My Five #463

A few confessions to make in this My Five. What has caught Joe’s eye on his digital travels this week?

You are reading: My Five #463

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Joe.

1. Happy Thanksgiving Day

It is obviously Black Friday today – a day which has come across the pond, but one which divides opinion. I must admit that I am not sure that I am its greatest fan.

I therefore wanted to start on a more wholesome note by wishing our American friends a very happy Thanksgiving Day (for yesterday). I hope you are full of turkey and had a great day :-)

For our UK friends, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Thanksgiving-Day is all you need to know about Thanksgiving Day.

2. Lush kills social media channels (again)

The cosmetics firm Lush made some noise this week with the announcement that they are shutting down some of their social media accounts. From today, Lush will be closing its Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat pages across all 48 countries in which they operate.

Twitter and YouTube escape the social media cull but Lush claims that it is looking to “build better channels of communication elsewhere”. There is a whiff of virtue signalling about the announcement as they are claiming that they are doing this to protect their customers from the dangers of social media. A press release declared:

In the same way that evidence against climate change was ignored and belittled for decades, concerns about the serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now

Lush CEO, Mark Constantine, says:

I’ve spent all my life avoiding putting harmful ingredients in my products. There is now overwhelming evidence we are being put at risk when using social media

Now, I do agree with the sentiment and there is an important debate to be had around mental wellbeing and the addiction of screen time but……… Lush have been here before. Back in April 2019, Lush announced that they were coming off various social media platforms as it was “tired of fighting with algorithms” and did not want to “pay to appear” in newsfeeds.

That lasted all of nine months, before the returned. Who knows – perhaps I am being too cynical today but it wouldn’t surprise me if this is a canny marketing move and that they will be returning to the platforms in the not too distant future with another round of noise. Watch this space.

3. How should you measure the quality of web traffic?

One of the brightest lights that initially drew me towards digital marketing, many moons ago, was the ability to measure the efficacy of your work. Digital marketing felt like the love child of the creative and analytical sides of my brain (I was an accountant…).

In some ways, I think our industry created a rod for its own back as we promised 100% accountability for all digital marketing initiatives. The reality is that this is not always the case and it can still be really difficult to measure / report on the ROI of brand building online. The promise of full ROI visibility is sometimes an empty one.

I have always really enjoyed discussions around the measurement of digital marketing campaigns and agreeing KPIs to track performance. It is a very healthy discussion to have as it forces you to really think about what you actually want your website to do for your organisation. It is, however, easy to fall into the trap of chasing numbers and not sitting back and thinking about the ‘quality v quantity’ question.

I therefore really enjoyed reading this post about measuring the quality of SEO traffic over on the Moz blog this week. I won’t promise anything radically new but it is a great summary of some of the softer metrics that you should be looking out for and gives you a host of data that you can use to dig a little deeper than simply reporting on how many visits your site may have had in any given period. It is definitely worth a read.

4. Happy birthday Search Console

This week saw the first birthday for Google’s Search Console. How time flies – happy birthday to you!

I cannot deny that I still find myself calling it Webmaster Tools on occasions, but Search Console really has grown into one of my most important ports of call on my digital marketing travels. It is a must have tool in your digital tool box and I welcome the increasing transparency that Google offers webmasters. Onwards and upwards.

In case you missed it, you should have a read of a Search Console post I wrote recently about the importance of page experience. A good example of how Google is helping you to focus on user experience.

5. 2021 words of the year

2021 has obviously been another odd year. I wouldn’t bet against ‘annus horribilis’ being on the cards again in this year’s Christmas speech?

The Collins dictionary shared their ‘words of the year’ report for 2021, which you can see here.

It is always a fairly good barometer of the times in which we live. I don’t know about you, but I find the 2021 edition a bit bleak! Accurate, no doubt, but I am sad that so many terms are essentially about a digital world with no actual physical social interaction.

Having spent a fantastic evening in a packed Albert Hall last night watching live tennis, my vote goes with telling Zuckerberg to stick his metaverse up his virtual arse!

Have a great weekend and please stay clear of any anxieties :-)

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