This week: Google says it made the web faster, most people trust Amazon reviews, and Bing Ads has a new feature.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Survey: Most People Trust Amazon Reviews
Most consumers are unaware that Amazon has a problem with fake reviews. That’s according to a survey by CPC Strategy.
The survey found that price was the “biggest factor” when it comes to making a decision to purchase. However, reviews were also an important consideration.
When they were asked about how much they trust Amazon reviews, three-quarters of respondents said they “fully” or “somewhat” trust them.
Less than a quarter (21%) said they only trust verified purchaser reviews. In 2018, 30% said they only trusted verified purchaser reviews.
Just 4% said they don’t trust reviews at all.
Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that whole categories of Amazon products (such as electronics and beauty) are populated with questionable or outright fraudulent reviews.
CMOs Are Dropping Big Bucks on Martech
According to Gartner’s CMO survey, technology took up almost a third of marketing budgets in 2018. That makes martech the largest expenditure for marketing programs.
Respondents said they spent an average of 25% of their martech budgets on three channels:
- Search (11%)
- Email (6%)
- Website (8%)
Marketing and customer analytics platforms accounted for about 9% of overall martech spend.
The survey also showed that marketing budgets amounted to about 11% of company revenue on average. That’s where it was during the previous year as well.
One in every $6 spent by CMOs goes towards innovation.
Google: We Made the Web Faster by Making Page Speed a Ranking Factor
Google is taking a victory lap.
The company says that websites are faster and abandonment rates are lower since it made page speed a ranking factor for mobile searches last year.
According to Google, websites in 95% of countries have seen improved load times.
“For the slowest one-third of traffic, we saw user-centric performance metrics improve by 15% to 20% in 2018,” Google said in a statement. “As a comparison, no improvement was seen in 2017.”
The company also said it’s seen a 20% reduction in abandonment rates for web pages loaded from search results.
Bing Offers CTAs in Text Ads
Now you can run text ads on Bing that include calls to action (CTAs).
According to Bing, the new Action Extensions feature delivers on average a 20% increase in the click-through rate (CTR).
You can include a CTA with an action verb such as “Browse” or “Reserve.” Bing says that it offers as many as 70 pre-defined extensions.
When people click on a CTA, you’ll get charged the same amount of money as you would if they had clicked on the ad headline.
Bing Ads also allows you to show CTAs with other ad features, such as sitelinks.
You can create ads with the new extensions by using Bing Ads on the web, the bulk account management tool, or the API.
Google’s De-Indexing Issue Should Be Fully Resolved by Now
Late last week, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the SEO community as Google inexplicably de-indexed countless pages all across the web.
That’s a bad thing because once pages are removed from the index, they won’t show up in search results.
Google looked into the problem and blamed it on a “technical issue.” Then, the company said the issue had been resolved.
But it hadn’t been resolved. At least not fully.
Even Google’s John Mueller acknowledged as much in a tweet this past weekend: “Just a short update on this — indeed, it does look like there are still some pages that need to be reprocessed. Our systems are making good progress here, but it’s taking longer than I initially expected.”
Fast-forward to midweek and the Google Search Liaison account tweeted out the following: “The indexing issue should be almost completely resolved within the next eight hours. Some documents might take an additional 12-24 hours to restore. We’ll provide a further update when the issue is fully resolved.”
Keep an eye out for further updates.
The important takeaway here is that if some of your pages dropped out of the index during the past week, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. It’s probably a result of Google’s “technical issue.”
Analysis: Only 4% of Businesses Are ‘Voice Search Ready’
According to some new research by Uberall, 96% of businesses aren’t ready for voice search.
Uberall conducted its study by identifying 37 directories that voice search platforms rely on for info. They include: Google, Google Maps, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, and Factual.
Then, Uberall evaluated business listing profiles on all those platforms. Specifically, the company looked at business addresses, phone numbers, hours, names, and websites.
The premise of the research is that poor local search optimization results in poor voice search optimization. It’s worth noting, though, that a strong voice search strategy might involve efforts that are totally different from a local search strategy.
Once the research was completed, Uberall found that enterprises are most likely to be ready. They make up 39% of the overall 4% that are prepared for voice search.
Why are so few businesses ready for voice search? Because of errors or omissions in business profiles.
Uberall also asked about 1,000 consumers to describe their voice search habits. Most respondents (57%) said they didn’t use voice search at all. Just 21% said they use it at least weekly.
WhatsApp Launches iOS Version of Its Business App
WhatsApp already has an Android version of its Business app available. This past week, the Facebook-owned company rolled out an iOS app as well.
“Today we’re introducing the WhatsApp Business app for iOS,” WhatsApp said in a statement. “Like the Android version, the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will be free to download from the App Store, and will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate.”
WhatsApp is now the most popular messaging app in the world with 1.5 billion active users.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on record saying he believes the future of communication will shift to private solutions. That’s why his company is dedicating resources to WhatsApp.