Late January is a truly magical time, when the shriveled, withered remains of Christmas trees litter sidewalks across the nation and stores eagerly begin peddling overpriced boxes of chocolates and underpriced bottles of cheap wine in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.
It’s also the perfect time to take a look back at the top stories from the WordStream blog in January. So far, 2018 is off to a busy start, and there was plenty to dig into this month, from the demise of Google Ads review extensions to the (dreaded) forthcoming changes to Facebook’s News Feed.
Whether you’re sticking to your new year’s resolutions or have already fallen off the wagon, grab a cup of hot cocoa and catch up with everything you might have missed at the WordStream blog in January.
1. RIP Google Ads Review Extensions (+ What to Replace Them With)
Social proof is one of the most persuasive tools at advertisers’ disposal, which made Google’s recent decision to permanently retire review extensions – which can boost CTR by as much as 10% – all the more puzzling.
In our most popular post of the month, Allen explains what the forthcoming removal of review extensions will mean for your campaigns, as well as what you can do to replace them. From structured snippets to callout extensions, there are several ways to overcome Google’s latest “improvement” to Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords), and Allen shows you how in this post.
2. How to Find and Eliminate 90% of Click Fraud in the Google Display Network
With all the fancy bells, whistles, and tools that Google offers advertisers, it’s remarkable that click fraud is still quite a serious problem on the Google Display Network. Unfortunately, finding evidence of click fraud on the GDN and eliminating it isn’t the easiest process, which is why WordStream founder Larry Kim explains exactly how to do just that in our second-most popular post of the month.
If you’re advertising on the GDN, this post is essential reading. How much of your display budget is being eaten up by fraudulent ad placements? Find out now – then put a stop to it.
3. 8 Real, Data-Backed Predictions for PPC in 2018
I enjoy obscure, apocalyptic End Times prophecies as much as the next guy, but when it comes to paid search strategy, I prefer my predictions to be backed up by data – and it seems most of you do, too.
In this post, Mark Irvine offers eight data-backed predictions for PPC in 2018. Find out why 2018 will be, in Mark’s words, “bonkers,” as well as what you can do to prepare for these new PPC trends. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to anticipate and capitalize upon these emerging opportunities before your competitors have even finished their coffee.
4. Facebook Makes Major Changes to the News Feed: Here’s How It Will Impact Your Business
Facebook’s updates have become almost as dreaded as Google’s constant tweaks, but some changes are bigger than others – and the forthcoming changes to the News Feed will make Godzilla destroying Tokyo look like a toddler stepping on a LEGO block.
Essentially, Facebook’s recently announced plans for the News Feed are great news for human beings with actual connections to real people that they want to hear from, and very bad news for brands who want to clutter your News Feed with annoying, sponsored crap. Whether your Facebook page is a modest necessity or the foundation of your social strategy, these changes are coming and they will have an impact on your business. Find out how in this post by Allen.
5. How Did Google’s Recent Budget Changes Actually Affect Advertisers? [Data]
Remember earlier this month when search marketers lost their collective minds over Google’s plans to monkey with your ad budget? And that we told you not to panic? Well, the smoke has cleared, and it turns out that the sky wasn’t falling after all.
In this post, Allen looks at some data that shows the kind of impact that Google’s recent changes to daily budget allocation have had on real Google Ads accounts from real WordStream clients. The results? Well, you’ll just have to read the post to find out, eh?
6. 5 Google Ads Scripts for Smarter Bidding
If you’ve ever used scripts to automate boring, repetitive tasks, you’ll know how easy it is to become obsessed with scripting to do all sorts of cool stuff. In this post, guest author and CEO of paid search agency Brainlabs Daniel Gilbert outlines five scripts you can use to exercise greater control over bid management in AdWords.
Even if you’ve never written a script in your life (and no, I don’t mean the screenplay for the rom-com space opera musical you’ve been working on since your sophomore year), Daniel makes it easy to get started with scripting.
7. The 9 Best Free Social Media Management Tools in 2018
There are more social media management tools on the market than you could shake a proverbial stick at, but finding the better ones can be tricky. Finding the better ones that don’t cost anything is a lot harder. That’s why Margot da Cunha compiled this comprehensive list of the best free social media management tools available this year. Whether you’re just starting out on Facebook or want to get serious with your Twitter automation, there’s something for everyone in this round-up.
8. Here’s How the Google Speed Update Could Impact Your Site (& Google Ads Account)
Loading times and site speed have always been important ranking factors in mobile search, but this summer, they’re going to become damn-near crucial, as Google revealed in a recent announcement concerning site speed and mobile rankings.
In this detailed guide, Allen breaks down everything you need to know about the forthcoming speed update, including what it is, why page speed is such an important ranking factor, how the update will affect both PPC and SEO, and which tools you should use to figure out how fast – or not – your site is before the update hits in July.
9. 7 Ecommerce Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2018
With global ecommerce sales rapidly approaching the $4 trillion annually mark, it’s little wonder that many eagle-eyed marketers are keeping a close watch on what the world’s largest ecommerce platforms are doing this year. In the penultimate post of this month’s round-up, yours truly outlines seven of the most potentially disruptive ecommerce trends we can expect to see throughout the year.
10. Top 7 BOLDEST Marketing Predictions for 2018
As a general rule, we tend to shy away from using all-caps in headlines, but the marketing predictions in Gordon’s post are just so audacious, we had to bust out the caps to convey just how bold these predictions are. From immersive virtual reality campaigns to the continued rise of our chatbot overlords, these predictions could have been lifted straight from a dusty tome written by Nostradamus himself. Okay, maybe not, but you get the picture.
Originally from the U.K., Dan Shewan is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in New England. Dan’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.
See other posts by Dan Shewan
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