As we approach the beginning of summer in London, we reflect on all things search, social media and content marketing throughout May, so you can start June with the confidence that you’re up to speed with the important news from the digital marketing industry.
Google announce mobile-friendly ranking algorithm roll-out
Google officially launched the second version of the mobile-friendly update on May 12th. This mobile-friendly update will “increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.” Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm evaluates signals page-by-page, which resulted in the slower roll-out of the update. Mobilegeddon 2? John Mueller doesn’t think so…
Google are testing extended meta descriptions and page titles
Google are testing extended meta descriptions are page titles. Title tags are being displayed between 70-71 characters for some organic results, which is an increase from 50-55 characters. Some meta descriptions have been increased by 100 characters per line, whilst being extended from two to three lines. This is intriguing as it offers a a greater opportunity to communicate to the searchers what content is on your webpage, and include target keywords.
It is important to stress that Google often implement changes to the results pages, only to revert them a few weeks later. So refrain from re-writing all of your meta descriptions and page titles just yet.
If the changes remain, then re-optimise your priority URLs for the new extended allowance – just be sure to still get the most important messaging in the first 155 characters of your meta description.
Ross Hudgens was the first to observe the changes publicly.
Redditor Jonathan Jones suggested that the changes have impacted CTR in a positive way, which indicates the change could be long-term. Review your CTR from prior to May 4th and measure any notable increases, or decreases to your CTR as a result of longer search snippets.
Google have launched their new mobile-friendly testing tool
In the same month in which Google announced that their mobile-friendly algorithm update would provide a greater ranking boost, Google have also launched their new mobile-friendly testing tool.
The major improvements are that the new mobile-friendly testing is now mobile-friendly! Webmasters can access the tool from their smartphones.
Google upgrades rich snippets to rich cards for movie and recipe websites
Google has upgraded their rich snippets to rich cards for recipe and movie websites. The content has to have correct usage of structured markup to appear as a rich card.
Rich cards have a higher resolution image to improve the searcher’s experience, and they use a card carousel feature.
You can now also find rich card reports in Google Search Console – labelled as the “Rich results” filter, which shows indexing rates and error reporting. This will help enable search marketers to have a greater understanding of the visibility of their content in rich card format.
Moz has launched a new keyword research tool called “Keyword Explorer”
Rand Fishkin announced on May 3rd that Moz had launched their new keyword research tool – “Keyword Explorer”. This is the first time that Moz have focused on developing a keyword research product.
We list the key features, metrics and functionality below that Rand highlighted in his introduction:
- Keyword Explorer allows marketers manage the entire keyword research process from within the tool.
- Keyword Explorer combines two familiar metrics in Volume and Difficulty, with Opportunity, Importance and Potential.
- Opportunity analyses the relative CTR for organic web results in a search results page.
- Importance metrics can be manually set to indicate importance to a campaign.
- Potential combines the other metrics to enable marketers to build a prioritised list of keywords.
- Keyword Explorer provides a traffic volume metric that “goes beyond what AdWords reports”. The metric combines Russ Jones’ volume bucket model which is likely to have ~95% accuracy.
- Keyword Explorer combines Keyword Planner, Google Suggest and Related Searches sources for keyword suggestions. The keyword suggestions also include other keywords that the ranking pages have ranked for, alongwith topic-modelling ideas.
- Keyword Explorer offers import and export functionality, so SEOs can upload their keywords to pull in the other metrics which Keyword Explorer offers, and other tools do not.
You can find Rand’s overview of Moz’s Keyword Explorer below:
The 7 deadly sins of content marketing
Trond Lyngbø wrote an article on Search Engine Lands which covered the failings of many companies when it comes to integrating SEO and content marketing. The key point to take away is that successful content marketing strategies should be developed from a detailed SEO analysis. Below are the 7 deadly sins that Trond listed:
- Not doing proper keyword research – Without keyword research, content marketers can’t fully understand their audience’s intent, needs and wants. Advanced keyword research provides the intelligence to improve the visibility of your content.
- Not testing out content ideas – Content marketers should use tools to identify which types of content are resonating effectively with their target audience.
- Not utilizing AdWords data to study conversion rates and performance – Evaluate how keywords in search campaigns are converting and plan content production accordingly to make a website more profitable.
- Relying solely on Google data to guide content topics
- Not measuring performance or taking action on the data
- Thinking content marketing is the new SEO – There are numerous factors which influence organic ranking position.
- Failing to apply new knowledge – Sometimes it takes serious failure to jolt content marketers out of their comfort zone and improve their current content based on their knowledge.
That’s all from us! As always, we’d be delighted to hear your thoughts on the key talking points in the digital marketing industry as we head into June.