Facebook.com is in decline; Facebook as a whole is not

Facebook.com is in decline; Facebook as a whole is not

Social media marketing agencies take note: YouTube will overtake Facebook as second-most-visited website on the internet this year, according to a new report from SimilarWeb. The change will mark the first time in several years that Google, Facebook, and YouTube have not occupied the top three spots, in that order.

On the surface, the news might seem like a blow to Facebook: traffic to its flagship site has plummeted from roughly 8.5-billion visits per month in 2016 to around 4.7-billion visits per month this year. Combined with a seemingly never-ending flurry of scandals and executive blunders, the steep drop in regular traffic feels like a bad omen for the social media giant.

Yet despite fewer users visiting Facebook.com each month, advertisers and social media marketing agencies continue to find success on Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms. As both a marketing tool and a social media network, Facebook is evolving, not declining; the Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram have never been more popular. According to SimilarWeb, Android users spend twice as much time on Instagram today as they did a year ago.

Facebook.com’s impending fall from the second- to the third-most-visited site on the web should not push advertisers to abandon the platform; rather, it is an indicator that users’ online behaviour is changing, and the company is changing with it. As monthly website visits drop, traffic will accelerate on various apps.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and social media marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media sits at the bleeding edge of the digital marketing industry. Our team works hard to stay on top of digital trends to ensure that your business remains visible and relevant to the customers that matter. To learn more about how our solutions can work for your business, feel free to contact us today.

Google releases algorithm update

Google releases algorithm update

Last month, Google confirmed the release of a “broad core algorithm update.” Your SEO agency may have notified you of some search ranking fluctuations as a result. This is not an uncommon occurrence; Google releases one or more algorithm changes per day and several major updates per year.

Last week’s update was at least the third major update of 2018 following releases in March and April. In those cases, webmasters noticed significant ranking changes, prompting Google to issue a statement saying, “there’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well.”

“Instead,” the statement continued, “it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under rewarded.”

In other words, there was nothing that any SEO agency could do to immediately fix ranking drops, and the same is true of last week’s update. If your website’s search rankings have fallen, it doesn’t mean your SEO is sub-par or that you’re missing key elements. The movement is a reflection of Google’s shifting priorities as it seeks to deliver the best results for users.

Instead of seeking out quick fixes, companies are advised to continue investing in the overall quality of their websites. Focus on mobile compatibility, user experience, high-quality content, features like AMP and live chat, and other factors that contribute to the usefulness of your page. Your rankings should eventually stabilize and may rise as Google rolls out future major updates.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is prepared to respond to each of the search engine’s algorithm tweaks and updates. Our team’s focus on key SEO pillars like links, content, and UX means your site will always be visible to the customers that matter. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our process.

Is the programmatic era coming to an end?

Is the programmatic era coming to an end?

Programmatic advertising has taken the digital marketing world by storm, and it’s easy to see why: by analyzing third-party data, programmatic ad-targeting allows brands to deliver personalized messaging to hyper-focused audiences. When implemented effectively, programmatic targeting is the epitome of reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time.

But with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in effect, the California Consumer Privacy Act on its way, and a slew of hacks, breaches, and frauds commanding headlines, the era of third-party data may already be ending. Writing for MarTech Today, columnist Barry Levine interviewed two industry veterans about the state of advertising via third-party data. Both expect more traditional forms of targeting to reemerge as third-party data usage declines.

“Third-party data is becoming dead,” said Tasso Argyros, CEO of ActionIQ, a customer data platform. He blames a combination of factors, including lack of transparency, ineffective measurement tools, and performance variance based on vendor or batch. Combined with public backlash and the implementation of data protection policies, Argyros believes the time is ripe for a shift to simpler digital marketing tactics.

Forrester analyst Susan Bidel agrees. She told Levine that “the pendulum has swung too far” towards programmatic; now, she expects lookalike targeting and targeting based on context to make a comeback.

“The current ‘spray and pray’ of buying against audiences just isn’t working,” Bidel said. “Your strongest chance of success is to target your ads to people you have a strong belief would be interested.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media occupies the bleeding edge of the online advertising industry. Our team uses a variety of marketing tactics – both traditional and contemporary – to ensure your business is visible to the clients that matter.

How do reviews affect local search marketing?

How do reviews affect local search marketing?

This May, some small business owners noticed a sudden drop in the number of reviews attached to their profiles as Google deleted millions of legacy reviews by anonymous users. An estimated 3 per cent of all Google reviews were lost, according to a BrightLocal analysis of almost 2 million reviews of more than 40,000 businesses. Naturally, local search marketing agencies were concerned by the change.

Search Engine Land contributor Joy Hawkins took the opportunity to gauge the impact of online reviews on local search rankings. Her small-scale study consisted of searching New York dentists, identifying four offices that had lost between 4 and 56 per cent of their reviews, and monitoring the sites for ranking drops. She found that each site fell marginally after the purge and generally maintained their new ranking in the following weeks. Overall, the results weren’t catastrophic.

“Although it seems safe to say the number of reviews does impact ranking, there are also 200 additional factors that are used to determine how a page ranks, so it rarely comes down to who has the most reviews,” Hawkins writes.

As any local search marketing professional can attest, reviews affect more than rankings; they also impact your online reputation. A company with a four-and-a-half-star rating based on 100 Google reviews is more likely to attract new customers than a similar company with fewer reviews and a lesser rating. For local search marketers, cultivating positive reviews is an essential task.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media understands what it takes to get your business found online. Through a holistic approach including local search marketing, paid search, social media, and review management, GrowthEngine ensures that your business is visible and discoverable to every audience that matters.

 

Image credit: Pixabay

Time to consider video marketing

Time to consider video marketing

In an article for Think with Google, David Rodnitzky of 3Q Digital argued that digital video marketing, when done right, has evolved from an unknown quantity to a reliable source of predictable, measurable return-on-investment. Until recently, he writes, video was considered “the realm of those Madison Avenue creative types who measure success not by ROI but by the number of Gold Lions they win at Cannes.”

This is no longer the case. Consumers are spending an enormous amount of time consuming online video content and, by necessity, video advertising. A March 2018 survey from Deloitte found that the average American internet user spends 15 hours per week watching digital video; advertisers who ignore video are ignoring billions of hours of access to consumers.

The popularity of digital video is also reflected in Google and Facebook’s increasing focus on the medium. Facebook is engaged in an ongoing push to populate its News Feed with more video content, and both companies have developed tools to make publishing, targeting, and measuring digital video marketing content easier and more accessible.

Digital video advertising won’t work for every market, but as internet connections become faster, demographics change, and the library of online video content continues to grow, expect more brands to adopt this important marketing approach. Video is also an opportunity for organizations to experiment with their brand identity, deliver important information regarding their products or services, and change the way they interact with consumers.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media understands that online advertising is in a constant state of flux. While tried-and-true search engine marketing strategies still deliver meaningful results, forward-thinking advertisers are diversifying their approach and reaching customers through an array of new platforms and mediums, including digital video marketing.

 

Image credit: Vancouver Film School/Flickr