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What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy? 5 Steps To Create One

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What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy? 5 Steps To Create One

Part of any successful business is a successful digital marketing strategy.

Creating a strategy is one thing, but the execution is just as important, if not more.

But with the digital landscape changing every day, where’s the best place to start creating and optimizing your strategy?

Read on to learn how to create a successful digital marketing strategy for your brand.

What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy?

Inevitably, digital must become the pillar of your overall marketing strategy.

With an average of 12 touchpoints and two months for a customer to convert from awareness to sale, many of those touchpoints will be digital.

While there’s not one clear-cut definition of what a digital marketing strategy is, it can be summarized as the following:

A digital marketing strategy is part of a larger business plan that outlines how to reach its overarching business goals using digital channels.

A digital marketing strategy must be tailored toward specific company key performance indicators (KPIs). Core elements of creating a successful strategy include:

  • Digital channels.
  • Target audience and regions.
  • Core messaging components.
  • Budgets.

As part of a digital marketing strategy, specific channels are identified to target the company’s ideal customers and lead them toward conversion.

These channels can include (but are not limited to):

  • Search engines.
  • Social media platforms.
  • Email.
  • Websites.
  • Apps.

Identifying channels is just one part of the digital marketing strategy. The second necessary key piece is consistent and relevant messaging to the target audience.

While the overarching message should be consistent across channels, the way brands engage and specifically talk to customers will, and should, vary by platform.

Digital Strategy Vs. Tactics

Many brands tend to confuse strategies and tactics and end up blending them together.

While both are essential elements of a marketing plan, strategy and tactics have different definitions and serve different purposes.

As mentioned above, a strategy is part of a larger business plan to help brands reach overarching company goals.

Conversely, tactics are planned actions to achieve a greater marketing strategy.

The Key Differences Between Digital Strategies And Tactics

Strategy Tactics
Focused on long-term goals Focused on short-term goals
Part of a larger company plan Can be measurable objectives
Channel-oriented Campaign-oriented
Audience-oriented Action-oriented
Provides a roadmap for tactics

One example of a digital strategy could be paid media marketing. The tactics that fit within paid media marketing could include:

  • Running paid search ads on Google or Microsoft.
  • Testing audiences on the Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Testing landing page or ad copy creatives for optimized conversion rates.

To summarize: Tactics do not equal strategies. Strategies are created to then inform which tactics should be used.

Digital Strategy Examples

While digital marketing strategies may contain similar characteristics across brands, each strategy and its tactics will look different. Strategies are not a “one size fits all.”

Below are some of the more common digital marketing strategies used by brands across the world:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Content marketing.
  • Ecommerce.
  • Email marketing.
  • Social media marketing.

PPC Advertising

PPC marketing is a form of online advertising where brands pay each time a user clicks on their ad and is driven to the company website. Typically PPC campaigns are run in Google and Microsoft Ads.

Within those two PPC platforms are multiple campaign types to choose from, depending on the advertiser’s goals. These can include:

  • Search ads.
  • Display ads.
  • Shopping ads.
  • YouTube ads.
  • App ads.
  • Discover ads.
  • Performance Max.
  • And more.

PPC ads can be hyper-targeted to specific audiences or targeted to the masses, depending on the brand’s objectives. PPC is generally used to drive a brand’s traffic, sales, and conversions.

An example of a PPC search ad on Google is below.

Screenshot from search for [ppc software], Google, March 2023

SEO

An SEO strategy involves optimizing the brand’s website, app, or content to help rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

When a brand’s website and content are optimized, it helps drive improved organic (non-paid) search visibility, ultimately driving more traffic to the website.

SEO is considered a long-term strategy, and while there are typically no “direct” costs (like PPC advertising), it does involve indirect costs such as:

  • Employee or agency time and fees.
  • Third-party platforms or technology costs.

One benefit of having a strong SEO strategy is that, over time, the reliance on PPC marketing can be reduced, making the budget more efficient.

