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Welcome to another edition of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots, a column where we gather most relevant and often game-changing pieces of news, industry events and developments that took place across the ever-changing digital marketing landscape within the past week or so. 

In our October 2019 week 3 installment, we have an interesting batch of industry-related stories including: 

  • Google Ads introducing two brand new ways to target users in Google search
  • Google has new customizable search snippets 
  • Facebook introducing new custom Story Ads templates 
  • WordPress 5.3 moving closer to valid HTML
  • LinkedIn now features enhanced targeting tools for advertisers

… and more. 

Let’s get busy!


Google Ads Presents Advertisers With 2 New Ways To Target Users in Google Search

Google Ads is introducing two brand new ways for marketers to reach their target audiences in Google Search.

In the next few weeks, Google Ads will be launching two new targeting options – affinity audiences and seasonal event segments for in-market audiences. Today we are going to explain what each of these options are and why you as an advertiser should care about them.

Affinity Audiences

Using the ‘affinity audiences’ option will allow advertisers to easily raise awareness and find their target audience because they will be able to determine their interests by interpreting their browsing behavior.

This allows marketers to look into many different interest areas like Home & Garden or Food & Dining, for example, to select target audiences.

Seasonal Event Segments for In-Market Audiences

Since the holiday season is upon us, Google Ads has prepared a gift for all advertisers out there – a new seasonal event segments like Black Friday and Christmas for in-market audiences on Search and YouTube.

Here is a Google example on how marketers can utilize this new targeting method to provide their audience with their holiday offers:

“For example, Toyota used the Black Friday and Christmas segments to focus on shoppers actively looking for their next car. By using these segments the brand saw a 67% increase in conversion rate and a 34% reduction in cost per conversion.”

These new targeting options will be available in the Google Ads UI in the next few weeks.


WordPress 5.3 Moves One Step Closer to Valid HTML

WordPress announced that version 5.3 will use improved coding that will be closer to desired and expected HTML standards. Considering that valid HTML is rather important for SEO, this is great news.

According to the WordPress announcement, the release date is scheduled for November 12, 2019. Given that WordPress is the most important content management system today, this is definitely a breath of fresh air for everyone in the SEO industry.

Invalid codes can cause unpredictable web page rendering and in some cases result in a web page that does not function properly. This is why this step towards a valid HTML is much appreciated in the SEO world.

If you are looking for more information on this topic, you will find the most compelling insights here.


Facebook Introduces New Custom Templates for Stories Ads

Facebook is providing its users with new templates which make it easier for marketers to create custom stories ads on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

The official statement from Facebook:

“When designing creative for a digital campaign, we always recommend creating unique assets for different placements when possible. However, as marketers and businesses, we have finite resources and time, and it may not always be possible to create specific assets for each placement. To help tackle that challenge, we’re making it easier for businesses of any size to create for full-screen vertical stories placements.”

These customizable stories templates allow advertisers to shape existing assets and make stories ads out of them with ease.

Here’s how:

  • They upload the existing asset to Ads Manager
  • Choose from a variety of layouts
  • Customize background colors
  • Add text
  • Select cropping options
  • With these tools, they can produce new and creative content which is perfectly suited for stories ads.


Google’s New Customizable Search Snippets Begin Rolling Out This Week

Google’s new markup, which allows site owners to personally set up how their search snippets are displayed, will be introduced this week.

This new markup provides site owners with a chance to customize their search snippets according to their own desires. They can play with various attributes like the maximum length of a snippet, the length of video previews, or the size of thumbnail images, for example.

However, this update will not affect the search rankings of sites that are using this new feature. The new markup will only determine how snippets are displayed in Google’s SERPs.


Facebook Opened Search Ads to All Advertisers

Almost one full year after Facebook started testing ads in News Feed and Marketplace search results, this social media behemoth is now officially rolling out search ad placement that will be available to all advertisers. 

“Testing shows that advertisers and people are finding value in ads in search results, so we’re rolling out these ads more broadly,” says Nipoon Malhatra, Director of Product Management at Facebook.

The ads will be presented to Facebook users who search phrases of commercial intent, including queries targeting commercial products closely related to the e-commerce retail or auto vertical. 

Search Ad Placement is still only available for mobile users.


LinkedIn Rolls Out Enhanced Targeting Tools 

More good news for social media advertisers as LinkedIn introduces new targeting methods that should assist advertisers in reaching just the right LinkedIn users. The enhanced targeting tools allow you to access much more potent audience targeting and reporting features within the platform’s Campaign Manager. 

The new targeting options should make it easier to both: 

  • Reach wider audience 
  • Gain valuable insights into your LinkedIn campaigns


Capture Leads with the Latest Ad Extension From Google Ads

Google is beta testing an ad extension for marketers who are looking to capture leads from their text ad campaigns. Searchers can now submit their data to request or download information from Google Search ads through the new lead form extension.

The lead extensions look rather similar to promotion extensions, displaying in a call-out box with a clipboard. After selecting the campaigns, a user can choose the call-to-action and enter extension text which can be up to 30 characters.

The user can then create the lead form which includes a headline, business name and a description that is limited to 200 characters.

The information a user can collect is also limited to: Name, email, phone number and postal code.

It’s important to point out that lead data can be delivered via a webhook to the customer data management or CRM system in order to directly receive your collected leads in real-time.

This is definitely a step in the right direction because the ease of using lead extensions could help marketers get more leads from their search ads.


See you in 7 days when we will have a brand new batch of exciting news from the digital marketing industry! Until then, check out the previous edition of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots.

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