What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing – December 2016

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We’re back for the final 2016 edition of What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing.  In the December edition, we cover Google’s 2016 search ranking factors, new live stream features and Google’s Top 10 Worldwide Searches of 2016. Enjoy!

Google’s Top Search Ranking Factors of 2016

Searchmetrics released a compelling 63-page report of Google’s top search ranking factors for 2016. The report provides strong evidence that SEO is shifting more and more towards content/user experience and away from old school SEO tactics like keyword focus and link building. Here a few highlights from the report that will make you rethink your SEO strategy in 2017:


  • URLs that hold top ten positions in Google’s SERPs exceed 1,000 words.
  • Keyword usage for URLs located on page one do not show a significantly higher usage of keywords in the content compared to URLs on page two. There is no evidence of keyword stuffing on those top pages and they actually use 20% fewer keywords in the body compared to last year.  

Moving forward: (1) Produce unique, engaging content. (2) Don’t keyword spam.

User Signals

  • The CTR of the number one search result position has an average CTR of 44%, position three being 30%.
  • URLs on the first page have an average bounce rate of 46%, proving that high engagement rate matters.
  • The top ten URLs have a time on site average of 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

Moving forward: (1) Write awesome titles and metas. (2) Entice the user to dive deeper into your website. (3) Build awesone pages that keep the user engaged.


  • 45% of pages in the top twenty results were encrypted using HTTPS. In 2015, only 12% of the top twenty pages used HTTPS.
  • Google has announced that pages that have not switched to HTTPS by 2017 will be marked as “unsafe” in its Chrome Browser.
  • TLDs (top-level domains) now account for 86% of Google’s top rankings. (ex: .com, .net, .org).
  • The top twenty mobile URLs have an average site speed of seven seconds.

Moving forward: (1) Secure your website with HTTPS. (2) Don’t cut corners with .co/.biz domains. (3) Compress images and minify CSS / Javascript.


Live Video Takes Off


I’m sure you’ve noticed all of the live videos popping up in your social media feeds. Celebrities, politicians, sports teams, news stations and popular brands are all using live video to provide a more personal experience to their followers. At the push of a button, you can launch a live stream and be seen all over the world. To top it off, the live videos include chat capabilities where users can have real-time conversations with the streamer, resulting in unbelievable engagement rates.

Because of this explosive growth in popularity, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and other platforms are racing to develop the best live video experiences that will change the way we consume media forever. Here are two new live video features that you need to test out right now.

Facebook Live Map

Facebook Live Map allows Facebook users to explore streams all over the world. The blue dots on the map represent the live streams that are being broadcasted. Accessing the streams is as easy as scrolling through your TV channel guide. This morning, I watched a group of people sailing off the coast of Spain, a Christmas service in India and a high-stakes poker tournament in Prague. View the Facebook Live Map here.

360-Degree Video/Live Streaming

Have you seen the videos that have the 360-degree orb or directional controls on them? Those are 360-degree videos, where you can use your desktop, phone or VR headset to view the video’s entire environment from top to bottom, side to side. USA Today filmed an amazing 360-degree video with The Blue Angels. If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and watch it below. For the full experience, watch it using your VR headset (desktop works best for controls).


Live versions of 360-degree videos have started to emerge on Facebook and advertisers have already found innovative ways to place their ads within them. When I was watching a Facebook Live stream of the Seattle Sounders celebrating their MLS Championship in their locker room, I looked straight up and sure enough, an ad for Audi was on the ceiling. It was genius. You can watch the video here.

While we’re on the subject, a 360 video camera is one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. Here’s a link to purchase the JumpFly 360-degree camera. They have the perfect tagline — Miss Nothing.


Google’s Top 10 Worldwide Searches in 2016.

Google has released their top ten worldwide searches for the 2016 year. The most popular search terms on the planet in order are:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad


Slither.io, basically a roided up version of the old-school mobile phone game Snake, has made the list for the last two years. Google also released several other top ten lists that highlighted certain topics like tech, music, movies, celebrities and athletes. The list that stood out to us the most was the Top Ten Musicians List. The list had a few big surprises. Celine Dion being #1 and Creed (gulp) ranking #5.

Thanks for the read. We’ll see you again in 2017. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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