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Hey! Look at you being all proactive and learning on your own time. Reading a marketing newsletter when no one makes you do it. And on a holiday week. In case no one else tells you today, we think you’re first-rate.

This week’s most important marketing news


Google rolled out a core update to their algorithm on November 17.
A lot of marketers, particularly search-focused marketers, expressed their frustration with Google for shaking things up on them right as Black Friday approaches. Google often doesn’t give advance notice about these updates that adjust the algorithm that ranks search results.

But since it’s a surprise that falls far out of the happy-birthday category, no one likes it. Take that general frustration and add the stress of the upcoming holiday season and a Black Friday that’s just around the riverbend, and you had some angry search marketers this week. Anyway, Google says that few sites should see changes, but keep an eye on your rankings (with tools like Semrush, Moz, or GetStat).

The Page Speed Insights tool analyzes your webpage and provides suggestions for improving the page’s speed.
It’s been updated to be more intuitive and it’s been moved to a new URL:


We should stop compartmentalizing online shopping and shopping in-person.
The two are becoming too intertwined for that, according to a Facebook report, and we have to agree. FB also points out that people “want the best of both these worlds, wherever they are.” (The worlds being online shopping and in-person shopping.) According to the report:

  • 84% of shoppers bought something in-person after first discovering it on social media
  • Shoppers want technology to ease their in-store purchase experiences (think: apps with up-to-date store inventory and easy processes for making a return).

Speaking of shopping innovation, YouTube made plans to bring live-stream shopping to all of us on their platform.
That’s something to consider adding to your holiday plans (as a consumer and a marketer).


If you run into a problem on Instagram, just throw a legit tantrum and shake your phone violently. 
That’ll bring up a “is something wrong?” message on the app, along with a place to write out the issue. And this is a real thing, we just tested it.

Oh, and you can finally delete a single photo in a carousel on Instagram.
That’s a win for the people. 👏🏾


You can now create and distribute podcast ads using Spotify Ad Studio.
There’s a $500 minimum to run these ads and they come with a lot of the free resources that Spotify offers those who advertise on their platform (voice actors, scripts, etc.).

More features have been added to the Google Ads mobile app:

  • Search trends
  • More explanations to Performance insights
  • The ability to create search campaigns

I feel smarter after all that, do you? You look smarter.


Getting conversions from a competitor comparison page

Unbounce wrote this instructive piece about landing page headlines. Here are their three key points with annotations from yours truly.

ONE: Keep your messaging consistent.
We were talking about our first day at high school. How we were nervous, and we’d go to a class and get a little more comfortable, but then have to go find a whole other class after 45 minutes and the nerves would come back a bit.

Just like with anything new, humans are looking for comfort as they move from step-to-step in new territory. It’s true when they move from one piece to the next in your campaign, through your ads, or on your site.

Keeping your brand messaging consistent is like having a friend go with you from one class to another on that first day. Unbounce emphasizes that matching the headline message to previous steps in a user’s experience should be prioritized over humor or ingenuity.

It also means you may need more landing pages. We recommend creating a landing page template that you can copy and tweak for different campaigns and ads.

TWO: Making sense goes farther than being clever or click-baity.
Clarity pays off in landing page headlines. In the case of pages with opt-ins, evidence suggests that clear headlines are 88% more effective than creative ones.

Not this: How We Can Change Your Tired Life in Only 50 Minutes

But this: A Sleep Training Course for Tired Moms

Not this: Aren’t organized people just more attractive?

But this: Organizing your time is hard. Let us help.

There’s a case to be made that the clever and more ambiguous titles are effective article and blog headlines, but ineffective on conversion-focused pages.

THREE: What’s worked before will often work again.
Made to Stick is a great book about how to craft memorable storytelling. The authors share a study that analyzed two groups of ads.

Group 1: 200 distinguished ads

Group 2: 200 regular, old ads

The first group, the distinguished ads, could be categorized. They had 6 categories and the majority of those ads could fit into one of those categories.

But hardly any of the second group, the not-so-great ads, could be categorized.

Unique stories, those that don’t “fit in a box” aren’t necessarily successful. Blueprints and formulas can actually help create distinguished work.

Unbounce recommends researching headlines that have been effective for others and using those good ol’ headline formulas. We think you should pay even more attention to what’s worked for your own pages so far. Pick apart the ones that have done well. Ideally, choose 3-10 of your most effective page headlines and try to find patterns.

To wrap it up
Maybe we spend a little too much time worrying about what’s clever and exciting, instead of simply focusing on what works. Maybe we just have the wrong idea of what creativity means. Whatever the case, we feel confident that following these three principles will make your landing page headlines work (as in, convert).

Let’s get visual