16 Digital Marketing Trends to try in 2022

Try these Digital Marketing Ideas in 2022

As 2021 draws to an end, it is time to start planning your editorial calendar for 2022. While there is a lot of chatter about using AI technology to make marketing easier, many small-and-medium-sized companies find that technology cost-prohibitive. Instead of giving up on digital marketing, consider these techniques for 2022.

 

1. Mobile-friendly Websites

Your website needs to be responsive so that it displays appropriately on any device. Take a look at your website and see where you can reduce scrolling, pinching and panning. Create with a fluid grid instead of pixels. Make sure that all areas where you need users to input data are large enough so that people can efficiently complete the task. Set rules so that only the most essential information displays on smaller devices. Create rules so that images display correctly or not at all, depending on the device’s size.

If your website needs an overhaul to comply with mobile standards, we offer affordable website design plans for businesses small and large!

 

2. Local SEO/ Google Map Optimization

With Google’s latest algorithm changes, the company said that they consider user experience to be the most important factor when ranking websites. Therefore, you must ensure that your website loads quickly, provide the content they want and is easy to navigate.

Google My Business is a key to advertising for small-and-medium-sized businesses. Take advantage of the space to promote products that your customers are likely to want the most. Make the most of this space by filling your description with keywords your customers are likely to use. Post directly to Google My Business so that customers see your information directly on your listing, which can take up to 50$ of the SERP when someone enters your company name.

Optimizing for Google maps can be paramount to your success, so consider these tips.

  • A large percentage of your backlinks should come from high-quality business directories that people can easily access online.
  • Keep Google My Business fresh. You can have up to 10 pictures and photos on your Google My Business. Additionally, you can add a call to action directly from your listing.
  • Ensure all citations are up-to-date. Aim to have your business listed everywhere using the same company name, address and phone number.
  • Add rich snippets to your website’s content. Use the automatic rich snippet generator from Google to increase the space that your website listing gets on SERPS. This will also help Google put you in the correct category on Google maps.

3. Content Marketing

There is usually a bounce upwards after a website hits 100 posts, but after that point, longer posts are generally more effective than several smaller ones in promoting your company. Unless you are in a fast-paced industry, like entertainment or fashion, consider creating longer posts filled with great detail.

Long-form content is more likely to capture your audience’s attention. Furthermore, since it takes people longer to read them, it increases time spent on your site, which often increases how your website ranks in the SERPs.

You may want to consider creating:

  • How-to guides
  • Buyer guides
  • Tutorials
  • Resource lists
  • Industry definitions
  • Case studies

You may want to consider different formattings, like whitepapers, ebooks and blogs.

Long-form content can be very effective at building your voice as an industry leader. Viewers often see it as someone who understands their pain points because the longer form allows you to have room to offer a complete solution. Since people are happier with the content, they are more likely to share it with their friends and family. Longer content is also more likely to attract links that can be important in building your domain authority. Long-form content can increase conversion rates by up to 30%. It is effortless to repurpose long-form content for other purposes, like podcasts, presentations and webinars.

 

4. Online Reviews

While not a new trend, the importance of online reviews will continue to be big in 2022, you need to include customer testimonies on your site because it builds your reputation. You should always ask for reviews when your customer is likely to be the happiest with your product or service.

If you are not happy with the number of reviews that customers are leaving you, then:

  • Make sure that you have a process in place that makes it easy for customers to leave you a review.
  • Provide a template for reviews
  • Send a personalized email or message asking for the review.
  • Explain to loyal customers why you appreciate them leaving you a review

 

5. Google Features

In addition to Featured Snippets and Google My Business, there are other features that small-and-medium-sized companies may want to consider:

• Knowledge panels – These panels that look similar to Google My Business usually contain more details. They are often given to companies that provide good information in that listing and have established domain authority.

• Local pack – These three listings appear at the top of some SERP pages where the user is looking for a particular item, such as a restaurant, gas station or campground. Google selects these entities based on relevance, proximity and prominence.

• Top stories – You may be able to get your news stories published in this feature by submitting your RSS feeds, website URLs, or videos to Google’s Publisher Center.

