It’s the end of another month, and time to catch up on some of the interesting things we’ve spotted across the web in the world of digital marketing. Here are some of the stories that caught our eye in June and what they mean for your small business.
Post longer videos on Instagram with IGTV
As Instagram revealed the news that it had managed to reach a billion users, it launched a new feature designed to challenge the dominance of YouTube. IGTV is the name it’s given to a platform that will allow Instagram users to share videos of up to an hour in length – a rather different offering to the short videos that can currently be posted (up to 60 seconds in the main news feed, or 15 seconds in Stories). The full-screen videos are vertical, as they’re intended to be viewed from smartphones.
After the platform has been rolled out over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to access IGTV from its own dedicated app, as well as through the main Instagram app. If your business is already using Instagram, IGTV is a great opportunity to get more involved in video marketing and create new, more in-depth video content to engage your followers (here’s how to create marketing videos on a budget). If you’re not sure whether or not Instagram is right for your business, take a look at our article on Instagram for business for a few things to think about.
You might now have more influence on Google’s ‘Knowledge Panel’
Google announced this month that more business owners can now take control of how their websites appear in the so-called ‘Knowledge Panel’ – the box of information that appears in the search results, pulled from what the algorithm deems to be the most relevant webpage and often alleviating the need for users to go any further than the search results. Google explains: “Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented.”
In other words, if your organisation or event has a Knowledge Panel, you’ll be able to suggest edits to any information that appears in the search results. It’s worth performing a few searches for your company or products to see whether there are any Knowledge Panel pull-outs in the search results and to check their accuracy. To do this, Google says: “Simply search for your name or organization on Search and click or tap the prompt below the Knowledge Panel to begin the verification process.”
Optimise your images for better SEO
After going through a shaky patch when Google made a key change to Google Images, it looks as though image SEO is once again worth investing some time in. Writing for Search Engine Land, Anthony Muller reveals the results of his investigation into how image search is performing for top news and entertainment sites now that Google has reversed the change (a “View Image” button) that had had such a detrimental effect on traffic from image search. Muller writes: “The overall data from the 58 different sites, shows an average of a 37 percent increase in clicks from Google image search.”
Search engine algorithms look at all the attributes of the images on your site to help them decide which searches they’re relevant to, including the file name and size, captions and alt tags (the snippets of text used to help search engines and the visually impaired understand what’s in an image). Image SEO involves using keywords in these areas, so if you’ve not yet exploited this opportunity to help your site rank better and receive more traffic, now’s a great time to do so.