December Online Marketing Roundup

December Online Marketing Roundup

December and the holidays are finally here and it’s for sure the best month of the year for us. But we know that for marketers like you this can be a stressful time, planning holiday campaigns, creating your Christmas and New Year Eve greetings and a lot of other stuff.

That’s why we want you to save some valuable time by putting in one place the most important news of this Month. Get ready to read our last Online Marketing Roundup of the year!

1. Google to Roll Out Accelerated Mobile Pages to Everyone, Get Your Content Ready Now

Google announced its plans to roll out accelerated mobile pages in February 2016, following successful testing of the new technology.

The search giant first unveiled its AMP technology two months ago, touting it as an open-source content delivery platform that can load web pages instantly after being clicked on from a Google search.

Initially, this technology was tested with a select few publishers. Now, by late February, everyone will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

You don’t have to wait until then to get your content ready. You shouldn’t wait, either. According to Google’s John Mueller, this is going to be “next year’s hottest new website technology.”

Mueller also added that if you’re a web developer, you’re most certainly going to be asked about it. Whether you’re an SEO, a developer, or just website owner — it’s best to become acquainted with this new technology now and start implementing it.

Read more about it in this Search Engine Journal article.

2. How US Consumers Are Researching Holiday Gift Ideas in 2015

With Google estimating that 30% of all online purchases now happen on mobile phones, this holiday season will see retailers fighting for shoppers’ attention across more devices and channels then ever before.

According to a new Searchmetrics study, 67% of 2,000 US consumers polled will have researched gifts online on their smartphones. However an impressive 20% say their phone is the only device they’ll use for researching gifts online during the holidays.

And where are shoppers doing the bulk of their shopping research? 62% of US consumers will have researched Christmas gifts by looking on Amazon, and 44% performing searches on Google.

It makes sense that Amazon and Google have been named as the most popular sources of gift ideas, they are after all the biggest names in digital.

However social channels are fairing well too, with 27% of consumers using Facebook, and the same percentage using Pinterest, which also revealed in November that it has accumulated 17.7m holiday gift pins on its site.

16% of the consumers said they will use Instagram for gift ideas, while 12% mentioned Twitter.

So what can online retailers do to take advantage of the above trends and make sure they have as much visibility as possible on mobile, search and social throughout the holiday shopping season?

Find some handy tips in this Search Engine Watch article.

3. New Facebook Pixel: Audiences, Custom Conversions and Standard Events

The pixel is more than just remarketing and website custom audiences. It’s optimization. It’s tracking. And it’s a whole lot more, combining what was once multiple pixels into one.

The Facebook pixel has changed, and marketers are confused. Here’s a breakdown of what you need know according to Jon Loomer.

The Old Pixel(s)

Note the “(s).” In the past, Facebook marketers had multiple pixels:

  1. Website Custom Audience Pixel: A single pixel used across a website or owned properties
  2. Conversion Pixels: Individual pixels used on the success page for each product and opt-in

The old conversion pixel is/was used for tracking and optimizing for conversions. It was required when running campaigns with the Website Conversions objective. In this case, the advertiser would place a conversion-unique pixel on the success page for a single product, allowing Facebook to report and optimize for that conversion.

Know that the conversion pixel will disappear in the second half of 2016. We don’t know when at this point. You don’t necessarily need to do anything right now. But it’s smart to do something sooner than later.

If you have placed Facebook code on a success page that is different from the code on other pages of your site, it is very likely the old Facebook conversion pixel.

The New Pixel: Basics

When Facebook first launched Website Custom Audiences, there were rumblings that the plan was to eventually combine the conversion pixel with the Website Custom Audience pixel. And that just makes sense.

When someone visits a website page where the Facebook pixel exists, the page loads and the pixel fires behind the scenes — alerting Facebook that this particular user visited this particular page.

This same code is placed on every page of your website. This is typically done by placing it between the HEAD tags of the template of your site.

Learn all about how to use the new Facebook Pixel in this Jon Loomer’s post

4. Google AdWords Doubles Amount of Structured Information Shown on Text Ads

Google AdWords’ structured snippet extensions have proven to be a popular feature with advertisers since launching this past Spring.

This is an additional line of information that can be shown with text ads to highlight important information for searchers — the ultimate goal being to encourage more click-throughs.

Google has now doubled the amount of structured information that can be shown with text ads, giving advertiser’s an additional line of structured information to work with.

This can be accomplished through selecting two predefined “Headers” — which serve as your structured snippets — and then customizing those headers with two sets of values. The two sets of information now have the possibility of being displayed at the same time.

As one example, this could be useful for service providers wanting to highlight their most popular services, as well as the top brands they work with.

Google reminds that each structured snippet extension is subject to its own ad auction and, like other ad extensions, may not always be shown together.

You can improve the probability of having both extensions show at the same time by providing as much information as you can. With more information the ad auction is able to better select the best combination of extensions to show to boost enhance performance.

5. Why You Shouldn’t Forget to Update Your Universal Analytics Tracking Codes

Google has been rolling out Universal Analytics steadily since its launch in 2012 and this year, it announced that the transfer of properties from Classic to Universal Analytics was complete.

If you’ve not upgraded yourself, the chances are that Google has done it automatically for you.

But with Google announcing that the next stage would be its retiring of classic GA, if your sites and apps are still using old and outdated tracking codes and libraries (ga.js), you’re going to be missing out on a whole host of features and developments that are only compatible with Universal Analytics.

Key Benefits of Migrating and Fully Adopting Universal Analytics

As well as changes to the methods used to calculate sessions and unique visits, Universal Analytics allows for a unified tracking platform across desktop computers, smartphones and tablet devices.

Other advanced features include:

  • User IDs
  • CRM data and Measurement Protocol
  • Search Term Exclusions
  • Referral Exclusions
  • Custom Dimensions and Metrics
  • Session Timeout
  • Enhanced Ecommerce
  • Enhanced Admin Page

6. Facebook Rolls Out Instant Articles For All Android Users

Last December the 16th, Facebook took the next step toward a full rollout of Instant Articles, announcing that the fast-loading format is now available to people using Android devices.

The Android launch comes nearly two months after the launch on iOS, and gives publishers with access to the format access to nearly all of the 1.39 billion people who log onto Facebook at least once a month via mobile apps.

Facebook introduced the feature last spring, billing it as a way for publishers to give their readers a better mobile reading experience with load times said to be 10 times faster than standard links to websites.

Facebook says Instant articles are being shared at a higher rate than standard links, and because of Facebook’s distribution power, publishers appear to be willing to sign up, swallowing their fears of losing referral traffic.

Facebook said more than 350 publishers globally have joined the program and more than 100 are publishing daily. Facebook Instant Articles product manager Michael Reckhow announced the rollout in a blog post.

We’ve been beta testing Instant Articles for Android with a small group of people on Facebook for several weeks, and as we saw on iPhone, the faster, richer reading experience inspires people on Android to share Instant Articles with their friends more often than they do with standard web articles.

This month, Facebook made concessions about the rules for selling ads within Instant Articles, giving publishers the ability to serve more ads. Publishers who sell their own ads for the feature keep all the revenue. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut for Instant Article ads that it serves.