Some pretty substantial digital marketing changes have taken a back seat during this pandemic. If you’ve noticed a decline in your search engine optimization (SEO) results, there may be a reason for that. Google released a massive core update at the beginning of May that has impacted a company’s search performance more significantly than previous updates.
Google Core Update
On May 4th, Google announced the quarterly core update rollout. It’s speculated that this update was pushed back from their normal March roll out date because of the COVID-19 outbreak and uncertainty of the times. The changes Google made are global and appear to be wide-spread across industries and niches. Ranking volatility has seen a significant change from their January 2020 revamp, mainly affecting organic searches. Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger has done the research and claims the changes are seemingly consistent from niche to niche in all YMYL and non-YMYL topics. This is unlike previous core updates. YMYL refers to all topics and niches thought to directly impact the finances and health of the public.
Google is now giving priority to pages without added obstruction to the main content portion being shared. This ultimately means sites that do not make the visitor scroll past the fold and revenue seeking external links or additions to read the primary topic rank higher than pages that do. Give the people what they came for!
If you have seen declining results, refer to Google’s blog with tips and questions on how to potentially improve your organic traffic results. This will help you rank higher against competitors. One that stood out to us was, “Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”
Take a step back and dive deep into your overall website structure and SEO strategy to evaluate your tactics and determine if you have been optimizing correctly, even before the release of this update.
Shopify Point-of-Sale System Rebuild
It’s no secret sales have taken a hit recently. To help businesses bounce back, Shopify has released a new customer-focused system.
The new POS gives customers the option of “curbside pickup”. It’s an attractive, safe option with minimal contact but also a quick and easy alternative for receiving goods. Customers can now continue to have instant gratification while saving money on shipping costs, without missing out on the next new thing. Buy-online-pickup-in-store sales have dramatically increased over the last several months, so this addition will continue to make up for the lost time.
Shopify has also increased the systems reporting ability. This will allow business owners to be more informed and make changes accordingly. Users can enjoy full transparency with daily sales, average order price, and average order size. The system is all-inclusive as it tracks the highest selling products as well as those not so popular products. This information allows companies to notice trends and see where they can improve sales or implement discounts on items to help move them out faster.
Their partnership with Facebook is also getting a facelift with the new collaboration that rolled out on May 19th. Users can now search, browse, and purchase items through Facebook as they would on a company’s main site, and many are seeing an increase in sales since this addition. Combining Facebook’s reach with Shopify’s knowledge is especially beneficial for smaller businesses with a need for a more consistent social presence.
The best part? Shopify is making this free until October 31, 2020. The new system is flexible enough to grow as your business does.
Company Targeting updates from LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn has been the front-runner for B2B sales for a while now. They have enhanced their targeting even more (as if any of us thought that to be possible) and added the ability to target by Company Category and Company Growth Rate.
LinkedIn is utilizing curated lists from reputable companies like Forbes, Fortune, and its own database to create an audience. Forbes’ and Fortune’s lists are made public, making it easy for LinkedIn to compile these resources and benefit their users. While they have limited the sources of the list, it’s expected they’ll continue to add more company list’s to boost reach.
LinkedIn describes this function as the ability to, “Reach members based on the category their company falls into. Company categories are defined based on publications and industry lists that group companies into specific market segments.” Some options from these lists to highlight are:
- Fortune 100 Fast-Growing Companies (Worldwide)
- Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies
- LinkedIn News Editors’ Top Companies (they have a list for 11 different countries)
Company Growth Rate
Company Growth Rate is split into five different categories: negative growth rate, 0-3% growth rate, 3-10% growth rate, 10-20% growth rate, and 20%+ growth rate. If you ask LinkedIn how they’re using this data: “Reach members based on the year over year employee growth rate associated with their company. Growth rate for a company is determined by comparing recent total employee count vs one year prior.”
Basically, this weeds out inaccuracies of the previous targeting feature based on company size that wasn’t usually correct or updated. The previous company size targeting tool doesn’t allow for companies without a company page to be included. Instead, Company Growth Rate is thought to include all employee profiles that have listed a company as their current employer.
Blue-collar industries can now compete more fairly with white-collar companies because it’s no longer based on the overall number of employees. For instance, if a blue-collar company has 25% of its employees on LinkedIn compared to 90% of a white-collar workforce, LinkedIn solely looks at the 4% growth of new profiles adding that company to their employment section and not just the overall number of listed employees.
It’s important to stay up to date with updates to maintain your place in the digital world. A little research can go a long way, but just be sure to keep an eye on your own data and trends. To learn more about SEO and how to improve your strategy, check out our SEO blog for an introduction to the monster that it is.