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The Month That Was April 2023

May is here! The month of three bank holidays, Star Wars Day, the King’s Coronation, the Eurovision Song Contest and even National Biscuit Day. A busy month indeed…

Anyway, before we dive into the merry month of May, let’s rewind and talk about April. Spring (sort of) sprung, Easter came and went and the world of marketing was hit with updates galore. Interested? Let’s take a look at what went down.

April’s design and video updates

April was a good month, not just for design – but for photography and videography, too. We’ve got a lot to talk about here, so we’ll get straight into it.

  • Abode stepped up their game with Adobe Firefly – their new AI-powered video editor.
  • The traditional red poppy got a sustainable redesign for 2023’s Poppy Appeal.
  • Pets at Home underwent a rebrand, all in a bid to highlight the nation’s love of pets.

Meet Adobe Firefly, your creative co-editor

Artificial Intelligence is the new way to create. Therefore, it’s time for marketers, designers and videographers to get on board with the revolution.

Adobe, the creative videography, photography and editing software, is fully in the swing of things by improving their existing AI-powered tool – Adobe Firefly. Initially launched for image creation alone, the masterminds at Adobe have been hard at work improving Firefly to enter the golden age of video. Short-form video content is the new way to consume entertainment and news. So, imagine if you had a tool in your arsenal that could help you make it quicker and easier. Sounds amazing, right? Well, Adobe Firefly could be exactly that.


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A post shared by Adobe (@adobe)

Firefly’s scope is virtually unlimited, and it’s set to change the video industry forever. The impressive tool can swiftly analyse what you’re saying on the video and suggest appropriate B-roll footage, generate storyboards, sort out your colour grading, create contextual animations and even pick out the soundtrack for your video. All it takes is your video, a few basic prompts and off you go.

Using Firefly, you can speed up the discovery phases, cut back on the ideation process and eliminate hours in post-production editing. This is the new way to create.

The all-paper poppy

October and November marks the annual Poppy Appeal, where millions of poppies are bought in the UK to show solidarity for our Armed Forces and raise funds to support ex-personnel and their families. And for 2023, the bright-red poppy we all know and love has made a shift towards sustainability.


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A post shared by Matter (@we_are_matter)

Before, the poppy was made from a combination of materials, with red paper petals and a thin plastic stem. But it was up to Matter to make the poppy completely plastic-free. The reimagined poppy is made from fully-recyclable paper (50% recycled coffee cup fibres and 50% renewable wood fibre). The design has not changed all that much, though the paper stem is wider than its plastic predecessor for structural integrity.

Of course, the purpose of this change was to improve the sustainable credentials of the poppy. However, it’s important to note that Matter never lost sight of the little red flower’s overarching goal – which is to be “a symbol of remembrance that remains true to the iconic poppy”.

All in all, the next-generation, sustainable poppy is a sign of better things to come for the future, all while maintaining its original task – ensuring people don’t forget the past.

Rebranding Pets at Home

A go-to retailer for pet owners across the UK, Pets at Home has launched their new animalistic identity. Seeking out help from Nomad Studio, the purpose of this brand reposition was to align the various sub-brands under the Pets at Home umbrella, including Vets for Pets, The Groom Room and the VIP club.

Beforehand, each brand existed in its own world with its own branding, with little to nothing to unify them.

Fast forward to now, each individual company now aligns under one cohesive brand identity.  Clearly, the reimagined “Pets” word mark is the means of solidarity between the various subsidiaries, where we can see a cute, but subtle, waggy tail emerging from the letter “P”. When animated, the logo compresses together in a hugging motion. Adorable.


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A post shared by Nomad® (@nomad_studio_)

The iconic green that makes the Pets at Home branding so distinctive has been retained, just freshened up and set against a darker background to make the colours pop. In addition to the logo redesign, Nomad has also designed a bespoke library of illustrations, each drawing meant to highlight the joy, eccentricity and uniqueness of owning a pet – whether it be a dog, cat, hamster or even a fish.