•Video packs- These are usually YouTube videos. Increase the chances of Google choosing your video by using video Schema markup.

• Related questions – Watch when you enter your keywords into the SERP and see if a list of questions appears. Write good 40–50-word answers to those questions, and you may be able to win a featured snippet.

• Shopping Results – To have a product chosen by Google, make sure you have used Schema product markup and gotten lots of good reviews.

6. Conversational marketing

The pandemic has made many software companies lower prices on conversational marketing software, so it has become more available to smaller businesses.

While your conversion rate may have risen during 2021, stop and think about the customers that did not buy, although you gave them great information wrapped in a pretty package. Now, imagine that you had a way to reach those customers and answer their questions while they are considering your products. People naturally prefer two-way conversations, and conversational marketing makes that possible at a reasonable cost. Many companies have discovered that it has raised their conversions by up to 70%.

The second advantage of conversational marketing is that you can qualify leads easily. This makes your marketing much more agile so that your sales team reaches out quickly to the best prospects.

Conversational marketing also builds trust in your company. This is particularly important for new companies who are still trying to establish a loyal customer base.

Conversational marketing allows you to integrate potential customers who engage with your company into one platform, making your website, direct marketing efforts, and social marketing valuable. This allows to connect with more customers and lead them through the sales funnel at a lower cost.

7 . Video Marketing

Video marketing is not going anywhere, and it probably will not for the next 10 years. Therefore, if you are not already using this technique, you need to add it to your repertoire now. 90% of potential customers in a recent survey indicated they wanted to see videos before making a purchase. Another survey found that companies who used video marketing grew 49% faster than those who did not.

Video marketing is a great way to build brand awareness without spending a lot of money. You can host the video on YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine in the world. Then, embed it into your website or share it on your social media feed. Depending on the video, you may also be able to use only the audio as a podcast. It is easy to set up a television to play your videos in a loop if you do trade shows and other events.

Since about 65% of your target audience are visual learners, video makes it easy to capture their attention. Most people can recall visual content that they see three days later, which is much longer than written or audio content. Additionally, creating a video often makes it easy to teach your audience a difficult concept to explain when only using words.

The types of videos that you can produce are almost endless. You may want to consider:

  • Documentaries with your branding in front or at the end
  • Branded informational videos
  • Product demonstrations
  • Product promotions
  • Product launch videos
  • Crowd-funding videos
  • Animated explainer videos
  • Live feeds
  • User-generated videos
  • Stunt videos
  • Event videos
  • Infomercials
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product reviews
  • Unboxing videos
  • Behind-the-scene videos
  • Customer support videos
  • Frequently asked questions videos

8. Interactive Content

Interactive content is any content that relies on user input to deliver a helpful answer. Using this type of content can be a fabulous way to build engagement, capture more leads and create customer loyalty.

Interactive content is helpful at each step of the sales funnel. For example, at the top interactive quizzes are a perfect way to collect data on customers interested in your product to create other marketing that shows the viewer how your product meets their needs and where they need more education.

In the middle of the funnel, interactive content is excellent at helping the buyer make a buying decision by allowing them to enter specifics about their situation. Then, you can recommend your solution.

At the bottom of the funnel, 360-degree videos are a beautiful way to encourage buyers to go ahead and make the buying decision. You can also upsell during these videos by surrounding the product with useful accessories.

There are many types of interactive content that you may want to consider, including:

  • Interactive quizzes
  • Interactive infographics
  • 360-degree videos
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Calculators
  • Assessments
  • Ebooks
  • Emails
  • Webinars
  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile games
  • Troubleshooting tools
  • How-to guides
  • Interactive timelines
  • Augmented reality overlays

9. SERP Position Zero

Often called featured snippets, SERP Position Zero can get your website a lot of traffic. These snippets appear above the fold for many user search queries. While Google advises trying to optimize content for featured snippets, there are some tips you will want to keep in mind to try to capture this coveted position as featured snippets result in 35.1% of all clicks.

About 82% of all featured snippets are in paragraph form, and they usually incorporate a long-tail keyword. While Google will not tell its secret on exactly how it chooses website information to display, they take most featured snippets from websites already ranking high on those keywords in SERPs.

