In our previous article on the agency’s work with quarantined clients, we talked about what we changed in their projects and how we worked with them in February and March when the pandemic was just starting to gain momentum.
Two months later, we want to provide data on the previous two months (April-May) and tell what we did with SEO, PPC, and social networks of clients at the peak of the self-isolation mode.
PPC: in April-May, we received many new projects from offline, which went online
Natalia Palivoda, PPC leading specialist
In May, as during the entire quarantine, our main task was to provide the opportunity for online stores to take full advantage of the closure of offline points and to attract the maximum targeted traffic to sites for the purpose of sales.
Not all niches showed high user activity. But projects such as an online store of books, branded watches, luxury perfumes, water filters were able to increase their sales by more than two times.
In addition to quantitative changes – sales growth, there have been qualitative ones – a decrease in the cost of advertising.
Online perfumery store
Plans for June
After the first month of quarantine, as a result of a current situation, the business, which developed the offline direction more, began to look for an opportunity to promote online. Therefore, in April and May, a large number of applications for calculations were received, and new projects came to us. Consequently, in June, we work in two directions:
- the study of new niches and the development of new projects,
- lossless exit from the quarantine period.
Why can this period be difficult?
- user’s behavior has changed – some returned to offline stores, less time is spent on the Internet,
- a decrease in demand entails an increase in the cost of a click; as a result, the cost of advertising rises.
- to use smart strategies that are tied to ROI. This makes it possible to adjust the transaction value in relation to the average check;
- to attract users to offline points with smart local campaigns, during a period of increased activity of people after quarantine, send them to opened offline stores;
- to allocate at least 40% of the total budget to sales campaigns. Besides the fact that this is the best tool for online stores, which has a number of well-known advantages over other types of campaigns. Last week in Ukraine, a program for a free display of goods from the Google Merchant Center in the image tab became available. A new nice bonus from Google
SEO: Thanks to the May 2020 Core Update, our projects showed growth
Katerina Kiyasova, a leading SEO specialist in the agency
In the world of SEO, May was full of events, as a result of which we supplemented the strategies for promoting projects with new plans and tasks.
In early May, Google released an update to its core algorithm, the May 2020 Core Update, which affected the performance of projects in organic search. Some of our clients’ sites experienced temporary subsidence of positions during May 4-18, but then they recovered.
The dynamics of the positions of the projects are similar:
Figure 1. Project – education abroad
Figure 2. Online store of technology and electronics
Good news: some of our projects as a result of the update showed growth:
Figure 3. Tennis goods online store
Figure 4. New online store of water filters
The Google algorithm update aims to increase the relevance of search results. SEO specialists agreed that the May update is more extensive and widespread than the last January update because several algorithms were updated at once (Penguin, Panda, BERT).
The update was aimed at reassessing the following factors:
- E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) – according to Google’s guidelines for assessors, it is a key factor in the rating system of YMYL sites.
- Google tested and introduced the new Core Web Vitals ranking signal, a set of 3 metrics (LCP, FID, CLS) that estimate download performance, interactivity, and visual stability of content.
- The quality of the content.
- Link spam – an estimate of the quantity and quality of backlinks.
- Blocking of abundant and heavy display advertisements on sites by the Chrome browser.
Google also announced the launch of the new Page Experience ranking signal in 2021, which combines Core Web Vitals with UX signals. The purpose of the new update is to make the Internet more attractive to users and help sites to develop in accordance with the expectations of users of mobile devices.
What has added/changed in SEO approaches from the May update of Google?
- We analyzed the performance of metrics LCP, FID, CLS for all projects. We have initiated and are now going through the process of agreeing with customers on the implementation of the task of optimizing these metrics on sites with weak indicators.
- We focus more on raising the E-A-T level. We improve information pages (About Us, Contacts, Delivery and Payment, etc.), category, and product pages on websites. We work on mechanisms for stimulating customer reviews, and we monitor the rating on external resources, add/expand company information on Wikipedia, etc.
As for quarantine exit, projects are gradually recovering budgets for link promotion to the “before quarantine” level. Accordingly, we are progressively moving from the “on maintenance” mode of the link profile to increasing the number of backlinks to provide the desired result.
But in general, our approaches to promotion have remained the same – these are:
- We are constantly improving the quality and relevance of content on projects. In the SEO department, we are developing a content marketing direction. As part of an integrated approach, we are engaged in a content strategy for the Blog section on e-commerce projects, and we initiate the publication of external PR articles with various information occasions.
- We are working on improving snippets in search results, for example, the implementation of the question-answer block:
Figure 5. Displaying FAQ markup in search results
Figure 6. Displaying FAQ markup in search results
- In the link strategy, we adhere to the optimal quantitative-qualitative balance, with an emphasis more on the quality of donors, observing the organicity of anchor lists, and the regionality of donors.
- We are constantly improving the technical organization of projects – the work with navigation, linking, accessibility of pages, scanning and indexing of the pages of a site necessary for promotion.
SMM: tried new methods of promoting customer projects. For example, Pinterest brought a lot of free traffic to the site, to social networks, and the Youtube channel.
Irina Mazur, head of SMM department and Marina Kalinkina, targetologist
- Due to the fact that in April-May, millions of people around the world spent most of their time at home, we communicated with relevant creatives. And in June, due to the relaxation of quarantine and access offices, they changed communication.
Figure 1. Communication in April-May
Figure 2. Communication in June
2. We more often (weekly) monitor performance, constantly keep abreast and monitor not only the number of interactions and conversions, but also correlate them with sales, and do continuous analysis.
3. In one of our projects, using automatic rules, we completely automated the work with advertising on Facebook Ads. It has become easier for us to work with a large volume of advertising publications on Facebook Ads and to configure the display of advertisements on a schedule.
In another project, using automatic rules, we stop advertisements that have already scored a certain number of results.
This is particularly relevant in the current situation when each hryvnia of the advertising budget counts.
4.We felt relieved when in April the budget at the group level was not replaced by the optimization of expenses at the campaign level since we can set different priorities for ads and groups in order to have alternative ways of allocating budgets.
5.The team of one of our clients, which practice handstand training, has transformed personal training and developed group online courses that, with our help, attract new customers.
6.For some clients, we introduced Pinterest promotion. This is a free platform for brand promotion, which is still not widely used in Ukraine. From Pinterest, clients can get free traffic to your website, social networks, Youtube channel. Pinterest works on the principle of a search engine: users in the search, seeing a catchy creative or the necessary information, go to the blog page, brand social networks or Youtube channel (while the last two are better ranked in Google organic search). Pinterest users, as a rule, are looking for ideas and solutions for the future: recipes, beautiful references, or just inspiration, so we recommended using this platform to our clients from the food industry and selling doors and flooring.
Change in the dynamics of audience growth since the beginning of the active promotion of the Pinterest account.
#ADINDEX is a comprehensive internet marketing agency. Founded in 2013 by Vadim Pilipenko, a former TOP manager of the Universal Commerce Group division of the Nosphere Ventures holding and head of marketing at Allegro Group.