Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount is SMM specialist at Ning.
Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

How to Determine Your Market Size: Estimating Your Business Opportunities

Knowing the market size is vital for providing your company’s management team with an objective assessment of the current market situation. It allows you, your team, and your stakeholders to see the real opportunities for business development, to identify your position among the competitors, and to plan production volumes more effectively.

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Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

What Is SEM and How to Do It Right

How to make your website rank at the very top of the search engine results page? Today, when 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine, the problem of online visibility has never been more relevant. The competition keeps growing, and the Internet is becoming an ever more crowded place as businesses of all scales struggle for the public’s attention by creating websites and flooding them with content.

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Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

A Novice’s Guide to Meta Tags

Meta tags are data that helps search engines crawl web pages and rank content while facilitating the search. Hence, meta tags are known to be conducive to SEO.

Nowadays, when 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine, the importance of SEO is hard to overestimate. Neither social media outreach nor paid online ads can grant you as much exposure and high-quality organic traffic as ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs).

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Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

11 Actionable Tips for Creating a Successful Instagram Marketing Campaign

Boasting one billion monthly active users, Instagram is not just one of the largest social networks in the world. It is a marketing platform to reckon with. Instagram users are 10 times more active when it comes to engaging with brands than users on Facebook, which makes it a perfect tool for traffic generation and online сommunication. For this reason, Instagram is insanely popular with businesses of all scales, especially the small ones.

However, to achieve any tangible results with your marketing efforts on Instagram, it’s hardly enough to share a couple of fancy photos every once and again. Running a successful marketing campaign on Instagram takes time, resources, and dedication. Furthermore, it requires the knowledge of mechanisms driving the audience engagement and promotion techniques on the platform.

This is why we summed up a bunch of useful Instagram marketing tips to help you promote your business website on the social network effectively.

  1. Set priorities for your Instagram marketing campaign

Marketing on Instagram is a time-consuming undertaking. So before you launch into action, do your best to think through every single detail of your future campaign, for instance:

  • Audience: Who are the people you want to reach, why, and what do you want them to do? Answering these questions will help you set the right priorities and prepare the content consistent with your goals.
  • Resources at hand: Consider what it takes to attain your objectives on Instagram and determine whether you have enough resources: money, time, workforce, etc. Depending on your conclusions, you will see whether your goals are realistic enough. If not, find ways to get more resources or set less ambitious goals.
  • Success measurement: Decide how you’re going to measure your progress. What indicators will you take into account to figure out what works best for your audience, which marketing efforts are worth it and which are a waste of time? With clear metrics (e.g., number of followers, likes, or shares, incoming traffic to your website, purchases on your online store, etc.) and baselines, it will be easier to monitor your growth and make amendments to your marketing campaign as you go along.
  1. Create an Instagram business account

When it comes to serious Instagram marketing, it is highly advised to set up a business account as it offers a number of advantages over a personal account:

  • Better visibility: A “Contact” button appears in your profile allowing users to get in touch with you easily via email or phone, or find out your location on a map.
  • Analytics: Business accounts on Instagram can track statistics, monitor the performance of posts, and identify their audience thanks to an Insights analytics tool.
  • Instagram ads: Business accounts can run highly targeted advertising campaigns on the platform to promote posts effectively.
  1. Make sure your Instagram profile is on-point

Your profile is your face on Instagram, so do your best to make a flawless impression on your followers while providing them with all the important info. Pay attention to the following aspects of your profile:

  • Profile name: Use your brand name as your profile name. If it already exists, select a word or phrase that is associated with your brand.
  • Bio: Add a high-quality profile photo (this can be your brand logo), write a brief yet informative description of who you are and what you do, and provide a link to your website.
  • Integration with a Facebook profile: Since Facebook owns Instagram, it makes total sense to integrate your profiles on both social networks to double your marketing effectiveness. Start with adding an Instagram tab to your Facebook page. This will allow you to share Instagram posts with followers on Facebook.
  1. Build a unique brand strategy

Instagram is all about identity and creativity. So no matter whether you promote yourself or your business, your Instagram content strategy should focus on a unique vision of the world. Therefore, it is vital to define your own style and stick to it.

Before you start creating content for your marketing posts, think what you are going to focus on, what message you will try to impart, what values to convey. Is there any concept that you want to create with your visual content? Your brand’s individuality matters on Instagram more than on any other social network.

