Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor Combine Into One Tool

Facebook announced today that Power Editor and Ads Manager will be combining into one tool.

Deep breaths…

For those who have used Power Editor religiously for the past several years due to added features not available in Ads Manager, don’t worry. It sounds as though no functionality will be lost.

For those who have used Ads Manager because Power Editor is overwhelming, don’t worry. Ease of use will remain a priority.

If you’ve followed the evolution of Power Editor during the past couple of years, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. There was a time when the two tools were drastically different. But with each update to the two interfaces, they’ve looked more and more like the other.

The reality is that there was no longer a need to have both tools. They have become nearly identical anyway.

This update, which is rolling out this week, is focused primarily on campaign creation and reporting. Let’s take a closer look…

Creation Flows

One change we’ve seen over the past year or so is the introduction of “Guided Creation” when designing campaigns. It allows advertisers to go through the entire process of creating a campaign, ad set, and ad, and it’s become the only way to create campaigns in Ads Manager (before the change)…

Facebook Ads Manager Guided Creation

From Power Editor, advertisers had the option of using Guided Creation or Quick Creation. Quick Creation allowed advertisers to quickly generate a campaign, ad set, and ad draft by providing the most basic information (before the change)…

Facebook Power Editor Quick Creation

Guided Creation within Power Editor was almost identical to the same process in Ads Manager. Here’s an image before the change…

Facebook Power Editor Guided Creation

The new Ads Manager (combined tool) will allow advertisers who used the Quick Creation option in Power Editor to keep using it (after the change)…

Facebook Ads Manager Quick Creation

Facebook sent me this image of what Guided Creation will look like for the new Ads Manager (combined tool)…

Facebook Ads Manager Guided Creation

Both options will be made available to all advertisers with the combined tool. Facebook will automatically opt you in to the creation method you use most frequently, but you’ll be available to switch to the other method if you choose.

Drafts

The difference between the image above and the original flow of Guided Creation in Ads Manager is small. Can you spot it?

Here’s the bottom left corner of Guided Creation in the old Ads Manager…

Facebook Ads Manager Guided Creation Close

If you closed this window at any time, you’d lose all of your work. No drafts were generated.

But here’s the bottom left corner of the new (combined tool) Ads Manager…

Facebook Ads Manager Guided Creation Close

All advertisers will now have the ability to save their work as a draft.

In fact, Facebook says your work will now be saved via automatic drafts. You will, however, need to review and publish any changes that need to go live (as you do in Power Editor). To help make sure that an advertiser with unsaved changes doesn’t forget, Facebook will surface reminders inviting you to review and publish your changes.

One Source for Reports

Great, so there’s now one unified place to create Facebook campaigns, ad sets, and ads. That was certainly a source of confusion for advertisers — particularly new advertisers. But what about reports?

Yeah, this was an issue, too. Advertisers have had ad reports baked into their Ads Manager. But they also had stats in Power Editor. Frustratingly, the organization and access to these metrics were not the same.

Hell… Sometimes the numbers didn’t even match up from Ads Manager to Power Editor!

Personally, I ignored the stats within Power Editor. If I wanted to see how my campaigns were doing, I dove into the goldmine of information in Ads Manager. That’s where I used Customized Columns and accessed the enlightening info within Breakdowns.

With this update, there will be one unified place to access your ad reports — within the new Ads Manager. This is where you’ll get charts, activity history, breakdowns, summary rows, date benchmarks, exported insights reports and more. No more confusion.

Facebook Ads Manager Ads Report

If you aren’t using many of these features in Ads Manager, it’s time to start. They’re extremely valuable!

You Lose Nothing

This could be a scary announcement for both the green advertiser who is intimidated by Power Editor and the experienced advertiser who wants all of the extra bells and whistles. But it appears both sides should be happy by this announcement.

The new advertiser can continue to use the guided creation method when creating a campaign. Power Editor no longer “exists” (in name, at least), so it’s one less thing for them to worry about.

Facebook says that no functionality is lost as a result of this change. So those who have relied on Power Editor for the past few years won’t lose anything.