Using the same example of the search query [ppc software], an example of organic listings and answer boxes on the Google SERP is below.

An example of organic listings for the query 'ppc software' in Google.Screenshot from search for [ppc software], Google, March 2023

Content Marketing

This strategy is more “behind-the-scenes” work, if you will. It includes creating (and sharing) unique and valuable content with a company’s target audience.

Part of a content marketing strategy involves creating different types of content for each digital platform.

For example, if a brand wants to create content for the TikTok platform, the content would be in the form of short video clips (maximum of three minutes).

Conversely, if a brand wants to increase brand authority, it may involve creating a long-form article and blog strategy to live on its website.

Content marketing aims to help build and establish trust with the target audience and turn them into long-term, repeat customers.

Using the same example as the PPC section above, an example of content marketing is below. The brand Skai (formerly Kenshoo) curates blog posts for its readers to increase engagement.

Skai.io Screenshot from Skai.io, March 2023

Ecommerce

If a brand sells physical products, an ecommerce strategy should be crucial to a company’s business goals.

Enabling an ecommerce strategy means an online storefront is created for consumers to purchase products.

Some of the tactics in an ecommerce strategy can include:

  • Creating an online storefront where brands sell direct to consumers (DTC).
  • Selling physical products on online marketplaces such as Amazon.
  • Creating affiliate sales programs where others get paid to promote the brands’ products.
  • Paid shopping ads on Google and Microsoft to drive sales.
  • Influencer and brand ambassador marketing.

Email Marketing

This component of a digital strategy involves sending targeted emails to potential and current customers. The ultimate goal of email marketing is to drive leads, sales, or transactions and create repeat purchasers throughout the customer journey.

For example, a soon-to-be bride is looking for the perfect wedding invitations after getting engaged.

After this user is subscribed to the brand’s email or marketing communications, an email strategy cadence is created to guide them throughout the planning process. That could include:

  • Promoting free samples on wedding invitations.
  • Discounts on wedding invitation suites.
  • Free (or discounted) Thank You cards after the wedding.
  • Referral program to create word-of-mouth sales.

Email marketing is a great way to talk to the target audience and build lasting customer relationships, even after the initial purchase.

Below is an example of a targeted email offering a promotion in my inbox:

What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy? 5 Steps To Create OneScreenshot taken by author, March 2023

Social Media Marketing

Depending on the brand, a social media marketing strategy will have different use cases and goals.

As part of the larger digital marketing strategy, social platforms should be chosen to promote content or interact with the target audience in some form.

Below are just a few tactics that can be used in social media marketing:

  • Creating organic content to post.
  • Running paid ads on platforms to target audiences.
  • Launching influencer marketing campaigns depending on the specific goal.

Using the same brand example as the email section, below is an example of a retargeting ad on Facebook (Meta):

Thrive Market Facebook adScreenshot from Facebook, March 2023

How To Create A Digital Strategy In 5 Steps

As mentioned above, a digital marketing strategy should be created after identifying the overarching business goals.

For this reason, the steps to create a successful digital strategy include specific steps to help achieve the larger business goals.

What Is A Digital Marketing Strategy? 5 Steps To Create One

Step 1: Identify Target Audience And Build Personas

A digital marketing strategy will only be as good as the target audience behind it. After all, they’re the ones who purchase your brand’s products and services.

When identifying a target persona, consider the following items:

  • Demographics: After identifying where to sell your products/services, determine if any key geographic areas may outperform others. Other demographic categories are age, parental status, household income, and more.
  • Interests: What kinds of hobbies does your ideal persona have? This information can help shape content for the customer.
  • Behaviors: How (and where) do these users consume content on the internet? Are they impulse shoppers? What social platforms do they frequent?
  • Pain points: What problems are users trying to solve? This is the key area to focus on. By providing your target audience with a solution to their pain points and speaking to them in a way they understand, you’ll likely win a customer for life.

Step 2: Conduct Competitor Landscape Analysis

It’s important to understand the digital landscape before diving into digital channels.

