I hope you're well and getting ready for a fruitful Q2 / 4 (depending where you are). It's been a busy quarter for digital marketing and in particular a few Google updates past, present and future. So, I thought I'd share some new developments in the space. This newsletter is pretty Google-centric, but there were too many important updates that I couldn't skip any. Assuming Google doesn't release this many updates next month the next newsletter will focus on other digital marketing areas. Looking for digital marketing assistance? Book a call. Cheers, Josh ---
Google Search has had a few big and small updates.
Favicons and Site Name in Google Search - Paid and Organic
You may have noticed that the Google search results look different - they've had a touch of colour and titles! After some testing, Google is rolling out favicons and Site Titles in the search results. What's a favicon? It's the little icon (usually a logo) that you see in the browser tab to indicate what website you're on. Take this as a reminder to ensure your website favicon and Site Title is up to date as it will be more prevalent on Google Search.
Google Business Profile (Previously Google My Business) Services impact SEO performance
On your Google Business Profile you can add services or products that you offer. These are starting to impact Google Search results (essentially being keywords you can get traffic for). It only takes a few seconds to do and is very tech-illiterate friendly. Add the services you offer to your Google Business Profile to assist your Google ranking
Google Ads Performance Max is growing up and showing you helpful data - FINALLY.
Google's Performance Max campaign type in Google Ads essentially combines all Google channels (Search, YouTube, Display, Gmail, Discover, Shopping) into the one ad. It is very simple to set up, and has some strong targeting capabilities (a la social interest based advertising). However, Google has traded this simplicity with a lack of data transparency - meaning that we can't really see what's working very well. Luckily, Google is listening and we have a few updates coming. Account and campaign level negative keywords. You will soon be able to exclude brand terms from the campaign and and the account level. Previously, if you were running a Performance Max campaign, you would have not been able to exclude your own brand's terms or even to see how many clicks you're receiving from your brand. This can cause very inflated conversion rates and return on ad spends which you may not have realised you were receiving. Asset Group level reporting. You'll soon be able to see asset group level data like conversion value, cost and other metrics within Google Ads. Previously, you could only see data at the campaign level, which meant that if you had more than one Asset Group in your campaign you would have had no idea which one was performing well. Now, you'll be able to see data at the Asset Group level. You can read more about all the new Performance Max changes here.
Google Ads is getting a makeover
Google is rolling out a new version of Google Ads, which is much lighter (woo) and somewhat more user friendly. I'm a big fan of the new rollout as it makes the platform much more accessible for those who don't live in the platforms. The update is currently rolling out, so your account may not yet have it. There is no change in functionality - with the main change being to user navigation.
Google Analytics Universal Analytics will be discontinued
This is your friendly reminder that the Google Analytics that we've all loved for the last decade or so (Universal Analytics) is being sunset on July 1st. That means it will stop collecting data. To continue to use Google Analytics you must set up a GA4 (the new Google Analytics) property. It is recommended that you also set up your Events + Conversions (similar to Goals in UA) in GA4 asap, especially if you use Google Analytics Goals in your Google Ads conversion tracking.
What about some quick hacks for us today, Josh?
In the spirit of this Google-centric email, let's stay on the Googs. If you're not capturing your brand + terms on Google, then you're leaving traffic on the table and not controlling your brand's conversation. Here's a few common ones below.
Brand + Discount code - e.g. 'Nike discount code'. Most of this traffic goes to coupon code websites, which send traffic to your website of people looking for a saving. Why not make your own page on your website called 'Brand Discount Codes' where you can list any evergreen, expired or future codes. Bonus - you can collect emails on this page to alert users of upcoming sales! Now you've captured Google Search traffic and built an email list.
Brand + Reviews - e.g. 'Nike Shoe Reviews'. Most of this traffic goes to review websites or blogs. Do you collect reviews of your products? Why not take a slice of the pie and list your reviews on a dedicated 'Reviews' page, so you can own the conversation and add these high intent website visitors to your funnel.
Restaurant name + Menu - e.g. "Starbucks menu'. A lot of this traffic goes to delivery sites taking your menu traffic. If you list your menu online, make sure to update your Meta Title on the menu page to own your venue's menu page.