The bottom line is this update provides consistency and continuity. If executed as Facebook claims, it will be better for everyone.

If you don’t have this update yet, Facebook says they will begin rolling it out later this week.

Your Turn

What do you think of this update?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor Combine Into One Tool appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

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Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) now allows saving of custom segments

Optimisation tool Visual Web Optimizer (VWO) has added the ability to save custom segments to your account. You can now save customised segments of users you frequently use as part of an optimisation campaign. It also helps to reduce the need for setting up the segments manually each time.

When setting up a new test within VWO, you are given the option to ‘enable campaign for a specific visitor group’. This allows the test to be targeted at visitors who meet specific criteria and allows you to test subsections of the audience individually.

By clicking ‘Custom’ within the area that appears after enabling targeting, you can create a customised segment using multiple conditions. Here is a simple example using an IP address:

Customised segment on Visual Website Optimizer

In the top right corner of the menu you can ‘Save Segment’ by clicking the floppy disk icon.

Save segment

This brings up an area where you can name your segment before saving it into the ‘My Segments’ section, where it can be accessed quickly and used on other future campaigns.

My segments section on Visual Website Optimizer

Here is an example segment contained in the ‘My Segments’ area:

A segment contained in the 'my segments' section

Don’t worry if you make a mistake and need to edit a segment in future – you can do so by hovering over the segment and then clicking the pencil icon that appears.

The best tools to check for new links

Google Trends is a great platform that holds a wealth of data, making it a perfect source to support a wide range of PR campaigns. It essentially serves as a buzz tracker and can help track the coverage of successful campaigns.

Google trends

However, for Google Trends to pick up your campaign there must be a certain amount of attention and buzz surrounding it. A multitude of factors need to be in line for this to happen, including search volume, blog post volume, and news volume.

Fortunately, there are now a wide range of helpful tools available to aid the tracking of coverage and links. Let’s take a look at our favourites.

https://giphy.com/embed/zaezT79s3Ng7C

via GIPHY

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a highly commended tool in the SEO world. While no back-link checker can crawl exactly how and where Googlebot crawls links, Ahrefs is considered one of the best technical SEO tools. It has a large link index that closely replicates Googlebot – meaning it has the capacity to pull link data from the web similarly to Google.

The link intersect feature is also effective in discovering publications that have previously linked to your client’s competitors. You can use this to identify potential quick wins for your campaigns, as well as see the type of content that is successfully working in your client’s industry.

Ahrefs link intersect feature

SemRush

SemRush is also a handy tool for identifying potential quick wins for clients.

The tool includes a Competitor feature, which identifies a brand’s competitors and how they compare to your client. The competitors can also be filtered by the number of referring domains, as well as the total number of backlinks.

Semrush also includes a nifty comparison analysis feature. It analyses the link performance of your client and their competitors to produce a graph, so you can visibly compare the brand’s performance over the previous three months, one year, and two years.

SemRush backlinks comparison analysis feature

https://giphy.com/embed/Lcn0yF1RcLANG

via GIPHY

Majestic

Majestic’s Trust Flow is a fabulous metric that is super useful when conducting link audits and identifying desirable publications for clients to be covered on.

Majestic determines a site’s trust flow score based on traffic that flows through a link, the relevancy of the site the link is featured on, and the links that link to the linking site (link Inception!).

During a link audit, Trust Flow can be used to identify topically irrelevant and low trust flow links to be removed or disavowed.

When it comes to prospective publication opportunities, the user can determine whether a site is worth targeting. By submitting the potential target publication’s URL into majestic, the tool will bring up the site’s topical trust flow – such as the relevant sectors the publication covers.

Majestic platform

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a great tool that incorporates a lot of social to discover new ideas for content, as well as identifying relevant authoritative writers to target with a client’s campaign.

Buzzsumo includes a link alert feature, which can be set up to send alerts when a publication links to a client’s website – making it very easy to keep tabs on a campaign!

You can also use Buzzsumo to discover competitors’ most shared content and find out who shares it, as well as which publications are linking to their content.

