Digital Marketing News 11/14/2022 - 11/18/2022
This week: TikTok announces a tempting promotion for advertisers, Microsoft releases video ads, and wait until you hear how long you’ll have to wait for an Apple search engine.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. TikTok Offers Ad Credits for Small Businesses
Looking for a reason to advertise on TikTok? How does $100 sound?
TikTok is dishing out $100 in ad credits to convince you that it’s a great idea to advertise on the platform.
Ah, but there’s a catch. You have to first purchase $50 in ad credits to get the $100 credit.
Additionally, the company is launching an “accelerator” program that’s packed with helpful tips.
“Right now, small businesses need our support more than ever, which is why TikTok and American Express are launching a brand new program to help merchants reach new audiences and grow their business,” TikTok said in a statement. “The # ShopSmall Accelerator, powered by TikTok and American Express features popular TikTok creators Anna Sitar, Brandon Blackwood & Sofia Bella and will be complemented by a custom Shop Small® soundtrack created especially for TikTok content. This new effort aims to help small businesses stand out in the crowded holiday shopping season and make the most out of Small Business Saturday® on November 26.”
You can also show your support for small businesses by adding “shop small” stickers to your content.
2. Experts Predict Twitter Outage
With Elon Musk thinning the herd of Twitter employees more and more by the day, you might want to brace yourself for the possibility that Twitter will go offline.
Here’s what one anonymous Twitter engineer had to say: “Things will be broken. Things will be broken more often. Things will be broken for longer periods of time. Things will be broken in more severe ways,” he says. “Everything will compound until, eventually, it’s not usable.”
Musk also said he’s shutting down parts of the Twitter code.
“Part of today will be turning off the ‘microservices’ bloatware,” he tweeted. “Less than 20% are actually needed for Twitter to work!”
As a result of that move, some folks advise you to back up your social graphs immediately.
One of those people is Ian Coldwater, a computer security specialist.
“Said it before and I'll say it again: it really doesn't matter whether you choose to leave this site or not,” he tweeted. “Make a backup plan and get your contacts in order, because this site is likely to leave you.”
3. But You Just Can’t Quit Twitter
In spite of all the changes happening at Twitter right now, it looks like many of you think that change is good.
Search Engine Journal recently conducted a poll of 1,500 Twitter users on LinkedIn and Twitter.
A plurality (41%) of LinkedIn respondents said that they’re not leaving Twitter.
Thirty-four percent of the respondents said they left or they’re planning to leave. Another 25% aren’t sure.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, a majority (54%) said they’re staying. Just 12% said they’re planning to leave.
4. Report: Google Cost Per Lead Increases for 91% of Industries
According to a new report by LocaliQ, cost per lead is up for about 91% of industries.
The hardest hit industry: Arts & Entertainment with a 134% lift in CPL.
Travel is up 69% and Furniture rose 54%.
Interestingly enough, Finance & Insurance saw a CPL decrease of 2% while Education & Instruction dropped 29%.
The data also shows a decline in conversion rate. That could be due to broad match keywords getting more top-funnel hits.
Ninety-one percent of industries saw 14% decline in conversion rates overall.
5. YouTube Tests In-App Shopping in Shorts
Here’s how it works: as users scroll through their feeds, they can make purchases.
Content creators snag a 45% share of the ad revenue. YouTube/Google takes the rest.
And yeah, it’s another money-making opportunity that YouTube management clearly stole from TikTok.
The feature is expected to roll out in the U.S., Canada, Australia, India, and Brazil some time next year.
6. TikTok Launches In-App Ecommerce Feature
Speaking of online shopping in short-form video apps, TikTok just launched TikTok Shop. People can use it to make purchases without leaving the app.
It’s in testing in the U.S. as of this week. Before, it was only available in the UK and Southeast Asia.
“We’ve seen the positive impact of TikTok Shop, and we’re excited to continue experimenting with this new commerce opportunity to support businesses of all sizes,” TikTok said in a statement.
TikTok is inviting select businesses to join the program.
7. Microsoft Video Ads Now Widely Available
It’s been in pilot for more than a year, but now it’s here.
