Digital advertising news for the past month or so includes a bunch of great new developments. We all know that everything on the web evolves at an accelerated rate compared to the rest of the world and the business of promoting brands and products is no exception to that rule. We want to keep our clients and readers up to date on current events in this area so we have launched a company newsletter for that purpose. This post is intended to be both useful news and a preview of the types of material that will be included in our newsletter.
Since the end of the year is upon us it seems like a good time to summarize changes from the past year. Some of the biggest of these changes were the various updates to the Google search engine. Since Google search is the number one site on the Internet in terms of traffic the philosophy is “as goes Google, so goes the world”. This is pretty much the way it is. If your site conforms with SEO best practices as established by Google you can expect to be getting the best ranking possible.
Digital Advertising News: SEO
Of course just following SEO best practices does not guarantee you first position in search results. Since links to your site from other contextually relevant sites and social shares make up a large portion of your SEO it becomes an ongoing task and one where competition between similar brands and products is most heated.
The Panda and Penguin and the most recent Hummingbird updates to the Google search algorithm have raised the bar on which links to your site matter and which hurt you more than help you. They were intended to eliminate many of the more “spammy” sites from top positions on search results and to improve the search results for any given query by focusing on the quality of the content of the page.
To do this they eliminated or reduced the importance of many old “Black Hat” SEO techniques. Now meta keywords have little importance. If you have them already they can hurt your site more than help it. Back links from non contextually relevant sites like back link “farms” are no longer any good. Now it is all about content. The better your content is and the more relevance it has to the search query the better you will rank in search results.
Search engines are becoming smarter. They have to because the way people search has changed. People are using mobile devices to search for business, places, events and products in real time. The old methods of searching the web just couldn’t deliver the best results to these types of questions. The new search tries to understand the context of the users question and deliver the best results based on that context.
These updates have created a need for every site owner to re-evaluate their web properties against these new best practices standards. Even top performing websites that met the best practices of a year or two ago need to recheck everything because the changes were that fundamental. We offer to do these evaluations and make the needed corrections for $25 per page. This applies to both stand alone websites and to social network pages.
For many small business keeping your sites in conformance with current SEO best practices may be all you need to do. This is especially true if you are active on your social networks. This is also why it is crucial that you keep your sites in conformance and one of the reasons that we started our company newsletter. We want to be able to easily be able to keep all of our clients up to date when adjustments need to be made.
Digital Advertising News: Social Networks
The past few years have seen the introduction and ongoing development of proprietary advertising networks within each of the major social network platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin all have them. You can use those platforms to reach beyond your own followers to build your brand or promote your products.
The use of these advertising platforms is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury for most as the sheer glut of information on the timeline or newsfeed of subscribers increases. It is harder and harder for any individual post to get noticed by organic means. Paid placement is the only option that works reliably.
A new wrinkle to this ongoing scenario and one of the bigger digital advertising news stories of the year is the deliberate limitation of the reach of posts from business or entertainment pages. This is one area where Facebook has taken the lead. They say it is to improve the experience of individual users and this may be true to some extent. But, if your followers don’t want to see your posts, then why did they follow you in the first place?
The end result is that, by limiting the reach of posts from pages, Facebook has pretty much forced you to use their advertising platform to reach the people who choose to follow you. Great for Facebook, no doubt. The days of having “1,000 true fans on social networks who will spend $100 a year each on your products” providing a reasonable living for you are pretty much gone. Most of those 1,000 true followers will no longer see your posts so they won’t know when you introduce new products or offer coupons or specials on your timeline.
We can help you use the social network platforms efficiently. We can promote your brand, run coupons and specials and build your followers. We charge 10% of the total ad budget monthly for this service.
Digital Advertising News: Google
Google is the standard by which everything else is judged. Therefore it seemed like it would be appropriate to discuss changes at Google in regard to digital marketing within its own category here in the Digital Advertising News. So much happens at Google that has far reaching effects on everyone’s digital marketing strategy that it is hard to keep up without something like our newsletter.
The changes in Google search algorithms was already discussed above so in this section lets have a look at the other things that have been done recently. Google+ is well on its way to becoming the standard by which social networks are judged.
Google seems to be working to integrate Google+ into all of their web properties seamlessly. To these ends they have changed the comments system in Youtube to one based on Google+. Now your Youtube comments will appear on your Google+ timeline as well as being more likely to appear high in search results on google (to those in your Google+ circles). That last bit is great because it keeps you in the minds of your followers/customers.
They have also added Google+ ads. This is an interesting development because it goes beyond what Facebook and Twitter are doing with promoted posts/tweets on those channels. With Google+ Post Ads you will be able to turn your brand’s post stream into an ad that can appear on contextually relevanbt sites across the web. It is like a promoted post on steroids. It also allows viewers of the ad to interact with what is goin on and add their own comments or “+1’s”. This in turn boosts your SEO in a whole new way as well as potentially adding new followers to your brand page. This ad format is still in beta but follow us or connect on our Google+ page for updates.
Google also connected Google+ to their local business directory listings. Remember, social network shares are now a big part of ongoing SEO. They help to determine the position your listing gets in search results. Even though local directory listings have their own section in search results you will likely have to work to achieve top 2-3 spot ranking in those and having a lot of Google+ likes on your business listing is a big help in that respect!
Then there is Google advertising and associated services. Again Google sets the mark. Here is a great case study on how Google Adwords (through an Agency) helped one business:[gview file=”https://www.genalphalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Google-Cheaper-Than-Dirt-10302013-2.pdf” height=”200px” width=”372px”]
In the last few bits of digital advertising news Google has also made listings from their Google shopping products appear at the top of search results (in addition to small business listings). Then they opened up these top placement listing spots to small businesses.
In our final bit of news for the year there is one additional advertising format that Google added to Adwords Display this year and one new targeting method. First the targeting. It is now possible to target ads on adwords based on many criteria such as geographic location, age, sex and interests. Recently Google has ramped up the game a bit by adding income levels to the mix. This is awesome because it makes already precise targeting even more effective. This helps you to put your ads in front of only the people who make up your most likely customer base.
Finally, Google has introduced Engagement Ads. These ads give a much more rich media experience to the viewer. They appear as a regular display ad but when the viewer holds their cursor over the ad for 2 seconds it opens up a new screen in which there can be quite a variety of material to engage the viewers interest.
We hope you have found this first edition of the Digital Advertising News useful and informative. If you would like to keep up on future developments we invie you to subscribe to our email newsletter.