Welcome back to Web Marketing Wednesdays (WMW), Southwark Consulting’s weekly roundup of news and notes from the digital marketing world! This week we take a quick peek at changes to the way Google search results display, unveil some tips on using Pinterest in a professional setting and share a nice piece on branding and social media. As our regular readers know, the aim of this column is to provide a concise rundown of key news items and tech tips for higher ed admissions and marketing staff. Read on for all the latest news…
We’ll kick things off with some changes that Google is considering to the way that search results are displayed – ranging from the elimination of underlined links to larger font sizes. While those aesthetic changes may sound small, another more substantial change relates to how the ads (AdWords) show up – and this will likely be of interest to schools that use AdWords. For some time now, Google has used the faintest of backgrounds under the ads that show up in search results – making these results often hard to distinguish from natural search results. In the new format, the ads will no longer have any background color, but they will contain a yellow flag labeled ‘Ad’. While that’s good news for people conducting searches who are tired of struggling to discern the ads from the real results, it may not be as positive for advertisers who have been benefiting from the current setup where ads and search can be hard to separate. These changes are currently being tested live, so take a moment to peruse them before they get taken down for further refinement.
For at least 18-24 months, many a business school has pondered the value of Pinterest and its possible application in a higher ed marketing setting. For most schools, other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been more obvious places to pursue a content marketing strategy, but this infographic on how businesses benefit from Pinterest does raise some interesting questions. It also suggests that a successful Pinterest presence can drive traffic to a company’s (or school’s) web site at a much better rate than other channels. While Southwark doesn’t yet view Pinterest as a central part of a content marketing strategy, it’s certainly worth considering the channel and thinking about the points made in the infographic.
We’ll wrap up this week’s column with a nod to a short piece on the importance of branding in social media channels – and by that we mean the importance that your school’s branding (logo use, etc.) on social media is as polished and consistent as your own web site and in your printed materials. Given the often iterative and ad hoc nature of social media efforts in the higher education realm, things like getting the logo right (sized properly, hi-res) can often fall by the way side, so have a peek at this article to push you and your team harder in this domain.
That’s the web marketing news for this week. Thanks for sharing WMW with the higher ed community!