News and insights • Posted on 27 September 2021

The Captain's log: Insights from below deck October 2021

As September draws to a close and the weather takes a predictable turn, the crew has kept the sun shining on our clients’ digital futures.

An essential part of keeping our eyes on the horizon and maintaining an outstanding service is being a step ahead of, not only our industry, but the industries of our clients.

Here, in our monthly update, our crewmates share important insights in digital marketing, sustainability, and beyond.

Google’s newest update receives mixed success

The big news in SEO from this past month is the update Google made in how page titles are displayed. Page titles are an important part of a website. Google crawls them and uses the keywords within them to evaluate the subject of the page and where to index it.  However, page titles also appear very prominently in the SERPs, which means they can affect the click-through rate of any page dramatically.

Until this month, Google displayed page titles exactly as they were written. But now, it’s started overwriting some page titles. These were a blend of snippets of content from the page, or something completely new of Google’s own devising. Some very important websites had their page titles changed to unsuitable and sometimes incorrect content while other websites suffered large drops in traffic as the page titles no longer resembled what users wanted to see.

Google admitted its mistakes, asked for feedback from the digital marketing community, including poor examples of updated page titles, and has since made several amends in an attempt to perfect the update.

Ewan Burkinshaw, SEO manager

How brands can support sustainability

Everyone is talking about the Paris agreement (becoming carbon-neutral before the end of the century), but why? The rate at which we’re currently using the world’s natural resources is astounding, and the impact on the environment is even greater.

So, what can businesses do to help? Many are reducing energy consumption, travel, waste, and water use, as well as improving fuel efficiency across vehicle fleets.

It’s also beneficial for businesses to communicate this correctly with their audiences, given that nearly 57% of consumers say sustainability plays a key part in their buyer behaviour.

Ruby Ribbons, senior account manager

Testing a new headless CMS

As an official Storyblok CMS partner, our development team has been lending a hand by becoming part of the beta testing team for a CMS overhaul.

The beta release allows The Bigger Boat to test out Storyblok’s new interface and design system, which was also released alongside the program. We’ve been hard at work submitting our ideas for improvements or bugs to its team.

The opportunity to work with the new system in the testing phase will prove invaluable for future headless websites, as we’ll be more familiar and will spend less time figuring out new features.

John Bell, senior web developer

Figma’s new audio and cursor-chat features

UI design tool Figma has released two new real-time ways to communicate with teammates without having to toggle between third-party apps, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, or set up a calendar invite.

Cursor chat allows users to type a question or instant temporary messages to their cursor. This enables web designers to collaborate more effectively while working on the same project. Audio also features for those who want to jump on a quick call while both in the same file.

Fast and frictionless, this is a perfect integration for teammates who need to workshop their progress and discuss issues or concepts.

Charlotte Allen, senior UX/UI designer

Google Ads gets a metrics boost

Google recently added new metrics into Google Ads to better help advertisers understand quality scores. The new metrics break down ‘quality score’ into its three main components: ad relevance, landing page experience and expected CTR. This addition of metrics helps advertisers understand the weak points in their ads and where to focus their efforts to improve that all-important quality score. A high-quality score gives advertisers benefits such as lower bids and higher ad rank, as Google favours ads with higher scores during auction.

If you want to keep up to date with the crew, don't forget to sign up to our newsletter to benefit from digital marketing expertise, as well as exciting opportunities to improve your business' performance.

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Written by Carrie Webb

A life-long lover of the written word, Carrie is your go-to for compelling content that resonates with your audience.

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