September Digital Marketing Digest

A quick round-up of some of the more actionable digital marketing news items and updates from September 2016.

Google Analytics Assistant

At the beginning of the month, Google announced a new feature for users of their Analytics mobile app (Android and iOS). This uses machine intelligence to present quick and meaningful insights and recommendations, from across the thousands of available reporting combinations.

Perhaps one of your most popular pages has started to load significantly slower. Or some pages have had a marked uplift in pageviews. Or session duration has increased or decreased month-on-month.

Reviewing this new Assistant feature for some of my own websites, I found that some of the insights are fairly top-level (more of a heads-up that something warrants a deeper analysis). Others were very page-specific, useful and could easily have been missed. The average number of insights provided ranged from 8-10, which may or may not be typical. Definitely worth a look.

Read more here (analytics.googleblog.com).

The Need for Mobile Speed

DoubleClick Need For Mobile Speed report
In the same month that noise around the Google AMP project has increased, DoubleClick released a new study on the impact of page load speed on mobile engagement. “The Need for Mobile Speed” is full of observations such as the fact that the average mobile site load time over 3G connections is 19 seconds. Or that just over half of mobile users will abandon if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Read more here (doubleclickbygoogle.com).

Google Optimize

Google also announced a free version of Optimize 360 (their paid testing and personalisation product, part of the Analytics 360 Suite). Arriving in October 2016, this tool will allow anyone with an Analytics account to A/B test changes to their website, such as “a custom-tailored message at checkout or a completely revamped homepage”. Sounds very cool, and I look forward to experimenting with it.

Read more here (analytics.googleblog.com).

Bing-oh?

According to a widely-quoted comScore report, Bing now has around 20% of the UK search market. And certainly, Bing celebrated this development at Brighton SEO earlier in the month.

1 in 5 searches being conducted via Bing would be a move in the right direction for digital marketers, but I’m not convinced, to be honest. Looking at the Analytics accounts for a dozen different properties, ranging from 2,000 to 100,000+ sessions per month, I’m seeing a reported share of organic traffic of between 5 and 9 percent. (Interestingly, with a loose correlation between larger traffic volumes and a larger share of that traffic).

Are you seeing a larger share for Bing? In Google Analytics go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Click through on Organic Search, and then, under the Primary Dimension filter, select Source.

Read more here (Find Your Audience).

Other Notable Developments

Penguin 4.0: Google rolled out the latest Penguin update. Previously a manual intervention, last updated in October 2014, it will now run in real time as part of the core search algorithm. Read more here (Search Engine Land)

SES, RIP: I was a little saddened to read the news that Search Engine Strategies, the first SEO conference I ever attended, has ceased to be. Read more here (Search Engine Roundtable)