This week: Instagram offers new monetization tools, Google integrates with a popular e-commerce plugin, and John Mueller dispels some myths about keywords.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Apple Reveals iOS 15 Preview
It feels like Apple released their iOS 14.5 update yesterday. However, in the world of tech, there always seems to be a shiny new toy, and this week it’s the iOS 15 preview.
This update brings SharePlay, a new way to watch, listen and share your screen with others. Additionally, Maps has a new interface, and Safari experiences a redesign.
Privacy concerns have been a big conversation in 2021 and Apple’s joining the game.
Mail privacy protection is on its way. What does that mean for email marketers?
With iOS 15, you won’t be able to track open rates.
The good news is, you can still track unsubscribes, conversion rates, and list growth rates.
Google Now Integrates With WooCommerce
WooCommerce, the e-commerce platform for WordPress, is out with a new extension. It allows you to upload your product inventory to Google for free.
That means your products can get discovered on Google properties including Search, Shopping, Images, and YouTube.
You can also use the integration to run paid ads.
But you don’t have to. Remember: Google now allows free product listings in the Shopping tab.
Instagram Adds New Monetization Tools
Good news if you’re looking to make money with Instagram: you’ve got new options.
For starters, Instagram will launch a “native affiliate tool.” As the name implies, it enables you to promote products that earn you a commission.
Users will see “Eligible for commission” at the top of affiliate-related posts.
That feature is currently rolling out to select users for testing. Look for a formal rollout in the coming months.
Next, Instagram will make it easier to set up shop on the platform. That’s the option you’ll go with if you’re selling your own products.
According to the announcement: “Creators will also be able to set up a new shop and drive excitement with exclusive product launches from the Instagram app by linking their account with one of our four merchandise partners: Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent, and Spring.”
That feature should roll out by Christmas.
Finally, Instagram will also make it easier for you to earn money from fans via Instagram Live. You can get an extra payout by meeting certain milestones while using Badges.
That one is rolling out this week.
WordPress 5.8 Includes WebP Support
The new version of WordPress (v5.8) is rolling out next month. And it promises speed enhancements.
Specifically, the platform will support the WebP image format.
WebP loads faster than alternative image formats because it retains image quality at a smaller size.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, though, but that change alone probably won’t give you the Core Web Vitals scores you’re looking for.
Still, every little bit helps. So consider switching to WebP images next month with the latest WordPress update.
Google: There’s No Limit to Page Indexing for a Single Site
No matter how many pages your website contains, Google can index all of them. That’s according to John Mueller.
The subject came up this past week during Ask Googlebot on YouTube.
Mueller said that there’s no limit to how many pages Google will index from a single site.
And that goes for both static and dynamic pages.
He did say, however, that new sites with millions of pages probably won’t get all their pages indexed right away.
PageSpeed Insights Scores Updated With Lighthouse 8.0
Google updated PageSpeed Insights with Lighthouse 8.0. It changes the weights for various speed metrics.
According to reports, the changes should make it easier for your website to get a higher score.
Here’s a rundown of the updates:
- Performance score is reweighted
- Total Blocking Time (TBT) scoring is stricter
- First Contentful Paint (FCP) scoring is stricter
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) scoring is more forgiving
According to Google:
- ~20% of sites may see a drop of up to 5 points, though likely less
- ~20% of sites will see little detectable change
- ~30% of sites should see a moderate improvement of a few points
- ~30% could see a significant improvement of 5 points or more
The updates are already in place.
Google: Number of Times You Use a Keyword on a Page Is Irrelevant
John Mueller addressed that subject this past week.
Regarding keyword stuffing, he offered this bit of wisdom: “In general the number of times that you use a keyword on a page, I don’t think that really matters or makes sense. When you’re writing naturally, usually that resolves itself automatically.”
Mueller also advised against over-focusing on keywords.