Drawing on shapes inspired by paw prints and fingerprints, the illustrations show the deep bond formed between owner and pet. In addition, the new brand guidelines stipulate that stock imagery is a thing of the past for Pets at Home. Instead, every photo should be taken by the brand and “pack an emotional punch”. Most examples are relatable and humorous, showing the relationships shared with our animals, expressing how they infiltrate and influence our lives in a myriad of ways. All in all, it’s a touching celebration of the nation’s love of pets.

The world of SEO in spring 2023

It’s important to stay on the ball when it comes to SEO. With an update lurking around every corner, it doesn’t take much to stay out of the loop, and ultimately – out of the game. We’re here to ensure you never miss a bit – take a look at April’s updates:

  • Another reviews update from Google, but this time, it’s not just limited to product reviews…
  • Good news for those who haven’t got their Universal Analytics data yet – you’ve got a year’s grace period!
  • A recent study reveals that 31% of international websites contain hreflang errors…have you checked yours?

April’s Google Reviews Update

Another month, another update from the all-mighty ones up at Google HQ. Should we expect anything less?

April’s update took 13 days to complete, and was the seventh in Google’s instalment of review updates. But this version targeted more than just product reviews, reaching across the spectrum to include the reviews of just about any topic that can be reviewed. After all, a review can tell you a lot, so it’s good to have all the guidelines in place.

These topics involved the reviews of services and businesses, destinations and even forms of media such as games and films. And for many, this update proved to be more volatile than any of its predecessors. For example, 72% of rankings were reported to be affected by the update, compared to a much smaller 49% in February.

The updated advice doesn’t differ too much from the usual, telling reviewers to consider evaluating from a user perspective, show you’re an expert, discuss the pros and cons, explain what sets you apart from your competitors and much, much more – all of which you can read about here.

Universal Analytics data will be available until July 2024

Still not exported your Universal Analytics (UA) data yet? Not to worry, you’ve still got time. Though we’d recommend getting it done pronto, Google announced that users still have access to their data until July 2024. One year to go…

Data collection will end on July 1st 2023, and it will create Google Analytics 4 (GA4) accounts for those on UA who haven’t created a GA4 account yet. Want to know more about GA4? We’ve got you covered. Check out the full blog here for everything you need to know.

Calling all SEOs! 📣 Check your international hreflang

A recent study has revealed that around 31% of websites that serve multiple languages contain hreflang errors. With the various syntax technicalities and nuances that appear across different languages, many SEOs are left implementing conflicting hreflang directives.

And of course, this is a huge problem for your website’s overall performance – leading to duplicate content problems, incorrect indexing and poor visibility in the SERP.

So, if you’re an SEO, this is your time to check out your site and make sure you implement hreflang with great care and caution. Luckily, this article has pulled together a few top tips and tricks to make your life a whole lot easier.

PPC in April 2023

As an advertiser, staying up to date with any updates, bugs and complications that may arise is key for maximising your budget. Here’s what went down in the world of PPC in April 2023:

  • Meta made a big error, and advertisers are p*ssed off (and out of pocket)
  • Google is testing out a new gold verification badge for advertisers
  • Another update for Google Ads means that advertisers must update their applications – quickly

Overspending due to a major Meta bug

Towards the end of April, advertisers were met with a huge shock when they noticed their accounts had spent up to four times their daily budget in the matter of hours, alongside a tripled average cost-per-acquisition (CPA) – not the kind of shock you want on a relaxing Sunday.

The issue was resolved the following day, with Meta stating that the issue arose due to a “problem with an automated system”, and measures are now in place to improve that system. They did state they were investigating if refunds were possible for advertisers. Otherwise, Meta has stayed strangely silent regarding this major glitch.

Google going for gold

A very quick update for the list, but an intriguing one nonetheless – Google seems to be testing out a new gold verification badge. Previously, a blue verification tick – similar to the Twitter verification – was spotted by eagle-eyed users. But now, it looks like a gold version is on the horizon – first spotted and spoken about on Twitter.