Create content that uses language that your customers use. Featured snippets are almost always well written and answer specific questions from your target audience. Most answers are between 40 and 50 words long. If you cannot adequately cover the answer in that length, consider creating a video as Google and other search engines often use them in SERP position zeros.

Especially if you are a newer company, you may want to think about using keywords with no feature snippet. A recent survey showed that the top search engine ranking on webpages where there was no feature snippet received 6% more hits than when a feature snippet was present.

10. Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce will continue to grow in 2022. In 2020, customers spent about $339.03 billion online, and consumers made over 50% of those purchases from a mobile device.

Think about the different payment methods that you are going to offer. In particular:

  • Choose a payment method designed to grow with your business.
  • Select a payment method that allows customers to pay quickly and securely to ensure that you leave your customers happy with their experience.
  • Consider fees charged by your payment processor and how you plan to handle those fees.
  • Pick a payment provider with clear analytics so that you can see how your customers are paying and other data.
  • Pick out a provider offering smooth and timely procedures for payouts, refunds, and disbursements.
  • Make sure that you can easily integrate the provider’s code into your website.

11. Alternative Search Engines

Newscasters and others have made a lot of noise in 2021 about big platforms controlling users too much and collecting data that they do not need, often without users’ permission. Therefore, you need to constantly be tracking which platforms your users are using.

Google has consistently lost market share to other search engines, but over 88% of all users continue to use this platform.

In June 2021, Bing received 1.08 billion unique monthly views. In the United States, Bing has over a 34% market share because it cooperated with Microsoft, and that share is growing. Advertising on Bing is very similar to Google Ads, but their agreements with Microsoft allow them to reach at least 66 million users that Google cannot reach.

There are many reasons that you may want to seek out alternatives to Google. The average small business spends about $8,500 per month on Google Ads, which is too much for many small businesses to handle. Additionally, the cost for each customer that clicks on your advertising can be over $50, and they average about $1.50.

12. Social Messaging

Experts predict that 60% of all customer engagements will happen through social messaging before the end of 2022. You cannot afford to lose those customers to your competitors who have embraced this technology. Social messaging is hugely successful because your customers are already using Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, and other platforms. Therefore, when you advertise through social messaging, you engage your customers where they are already comfortable.

Secondly, customers repeatedly say that they want speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service. Especially when you combine social messaging with chatbots, it is easy to deliver those elements to customers in wow moments that will quickly capture their attention.

Customers expect a personalized shopping experience, and it is easy to deliver that through social messaging. You can divide your customer list into different segments and send just the right message for where they are in the buyer’s journey and what products are most likely to capture their attention.

Successful marketing is never a one-way street. It is effortless to capture new insights about your customers through social messaging. This allows you to respond to negative feedback right away and helps you capture more sales when the customer is happiest with their most recent purchase.

Recent surveys show that customers expect to engage more with companies through social messaging in the future, and you cannot afford to get left behind.

13. Visual Search

Visual search allows users to capture an image and search for that product online using the image. Over 90% of the data received by the brain is visual, and you need part of those images to be yours.

Visual search is different than image search because the user enters an image without entering any text. Therefore, it is excellent for those marketing in areas where a picture speaks volumes, such as fashion, home décor and travel.

In a world that seems to be constantly going faster than ever, visual search allows users to find items online quicker. Researchers asked a group to find a particular item online. Those using text-based search found the item in two minutes and 31 seconds. Meanwhile, those who used visual search found the item in 37 seconds.

Additionally, marketing with visual search is a fantastic way to sell more to customers. Imagine that your potential customer has found an outfit online that they love. When each item can be visually searched, you can sell them the pants, shoes, tops and accessories. Then, imagine that customer loves everything about the item, but the shoes. You can easily use images on your website to show them different shoes that look great with the outfit.

A massive benefit of visual search is that you can use programs to create tags for you. You no longer have to spend hours trying to decide what words a potential customer would use to describe that item because the program does it automatically for you. This is a huge benefit when it comes to SEO and having the right keywords on your site.

