Launchpad - January '22 Edition

Welcome to Launchpad, the Monthly Digital Marketing Roundup - January '22 Edition

Wow, what a month January has been! We want to share with you what’s been going on in the digital marketing industry and wrap up what you might've missed this month from news to events.


What’s happening in the world of SEO?

Yoast SEO launches on Shopify

On Tuesday the 18th of January, Yoast launched their brand new app on Shopify. The launch of Yoast SEO’s app for Shopify speaks volumes about the rise of e-commerce.

Just like the WordPress version of the app, the new Yoast SEO app will make doing SEO for Shopify online stores easy. Shopify merchants can now use it to optimise their products and posts to show in organic and non-shopping results, making online stores product pages and blogs finable and easier to read.

As a Shopify Partner, we’re very interested to see what optimisations can be achieved by using this app through Shopify. Find more information about the power of Yoast SEO coming to Shopify in our latest blog.

Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko

On Wednesday the 19th of January, Semrush acquired SEO training website Backlinko. Semrush’s acquisition will likely strengthen the company’s own SEO education hub, Semrush Academy.

This could make Semrush a more robust source of SEO knowledge and may help it pull away from other toolset providers. Additionally, Backlinko draws in 500,000 organic visits a month. Semrush is likely to market to those users to drive them further down its sales funnel.

Google Algorithm Updates

As of next month, Google will be updating their algorithms again.

During the update, Google will score your website to make sure you’re on the right track with regards to the quality of your information, the demonstrable credibility of your website and that Google thinks that you have good technical accessibility

These targeted updates will mean we need to observe changes to SERP features, which domains show for certain results and how this will impact new and removed opportunities and sudden increases or decreases in traffic to individual pages.

Google’s page experience update coming to desktop next month

This won't be a big update but do expect new Search Console reports soon as well. The rollout will take a couple of months, it will start in February 2022 and finish rolling out by the end of March 2022.

The Core Web Vitals metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS, and their associated metric thresholds will apply for desktop ranking, the same as on mobile.

This ranking launch will be based on the same page experience signals that they rolled out for mobile earlier in the year. They're also planning to help site owners understand how their desktop pages are performing with regards to page experience using a Search Console report which will launch before desktop becomes a ranking signal.

Google Search Console launches desktop page experience report

We now have a tool from Google to see how well our desktop URLs do with page experience.

With the upcoming Google page experience update coming to desktop, on Tuesday the 17th of January 2022 Google launched a new page experience report for desktop in Google Search Console.

Google updates product structured data for car review snippets

Car schema is not supported automatically as a subtype of product schema. Google has added a note to the product structured data to help documentation to explain how to specify car markup and still have Product review snippet feature eligibility.

If you are just using car schema or just using product schema on your car and automobile landing pages, you will want to make sure to use both. If you don’t, review snippets may not show up in the Google search results for your site and web pages.

What’s happening in the world of PPC…

Google Ads releases disapproved ads auditor tool

This tool is for developers to integrate into their backends and helps flag and delete policy-violating ads across accounts. The disapproved ads auditor tool enables advertisers to review at scale all disapproved ads across their Google Ads accounts.

This can help those who manage a lot of accounts or a lot of ads an easier way to stay on top of and scale management of disapproved ads in Google ads.

Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns

Placement reports can be generated to see where ads have served for Performance Max campaigns as well as how many impressions they’ve received.

Google created the placement report to provide some insight into where Performance Max ads are showing, which may help advertisers with their brand safety efforts. Unfortunately, the data only shows where ads have served and their impressions, not click data. Nevertheless, this data may help inform your campaigns.

Performance Max campaigns became available to all advertisers in November 2021. Google also announced that beginning sometime in 2022, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will be rolled into Performance Max, which might indicate that the company is trying to usher more advertisers to this campaign type.

Google tests favicons in text ads

Google has confirmed a small experiment that might help users more easily identify an advertiser, by including their favicon in the URL.

This is part of a series of small experiments to help users more easily identify the brand or advertiser associated with the Search ads they may see for a given query.

For example, in a recent UberEats ad, at first glance, a pizza emoji had been spotted. Even though emojis are listed as “invalided or unsupported characters,” according to Google’s Advertising policy help doc, they have been spotted numerous times in ad URLs in recent years.

This is an interesting use of a visual element to catch the eye of searchers. This is one to watch to see if it becomes available to more, or even all, Google Ads advertisers in the future.

Google Ads scripts roll out support for asset-based video ads

Google Ads scripts now support asset-based video ads. Advertisers have until Monday the 28th of February 2022 to migrate their code from the previous media-based video ads.

This functionality replaces the previous media-based video ads, which means they will no longer be supported and their scripts will start failing with errors. This announcement follows the same change in v9 of the Google Ads API, announced in November 2021.

What’s happening in the world of social media?

Instagram increases response options in stories polls

Instagram has quietly updated its poll sticker for Instagram stories, which now enables you to add up to four response options for your poll, doubling your response choices.

This could be great for social media managers who are looking to generate more engagement with their stories, with the simple one-tap response process of polls providing a great lure for interaction, which can then help to maximize both responses and reach.

Twitter publishes a 2022 major events calendar

Twitter’s 2022 planning calendar will be able to help and assist you with your marketing plans for 2022. Find Twitter’s 2022 live planning calendar linked here.

It’s a great resource worth bookmarking, while some events will still be added and removed throughout the year, it’s a handy companion for your planning and strategy.

What’s happening in the world of mobile?

Google launches ‘Shops’ section in mobile search results

The Shops section shows three retailers (but can be expanded to show up to ten) based on their organic search rankings and is available on mobile devices for select shopping-related queries in the U.S.

The Shops section is another area in the search results where retailers might potentially appear, which can increase awareness for their brands and drive traffic. However, since the Shops section is based on the organic search ranking, retailers who don’t already rank well may not be able to reap its benefits.

Watch out for our February round-up next month.

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