Editor-in-Chief, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast
June 7th, 2021
It's a very Monday Monday, if you know what I mean. It's atrociously hot here on the East Coast. I also just found my cat sleeping in a pile of freshly laundered clothing. It's fine, I love doing laundry twice.
Anyway, while you were busy growing your business, creating moneymaking content, and absolutely slaying your digital sales and marketing goals last week, here are the big digital marketing news stories and expert tidbits you may have missed:
Google shares insights on using keywords in content: Google finally decided to make headlines last week that had nothing to do with core updates of any kind! Instead, in one of his regular online hangouts, Google's John Mueller shared strategic insights all digital marketers should know about how to best use keywords in content.
Google also says you should put unique content above the fold: Sigh. Just when you thought it was safe to roam the internet without fear of an "above-the- fold" content argument, Google gallops in to stir the pot.
Twitter Blue finally launched: After teasing its arrival a few weeks ago, Twitter has launched (to some degree of fanfare) its paid subscription offering, Blue. Twitter says it's in response to complaints from "power users" that Twitter didn't build features to meet their needs.
Apparently, Instagram is great for publishers: According to new data from Digiday, small publishers (those with less than $10 million in revenue) saw greater benefits from Instagram than both Facebook and Twitter.
"Normal" vs. "weird" working hours: This one is for all my business leaders out there. I've become obsessed with Digiday's "Future of Work" series, and the latest entry is no different. Because let's be honest – COVID-19 didn't just disrupt where we do our work from, but also when.
Finally, business travel is back on for marketers: A new ANA survey is showing an abrupt pivot from the "absolutely no travel" line in February from marketers. Now, marketers are saying travel plans are back on the table.
As for me, I spent more than three days last week unable to speak. Although I was crushed that I was unable to share my rambling, incoherent thoughts about why Mercedes is falling from grace in F1 and the underestimated brilliance of Joe Pesci's career, I'm sure it was a blessing for the world.
Although marketers love to believe there is a magical ratio of keyword use in content for ranking well, Mueller says, "In general, the number of times that you use a keyword on a page, I don't think that really matters or makes sense."
He went on to say that when you write content "naturally," the keyword rations take care of themselves.
Finally, he mentioned it's important to keep keywords in mind, but not to become too obsessed or to go too "overboard" with your keyword use strategy.
In short, keep your best practices in mind for optimizing your content, but focus on creating relevant, honest content first.
Now, he's back again with a little more nuance in his insights on the topic:
“The important part for us is really that there is some amount of unique content in the above-the-fold area. So, if you have a banner on top, and you have a generic hero image on top, that’s totally fine. But some of the above-the-fold content should be unique for that page.
“And that could be something like a heading that’s visible in a minimum case. But at least some of the above-the-fold content should be unique. So that’s kind of the guidance that we have in that regard.”
So, if you have a lot of landing pages or website pages with generic or boilerplate content at the top, you may want to rethink your page structures.
Twitter has finally launched its paid subscription service, Blue. Before anyone totally panics, this is not a sign that the end is nigh for Twitter being free. According to the social media network's powers-that-be, that will never happen.
"We’ve heard from the people that use Twitter a lot, and we mean a lot, that we don’t always build power features that meet their needs. Well, that’s about to change. We took this feedback to heart, and are developing and iterating upon a solution that will give the people who use Twitter the most what they are looking for: access to exclusive features and perks that will take their experience on Twitter to the next level."
Features for Twitter Blue users include:
The ability to undo a tweet.
Something called "reader mode."
There is a catch, though. Right now, it's only available to users in Canada and Australia. If you're stateside or elsewhere in the world, you're going to have to wait your turn.
If new data from Digiday is to be believed – and there's no reason it wouldn't be, of course – Instagram isn't just for "influencers" peddling skincare routines and brunch photos anymore.
According to their research, small publishers (less than $10 million in annual revenue) see a better return on their efforts from Instagram over Facebook and Twitter. What's interesting is that this is not true of publishers of all sizes.
For instance, this new data shows that more than two-thirds of small publishers consider Instagram to be somewhat important to driving revenue, whereas publishers overall favored Facebook:
I wouldn't suggest overhauling your social media strategy in light of this news, however. Although this research is illuminating, only 127 publishing professionals participated in the survey. Moreover, no data is available on what industries those professionals came from (or represented) beyond "publishing."
“We are defining what are ‘weird’ hours versus what we have all been conditioned to believe are ‘normal’ hours. ... The pandemic has awakened everyone to the idea that there are 24 hours in the day and not all humans work to their optimal best at the same time.
“... People have proved they can be flexible and adapt to new ways of working. We are able to work the hours that best suit us and in the future will not be considered strange.” – Leadership coach Joanna Howes
"The survey revealed that 77% of vaccinated respondents said they would be willing to travel domestically for either personal or business reasons, compared to 23% when the ANA conducted a similar survey in February. The study also showed that an increasing number of companies are now allowing business travel for their executives compared to the previous report."
The ANA did note in their findings, however, that there is still a very long road ahead of us to before we get back to pre-pandemic traveling levels for business. So, don't trash your virtual event strategies (or attendance plans) just yet.
Every Monday, you can expect this little weekly dose of digital marketing news. If you have any tips or stories you think we should know about, hit me up at email@example.com.
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