You can now run video ads on the Microsoft Audience Network. At least in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
You can target the ads based on user intent gathered from Bing, Microsoft Edge, LinkedIn, and other online activities.
Microsoft says that adding video to search campaigns lifts conversions by 50%.
8. Google: Use Dots Instead of Commas in Review Structured Data
Google just updated its snippet structured data help docs. The company says you should now use dots instead of commas in review markup.
In other words, when you want to share an aggregate review of 4.3, use “4.3” instead of “4,3”.
Google says that commas still work, but they’re not recommended.
So if you’re using commas (and you probably are), you’ll have to do some updates. Don’t shoot the messenger.
9. Report: Apple Search Engine at Least 4 Years Away
According to The Information, the Apple search engine won’t be ready for at least another four years.
There were rumors swirling about that Apple might launch a search engine as early as this year. But that doesn’t seem likely.
And some folks noticed an Apple spider crawling around the Interwebs way back in 2014.
Apparently that search engine isn’t a high priority item for Apple.
It’s a short week next week, so you should have time to take care of these action items:
- If you’re using review structured data, make sure you replace your commas with periods where necessary.
- Consider how you can promote your business with Microsoft Video Ads.
- If you’re in the ecommerce space, think about how you can sell some of your products on TikTok Shop.
- And do the same for the YouTube Shorts ecommerce feature.
- If part of your target market is on TikTok, think about taking advantage of that $100 ad credit to see if you can reel in some more customers.
Digital Marketing News 11/7/2022 - 11/11/2022
This week: Instagram finally rolls out that long-awaited scheduling feature, YouTube Shorts are viewable on TV, and Twitter users are at an all-time high.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
1. Instagram Lets Users Schedule Posts and Reels
If you have a professional account, you can now schedule posts and Reels on Instagram.
Up to 75 days in advance, to be specific.
Just tap on Advanced Settings and select Schedule this post when you’re ready to schedule your content.
Instagram had been teasing this feature for quite some time. Now it’s here.
And it works on both iOS and Android platforms.
2. YouTube Shorts Now Available on TV
YouTube Shorts is now ready for TV.
If you own an Android TV or a Google TV, you can view the short-form videos using the YouTube app.
It’s a big deal because TV isn’t well-suited to videos shot with vertical orientation. But YouTube puts white borders around the video content on the TV screen.
The wider layout also includes content about the video, such as its title and producer.
And yeah, it’s just one more attempt by YouTube to compete with TikTok.
3. Google: Get Ready for the Value of Backlinks to Drop
And you worked so hard to get those backlinks in the good old days of SEO, didn’t you?
But alas, soon, they may become irrelevant. Or close to it.
During a live session about SEO this past week, Google’s John Mueller said that the future isn’t looking too bright for backlinks.
“Well, it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the links at some point will drop off a little bit as we can figure out a little bit better how the content fits in within the context of the whole web,” he told the audience.
Mueller went on to say that the Big G will always care about backlinks to some extent. After all, that’s how Googlebot finds pages.
But a link from Huffington Post or CNN might not give you the boost it once did.
Hopefully, you didn’t pay too much for those links over at BlackHatWorld.
4. Study: 10 Reviews Give You a Local Ranking Boost
Looking to get some more visibility for your local business? Try getting 10 reviews.
According to Joy Hawkins, 10 reviews will give you a ranking boost in local results.
But you don’t get much benefit after 10.
"There does appear to be a ranking boost once a listing has ten reviews,” Hawkins said. “So, it is important for a listing to get a minimum of ten reviews. However, continuing to get more and more reviews does not seem to yield the same ranking boost."
Last week, Joy & Co. said that keywords in reviews don’t matter.
5. Musk: Twitter Usage at All-Time High
Although it looks like some advertisers are bailing on Twitter, more users are showing up.
That’s according to Elon Musk, anyway.
Previously, the record high for Twitter stood at 336 million monthly active users (MAU). But that was in Q1 2018.
Musk hasn’t even owned the company for a month. So how does he know anything about MAU since the new manager brought his kitchen sink to company headquarters?
The last time Twitter reported monetizable daily active users (DAU), that number stood at 238 million.
Will it hold? Time will tell.