“I wouldn’t go overboard with the number of mentions,” he said. “I wouldn’t go overboard with all of the synonyms and different ways of writing it.”
He did, however, say that it’s a great idea to use a keyword at least once on a page.
Google: Put Unique Content Above the Fold
Got a template that you’re using on several of your web pages? If so, make sure you include at least some unique content above the fold.
The subject came up this past week during an SEO hangout with John Mueller.
Somebody pointed out to Mueller that his site will use the same banner, heading, text blurb, and links on related topic pages. He asked if that’s going to create duplicate content issues.
In response, Mueller said that Google needs to see some amount of unique content above the fold.
The phrase “above the fold,” by the way, means before the user has to scroll.
Mueller also advised webmasters to do some testing to learn about how Google treats templated pages.
Moz Acquired by iContact
Email marketing company iContact announced that it purchased SEO company Moz this past week.
Moz is pretty much a household name among SEOs. So it’s surprising that it got acquired by anybody.
In a statement, iContact said it acquired Moz because the number one tool that its customers need is an SEO tool.
Further, iContact said that it will leave the Moz brand intact.
But iContact does intend to help Moz build more SEO-related products.
LinkedIn: More Demand for Marketers Now Than Ever Before
Good news for pretty much everybody reading this: according to LinkedIn, there’s more demand for marketers now than ever before.
The company recently released a report about marketing jobs, hiring trends, and insights from the past six months.
Bottom line: companies are realizing that they need professional help when it comes to selling their products and services.
During the past six months, the number of marketing jobs posted on LinkedIn grew by 63%.
And companies advertised 381,000 marketing jobs last year.
Surprisingly, the highest demand for marketers is in the Arts industry. That’s followed by Retail, Education, and Corporate Services.
And here’s more good news if you like flexibility in your working arrangements: LinkedIn says that companies posted more than 17,000 remote marketing jobs in the past six months.
Read the full report here: LinkedIn: The Changing Marketing Landscape
YouTube Analytics Gets Updates
This seems like a recurring theme these days. YouTube Analytics is getting five updates to help you measure the effectiveness of your video outreach.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Membership metrics – See which videos helped you gain or lose members.
- Mobile metrics – Gain insights about other channels or videos your audience watches via mobile YouTube Analytics.
- Video performance insights – Learn more info about how people are receiving your videos with a text overview highlighting important insights.
- Revenue changes – See how your revenue increases or decreases due to your channel’s audience shifting to a different CPM country.
- Posts insights – Learn about votes and likes on your top posts during the past month.
The updates are available now in YouTube Studio.
Instagram Explains How Its Algorithm Works
This past week, Instagram pulled back the curtain and gave us some insight into its algorithm.
For starters, the company said that there’s no single, all-encompassing algo. Instead, there’s “a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.”
Instagram also said that its algorithms use key signals. Among them:
- Post info – Info about the post itself, like how many people liked the post, when it was posted, how long it lasts if it’s a video, etc.
- User info – General info about the person who posted the content, like how many times people interacted with the user in the past few weeks.
- Your activity – Info about the kinds of posts you interact with.
- Your history – Info about how often in the past you’ve interacted with a specific user.
As you can see, there’s nothing really earth-shattering in any of those signals. Most of it is common sense.
Still, it’s good to get a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Summer is almost here. But before you get out in the sun, check off these action items:
- If you offer email marketing as a service, be upfront with your clients about Apple’s upcoming update and how it may affect reporting.
- Check out those new YouTube Analytics updates to gain more insights about your audience and the effectiveness of your video campaigns.
- If you’re using templated web pages, make sure you include at least some content above the fold.
- If you’re still counting keywords in content, dump that strategy in favor of natural writing.
- Check out your new PageSpeed Insights scores with the Lighthouse 8.0 update.
- Think about how you can use those new Instagram monetization tools to generate more sales.
- If you’re using WooCommerce, integrate with Google Merchant Center so you can get more exposure for the products you sell.