Google Shutters Optimize. This is not a Test.

For those of you who run their website or ecommerce business properly, the sad news recently emerged that Google will sunset its Optimize platform at the end of September 2023 (the same time it was planning to sunset Universal Analytics for paid GA360 customers). 

This is annoying because Optimize was a decent platform with the ability to run nifty little Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) tests, but alas no longer. 

The Google post is a little wish-washy on what’s replacing this, with a very vague statement that some features may be integrated into GA4. That’d be great if that does happen. 

The likelihood is that the platform was under-utilised / sub-profitable, in Google’s eyes, and their shift to the event based App / Web tracking mix with GA4 meant that Optimize’s technology was no longer relevant. 

If you are actively doing CRO, you need to hunt out a new platform – likely to be paid unfortunately. 

Talk to me about increasing conversions with CRO, and setting up Analytics to track performance properly. 

Zuck Goes All Out On Efficiency – Becomes AI

Big Mark has spoken that this year will be the “Year of Efficiency” for Meta, as it modifies from a heavy growth business to a more mature “cash cow” model. Essentially, this means some cost-cutting and layoffs, and fewer limitless budgets to allow for exponential growth. 

Almost everything Meta is looking at is to be viewed through an efficiency lens: Reels don’t produce enough Ad Revenue? They’re not efficient enough. Humans take too long? Implement AI in the name of efficiency. You get the picture. 

This is all despite Facebook’s, Insta’s and WhatsApp’s user numbers being the highest they’ve ever been. Meta has lost some efficiency in monetising these users, so it needs to gain it back. 

As we’ll talk about later, Reels are going to be critical for FB and Insta this year, as the world transforms to short-form, vertical video. The upshot of this is you need to work out how to generate views and revenue with Reels. That will be key to efficient budget usage this year in Social – Organic and Paid.

Contact JB to discuss social media strategy and paid social media. 

Google Ads Add Account Level Negatives

Speaking of efficiency, Google Ads is finally allowing you to run Account Level Negative Keywords. So, you no longer have to do them at the campaign level, which is a pain if you have multiple campaigns. 

This is really useful and potentially time-saving to have one singular list for account-wide Negatives – you don’t risk forgetting to add one to a campaign, and getting campaign lists out of sync. 

There is a limit of 1000 negatives at the account-level, which should be hard for most accounts to reach, or you need to structure your lists better using Exact, Phrase and Broad matches. 

So, assuming you have some account-wide negatives, you need to spend some time extracting the negatives from individual campaigns and dropping them into the account-wide basket. 

Too hard? Contact JB about helping you run your PPC and Paid Social advertising. 

Local SEO Reviews Are (…wait for it…) Important

This is a really helpful long form article breaking down some of the Local SEO journey and the importance (and usage) of Reviews as part of that journey. 

There are a couple of astounding factetttes in here, namely that apparently 96% of adults will read the local reviews relating to a business, and then 91% will go on to interact with the business in some way (web, call or visit). Without negating the importance of reviews to the journey, those numbers seem very big, especially when you consider that something like 1/3 of local search is fact-based, eg what’s the phone number / address / opening hours. I don’t doubt that they are true, but I wonder how they’ve been constructed as a dataset.

As I said, that’s not to negate the importance of reviews, especially when you consider the distrust of ad / brand messaging. Most new customers it seems will take a look at the reviews, but then the vast majority will contact you anyway. 

So what this means is you need to take care of your reviews, try to generate decent ones, by having a great product or service, but don’t necessarily sweat the poor / bad / fake reviews, unless they highlight a genuine problem, or are part of a concerted spam / negative campaign. That’s when you really need to take action.

Talk to me about improving your Local SEO, or improving Local reviews.  

The Importance of Reels and TikToks for 2023

It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who’s in touch with social media that short-form video has exploded onto the market due to a number of factors, not least TikTok. 

So, this trends article covers the video medium in a decent bit of detail but the key takeaway is that Reels, Shorts, or TikToks are critical for success, visibility and reach on social media this year. These videos are slightly tricky to monetise from a sales perspective, especially for B2B, and you need to shift your content away from dreary corporate bumph if you want to cut through and generate any meaningful action. 

Yes, other content forms still work, but you need to go with short clips in 2023.

Talk to me if you want to build social media presence and create user relevant short form videos.