6. Pinterest Highlights Algo Improvements
Pinterest recently reported a rise in engagement. It’s due in part to the platform’s change in recommendation algorithms.
The app uses the user’s most recent 100 interactions to determine interests. But now it’s measuring those interactions twice per week.
The final result: more relevant, timely recommendations.
Pinterest said that the change delivered an increase in repins.
“During the online experiment, we observed that the repin volume for overall users increased by 6%, and we observed that the repin volume gain on non-core users can reach 11%,” the company said in a statement.
The new algo also resulted in people reducing Pin hides, or dismissing irrelevant recommendations.
7. GA4 Reports Now Support Custom Dimensions and Metrics
Google is rolling out a new feature in Google Analytics 4 that allows you to add custom data to your reports.
“You can now add custom dimensions and metrics to your custom reports as primary dimensions, enabling you to more easily report on custom information that’s important to your business,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, the dimensions and metrics pickers in the Reports Builder have been updated to allow for easier navigation to help you find dimensions and metrics quickly.”
One example of a custom metric is article length. Use that to determine how well long-form content is performing on your site.
8. Google: “Search Is Never Guaranteed”
This past week on Reddit, one frustrated SEO vented about a website that publishes scraped content and gets its content indexed quickly.
Then the user asked if it might be a good idea to use the Indexing API to get content in Google’s index.
Google’s John Mueller jumped into that thread and recommended against using the Indexing API. He said it’s reserved for specific types of content, like job postings and livestreams.
But he also said that nobody is guaranteed a spot in the index.
“Search is never guaranteed, and there are tons of sites that are trying to push their updates into Google,” he wrote. “I think what ultimately works best is that you prove to Google (and users) that the updates you’re providing are valuable: unique, compelling, high-quality, and not something that’s already published elsewhere.”
Mueller went on to recommend making the content on the site “easily findable.”
9. Google: Font Size of H1 Header Doesn’t Matter
It’s true. Size doesn’t matter.
At least when it comes to the font size of your H1 headers.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked John Mueller the following question: “would google deem (imo) huge heading font size as a sign of ‘overdoing it’, thus lower quality? For example, when the h1 on the desktop is 65px, the h2 - 55px and so on (and having in mind that text in the paragraphs is 16px). Does design matter in this case?”
Mueller replied as follows: “I can't imagine that it would matter for SEO. Test it with your users instead.”
Stay in the holiday spirit while taking care of these action items:
- Think about which custom dimensions and metrics you might like to use in GA4 reporting.
- Take a look at reaching people in your target market on Pinterest with the assistance of those recent algo enhancements.
- If your local business has fewer than 10 reviews, go on a campaign to get more so that your listing earns a better rank.
- Put together a content calendar that involves scheduling posts on Instagram.
Digital Marketing News 10/31/2022 - 11/4/2022
This week: Elon Musk floats the possibility of $8/month Twitter verification for everybody, TikTok is out with a holiday marketing guide, and plenty of marketers say it’s harder to meet customer expectations now than it was a year ago.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
TikTok Publishes Holiday Marketing Guide
And TikTok just published a holiday marketing guide to help you get the word out about your business.
It’s a 17-page document packed with stats, facts, and great advice.
Among the stats:
- 35% of users say TikTok makes them feel joyful
- 93% of weekly users celebrate winter holidays
- 82% of users feel positive about the winter holidays
The facts include dates to mark on your calendar:
- Nov. 24 - Thanksgiving
- Nov. 25 - Black Friday
- Nov. 28 - Cyber Monday
- Dec. 18-26 - Hanukkah
- Dec. 25 - Christmas
And then there’s the planning guide, including these helpful tidbits:
- 10--12 weeks out - Think about creative, set up pixel, set up product catalog
- 6-8 weeks out - Create holiday content, define your audience, build a strategy, set your budget
- 1 week out - Double-check creative, launch
Pinterest Adds 12 Million Users in Q3
In Pinterest’s latest earnings report, the company reported an increase of 12 million users for the third quarter.
That takes the total up to 445 monthly active users (MAU).
Unfortunately, that’s not a year-over-year growth. Pinterest is right back to where it was about a year ago.
Recall that the Pinterest user base shot up significantly during the pandemic. That’s because sidelined employees of shuttered businesses had to do something with their time.