14. Social Media Stories

Over 1 billion people see stories daily on Facebook-controlled platforms alone. Furthermore, people are more likely to swipe or click on links included in stories than on links contained in traditional social media. You have probably seen these stories on apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.

There are many benefits of using social media stories, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Creating more engagement with your followers
  • Cost-effective advertising
  • Increase traffic to webpages
  • Reach a younger target audience

15. Social Commerce

Instagram and Tik Tok are changing the world of social commerce in a big way, and it is likely to become even more significant in 2022. Over 4.48 billion people use social media, and that number has more than doubled in the last six years. Most users are active on at least six different platforms. Find success by positioning your company where your target audience is online. Almost 50% of people in the world use social media.

Secondly, social commerce is a fantastic way to increase your SEO efforts. While there is some debate about the exact numbers, the more you can get people to engage with your social media accounts, the higher your site will rank on search engines if all other things are equal.

Social commerce is a powerful branding tool. You will get authentic engagement that will keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds. Therefore, even if they never place an order when their friends are looking for the products they sell, you are likely to be the first company to pop into their minds.

Social commerce also gives you a platform to build customer trust. As people watch you interact with people who leave comments, they will form a positive impression of your company. This can be key to getting customers to place larger orders.

16. Geotargeting

You may have come out of a business and received a short message promoting a nearby business. This technology, usually based on radio-frequency, can be a great way to encourage people to take a specific action that you want them to take, such as visiting your physical location. While this technology has been around for a while, there are new uses for it worth considering.

You will want to keep in mind several points if you are going to try location-based advertising.

A larger geotarget will cost you more money than a smaller one, but more people may see your advertising. Try setting up several smaller geotargets within 5 minutes of your physical location.

Craft messages that connect with your target audience. Just because someone is in a particular location does not necessarily mean your products will interest them, so you need to create messages that connect with customers.

Your message should give those receiving it a reason to come in. You may want to offer a small discount or a free item if a person responds to your geofence marketing. Of course, you need a compelling call-to-action telling your audience exactly what you want them to do.

Using different types of geofencing helps ensure that you reach the maximum number of people in your target audience. You may want to set your geofencing to only display during a specific time of day or when the user completes a particular behavior. You can also set geofences to show to all people who visit a specific website. This makes them very useful for retargeting customers who have already visited your website or physical location.

 

Setting Your Digital Marketing Goals for 2022

Now that you understand the trends, it is time to set your marketing goals for 2022. To get you thinking in the right direction, consider putting a goal for the year in each of these categories and working on them regularly throughout the year.

As with all goals, they should be SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Then, rate your progress regularly.

  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • SEO
  • Local SEO/Google Maps Optimization
  • Online Reviews
  • Content Marketing
  • SERP Position Zero
  • Alternative Search Engines
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Conversational marketing
  • Chatbots
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Messaging
  • Visual Search
  • Social Commerce
  • Interactive Content
  • Geotargeting

Now that you have your marketing goals in place for 2022, you may feel overwhelmed and wonder how you will accomplish all that you need to before the end of the year. Let us help you meet your digital marketing goals in 2022.

 

References

 

Google Algorithm Changes September 2021

Google Algorithm Update September 2021

If you manage a website, there are some Google algorithm updates and new features that you need to implement. September was a quieter month than the summer when Page User experience rolled out, but you should not have stopped working on your site throughout the month.

Google Discover Rollout

Google is rolling out a new feature that allows people to follow your site and get automatic notifications whenever you post a new article. To take advantage of this feature, you need either an RSS or an Atom feed on your website.

Google Warns Against Republishing Content

Google’s John Mueller once again warned webmasters not to republish content found on another site if they want to rank for those keywords. He says you can share content from another site if you are trying to broaden your audience, but you will not rank well for the chosen keywords.

Updates to Google News

Google will no longer require webmasters to enable amp for their news stories to appear in Google News. Furthermore, users will be sent to the publisher’s site to read the store instead of reading it from an RSS feed.