Some of the key components of conducting a competitor analysis include:

  • Which competitors are bidding on relevant keywords you’d like to target?
  • How are competitors messaging their target audience?
  • Which channels are competitors advertising on?
  • How do competitors rank organically compared to you?
  • How much are competitors’ monthly digital ad budgets?

Third-party tools like Semrush, SpyFu, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Trends can help answer many of these questions.

Note that with any third-party tool’s data, the information provided cannot be guaranteed 100% accurate and should be used as a guide, not as an absolute.

Step 3: Determine Necessary Digital Marketing Channels

Once you’ve figured out who your target audience is and where they hang out online, it’s time to determine the key digital marketing channels.

Ideally, a mix of channels will be chosen as it’s not best practice to choose one or two and put all your eggs in one basket.

The key is to diversify the digital channels and meet your customers where they’re online at any given point in time.

These channels will likely include any of the above in the digital strategy examples section.

Each channel identified should include its own set of KPIs. These are set by the marketers and greater business teams.

Be sure not to set the same KPIs and measurement goals for each channel, as they all serve different purposes.

Creating realistic measurement goals ensures that awareness channels are measured against awareness KPIs, such as brand lift instead of direct conversions.

As with any digital channel, it’s important to understand how they can be measured.

This step should include identifying a proper measurement platform, such as Google Analytics or another tool, to ensure that marketing dollars and channels can be measured.

Step 4: Create Content And Unique Value Proposition Plan

Once the digital channels have been identified, it’s time to plan your content for each channel.

The key is creating a consistent messaging framework that can be reused and reworked in each channel. That way, you’re not starting from scratch each time.

For example, if you want to introduce your brand on YouTube or the Google Display Network, the content should not be focused on a direct conversion or a “Buy Now” CTA. That’s simply asking for too much on an initial brand awareness touchpoint.

On the other hand, for someone well on their search journey and looking for specific products and services, that could be a time to introduce discounts and special offers.

Lastly, make sure that what you’re providing your customers is unique and differentiated in the market. Conducting a competitor analysis first will help identify what’s currently being offered in the market.

Even if your product or service is similar to your competitors, it’s important to find a way to differentiate your brand.

Step 5: Execute And Optimize Digital Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve defined steps 1-4, it’s time to launch your digital marketing strategy.

However, the work is not done yet. Your digital marketing strategy should be ongoing and fluid based on performance and the changing market landscape.

Digital marketing channels and campaigns should be continuously monitored and analyzed to ensure that marketing budgets and resources are utilized most effectively.

This should include daily, weekly, and monthly checkpoints in each channel.

Monthly reports and quarterly business reviews (QBRs) should be conducted to provide opportunities to shift and pivot strategy based on findings.

Summary

Digital marketing strategies are not a “one size fits all.” They also should not be the only strategy a brand has.

While it’s important to think about “digital-first” when it comes to strategies, it needs to align with the overarching business goals.

Don’t confuse strategy and tactics and end up rushing into a tactics-first approach.

By taking the time to create a solid digital marketing strategy, you’re setting the brand up for long-term success and the ability to pivot based on performance.

More Resources:


Featured Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock



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The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2024

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The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2024

Marketers worldwide know the importance of having a solid social media marketing strategy – and a key part of this is finding the best times to post on social media.

The old adage ‘timing is everything’ holds especially true in the world of social media, where the difference between a post that fades into obscurity and one that goes viral can often be just a matter of when it was shared.

With an always-growing array of social platforms hosting billions of users worldwide, it has never been more challenging to stand above the noise and make your voice heard on social.

To determine the best times to post on social media in 2024, we reviewed original data from leading social media management tools.

It’s important to note that the data from these sources present a variety of findings and suggestions, which underscore the fact that social media is an ever-evolving landscape. The most crucial thing is understanding the behavior of your own target audience.

Let’s dive in.