And so they cruised around on social media.
However, it’s worth noting that Gen Z users grew by double-digits YoY.
Pinterest attributed the bounce-back in its user base to increased video engagement. The company said video content supply increased three-fold over the past year.
Although the user base didn’t increase YoY, the average revenue per user did. Pinterest reported ARPU up 11% globally and 15% in the U.S. and Canada.
Google: You'd Be Lucky if Rankings Stayed the Same After Changing URLs
Thinking about changing a website or web page URL? If so, consider the cost.
According to Google’s John Mueller, you’d be lucky to get back to the same place where you were before the change.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Mueller about that subject: “How important are keywords in product urls these days? Doing an ecom site migration, new URLs are all shorter with prod type removed, eg /wacky-choc-cookies now just /wacky. I've ben prepping 301s, but just thought, I can at this stage edit the URL in CMS.”
And here’s how Mueller replied: “Minimal. If you're making something new, keep it in mind. If you have something existing, I'd leave it until you do a bigger redesign. Tweaking URLs on their own results in temporary drops, technical nightmares, and if you're lucky, it'll end up in the same place.”
Google has long recommended against changing URLs unless you absolutely have to.
Scraper Site Got Hit Hard by the October Update
It looks like the Google spam update from last month did the job it was designed to do.
Mark Williams-Cook shared an example of a throwaway site that he was working with. It included a mix of scraped content and PAAs (People Also Ask).
And for a long time, it ranked well. Then the October update came along.
"Google's spam update is working!” Williams-Cook posted on LinkedIn. “One of my 'technique canary' sites just died. It's super useful to know what the kinds of risks of different tactics are."
Comments from SEORoundtable indicate that other sites with auto-generated content got hit as well.
Reddit is Building an Ads API
Reddit is working on an Ads API.
And, apparently, it’ss come a long way because the platform already has four alpha partners. They are:
“We have long had the aspiration to build an ecosystem of partners via our API that enables more effective and efficient campaign management on our platform,” the company said in a statement. “The Reddit Ads API will allow a global, diverse set of partners and clients to access all the capabilities we have built and continue to develop to drive performance.”
Reddit didn’t specify a release date for the API.
Study: 30% of Google Users Satisfied with Search Results
How do they know they’re not happy? Because they don’t get the info they need with the first query and they have to try again with another search term.
“There’s a great deal of keyword refinement at play here,” SEMRush said in a statement. “If we combine the number of Google clicks with the number of keyword changes, we see that almost 30% of people are either refining or extending their searches in some way.”
The research follows a viral tweet comparing Google search to a “dying mall.”
Here’s how the rest of that tweet went: “You still go there out of habit, but once you get there, none of it is what you want. You can remember when it was a useful place to visit, but now it's weirdly hollow and you leave without getting what you came for.”
Musk Floats $8/Month Verification Program
Once upon a time, Twitter verification was reserved for public figures and key influencers. Those days may soon end.
This past week, new Chief Twit Elon Musk raised the possibility of $8/month verification. For anybody.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bulls--t,” Musk tweeted. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”
That tweet got about half a million likes.
Musk also said people who fork over the $8 will get additional bonuses:
- Priority in replies, mentions, and search
- Ability to post long video and audio
- Half as many ads
- Paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with Twitter
Downside: somebody could spend $8 per month to get the blue check and then change his name to Liam Neeson. And who would know it’s not really Liam Neeson?
To combat that problem, Musk proposed a “public figure” tag as well.
Survey: 71% of Marketers Struggle to Meet Expectations
Salesforce released the results of a survey this week highlighting the challenges and accomplishments of marketers during the past year.
Among the key findings:
- 71% say meeting customer expectations is harder than it was a year ago
- 83% say their companies engage with customers in real time across one or more channels
- 33% say budgetary constraints are a challenge
- 87% say their work provides greater value than it did a year ago.
Also, marketers say they have plenty of data sources to work with: 15 this year versus 10 in 2021. They expect 18 next year.
In 2023, marketers plan to prioritize their use of tools and technologies, experiment with new strategies, and modernize tech stacks.
