Sandro goes over a few social & SEO updates incl: Instagram alt text, a Buffer IG stories creator and zero link results on Google. Also, Liz gives an update on Facebook custom audiences!

Ep 326


December 2018 Social Media and SEO Round Up


Liz: [00:00:03] Hello and welcome back to Liz & Sandro’s Marketing Podcast for twice a week we provide insights on SEO, websites, reputation management, social media and so much more. Today we have our December Social Media Roundup.

Sandro: [00:00:17] Thanks Liz. Correct. So just a few things going on. It’s been pretty slow since Thanksgiving.

Liz: [00:00:22] Yeah pretty quiet.

Sandro: [00:00:23] Pretty quiet, yeah. One of the things I love is that Instagram is now adding alt text to photos. You can now add alternative text to your photos on Instagram. And why would you want to do that in the USA? Well in SEO we know alt text helps your images rank higher on Google searches. What alt text is is the text that you type to describe what the photo is. And so you’ve always been able to do that with your Web sites. And so if you’re searching for a photo of say Mr. Rogers, suddenly there’s a lot of photos of Mr. Rogers. One of the reasons for that is the alternative text. The alt text that people put in their websites.


Instagram Alt Text


Sandro: [00:01:03] Well now you can do that with your Instagram. And this really helps handicapped people, visually impaired people. But it will also help people searching for things. So if you’re searching for Mr. Rogers on Instagram you’ll see photos of them once people start populating this alternative text.

Sandro: [00:01:19] But also it helps those who are visually impaired search for things and better see things. And their phones can read to them what this photo is of. One of the reasons I believe they’re doing this is because of the Americans With Disabilities Act. This hasn’t gone to court yet. And many web designers and web people have thought about this, but it may be a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act here in the United States if you do not have alternative text on your images. You’re keeping people who are sight impaired from taking in everything on your website, from getting all the information from your website.

Sandro: [00:01:52] While this hasn’t gone to court, most people believe it will someday. And you if you’re a big site, generally they could come after you if you don’t have alternative text on the photos on your website. And Instagram is a pretty big company. Facebook’s a pretty big company. So if they don’t have this alternative text available they may be a target for these ADA websites in the future. So this is one way to avoid that.


Alt Text Due to Americans with Disabilities Act?


Liz: [00:02:13] Side note: the only other time that I have heard discussions around that was with some of our real estate clients. And a lot of real estate agents have a Web site through their broker. So think Remax, Keller Williams. They’re standard templates with some customization and yeah they have a lot of things built in. And I think that was one of the things that was coming down the pipeline is is having it be ADA compliant.

Liz: [00:02:43] I only heard it in passing. And I think I maybe heard it in the context of: No I would never hire a third party like my company to do my website. I would just leave it with ReMax or Keller Williams because I’m going to let them be responsible for making sure my site is compliant & all of those things that you know they don’t want to be sued for. That was the honestly the only time I’ve ever really heard a lot about that. So yeah to your point maybe at some point it will end up in court and we will hear more about it.

Sandro: [00:03:14] So now you can add especially for your business when you’ve got those delicious hamburgers, tacos, mac and cheese on your Instagram profile. You can add some alternative text on there too in addition to the hashtags.


Zero Search Results Are Back


Sandro: [00:03:24] Next up is more of an SEO thing. Google has finally officially launched. Really, really, really, launched 0 search results for a few things. They did this back in July. People were upset. And basically what this says is if you google “how far is the Moon” Google would just give you the answer without any links. Like no links to NASA. No links to any other scientific journals. It would just give you the answer and you don’t even see a link to try to click on. Now they’re implementing it it seems and it’s here to stay. And we’ve talked about how Google just wants you to stay in Google & not leave Google. Well, here’s another example of this. For anything related to time or conversions or math, google now gives you the answer with zero search results.

Liz: [00:04:10] And they’re not pulling this from someone’s site they’re, they probably just have internally or with an algorithm have generated so many questions and the answers and that’s all that appears correct?

Sandro: [00:04:22] Correct.

Liz: [00:04:23] OK.


Good For People. Bad For Your Website?


Sandro: [00:04:23] As a web person this kind of sucks. But as a consumer it’s kind of great. Liz has mentioned this before, I don’t want to dig through all this craziness. I just want the answer.

Liz: [00:04:33] And if I search for how far away the moon is, what else, I mean I just want the answer. Well what else is is this site going to intrigue me with that’s going to keep me there? Or entice me to come back again and again?

Sandro: [00:04:48] See I would want to know is it always the same distance? Does it go a little further away? Like Neptune kind of goes, it’s farther away. If you google how far is Neptune?” it’s further away from points during other times. But the moon, yeah you’re probably right. I get what you’re saying. So if you Google “time in New Jersey”, you’re going to get the time. If you google “how much is 60 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius?” You’re going to get the answer. So these are things to keep an eye on if you Google “five plus five” you get the answer. Google is giving you a button at the bottom of the answer saying “show all results”.


Date in London?


Sandro: [00:05:19] And once you click that you will see a bunch of links like the time and date dot com or to the New York Times dot com or the science magazine dot com whatever your question is. But generally I wish I could see the number of people that actually click that “show all results” button. It’s probably not very much. We just want the answer. What’s the time in London? What’s the date in London? Here It is. Of course back then we did see some conflicts people. Typed in “date in London” and they would get the date and no links. When they were really looking for. . .

