As May comes to a close, it’s time to recount the biggest news from the past month in the digital marketing industry. Helping small business owners improve their marketing efforts seemed to be a big focus of the month, with new products, platforms, and features being rolled out specifically for small business use. Mobile search has also seen a lot of changes this month, with Google emphasizing mobile usability and adding features to their mobile search results page. So, keep reading to discover the newest updates in digital marketing and how they may be affecting your business.
MailChimp Now Offers an All-In-One Marketing Platform for Small Businesses
Founded in 2001, MailChimp has been one of the leading providers of email marketing services. Designed as an alternative to oversized, expensive email software, MailChimp began by giving small business owners the ability to create branded, automated emails to help grow their businesses. Today, MailChimp serves millions of customers around the world and has expanded beyond just email.
On May 13th, Ben Chestnut, co-founder, and CEO of MailChimp announced in a company blog post, the introduction of the MailChimp All-In-One Marketing Platform, aimed at helping small businesses improve their marketing and better serve their customers. Along with a CRM platform, MailChimp launched a website builder tool and a new pricing structure (while allowing current customers to stay on their plan until they choose to upgrade).
This new CRM platform will help users keep track of all of their marketing in one place, allowing them to organize and use data in an effective way. According to Chestnut, “Our email marketing product has helped millions of businesses grow, but our customers have been asking for years for us to build something that would enable them to do all of their marketing in one place. Small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have time to manage three, four, or five different platforms that each serve one specific purpose, and they don’t want their data all over the place: They need a tool powered by data and expertise that will help them know where to invest their marketing dollars.”
Facebook Rolls Out New Small Business Features
Speaking of features designed for small businesses, Facebook has also taken an interest in this subset, rolling out new features targeting small business owners. As a part of this initiative, Facebook has launched automated ads, an appointment manager, and video creation tools.
With automated ads, business owners can answer a few questions about their company and goals and receive recommendations for advertising on Facebook in return. This includes what audience they should target, what budget they should set, and even how different versions of the ad should look and what they should say. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to accept these recommendations.
For booking appointments, Facebook is letting businesses accept and manage all appointments through the mobile app. You can also sync these appointments to a personal calendar or third-party appointment tool.
And last but not least, Facebook is also rolling out new video editing capabilities. These will make it easier for users to add text and image overlays to a video, along with automatically crop a video for different ad specifications. This makes it much easier for business owners without the knowledge or budget for higher-end video editing tools or production suites to quickly shoot a video on their phone, add text, add overlays, crop the video, and upload it for their customers.
Google Officially Removes Old Keyword Planner
The old version of Keyword Planner has officially been replaced, as the new Keyword Planner is now complete. The new Keyword Planner was launched in 2018 as part of the Google Ads interface. Since it was first released, the team at Google has simplified the navigation and improved forecasting. The new version also allows you to:
- Download trend data for individual keywords
- Use up to 10 seed terms at a time
- Get more granular competition ranking across keyword ideas
- Save keyword ideas to existing campaigns
- Get daily budget suggestions in the plan overview
- Find the in-account status for uploaded keywords
- View forecasts for all languages
Google Makes Mobile-First Indexing the Default for New Sites
Google first announced mobile-first indexing in 2016, rolling out the initiative over the coming years by beginning to evaluate and rank sites based on the mobile version and content on the site. Well, starting in July, Google will now use mobile-first indexing for all new web domains. So, any new website registered will be crawled first by Google’s smartphone Googlebot and ranked according to its mobile-friendly content and structured data. So, make sure your website is designed for both desktop and mobile use (like this one) if you want to be ranked favorably by Google.
Google Rolling Out New Mobile Search Design
Continuing on the mobile search train, Google is rolling out a mobile search redesign. Included in the new look will be a black “ad” label, URLs above ad headlines, and favicons for organic results.
Google has been testing the black “ad” label for months and is now officially replacing the green outlined label. Many SEO experts are seeing this as a move to make paid search ads look more like organic results to users, possibly leading more users to choose ads without realizing. However, according to Google, “with this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.”
On top of the new “ad” label, a selected favicon will appear next to the name of the website in the new search design. Site owners can choose their preferred favicon for organic listings.
So, those are some of the updates that happened this month in digital marketing. By allowing more access to sophisticated marketing tools, companies are making it easier than ever for small businesses to thrive and improve their marketing efforts. And, the focus on mobile usage and usability isn’t going anywhere. We’ll see you next month for our next round of marketing updates!