Google Rolls Out New Automotive Features Section

Google users in the United States can now learn more about the vehicle they are considering straight from the Google search engine page. This feature shows possible prices for different trim levels and various options. Google says they license this content, and it does not come from the internet.

Use Product Structured Markup/ Schema

Google’s John Mueller says that you still should use product structured markup/schema even if you do not have product reviews on your website. You either need reviews, the aggregate rating, or offers to use this markup, but you do not need all three.

Google Adds New Features for Travel and Leisure Businesses

Google has added a new ticket button to their listings of attractions. They are also creating new things to do listings that will include images, reviews, pricing and a booking link that will be shown to users that indicate an interest in an attraction or a particular area. They are also offering a new eco-certified badge for hotel listings.

Google Releases New E-commerce SEO Guide

Google has released a new seven-page e-commerce SEO guide designed to help businesses take their business online. Covered topics include:

  • Understanding where e-commerce content can appear on Google
  • How to share your product data with Google
  • The importance of using structured data in e-commerce
  • How to launch a new e-commerce website
  • How to design a URL structure for an e-commerce website
  • Help understanding an e-commerce website’s structure
  • Learn common UX patterns

Google Search Makes Changes

Google Search has announced that they are rolling out several changes to search result pages. Viewers will now be able to use a “visually browsable” interface. The company has also added more information to their about this result box, including information pulled from a company’s about us page and what others are saying about the company.

 

Sources:

Google Algorithm Update August 2021

Google Algorithm update

Changes to Google Search August 2021

As everyone was scrambling to adjust to Google’s Page Experience update in June and July, Google also rolled out a Link Spam update starting on July 26 and not ending until August 24. Learn more about this update and others in this roundup.

Link Spam Update

If you are using affiliate links, be sure you qualify them with rel=”sponsored” regardless of how you create them. If you do not, you may get hit with a manual action penalty. Ensure that if you are using sponsored or guest posts, you are using appropriate rel codes. As always, use high-quality links that your users will find helpful. Google reinforced that you can link to a domain with lower authority than your site without being hurt as long as you are linking to valuable content.

Google Changes Title Procedures

Google announced that they changed the way that they are generating some titles. They say they have changed titles if they were very long, stuffed with keywords, or the page lacks title tags. About 80% of the time, according to the company, they are still relying on the h1 header or the title that webmasters have indicated in some other way. The company says they may add site names where they feel that information is helpful to viewers.

Google rolled out the new process on August 17, and they say they are already making refinements in the process. Google insists that users prefer the process. When Google makes the change, they will usually use content found in another header on the page, but that is not always the case. In some cases, it is even taking the title from a different page pointed to in the content.

If you need help on your website or need a complete audit to show you what needs improvement, contact us as we are always ready to lend a helping hand.

Resources
Search Herold
Google Developers
Search Engine Land
Brodie Clark
Google Developers

Google Algorithm Update May 2021

Google Algorithm Update May 2021

After getting everyone primed for a big User Experience update in May, Google decided to hold off a little longer. That does not mean that there was not plenty of other SEO news in May 2021. The month started with an algorithm update, and it kept moving forward.

Product Review Update

While Google initially rolled out its Product Review Update on April 3, many webmasters saw further changes in their rankings from April 30 to May 2. This appears to be a tweaking of the original update. This English-only update impacted single-review sites and roundup review sites. If your site was brutally hit, review each page on your website to ensure that it offers expert advice. Compare the product with past models and help website users understand what sets it apart from the product’s competitors.

Another Google My Business Keyword Stuffing Warning

John Mueller once again warned against keyword stuffing. The results are clear that using keywords in your company name improves its rankings in Google My Business. If you have been tempted to add keywords to your business name, you will receive a penalty from Google about 40% of the time. You may receive a soft suspension where you can no longer make changes to your listing or a hard suspension where your listing is removed. Soft suspensions rarely affect rankings.

What Does Google Expect to see Above the Fold?

An interesting discussion this month is what Google expects to see when they are looking at your site without having to scroll. John Mueller says that Google wants to see some content above the fold. He uses the example of a hotel that displays a photo of their property or an award they have won and a little bit of information above the fold. It is no longer necessary to try to force your keywords into this area. Additionally, Google’s John Muir says that you can have as many H1 tags as you want on a webpage. Your headers, including h2, h3 and so on, should indicate the page’s content.

