Digital Marketing Trends to Fuel 2018: Q2

Part 2 of a quarterly digital marketing guide from our agency experts.

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Globe Runners know how to use digital marketing trends to create liftoff. We’re not in the business of staying grounded; we’re in the business of sending our clients to new heights. To do that, we spend a considerable amount of manpower cataloging the digital landscape.

With this aerial view, we can anticipate SEO updates and algorithm changes before they make an impact. We also use it to implement technical strategies to search and social media marketing that help our digital advertising campaigns fire on all cylinders.

Here’s your quarterly look from our vantage point:

Technical SEO/Link Building:

  1. Ahrefs updates domain ranking to better reflect SERPs

Moving away from website authority as calculated by search rankings, the new update ranks your domain as compared to its “link popularity” against other sites on the web. It scales from 0 to 100, and after some quick computations, it spits out a DR score based on the websites that link to yours.

The Ahrefs update comes in an effort to be more transparent about how sites are ranked. It also aims to clear up misinformation about the former DR scale.

If you’ve seen a change, have your SEO agency check the following for a more accurate review:

  • Cumulative search traffic
  • Your site’s top 100 ranking keywords and the positions of the most relevant ones
  • Total quality websites, including page and content, of those linking to you
  1. March 12 algorithm update

With this update, the quality of your content is safe. The core update was designed to prioritize SERP (search engine results page) quality. The Google update was also structured to reward quality sites that hadn’t been ranking well as opposed to penalizing those that broke the new rules.

Many of our clients have been pleased by these new parameters Google is now using to determine what defines a quality site. Of course, if you were negatively affected by this string of March 2018 Google Updates, we’ll happily help you course correct.

  1. Google replaces SERPs with answers structured data queries

If someone goes to Google looking for a quick answer with a straightforward question like, “what is the capital of Costa Rica?” or “how many calories are in a margarita?” an answer box will appear.

This update is a huge benefit to the user, but not website owners (unless you are the authoritative website that Google is pulling the answer from), as it will lessen the click-through rate in organic search results.

Local SEO/Citation Updates:

  1. Be Proactive on Google My Business

Last quarter, you heard us talk about the new Google Q&A section located in the knowledge panel. Here’s how to stay active with it.

    • New features include Google Q&A, which currently doesn’t have notifications. Check for feedback regularly and monitor for questions about your business. Being proactive means you can even post FAQ’s as a business with answers.

  • Chat on Google My Business is another new feature that can be enabled, providing another way to reach prospective customers and respond to questions or concerns.
  • Google posts are becoming a strategic way for brands to stand out in the knowledge graph and Google Maps. Posts can be scheduled and planned ahead of time for promotions, special events, etc.

Taking these actions on GMB will improve click-through rate, earning more website visits, phone calls, and in-store visits.

  1. Review Response

Everyone knows reviews are important, but a response to a review is just as valuable. Even if you have 20+ reviews with 5 stars each, posting a response to each one will take you above and beyond. Instead of a generic, “thanks for sharing your experience,” include more context. Have a dialogue in your follow up. Look up customers in your CRM database and see what products/services were purchased. For an auto shop, your response can become, “Jim, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Congrats again on adding a new member to your family. Your Chrysler Pacifica is tuned up and ready to perform for your road trip this summer.”

A response like this is personal and highlights the level of care you’re likely to see at this auto shop.

  1. It’s not all about the Reviews

There’s more to great marketing than collecting positive reviews. You might be getting testimonial letters sent to your company, survey responses, and emailed feedback. Take a look at all your interactions with customers and where their feedback is published. Use that content in a testimonial on the website.

For B2B, it can be hard to generate reviews. It can be easier to start with logos of companies you work with. Work up to asking for quotes that can be used as testimonials from your client contact.

A case study is the final tier of reputation management. It can take more effort to gain approval and write case studies for clients, but it’s worth getting several published for each location of your business.

