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Friday Recap: New Google tool addresses mobile landing pages, Facebook eliminates ad formats and LinkedIn adds new features

This week has seen some major changes across both Facebook and LinkedIn – both targeted at making things easier and a bit more valuable for those trying to spread their message on the sites. Google has also rolled out an exciting new tool that addresses mobile user-friendliness and a new report finds that a handful of apps are taking up the majority of all time spent on digital media.

Google ‘Landing Pages’ has arrived

Earlier this year, Google announced a new tool called ‘Landing Pages’ that would allow advertisers to view the mobile-friendliness of individual URLs.

Having clear, comprehensive landing pages is essential to conversions and with more and more clicks coming from mobile devices, making sure those landing pages are user friendly on a smartphone is critical. If a smartphone user can’t easily glean the information they need from your landing page, high bounce rates are inevitable.

That’s where Landing Pages comes in. A tab within AdWords, Landing Pages will let advertisers understand how well individual URLs are performing on mobile with a couple of key metrics.

For one, the tool will track which pages drive the most traffic across mobile and desktop users. Additionally, it will provide reports on the Mobile-Friendly Click Rate (MFCR) of specific URLs, which equates to the percentage of mobile clicks that land on mobile-friendly pages.

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Together, these two reports allow advertisers to identify which of their landing pages need some work to better perform on mobile. If for example, a page is driving a lot of clicks on desktop but it has a low MFCR, marketers need to address it to ensure they aren’t missing out on smartphone customers.

Future versions of the tool will allow marketers to see data on display and video campaigns as well, but for now MFCR are only calculated on search campaigns.

Facebook puts some of their less popular ad formats to rest

No matter what your business in Australia, chances are you’re on social media – at least according to Sensis, whose 2016 survey revealed that 48 per cent of small businesses, 54 per cent of medium businesses, and 79 per cent of large businesses all had a social media presence.

And which social media outlet was the most popular? None other than Facebook. Facebook use reigned supreme for business small (89 per cent), medium (79 per cent) and large (89 per cent) – leaving Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn in its dust.

To keep these businesses happy and ensure they’re getting the most value from their paid ad campaigns, Facebook has retired 17 post types that, according to their business blog, were “rarely used and, more importantly, not closely tied to advertiser objectives.”

Before the update, businesses could pay to boost just about anything – whether that be a file upload or share, the attendance of an event, or check-in on a map, at a restaurant or in a city. Facebook, however, has identified that not all posts are created equal and slashed some of their least effective ad products in order to help advertisers reach their goals on the network.

In short, less is more when it comes to paid promotions on Facebook. If you were one of those organisations who – for example – liked to boost the change of your profile picture, you’ll have until September 15 to say goodbye, as that’s when the posts will officially be removed.

LinkedIn adds a number of new features

While Facebook is minimising, LinkedIn is beefing up their site, adding a number of cool new features that will make sharing your insights easier, more engaging and – of course – fun. We outline just a few of these changes here.

Managing your comments

Comments are a great way to have meaningful conversations about the content you post on LinkedIn. Sometimes, however, you might want to mute the chatter. That’s why LinkedIn will now allow users to disable comments on posts and articles and also remove unwanted tags and mentions in threads you don’t wish to engage in.

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Introducing: LinkedIn video

LinkedIn helps professionals to share their experience, insights and perspectives through articles, photos, graphics and slideshows. Now, they’re adding another medium: video content.

Videos are a great way for users to show their expertise, but also their passions using a more creative outlet.

Nervous to publish? Share your drafts

Written an article but not sure it’s good to go? Wel, now LinkedIn will allow you to share drafts of pieces in order to get feedback from your colleagues and friends. Once you’ve whipped up an early version, simply click ‘share draft’ on the article edit menu, obtain the link, and select those users you’d like to see the piece.

Having extra eyes on your work will not only minimise your jitters about being published, but also make sure your work is ready to go live.

App usage is surprisingly consolidated

While the average smartphone owner may have multiple screens packed with various apps, a recent report by comScore has found that app usage is actually very consolidated.

The report divided users into four age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-54, and 55+. Among these, Facebook was the most used app in all categories except those between the ages of 18 and 24. For these users, YouTube was more popular, with Facebook in second place.

What is most compelling about the report, however, is that more than half of all time spent on digital media was divided between five apps: Facebook, Google Search, YouTube, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.  For these aged 18-24, Snapchat also held a top spot, weighing in third place.

This comes at a time when much of the worry about mobile web use has been fragmentation (users dividing their time between too many apps) when, in fact, the opposite is true. For marketers, the takeaway point is key: make sure your ads are well suited to the mobile apps your target audience is using most.

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Natalie Fortier About the author