Google shares eCommerce SEO tips; Instagram hints at how to be recommended; Marketers focusing on brand; Best ads of the week & more

Here’s this week’s Digital Discovery. Everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing.

This week includes the SEO tips released by Google for eCommerce plus a reminder from Google that its helpful content update hasn’t finished. In social media, Instagram updates its feed options for users and gives creators an insight into how they can get their content recommended to users. Twitter announces new features and LinkedIn partners with Meta, Oracle and IBM to offer professional certifications.

Plus, many more stories of interest in the world of marketing that you should know about.

Finally, we cover some of the best ads discovered this week and look ahead at key content dates coming up next week.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update…

Google shares video with 6 SEO tips for eCommerce websites

Google has released a handy video on its Search Central YouTube channel for online store owners. The video lists six ways to optimize your ecommerce website for search results using structured data and Google Merchant Center.

Store owners should be using Google’s Merchant Center with an optimised product feed linked directly to their site. By doing so site owners can take advantage of Google’s free shopping listings and easily set up Ads.

Additionally, it is advised for store owners to also use structured product data alongside a product feed.

The six tips shared in the video are:

  1. Ensure products are indexed – This can be done with an XML sitemap and Google Merchant Center
  2. Check accuracy of product prices search results – Again, using a structured feed with Google Merchant Center should ensure everything displays correctly. Plus, you can add structured data directly onto the page
  3. Minimize price & availability lag – Relying solely on Googlebot to crael your site may result in a lag between the site and search results. Site owners should set up Merchant Center with a structured feed that is set to update on a regular basis.
  4. Ensure products are eligible for rich product results – Rich results are displayed at Google’s discretion, but you can ensure your products are eligible by using product structured data. Google also recommends combining with a product feed in Merchant Center.
  5. Sign up for Google Shopping tab – To be eligible for the Shopping tab, provide product data feeds via Merchant Center and opt-in to ‘surfaces across Google.’
  6. Share local product inventory data – Capture ‘near me’ searches for your products by doing the following:
  • Register your physical store location in your Google Business Profile
  • Provide a local inventory feed to Merchant Center
  • Finally, Google recommends using their tool called Pointy. Pointy is a device that connects to your in-store point-of-sale system and automatically keeps inventory data up to date.

View the full video here:

Instagram shares details for creators to feature in recommended content

When using Instagram, you may have noticed photos and videos in your feeds from accounts that you do not follow. These are called recommendations.

Instagram have published new guidance for creators to be able to expand reach with recommended content.

When Instagram determines whether to recommend a piece of content, they use signals such as how many and how quickly other people are liking, commenting, sharing, and saving a post.

To be considered for recommended content, creators are advised to:

  • Have a public account
  • Follow Instagram’s recommended post guidelines and community guidelines
  • Post original content
  • Create reels content
  • Optimise your video content to be viewed full-screen and vertically.
  • Keep it short. To be recommended, your content has to be 90 seconds or less.
  • Make a good first impression. Pull the viewer in within the first 3 seconds and keep them interested the whole time.
  • Avoid visibly recycled content. Don’t post reels that are visibly from other apps (i.e. contain watermarks) or that are low quality.

It seems like Instagram will be doubling down on recommendations, so content creators should look to follow these best practices to take advantage of the increased reach.

Find out more here: https://creators.instagram.com/blog/instagram-recommendations-eligibility-tips-creators

Twitter launches Twitter Circle and tests edit button

Twitter is rolling out a feature similar to Instagram’s close friends that allows users to make select tweets visible to a small group of people.

You can add up to 150 people to your Twitter Circle and you can only keep one circle at a time.

Users can’t retweet circle tweets. When you tweet to your circle, it stays in the circle.

Also this week, Twitter announced that it is testing an edit button that will allow users to modify tweets up to 30 minutes after posting.

LinkedIn offers professional certifications from Meta, Oracle, and IBM

LinkedIn is partnering with Meta, Oracle, and IBM to expand its offerings of professional learning courses and certificates.

The courses are now a part of LinkedIn Learning’s growing library, which subscribers can access at no additional charge.

