The successful digital marketing of your company is based on a seemingly endless list of criteria. I think of it as creating a flywheel, when all the spokes of the wheel are moving successfully in the right direction, and your business is firing on all cylinders. Your social media is getting great impressions, you have multiple funnels of leads coming in via phone calls and emails and your website is busy with visitors.
The marketing work behind the scenes that makes this happen is sometimes hard to articulate succinctly, as each component has its own complexities for success. Google is the champion of connecting businesses and customers, and has been for years. Customers search on items using keywords, and Google determines which websites show up in the results.
Google is now making the most comprehensive updates in its history, and business owners need to act to stay relevant, and improve their website placement.
Website Ranking Changes
You may have noticed your searches on Google are showing different results than in prior months. This is due to its June Core Update, which rolled out in June 2021 and rewards websites with quality content. Website content is graded for strong E-A-T – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Another overarching assessment is called Your Money Your Life (YMYL). Collectively, they rate the quality of the content and if the content can impact the life of the visitor positively. Core competencies websites should:
Contain quality content for your website visitors. Does your website contain written content that just scratches the surface of the subject matter on your website pages? Add content that educates and informs your visitors by delving deeper into the topic. This is good for brands that have products with unique and desirable features. For example, The Corian Endura website goes into details about the product Corian Endura. “It is highly UV resistant. Colors and patterns will not fade…It won’t burn or melt in temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a smart choice for decorative fire surrounds.” This detailed explanation of a benefit is exactly what Google is encouraging.
Use related keywords that satisfy the intent of the visitor. It is not just about the search keyword, but why that keyword was chosen. A good example is the keyword “DIY.” A person searching on “DIY Cabinetry” wants to save money on cabinetry by “doing it yourself.” That person would also benefit from a video showing a step-by-step installation, how long the project may take to complete and an estimate of the money they can save by doing it themselves.
Be trustworthy. In addition to being a quality resource for expert information, your website needs to be safe. Make sure your website’s domain is secure by correctly implementing HTTPS (Security Certificate). It is very important to you and Google, and helps to ensure any data your users input won’t be compromised by an undesirable third party. Check your website URL to ensure it begins with “https.” If you have “http,” install a security certificate.
Eliminating Cookie Tracking
Third Party Cookies enable the advertisements that tend to follow you as you browse the internet. Cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts and more. Google uses that tracking information to show visual advertisements. This is one type of Google advertising.
There are privacy laws being written that question the legality of this practice. In response, Google has developed “Privacy Sandbox,” an advertising method that still maintains your search history to use for advertising targeting. Google simply will no longer follow you around the internet in tandem. The Sandbox concept is that their advertising will become interest-based versus a focus on a particular product or subject. In 2022, Google will no longer be tracking your activity as you bounce from one website to the next, and then using that information to follow you around with advertisements.
If your marketing includes Third Party Cookie advertising, Google is testing a replacement via Federated Learning of Cohorts technology (FLoC). FLoC is a replacement for third-party cookies that gathers data based on the behavior of groups of internet users to generate relevant online ads, rather than tracking an individual’s browsing history.
Marketing TRENDS & New Guidelines
As technology advances, so do the expectations of your visitors on websites and social media. Here are some forward-thinking trends for 2022 that will not only satisfy your audience, but will also appease Google.
Interactive Social Media Posts and Web Pages. Think about information that adds value to your audience, and entices them to partake. Questionnaires and polls are great if the participant sees the resulting information as valuable to them. An appliance company can provide checklists for appliance maintenance, and informational videos on how to clean cooktops and keep vegetables fresh in your refrigerator, all with embedded clickable links to even more information. Create a list of the most common questions your customers have about caring for the item to start your video checklist.
Micro Influencer Marketing. A micro-influencer is someone who has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers on social media. Micro-influencers focus on a specific niche or area and are generally regarded as an industry expert or topic specialist. They are gaining attention because they tend to have stronger relationships with their followers than a Macro (500,000 to 1 million followers) or Mega influencer (1 million to 5 million followers). Micro influencers come with a smaller price tag and often convert (via more likes, increased followers or sales) a larger percentage of their followers over Macro Influencers.
Nostalgia Marketing. Nostalgia marketing recaptures your audience’s attention by sharing stories and images from your past. By taking a walk down memory lane, your growth and the humanity of your brand are shared. When we revamped Giorgi Kitchens website, they provided us with a photo album of their entire design history. We created a vintage page full of photographs that date back to the 1960s. It is one of their most talked about website pages.
If your website traffic had a noticeable reduction in visitors during May and June, the above items will improve your visibility. The recent changes made by Google are the most impactful changes made in their history. It may take time for the updates to be universally seen. If you have any questions, contact me at [email protected]. I am more than happy to help fellow Kitchen and Bath Design News readers navigate the new digital landscape. ▪
Denise Grothouse has an extensive background in international business, branding and marketing. She specializes in digital and social platforms and integrating them with traditional marketing and branding strategies. No stranger to the kitchen and bath industry, she is best known for her work as chief brand officer of Grothouse, Inc., and president of the marketing company Perfect Six.