December 2016 News You Can Use

Tis’ the season for shopping, and the numbers are in: Thanksgiving Day + Black Friday online spend hit $5.27 billion, a whopping 17.7% increase over 2015.

Shopping on Black Friday, alone, rang in at $3.34 billion – the first time EVER that number climbed above $3 billion.

Mobile shoppers also set a Black Friday record with their $1.2 billion spend.

Wow.

Here are a few more of the pertinent stats, courtesy of Adobe.

  • Desktop shoppers converted at 5.5%
  • Mobile shoppers converted at 2.4%
  • Average individual spend came in at $289.19

All told, online business is booming.

Let’s look at some more of the stories currently shaping the world of digital marketing.

1. Now You Can Shop on Instagram!

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Instagram says mobile has changed the way we shop. To capitalize on that shift, they’re rolling out a brand-new shopping experience… just in time for the holidays.

Instagram is allowing retail brands to include a Shop Now link when they showcase their products. That button will take you directly to the seller’s website and a shopping cart.

Sitting at the doctor’s office? Waiting in line at the bank? Instagram can not only serve up photos now, but a quick way to purchase what you see.

Find out more on the Instagram for Business Blog here: Shop NOW!


2. FAKE NEWS GETS PLENTY OF PRESS

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: We’ve heard plenty about fake news on social media this month. Some even say it influenced the U.S. presidential election. As it turns out, news that’s really not news is a problem in online advertising as well.

Since publishers typically get paid according to the amount of traffic they draw (even if it’s not the right traffic or the pull is by deceptive means), programmatic ad buying has become problematic.

In their article about the problem, Advertising Age said, “Now ad-fraud fighters, usually hired to prevent scam artists from stealing ad budgets with fake traffic, are being asked to help brands avoid websites with real audiences but fake stories.”

Read all about it here: Fake News.


3. Questions You Should Ask a Potential SEO Client

Topic: SEO

Key Point: One of the first things every SEO learns on the job is that all clients are not equal. Some are dream clients, and some are a real pain.

Many times, though, the problem isn’t due to personality conflicts or overt deception. It comes from a lack of communication before the deal is sealed.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how to pick the right work to accept, so you can let the rest pass on by? That’s an often-overlooked way to boost return on investment.

This Search Engine Journal article provides a way to help make sure you and the potential client would be a good match: 26 Questions to Ask Potential SEO Clients.

Going over that list with prospects will help set the stage for mutual success.


4. Google’s Search Algorithm is Going Mobile-First

Topic: SEO

Key Point: The official word from Google is the change won’t affect websites where desktop and mobile versions are equivalent. If your mobile version is different from your desktop version, though, you may want to make some changes.

To find out what those recommendations are, see the Google Webmaster Central article Mobile-first Indexing.

Now… here’s the question astute SEO practitioners may be pondering: Would it make good SEO sense to create a mobile-only version to better leverage mobile-first indexing?


5. How Do You Set Up Google Analytics for Facebook Ads?

Topics: Analytics | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook ads are all the rage, and for good reason: many companies are getting excellent ROI from the platform.

How can you do even better at Facebook advertising, though? That’s simple: use analytics to track traffic and conversions to individual ads… then test, test, test.

Google analytics can be daunting, though, right?

That’s why we like this Tammy Cannon article: Setting Analytics Goals for Facebook Ads. It will show you how to focus on the most valuable metrics.


6. PINTEREST STATS DIGITAL MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Stat #1: Pinterest claims over 150 million users now, and over half of those pinners live outside the USA. That means your business site should consider non-native English speakers in their Pinterest copy.

Stat #2: 67% of pinners are under 40 years of age. That’s a 27% jump from just a year ago. If under 40 is part of your target audience, wouldn’t that be a handy piece of data to know?

Stat #3: The percentage of males using Pinterest has more than doubled in the past year.

Want to know more about digital marketing opportunities on Pinterest? You can mine plenty of data in this report by Dara Fontein:  Pinterest Statistics That Matter to Your Business.


7. THE FUTURE OF EMAIL MARKETING

Topic: Email Marketing

Key Point: It seems like only a few months ago we were finishing up with predictions for 2016. The clock has spun quickly, though, because the 2017 prognosticators are already dispensing the future.

Superior segmentation, a new level of personalization, the case for using images with email, and more may be found in this Email Monks gaze into the future: Email Trends for 2017.


8. Will Google Unleash Images for Sitelink Extensions?

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Over the past several years, Google has tested various type of image extensions. Many advertisers are hopeful the newest rendition will stick.

Search Engine Land published a screen shot garnered from a car insurance website showing a “swipeable carousel of sitelinks with accompanying images.”

Is it finally going to happen?

Third Door Media’s Ginny Marvin says she’s going to be watching the situation closely. Here’s what Marvin has observed to date: Visual Sitelinks.


Congratulations! You’re all caught up on your digital marketing news and updates for the month! Tweet your excitement!

There’s no lack of digital marketing news and best practice tips. It was tough for us to narrow down the candidates.

If you see something we missed, do let us know. And if you hear of a topic in the coming month you think we should cover, let us know that too.

Changes can happen quickly in the dynamic world of digital marketing.

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