Posted at Jun 25, 2019 3:23:33 PM by THAT Agency | Share
Today's digital marketing landscape is expansive. It sprawls across search engine results pages, envelops email inboxes, and blankets the rolling feeds of social media. To gain a fresh perspective of the lay of the land, explore this overview of the current digital marketing landscape and let the team at THAT Agency know in which areas you wish to see your business climb.
Note: To help expedite your journey through today's digital marketing landscape, a table of contents with anchor links is provided to allow you to skip through textual information, resulting in a more efficient information-finding process (though we recommend you read this article all the way through as it is filled with helpful digital marketing insights and advice).
1. Businesses Can Promote Instagram Influencer-Generated Content
As of June 5, 2019, businesses can promote influencer-generated content. When an Instagram creator tags your business in a post, the creator can opt to allow you to promote the content as a business partner. When this option is selected, the creator’s content will appear in the business partner’s Ad Manager.
Now you can not only follow hashtags on LinkedIn, but also see at a glance all the hashtags you follow and all the groups you’ve joined. On desktop, your LinkedIn followed hashtag and group listings are featured on the right side of your feed. On mobile, you can see the listings by clicking on your profile picture.
Facebook is testing a new layout featuring more visible story-posting options. The social media giant is concerned users aren't posting Facebook Stories because they're unaware stories exist or they’re unsure how to add them. The new layout attempts to make the story-posting process easier to help encourage users to embrace Facebook Stories.
Hubspot's 2019 Instagram Engagement Report provides unique insight into use of the popular social media platform. Highlights include statistics like: 71% of businesses are using Instagram, more than 80% of businesses consider engagement to be the most important Instagram metric, 80% of users follow a business on the platform, and video posts receive twice as many comments as other post types.
Are you analyzing your Google My Business data? For local businesses in multiple industries, Google My Business carries the torch for client interactions and new customer acquisition. In some cases, users never visit your website but make purchasing decisions based on your Google My Business listing alone. Without including these insights, you could be telling half the story.
Here are some of the data points available from Google My Business: user searches that activated your business by direct, discovery, or branded queries (along with the actual queries themselves); customer actions like site visits, directions requests, and phone calls; photo quality and quantity comparisons with other businesses like yourself; and impression and click data on your Google Posts.
Is your SEO agency seeking out any and every possibility for improvement? How about A/B testing meta descriptions and pages titles? This trend is for more than just conversion rate optimization and has new companies like ClickFlow creating dashboards with Google Search Console APIs to allow for the analysis of click-through rates solely for the purpose of increasing Google Organic website traffic.
With its June 2019 Broad Core Update, Google Search has once again hit the update button on its ranking algorithms to put SEO professionals back in the testing phase. Although there are no suggestions from Google to improve performance, John Mueller (a web trends analyst at Google) had this to offer:
“And with that, like you mentioned, you’ve probably seen the tweets from Search Liaison, there’s often nothing explicit that you can do to kind of change that.
What we do have is an older blog post from Amit Singhal which covers a lot of questions that you can ask yourself, about the quality of your website. That’s something I always recommend going through. That’s something that I would also go through with people who are not associated with your website.”
The newly released 2019 Internet Trends Report by Bond Capital founder Mary Meeker provides several interesting insights. For the first time this year, more than 50% of the global population is online – a staggering 3.8 billion users. While that’s an enormous number of people online, 63% of adults say that they are trying to limit their smartphone use – up from 47% last year. Also for the first time this year, time spent on mobile devices outpaced TV with 226 minutes vs, 216. In addition, 88% of people reported using a second digital device while watching TV, while 71% said that they look up content related to what they are watching.
Generation Z (or Gen Z) is generally accepted as the demographic born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Most digital marketers think Gen Z only cares about social media, but the results of a recent survey say otherwise. 58% of Gen Zers surveyed check their email inboxes daily.
Digital marketers should take notice as Gen Z currently has $44 billion in buying power ($600 billion when considering influence on parents’ spending) and, by 2020, Gen Z is expected to account for 40% of all customers.
According to an article by Databox, 1 out of 3 SEO professionals believes that companies over-invest in keywords and under-invest in content. The top content mistakes to avoid include prioritizing quantity over quality, publishing shallow content, publishing low-value content, publishing brand-focused content, neglecting old content, publishing duplicate content, letting your blog languish, and having no content strategy at all.
Google and its representatives have defined duplicate content as "substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar." This includes pages that are copied verbatim, scraped, or plagiarized as well as those with "content that is copied with minimal alteration" using low-quality techniques to make the text appear more "unique" (e.g., a few words or sentences are changed, find/replace is used, synonyms are swapped, etc.).
Is there a penalty for duplicate content?
According to Google's representatives, there is no "penalty," but you’ll get little traction in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google wants to reward “rich, unique, relevant, informative, and remarkable” content. Thus, if most of a website’s content is copied, spun, or repurposed from other sources, the algorithms “kind of ignore” the site. “Such pages should be rated lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.” In extreme cases, the manual web spam team removes the site completely from Google Search.
As for duplicate pages within your own site, Google's reps say, “Having many URLs serving the same content burns crawl budget and may dilute signals.”
The key takeaways regarding duplicate content are to 1) avoid using low-quality techniques to make text more “unique,” 2) rewrite product descriptions to add unique value, 3) minimize boilerplate repetition, and 3) handle syndicated content by asking the other site that republished your content to add a rel=canonical pointing to your original article on your site. (Note: You CAN put links back to your original article in posts that are republished elsewhere, but you need to be careful as those links could be classified as unnatural.)
Creating content that provides unique value takes time and careful research. Contact the pros at THAT Agency today for help.
12. WordPress Changes Minimum PHP Version Requirements
For those wanting to continue to receive updates from WordPress, your server must now be running a minimum PHP version of 5.6 and, by the end of the year, that requirement may be raised to PHP version 7+.
This change in minimum version requirements is due to improvements in speed and security features found in later versions of PHP of which WordPress is attempting to take advantage.
Another Bootstrap speculation is that the framework will no longer support Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10). For those of you who may not know, IE 10 has many technical limitations as well as poor support for newer CSS and WebKit functionality. Boostrap’s potential discontinuation of support may mean that we will see more functionality provided by the framework, since the technical limitations imposed by older browsers such as IE 10 will no longer be an obstacle.
Speaking of Internet Explorer, the default browser packaged with Windows is adopting Chromium for its core functionality. Chromium is Google’s open-source project and is what powers the popular Google Chrome web browser.
This is important for a multitude of web standardization reasons, but more importantly, it means that two of the big three web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer) should have identical compatibility when it comes to web technologies.
The Chromium version of Internet Explorer will be released under the Edge name and should be seen in the wild in the next few months.
Unfortunately (sorry, but please reference #13), this news does not mean the official death of Internet Explorer, as Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) will be supported with security patches until Windows 10’s end of life, which is October 14, 2025.
This puts IE 11 compatibility in a bit of an odd spot. Businesses who require IE for certain web applications may still use the browser, but for consumer sites, it is difficult to say if support for this browser will continue or end in the near future.
The one constant of the digital marketing landscape is change. Platforms and practices change as technology and people's preferences change. Therefore, to succeed as a digital marketer today, one must have a passion for continuous learning.
To feed that passion, sign up for email updates from THAT Agency and get the latest digital marketing insights and advice delivered straight to your email inbox. And, if you've yet to download your free copy of our guide to digital marketing in 2019, do so today.