If you’ve been too busy running your small business (or just making the most of the sunshine) to keep up to date with what’s been happening in the world of digital marketing, it’s time to grab a cuppa and take a look at some of the top stories for July and how they affect your business.
Time to improve your page load speeds?
It’s long been known that page load speed – the time it takes for a page on your site to display in full when someone clicks on it – is a factor in how well your website performs in search engine results pages; it’s important that your pages load quickly because it affects a visitor’s experience of using your site, with many people abandoning sites that take too long to load. Now Google has announced a major new algorithm update known as the Speed Update, which rolled out to all users this month. In Google’s words:
“The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
While it looks as though it’s only going to be very slow-loading sites that will see an impact on their search engine rankings, it’s always good practice to ensure your pages load as quickly as possible. If you’d like some tips on how to improve your page load speeds, take a look at our previous post on why website speed matters.
Google’s advertising service is about to get better for your small business
If your business uses pay-per-click advertising to bring in traffic from search engines, you’ll notice a change to your Google advertising account as of this month. Google AdWords is rebranding to Google Ads as part of a move to simplify its advertising offering. Google says: “The new Google Ads brand represents the full range of advertising capabilities we offer today—on Google.com and across our other properties, partner sites and apps—to help marketers connect with the billions of people finding answers on Search, watching videos on YouTube, exploring new places on Google Maps, discovering apps on Google Play, browsing content across the web, and more.”
The good news is that as part of the rebrand, Google is making it easier for small businesses to use its advertising platforms with a new default ad platform called Smart Campaigns. Introducing it in a recent post that also gives you the lowdown on what it does, Google comments: “For 90 percent of small business owners, the main goal of advertising online is to get customers to call, visit a store, or make a purchase.* When you use Smart campaigns, we’ll ask how it’s working for your goals, so we can fine-tune your ads to get the results you care about most.”
Google reckons that this will make it three times more likely that your ads get seen by the right people, so there’s never been a better time to start using pay-per-click advertising for your small business. Smart Campaigns have already rolled out in the US, and they’ll be going global by the end of the year. Visit Google Ads to find out more.
Manage your Facebook advertising via a mobile more easily with handy new features
If you use Facebook ads to reach new customers and you tend to manage your advertising on your mobile, you’ll be pleased to hear that Facebook has introduced some new features to Ads Manager to make it easier to build ads on your phone. The new features focus on editing images directly from the app, such as cropping, adding text overlays and using stickers and filters. Find out more about the new features over on the Facebook blog.