1. TikTok Launches Free Marketing Education Series For SMBs – TikTok is launching a new initiative to help small businesses learn the key tips and tricks to maximizing their success on the platform. 

Called ‘Follow Me’, the new, free education program will include a range of expert tips and insights to help refine and improve your TikTok marketing approach. The six-week, email-based series will provide an overview of key best practice notes, including how to set up a free Business Account, how to use TikTok’s Creative Center for content inspiration, and explainers on TikTok’s Ads Manager and other promotion features.

You can sign up for TikTok’s ‘Follow Me’ course here.

2. Pinterest Doubles Down On Shopping – This week Pinterest introduced three new merchant features to help retailers promote their stores. 

  1. Product Tagging on Pins – allows businesses to make their pins shoppable so that customers can click and buy directly from the app. In early experiments, Pinterest found that product Pins labeled in scenes had a 70% higher intent than isolated product photo Pins.
  2. Video in Catalog – Video ads allow merchants to show additional angles of their products to further drive conversions. In early studies, compared to static images, video ad formats raised click-through-rate by 158 percent, decreased cost-per-click by 42 percent, and increased cost-per-acquisition by 58 percent.
  3. Shop Tab on Business Profiles – In order to make it simple for customers to identify and view shoppable products, merchants will be able to prominently display a Shop button on their business profiles. About 30% of the first credited sales made by merchants in early tests came through the Shop tab.

3. Google Ads Relocated Diagnostic Insights To Overview Page – Google Ads has moved the diagnostic insights which was launched in April 2022, to the Insights and Overview page of the ad console. 

Diagnostic insights help you identify common reasons why your campaign may not be serving or getting conversions. Google announced this saying the reason they added this was because “it can be difficult to identify and troubleshoot these issues in a timely fashion.”

The diagnostic insights will indicate when a campaign’s ads aren’t running because, among other diagnostic checks, all ad groups are paused, an account has been suspended, or the Ad Strength is too low. In addition, they can automatically identify issues that range from ad policy, billing, budget, bids, and more.

4. Google Adds Feature To Exclude Locations In Performance Max Campaigns – “In campaign settings under “Location options,” advertisers will now find the ability to target based on physical “Presence” or “Presence or interest”. For Performance Max campaigns for online sales with a product feed, we’ll also be adding advanced location exclusions for “Presence” or “Presence or interest” similar to what is available in Smart Shopping campaigns today,” a Google representative tweeted.

Hopefully this feature will help removing all of the junk traffic we’re seeing when we are running Performance Max Campaigns.

5. Microsoft Launches Auto-Updates For Shopping Campaigns – Two new updates for Microsoft Shopping Campaigns to help you deliver better customer experience and increase your sales. They are:

  1. Automatic item update – Microsoft Merchant Center will crawl advertisers’ websites, gathering price and availability data for the products offered. If a price change or availability issue is detected (e.g., if an item is out of stock), the product information will be updated in your ads. You can opt-out of auto-updates by navigating to the Automatic Updates tab under Settings in your Merchant Center account. Keep in mind that if your products are not up to date, your ads may be disapproved.
  2. Automated coupons through Merchant Promotions – This is attractive for online stores looking to expand their reach and capture new customers. Because it will allow advertisers to promote products directly from the Microsoft Shopping Campaigns inventory with special offer tags. The tags will appear at the bottom of the product listing and will display a “special offer” link.

Microsoft will use crawled data gathered directly from the advertisers’ website to automatically create the Merchant Promotions. Microsoft says the automated coupons will only apply to store-wide promotions, not individual products.

However, you should be aware of automatic features and ensure that the correct information is being captured and relayed to potential buyers.

You can read the announcement from Microsoft here. For more detailed information, check out the Automatic item update help page and the Merchant Promotions help page.

6. Google Merchant Center Adds Auto-Tagging For All Free Listings Across All Of Google – You can now use auto-tagging to view conversions for all free listings and free local listings experiences on Google. Previously, auto-tagging was only available for listings in the Shopping tab. 

What is auto-tagging and how does it work? When a searcher clicks on your free product listing and free local product listing in Google Search, then auto-tagging adds a parameter called “result id” to the URL. 

For example, if someone clicks on your free listing for www.example.com, the final URL will look like www.example.com/?srsltid=123xyz. The result id is created at the time of an impression. 

In the future, if the same user clicks the same free listing or free local listing again, the same result id will be used. That is then tracked through to your analytics tools for deeper analytical purposes, including tracking conversions and purchases.

P.S: Auto-tagging is not turned on by default and has to be enabled at the Merchant Center account by an admin.

7. Google Updates Requirements For Course Structured Data – Google revised the requirements for appearing in the Course rich results using structured data. To be qualified for the Course Rich result, you must add three courses. Previously, this requirement was not explicitly specified. If the requirements are not met, you might not be eligible for the rich result.

Students may find the courses they’re looking for in the rich results produced about by educational course search queries as long as you adhere to the Google Search Central structured data guidelines and requirements for the Course structured data, and everyone wins.

8. Google Search Console Insights Now Supports Google Analytics 4 – Search Console Insights gives you a comprehensive insight of how people find your content online by combining data from Search Console and Google Analytics. It helps you answer these types of questions:

  • What are your best performing pieces of content? 
  • How are your new pieces of content performing? 
  • How do people discover your content across the web? 
  • What people search for on Google before they visit your content? 
  • Which article refers users to your website and content?

However, up until now, Search Console did not support GA-4. This was a challenge since Google will stop supporting GA-3 next year.

9. Google Launches A Landing Page With A Timeline Of Major Ranking Updates – Want to stay on top of all the major Ranking updates that Google considers important for Website owners? Well now you can through the recent major algorithm page at https://developers.google.com/search/updates/ranking.

The new page contains updates that Google has confirmed since January 2020, listed in chronological order.