Google Web Stories
By now we all know about stories. We saw this trend emerge on various social media channels some time ago. Both Facebook and Instagram, for example, make grateful use of it. Stories are used to share photos or short videos that can easily be viewed by visitors. Relatively new however is the rise of Google Web Stories. In fact, this entirely new trend is still in its infancy. Just like Facebook and Instagram, Web Stories cover photos and short videos that you can use to easily create a story. For example, about your day, how your company produces, and so on. Yet there is also one clear difference with Google Web Stories. The stories that are published here will not disappear after one day. They remain visible to the public.
Very nice of course, but what effect can Stories have on your website and is it really worth investing in? In most cases, a very large effect. As many entrepreneurs may already know, Google has been doing everything it can in the past year to provide faster answers to the search questions of users. This is clearly reflected in featured snippets that you see appear after entering a search query. For example, a quote from a large piece of text will appear here, so you don't have to click on a webpage directly and search for it yourself. With the help of stories, it is possible to directly answer search questions, something that Google considers very important. The use of Google Web Stories has the potential to make your company easier to find within Google and to increase the quality score of your website. Moreover, Web Stories are very accessible for mobile users. And let's face it, in 2021 most search questions will be asked via a mobile phone.
Meanwhile, not only Google has been busy setting up Stories, but LinkedIn has also perfected it. This functionality was already added in the first half of 2020 in the Netherlands, but still contained a number of flaws. These have now also been solved. Since 2021 it is even possible to advertise via LinkedIn ads. This has many advantages. After all, LinkedIn offers a huge platform for achieving targets based on company names and business sectors. Moreover, you are able to set up an even better customer journey and improve communication with the customer. All in all, something to definitely try out or to consult with an online marketer. They will quickly be able to determine whether the use of LinkedIn stories could actually be something for your company.
Google Page Experience update
Google is the biggest search engine in the world. And they want to keep it that way. That is why they are doing everything they can to optimise the search engine, make it more effective and better respond to the search queries of users. In doing so, it is important that they provide relevant information from reliable sources. It is not for nothing that Google uses so many different algorithms. Moreover, they develop a major update every year to further improve their search engine. It is important for entrepreneurs who want to invest in digital marketing to be aware of this. In 2021, the Google Page Experience update turned out to be the most important change of all. It was only launched in mid-June. But what does it mean exactly?
With the Google Page Experience update, Google is trying to increase the quality of search results even more. This is badly needed, because there are even more competing search engines and before you know it, they invent ways to share better information. Thanks to this new update, Google continues to outdo itself to get an even better user experience.
Of course, it is very difficult to give every website a clear quality score. Simply by scanning, you cannot express in statistics whether a website is of sufficient quality to end up on the first pages of search results. With the Google Page Experience update, some very big steps are being taken in this direction. Not only useful for Google, but also for you. Because this update has also made it possible to easily see for yourself how well you score on LCP, FID and CLS.
Things you can do to improve your score
Because of this update, it has become necessary to look even more closely at the quality of your website. And this does not only mean providing relevant information, but also making sure the website's technology is up to scratch. This is the foundation of an efficient digital marketing campaign. But what can you do to improve your score?
- Improve the loading times of your website. Google does its utmost to give people quick access to valuable information sources. If you do have valuable information, but the page then takes a very long time to load, this will ultimately also have an effect on your quality score. After all, nobody is waiting for a page to load for a few minutes. If they have clicked on your website anyway and the loading process is difficult, they will quickly look for another source of information. Google does not only look at how often people visit your website, but also how much time they spend there and whether the information provided was of any use to them. As soon as they leave, it has a huge effect on your quality score. Therefore, try to keep loading times as short as possible and make sure all web pages are ready.
- Minimise your images or try to compress images and video as much as possible. This ensures that a web page does not need to take as long to load and that the website runs much faster. This ensures a better user experience and also a better LCP score.
- The CLS score also plays an important role in improving your quality score. But what can you do to improve this score? CLS is used to indicate whether there are any staggered elements during the loading process. This should be prevented, so that people who click impatiently do not suddenly land on the wrong page or click on something they do not want. In short, what could negatively affect the user experience. Fortunately, this score can be easily improved. But then you have to gain insight into the problem. Therefore, load your website on different devices and look closely at where all elements are positioned during the loading and whether they are possibly staggered. By programming your website in the right way and preventing this staggering, you will significantly improve your CLS score.