Opensite Explorer

While all PR professionals are concerned about raking in the links, tracking coverage is also important as it not only still great exposure for your client, but is also an easy opportunity to get a few more links

Opensite Explorer

The aptly named Link Opportunities feature includes an ‘unlinked mentions’ feature, which provides you with pages that mention the client but don’t include a link – by simply chasing up journalists, you’ll soon be raining links.

https://giphy.com/embed/xUA7bbs8JvpVbBziWk

via GIPHY

Crimson Hexagon

Using social listening tools such as Crimson Hexagon is also a great way to track media coverage for your client.

Crimson Hexagon is a great tool to not only discover the consumer sentiment surrounding your client’s brand, but also discover which publications are talking about them.

By conducting a refined search on the topic your campaign is based on, you can dig through the post list to see the publications that are talking about your campaign. This is a particularly helpful method when wanting to track coverage on international sites, as you can translate the key search terms into the languages you want and search for them simultaneously

Crimson Hexagon

No platform is perfect, and no platform will be able to find all the links and coverage you have acquired during a campaign. But by using all the platforms together, you are sure to gain thorough insight about the full success of your PR campaign.

https://giphy.com/embed/3oEduNDk23BaPKTVT2

via GIPHY

PR roundup: most covered campaigns this week

In this week’s roundup, we’re looking at new innovative designs for trainers, how Chester Zoo is helping families connect, and a scary campaign in Sydney. Though they vary in subject and execution, all of these campaigns have received a lot of coverage in the news – we discuss why they have been successful.

Adidas, beer, and vomit free trainers

Adidas Trainers

Image source

Adidas is always one step ahead of other brands when it comes to ideas, which is what makes their new, outrageous trainers a brilliant creation.

They have produced the very first trainer that is vomit and beer resistant. Yes, you have read that correctly. They have brought out trainers that will survive a night out without getting too dirty. This cleverly comes in time for Oktoberfest in Germany, and makes a great marketing story.

The trainer has been named ‘The Munchen’ and will cost you £159.95, but you will receive a free beer mug to go along with it.

Adidas either really like Oktoberfest and wanted to get involved in any way they could, or they have been extremely clever in trying something new!

IT and clever guerrilla marketing

IT move guerrilla marketing tweet

Image source

Across Sydney over the past few days, people have been intrigued by red balloons that have been popping up everywhere. The balloons are attached to drains and the reason behind it is creative PR.

IT, based on the famous Stephen King novel, is coming out soon. To promote the release, balloons have popped up across the city, with mysterious text written next to them: “It is closer than you think. #ITMOVIE in cinemas September 7.”

It’s just enough of a teaser to make people wonder what it’s about, prompting them to go on the hashtag to find out more. The balloons have also had a lot of social coverage, and the marketing has definitely worked to get people talking about the movie, and potentially go to see it.

Peaky Blinders bar in Devon

Peaky Blinders

Image source

On the 16th September, a Peaky Blinders bar is opening in Devon. It will emulate the hit series’ 1920s feel, with art deco features and waiters and waitresses in outfits inspired by the decade. To celebrate the opening of the bar, everyone who wears a flat cap gets a free shot.

This Peaky Blinders bar is sure to attract even more people to visit the scenic region, and locals will be able to head out and enjoy an ale or whiskey from a bygone era.

It will be interesting to see how many customers turn up for the launch for 16th September – if you’re nearby, head down and let us know what it’s like!

Chester Zoos’ family sleepover

Chesters Zoo's family sleepover

Image source

To support the Wildlife Connections project, Chester Zoo is hosting a family sleepover on Saturday, September 16. The project is aimed at creating a safe place for precious local wildlife, so it was only fitting to celebrate the opening with families in a similar way!

They have an itinerary for people who want to stay in the zoo, filled with family fun activities to do with the animals. It’s a campaign that fits perfectly with the zoo’s family-centric ethos and conservational message.

You can only stay here with family though, so if you want to go, you have to bring everyone along!

