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SEO

Google debunks page speed myths

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The new SEO Mythbusting series on YouTube is quickly becoming one of our favorites – each week, SEO specialists from Google tackle some of the most common search engine myths out there.

This week? Page speed was the topic. It’s one of the most frequently discussed aspects of SEO, and it can be notoriously difficult to improve. Fortunately, Google’s Martin Splitt and Perficient’s Erin Enge sat down and dropped some great page speed insights. Here are the highlights:

  • Don’t sweat it: page speed isn’t always as important as some people will tell you. Yes, page speed is still important for SEO. However, Martin and Erin explain that you should focus on creating a good user experience overall – simply having a fast page doesn’t mean you will rank in the top 10.
  • Resizing images isn’t the only part of optimizing for page speed. Keeping your image file sizes small is important, but page speed optimization goes deeper than that – lazy loading tactics, server speed, and proper script placement are all other facets to try implementing on your pages.
  • Use an analytics-based approach to optimization. Just because your site loads quickly on a high-end laptop doesn’t mean it loads like that for everyone – pull from your user data to figure out what types of devices people are accessing your site from, and optimize for those devices.

The Crew’s take: Page speed is only valued by Google because it improves the user experience. Instead of thinking of page speed as some metric to fix, approach it from a user-first perspective – it’s the future of SEO, especially as Core Web Vitals are set to become a ranking factor.

There are plenty more page speed insights in the full video here, if you’re wanting to learn more.


FACEBOOK

What’s next for Facebook?

The past week has been a quiet one for Facebook, but with an earnings call coming up on Thursday and news coming out about the extent to which companies have stopped ad buying, we’re interested to see what’s next.

Yesterday, SEJ analyzed a report published by Digiday with the results from a survey of 104 agency ad executives, and they’re not pretty for Facebook. Here are the key statistics:

  • 56% of ad buyers said that their clients put Facebook advertising on hold in July. This is a significant number – the list of big businesses boycotting Facebook is growing, and we’ll see how significantly this affects FB’s earnings going forward into Q3.
  • Some brands are ready to advertise again. 41% of respondents said that advertising would start up again by the end of July, and only 17% said it won’t be until Facebook makes meaningful changes. This doesn’t come as a surprise, but these results indicate that some brands may have simply been following the trend.
  • 55% of ad buyers surveyed don’t think the boycott will result in any meaningful change. This attitude from buyers and brands may explain why many are ready to get back to advertising.

Facebook isn’t the only platform taking a hit

new report from Zenith Advertising forecasts that global ad spend will shrink by 9.1% overall in 2020. We saw some of that impact in Twitter’s earnings report last week – revenue was down overall – and we should expect to see more of that as the year goes on.


BRANDING

“If you use social media to communicate with your audience, you’re NOT building any brand…

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… because you’re not increasing your penetration”

That’s some of the insights we found in this brand-building piece from Born Social. It’s a lot of info, sooo…let’s get straight into the juice.

The foundations of brand building

  • System 1 and System 2: 95% of the time people make decisions based on emotions (System 1). The other 5% percent of the time, we think things through (System 2)Brand building appeals to emotions (System 1).
  • It’s a long term game: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your brand won’t be either – especially if you’re looking to have as lasting an impact as Rome did.
  • Cultural imprinting: A brand is strong when everyone has a strong understanding of what that brand means.
  • Brand penetration: A brand grows when it increases its penetration among all potential buyers, not just the heavy ones.
  • Distinctive brand assets: You need unique and famous brand assets.

After laying the foundation, let’s see how basic social media concepts change when talking brand building:

  • Audience growth: You should spend resources to communicate to all your potential buyers, not just your current social media audience.
  • Engagement doesn’t build brands: Only a few buyers will take the effort to publicly engage with your social media pieces. Try to focus on the bigger picture when it comes to targeting users.
  • Micro-targeting does not build a brand: You want to reach potential buyers, not just the ones you know will buy your product.

Here are the three elements of the brand-building framework

+ Creatives: This is what you say and how you say it. There are three types of creatives you can use:

  • Fame builders
  • Short stories
  • Distinctive cues

+ Media: There are three elements to consider when distributing your creatives on different media:

  • Reach and frequency
  • Compounding effects
  • Budget allocation

+ Measurement: This comes down to measuring your creatives and media efforts. And the post lists the questions you should ask yourself to measure your results.

Phew, it’s been a long ride. And this is just a birds-eye view. You can find everything here with all the details.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

E-COMMERCE: Last week, Walmart announced that they wouldn’t be opening on Thanksgiving in the US. This week, Target decided to follow suit. Is this about to be a massive November for e-commerce?

SOCIAL MEDIA: The UK government just published a guide on planning accessible social media campaigns, and it offers up some useful advice for marketers!

INSTAGRAM: As reported by Alessandro Paluzzi on Twitter, Instagram is testing a new, carousel-like feature that makes it easier to browse stories.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS: Some users are seeing Google’s new GMB subscription service showing up – the way it looks, businesses who pay the fee have a significant edge over those that don’t.

LINKEDIN: A new eBook was publsihed – for free – by LinkedIn to help business owners get their businesses back on track in the midst of a pandemic.


BRAIN TEASER

Fact or fiction: Napoleon was shorter than average.

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

So long, junk food

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The UK government made a massive move this week – it released plans to ban junk food ads and promotions. And yes, it’s just as strict as it sounds. Junk food ads won’t be allowed online, on TV, and even BOGO (buy-one-get-one) promotions will be banned.

It doesn’t stop at advertising, either. Stores will be also limited to where they can place junk food items in an effort to reduce impulse buying.

The new law is for a good cause – to reduce obesity – but it’s got plenty of marketers and brands upset, who claim that reduced advertising will have a minimal impact on how much junk food people eat.

Time will tell whether the policy is effective for the UK.

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