- Remove unnecessary scripts from your website or improve them. Make sure that heavy scripts are only executed when really necessary and optimise them. This contributes to a better FID score.
Now that Google is paying even more attention to optimising the user experience, it is a good idea to check your Google Analytics again soon. How are the current marketing strategies working? Are you still getting enough leads or are they starting to dwindle? As soon as there is a weakening, it is good to get clear about where this is coming from. Therefore, have an online marketer take a look and call in a team of specialists to keep your website up-to-date. This will prevent your website from losing its good position in Google.
Social media more important than ever
Partly due to the corona crisis, social media have become more important than ever in the past two years. More and more companies were forced to make their offline activities known online. Simply to stay under the radar of their target group. This also means that companies that otherwise would not have done so have suddenly become visible on social media. Companies use social media as an alternative to communicate better with the customer. To come across more human, without breaking the distance rule. Certainly in the time that many shops had to close their real doors, this has become very popular. And now that things seem to be moving in the right direction again, we can say that social media have taken over a large part of offline activities. The new normal works very well online.
Thanks to social media, making contact with customers is easier than ever. Posting a story on Instagram or Facebook, launching a competition or simply asking customers for their opinion when launching new products or services. No wonder social media is so popular. After all, it offers the possibility to talk with the target group, not to the target group. This makes you much more human as a company, which means you are better able to make contact and build up a relationship of trust. Moreover, it is also possible to find out more about the target group and therefore to collect the information you need to launch new products and services.
Marketing and sales funnel increasingly important
The so-called marketing and sales funnel has become increasingly well-known in recent years. This refers to the process that precedes a purchase. What many entrepreneurs do not realise is that on average between 5 and 8 contact moments are necessary to persuade a customer to make a purchase. This is based on various phases. In each phase, it is important that these prospects are presented with the correct information. This is necessary in order to go through a new phase each time and ultimately make the purchase. This is what we call marketing automation.
Marketing automation has an enormous priority in 2021. More and more different providers come up with the right tools to set up this automation. A big advantage for you, because this way you are able to choose the software that fits your company.
You don't know how to view this sales process and what you can do to set up the automation of such funnels? Then call in a digital marketing agency. They can take care of this for you, so you don't have to worry about it anymore.
When we speak of content marketing, many people will immediately think of the written word. Fact remains that content is a very broad concept and can also contain many different elements. What is striking this year is that more attention is paid to video content. In a way, that is only logical. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It would be crazy if you did everything possible to rank high in Google, but completely ignored this other major search engine.
Moreover, making videos also offers a lot of new possibilities. You literally give your company a face by sharing personal videos. However, it is important that you make relevant videos. Videos that are actually of use to the customer. Are you a photographer, for example? Take the viewers behind the scenes for a day. Show what you do on a day, what your activities are and how you interact with the customer. A big advantage is that you then also show how you communicate, what the result of your work is and with whom potential customers will soon be dealing. This gives a face to otherwise flat texts.
You can also use videos to share information. Do you work as a painter, for example? Then you obviously want your customers to know how to maintain their paintwork. So feel free to make a How to video and share it on social media and put it on your website. Besides the fact that it provides a wealth of information, it will also very quickly give you a higher position in Google.
Another popular new marketing strategy is recording so called podcasts. Here you talk about things that concern you, that apply to your business or you invite customers or other guests to talk with you about relevant things. Things that really appeal to the listener. In this way, you not only increase brand awareness, but you also increase the bond of trust between you and your target group. This is a powerful marketing tool that is expected to become increasingly popular in the coming years.
How important are these new marketing trends?
Now that we know more about the most important marketing trends of the moment, it's also important to dwell on the following question: because how important is following these trends really? According to us? Very important! In order to keep up with Google's algorithm, it is important to follow the trends closely and adjust your strategy where necessary.
It is human nature to want as little change as possible. We like to have regularity in our lives. Use resources effectively and enjoy the results achieved. But this is not always the best solution. In fact, every entrepreneur should know that flexibility goes above and beyond any other standard. You must be able to be flexible in your approach to digital marketing, otherwise you run the risk of taking your business too far outside its original scope.
Don't have time to keep up with all this? Or are you simply not at home with this? Then call in a digital marketing team and outsource your internet marketing. This way, you will not only know that it is done in the right way, but you can do what you are really good at: doing business.