Play Like Mum, celebrating mums across the world

Mum playing with daughter

Image source

Play Like Mum, who make toys prams for children, wanted people around the world to celebrate mothers and everything they do. They commissioned people from 56 countries to post a photo of their mum and share a short summary of why they appreciate her.

They received photos from Armenia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Jamaica, and many more, featuring them in a lovely campaign to celebrate mums around the world.

Not only is it nice to see different pictures of mothers from across the world, but the press has given it a lot of coverage due to the heart-warming angle.

Last week our favourite PR campaigns included a gin advent calendar, a try before you buy campaign from IKEA and a #DreamBigPrincess photo campaign from Disney.

Facebook Conversion Optimization: Standard and Extended

You have a new product that you want to promote. You create a Facebook ad campaign. Should you optimize for conversions or clicks? Now, you have another option with a new Facebook conversion optimization feature: BOTH.

Let’s take a closer look…

How Conversion Optimization Works

One of the many benefits of Facebook advertising is the ability to optimize for a particular action. Facebook has data. They have lots and lots of data. As a result, they have a really good idea about which groups of people are more likely than others to click, convert, or engage.

When creating a campaign with the conversion objective, advertisers need to select an optimization action…

Facebook Conversion Optimization

You can optimize for any of the following:

  • Conversions: Deliver your ads to the right people to help you get the most website conversions at the lowest cost
  • Link Clicks: Deliver your ads to the right people to help you get the most link clicks from your ad to a destination, on or off Facebook, at the lowest cost
  • Impressions: Deliver your ads to people as many times as possible
  • Daily Unique Reach: Deliver your ads to people up to once a day

The power of Facebook advertising is found within the first two options. Facebook knows who (within the audience you’ve selected) is most likely to convert or click a link. You don’t need to waste money on those least likely to perform those actions.

Facebook Conversion Optimization

When you optimize for an action, Facebook won’t show your ad to everyone within your audience. Instead, they’ll focus only on those most likely to perform the action that you want.

That’s amazing!

The Problem: Volume

If you want to sell more of your product, the logical assumption would be to optimize for conversions. While optimizing for conversions, you first tell Facebook which specific conversion you want to optimize for.

If I’m selling my Business Manager training program, I’d logically want to optimize for that.

Facebook Conversion Optimization

Facebook knows what types of people have bought my course before because I have the Facebook pixel on my website and created a Custom Conversion for that product. So Facebook can learn about what those people are like so that they can find more people in my audience who are just like them and likely to buy.

But here’s the problem: What if my product is new? What if only a couple of people have bought it so far? Facebook won’t have enough data to properly optimize.

Facebook says that in order for its systems to properly optimize, you need to receive a minimum of 15-25 of those conversions per week. Obviously, the more high-quality data that Facebook can work with, the better. But that’s the minimum.

What, then, do you do if you aren’t getting that many conversions?

Well, you could optimize for a similar or broader conversion. For example, you could optimize for the general “Purchase” event that will pick up any purchase on your website…

Facebook Conversion Optimization

Or you could optimize for link clicks to drive more people to the landing page in an effort to get more conversions.

Facebook Conversion Optimization

Many advertisers optimize for link clicks until they get enough conversions for Facebook to properly optimize. Then, they switch to optimize for conversions.

New Clicks to Conversion Optimization

That method is a bit messy, of course. It’s manual. You need to make assumptions. How long should you optimize for link clicks prior to switching to conversions? How many conversions is enough to properly optimize for conversions?

Thankfully, Facebook is rolling out a new method that will automatically switch from optimizing for link clicks to conversions!

If you have this new method, the optimization area will look like this…

Facebook Conversion Optimization

In Facebook’s words:

If not enough people have seen your ads and taken action, we may not be able to optimize for conversions. We will optimize for link clicks until we have more data, then start optimizing for conversions.

That could be pretty dang helpful.

If you click the toggle to turn this feature on, you’ll get a drop-down…

Facebook Conversion Optimization

Let’s break down those two options now.

Standard Optimization

This is the default (or “standard,” I guess) option.

Facebook will start by optimizing for link clicks until your campaign achieves one of the following three things:

  • 15-25 conversions
  • 1,000 link clicks
  • 7 days pass

Once that happens, optimization will switch automatically to conversions.