The Best Times To Post On Social Media

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday 12 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Friday, Wednesday, and Monday (in that order) 7 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on social media: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Best days to post on social media: Monday and Wednesday.
  • Worst days to post on social media: Saturday and Sunday.

Determining an ideal time for posting on social media in general is complicated, as each platform is different, with unique users, features, and communities.

When deciding which social media platforms to focus on, you should think carefully about your brand’s target audience and overarching goals.

If you’re looking to reach a network of professionals, LinkedIn might be a good fit; if your brand is hoping to speak to Gen Z consumers, you might consider TikTok or Snapchat.

This explains why – when analyzing data from Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule on the best overall times to post on social media – we can draw some similarities but also see a variety of recommendations.

Weekdays emerge as a clear winner. CoSchedule and Sprout Social both highlight Wednesday as a good day, with Hootsuite and CoSchedule also highlighting Mondays as a strong day for engagement.

The most common time range among the sources is in the morning to mid-afternoon, with CoSchedule providing some very specific suggestions for post-timing.

Both CoSchedule and Sprout Social agree on avoiding Saturdays and Sundays.

The Best Times To Post On Facebook

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday and Tuesday 1 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Friday, Wednesday, and Monday (in that order) 9 a.m. Local
  • Best times to post on Facebook: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Best days to post on Facebook: Weekdays.
  • Worst day to post on Facebook: Sunday.

Facebook remains the most used social media platform in the world, with the largest advertising market share (16%).

While it’s experienced a shift in user demographics over recent years – now catering to older users – its popularity continues to climb, and its potential as a brand marketing tool cannot be disputed.

Regarding the best times to post on Facebook, all of our sources agree that weekdays are best. Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and CoSchdule all name Monday as a great day to engage on Facebook, along with calling out various other days of the week.

There is a general consensus that Sundays should be avoided.

The sources vary in their suggestions for optimal time slots, but generally speaking, early to mid-morning seems to be the most popular selection.

The Best Times To Post On YouTube

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
SocialPilot Sunday 2-4 p.m. EST
HubSpot Friday and Saturday 6-9 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on YouTube: 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and 9-11 a.m. on weekends.
  • Best days to post on YouTube: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Worst day to post on YouTube: Tuesday.

As the second most visited site in the world and the second most used social platform globally, YouTube offers an unparalleled opportunity for brands and individuals to connect with audiences through video.

And with its continued expansion – by introducing features like YouTube Shorts, initiatives like expanding the ways creators can get paid on the platform, and its increasing popularity as a search engine – the platform shows no signs of slowing.

YouTube is no longer just a video-sharing site; it’s a robust marketing tool that empowers businesses to raise brand awareness and drive meaningful engagement.

Finding recent data on the best times to post on YouTube proved harder than for some other channels, so these recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt.

While HubSpot suggests Friday and Saturday are the strongest days to publish on YouTube, SocialPilot specifically calls out Sunday as the most engaging day – so it’s worth experimenting with all three.

SocialPilot doesn’t specifically name the worst day, but according to HubSpot, you’d be wise to steer clear of Tuesday.

Both sources suggest the afternoon as an effective time for posting during the week. SocialPilot specifies that publishing in the mornings on weekends (9-11 a.m.) is effective, so this is important to bear in mind.

The Best Times To Post On Instagram

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Wednesday 2 p.m. EST
HubSpot Saturday 6-9 p.m. Local
CoSchedule Wednesday, Friday, and Tuesday (in that order)

9 a.m. Local

Later Monday 4 a.m. Local
  • Best times to post on Instagram: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Best day to post on Instagram: Wednesday.
  • Worst day to post on Instagram: Sunday.

From its origins as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram has evolved into one of the most popular social media networks in the world – and an indispensable marketing tool.

With billions of users – 90% of whom are following at least one business – Instagram has become a powerful engine for ecommerce, brand awareness, and community-building.

As a leader in the social media space, Instagram constantly provides new formats and features for users to try out – from Reels to Stories, user quizzes and polls, and more.

