Menu

Digital marketing news and tips from Q1 2017

1 year ago by Liz Estall

It's important to stay up-to-date with the latest digital marketing trends. To help you keep up, here’s a rundown of our top 3 updates - the ones that we’re talking about with clients:

Companies get serious about HTTPS

So, 50% of page one search results are https and there are no signs of slowing down. Based on current trends, https websites will dominate page 1 rankings on Google 70/30 by the end of 2017 according to a Moz report.

It’s worth looking into it if you want heightened security for your visitors - after all trust is an important factor online. Not only that though - now it’s clear that Google favours https as a ranking signal - and everyone wants Google on their side if they value organic rankings.

For anyone wanting to capitalise on the security benefits of a https domain, be wary that the migration process can be tricky, and can result in unforeseen issues. Things to look out for include temporary loss of rankings while search engines re-crawl and adjust to the new site URL (they see https:// as a completely new site).

We’ve also seen a lot of instances where developers fail to set up the correct redirects which means the old non-secure site stays live. This causes search engines to flag up and penalise the sites for duplicate content. Our advice, in a nutshell, is to go for the switch to https, because it’s well worth the benefits but: 

  • Make sure your developers map out the new URLs and sets up redirects properly.
  • Be prepared for a temporary drop in organic rankings while search engines adjust to the new version of the site.

moz-https-growth-graph.png

The unconfirmed Google algorithm - Fred

Fred - the silent update - has quickly become a foe of anyone involved in SEO. Well, maybe not just anyone. This rumoured update, which Google have refused to acknowledge or comment on, has caused low-value content sites to take a massive hit on rankings, to the tune of anywhere between 50% to 90%.

What Search Engine Land have found, (from researching sample URLs of sites that say they have been affected), is that this silent update has hit websites that publish low-value content on a variety of topics, and generate revenue through advertising and affiliate links.

Their conclusion is that - despite the absence of comment from Google - these websites have been penalised for prioritising revenue over useful content for users. You may not have ads or affiliate links on your website but this update might pose a good opportunity for a general look at the quality of your site content.

Recently, for many of our clients, we’ve been auditing their existing content - consolidating similar content, updating existing pages or removing low-quality content. The goal is to keep websites relevant and informative for users, as user engagement remains a high ranking signal to search engines.

Tell your story in multiple images on Instagram

In the last quarter Instagram has launched an exciting new feature. The Instagram multiple images feature (which also supports video) came into effect at the tail-end of February and we’ve enjoyed seeing how brands have been using it to its full potential.

Our feelings are that it’s a handy tool - when used effectively. There are situations where it has failed to have much impact but other where its use is spot on. It’s effective when used to document a process e.g. baking and DIY projects where the reader would have otherwise had to sift through timelines to piece instructions together or to follow a story. It serves as a highlight reel for events e.g. weddings and conferences that can be captured in 10, or fewer, images.

There are times where it feels as though the user has thrown together a series of unrelated images just for the sake of using this new tool. While this is fine for day to day Instagram users, we would suggest that brands refrain for doing this and wait for the perfect scenario to arise.

nsl.jpg

TV chef Jamie Oliver has been using it with good effect. Teamed with a simple caption and the usual ‘link in bio’.

It’s also being used well by fashion brands to showcase an item of clothing in different colours and from different views, or garments from a specific collection. So much better than using side by side or separate posts. It’s a very simple yet clever feature.

Interested? Let's talk

Or join the conversation: