Marketing Minutes & Trends – February 2021

Everything you need to know about February 2021 marketing insights to make you a better, smarter marketer.

Hey hey, readers! Thanks for joining us for another edition of Marketing Minutes. We hope all of you are staying safe and warm this February (it’s currently -6 in Michigan, woof). 

In our February edition, we discuss two major updates to Google. The G-team has added a nice feature to the Google Ads platform and also added a new element to their SERP (search engine results page) layout. Read about Google’s updates below.

Google's Call Recording to Listen To Phone Calls

A feature that digital marketers have been craving for years is a call recording option directly in the Google Ads platform. Marketers have had to rely on call recording services outside the Google Ads platform, like CallRail, in order to listen in on calls, validate lead quality and optimize campaign performance. As of a few days ago, Google Ads officially jumped into the call recording game. Google Ads is now offering call recording right to the platform, so businesses can listen to their lead calls after a potential customer clicks to call from their ad. In order to use the call recording feature and listen to your received calls, you’ll have to enable it by logging into your Google Ads account.

How to Enable The Google Call Recording Feature

  1. Once logged in to your Google Ads account, go to Settings > Account Settings > Call Reporting. 
  2. Once you’re in the Call Reporting tab, you’ll notice you need to have admin access to the account in order to enable the feature. 
  3. There, you’ll see an option for “Save call recordings for 30 days”, where you will select “on” and then save the changes to start recording your calls. 


To access your library of recorded calls, at the gray bar at the top of your Ads account, choose Reports > Predefined Reports > Extensions > Call Details. In this view you’ll also be able to see the duration, country code, caller number, if the call was received or missed, and which ad the call came from. 

Jon Robideau, Account Manager at GRO, says these call features could have a big impact on businesses. “This feature rolled out pretty quietly, and a lot of our clients already have or are looking to implement a separate call tracking service. Now that Google can make these recordings easily accessible right from the Ads platform, businesses might not know they have this information right at their fingertips.” Some may use these calls to further track leads and sales, or potentially use them for training and research purposes. “It’ll be interesting to learn more about how businesses are using this information as we start rolling this out with our clients.”

Google Search Launches "About this result" Feature

Shifting over to the consumer side of search results, when we perform a search for any inquiry, such as “snow removal near me” or “takeout restaurants” — which makes up 15% of queries every day — people expect to easily and quickly find the products and services they’re looking for. To provide even more information, Google announced a new feature “about this result”, a text box that gives the searcher more insight about the search result when they tap the three dots next to the link, before clicking into the result. 

When the user taps the three dots, the “About this result” box appears, providing the source of the website, whether it is secure, and whether the result is a paid or an organic search result. According to Search Engine Land, Google uses Wikipedia for the source to provide the searcher background on the website. Does that mean having a branded Wikipedia page for your company is important? Not necessarily, as this is still in BETA and it’s unclear how many users will find this feature helpful or how many will continuously use it. Let’s say you don’t have a Wikipedia page for your business, if there is no Wikipedia information available, Google will show “additional context that may be available, such as when Google first indexed the site.”

No need to go create your brand’s Wikipedia page in order to show up in search results quite yet, but we’ll continue to monitor these updates and report back on trends or workarounds as we find them.

Google is Updating Keyword Match Types

Surprise, surprise. Google is updating their keyword match types AGAIN. This time, they’re combining broad match modified and phrase match and calling it “updated phrase match.” You can read Google’s full announcement here. Phrase match will be expanded to include additional broad match modified traffic starting in 2 weeks, and fully rolls out globally in July. 

The updated behavior combines broad match modified and phrase match by requiring the phrase to be in order, but will now allow other words to be placed within the phrase as well. The new phrase match will not show ads for search queries with keywords out of order, as it will continue to “respect word order when it’s important to the meaning,” according to Google’s announcement. So, what does this mean for marketers? This ultimately creates a more standardized structure of keyword research. 

GRO’s Digital Marketing Manager, Patric Cavanaugh, says the behavior change will have a major effect on current search strategies and will require significant trial and error. “This new match behavior is more specific than before, which is a concern because compared to the current match types, the keywords will show up for less search terms. It’ll be important for us to test different variations and be selective when adding negative keywords based on the search terms.”

Things to know about broad match modified:

Google is phasing out support for broad match modified, but is rolling these changes out slowly over several months: 

  • Starting mid-February, both phrase match and broad match modified keywords will begin to transition to this new matching behavior. Because this behavior will be applied to both match types, you won’t have to take any immediate action—you’ll keep your performance data and have no need to migrate your keywords.  
  • In July, once the new behavior has been rolled out globally, you’ll no longer be able to create new broad match modified keywords. However, existing broad match modified keywords will continue to serve under the new behavior. That’s why starting now, we recommend creating new keywords in phrase match going forward. 

That’s it for the February edition of Marketing Minutes. Stay warm and be on the lookout for our March edition! Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing news and updates.