Note that Facebook doesn’t care if your campaign is running for less than a week. They also don’t care if you’ve already used up your budget. Theoretically, you may never switch to optimizing for conversions if you never hit one of those thresholds.

Extended Optimization

With this option, Facebook will optimize for both link clicks and conversions until you generate 15-25 conversions or your budget is spent. Facebook won’t switch to optimizing for conversions entirely until you reach that 15-25 conversion threshold.

While you may get more conversions early with this method than with Standard, you’re also at risk of driving lots of traffic without any conversions since Facebook will have a difficult time optimizing for those conversions.

Which Should You Use?

First, know that this method isn’t magical. It doesn’t replace the normal way of optimizing for conversions if you already have enough conversions to properly optimize. If that method is working, don’t expect this to improve your results.

But if volume is an issue and you aren’t getting good results, you absolutely should give this a try. A couple of thoughts to keep in mind…

Standard is the default option because that’s where Facebook thinks most advertisers will find success. If you want to generate more volume to eventually optimize for conversions, use this method.

If your focus is instead on making sure you spend your entire budget or get full delivery, Facebook suggests Extended optimization.

Not sure what’s right for you? Facebook says to start with Standard optimization and switch to Extended if you don’t get enough delivery.

Your Turn

Have you started to experiment with these optimization options yet? What results are you seeing?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Conversion Optimization: Standard and Extended appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Link spam, migration disasters and Penguin is nowhere to be seen – Organic growth in 2017

SEO is very much seen as a growth channel, businesses struggle to invest in it to stand still, they need to see better rankings and more organic traffic, however in most industries you need to invest simply to retain your market share, and as competition grows so does the investment required.

This post started off as a way of showing the typical SEO growth of businesses in different sectors as a way of benchmarking performance and managing expectations. However, it’s transformed into much more of a landscape analysis post looking at winners and losers in each sector.

The Data

I’ve taken a sample of highly ranking websites from 9 industries:

1. Finance
2. Travel
3. Legal
4. Home Retail
5. iGaming
6. Payday
7. Fashion
8. Consumer Electrical
9. Automotive

(Use the above links to navigate between industries)

I’ve selected 30 websites from each industry except for Finance and Travel which have 50 websites to compare due to the number of competitors.

Growth has been measured using Searchmetrics data for the last 10 months. I didn’t do 12 months simply due to the number of penguin recoveries affecting the results.

The initial idea was to consider average growth by industry, however as I went through the data it was clear each industry has a slightly different landscape and therefore strategies need to be customised. There were also some obvious tactics used to influence growth, some working better than others that I thought would be worthwhile exploring.

Some caveats before we go into it:

  1. Searchmetrics data includes Brand keywords, therefore growth in brand can influence the results.
  2. The data is based on Google organic rankings only, it doesn’t relate to actual business/revenue growth.
  3. Keyword search volumes can affect visibility.
  4. Increases/decreases in visibility are not necessarily reflected in visitor numbers.

The data is not an indication of good or bad SEO strategy, it is simply showing a trend in organic visibility and from it we can pick out a few key things businesses are either struggling with or doing well. Anyone who works in this industry realises there is always a lot more going on behind the scenes, different priorities and challenges within each business.

Finance

Relative gains for smaller businesses puts average growth at circa 50%, however nearly 70% of websites in this sample saw 20% or less growth, with 28% seeing declines in search visibility.

It seems to me that Panda/Penguin recoveries for certain websites have resulted in some established players seeing quite significant drops in visibility. Money.co.uk have made huge improvements to the content and usability of their website as well as consistently attracting high quality links.

Uswitch and Money Supermarket have both seen significant drops in visibility over the last 10 months, whereas competitors like Comparethemarket.com and Gocompare.com have both seen growth.

Uswitch have made several changes to the architecture of the website and the content, the biggest losses seem to be for broadband terms. The Money Supermarket decline is almost identical to the Uswitch trend and aligns with a Phantom update, this would suggest Google potentially has an issue with the quality of these websites.

