Find out more about the latest updates in digital marketing. Featuring key updates from Google, demystifying meta descriptions, and checking in on China's luxury goods market
Welcome to the latest round-up of all things digital. This is where we look at the latest updates in the world of PPC, SEO, Content and International from the last two weeks.
This week we're covering key updates from Google, demystifying meta descriptions, and checking in on China's luxury goods market.
Abby Crewe - PPC Specialist
Google Analytics 4 must be installed on websites this year
Google Analytics has been a cornerstone of not just PPC, but all of digital marketing for years, so moving over to GA4 is going to be a big change for everyone involved. The current iteration of Google Analytics is going away in 2023, making moving over to GA4 a time-sensitive issue. In order to be able to compare year on year data, GA4 has to be installed on websites this year, so it is something that all website owners and advertisers need to be thinking about.
Google Performance Max update to add focus on in-store visits
One of the hottest topics in PPC recently has been Performance Max, with this new campaign type becoming the ‘go to’ within Google Ads. The campaign does still have some teething issues and there’s also an insight into the campaign that was only announced to Search Engine Land.
The campaign is going to be updated so there is also a focus on in-store goals and store visits, which is useful for any advertisers who are wanting to drive footfall into a physical store. The new additions should help to add further confidence in setting up a PMAX campaign as you can see more insight into what’s working and what isn’t, in order to optimise further.
Jack Adams - Senior Content Specialist
Google release new SEO fundamentals course
In the world of content, Google has launched a new SEO fundamentals course (created by the University of California, Davis and powered by Coursera). It’s a course said to be taught by Googlers, but it’s caused some controversy as there was material in it saying pages should feature at least 300 words of content and a keyword density of 2%. There has been a lot of discussion in the industry about whether this advice should be ignored or not and, within 24 hours, the offending slide was dropped from course material, suggesting it shouldn’t be used as a recommendation.
Google address whether Meta Descriptions matter
Do Meta Description tags matter for ranking purposes? Though they’re not considered a ranking factor, and that’s something that’s been known for a while, it was interesting to see someone from Google address it, with John Mueller answering the question last month.
He was asked: “Does adding the location name in the meta description matter to Google in terms of ranking, if the content quality is maintained?”
John Mueller’s answer: “So the meta description is primarily used as a snippet in the search results page. And that’s not something that we would use for ranking. But obviously, having a good snippet on a search results page, that can make it more interesting for people to actually visit your page when they see your page ranking in the search results.”
Scott Skerritt - SEO Specialist
Google announce new broad core update
Google have announced a broad core update, which is a big change as they haven’t released one since November. They have not provided any context as to what the update is about specifically and have directed SEOs to read their generic guide on how they can improve their website, rather than tackling the update directly.
SEMrush sensor is showing 9.3/10 for SERP volatility, suggesting there are large changes in rankings across the board, so something to keep an eye on as an advertiser.
Google set to track more desktop SERP features through Search Console
Google have not previously tracked some organic impressions for certain SERP features like Top Stories, but they have now improved this feature and will add in additional impressions for these features within the Google Search Console. It’s likely that some websites will see an increase in impressions starting May 13th, and this addition could mislead webmasters/SEOs into thinking performance has improved rather than having additional data, so keep this in mind when reviewing last month's performance.
Alison Booth - Head of International
Luxury brands see declines in China
Some luxury fashion brands targeting China have seen a heavy decline in sales YoY in-store and there are two stand out reasons for this; firstly brands are failing to create the desire for consumers to purchase as they move through the funnel to convert through not being present, not delivering a sufficiently compelling message and not catching the attention of their target audience at the touchpoints where they could connect with their target audience.
Secondly, failing to localise the content they are disseminating to their target audience and, subsequently, finding that it does not resonate with the trending topics their target audience cares about. Most brands treat digital, social media, and the metaverse as an afterthought and not as a critical pathway to achieving competitive advantage.
Omnichannel strategies will not be successful if consumers are not convinced that your products or services will meet their requirements through your digital touch points with your target audience and are likely to go to and shop in competitor stores, which have achieved this more successfully. The article highlights how vital it is to be aware of and be present on the digital channels that your target audiences frequent in each market you operate in while ensuring that you deliver a localised message that will resonate well with your target audience.
Google get more personalised with ads while Apple move the other way
Google is seeking to deliver more personalised ad experiences, whereas Apple feels that targeting consumers, who do not want to receive personalised ads could yield better results. The article presents the case for each channel using a mix of UK and US data to explain how Google and Apple have come to these conclusions. This highlights the importance of testing to assess how your strategy should be adapted to your target audience and the channel you are using.
Get in touch to discuss how your brand can make the most of any of these digital marketing developments and grow online.