This week: Google Analytics gets a makeover, Facebook limits WordPress embeds, and YouTube is on its way to becoming an ecommerce platform.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Offers Tips on Auto Captions in Video
This past week, Facebook published a video interview that shared tips for auto captions in video. Here they are:
- Use them. It’s important to use captions so that people who are hard of hearing can follow along. Captions also work great for people who watch videos in an environment where they can’t use audio.
- Capture clear audio. Don’t expect auto capture to work if your audio is filled with static or white noise.
- Use a microphone. This dovetails nicely with the previous point. If you want great captions, make it easy for Facebook to pick up the words. You can do that with the aid of a microphone.
- Deliver clean audio. Facebook advises you to run your audio through a compressor if possible.
Facebook also says that there’s a caption editor that you can access within Creator Studio.
YouTube Moving Closer to E-Commerce
Just like many other platforms, YouTube is getting into the ecommerce game.
That’s understandable. With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, plenty of consumers prefer to shop online rather than in-person.
YouTube gets that and is making moves so people can do some video shopping.
Specifically, YouTube wants people to shop, pick up items, and complete the checkout process without ever leaving the platform.
As a starting point, the company is “asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in their clips.”
The ultimate goal is to convert lots of YouTube videos into virtual catalogs of products that consumers can browse through and eventually purchase.
The company is also testing integration with Shopify.
Although YouTube already has some ecommerce integrations, they require shoppers to leave the platform to complete the purchase. That’s the part the company wants to change.
The new process is still in the early experimental stages. Look for something by the middle of 2021.
WordPress Rolls out Feature to Publish Blog Posts As Twitter Threads
Just what we didn’t need.
WordPress recently added a new feature that will roll out a blog post as a Twitter thread.
Seriously, nobody wants to see this: “Want to get the most of SEO in 2021? Follow these steps. 1/452.”
Instead, it’s better to just tease the article and link back to your site. That helps bring in traffic as well.
It’s best to have people read content on your own platform. Then, they can share it from your platform as well.
But, for whatever reason, if you want to tweet out an entire article, WordPress just made it easier to do that.
Google Shares SEO Tips for Single-Page Apps
Got a website that’s powered by Angular or React? If so, then you’ll want to pay attention to Google’s tips for single-page apps.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Cover all code paths – That means you need to test for all scenarios and make sure you handle them. For example, if your app fetches a visitor’s location info but can’t find it, then it needs to know what to do in that situation rather than just assuming it will always get the user’s location.
- Treat views as URLs – It’s possible to change views in a single-page app without changing URLs. Make sure that doesn’t happen in your app or you’ll have problems with SEO.
- Optimize titles and descriptions – It’s also easy to overlook titles and descriptions with Angular or React apps. Be sure you don’t neglect SEO 101 when using state-of-the-art tech.
- Handle errors correctly – Some single-page apps show a 200 response even when the visitor enters an invalid URL. That should generate a 404 response.
Google Temporarily Disables Request Indexing Feature
This past week, Google announced that it disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the URL Inspection Tool.
Why? It’s all part of some “infrastructure changes.”
Google wouldn’t elaborate any further, other than to say that the feature will be back in the coming weeks.
We have disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the URL Inspection Tool, in order to make some infrastructure changes. We expect it will return in the coming weeks. We continue to find & index content through our regular methods, as covered here: https://t.co/rMFVaLht6V
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 14, 2020
In the meantime, Googlebot will find and index URLs based on normal exploratory methods. So your URLs can still get indexed.
In fact, you never had to manually request indexing. If you practice great SEO, Google will find your content and index it.
Facebook Limits WordPress Embeds
If you like to embed Facebook and Instagram content in your WordPress website, you’ll want to pay attention to this news.
As of October 24, you won’t be able to embed Facebook and Instagram content on your site unless you’re authenticated.
What does that mean? It means you must have a Facebook developer account with a registered Facebook app.
By the way, the change is retroactive. That means all your existing embeds will go bye-bye if you aren’t authenticated.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
The New Google Analytics Is Here
Google Analytics got a makeover!
Now, it’s better than ever and ready to help you get insights that will help you make informed marketing decisions.
Here are the four big changes:
- Smarter analytics – Get alerts about important data trends. GA does that with the aid of Google’s powerful machine learning algorithm. Use the data to proactively adapt your marketing campaigns to future actions customers might take.
- Better Ads integration – Create audiences filled with people who will respond to your ad campaigns. You can do that because GA now offers enhanced integration with Google Ads. Additionally, the tool also integrates better with YouTube to give you even more insights about how people engage with your brand.
- Customer-centric data – Use identity spaces to gather customer-focused data on people who visit your site. That info will help you learn more about your visitors, such as whether they first discovered your site from a web ad or some other channel.
- New data controls – Choose when and how you use customer data. You might, for example, want to use data to optimize ads in some instances. In other cases, you might prefer to use it for measurement only.
The new GA features are now the default experience for all users. So you don’t have to search around for them.
LinkedIn Lists Digital Marketer As Top Job
If you’re reading this, you’re probably into digital marketing. And if that’s the case, then LinkedIn has some good news for you.
According to LinkedIn, “Digital Marketer” ranks as the sixth most in-demand job on the platform. Here are the top five:
- Software developer
- Sales rep
- Project manager
- IT administrator
- Customer service specialist
LinkedIn also measured the specific skill sets that employers look for in digital marketers. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Marketing channels
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads
So if you’ve got experience with both paid and organic online marketing, you’re poised to do very well as we head into the new year.
Not coincidentally, LinkedIn also offers learning courses for many of the top skill sets. You can take them for free through March 2021.
Google: Reconsideration Request Can Take a Few Months
If you’re unfortunate enough to be dealing with a manual action on one of your websites, this isn’t going to be good news.
It could take months for Google to process your reconsideration request.
Why? Well, Google’s John Mueller won’t give a specific reason.
There’s no defined time for a reconsideration request to be processed; sometimes it’s a week or so, sometimes it’s a few months. It’s not dependent on whether you bought the domain recently (and we see a lot of abuse attempts with expired domains, so it doesn’t mean it’s easier).
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) October 11, 2020
He also said that Google sees a lot of abuse with people who buy expired domains and use them to try to manipulate search results.
Only a few months left in the year. But it’s always time to fine-tune your digital marketing program. Here are some action items you can take from this week’s news:
- If you use Facebook or Instagram embeds on your WordPress website and you’re not a Facebook developer, get that resolved immediately. Your development team can help you with that.
- Take some time to investigate the new Google Analytics. Determine how you can best use it to learn more about the people who visit your website and respond to your online ads.
- If you’ve got a single-page app, make sure you’re following Google’s guidelines for SEO that I covered above.
- If you’re in the ecommerce space, think about how you can use YouTube to move more merch.
- If you’re posting videos on Facebook with no captions, change that immediately. Use auto-captions and follow Facebook’s advice for getting great captions.