What’s the best time to post on social media during the COVID-19 crisis? What little tweak did Google add to the Search Console? How many ‘bad ads’ did Google block in 2019? How did COVID-19 impact Google My Business listings?
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera
In this article, we’ll cover the following digital marketing news:
- [Report] The optimal times to post on social media during the COVID-19 mayhem
- A little tweak to Google Search Console
- Google blocked 2.7 billion ‘bad ads’ in 2019
- Google My Business experienced a sharp performance drop due to the pandemic
Let’s dive in.
Social Media News
[Report] Changes In Social Media Engagement During COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak keeps wreaking havoc on everyday life for both people and businesses. So much so, the time slots people are active on social media have changed immensely. With that in mind, all previous practices and recommendations about the best time to post on social media have pretty much become redundant.
In March, our dear friends at Sprout Social published a report regarding the best time to post to each one of the major social media platforms. The insights in the report were derived from over 20K users utilising the company’s services. However, a lot has changed since the initial publications of the report.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, social media platform usage has seen a massive increase. Therefore, Sprout has revised its report after carefully reviewing more recent data. The updated report aims to help marketers fine-tune their social media strategy in order to adjust to the engagement changes during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the revised report, the best times to post on the major social media platforms (compared to the original) are –
- In the original report, the most favourable time for Facebook engagement was Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- In the revised version (based on data collected between March and April), the current best times to post on Facebook is Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- In the original report, the most optimal time to post on Instagram was Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- According to the revised version, the ideal time to post now is Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m.
- The original report showed the best times to post to be Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
- The COVID-19 version of the report shows a slight change. The current best times to post now is Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (the peak activity is at 9 a.m.)
- In the initial report, the top times to post on LinkedIn were Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and around 12 p.m., Thursday at 9 a.m. and between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
- The COVID-19 report shows the most favourable time slots to post to be Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to noon.
Marketers should keep in mind that the timeframes listed are Central Time Zone (CST). Nonetheless, they are highly indicative of all local time zones as well.
These are only recommendations. The only way to determine what’s the best time to post for your business is by experimenting and observing the audience’s response. Depending on how the COVID-19 crisis progresses in the coming weeks and months, Sprout’s recommendations might shift even further from what they were in the original report.
Search Engine and SEO News
Google Adds A ‘Copy URL’ Button To Search Console
After many people have requested it, Google finally gave its users what they wanted and announced a small improvement to the Search Console.
Little tweak to Search Console, something many people have requested! ? We’re adding a “copy to clipboard” button ?️ Now you may see 3 icons when hovering over a URL: copy to clipboard, open in new tab, and inspect URL. We hope this small change boosts your productivity ? pic.twitter.com/0aTfWNV5qj
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) April 27, 2020
Instead of the unfriendly user experience of highlighting a URL and then going through the process of copying it whilst being vigilant not to accidentally click on it, the little tweak will allow users to copy a URL to the clipboard with one simple click. Despite being a very small improvement, this feature will certainly improve the user experience.
Really useful, especially inspect URL, because earlier we need to click it & then inspect URL was showing, where we were losing the flow of analysis.
— HTML & SEO Learning for Free (@teentale) April 27, 2020
By improving the user experience with this little tweak, Google will also be helping its users to be more productive as well as improve their workflow.
PPC and Ads News
Google Blocked And Removed 2.7 Billion ‘Bad Ads’ In 2019
The tech-giant Google published some of their Google Ads precautionary measures and insights on protecting users from ‘bad ads’. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve closely monitored advertiser behaviour to protect users from ads looking to take advantage of the crisis,” says Scott Spencer, Vice President of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Safety.
We work hard every day to protect our users and enable a safe ecosystem for advertisers and publishers. In 2019 we blocked and removed nearly 2.7 billion bad ads – that’s 5,000 per minute. Learn more. https://t.co/ZpchrXSqiz pic.twitter.com/kbCKrsYFr5
— Google Ads (@GoogleAds) May 1, 2020
According to the blog post, Google Ads have blocked and removed 2.7 billion bad ads in 2019 (that’s more than 5,000 bad ads per minute) and suspended nearly 1 million advertiser accounts for policy violations. On the publisher side, the company stated they’ve terminated over 1.2 million accounts as well as removed ads from over 21 million web pages. This is a 17% increase on the 2.3 billion bad ads Google removed in 2018.
Google has also revealed the ways it’s preventing fraudulent ads related to the COVID-19 crisis. According to Scott, Google Ads have “blocked and removed tens of millions of coronavirus-related ads over the past few months for policy violations including price-gouging, capitalising on global medical supply shortages, making misleading claims about cures and promoting illegitimate unemployment benefits.”
Digital Marketing News
Is your Google My Business listing experiencing a drop in impressions due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
A study, conducted by our friends at Reputation.com, of 81,000 Google My Business (GMB) listings – across several industries and U.S regions – found out that impressions are experiencing an average 59% drop across all verticals.
Furthermore, the report revealed that clicks related to actions such as driving directions, calling a business and visits to websites are down by a total of 37%. With such a drop, the challenge for small businesses to make every impression count has become harder.
Despite impressions and clicks experiencing a decline, GMB listings still play a vital role amid the COVID-19 crisis. Why? Because people have not stopped using GMB and by keeping your listing updated, you are ensuring they will learn about your business even during the pandemic. Besides, according to the report’s data, people searching for a business tend to engage with it either by calling or visiting the website.
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