Apple Rolls Out New Ad Placements in App Store
Got an iOS app that you’d like to promote? If so, I have some great news for you.
Apple just announced two app store new ad placements: in the Today tab and on a product page.
In the past, the Today tab highlighted apps selected by the store’s editors. But now you can pay to have your app appear there.
Think of it as a native ad for the Apple app store.
And keep in mind: the Today tab is basically the front page of the app store. It’s prime digital real estate.
Additionally, you can also promote your app on another app’s product page. It appears under the “You Might Also Like” section.
You’ve probably seen that kind of advertising on Amazon.
Apple is hoping to triple its ad revenue in the near future. These two new ad placements will help the company reach that goal.
You are permitted to start listening to Christmas music now. But before you do that, please take care of these action items:
- If you’ve got an iOS app you’d like to promote, take a look at those new ad placement options.
- Think about how you can use the Reddit Ads API to get more out of advertising on the platform.
- If you’re thinking about changing URLs at the website or page level, consider other options. You could lose some of the rank you’ve earned if you make the switch.
- Take a look at that TikTok holiday marketing guide. You might find some good advice even if you don’t advertise on TikTok.
Digital Marketing News 10/24/2022 - 10/28/2022
This week: Google will let you target your video ads to people based on their music tastes, a couple of big-tech companies reported earnings, and there’s a new study out about zero-click search results. Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing:
Google Enables Music Genre Targeting for Video Ads
Good news if people in your target market are into sappy love music. Or new funk.
With “Music Mood Lineups,” you can target YouTube ads to potential customers based on their music preferences.
“Music is a deeply personal medium and often reflects the listeners’ state of mind,” Google said in a statement. “In fact, a new Ipsos survey commissioned by Google shows that 48% of people in the US say that they consume music to lift their mood and 84% say that music makes them very happy.”
Here are the five music genres you can target:
Sorry, no heavy metal.
The ads will get placed alongside videos pulled from one of the mood signals that YouTube uses for music playlists.
The new targeting option is available in 20 countries.
Google Rolls out Seasonally Themed Video Ad Templates
Speaking of Google video ads, you can now run ads with a seasonal theme.
And you won’t have to put much effort into creating that theme, because Google already has some new templates in place.
Here are the new seasonal themes you can use immediately:
- Black Friday
Of course, you probably don’t want to use Diwali right now. That holiday just passed.
But the other three are up for grabs. Feel free to use them in the coming weeks to get the word out about your brand and generate more revenue.
All the templates, except Black Friday, allow two images, one logo, and six text areas.
Black Friday allows five images.
You can use the ad templates with any campaign that supports video.
Google: No Documented Limit on Website Name Length
You probably don’t want to put this one to the test, but it looks like Google doesn’t enforce a maximum number of characters in your website name.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Google’s John Mueller the following question: “Now that site names are included on mobile SERPs, how many characters are available before the site name is cut off or truncated?”
Here’s how Mueller replied: “AFAIK there is no fixed & documented limit, I'd focus more on the room that the average phone gives you (and usually a name is short & sweet anyway).”
Still, if you’re interested in generating a user-friendly UI, a short name is better than a long one.
Instagram Tests Native Post Scheduling
Looks like we’re getting closer to a day that a lot of us have been waiting for.
The new feature will get added to the advanced option in post composer. There, you’ll see an option to set the date and time when you’d like to schedule the post.
It appears that you’ll have the opportunity to schedule both regular posts and Reels.
When the new feature fully rolls out, you won’t have to use a third-party app to schedule your Instagram posts any more.
Uber Ads Are on the Way
Uber plans to launch “journey ads.” They live up to their name by running while the Uber user is riding to a destination.
The ads will “air” at least three times during the trip. Advertisers can target Uber riders based on their travel history.
And you can already see where this is going, right? The fact that advertisers can target people based on where they’ve been raises privacy concerns.
Just keep in mind that Google and Meta have tracked user locations for years. Heck, Google even sends some Android users an email showing them where they’ve traveled to during the past month.
Also, The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber’s advertising policy prohibits marketers from targeting users based on specific types of destinations, such as government buildings or health care facilities.
LinkedIn Adds Auto-Captioning on Videos
LinkedIn is upgrading its video playback feature to include auto-captions.
