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Amanda Koehler

Digital Marketing Practice Director

For more than a decade, Amanda has helped Northwoods clients achieve their digital marketing goals through impactful, data-driven digital marketing strategies. Her approach is centered on careful listening, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of data analytics, and she holds certificates in both Google Analytics and Google Ads. An experienced lecturer and webinar presenter, Amanda is one of our top digital trail guides and has helped countless students, clients, and marketers better understand the complex world of SEO and analytics. Away from Northwoods, she enjoys spending time cooking, traveling, and painting.

Digital Marketing Trends, News, and Updates

Summer 2020

June 11, 2020 | Amanda Koehler, Digital Marketing Practice Director

7 Minute Read

We know it can be hard to keep up with ever-changing digital marketing news and trends. But no need to stress – we’ve got you covered! 
Check out our round-up of the latest news and trends in the world of digital marketing for summer 2020.

SEO, Organic Search and Google News

Google Algorithm Updates

What Is It: Google rolled out a core algorithm update in May. This was the second core algorithm update of 2020. The May 2020 update changed how the algorithm analyzes content overall, with the intent of weeding out content that appeared to no longer be useful or relevant.

What It Means for Marketers: Google announces and releases four to six core algorithm updates every year. Additionally, they make smaller changes to the algorithm every day. And, the Google algorithm is increasingly machine-learning based, which means our search behaviors actually change the algorithm, too! This requires marketers to stay on top of algorithm changes and your own website rankings and organic traffic.

How You Should Respond: Like all core algorithm updates, it’s important not to panic, but to continue to monitor and adjust your SEO and content strategies. You should review your keyword rankings and organic traffic frequently to see if the algorithm changes affect your website. If you want your website to maintain rank or even increase ranking, the most important thing you can do is to keep your content relevant and useful.

New Google Search Results Page Feature

What Is It: As COVID-19 occupied everyone’s minds - and search patterns - earlier this year, Google released a new search results page feature, echoing in a new era of search: the multi-faceted search results page. The multi-faceted search results page includes tabs that help people narrow the focus of their search term, instead of requiring them to conduct an additional search. Search for any COVID-19- or unemployment-related search term, and the new search results page feature will appear. Here’s what it looks like:

Search term results page

What It Means for Marketers: We’ve seen the “People Also Asked” boxes on most search results pages, which help people get answers to the questions they have on a given topic. This new multi-faceted search results page takes that a step further and actually changes the entire search results page based on the tab that is selected. We haven’t yet seen this on any searches that are not part of the current pandemic; however, it’s likely this type of feature will expand in the coming months and years.

How You Should Respond: This new search results page feature emphasizes the importance of understanding the search intent behind the keywords you’re trying to target. Multi-faceted search tries to provide users with the different options they may be looking for based on their initial search. The best thing for you to do is to create useful and relevant content for the questions your customers are looking for. 

Featured Snippet Changes

What Is It: Google is changing featured snippets functionality. When a user clicks on the link within a featured snippet, they will go to the webpage and will automatically be taken to the portion of the text that is used for the featured snippet. Furthermore, Google is highlighting this text and adding a parameter to the link from the featured snippet. 

Parameter Google is highlighting from featured snippet

What It Means for Marketers: The parameter that is added onto the featured snippet link means it may be possible to track traffic coming from featured snippets. Using this parameter, you can include this source in Google Analytics and know how much traffic is coming from featured snippets. This is an exciting opportunity to understand how important featured snippets are in gaining additional traffic to your website.

How You Should Respond: The new featured snippet functionality does not require any additional code, Google is using the scroll to text functionality that is in HTML. So, there is nothing to change on your website; however, you will want to configure Google Tag Manager so you are able to track these links to your website as a separate traffic source. 

Digital Advertising News

Google Discovery Ads

What Is It: Google Discovery ads were announced in 2019 but were recently rolled out worldwide. These ads appear on your Google Discovery feed. 

Example of Google Discovery Ad

What It Means for Marketers: New advertising formats and locations are always a good thing to consider as part of your wholistic marketing strategy. Those who have started using the Discovery ads have seen low cost-per-click (CPCs) and high click through rates (CTRs) on the ads. 
How You Should Respond: Any time Google Ads introduces a new type of ad or format it’s a good idea to experiment with it to see how well it works for you. Test it out for your next campaign, or as part of your ongoing advertising efforts, and measure the results. 

Fewer Advertisers = Low CPCs

What Is It: COVID-19 resulted in a number of digital advertisers cutting their advertising spend in the last few months. Because there is less competition, CPCs have gone down for many industries. This means advertising costs have gone down overall and results have improved for those companies that are continuing to advertise during the pandemic.

What It Means for Marketers: Lower costs mean you can get more traffic to your website, build your brand awareness and generate more leads. 

How You Should Respond: Advertisers are already starting to bounce back, which means that the summer will likely see a return to the same CPCs we saw prior to the pandemic. Therefore, the time is now to start or re-start your digital advertising. If you’re already advertising, stay strategic and make sure your campaigns are optimized to bring in traffic and conversions.

Social Media News

LinkedIn Remarketing

What Is It: LinkedIn recently announced engagement retargeting options for advertisers, allowing you to target your ads to people who have engaged with your LinkedIn profile. This type of engagement remarketing has been available in other social platforms for some time, so this is something many social advertisers have been waiting for.

What It Means for Marketers: Remarketing can be an incredibly effective way to get your prospective audience to turn into leads or sales. If your customers, or prospective employees, are engaging with your LinkedIn content, remarketing to them will help keep your business top of mind with this target audience group.

How You Should Respond: If you’re already advertising on LinkedIn, look for this update to roll out in the next month. Once available, you can start experimenting with this type of remarketing to see how effective it is for your campaigns. It’s always important to make sure you’re testing any new features as part of your overall LinkedIn advertising strategy, measuring results and adjusting your campaigns along the way.

Tweet in Advance

What Is It: Finally,  you can tweet in advance! This functionality has been available in all other social platforms, so you’ll now also be able to plan and schedule your Twitter postings to publish at a later date and time. 

What It Means for Marketers: The ability to tweet in advance will free up your time and help you to approach your Twitter presence more strategically. 

How You Should Respond: Get scheduling! Now that this feature is available, take advantage of it. Plan your tweets in advance and schedule them so you don’t need to remember to tweet throughout the day. 

Facebook Email Marketing

What Is It: Facebook has added a new feature to business accounts that allows users to send emails directly from Facebook instead of using your customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing automation (MA) tool. You’ll be able to upload lists of email contacts, craft messaging and send messages out, all through Facebook. 

What It Means for Marketers: This is a major shift for the Facebook platform, which has been traditionally about social engagement and advertising. With this new feature, Facebook is moving into the CRM space. Although it’s not a true CRM, for many small businesses this may be a very effective way to communicate with customers without the need for a separate platform. 

How You Should Respond: Once you see this feature become available in your business account, test it out. Create some lists, build some content and send it out. See how well this performs for your company. If you run any contests through Facebook, this could be a very easy way to communicate with your contest winners directly through the Facebook platform. Think about how you’ll use this tool and if it can or should replace your email marketing platform, or if you still need more functionality for your email marketing.

If you have questions about any of these changes or need help, don’t hesitate to reach out!