We consulted a handful of sources to determine the top posting times for Instagram and came away with a mixed bag of answers.

Wednesday appears to take the cake as the most consistently recommended day, with CoSchedule, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite all suggesting it.

Generally, our sources seem to lean towards weekdays as being strongest for Instagram engagement – with the exception of HubSpot, which recommends Saturday.

In terms of timing, the morning to midday hours seem to be your best bet, especially around 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. HubSpot and Later provide times that significantly differ from other sources, which suggests that effectiveness can vary based on audience and content type.

The Best Times To Post On TikTok

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 2-6 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Thursday 10 p.m. EST
SocialPilot Tuesday and Thursday 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. EST
HubSpot Friday 6-9 p.m. Local
  • Best time to post on TikTok: Inconclusive.
  • Best day to post on TikTok: Tuesday.
  • Worst day to post on TikTok: Inconclusive.

While it’s a relative newcomer to the fold, TikTok has quickly become one of the most beloved social platforms worldwide – and is drawing brands in increasing numbers.

With the average user spending nearly 54 minutes on the app daily, it’s hard to beat the hold that TikTok has among audiences. By optimizing your presence there, you can stand to generate some impressive returns on your marketing efforts.

So, what’s the best time to post on TikTok? The jury is out on this one – and it may take extra experimentation on your part to find the sweet spot that engages your audience.

Tuesday seems to rise to the top among the sources we consulted, with Wednesdays and Thursdays also getting recommendations. Generally speaking, it looks like midweek is a good time to test out your TikTok content, but there are plenty of discrepancies in the data.

While HubSpot named Friday as the best day, it also highlighted that Saturdays and Thursdays are strong for B2B brands, and Saturdays and Sundays work well for B2C brands.

Sprout Social found Sunday to be the worst performing day, while Monday and Tuesday are the worst days, according to HubSpot.

We also find a mix of recommended time slots, from early morning to mid-afternoon and also evening being suggested.

The Best Times To Post On Snapchat

Snapchat, the pioneer of ephemeral social media content (and the inspiration behind Instagram Stories), provides unique opportunities to reach younger demographics.

It differs from other platforms in how it works and the type of content that engages there. Snapchat typically centers around showcasing real-time experiences and authentic behind-the-scenes content versus polished marketing content.

This makes Snapchat an advantageous yet often underutilized tool in digital marketing. But it should not be overlooked, especially given that the platform continues to innovate.

While we have seen 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. cited as the best times to post on Snapchat in various secondary sources around the internet, we have found no recent original data to either confirm or refute this.

Given this, we would recommend testing out different times and days based on the behaviors and lifestyles of your target audience and then iterating based on your results (which is what you should be doing across the board, regardless!)

The Best Times To Post On Pinterest

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Wednesday to Friday 1-3 p.m. Local
HubSpot Friday 3-6 p.m. Local
CoSchedule Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (in that order)

8 p.m. Local

  • Best times to post on Pinterest: 3-6 p.m.
  • Best day to post on Pinterest: Friday.
  • Worst day to post on Pinterest: Sunday.

Pinterest, once thought of as a simple inspiration board-style site, has today become a crucial player in the world of ecommerce.

Businesses can leverage Pinterest to showcase their products and drive conversions, but also to grow and expand brand awareness and sentiment.

Success on Pinterest can be found through sharing brand-specific imagery, optimizing for mobile, and appealing to your audience’s sense of aspiration and inspiration.

Friday, alongside other weekdays, is consistently mentioned as a strong day among our sources. On the other end, Sunday is commonly named as the least effective day for posting on Pinterest.

When it comes to the most fruitful posting time on the platform, it appears that the late afternoon to early evening, specifically around 3-6 p.m., is optimal for best engagement.

The Best Times To Post On X (Twitter)

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday to Thursday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Wednesday, Tuesday, and Friday (in that order) 9 a.m. Local
HubSpot Friday and Wednesday (in that order) 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on X (Twitter): 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Best days to post on X (Twitter): Wednesday and Friday.
  • Worst day to post on X (Twitter): Sunday.

