Ever wondered how Google can read your mind? It all boils down to Google’s personalised search results.
Many Google users are unaware that search results differ depending on whether the user is logged into a Google account or not. In other words, if a person is logged in to their Google account, they are seeing a different search result to other users.
Am I Logged In?
You can tell if you are logged into your Google account by seeing your profile picture in a circle in the top right corner. If you have not uploaded a picture, you will see your initial(s) in the circle.
If you are logged into a Google account, Google will give you your own set of “personal” search results, which will be different from everyone else’s. Your search results are customised based factors like gender, age, geography, previous searches, and more. Google increases the ranking of pages you’ve clicked on before. This means that you are likely to see the same pages over and over.
Why Does Google’s Personalisation Hurt Businesses?
While Google is motivated to deliver the optimal search for its users, this could prevent users from finding new service providers, for example. Google will keep giving you pages you have used before and while you are seeing the result ranking high, other people are not necessarily. You need to be aware that just because your own company is ranking high in your search results, it does not mean that it is up there for other people’s searches. You may have a false sense of your business’s visibility on the net.
How To Stop Google Personalised Results For Future Searches:
Check to see whether you are logged in to Google on the upper right-hand corner of the Google search page. Hover your cursor over the circle and it will tell you the account you are logged in to. Then click on the circle; click “Manage your account” on the right; click “Privacy and personalization”; scroll down to “Personal results in search” (on the right) and clicking the upper right, toggle the switch off.
The personalisation also applies to suggestions that Google gives when you start to type a search. Turning off personalisation will give you common public suggestions instead. This is far better in terms of understanding trends and conducting research.
Alternatively, you can turn it off by clicking the flywheel left of the circle in the upper right-hand corner. You then click “Your data in search” and scroll down to “Personal results” and click. This takes you to the same settings page.
The fact is that Google really is the best in its class when it comes to search engines. Benefits like the Chrome browser tie-ins make it a lot easier and more convenient than most others. However, knowing that there is a lot of unseen, algorithmic adjustment taking place when you perform even a basic action, like searching one or two-word terms on Google is disconcerting. Knowing that there’s not much we can do to get a neutral result is even more so.
Google’s algorithms – aided by AI software – are outside the understanding of the average user, meaning that even lawmakers, privacy watchdogs and advocacy groups cannot grasp them. That could be problematic for Google in terms of privacy and legislation.
For more help on simplifying the internet – including Google’s personalised search results – get in touch with WSI OMS without delay!
To be effective in digital marketing and social media marketing, you’ll want to use the correct image sizes when posting to these platforms.
Here at WSI OMS, we’ve researched the optimal image sizes for all the major social media platforms. Follow this guide to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
The Social Media Platforms Covered In This Article
Facebook – The Social Media Marketing Behemoth
Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with well over 2 billion active users in any given month. This number is fast approaching 3 billion. What’s important to remember is that these are the recommended image sizes. Anything smaller and Facebook will scale your images, making them look poor!
Facebook Cover Image
The recommended dimensions for the cover image is 820 x 312 pixels. Remember, if you’re using a logo, it’s always preferable to use Portable Network Graphic (PNG) images. While JPEG is fine for photos, their lossy compression is not suitable for flat graphics with steep transitions between colours.
PNG images give you the added benefit of transparent backgrounds – so keep that in mind.
Facebook Profile Image
The profile image will scale differently depending on the device from which you’re viewing.
This image must be at least 180 x 180 pixels and will render at 170 x 170 on your desktop, 128 x 128 on smartphones, and 36 x 36 on feature phones.
Facebook Event Cover Image
Event cover images are stock-standard 1980 x 1080 pixels in dimension. They will display as 470 x 174 in your feed.
Facebook Highlighted Image
Your upload size here should be 1200 x 717 pixels. It’s going to display at 843 x 504 pixels in your feed.
Facebook Shared Image
The recommended size for Facebook shared images is 1200 x 630 even though they will scale to a 1:1 aspect ratio. They will display at a max width of 470 pixels in your feed and 504 pixels on a page.
Facebook Shared Link Image
Similar (but not identical) in size to the shared image, you’ll want to aim for 1200 x 628 pixels when uploading. Not coincidentally, this is the recommended featured image size for WordPress blog posts.
The shared link image minimum for square images in feed is 154 x 154 pixels and 116 x 116 for your page.
Rectangular images have minimum display sizes of 470 x 246 in feed and 484 x 252 on a page.
Visual and effective at communicating your brand, Instagram is a great digital marketing medium for connecting with your followers.
Instagram Stories Image
Upload a minimum resolution image of 600 x 1067 pixels. It’s advisable, however, to use 1080 x 1920 pixel images instead.
All Other Instagram Images
- Instagram portrait image: 1080 x 1350 pixels.
- Instagram square image: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
- Instagram landscape image: 1080 x 566 pixels.
- Instagram profile image: 110 x 100 pixels.
- Instagram thumbnail image: 161 x 161 pixels.
