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Good morning, Marketers, and happy Mom and Pop Business Owners Day,
Ok, I generally don’t celebrate national “whatever” days unless it means I can get a free coffee or donut, but when I saw this one it definitely piqued my interest. The last year has been tough on SMBs. The pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors, adjust their offerings, move online, change how they reached their clients, and even potentially target new audiences.
While most big brands have the capacity to make these adjustments during lean times, it’s much harder with fewer people, less budget and more need for DIY. This NYT piece profiles 5 small businesses that found success after the pandemic rocked their plans last year. Many of these businesses thought 2020 would be their end, but they made it work through digital marketing adaptations, production changes, and a little help from their friends.
Make sure to support a small business today (and any day you can, for that matter). And long live “Mom and Pop” businesses.
Director of Search Content
Microsoft proposes method to automatically submit URLs from WordPress to search engines
Fabrice Canel, the Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Bing, submitted a feature request to WordPress for the CMS to have the ability to push new and updated URLs directly to search engines.
“Today, we propose integrating in WordPress Core the ability to notify not only Bing, but also all participating Search Engines, of any WordPress URL or Content change. Microsoft to develop and maintain the open-source code in close collaboration with WordPress. WordPress to approve, validate and include code,” wrote Canel in the proposal.
Why we care. If WordPress does end up supporting this new feature request, then it would simplify the process of WordPress sites getting their content into Microsoft Bing Search. In addition, it may add pressure to Google to begin supporting a content submission API for normal content. Right now, Google only supports with its indexing API being pushed content for job posting URLs and live stream content.
Google adds practice problems and math solver structured data and Search Console reports
Earlier this year we reported how Google was testing displaying practice homework problems in the search results. Now that this feature is fully live, and Google has come up with new structured data and Search Console reporting to help educational websites understand which pages have these types of content.
Practice problem structured data. To help Google showcase your site’s content for these practice problems, you can add new supported structured data to your webpages. Google said, “relevance to the user, including topicality, grade level and curriculum standards, can be key considerations for users deciding what learning material to use.”
Math solver structured markup. When you use math solver structured data, you can make your site eligible to be featured on Google Search when users enter a math equation into the Google Search bar.
Why we care. If you are in the education online content business, you may want to leverage these new structured data types to get more exposure in the Google Search results. With many students still in online or hybrid education, there’s even more opportunity to draw traffic to your educational content with these structured data types.
On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search
Head of Digital Marketing @ KLIK Media (Chicago, DC, or USA remote)
- Diversity of experience running media types; search, social, display, OOH, Amazon, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to improve performance and scale across channels and clients
CRO Specialist @ Dave Ramsey Solutions (Franklin, TN)
- Manage and optimize landing pages, website CTAs, and lead generating forms A/B test
- Increase conversion rates and drive qualified leads for the ELP sales team
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @ Intercom (Ireland)
- Develop and implement a strategy for growing traffic to all of Intercom’s editorial properties
- Ensure that SEO is baked into our process of content creation
Google Ads PPC Strategist @ Interdependence Public Relations (Chicago)
- Analyze performance data and optimize at a granular level for a PR agency
- Build and optimize search campaigns and communicate trends to leadership
Watch out, Clubhouse. Here’s Facebook…
After some snooping, developer Alessandro Paluzzi found some code on the back end of Facebook’s app that indicates a Clubhouse competitor is coming. It’s no secret that, if something is popular, Facebook wants in–whether that means they have to buy out smaller apps or create their own versions to compete.
The top social media platform didn’t really have to stretch far for this one, though. They launched a video room feature in May that’s essentially the same thing, so all they’ll have to do is turn off the video aspect to compete with Clubhouse.
Why we care. What’s interesting here, though, is that Clubhouse is still only open via invitation and they still haven’t launched on Android. Facebook, on the other hand, is available everywhere to anyone. Plus, “if Facebook can provide its own public Rooms discovery process while enabling people and Pages to reach their followers and friends by highlighting in-progress audio Rooms at the top of the app, its audio Rooms could also become a big lure for creators looking to maximize their reach and community-building efforts,” wrote Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.
“It’ll be interesting to see when Facebook looks to go live with its audio rooms feature, and how it looks to roll it out. Either way, it could definitely be a good option to consider, especially for brand Pages looking to build community, and maximize engagement in the app, with a view to driving more referral traffic.”
Harry, yer a wizard
After the debate a few weeks ago about Airbnb eliminating ad spend and still maintaining brand awareness, many search marketers pointed out that the only way that worked was because they’d already established themselves as a big brand in the travel space. When you’re a smaller brand and want to ramp up that awareness, how can you act quickly? Well, hiring a Prince is one option. This data from chartr shows that tech startup BetterUp dramatically increased their brand awareness and searches for their company name just by hiring Prince Harry as their Chief Impact Officer.
Here’s some good stuff from Search Engine Land you might have missed…
The onus of diversity should not fall to Black marketers. Data proves that diversity improves business outcomes and helps us reach more customers–but the onus of representation and inclusion should not fall solely to Black and non-white marketers. Everyone on the team should make it a priority.
How to audit Core Web Vitals. Knowing what Core Web Vitals are is one thing, but finding a way to audit and communicate Core Web Vitals issues to clients in a way that is both useful and actionable is a challenge that SEOs across the globe are facing.
What is FLoC? Here’s what we know so far. Google has positioned FLoC squarely between users, who have grown increasingly privacy-conscious, and advertisers, who view it in the shadow of the third-party cookies they’ve become accustomed to.
Handwriting vs. Typing: Which is better for actually remembering those important meeting notes?
If you want to remember something–write it down. Like, put actual pen to paper. “A new study from the University of Tokyo concludes that writing with a stylus or typing on a touchscreen keyboard just isn’t the same as handwriting,” said Arianne Cohen of FastCompany.
Study participants were asked to take notes about a student’s very busy schedule and then recall the details later. Some wrote notes with a pen and paper while others took notes digitally–either with a stylus or keyboard. The participants were under an MRI when asked to remember the schedule.
“The hand writers remembered the schedule more accurately, and their brains displayed far more brain activity in areas associated with language, memory, navigation, and visualization, the latter two of which indicate that the mind’s eye is recalling some of the information,” reported Cohen.
Not only did they remember more, but taking handwritten notes was much faster than typing or writing with a digital pen. So next time you’re in an important meeting where you really need to remember something, whip out the old notebook and ballpoint pen.