March 2021 gave us plenty to talk about in the digital marketing world. From Google's test run of two new features in GA4 to PageSpeed Insights scores getting a boost across the board, it was certainly a month jampacked with talking points.
Didn't manage to get up to speed with this month's digital marketing news? Don't worry: I've rounded up the biggest and best bits from March so you can go into April prepared for all the upgrades, features, and tools you can expect to see coming to a screen near you.
Google My Business launches new features explaining how visitors found you
The new performance reporting feature in local listings introduced several fresh features that now allow marketers and businessowners to view platform and device breakdowns of their local listings. The categorisation includes whether businesses were discovered through Maps or Search and whether the user was on their mobile or using a desktop at the time.
This should provide a much richer insight into audience data, meaning you can better tailor your strategies and listings to the right people.
To learn more about this story, make sure you read our full post on the launch of new Google performance features for local listings.
Google rolls out Full Coverage news feature in Search
Google expanded its Full Coverage feature beyond Google News to include mobile users in the US. The tech giant announced it would be rolling this new attribute to more locations in the coming months, so keep an eye out for a more comprehensive SERP.
The aim of this upgrade is to make it easier for people to keep track of long-running and developing stories by collating articles on the topic in one list. This will significantly improve accessibility of news for readers and provide an opportunity for news publications to secure some extra clicks.
For more information on this upgrade, read our blog post on the rollout of Full Coverage news in Search.
Google predicts four pandemic-led trends here to stay
March marked the big reveal from Google of four pandemic-led trends they believe are here for the long haul. These predictions were based on their own knowledge and experiences over the past year, as well as various data.
The trends mentioned were:
- Increased business needs to use real-time tracking to respond to customer demand
- Hosting virtual events
- Working from home
- Offering better ways for customers to buy online
Google believes that with the additional data and consumer signals that were born to cope with the effects of the pandemic, businesses have a responsibility to meet demands to a higher standard than ever before. So, rethinking and adapting your COVID-19 marketing strategy to become more long-term is only a good thing.
You can find out more about each of the specific forecasted trends in our post on Google's predictions of pandemic-led trends that are here to stay.
Google tests service price estimates in local listings
The tech giant announced it is trialling a new feature on US home improvement local listings that will allow users to see estimated service costs in the search panel. Google teamed with an independent reference for home improvement estimates to get this data but warned that users would still need to cross-check the prices displayed for specifics.
Should this feature prove a success, Google could look at rolling it out to other locations and industries, which means there's better opportunities for companies to stand out by setting competitive prices.
To learn more about the experiment, take a look at our blog on Google My Business's test of service price estimates.
New delivery and pickup attributes were added to Google My Business listings
Google enhanced local listing features in the US (for the time being) to include details about:
- Delivery providers/couriers
- Delivery and pickup windows
- Order fees
- Order minimums
Although only currently being rolled out for Albertsons Cos. stores, if more widely adopted, it will have the potential to reduce bounce rates and have a positive effect on your overall SEO strategy.
It was also reported that Google have some extra AI features in the pipeline such as indoor Live Views, an updated Directions feature in Maps, and eco-friendly driving instructions.
Read the blog post to find out about these newest advancements — Google rolls out new pickup and delivery attributes for business profiles.
You're now up to speed with the Google updates and digital marketing news to come from March 2021. To be the first in the know for future news stories, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Interested in working with a digital marketing agency that can keep you in the loop with all of the latest news and adjust your strategy to suit? Get in touch with us for a friendly and free consultation.