LinkedIn – Digital Marketing Targetted at Professionals
Social media marketing via LinkedIn can be a rewarding exercise. Due to the professional nature of the platform, conversion rates are often higher than on other social platforms. At 6.1% for ads, there’s no reason to believe standard digital marketing results are not equally impressive.
Additionally, LinkedIn accounts for 80% of B2B leads.
Because of this, you must place high-quality images when using this medium.
LinkedIn Profile Background Images
Often noticed even before the profile picture, LinkedIn background images should be 1548 x 396 pixels and no larger than 8MB in size.
LinkedIn Article Cover Images
Writing LinkedIn articles can seriously boost your influence in your niche. The ideal size for article covers is 2000 x 600 pixels. Images added to the article itself have the same limitations.
LinkedIn Profile Photo Images
Profile photos should be between 400 x 400 and 7680 x 4320 pixels and are limited to 8MB. LinkedIn profile photos should be headshots.
- LinkedIn company logo images: 300 x 300 pixels.
- LinkedIn company cover images: 1744 x 444 pixels.
- LinkedIn shared images and link posts: 1104 x 736 pixels.
Pinterest is a source of inspiration for many. Every Pin is an image that can also link back to websites, making Pinterest a great traffic source.
Pinterest Board Display Images
The board display images are thumbnails posted to a Pinterest board. A minimum of 55 x 55 for small images. Large board posts should be 222 x 150 pixels.
- Pinterest profile photo images: At least 165 x 165 pixels.
- Pin images: A fixed width of 236 pixels, although the height is variable, depending on where the image is displayed.
Snapchat has 200 million+ users which you can direct to your site by placing a link at the bottom of your story.
Both the Snapchat “Geofilter” image as well as the Snapchat image ads should be 1080 x 1920 pixels.
From tweeting during peak hours to @mentions, to harness Twitter’s full potential, you’ll have to get the image sizes right. It’s a worthwhile effort since Twitter boasts over 330 million users.
Twitter Header Photo
The recommended image size is 1500 x 500 pixels for the header photo.
Twitter Profile Image
Similar to LinkedIn, your profile picture will be cropped and displayed as a circular image. It will display at 200 x 200 pixels, but the recommended upload size is 400 x 400 pixels.
Twitter Instream Photo
The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9. Take this into consideration since the minimum image dimensions are 600 x 375, but larger images will look better when users click on the image.
YouTube – The World’s Second Largest Search Engine
Yep, you read that right. The guys over at Alphabet must be doing something right to own positions one and two in this space.
The video giant processes more than 3 billion searches a month!
You ought to seriously consider harnessing the power of this beast in your social media marketing campaign if you’re not doing so already.
YouTube Channel Profile Photo
While YouTube will only display at 98 x 98, you should upload an image of size 800 x 800 pixels for your channel profile photo.
YouTube Channel Cover Photo
Also known as channel art, the upload size is a recommended 2560 x 1140 pixels with a max file size of 4MB.
YouTube Video Thumbnail
The minimum width for the YouTube video thumbnail is 640 pixels. The recommended image size is 1280 x 720 pixels with a max file size of 2MB.
While none of the above is strict guidelines, remember, if you can’t match the dimensions exactly, it’s safer to go with larger images rather than smaller.
For more social media marketing material, see the rest of our blog.
How do you get your social media marketing to work for you on LinkedIn in 2020? Times are uncertain across the world at the moment and LinkedIn has recently published a guide on how to reassess your business’s digital marketing strategy in the midst of Covid-19. The greatest concern marketers are facing at the moment, has been found to be budget cuts. So, let’s look at an optimised inbound marketing strategy that will decrease your spend and allow you to take advantage of connecting with the estimated 700 million users on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn social media marketing strategy in 2020
- Post visually appealing content
As with any marketing strategy, rich content is a distinguishing factor. But good visuals become great visuals when there is useful and engaging information attached to it. (Also, LinkedIn says that visual content can increase comments by up to 98%).
Ensure your LinkedIn has all of your details and that it reflects your brand story. Impress people who are visiting your page.
- Don’t disregard the LinkedIn “search” feature
Apply filters in the advanced search section to find specific influential people or companies to target in your marketing
- Engage in LinkedIn Groups
This is an opportunity to interact with others in your sector and to get onto the radar of your target audience. Think about what other professionals might be interested in reading or hearing from you, and post relevant content. Be sure to participate in discussions and to be interactive.
Just as with other social media platforms, LinkedIn also has suggested times for peak performance of your posts.
If social media marketing budget cuts are not a concern
Look at sponsored content, sponsored InMail, or Text Ads. Sponsored content could be a good way to capitalise on content that is already performing well. The sponsored InMail option delivers your ad directly to your targeted audience’s inbox, resembling a message. Text Ads are more traditional, appearing to the side of a user’s news feed.
Lastly, if you have a company page and you’re one of the admins, remember to take advantage of LinkedIn Analytics. Here you can assess your page performance and keep track of post metrics to see what content is resonating with your audience.
Need help with your social media marketing strategy? WSI OMS is the perfect digital marketing agency for you! For more information, contact us today.