Core Web Values

Throughout May, there has been a lot of chatter about Core Web Values. While the big Page User Update has been pushed back to at least mid-June, improving your Core Web Values can help your site rank better today. These vitals focus on loading, interactivity, and visual stability as measured by loading content paint, first input delay and cumulative input shift.

If you need help preparing for the Page User Update, contact us. Those who move early are likely to see positive changes now, along with more changes once the algorithm is released in mid-June.

Looking for ongoing marketing services? Let us help you!

Google Algorithm Updates for January 2021

January Algorithm Updates

The new year started quietly for Google algorithm updates. For the most part, it stayed that way throughout the month.

SMITH Algorithm

The company placed renewed emphasis on the SMITH algorithm as the year started. Google designed this tool to help them understand passages within a document. They did not mean it to replace BERT, but for both instruments to complement each other. This change may be huge, especially for researchers, because it may help Google locate more relevant documents for particular topics.

Index Coverage Data Improvements

Google has been quietly rolling out improvements to their indexes since mid-November. This index that you can view in your Google Search Console shows you what Google found when trying to crawl your site. You may have gotten a generic crawl anomaly message in the past, but the company is trying to be more helpful. Now, if there is a problem, you will see:

  • Indexed but blocked – These pages were blocked by a robots.txt when Google tried to crawl them.
  • Indexed Without Content – Google did not find any content when crawling these pages.
  • 404 errors- Google says soft 404 error reporting is more accurate.

Google Page Rankings Influenced by Site Quality

SEO experts worldwide have long debated whether Google issues rankings based on entire sites or if they issue rankings based on individual pages. The answer is a little of both, depending on what information they can discover. Therefore, you need to make sure that it is clear how each page on your site fits into your overall scheme to build your domain authority. You also need to make each page is the best that it can be to get a higher quality score and to impress real people.

We want to help you have a more productive year in 2021. Let us help you move towards your SEO New Year’s resolutions.

How to Expand Your Local Marketing Reach

Today’s marketing helps your business reach more people than ever. However, businesses sometimes forget how much customers interact with local campaigns. Learn to take advantage of both traditional and online tools to expand your brand and reach your local audience.

Master SEO

Over the years, successful companies have learned how to take advantage of local searches through SEO. Here are a few tips to improve your site’s performance and its local reach:

  • Optimize your Google Business Account: Improving your Google Listing can improve both your rank on Google Maps and help your business gain ground on local Google searches. If you haven’t already, create your My Business Account with Google. Keep this account up-to-date and post regularly.
  • Get Glowing Reviews: Be sure to encourage reviews from your customers in-person and online. When engaging with online posts, respond promptly and professionally.
  • Create Content Based on Local Events: Writing blog posts responding to new stories or community interests can improve engagement with your business and improve your SEO with local searches. Including local keywords in your site also makes your business more relevant.
  • Use Backlinks and Location Pages: Backlinking to quality websites helps your business appear in “snack packs” of localized results. Location-specific pages help locals find your business if you have multiple locations. However, be sure to include custom content on each of your location pages.
  • Optimize SEO for Voice Searches: With voice command speakers and software becoming more common, it’s important to make sure your site is formatted to catch these kinds of searches. To help catch more of these, your site should be mobile-friendly and its metadata should account for more conversational words and question phrases (who, what, where, when). You can also create blog posts that specifically answer voice-based queries.

 Source: https://mailchimp.com/marketing-glossary/seo/ 

Don’t Neglect Traditional Marketing

Some of the best ways to engage with local customers are as old as time. People respond to content that reflects their personal interests. Traditional marketing offers businesses a way to interact with locals more personally. Old methods like asking for reviews in-person, supporting community events, and even mailing flyers can significantly increase local engagement. In fact, direct mail can give you an incredible 1,300% ROI.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/marketing-channels/ 

Community Outreach

Learn to engage with your local community through community outreach. Community outreach allows your business to interact with the community in a positive way. Here are a few great ways to reach out:

  • Get involved with community programs
  • Pick a cause for your business to support
  • Create a mentor program for interns and new employees
  • Partner with local schools and promote student events

Source: https://www.hatchbuck.com/blog/small-business-philanthropy/ 

Focusing on local marketing allows your business to find more overall engagement. Collaborate with your marketing and outreach team to see how you can optimize your business for local searches. You can also work with localization specialists to help optimize your online presence. Small improvements can provide amazing results!