X (formerly known as Twitter) has long been a place for marketers to connect and engage with their audience, join trending conversations, and build community.

The real-time nature of X (Twitter) differentiates it from other social platforms and allows for spur-of-the-moment and reactionary marketing moves. And with CEO Elon Musk’s big plans for the app, it’s undoubtedly a space to watch.

When looking for the top days to post among the sources we consulted, Wednesday and Friday are most often mentioned – with Sprout Social specifying Tuesday through Thursday.

Hootsuite nominates Monday and Wednesday as the top days, proving that weekdays reign supreme on X (Twitter).

Like many other platforms, Sunday seems to be the least effective day for post-engagement.

Looking for the best times to post on X (Twitter)?

Late morning, from around 9 a.m. to noon, seems to be the most recommended time – though, as always, this will differ based on your specific audience and the type of content you are sharing.

We always recommend testing and experimenting to see what works for you.

The Best Times To Post On LinkedIn

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday 4 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Thursday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (in that order) 10 a.m. Local
HubSpot Monday, Wednesday, and Tuesday (in that order) 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on LinkedIn: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Best days to post on LinkedIn: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Worst days to post on LinkedIn: Weekends.

Though first and foremost a platform for professionals, LinkedIn has picked up steam in recent years, becoming a hub of engagement and a frontrunner among social media networks.

It’s also an essential tool for businesses that want to reach business executives and decision-makers, as well as potential candidates.

Done right, LinkedIn content can go a long way in building a public perception of your brand and providing deep value to your target audience.

Digging into the data, we can see that weekdays provide the biggest opportunities for engagement on LinkedIn, which is hardly surprising. Tuesdays through Thursdays are often mentioned as the top days, with Mondays also highlighted by Hootsuite and HubSpot.

All of our sources agree that weekends are less effective for LinkedIn posts.

If you’re searching for the right time, you might try your hand at posting from late morning to mid-afternoon, based on what these sources discovered.

But (and not to sound like a broken record) your results may differ based on your brand, niche, target audience, and content.

What Is The Best Time For You To Post On Social Media?

Finding the best times to post on social media requires a delicate blend of testing, experimentation, and personal analytics.

And it never hurts to start your journey with industry insights like the ones we’ve covered in this article.

By aligning your content strategy with your target audience and trying out different posting strategies – taking into account these recommended time slots – you will be able to determine what works best for you and significantly enhance your social media presence and engagement.

Sources of data, November 2023.

All data above was taken from the sources below.

Each platform conducted its own extensive research, analyzing millions of posts across various social networks to find the times when users are most engaged.

Sources:

  • Sprout Social analyzed nearly 2 billion engagements across 400,000 social profiles.
  • Hootsuite analyzed thousands of social media posts using an audience of 8 million followers. For its Instagram updates, it analyzed over 30,000 posts.
  • CoSchedule analyzed more than 35 million posts from more than 30,000 organizations.
  • SocialPilot studied over 50,000 YouTube accounts and over 50,000 TikTok accounts to compile its data. 
  • Later analyzed over 11 million Instagram posts.
  • HubSpot surveyed over 1,000 global marketers to discern the best times to post on social media. For its Instagram-specific data, it partnered with Mention to analyze over 37 million posts.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

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Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024

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Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024

Google published an announcement of upcoming changes to their cryptocurrency advertising policies and advises advertisers to make themselves aware of the changes and prepare to be in compliance with the new requirements.

The upcoming updates are to Google’s Cryptocurrencies and related products policy for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. The changes are set to take effect on January 29th, 2024.

Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts are financial products that enable investors to trade shares in trusts holding substantial amounts of digital currency. These trusts provide investors with equity in cryptocurrencies without having direct ownership. They are also an option for creating a more diversified portfolio.

The policy updates by Google that are coming in 2024 aim to describe the scope and requirements for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. Advertisers targeting the United States will be able to promote these products and services as long as they abide by specific policies outlined in the updated requirements and that they also obtain certification from Google.

