Lab Weekly: Super Bowl Takeaways, Amazon PLAs & #LabInsights

Phoebe Skinner

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We have added a completely new section called #LabInsights, you can find it every week and it will be filled with tips and tricks and of course, insights to revolutionise your digital marketing. In this week’s digital round up we speak about one of the biggest advertising events of the year, Super Bowl. Did you stay up late or wake up early to watch it? If not it looked like it was an eventful match. The adverts that appear at the half time mark are some of the most influential and memorable adverts created and have a cost to go with it. If you didn’t manage to watch it we are summarising the important bits below. We also have news on Amazon buying into Google PLAs which could make the PLA market incredibly competitive and unsteady. We share more industry news on Facebook and also have some great insights into capitalising on the Valentine’s Rush and ranking for your key products.

Digital News This Week

Top Super Bowl Takeaways

So in this year’s Super Bowl, we saw the New England Patriots win the game after possibly the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Due to such an exciting atmosphere and occur of events, the game was marked by a series of ads tied to current events that also drew a lot of attention to the world of social. It has been said that Facebook and Twitter experienced an increase in social activity after a huge drop last year.
Facebook have said that 64 million users were part of the Super Bowl conversation on Sunday, which is up 60 million compared to last year. Facebook have also stated that they had 240 million Super Bowl-related interactions, which is a 20% increase from last year. As well as this amount of interaction happening on Facebook, Twitter has also experienced similar with 27.6 million global tweets about the Super Bowl. the game reached a total of 5.6 billion impressions, which is a 30% gain over last year’s 4.3 billion impressions.
Interesting Facts:

  • More than 90% of this year’s interactions occurred on mobile
  • There were around 262 million views on Super-Bowl-related videos this year
  • 150 million interactions were made on Instagram for Super Bowl

As well as social media shares and interactions shooting up this Super Bowl, ads also made an appearance and did very well in terms of shares and interaction. Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” provided its worth with being the most watched Super Bowl ad on YouTube and also won the most social shares out of the Super Bowl ads. To give you a quick insight we have listed the top 5 with links to the ad so if you missed out on seeing them, be sure to check them out here.
We have also provided you with some interesting facts and figures.

  1. Budweiser: Born the Hard Way
  2. Mr Clean: Cleaner of Your Dreams
  3. Airbnb: We Accept
  4. T-Mobile: #UnlimitedMoves
  5. Audi: Daughter

Industry News:

Amazon buying into Google PLAs

Amazon has not stepped into the limelight of PLAs (Product Listing Ads) ever before but a couple weeks before Christmas to was noted that a few ads were visible on in Google PLA ads. Before the end of the year, their focus seemed to be on the home goods category. It is unclear if the giant this is Amazon is simply testing the waters or if this is a new marketing strategy for them, however, with that in mind as of January 2017 there has been a few more cases of PLA ads by Amazon appearing more frequently across the web.
Mark Ballard, Merkle’s senior director had this to say on the subject

“The conventional wisdom around why Amazon had refused to participate in Google Shopping has been that doing so would strengthen Google’s position in the battle to be consumers’ first destination for product searches by making Google’s results more complete.”

This could be bad news for some of you reading this. If Amazon continues with PLAs creating a greater presence in the search results other retailers are going to have a fight on their hands in order to be seen by potential customers. Retailers using PLAs are definitely going to want to keep a close eye on Amazon’s movements over the coming months and ensure they are fully aware of any movements they make with PLAs.

Facebook Can Now Recognise Objects – Lumos

Facebook has been working on artificial intelligence, Lumos, for some time now, the team working on it had one goal in mind and that was to help users with visual impairment understand what was in a specific photo or video. However, during the process of the build the team realised just how much this could help everyone, this incredible AI could recognise objects, places, animals and clothing from a single picture or video.

“Using Facebook’s automatic image classifiers … you can imagine a scenario where someone could search through all the photos that his or her friends have shared to look for a particular one based on the image content instead of relying on tags or surrounding text.”


Four Most Important Ranking Factors

Digital Marketing is ever-changing and growing and as a result, the criteria to rank is reactive to these updates. Below we have shared the three top ranking factors based on recent studies by SearchMetrics, Backlinko and SEO PowerSuite.

  1. Content

Content is one of the most important Google ranking factors and has been for a long time now. In the past content was seen to be very keyword-focused, however, in recent years, it is more to do with relevant content that is written in natural language. Content influences a range of other ranking factors including bounce rate and CTR, so it is very important that you make your content relevant to your audience. As an agency, we highly recommend that you use a content auditing software to find thin content on your site, explore topics in more detail on each page and improve your topical authority in your niche.

  1. Backlinks

Backlinks have and probably always will be an important Google ranking factor, however over time Google have learnt how to filter out the bad links from the good, making it a lot easier for your website to rank. The key to having a strong link earning campaign is to create the content that people are wanting to see and then promoting it relentlessly in hope that people will stop to read it and follow the lead. Instead of placing your content on random and possibly spammy links, make sure you check the domain authority and spam score first. Also, do some research on the site to see how relevant it is.
Top Tips for Optimising Links:

  • Monitor how many links your content piece has and whether they are quality links (Use Moz bar to check!).
  • Contact high-quality partners for backlinks.
  • Contact spammy and low-quality links to get them removed, or disavow them if you can’t manually get them removed.
  1. Mobile Friendly

One of the biggest changes in 2016 was Google moving towards mobile-first indexing, this means that Google’s index will now focus on crawling the mobile version of your website as opposed to the desktop version. According to SearchMetrics the top 100 most visible domains have mobile friendly sites, meaning mobile optimisation is extremely important for ranking.
Top Tips for Optimising:

  • Use Google Search Console to add and verify your mobile friendly version.
  • Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure the structured markup is the same on your desktop and mobile site.
  • Make sure your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot, you can do this by using the txt testing tool.
  • Test your speed using PageSpeed Insights.

SEO is ever evolving, and overall there are many ranking factors involved. If you prioritise improving the factors that we have discussed above then you reap the benefits.

Valentine’s Day Strategy

With mobile becoming a lot more popular for online shopping, occasions such as Christmas, Easter and of course, Valentine’s Day are great opportunities for getting your lovestruck products out to the public. Analysis of more than 1.2 billion digital purchases shows that sales via mobile devices grew by 79% between February 10th and 12th last year. There are so many ways, using mobile that you can target retailers for Valentine’s Day, let’s discuss some of them.

  • ALWAYS remember to start your Valentine’s Day campaign early, no matter how you plan on advertising your products, you need to do it well in advance. This allows shoppers to save up, browse around and then buy their gift, also by getting it out early enough, you might miss other competitors doing it.

Example: Debenhams sent out Valentine’s Day emails before the end of January promoting their products.

  • Send an email to a list of potential customers. Make sure your email contains an example of the products you are selling for Valentine’s Day, with catchy headlines and message titles. Make sure your email is original and personalised so your viewers aren’t seeing the same type of email from 5 different shops.
  • As well as emails, you can have Valentine’s Day banners on your website with a link to that category to try and entice the reader to click through. If you are choosing to use Valentine’s Day banner then remember most people are using mobile now, so you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, or your whole masterpiece will be pointless!

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