The finance industry has always struggled with flexibility due to regulatory requirements, making it particularly challenging to make changes to the website and putting massive restrictions on outreach. It’s left the landscape a little stagnant with smaller niche players taking advantage.

The AA have YoY declines for the past 5 years, and have resorted to developing microsites to try and capitalise on new product/service areas, e.g. https://www.aatravelinsurance.com/trips/add

It seems to be that instead of resolving issues with the main domain, companies in this industry are building out websites for every product and offering, it makes very little sense from an SEO point of view and isn’t scalable in the long term.

Travel

Average growth in this industry is lower at 14%, half of websites seeing less than 10% growth. Again, around 30% of websites saw a decline in visibility.

Table of organic visibility growth - Travel

It seems to be the big airline, hotel and holiday operators that have struggled to grow or maintain their market share. jet2.com saw no growth and haven’t for a few years, whereas jet2holidays.com was one of the biggest winners with 79% growth in visibility driven by a huge investment in the platform, usability and content on the website. From an SEO stand point it would make sense to merge the websites together, but differences in customers and the journey might create challenges.

Dealchecker.co.uk saw most of their 100% growth in the last 6 months, this seems to be related to the steady growth in links since February:

Referring domains graph

Some of the more recent links going live look a little aggressive but are clearly helping them to rank. It will be interesting to see how Google’s ‘Real time’ penguin deals with these tactics.

At the other end of the scale, and something we see regularly, is the Virgin Atlantic migration:

Virgin Atlantic website migration graph

Website migrations can be seriously problematic, especially if you’re migrating to a brand-new domain name. Virgin Atlantic are struggling to regain their previous visibility on ‘flights to’ terms including core terms like ‘flights to orlando’.

We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of site migrations in the last two years, many of them going wrong one way or another, House of Fraser being the most recent. A detailed redirect plan, content auditing and a close working relationship between SEO and development is an absolute must.

The legal sector average growth comes in at 272%, wildly skewed by the growth of legalexpert.co.uk in the last 6 months, once again proving not so good for the new version of Penguin.

If we remove this result we’re left with an average of 37% growth, nearly half of businesses seeing a decline.

Before the release of the real-time Penguin algorithm we saw higher visibility for news outlets, government websites and national solicitor’s firms, in many cases the results weren’t relevant for those looking for advice or to make a claim. Now Penguin has run we’ve seen the recovery of the claims management companies and what seems to be a little more focus on local firms.

Unfortunately, it seems results are suffering from quite a bit of link spam which pushes visibility down for legitimate businesses/firms.

Home Retail

This is an extremely competitive space with serious investment in both paid and organic search, at peak periods we see aggressive brand bidding which drives up CPCs and means many businesses have to burn budget on protecting their brand.

Average growth comes in at 34%, only 23% of businesses seeing declines in visibility.

Victorian Plumbing have seen huge growth since March 17, there are no obvious reasons for this but my best guess is a huge spike in the number linking pages (not domains), which suggests new site wide links pointing to the website.

Victorian Plumbing growth graph

This combined with a serious amount of blogger outreach seems to be fuelling link growth and driving rankings. Some of the posts look suspicious, similar businesses being linked to in multiple blog posts.

At the opposite end of the scale we have Homebase who have been in decline for the last 2 years. Changes to site design, content and structure have probably contributed to the challenges, however I think poor mobile performance is one of the key reasons for the decline and their site speed is one of the worst in the industry.

House and Garden industry comparison

iGaming

The iGaming industry hasn’t seen a lot of penguin recoveries, unlike other industries, however certain websites have started to see good growth in 2017 despite any serious investment in Content, UX or mobile.

Average growth comes in at 21% with 40% seeing a decline in search visibility.

Most of the winners have seen growth come in 2017, there is no consistency in the dates and no coloration with algorithm updates.

SEO visibility graph for iGaming

There seems to be no obvious reason for the sudden shift and those that have lost visibility seem unrelated to those that have seen gains. There was a Phantom update in February and Fred in March, however I can’t help but wonder if a revived appetite for paid links and ‘innovative’ techniques are starting to help.