The way we search for things on search engines like Google has changed and seemingly, the world of content marketing has changed too. We ask our machines human questions and we expect a human reply. For example, it’s considered normal to ask your computer: “where should I go for dinner tonight?” and we expect our computer to reply to us in a people-friendly manner. This is the future of search and it will continue to evolve. This means we will have to adapt to the new world of digital marketing with human-like machines.
What Is Pillar Content?
Pillar content is substantive and informative content on a specific topic that can be broken into different sections. Guides and reports are good examples of pillar content. Pillar content needs a pillar page and cluster topics. Your pillar page unites all the topics that belong to your central theme. Topic clusters focus on narrow topics found on your pillar page. For example, your pillar page could discuss digital marketing and that same page contains a link to a cluster article that discusses email marketing as a digital marketing technique. Topic cluster content helps Google realise you’re an authority on a particular subject matter. Hence, the more you write about a single topic on your website, the higher Google will rank you for that topic. Pillar content can be thought of as an ebook with many hyperlinks.
Why Should You Use Pillar Content?
Google has become more people-friendly and this means your digital marketing strategy should also evolve. The way people search for things has evolved and people’s questions have grown more complex in nature. We’ve also gotten used to asking our search engines questions that are conversational – we speak to Google as if it’s a human. So it is no surprise that the way we think about content creation and the way we structure content needs to change. Pillar content also increases the level of organisation in your content – people can navigate easily through your website, blogs, infographics and videos – a legitimate SEO benefit. You can also include a download option at the top of your pillar content so that you can turn your visitors into leads. The information you gain from the visitor who chooses to download your content can be used for further content marketing. In addition, creating a comprehensive guide or infographic that is educational and useful will also sell the content itself. In order to do this, you need to identify your target audience and what they want to read about. You also need to consider what questions they will ask and what problem they are trying to solve.
Pillar content can act as a multi-purpose, traffic-driving and lead-converting content marketing tool. There is no escaping the future of search so it would be a wise decision to start reading comprehensive guides on pillar content now – see what I did there?
During a pandemic, creating a community is important. Local SEO does just that. It connects people to what they want when they need it; with businesses like pharmacies that are open late at night and local restaurants that deliver food being some examples of what people are looking for during current times.
However, SEO is a concept that is constantly changing, both through the different ways people connect to resources, and how they go from curiously researching on their phones to ending up at a business’s virtual doorstep.
How does a business owner keep up with the constant change of SEO patterns? The State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020 is a great reference to start with. US software company Moz surveyed more than one thousand marketing professionals to get a clear understanding of local SEO, both before and during the pandemic.
SEO insights and takeaways for 2020
COVID-19 is forcing companies to adapt to the change in how we interact with each other. Digital interaction/marketing and search engine optimization are steadily growing, but with organic assets/items thriving, businesses are in a position where they can get their goods and services to reach people through organic search. Here are some data-based tips for businesses owners to stay on top of this constantly evolving industry:
Optimise for client interests and goals
Whether it’s potential customers checking out your business online or in person, optimising for customers is a must. Thanks to Google’s BERT algorithm update that upgraded the user experience and put the focus on search intent, it’s clear that customer engagement is more than using all of the right keywords in content and a Google My Business profile. Write content that addresses their specific issues and leads them to a solution. Keep your company accessible through multiple channels, and keep consistent with content along with your brand voice as it leads to trust from your audience and creates potential clients.
Employ a diverse team of experts
Management of SEO requires the right people with the right expertise, including web developers, content writers, PPC advertisers and marketing staff. A successful local SEO campaign needs a joint effort from all parties which bring their own set of skills to the table. You also don’t need a team full of SEO professionals; just a team full of diverse creative minds that will create a melting pot of fresh ideas.
Keep offline marketing strategies in mind
Although digital marketing is a major player in marketing now, offline marketing still plays a role. A study by Quantcast found that 39% of global direct brand marketers think that offline campaigns are vital for their overall marketing efforts. Do your research into how people interact with your brand both online and offline and use those insights to establish strategies for both online and offline marketing which will result in customers that feel seen and heard.
Generate positive customer reviews
A whopping 90% of survey respondents believe that reviews impact Google’s local rankings. It’s most certainly true that they do impact brand reputation, conversion and sales; and can be a determining factor on whether or not a potential client seeks your company out further than the ratings they come across. Think about how your customers are addressing their negative reviews and what you can do to effectively manage your brand’s online reputation.
Adapt to COVID-19’s new normal
Although the pandemic has harmed the marketing budgets of major brands, it’s been especially harmful to local businesses. Survey results indicate that businesses are making short-term budget cuts, along with developing long-term changes to their SEO strategies. More than half have seen marketing budget cuts and many others have moved away from offering nonessential services. Focus on tried-and-tested SEO tactics that work, like content development, customer communication and of course, local SEO.
The bottom line on local SEO tactics
Despite the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, lots of known marketing strategies are still effective, including organic assets, website optimization, content creation and local search engine optimization. Keep pushing consistent content that resonates with potential clients and their issues, embrace organic presence and stick to tried-and-tested marketing strategies that have been proven to be effective and your company will reap the rewards.
Contact WSI OMS for some expert advice on how to use local SEO for optimum results.