Google has not yet released a statement regarding the update, but we do know that this is part of the search engine’s ongoing advertiser verification initiative. The badges signal that an advertiser has been approved by Google, which should hopefully lead to increased click-through rates and overall ad performance. Trust (in the form of a shiny gold badge) counts for a lot when it comes to successful advertising!

Important Google Ads update incoming!

Expected to commence on June 1st 2023, Google has announced that they’re removing their ad group and keyword forecast functionalities. As such, they’re recommending you update your applications – ASAP.

From June, Keyword Plan Ad Forecast and Keyword Plan Keyword Forecast will no longer be populated. Generate Forecast Metrics Request will remain the method for gathering forecast data. So, if your apps rely on either of the two diminishing features, it’s absolutely essential that you get them updated to accommodate these upcoming changes.

Let’s get social – April 2023 updates

Now’s the time to talk about social media – which always proves plentiful in updates. We won’t leave you hanging, let’s get straight into it…

  • A little bit of a social x SEO crossover for you here – TikTok are rolling out featured snippets!
  • It’s the end of Linktree as we know it because Instagram users can now add up to 5 links to their bios!
  • Snapchat users in uproar due to the platform’s eerie new chatbot – My AI.

Social 🤝 SEO – TikTok is rolling out featured snippets!

TikTok is showing their efforts to take organic search in their stride, testing out an enhanced results page that mirrors Google’s own featured snippets.

This update is very much in its infancy, with the feature currently limited to instructional videos from WikiHow. It’s predicted that the algorithm will work by determining the answer to the user’s question and deliver enhanced results that could steal traffic from Google.

But why?

Well, according to 2022’s data, TikTok’s profits don’t align with their skyrocketing growth – so they need to find revenue from elsewhere. The younger generation is increasingly turning to Instagram and TikTok over Google for information-led searches.
TikTok SEO and TikTok PPC could very well be the next big thing, rivalling Google’s search capacities. This could be a major update for social platforms, and we can’t wait to see where this one goes.

Is this the end of third-party bio links?

Instagram users have been crying out for this feature for years, and it’s definitely been a long-time coming, but here we are – Instagram now allows users to add up to 5 links to their profile!

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, announced that this has been one of Instagram’s most requested features of all-time. It’s been in the testing stages since 2021, and it’s taken up until now for it to be rolled out. In the past, Instagram decided against this feature because they thought it might redirect their users to rival websites. Instead, third-party linking tools – like Linktree – came into play.

Now, creators can easily put their passions and interests at the forefront of their profile, showing their audience what brands they care about, showcase their personal businesses and a whole lot more. All in all, this is a brilliant additional feature for Instagram users and should open up a load of possibilities for creators in the near future. Bad news for Linktree.


You may consider Snapchat to be a relic of the past, and they’ve not done anything to spark conversation for a while now. Remember when they removed the public best friends lists? Controversial to say the least.

However, after years of staying behind-the-scenes, the photo and video-messaging service has managed to make its way back into the news with their new chatbot, My AI.

Users will find the chatbot pinned to the top of their chat feed, even above their most recent user. Thousands of Snapchat fans are expressing their dismay at the update, mostly because it’s annoying that you can’t hide the little bot from your feed. However, this top-level placement is not the only gripe Snapchat users have with My AI.

As with most AI softwares, My AI uses data that Snapchat collects about each user to make it feel more personal and conversational. Many feel like this is a violation of privacy, especially when it comes to their location.

Users have been experimenting with the bot and testing its limits for a little while now. And the results are pretty creepy – take a look at this interaction.

Though the majority of conversations surrounding My AI are complaints, concerns and just outright frustration, some users are embracing the weirdness with open arms, chatting to the bot like their best friend. We’re all about keeping up with the technological times, but we’ve got to admit – this one feels a little weird.

Let’s see what May has in store!

Did you get all that? May is in full swing, and we can’t wait to see what this month will bring. We’re always on the lookout for new updates, advancements and features – whether it be for SEO, PPC, social media or even design. And that’s why we’re the experts.

If you’re looking for some help with your overall marketing strategy, or you’d like our services in any one of our respective disciplines, we’re the people you need. Get in touch today!

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