Liz: [00:05:51] A hot date.

Sandro: [00:05:52] A hot date. Yes. So Google is just going all in on this. What does this mean for your small business? You may see some drop off if you are a science. . .

Liz: [00:06:02] Science website.

Sandro: [00:06:03] A science website.


Where Does This Leave Google Answer Boxes?


Liz: [00:06:04] So where does this leave the answer box. The Google answer boxes?

Sandro: [00:06:09] So those are a little different. We just googled “how do you make chicken noodle soup?” And an answer box came up with the answer. How to make chicken noodle soup. And it did get the link from all recipes dot com. I know there’s a lot of advice out there on how to rank on these answer boxes. But right now those answer boxes are still there along with a lot of links. I think it’s just more definitive answers like how far is the moon. What’s the temperature in celsius versus Fahrenheit. Right now, definitive answers. Not non-math related. Not questions with a myriad, many different types of answers. There are different types of chicken noodle soup obviously.


Focus On Your Email List & Website


Sandro: [00:06:44] So those are still there but you never know. They may go away too. But I can see this happening, let’s say restaurants. How much does a taco at Taco Bell cost? They may not even give you the link any more they may just say, “tacos at Taco Bell are 99 cents.” Or something like that. So this is just the beginning. I see this happening more and more.

Liz: [00:07:02] So put emphasis, continued emphasis into your Web site but also into some of Google’s products.

Sandro: [00:07:08] Correct.

Liz: [00:07:09] Like with what we talked about in the last episode in Google messaging.

Sandro: [00:07:11] Yeah and again more emphasis on take control of things you own.

Liz: [00:07:15] Right.

Sandro: [00:07:15] Web site. Email.

Liz: [00:07:16] Subscriber list. Yeah.


Buffer Stories Creator


Sandro: [00:07:18] One other side thing I wanted to note here. Something I love is Buffier. I love Buffer’s app. We use it all the time and Buffer, just so you know introduced its Instagram stories editor. You can now, it’s pretty easy drag and drop. Throw an image in there. You can type things up. You can even potentially add links, things for Instagram stories so it doesn’t work with video. It’s not a video editor. It’s a photo editor. But it gives you some great stock images to use or you can use your own images. And it’s a great way to just create Instagram stories on your desktop or laptop in a pretty easy way and make them look pretty great. So if you use Buffer, and this is free. You don’t have to have buffer actually to use the Buffer stories app.

Liz: [00:08:00] Is there still the free version of buffer?

Sandro: [00:08:03] Yeah it’s 10 posts maximum.

Liz: [00:08:06] Okay.

Sandro: [00:08:07] And you don’t get to schedule different like, moves the times around or.

Liz: [00:08:11] Okay.

Sandro: [00:08:11] Schedule for next Thursday.

Liz: [00:08:12] Got it. So it’s pretty basic.

Sandro: [00:08:14] Pretty basic.

Liz: [00:08:15] Yeah we have a paid account so.


Facebook Custom Audiences Update


Sandro: [00:08:17] Yes, of course. And finally Liz has an update something she told me about I did now know.

Liz: [00:08:20] I do. Yeah I was super excited when I found this out. So we’ve been talking about look alike or I’m sorry we’ve been talking about custom audiences and lookalike audiences on Facebook for a long time. And for years clients would ask, “Hey I have new email addresses. Can we update our audience?” And I’m like well that, you know, once it’s uploaded. It’s there you know. Let’s keep an Excel spreadsheet going and once a quarter, once a month, whatever makes sense. Let’s re-upload the list. Build our new audiences. And start using that.

Liz: [00:08:52] I had a client message me saying, you know I think we kind of missed the mark with our custom audience. I’m not sure that they were our very best clients. Can we make some updates? And I was about to respond, “no sorry!” So I was like “Hold on let me just double check.” Just on the off chance that suddenly we could. And we can! I’m super excited. We have the option to upload email addresses of the individuals that you want removed from your targeting and you can add new ones.


Facebook Recognizes Your Email List May Need Tweaking


Liz: [00:09:25] I have not done this yet. I literally just found this out maybe Monday of this week. It’s a Thursday when we’re recording and I am pending the list from my client. Literally any moment he’s going to be sending it so I can play around with this. I’m curious to see how long it takes to populate within Facebook. I’m curious to see how long we start seeing some changes to the campaign that we’re running.

Liz: [00:09:51] So this is really exciting and I think it’s going to be helpful when I’m working with a client who maybe only has the bare minimum of subscribers or e-mail addresses to add to Facebook and they tell me, “you know what most of these are good but maybe 10 percent of them just aren’t that great.” And I can say let’s just get it going because we can in a month, two months, three months go back in. Make the adjustments. And further refine our targeting. So I’m pretty pumped!

Sandro: [00:10:19] That’s fantastic. I know people do events and they capture e-mail addresses there and that’s like a great update. Great that you can do that.

Liz: [00:10:26] Yeah. So once I play around with this a little more I will provide an update.

Sandro: [00:10:30] Fantastic. Thanks so much.

Liz: [00:10:31] Sure. That wraps up today’s December social media round up. I cannot believe we are in the December already. Thank you for joining us. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also find us at the Marketing Podcast dot net. If you have any questions be sure to e-mail us and we’ll definitely give you a shout out on the show. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time.