Our full-service digital marketing agency doesn’t just do web design or digital ads – we work on all digital marketing projects in a variety of industries, so we’re kept up-to-date on a wide range of marketing updates that you may not have even heard about or considered.
We pass along this knowledge in everything we do for our clients, from our monthly reports to our weekly communications. Whether you’re looking for a branding agency or a web design provider, we integrate our expertise and knowledge of recent events in all of our suggestions and insight.
Speaking of recent events – the past quarter has been a flurry of changes for many social and search platforms. Just as how we’re moving offices* to accommodate our expanding team,
(*Did you know that we’re moving? Come visit us at our new swanky location right across the Cartems Donut shop near Gastown! We swear this isn’t the main reason that we moved.)
We’ve compiled a short list of some of the massive changes that are occurring on Google and Facebook:
1. Facebook Ads Are Changing Their Algorithm
Instagram and Facebook will be integrating machine learning into their algorithms, following a change in their Ads Manager implemented just last month.
What this means, is that automated digital advertising is now more effective in its ability to deliver good ads to the right people.
What this doesn’t mean is that you can rely on machines to do all the work. Facebook ads have a tendency to recommend distribution settings that set parameters that favour a large reach. While this can be more effective in getting visibility on your ads, this may not always be the best idea if you’re optimizing for conversions.
Always consult your digital marketing agency or team before executing new ideas or strategies!
2. Google Ads Are Getting Rid Of Search Position Metrics
Google creates great products, but at the end of the day they are a business that aims to generate profit.
Possibly one of the biggest changes to a Google product occurred in 2013, when they removed search keywords from Google Analytics. While this change naturally resulted in a lot of discussions, ultimately, marketers were able to adapt by balancing organic SEO campaigns with PPC campaigns.
The next big change occurred in 2016, when Google removed their Right-Hand search ads in favour of more competitive advertising space.
Now, Google is getting rid of Search Position metrics as of September 30th, 2019. Similarly to the other changes above, these will impact your campaigns negatively without any positive exchange.
In their developer blog, they noted that the Search Position metric will be replaced by the Search Impression rate and “Absolute Top” ad scores. However, these metrics were added to Google AdWords last year, and are not new features.
While Google feels that the Search Position metric is not useful, it is a handy tool to pinpoint where you want your ads to be located – with this new system, they are essentially enticing advertisers to fight for the absolute top ad position.
Do you see where they are going with this? We do! Essentially, Google is aiming to increase profits from Google Ads, effectively changing the landscape one step at a time.
An immediate action item to note – if your marketing strategy relies on average ad position, or if your reports rely on average position as a custom column, be aware that these fields will be disabled permanently as of September 30th.
At Cucumber Marketing, we’re developing new campaigns and approaches every month in order to adapt to these changes, so you don’t have to pick everything up from scratch with each new release and change.
3. Google Maps Is Being Monetized
The third and last big change in August isn’t related to digital paid advertising, but to Google Maps. Google Maps is an integral part of local marketing, so it’s no surprise that our full-service digital marketing agency would be wary of such a change.
If you’re a developer, you might be aware that as of July 12th Google implemented the Google Cloud platform encompassing Google Maps, that requires payment information in order to access the Google Maps API.
For those of you who are not a website developer, this means that the Google Maps section of your website will not work unless a credit card is listed on file with your Google Cloud account.
For the vast majority of websites, Google Maps will remain free to use, as Google’s pricing table states that a $200 credit is applied each account on a monthly basis, which should cover up to 14,000 loads of volume on an advanced Google Maps embed each month.
We’ve noticed many businesses fail to realize this until it’s too late – since many business owners don’t have the time to routinely check the pages on their website, some businesses have had a broken Contact page for weeks.
Immediate action item – if you haven’t already, refresh the most important pages on your website and test all your forms. At our marketing agency, we compile weekly tests to ensure that all your pages are up and running properly
Google and Facebook-owned platforms account for some of the most popular apps – Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, SnapChat, Instagram, Gmail – the list goes on. With a huge share of time on social media, these two marketing giants should be at the forefront of your marketing considerations.
Don’t be a frog in the proverbial pot of boiling water. As a full-service digital marketing agency, we work to ensure that all of our clients are aware of the trends that impact our marketing campaigns on a monthly basis.
Our goal is to keep our clients aware, but not worried, because everything should already be taken care of. At the end of the day, that’s what your marketing partner should do, right? If you’re interested in setting something up, feel free to contact our marketing agency.