Monthly Industry Roundup: April 2017

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Location3 News: Just two weeks ago, we launched the latest update to our proprietary suite of tools, LOCALACT. Improved load times, streamlined reporting, and the ability for our clients to directly respond to Google reviews highlights the launch with Bing API Publish and local user access coming soon!

Location3 President and Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Porter, notes: “I’m continually amazed at both the advancements that have been made in our LOCALACT platform over the past 12 months, and the updates we still have in store for 2017. We continue to innovate every day, and that focus is sparked by the needs of our clients and driven by our mission to provide best-in-class local digital marketing technology to all of our partners.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?

Rich Results for Podcasts

  • Google just launched this
  • Only available for Google Home and Google Search app v6.5 or higher on Android devices
  • Support on Chrome and Android coming soon

Below are Google’s guidelines to getting podcasts indexed

  • Expose a valid RSS feed describing the podcast that conforms to the RSS 2.0 specifications as well as the feed requirements described below
  • The feed must contain at least one episode that conforms to the requirements given on this page
  • The podcast must have a dedicated homepage with the elements described below. The homepage must have a <link> pointing to your RSS feed
  • The homepage, the RSS feed, and any non-blocked audio files must be exposed to Googlebot; that is, they must not require a login, and must not be protected by robots.txt or <noindex> tags

Negative Effects of Google’s Fred

  • Google confirmed Fred last week but won’t add anything other than its target in Google’s webmaster guidelines
  • Fred is a Google algorithm update that focused on/targeted link quality
  • Sistrix, an SEO toolset data collection company, analyzed effects of Fred and said that low value content sites were hit.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LOCAL?

Schema.org Releases New Restaurant Menu Markup

  • The restaurant industry has been rather limited as to what they could do with schema in years past (name, address, phone, hours)
  • New features allow markup of menu items (breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, salads, etc.)
  • Can also markup description, price and nutritional info.

Implications: Potential rich snippets in Google? Restaurant websites can now become primary source of info.

Google Maps Ad Traffic Steadily Growing

  • Ads in the map pack are seeing a steady growth in click traffic as Google continues to monetize search with local intent and navigational queries

Implications: Online conversion rate may decline because people are looking for directions to a physical store, and mobile CPCs are higher because the cost of “Get Location Details” clicks are more expensive.

Facebook Inches Closer to Something That Looks Like Local Search

  • Facebook is testing an enhanced local search feature that could see the social network creeping in on Google Maps, Foursquare and Yelp territory
  • Allows users to surface recommendations of nearby places (“dinner nearby” or “bars nearby”) by entering a query in Facebook’s search box on the web or mobile
  • Basically, it’s an expanded version of Nearby Places. List of relevant businesses w/ FB ratings, map, & which friends of yours have visited or liked

Implications: Facebook could become a full-blown competitor to Google, Yelp, YP, & others.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DISPLAY?

Programmatic Can Tell Stories

The storytelling capabilities of programmatic advertising tend to get overlooked due to the number of creative versions needed to implement correctly. But when we have had the opportunity to execute a strategy on that level, we’ve found the performance is truly there to back up the additional work on the front end. Some strategies we have tested include:

  • Creative Sequencing – telling a story through several creative versions and touchpoints with each viewer
  • Segmented Retargeting – providing specific messages based on the interactions those individuals have had with the site
  • Device Specific Messaging – understanding how your customers interact with each device and messaging them appropriately
  • Market Specification – calling out the specific area or audience you are talking to in the ad

These are just a couple examples, there are a lot of things we can do with targeting and messaging to help increase campaign performance.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VIDEO?

Programmatic Becoming Standard

Programmatic TV inventory continues to increase as consumers continue to adopt online programming options and cut the cord. It was recently announced that SlingTV partnered with Adobe Advertising Cloud to sell their programmatic TV inventory. O

ther similar inventory sources include Roku, PlayStationVue, and Apple TV devices. For advertisers, programmatic TV is becoming a standard part of the media mix versus a supplement to their traditional TV buys. As the audiences grow on these types of platforms, this shift in spending will continue to grow.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?

Google Optimize Is Now Free

Google announced last week that its Optimize and Optimize 360 are out of beta, and Optimize is available for anyone at no cost. Optimize is an A/B testing and personalization product that is designed to give small and medium-size businesses “who need powerful testing but don’t have the budget or team resources for an enterprise-level solution.” Optimize is now available – for free – in more than 180 countries across the world.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PPC?

Google to Ignore Word Order and Function Words

When it comes to exact match targeting in AdWords, Google is expanding its matching to include variations in word order and function words. We are thinking this is part of a gradual devaluation of phrase match, although Google is not admitting as much just yet.

To protect your account from the limitation of these changes, take a look at your keyword set to make sure reordering your keywords would not give your keyword a new meaning (e.g. “pancake mix” is not the same as “pancake mixer”). If you do have some of these cases, add the irrelevant word ordering as a negative keyword.

Have a question about any of our updates? Start a discussion below.

 

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