Once again, we see the consequences when migrations go wrong with Poker Stars.

Graph of Poker Stars SEO visibility

Payday

There has been good growth in this market across the board with a few new entrants doing suspiciously well. Only 20% of websites in this data set saw a decline in visibility.

The key thing to pick up on here is those websites that have come from nowhere to suddenly begin dominating keyword sets. It is very clear in this industry that link spam and paid links are still very much working and making it extremely difficult for legitimate competitors to grow and maintain search share.

Paydayloansnow.co.uk:

Referring domains graph for paydayloansnow.co.uk

http://www.sumowebsite.com/benefits-and-downsides-of-bad-credit-loans-for-single-mothers.html

Just an example of the kind of links seemingly delivering results in this industry.

Penguin, what Penguin?

Fashion

Businesses in this sector seem to have had lower growth when compared to other areas with average growth only 3.5%. Over half the websites in this set saw declines in their visibility and only 23% saw 10% growth or more.

From experience of working in this industry getting your content and technical SEO right pays far bigger dividends than any form of link building. Pathways to different products need to be logical with optimised internal linking, URL structure and titles.

The biggest loser on the list is newlook.com. They have been through a website restructure recently and removed categories with high visibility from the main navigation, this has resulted in a huge drop in visibility in the last month.

Newlook.com SEO visibility decline

Obviously, I have no idea how much value the lost rankings were driving in terms of revenue, but the restructure has buried and even removed some high-ranking pages that have now diminished in importance and no longer rank.

The biggest winner, Matalan, have seen the benefits of getting the technical architecture right and as such have seen impressive growth in the last 6 months.

Consumer Electrical

Despite some impressive growth in the top half, the average is pulled down to 19% due to 40% of websites seeing no growth at all.

Again, we see migration challenges hurting visibility. This time it’s o2.co.uk who seem to have recently migrated to https and had a few technical issues along the way. The homepage and various other pages seem to be blocking Google from crawling leaving bare snippets in SERPs and resulting in ranking drops across the board.

o2.co.uk SEO visibility decline

Automotive

The automotive landscape has been active in terms of updating websites, fixing technical issues and ensuring websites are mobile friendly. This is evidenced in the data with 66% of websites seeing growth and nearly half seeing 10% or more.

Lookers.co.uk have used an interesting strategy to speed up natural search gains:

Lookers.co.uk SEO visibility graph

If you look at their link profile you can see that they are acquiring and redirecting a number of dealership domains:

Lookers.co.uk link profile

I wrote about this strategy recently and how it can drive serious results, particularly post penguin.

A company that I love but didn’t make the list is Carwow, they just didn’t appear in the top ten for some core keywords despite great content and some of the best imagery. They invest heavily in video (which is spot on in terms of the automotive journey), but it would be good to see some of these videos live and indexed on the actual website. Growth has been static over the last 12 months, but putting the videos on site and some solid link building projects would improve current visibility.

Summary

It’s simple really, the businesses seeing growth in natural search are those implementing technical changes successfully, the most common cause of decline is either ignoring technical or getting it wrong.

On the flip side, it’s clear from all the industries we’ve looked at that link spam is working again. As yet, I see no evidence that Penguin is ‘real-time’ and websites buying/manipulating links are doing well out of it. That’s not to say Google won’t penalise over time, but the idea of ‘real-time’ penguin is for them to not count from the moment they’re crawled.

My opinion is that Penguin doesn’t exist anymore, Google just turned it off and went back to the position they were in before it. As other signals grow in strength this may become less of an issue, but they are still a huge signal and working well.

To finish I just wanted to touch on the fact that all the data used above is trend data, the percentages do not relate to revenue or traffic to a given website. That said, don’t think that massive drops in visibility don’t hurt businesses.

Graph of Money Supermarket Search visibility and share price

You can clearly see above that the share price follows the drops in search visibility.

Not all companies are as reliant on traffic from Google, but poor search performance isn’t just about looking at visibility charts and rankings, it affects the revenue, profitability and even the value of businesses. Serious consideration needs to be given to your SEO strategy, particularly technical SEO as it has the potential to kill off a large portion of your traffic and sales.