Consider a project page if approval from clients is unlikely. An interactive map of projects completed in your location is a great way to visualize projects in your market. Nearby Now and other tools allow for your crew to simply log a new quote on a smartphone. The tool takes care of the rest, uploading the location and details of a project to the website.

Enhance your location pages with testimonials, case studies, and projects in that market. It will help you stand out from competition, add valuable content for Google, and improve conversions.

Social Media and Content Marketing:

  1. Demand for mobile-ready content

Google’s mobile-first algorithm, set to launch next year, will soon rank and index sites based on their mobile content. This will be a huge departure. While it’s far from the death of desktop, ranking well will soon require webmasters to prioritize the user experience. That’s happening more and more on our phones with over half of all searches being conducted from our hands, not our laps.

While no one knows exactly when the transition will occur, it’s best to prepare now. Taken in batches, it could save you from a disastrous algorithm update.

  1. IG dominates in engagement rates

Poised to surpass the 1 Billion mark by year’s end, Instagram continues to dwarf rival social media networks. Thanks to the early and sustained adoption of hashtags, more than ¾ of businesses are finding increased opportunities for engagement and user-generated content.

Ads rake in billions of dollars each year with brands capitalizing on story advertising. Geo-tagging is also increasing engagement, offering brands one more win for their digital toolbox. Want to continue capitalizing on the engagement bandwagon? Post photos with faces!

  1. Snapchat update will create a rise in IG, and even FB, stories

It’s normal to expect a bit of backlash when a company unveils a new update. But the fervor with which users have rejected Snapchat’s latest interface is nothing short of unprecedented. Snippy snapchatters have even petitioned on for a reversal, amassing more than 750K signatures and counting.

Good news for Instagram and Facebooks stories, though. They’ve siphoned off user overflow in the process and marveled at their increased online engagement. Could the switch be permanent? We’ll be keeping watch.


  1. Changes to AdWords ad policies to comply with the GDPR

Changes from the other side of the pond have washed up stateside. Namely, Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation. Google AdWords is responding in kind by, “require[ing] that publishers take extra steps in obtaining consent from their users.”

  1. Shoptalk: new shopping actions program that offers a universal cart

In an effort to stay competitive with the ‘Zon, a new Google initiative will shake up the typical PPC campaign model for big companies like Target, Costco, and others. They’re moving to cost-per-sale instead but made sure to specify that organic rankings would remain constant.

  1. AdWords interface change

Snapchat isn’t the only one unveiling a new interface. AdWords is sporting a new overview and home that tab that lets you quickly visualize some top-level data in your account. Navigation, native reporting, and added extensions are some of the touted ‘improvements,’ but feedback from PPC managers has been mixed so far.

Creative/Art Direction:

  1. Simpler is always better

With Twitter, Instagram stories and .06 non-skippable ads, we need to be quick, to-the-point, and relevant. In other words, we need the nuggets. Tailor your online content so it can be absorbed in the instant-gratification-pace of your audience.

  1. Phone-ing it in

Large screens, high resolution, budget-friendly tools, and vids with an intimate feel—these are the draws of making movies on an iPhone. They’re also just some of the reasons marketers and even filmmakers are using our magic handheld devices to create their masterpieces.

More and more, we’re learning that with talent and insight, smartphones can be powerful marketing tools. Since phones are our most familiar medium, it only makes sense to continue utilizing them and their plethora of apps to create viral digital marketing content.

  1. Sharing stories, finding a way to relate

Marketers are natural storytellers. Whether using catchy social media posts, intruding web copy, or snappy branding, the goal remains the same: tell the story behind the brands. It’s a human-centric approach that’s aimed at finding new ways to share common ground with their consumers. These inroads offer their customers and clients new ways to consider a marketer’s brand.

If you want to make a personal connection, but aren’t sure where to begin, why not start by sharing a bit about the people behind your product? The men and women beyond the work are likely some of your most unique marketing collateral.

Need a little help with your digital marketing launch? Let us send you into the stratosphere