Need extra help with your SEO? Check out our services!

Google Algorithm Update December 2020

 

Google Algorithm Update December 2020

Google gave webmasters a gift on December 5, 2020, when they rolled out a broad core algorithm update. While some welcomed the changes amid a busy holiday season, others groaned loudly. Google even changed it a little late in the month. Here’s what you need to know about Google algorithm updates occurring in December 2020.

Google Properties Claim Even More Space

Throughout 2020, Google continued to claim more of the space on search engine pages for properties that they owned, such as YouTube, and that is particularly noticeable with this update. Meanwhile, direct competitors, such as Amazon, took a hit.

Original Well-sourced Content

Another group of big winners with this core update are sites providing great original content that is well-sourced. You need to be working with experts in your field to stay up-to-date and providing that to your target audience in bite-size pieces that they can easily understand. The content needs to be presented in a manner that your target audience will find interesting and helpful. Be particularly careful that your heading matches as close as possible what a searcher is looking for when they enter a phrase or word into Google’s search engine results page.

Content Structure

Concentrating on your headings and content structure across your entire site may pay huge dividends because this update seems to be more sitewide than more recent updates where individual pages won or lost.

Ads

Many sites that lost ranking during this Google core update had intrusive ads interfering with the user experience. Look at your site if you allow ads to display to make sure that they are out of the way of users getting to your main content. Some sites with lots of gambling and alcohol ads took a particularly hard hit during this update.

Google Eliminates Penalty Reporting

Be aware that manual penalties are no longer available on your Google dashboard. It is not that Google has stopped looking at the things outlined in the Google User Rater Guidelines, but they have stopped letting you know what you are doing wrong.

What Can You Do If Google’s December Core Algorithm Update Felt Like Coal?

If your site took a hit during the December update, then you may have felt like Google gave you coal instead of a present. If that is the case, make sure you have sourced every fact with a reliable source. Look at your about page to ensure that it paints an extremely clear picture of your company and its purpose. Compare yourself against those who jumped ahead of you to determine what they are doing differently and copy their methods without stealing their content. Be sure that your content is well organized with titles and subheadings that tell the reader precisely what they will find there.

If you need help, contact us. We will be glad to help.

Should You Switch to a VOIP Phone System? Absolutely! And Here’s Why

You have probably upgraded many things about your business, but have you upgraded your phone system? If you are still relying on a landline for your business, it may not be reflecting positively on your corporation.

Assuming you have high-speed internet and enough cable bandwidth, VoIP may be an excellent addition to your operation. After all, your phone system is one of the most important ways to connect with your customers.

Cost

Some businesses think that making the switch to VoIP will be too costly. The truth is that small-and-midsize corporations save about 45% annually when they make the switch, and large businesses save even more.

Once you convert to the cloud, there is less upkeep and government regulations.

Remodeling and rearranging your business becomes more manageable because there are fewer wires to deal with when putting up or taking down walls.

Scalability

If you have a seasonal business or are going through a rough time, but you know it will come back strong, then VOIP allows you to scale your phone service to meet your current and future needs.

Additionally, you have the option of choosing your area code, so you can opt to make your business appear local to many people by choosing several.

Features

Depending on the VoIP service you choose, you can find options with an endless number of features. Most will convert faxes to regular phone calls, so you no longer need to pay for a dedicated fax line.

The majority can also turn phone calls into emails so that you can read them. You can set them to forward your calls to wherever you are working, so you will never miss an important call.

The list of features is almost endless, and you can efficiently train your staff to use a VoIP phone system.