The new courses are:

  • Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate
  • Meta Certified Community Manager
  • Meta Certified Media Buying Professional
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Cert Prep: Architect Associate
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Cert Prep: Foundations
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Cert Prep: Architect Professional
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Cert Prep: Cloud Operations Associate
  • Oracle Autonomous Database Cert Prep: Cloud Specialist
  • IBM Certified Cloud Advocate
  • IBM Certified Cloud Technical Advocate
  • IBM Certified Cloud Professional Architect
  • IBM Certified Cloud Professional Site Reliability Engineer

Find out more about LinkedIn Learning here

LinkedIn improves search results for posts

Users of LinkedIn can expect to see faster and more relevant results for posts as it overhauls its search technology.

To make search results more relevant, LinkedIn set out to create a system that considers the following aspects:

  • Relevance of the post to a query
  • Quality of the post
  • Personalization
  • User intent
  • Engagement
  • Freshness/recency

LinkedIn says its new system must also deliver results from diverse sources.

Instagram is testing new ways to control your feed

Brands and content creators on Instagram need to take more notice of their engagement stats and assess the relevancy of their content as the social media platform tests 2 new ways for users to control their feed.

The two new features allow users to mark posts as ‘not Interested’ and to tell Instagram to hide posts with certain words, phrases, or emojis in the captions.

Microsoft Ads extends RSA migration to Feb 2023

The deadline to migrate Expanded Text Ads to Responsive Search Ads has been pushed back again, giving advertisers more time to make the switch.

Marketers focus on brand over performance

Marketing Week have reported that marketers are focusing on brand over performance marketing in a recent survey.

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The research reveals 14.9% of marketers focus solely on brand marketing, versus 8.6% whose focus is on performance marketing.

Marketers focusing on brand argue the importance of being top-of-mind in buying situations. Whereas marketers focusing on performance marketing need to justify marketing spend to demonstrate ROI.

Looking forward there will undoubtedly be increased scrutiny of marketing effectiveness as inflation rises and companies look to cut on costs. The key thing to remember is that brand marketing is an investment which should be protected, whilst performance marketing should display an instant ROI.

Companies should be doing both and will have to think well on how to split their marketing budgets.

Ads of the week

Be a smart cookie with Sainsbury’s SmartShop

I personally use the SmartShop app and I have been very impressed with the personalised offers.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Fingers | Sign with Fingers Big & Small

Really nice campaign. Cadbury’s work with National Deaf Children’s Society to get more of us signing. Go to http://signwithfingers.cadbury.co.uk to start learning.

Subway interactive 3D billboard

Subway has launched an interactive 3D billboard that allows people to virtually make their own sandwich on screen.

Other stories of interest

Higher-income households increasingly feeling cost of living squeeze

Higher-income households earning £40,000 or more per year have reported the biggest increase in financial discomfort since April…

Read more

Global ad spend to rise 8.3% in 2022 before slowing next year

Warc has downgraded its expectations for global advertising growth by $90bn (£76bn), as economic troubles continue worldwide.

The firm now anticipates an 8.3% rise in global ad spend this year to $880.9bn (£751.5bn), 4.3 percentage points lower than the forecast made in December 2021.

Read more

Almost a third of Brits expect to spend less on Christmas this year

A third (32%) of consumers are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier this year than last, with almost three in 10 (29%) planning to begin before the end of August, according to a survey of 2,010 UK consumers by eBay ads UK.

Read more

CMOs blame missed marketing goals on staffing challenges and data regulations

Nearly half (46%) of 500 senior marketing executives in the UK and US consider staff resource constraints to be a major barrier preventing their company from achieving its marketing goals. This includes a lack of technical knowledge or access to developers, and a limited number of marketing professionals.

However, according to the Iterable survey, the main impediment to achieving marketing goals is changing rules and regulations around customer data. Close to 50% of CMOs do not feel well prepared for the end of third-party cookies in 2024.

Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) of respondents say customer experience and trustworthy relationships will be the most important thing for customers in the next 12 months. Over 60% of respondents are confident their budget for customer experience will increase by at least 25% over the year.

Read more


Key dates for your social content next week

5 September: International Day of Charity

6 September: Read a Book Day

7 September: Salami Day

8 September: International Literacy Day

10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.












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