The updated policy changes are not limited to the United States. They will apply globally to all accounts advertising Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts.

Google’s announcement also reminded advertisers of their obligation for compliance to local laws in the areas where the ads are targeted.

Google’s approach for violations of the new policy will be to first give a warning before imposing an account suspension.

Advertisers that fail to comply with the updated policy will receive a warning at least seven days before a potential account suspension. This time period provides advertisers with an opportunity to fix non-compliance issues and to get back into compliance with the revised guidelines.

Advertisers are encouraged to refer to Google’s documentation on “About restricted financial products certification.”

The deadline for the change in policy is January 29th, 2024. Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts advertisers will need to pay close attention to the updated policies in order to ensure compliance.

Read Google’s announcement:

Updates to Cryptocurrencies and related products policy (December 2023)

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SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024

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SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024

Most SEO trends fade quickly. But some of them stick and deserve your attention.

Let’s explore what those are and how to take advantage of them.

If you give ChatGPT a title and ask it to write a blog post, it will—in seconds.

This is super impressive, but there are a couple of issues:

  • Everyone else using ChatGPT is creating the same content. It’s the same for users of other GPT-powered AI writing tools, too—which is basically all of them.
  • The content is extremely dull. Sure, you can ask ChatGPT to “make it more entertaining,” but it usually overcompensates and hands back a cringe version of the same boring content.

In the words of Gael Breton:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use AI to write entire articles. They’ll be boring as heck. Instead, use it as a creative sparring partner to help you write better content and automate monotonous tasks.

For example, you can ask ChatGPT To write an outline from a working title and a list of keywords (which you can pull from Ahrefs)—and it does a pretty decent job.

Prompt:

Create an outline for a post entitled “[working title]” based on these keywords: [list]

Result:

ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!

When you’ve written your draft, you can ask to polish it in seconds by asking ChatGPT to proofread it.

ChatGPT proofreading my content and making it betterChatGPT proofreading my content and making it better

Then you can automate the boring stuff, like creating more enticing title tags…

ChatGPT writing enticing title tagsChatGPT writing enticing title tags

… and writing a meta description:

ChatGPT writing a meta descriptionChatGPT writing a meta description

If you notice a few months down the line that your content ranks well but hasn’t won the featured snippet, ChatGPT can help with that, too.

For example, Ahrefs tells us we rank in position 3 for “affiliate marketing” but don’t own the snippet.

Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3

If we check Google, the snippet is a definition. Asking ChatGPT to simplify our definition may solve this problem.

ChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it betterChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it better

In short, there are a near-infinite number of ways to use ChatGPT (and other AI writing tools) to create better content. And all of them buck the trend of asking it to write boring, boilerplate articles from scratch.

Programmatic SEO refers to the creation of keyword-targeted pages in an automatic (or near automatic) way.

Nomadlist’s location pages are a perfect example:

Example of a page from NomadListExample of a page from NomadList

Each page focuses on a specific city and shares the same core information—internet speeds, cost, temperature, etc. All of this information is pulled programmatically from a database and the site gets an estimated 46k monthly search visits in total.

Estimated monthly search traffic to NomadListEstimated monthly search traffic to NomadList

Programmatic SEO is nothing new. It’s been around forever. It’s just the hot thing right now because AI tools like ChatGPT make it easier and more accessible than ever before.

The problem? As John Mueller pointed out on Twitter X, much of it is spam:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use programmatic SEO to publish insane amounts of spam that’ll probably get hit in the next Google update. Use it to scale valuable content that will stand the test of time.

