Digital news – September

Did you read up on the latest digital news from August? Here’s our monthly summary of the top industry news stories from September.

Mobile-first index enabled

If you have Google Search Console you’ll likely have received an email last week stating that your site has moved over to the Mobile First Index. This has been a long time coming, and from what we can ascertain, Google is crawling the web as a smartphone browser would render your website, instead of how a desktop browser would. This shouldn’t have an impact on your rankings, unless your content is very different on desktop compared to mobile.

Although this update has absolutely nothing to do with the mobile friendliness of a website, it is worth considering just how friendly your website is on mobile. The popularity of mobile isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so contact our team to find out how we can help you.

Shopping now available in Instagram stories and explore

Shopping on Instagram first became available in March, giving brands a greater opportunity to show their products and connect with customers. Due to the success, businesses who are approved for shopping can now connect with consumers through shopping in stories. Instagram are also testing a shopping channel in Explore.

Amazingly, there are more than 90 million accounts tapping to reveal tags in shopping posts on Instagram every month. Could Instagram be the next big eCommerce platform for brands?

Paid Search & Social ads driving two thirds of growth by 2020

The pace of digital is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s now been predicted that paid search and social media ads will account for two thirds of all the growth in global advertising expenditure up until 2020.

Soon after this announcement, Next stated that they are cutting spend on print and TV and planning to double their digital marketing budget in 2019, with a main focus on mobile.

It’s also important to note that brands are now investing more in developing strategies for voice search. Brands must have a strong SEO and content strategy in place to ensure they are appearing in organic search results.

Google search turns 20!

Google recently held a  20th anniversary and future of search event, where they announced a number of new features they’re bringing out. These features are driven by what Google are calling 3 fundamental shifts in how we think about search:

Check out the above links to read more about the features announced. Interestingly, Google first noticed that users were searching for visual information back in 2000, when everyone was searching for Jennifer Lopez’ green Grammy Awards dress. Since then, Google have been continuing to include more imagery and video in search, as it can be seen in some of the new features.

We look forward to seeing these features develop and evolve as our search habits and behaviours continue to change.

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We’re feeling…20! 🎈 #SearchIs20

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Video in showcase shopping ads

Google has launched video in showcase shopping ads, just in time for retail’s busiest period! Video content is forever growing, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say that video has given them inspiration for their next purchases.

Video in showcase shopping ads allows shoppers to engage more with your products, giving them an immersive and contextual experience. This helps shoppers to make a decision more easily and provides transparency, which may result in a higher chance of purchase. Want to find out more? Contact our PPC team today.

Snapchat & Amazon partnership

Snapchat and Amazon have teamed up to trial visual search. Users will be able to search for items on Amazon by using Snapchat’s camera. Users simply need to point their camera at an item or a barcode, which will then bring up the item within the app, alongside a price and a link to purchase. If it’s not an exact match, it will still show related items available to buy at Amazon.

This could be a smart move from both parties – a steady revenue stream for Snapchat and the opportunity to tap into a younger generation market for Amazon. It’s safe to say that eCommerce is playing a key role in the majority of online platforms and is only set to develop further.

Vertical video ads launched by YouTube

YouTube are making strides towards providing a more seamless mobile experience for viewers and advertisers alike, having now launched vertical video ads.

A great feature for those who instinctively don’t flip their phones horizontally to watch their favourite videos, this update ensures the ads they’re being served will now have a stronger impact on their viewing experience.

Occupying approximately 75% of a mobile screen, vertical video ads will look larger than a landscape video. Better still, vertical video ads will be displayed across 100% of the screen when played in full screen mode, with devices held in portrait position.

Although a relatively minor update, this is certainly a step in the right direction towards enhancing the all-important mobile experience for consumers, whilst simultaneously enabling advertisers to benefit from their viewership.

Written by Natalie Williams

Client Partner Marketing Manager

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