How to Edit Facebook Link Previews

Marketers can no longer edit organic link previews (thumbnails, headlines, and descriptions). Go ahead, try it.

From the page publisher…

Facebook Link Preview - Publisher

Previously, you could click into the headline or description and edit what it says. Those items can no longer be changed. You also could have removed the link thumbnail and replaced it with something else. Now, if you click that “x” at the top right of the image, it removes the preview entirely with no ability to replace the image.

This is also now the case in the Page Posts area of Ads Manager…

Facebook Link Preview Page Posts

Facebook took away the ability to edit link previews as part of their ongoing efforts to combat fake news. Offenders would edit that information to mislead readers.

Think about it. You could share a link to a legit and trusted source. Then edit the image, headline, and description to make a baseless claim that isn’t in that article. But since many people won’t read that article and they want the headline to be true, they’ll share it.

Unfortunately, this takes away a tool that ethical marketers have used as well. Sometimes, the preview information isn’t up to snuff and you want to change it without changing the message. For example, maybe the image is of poor quality or doesn’t represent the content. There are many reasons why you might want to edit this information.

So, are marketers out of luck now? Nope. Facebook actually recommends a few ways to continue editing link previews.

1. Edit Open Graph Tags

Open Graph tags on your website provide Facebook with the content it needs to fill a link preview. If a link thumbnail, title, or description don’t appear when you paste a link on Facebook, it’s because those tags weren’t properly created.

There are many ways to update Open Graph tags. I use a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO. This allows me to manually override what is sent to Facebook.

Yoast SEO Facebook Open Graph

If I wanted to change what appears in the link preview on Facebook, I could decide to edit it from my website admin. This way, that information would be changed globally for anyone who shares the link to my post — not just this one time.

If you’ve ever made these changes before, though, you may have noticed that Facebook often doesn’t display the updated information after making your changes. That’s because the old information is cached. You need to force Facebook to scrape it again.

You do this with Facebook’s Open Graph Object Debugger.

Facebook Open Graph Debugger

Click the “Fetch New Scrape Information” button. The next time you share that link to Facebook, it should pull the new information from the updated Open Graph tags.

2. Claim Link Ownership

Facebook understands that this is a major pain to publishers — media companies in particular. So Facebook is granting access to link preview editing to certain publishers who first claim ownership of a website.

Of course, this isn’t available to everyone (I don’t have it). It’s only available to (presumably) select news media. If you have it, though, “Link Ownership” will be found under “Posts” within your page Publisher Tools.

Following is an image provided by SocialNewsDesk.com:

Facebook Link Ownership

You then follow the directions provided within this section to paste some unique code to your site and claim ownership of that content, connecting it to your page. You can then regain access to editing link previews.

Of course, you may not have access to this tool. That leaves…

3. Create an Ad, Publish via Page Posts

The first option isn’t particularly reasonable for most. You aren’t usually going to want to change the link preview globally. You just want to do it for this one post.

The second option is great if you’ve got it. But as mentioned, you may not have it.

The final option is kind of a pain. But it does the trick.

You see, when you create an ad, the link information that you provide will go through a review process. Facebook will check to be sure that the link preview information that you provide is acceptable. Once that approval is granted, you can publish your ad organically.

Of course, if you don’t want to run the ad, just make sure to stop it before it starts. But you’ll need to wait for approval first.

When creating the ad, I edit the link image, headline, or description…

Facebook Ad Edit Link Preview

Once the ad is approved, it will appear within the Page Posts section.

Facebook Ad Edit Link Preview

Check the box next to it, click “Action” and select the option to publish.

That’s it! Your link preview edits will now appear in an organic post.

[Don’t forget to deactivate the campaign if you don’t want it to run!]

Your Turn

Facebook has good reasons for removing the ability to edit the link preview information, as annoying as that may be for ethical publishers. But there are ways around it.

Are you still editing link previews? Which method are you using?

Let me know in the comments below!

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