The upgrade will make the videos more accessible to people with hearing problems. It’s also a benefit to folks in the office who want to watch videos without disturbing those around them.
LinkedIn will add the captions during the upload process. You have the option to edit the captions in the likely event that some of them are inaccurate.
Look for automatic captions in the coming weeks.
Google Misses on Earnings
Google reported Q3 earnings this past week. And they’re not as good as Wall Street had hoped.
For starters, YouTube earnings were down about 2% to $7.07 billion. Analysts expected an increase of 3%.
Search ad sales grew 4% to $39.5 billion. But the Street was hoping for $41 billion.
Google also reported ad spend pullbacks from the loan, crypto, and mortgage sectors.
However, overall revenue rose 6% to $69.1 billion.
Microsoft Beats on Earnings but Lowers Outlook
Although Microsoft reported earnings this week that beat analyst expectations on both the top and bottom lines, the stock took a beating.
That’s because the company lowered its guidance.
Microsoft reported earnings of $2.35 per share. Analysts expected $2.30 per share.
The company also reported overall revenue at $50.12 billion. Analysts expected $49.61 billion.
However, Microsoft forecasted future earnings in the range of $52.35 billion to $53.35 billion. Wall Street was hoping for revenue north of $56 billion.
Search and news advertising revenue rose 16%. That’s excluding acquisition costs.
LinkedIn revenue rose 17%.
Study: 26% of Desktop, 17% of Mobile Search Results Are Zero-Click
According to a new study by SEMRush, there may not be as many zero-click search results as previously thought.
Zero-click results on desktops comprised 25.6% of all results studied for click-through rates (CTRs).
Organic clicks took the lion’s share of the results with 45.1%. Paid clicks amounted to just 1.8%.
On the mobile side, zero-click results comprised 17.3% of all results.
Once again, organic clicks won the day with 43.1%. Paid clicks came in at 0.02%.
The research examined almost 610,000 search queries.
Even though it’s Halloween, don’t get spooked by these action items:
- Check out your LinkedIn videos to ensure that the auto-captioning is accurate.
- Think about how you can use those Google Ad video templates to get the word out about your brand.
- Give some thought to how you can target people in your market based on their music preferences.
Digital Marketing News 10/17/2022 - 10/21/2022
This week: Google makes it easier for you to reach people with audio ads, WordPress has some updates coming, and Martech spending seems to be dropping in the B2B space.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
WordPress 6.1 Includes Performance Improvements
The new version of WordPress rolls out next month. And it’s packed with goodies.
One of the most welcome updates: performance improvement.
And if there’s any software that needs performance improvement, it’s WordPress. For many WordPress website owners, it’s difficult to hit those Core Web Vitals targets.
The new version also includes:
- wp_query performance improvement
- REST API performance improvement
- Cache API enhancements
- Better media handling
- New site health checks
Look for WordPress 6.1 on November 1.
WordPress 6.0.3 Fixes Numerous Vulnerabilities
But before you get too excited about WordPress 6.1, you might want to take a look at WordPress 6.0.3.
That’s because it fixes 16 vulnerabilities.
Nine of those vulnerabilities include cross-site-scripting (XSS) openings. Here’s a list of the other types of vulnerabilities the update addresses:
- Cross-site request forgery (XSRF)
- SQL injection
- REST data exposure
- Open redirect
- Revert shared user instances
- Email (2)
WordPress said the security patch affects all versions since 3.7.
Google Rolls out Audio Ads to All Advertisers
Even though video killed the radio star, it looks like audio ads are back in vogue.
Google now gives you the opportunity to run audio ads. That’s going to give you more ways to reach music and podcast listeners on YouTube.
Unsurprisingly, Google also offers targeting options for audio ads. So you can get your message out to the right audience.
Additionally, the Big G also announced the release of “Moment Blast” ads. They’re designed to reach people who watch live sports, movie releases, or product launches on connected TVs.
And Google also now lets you run product feeds in Discovery ads.
Report: U.S. B2B Martech Spending Slows
According to a recent study from Insider Intelligence, martech spending from U.S. companies will increase about 30% over the next two years. But that’s a slower growth rate than we’ve seen in the past.
