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Hello and welcome to Digital Marketing Month in Review by Four Dots. This is our monthly column where we comb through some of the most relevant news and events that took place within the digital marketing landscape over the last month or so.

Let’s see what the March 2021 edition brings us:   

  • Google PageSpeed Insights Scores Are Getting Updated
  • After Removing Third-Party Cookies, Google Will Not Keep Tracking Users
  • Something Fresh in Google Search Console – New Associations Page 
  • Monetize Your Tweets With “Super Follow”
  • New Features in LinkedIn Pages
  • 5 Video SEO Best Practices by Google
  • Facebook Introduces 3 New Ways for Video Content Monetization 

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in! 

Google PageSpeed Insights Scores Are Getting Updated

Google reported that, as of March 3rd, 2021, Page Speed scores will rise.

PSI, or PageSpeed Insights, is a Google tool that presents page and overall website speed reports, both on mobile and desktop, along with actionable insights on various issues that its algorithm discovered. There are two kinds of data available – lab data and field data

Lab data

Lab data simulates the device and internet environment to point out the possible issues that might cause slower UX and give suggestions on how to fix these issues.  

Field data

Field data presents information gathered through users’ real-time browsing the website using Chrome and archiving all that data into CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report). This type of data is of paramount importance when it comes to observing the actual performance that visitors are experiencing. 

The metrics are comprised of the following: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

The PageSpeed Insights tool uses data from a previous 28-day period to report field data. Recent updates to the website may not be reflected in the report’s field data. The greatest change in how the PageSpeed Insights tools gather information is switching to HTTP/2 protocol.

As per an HTTP/2 explainer:

“HTTP/2 modifies how the data is formatted (framed) and transported between the client and server, both of which manage the entire process, and hides all the complexity from our applications within the new framing layer. As a result, all existing applications can be delivered without modification.”

More information available here

After Removing Third-Party Cookies, Google Will Not Keep Tracking Users

Last year, Google revealed that it would discontinue support for third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser, citing the need to resolve growing privacy concerns.

A large number of users deems that the risks of collecting data from third-party cookies largely outweigh the benefits:

“In fact, 72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms or other companies, and 81% say that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits, according to a study by Pew Research Center.”

As per Google’s claim, tracking user’s activity is no longer a requirement when it comes to yielding results with digital advertising:

“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.”

Google promises to keep the web integrity, allowing users to access a variety of ad-supported content while maintaining their privacy. 

Something Fresh in Google Search Console – New Associations Page 

On Monday, February 22 Google announced the rollout of the Enhanced Association page in the Settings menu. Association refers to a connection between search console property and property of another service Google provides, like Analytics.

Something Fresh in Google Search Console - New Associations Page | Four Dots

The revised Associations page, which can be found in Search Console’s settings menu, now supports the following types of associations:

Google Analytics property – View your Search Console data, such as organic search queries, in your Google Analytics property. Starting today, you can also link Search Console domain properties to Google Analytics and get better coverage of your organic search results. We recommend using this option as it can help you get a more complete picture in the Search Console reports in Google Analytics.

Google Ads account – View the paid and organic report in Google Ads.

YouTube Channel – Link your videos to your associated website.

Play Console app – Use App Indexing.

Actions Console project – Verify your brand and enable cross-platform functionality.

Chrome Web Store account – Publish apps and extensions to the Chrome Web Store on behalf of your site.

Monetize Your Tweets With “Super Follow”

“Super Follow” is Twitter’s new feature that gives you the ability to monetize your content. For a monthly fee, you will receive some unique perks like:

  • Exclusive content
  • Deals & discounts
  • A supporter badge
  • Community access
  • Subscriber-only newsletters

This is the first paid service provided by Twitter to users, as well as the first time Twitter users have an opportunity to be paid directly by their followers. Twitter has been working for some time on a subscription-based feature and this seems to be the product.  

New Features in LinkedIn Pages

LinkedIn Pages now have new features to help companies generate more leads, keep employees involved, and gain access to more data.

These new features include: 

  • Lead Gen Forms For LinkedIn Product Pages
  • Updates to “My Company” Tab
  • LinkedIn Stories Update For Pages

Lead Gen Forms For LinkedIn Product Pages

Product Pages were announced by LinkedIn in December 2020 as a shared space where customers, users, and experts can meet, share their experiences and ask questions about a product. 

Now Product Pages use Lead Gen Forms to collect customer information. 

Lead Gen Forms allow you to generate more high-quality leads by using pre-filled forms that are filled with information from a member’s LinkedIn profile. Simply clicking on one of your products will automatically fill an in-app form with their LinkedIn profile information, which they can send immediately if they want to learn more about the product in question.

Updates to “My Company” Tab

Admins will now be able to keep employees engaged with the content by updating the “My Company” tab inside LinkedIn Pages. Only 15% of workers are engaged in the workplace, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace. Page admins now have the “Recommend” tool to curate organic content and a new “Content Suggestions” tool to suggest trending posts for employees to reshare. 

As they claim: “Internal LinkedIn research shows that employees are 60% more likely to engage with posts from coworkers vs. non-coworkers, and 14x more likely to share their organization’s Page content vs. other brands’ content.” 

LinkedIn Stories Update For Pages

You can use the “swipe up” function when posting a Story to guide your audience to a destination URL, such as a landing page, right from the Story frame. Even though not all personal accounts have the swipe-up option, it is open to all Pages.

5 Video SEO Best Practices by Google

In a recent Lightning Talks presentation on YouTube, Google shares five SEO best practices for video content. Google’s video show SEO explains how site owners can convey what a video is about by sending proper signals. When Google can understand what a video is about, it can figure out how to display it in Search and Discover.

Here’s a rundown of Google’s recommendations:

When Google’s crawlers visit a page and discover that it includes a video, they start looking for signals to figure out what the video is about. Those signals are what make it possible for the video to appear in related searches. These signals include on-page text, referral links, structured data and video files.

Here are the five best SEO practices according to Google:

1. Make Video Publicly Accessible

Your video should be accompanied by a web page with a Google-friendly URL and without requiring complex user actions to load.

2. Use Structured Data

By using Video Object markup, you can provide crawlers with structured data and help them understand what video is about.

3. Provide High-Quality Thumbnails

If Google is unable to view a thumbnail, the page will not be able to appear in video features.

4. Submit a Video Sitemap

Another way to help Google locate video content connected with pages on your web is to use video sitemaps. Metadata tags can be used in a video sitemap to help Google understand what the videos are about.

5. Accessible Video Files

Make sure Google can access your video content files so that search features including video highlights and key moments are available. Google uses a few seconds from a video as a clip in search results, which can be more interactive than a static thumbnail.

Facebook Introduces 3 New Ways for Video Content Monetization 

Good news for video content creators and marketers worldwide. Facebook is adding three new video monetization updates that should make the process of earning money via video content easier and more versatile. 

The new updates and options include:

  • Generating revenue through short-form video
  • Expanding eligibility to more content creators
  • Easier monetization from viewer contributions

However, not all pages will be eligible to use these new revenue channels as Facebook has also updated the set of criteria parameters a page must meet in order to utilize these new features. More information available in this SEJ article

Wrapping Up

That would be all for this installment of Digital Marketing Month in Review by Four Dots. See you next month, until then – feel free to check out our previous edition!

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