To say that March—and certainly the coming months—has been difficult almost feels like an understatement. As we continue to press on through unprecedented times, we are working to better serve our clients and ensure their digital marketing needs are well met. At the same time, we’re staying abreast of the global pandemic news cycle, including how it relates to the marketplace at large.

We’ve also kept an eye on the digital marketing landscape to bring you the best news stories from the worlds of SEO, paid media, and digital analytics as well as our own blog content. Continue reading to learn about changes to structured data, gain some helpful advice from LinkedIn, and much more in our March 2020 digital roundup.

Ayima news

As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed many of our upcoming speaking engagements and events. However, we did publish several helpful articles this month related to the outbreak and its impact on digital marketing.

Blog posts

SEO stories

Structured data changes announced in light of COVID-19

Following the World Health Organisation’s announcement of COVID-19 as a pandemic, Schema published version 7.0 of their specifications to include “fast tracked new vocabulary to assist the global response to the coronavirus outbreak.” For example, there is now “CovidTestingFacility” markup so that facilities both established and new can indicate that they can test for the virus. You can learn more about the new vocab at Schema’s blog.

In related news, Bing also announced support for “SpecialAnnouncement” schema markup for COVID-19. You can use the data type for coronavirus-related updates for relevant businesses, government health agencies, and testing centres. If you want to get started with this markup, check out the full rundown on the Bing blog.

Google shares best practice guide for health organisations around COVID-19

Google published a best practice guide to help health organisations make COVID-19-related information more accessible in the SERPs. Among other topics, the guide covers areas including “how to help users access your content on-the-go” and “the importance of good page content and titles.” You can review the guide at Google’s Search Console help hub.

Google also created a technical support group that is “focused on helping health organizations who publish COVID-19 information with Search-related questions.” If you or one of your clients qualifies, you can use this form to apply to join the group.

Paid media stories

Facebook announces policy, functionality changes in light of COVID-19

Facebook made several announcements this past month related to how marketers can and cannot use the social media platform. For example, there’s a ban on any ads that attempt to capitalise on fears related to the pandemic, including those selling facemasks, hand sanitizer, and miracle cures. You can also expect delays or errors when submitting new campaigns due to staff shortages and new work routines.

In non-pandemic-related Facebook news, the company is reportedly revamping its Messenger app and tests are underway to allow for Facebook-to-Instagram cross-posting. If you want to know more about all these FB stories (no pun intended), read Ad Espresso’s article.

LinkedIn offers strategies for how to adapt in difficult times

LinkedIn’s senior manager of content marketing, Sean Callahan, put together a roundup of helpful articles to provide guidance to his fellow marketers in these troubled times. There are four pieces of advice in all, including how to deal with event cancellations and how to create a webinar from scratch. Head over to LinkedIn to read Callahan’s article.

Digital analytics stories

Adobe Summit goes virtual, uploads talks to platform

This year’s Adobe Summit was originally set to take place in Las Vegas, but as you may imagine, the coronavirus pandemic changed things. But rather than postpone or cancel the event, the conference was moved online and the company began uploading keynotes and planned talks (known as “innovations”) online for anyone to view.

Adobe also sorted them up into different categories including content, commerce, and data & insights. Ready to dive into some expert discussions on your favourite topics? Visit the 2020 Adobe Summit page and enjoy.

Simo shares timely advice to exclude internal visits from GA

With more and more people working from home, Google’s own Simo Ahava chose to revisit his guide for excluding internal visits from Google Analytics. Essentially, he recognised that there’s a greater opportunity for this to happen as employees work from different networks, which means that IP address exclusion doesn’t exactly apply here.

If your company or agency needs a better way to make sure your own site visits aren’t interfering with your GA reporting, check out Simo’s guide for a quick and simple fix.

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