrossing UK’s SEO director, analyses the helpful content update: “If you have content that doesn’t answer the person’s query, isn’t original and doesn’t add value, then expect to see ranking and traffic plummet across these pages. Equally, content that doesn’t meet Google’s page quality evaluator guidelines is likely to be punished further. Assess the quality of your content against these with our free E-A-T checklist download.”
Twitter recently published a new strategy guide packed with data, tips and best practices, aiming to support businesses to optimise their tweet strategy and improve their presence on the platform. The guide walks brands through the steps of all-things Twitter, from optimising their profile and creating organic and paid posts, to revising how they measure their goal’s success.
The guide highlights the importance of being on Twitter to reach new audiences, stating that 76% of users state that conversations on the platform have led them to make a purchase. It also clears up common misconceptions like ‘the wittiest Tweets win’ and advises brands to keep their posts to the point, including clear calls to action, relevant links and just a couple of hashtags.
Brands can also find useful insights to review their marketing strategy, redefining their goals and how they measure success on the platform; “The easiest way to make the most out of the conversation happening on Twitter is to dive right in. Tweet about a variety of topics and themes that matter to your business and your followers and iterate based on which perform best. Things like creative, tone, copy, and mentions of trending events/other brands can have a big impact on your brand's success on Twitter,” advises the guide.
Instagram has been working on a new ‘media kit’ to help creators promote their value to brands and benefit from potential partnerships. The tool will guide users through every step of the process of preparing their pitch to brands – meaning they’ll have the chance to write a bio, showcase their top posts and best examples of previous collaborations. Analytics and key stats will also be added, helping them to present audience data, showing their most impressive results and demonstrating how effective and impactful their content is.
The Media Kit is similar to the existing Meta’s Creator Marketplace platform and Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager, which already offer this opportunity. However, the main difference will be that Instagram’s new feature will offer more control to users, who will be able to customise their kit, reorder multiple sections and choose if they’d like to show likes on their posts. They’ll also be able to share it directly with brands to discuss potential partnerships and monetise their work. The feature is still in a testing phase, as Instagram is trying to improve its user interface.
Google is expanding eligibility for enhanced product experiences in search, for site owners who use product structured data. According to a recent announcement, there are now the two categories of search experience for product and ecommerce websites:
Merchant listing experiences for web pages that allow a shopper to buy a product on site. These offer enhanced experiences including the Shopping Knowledge panel and Popular Products, as well as shopping experiences in Google Images and Google Lens.
Product rich result snippets are designed for a broader set of web pages with product information – including pages that sell products, publish product reviews, and/or aggregate information from other sites.
Merchants could benefit from these new features and functionalities, showcasing their products in more places and present them in a more visually appealing way. To take advantage of this they need to make sure they use product structure data and/or Merchant Center. To understand the requirements of these experiences, they can use merchant listing and product snippet reports, which are grouped under a new Shopping section in the Search Console navigation bar. These could help site owners see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on their site.
Microsoft aims to promote visual storytelling with collages of image and video content shown at the top of the search result page. The new responsive ad format uses machine learning to combine images, headlines, and descriptions. According to a blog post by the company’s project manager Devyani Gera, the new “infographic-inspired” ad formats will show at the top of search results in Bing Search, Windows 11 and Microsoft Start.
“It’s interesting that Microsoft has now ventured into multimedia ads,” says Isabela Lawicki, iCrossing UK’s, paid media executive. “We have had image extensions for a while on Google Ads, so it was natural that Microsoft would make a similar move at some point. The fact that this new format will stand out and take over more space than a standard search advertisement, will potentially encourage users to engage with it, which could naturally boost click-through rate and conversion rate. However, it might be a costly option for smaller accounts with a low budget.”
Search advertising is an important part of digital marketing, making up 50% of the digital ad market in 2021, according to IAB UK’s latest Digital Ad spend report. Prioritising their search shopping campaigns’ strategy could help brands to better promote their products which could boost traffic to their site and increase their audience. But where do they start? In a recent article, Lottie Namakando, iCrossing UK’s head of paid media and planning, highlights the importance of shaping a well-thought through strategy and carefully planning the first steps to make the most out of ads.
“Understanding the interplay between the platform interface and the feed itself is the best place to start,” advises Lottie. “A lot of the performance derived through shopping campaigns is optimised through the feed and this is generally the only hands-on method of optimising performance. Depending on the size of the brand and the feed, optimisation can be done either via a third-party provider or, for smaller scale feeds, manually via Google Sheets.”
iCrossing celebrates BrightonSEO during the first week of October. Join our expert team in the iX Beach Hangout, a welcoming space, ideal to relax and recharge. You can also connect with other industry peers, discuss all-things digital and learn more about optimising your content strategy to deliver measurable results.
iCrossing UK’s content strategy director, Sam Colebrook, will be talking about content prioritisation and focusing on ideas that can drive real and measurable value for brands. In his upcoming session ‘Content prioritisation: approaching infinite opportunities with finite resources’, he’ll be discussing the questions every organisation needs to consider before moving into creation, as well as the necessary tools that’ll help to answer these. Join Sam on Thursday 6th October, at 10am to get top tips and insights for upgrading your content strategy.
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