 

Flexibility

You can be answering phone calls from a beautiful sandy beach instead of a snowy office where you skidded your way to work. If your area is impacted by a governmental executive order, a fire or some other type of disaster, you do not lose your phone service.

You also have the flexibility to decide when and where your phone should ring. For example, you can have the first few rings go to your office and the next couple to your cell phone. Then, if no one answers, you can even have your computer answer the phone.

Ready to make the switch? Contact us today. You will be thrilled that you did.

July 2020 Google Algorithm Updates

Google Algorithm Updates July 2020

Google gave webmasters a small break in July with no significant updates. Many started the month playing catchup on shopping pages with Google offering new free shopping tools and becoming more aggressive towards identifying fake merchandise. The lack of major updates does not mean that they got to take the month off and play on the beach, however, because work still went on.

Websites Must Provide Great Content

The month started with a small hiccup that hurt some sites about July6-8. This update seemed to affect mostly sites with little content and an abundance of links. You should take it as a reminder that you should consistently produce fresh content that your target audience will find useful.

Use Nofollow Links for Guest Blogs

This update to Google’s algorithm was followed by a warning about guest blogs. If you use paid or unpaid guest blogs on your site, then the links should always be nofollow.

Google Search Console Insights

Google also introduced a new tool this month called Google Search Console Insights. This tool is handy because it shows you how well your new content performs, including the date that Google found the latest content and how long people stayed on the page. It also shows you the number of links pointing to your site and the newest links pointing to your content. Google Search Console Insights also contains new data on people interacting with your company via social media.

Responsive Websites

Google’s John Mueller warned against the use of using loading signs on websites. He indicated that Google’s robots might not wait for content to load. Instead, he says that there are enough tools that content should start showing to users of your website immediately.

Link Building

If you have been trying to distribute links evenly across your website, then John Mueller says you are not building links correctly. Instead, concentrate on using links that real people will find useful. Then, you will naturally be building up your most important pages. He also says that you need to take a second look at your site’s navigation to ensure that readers can quickly get to essential pages from the homepage.

Since Google named Prabhakar Raghavan as their new head of search, changes may come rapidly over the next couple of months. Last month’s Google shopping update may be just the tip of an enormous iceberg that may sink your site unless you work with a professional who stays current. Contact us today and let us help you.

June 2020 Google Algorithm Updates

June 2020 Google Algorithm Updates

June 2020 Google Algorithm Updates

While some webmasters may have tried to get a staycation during June, it is evident that Google did not take a vacation. Instead, they released several Google algorithm updates during the month that webmasters needed to react to regardless of their plans.

Government Update

The most significant update during June 2020 affected government sites. The CDC, the FDA, DEA, Department of Health, and official sites in cities and states where coronavirus numbers were large saw their sites rise dramatically through the update released about June 23. This update, however, did not just affect U.S.-based sites as government sites in Spain and other countries also saw their official sites rise dramatically.

At the same time, news and media sites saw a drop in their search engine page rankings. The takeaway from this is that Google is favoring single-subject sites put out by those in authority. Some suggest that this is a rollback of the May update in some areas vital to Your Money or Your Life.

Shopping Update

While Google has taken down many sites over the years that sold counterfeit goods, there was never an official policy until now. Now, if you spot a counterfeit product being sold on Google, you can submit a form, and once your allegations prove true, the company will remove the pages from their search engine. This change can be excellent news for those who had consumers buy products believing they were the real deal when someone had lured them with low prices. The process, however, is fueled by human reporting, so you must first fill out the legal troubleshooter form.

Web Core Vitals

Google has also announced that they will release a significant update in early 2021, but you need to start preparing for it now. The change will emphasize the user-friendliness of your site. Your sites will be measured on core web vital. These vitals have been described as:

  • Loading
  • Interactivity
  • Visual Stability
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • Safe Browsing
  • HTTPS

Additionally, Google says that they will lower the ranking of websites that have intrusive interstitials. While webmasters will no longer have to worry about AMP, those sites with AMP will not be penalized. Additionally, the company says that websites with the best authority will still be favored over those with better Web Core Vitals.

If you need help with the shopping update, government update or getting ready for the Google update, contact us. We are here to help.