For example, Wise’s currency conversion pages currently get an estimated 31.7M monthly search visits:

Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)

This is because the content is actually useful. Each page features an interactive tool showing the live exchange rate for any amount…

The interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pagesThe interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pages

… the exchange rate over time…

The exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pagesThe exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pages

… a handy email notification option when the exchange rates exceed a certain amount…

The email notification option on Wise's pagesThe email notification option on Wise's pages

… handy conversion charts for popular amounts…

The handy conversion charts on Wise's pagesThe handy conversion charts on Wise's pages

… and a comparison of the cheapest ways to send money abroad in your chosen currency:

The useful comparison table on Wise's pagesThe useful comparison table on Wise's pages

It doesn’t matter that all of these pages use the same template. The data is exactly what you want to see when you search [currency 1] to [currency 2].

That’s probably why Wise ranks in the top 10 for over 66,000 of these keywords:

Wise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pagesWise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pages

Looking to take advantage of programmatic content in 2024 like Wise? Check out the guide below.

People love ChatGPT because it answers questions fast and succinctly, so it’s no surprise that generative AI is already making its way into search.

For example, if you ask Bing for a definition or how to do something basic, AI will generate an answer on the fly right there in the search results.

Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"
Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"

In other words, thanks to AI, users no longer have to click on a search result for answers to simple questions. It’s like featured snippets on steroids.

This might not be a huge deal right now, but when Google’s version of this (Search Generative Experience) comes out of beta, many websites will see clicks fall off a cliff.

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t invest too much in topics that generative AI can easily answer. You’ll only lose clicks like crazy to AI in the long run. Instead, start prioritizing topics that AI will struggle to answer.

How do you know which topics it will struggle to answer? Try asking ChatGPT. If it gives a good and concise answer, it’s clearly an easy question.

For example, there are hundreds of searches for how to calculate a percentage in Google Sheets every month in the US:

Estimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerEstimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If you ask ChatGPT for the solution, it gives you a perfect answer in about fifty words.

ChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formulaChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formula

This is the perfect example of a topic where generative AI will remove the need to click on a search result for many.

That’s probably not going to be the case for a topic like this:

Example of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too muchExample of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too much

Sure. Generative AI might be able to tell you how to create a template—but it can’t make one for you. And even if it can in the future, it will never be a personal finance expert with experience. You’ll always have to click on a search result for a template created by that person.

These are the kinds of topics to prioritize in 2024 and beyond.

Sidenote.

None of this means you should stop targeting “simple” topics altogether. You’ll always be able to get some traffic from them. My point is not to be obsessed with ranking for keywords whose days are numbered. Prioritize topics with long-term value instead.

Bonus: 3 SEO trends to ignore in 2024

Not all SEO trends move the needle. Here are just a few of those trends and why you should ignore them.

People are using voice search more than ever

In 2014, Google revealed that 41% of Americans use voice search daily. According to research by UpCity, that number was up to 50% as of 2022. I haven’t seen any data for 2023 yet, but I’d imagine it’s above 50%.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

75% of voice search results come from a page ranking in the top 3, and 40.7% come from a featured snippet. If you’re already optimizing for those things, there’s not much more you can do.

People are using visual search for shopping more than ever

In 2022, Insider Intelligence reported that 22% of US adults have shopped with visual search (Google Lens, Bing Visual Search, etc.). That number is up from just 15% in 2021.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Much like voice search, there’s no real way to optimize for visual search. Sure, it helps to have good quality product images, optimized filenames and alt text, and product schema markup on your pages—but you should be doing this stuff anyway as it’s been a best practice since forever.

People are using Bing more than ever before

Bing’s Yusuf Mehdi announced in March 2023 that the search engine had surpassed 100M daily active users for the first time ever. This came just one month after the launch of AI-powered Bing.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Bing might be more popular than ever, but its market share still only stands at around ~3% according to estimates by Statcounter. Google’s market share stands at roughly 92%, so that’s the one you should be optimizing for.

Plus, it’s often the case that if you rank in Google, you also rank in Bing—so it really doesn’t deserve any focus.

Final thoughts

Keeping your finger on the pulse and taking advantage of trends makes sense, but don’t let them distract you from the boring stuff that’s always worked: find what people are searching for > create content about it > build backlinks > repeat.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter X.



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