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Digital marketing news for small businesses: May roundup

3 minute read

It’s been a busy month in the world of digital marketing, with a major piece of legislation coming into force that even those who know nothing about digital marketing will have been affected by. Keep reading for more on this and some other interesting stories from this month.

Are you GDPR compliant?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no access to the outside world, it can’t have escaped your notice that this month saw the biggest shake-up to data protection laws since the Data Protection Act. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May, and the run-up to it saw our inboxes flooded with requests to ‘stay in touch’.

GDPR is designed to give us all more control over our data, one of its headline features being the requirement to allow people to opt in to receiving communications from businesses rather than opt out. However, there’s still plenty of confusion around what the regulation requires businesses to do, and if you’re still in the dark about it, have a read of our GDPR guide, pronto.

Compose longer tweets to grab attention

Not so long ago, Twitter adopted a new longer character limit, doubling its famous 140-characters to a whopping 280. While you’d have thought that keeping it brief would be the key to grabbing time-pressed users’ attention, some research reported on this month suggests otherwise.

A digital marketing agency called theEword partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University to use cutting edge eye-tracking software to see whether users skipped longer tweets and focused on shorter ones. Unexpectedly, they found that longer tweets actually command an extra 0.5 seconds of users’ time – though that’s still not as much extra time as tweets containing images or videos, which held attention for 0.7 seconds longer.

The researchers comment: “Breaking down the results a little further we can see that regardless of whether the tweet included media or not, bigger was in fact better when it came to encouraging greater time-on-tweet.” Perhaps social media users have a longer attention span than they’re given credit for, suggesting that if you are using Twitter to market your business, you could get your message across in a longer tweet without worrying too much that it will be scrolled past.

Make the most of your images with updated guidance from Google

We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words, but did you know that the images on your website can help your business perform better in search engine results pages? Google refreshed its guidance on image publishing this month, commenting that “By adding more context around images, results can become much more useful, which can lead to higher quality traffic to your site.”

Following the recommendations in this document should help you make the images on your site more visible in image searches, and as with all types of content, Google’s age-old advice still applies: “focus on the user by providing a great user experience: make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

To add to this, they’ve listed a few handy ways to give your images a better chance of ranking well in image search. Some of the key bits of advice are to make sure your images have context in the form of relevant surrounding copy, and to place the most important image near the top of the page. Google also advises making sure your site and its images are mobile-friendly, with a logical URL structure, and recommends optimising your images so that they don’t adversely affect your page load speeds. There’s lots more useful advice in this document, which you can read in full here.

Zoe works as a Content Marketing Executive at the UK Domain. Previously working in advertising and the sporting industry, Zoe has over four years experience in marketing.

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