Total spend will reach $8.5 billion in 2024, up from $6.5 billion this year. That amounts to an average annual spending increase of 13.5%, down from the 17.4% number recorded in 2020.
Even with that dip, though, B2B martech spending will outpace B2C spending.
Pinterest Updates Trends Tool
Pinterest is adding new features to its Trends Tool. Among them:
- A widget on the Pinterest Trends homepage shows you what’s hot with your engaged followers over the past three months.
- The ability to filter trends by demographics, place, topic, and time.
- New trend types, such as seasonal trends.
Additionally, Pinterest released an API for Conversions tool. It gives you a complete picture of campaign performance. It also integrates with Google Tag Manager and Shopify.
“Pinterest is uniquely positioned at the intersection of discovery and commerce, where inspiration meets intent,” the company said in a statement. “We are investing across our advertising platform to help businesses around the world reach their goals and connect with leaned in consumers at every stage of the campaign lifecycle.”
Early adopters of the new API said they saw an average of 14% improvement in CPAs.
Google Rebrands Webmaster Guidelines
Google is rebranding Webmaster Guidelines as Search Essentials.
There are a couple of reasons for the change.
One of them is to make the guidelines easier to understand.
The other is to get away from the word “Webmaster.” Google says it’s a dated term and doesn’t include all people who want to see their content rank in search.
Further Google says that new guidelines will help you avoid producing “content that Search users absolutely hate.”
Google Search Essentials covers three broad categories:
- Technical requirements
- Best practices
- Spam policies
Just keep in mind: in spite of the rebranding, not much has changed.
Google Makes Search Ads More Distinguishable From Organic Results
Google is releasing Ads updates that make it easier for users to tell the difference between organic search results and paid ads.
For starters, the search engine will show business names at the top of the ad. That’s going to appear right below the word “Sponsored” to make it even more obvious that it’s an ad.
That “Sponsored” label, by the way, replaces the old word “Ad.”
Additionally, Google will display the company logos in ads.
The updates are gradually rolling out.
Google: Pinging a Sitemap Will Get New Content Indexed Quickly
If you’re dissatisfied with how long it takes to get your content indexed, consider pinging the sitemap.
According to Google’s John Mueller, that will get the new content indexed in a jiffy.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Mueller the following question: “for a news site - that uses RSS feeds, as well as a news XML sitemap - and specifies the XML sitemap locations in the robots.txt - should it also use the ping tool option? Or is the above 3/4 sufficient to notify Google of new/updated content?”
Here’s how Mueller replied: “Pinging a sitemap is a bit different than just providing it in the robots.txt -- by pinging, you're actively flagging a change in the sitemap file. If you're keen on having new content indexed quickly, that's a good practice.”
Within that same thread, Yoast said that if you’re using its plugin with WordPress, the software will automatically ping Google to crawl it.
TikTok Unveils ‘Smart Performance Campaigns’
This past week, TikTok announced a new way to get the most out of your ads on the app. It’s a bit of marketing automation called Smart Performance Campaign.
“Smart Performance Campaign is our first end-to-end automation solution that leverages machine learning to optimize for best performance and marketing goals,” the company said in a statement. “In order to reach the right people and maximize results, Smart Performance Campaign is designed to run performance campaigns at scale, while reducing the number of manual steps to drive results.”
If you’d like to get started with Smart Performance Campaigns, TikTok says that all you need is a marketing objective, a budget, a country, and creative assets.
Further, TikTok cites the example of Bolt as a case study. That company ran a 14-day split-testing campaign with Smart Performance in South Africa. The end result: CPA costs dropped 27%.
Make a deal with yourself not to watch college football games this weekend until you’ve taken care of these action items:
- Think about how you can use Smart Performance Campaigns on TikTok to reach people in your target market.
- If you’re not pinging your sitemap when you post new content on the web, start doing that yesterday.
- Think about how you can use the updated Pinterest Trends Tool to reach more folks on the platform.
- Listen to some classic radio ads to get inspiration about how you can run effective audio ads online.
- If you’re using WordPress, make sure you upgrade to at least v6.0.3 to eliminate several vulnerabilities.