  1. Share quality content only

After all, this is what Instagram was made for. While regular users are free to post anything they want ranging from beautiful scenery to a morning sandwich, a brand is expected to share exceptional content that adds to its image and reputation. Think about how to engage your audience and show your brand in the best light:

  • Be creative: Use filters to make photos more attractive, look for unusual shooting angles, experiment with lighting. Hire a professional photographer or learn a few tricks of the trade. Use graphics editing software to process photos and make collages.
  • Take product photos: High-quality photos demonstrating your products to the public can increase the interest in your brand and boost sales.
  • Share videos: Instagram lets you add videos up to 60 seconds long. Use this opportunity to diversify your content and increase the engagement level.
  • Show your products in action: Make photos or videos to demonstrate how your product looks in real life and how it can be used.
  • Preview your new products: Instagram users love to be the first to know about the latest goodies, so you can use this to your advantage and tease your products to build some hype before the release.
  • Offer content unrelated to your products: Avoid flooding your followers with marketing posts only; otherwise, you risk losing their trust. Dedicate your account to a specific lifestyle and nurturing relationships with consumers.
  • Share exclusive content: Post exclusive photos and videos that you don’t share on other social networks to make your followers feel special.
  • Broadcast live videos: Thanks to Instagram Live, you can delight your followers with live videos from events, production sites, behind-the-scenes, etc. Live content boasts better visibility in Instagram feeds and generates lots of engagement.
  • Show who you really are: Share photos and videos featuring your employees, office, manufacturing facilities, etc. Let your audience see what happens behind the scenes of your brand.
  • Don’t forget about captions: Visual content is undoubtedly a priority on Instagram, but this doesn’t mean that text is irrelevant. Use creative and funny captions to amplify the message conveyed by photos.
  1. Use hashtags wisely

Hashtags are keywords which help users find specific content on Instagram while allowing brands to promote their posts on the platform. Therefore, skillful usage of hashtags is one of the essential requirements of a successful Instagram marketing campaign.

Instagram allows adding up to 30 hashtags to a single post, so there’s a lot of marketing potential in there. But what hashtags should you use?

  • Branded hashtags: Use your brand name as a hashtag in your posts to increase your visibility on Instagram.
  • Promotional hashtags: Consider tagging your Instagram marketing campaigns with unique and easily recognizable hashtags. For example, if you run a contest on Instagram, create a hashtag specifically for it. This will help you attract more participants to the event and allow users to find other contestants.
  • General hashtags: Employ general hashtags associated with your products or a lifestyle your brand promotes.
  • Trend hashtags: New trends spout up like mushrooms on Instagram all the time. If one of these trends matches your brand, don’t hesitate to use it to your advantage. This can bring your posts thousands of views in just a matter of minutes.
  • Location hashtags: Use geotags to show your audience where you are and promote your content in a given area.
  1. Engage with your Instagram followers

Don’t forget that Instagram is not just a photo-sharing platform. It is, first and foremost, a social network. This means that as long as you want to do any marketing on Instagram, you must focus on your audience first, interact with them, and show them that you care. The more open and sociable your brand is, the better it will do. There are many ways to make your followers feel they are an integral part of your brand’s life:

  • Share your customer’s photos: Content generated by your audience is a precious asset your brand can use to improve its reputation. What is more, sharing user-generated content is a great way to show your appreciation to the clients, give them credit for being loyal to your brand. So if you can find a photo of your customer using your product (or interacting with your brand anyhow), make sure to share it through your own profile. Just don’t forget to ask for permission first.
  • Like your followers’ posts: Let your subscribers know that you follow them too, especially if their posts feature your brand or product.
  • Comment on your followers’ posts: Keep in touch with your subscribers by commenting on the photos related to your product or brand.
  • Reply to comments: When someone comments on your post, make sure to reply. This is especially important if the comment contains a question or feedback about your brand.
  • Mention your followers: By mentioning (@) your subscribers and other Instagram users who share photos featuring your brand, you show them your acknowledgment and open up for direct interaction.
  • Ask followers to comment on your posts: Draw attention to your posts and get feedback by asking subscribers to leave their comments. You can add CTAs (calls to action) in your captions or as overlay text right on your photos.
  • Ask for feedback about your brand and products: Think about how to get people talking about your business. Ask original or personal questions related to your brand or a lifestyle it promotes to get the audience into a dialogue.
  1. Launch contests

Instagram users love all kinds of contests and events, especially those that promise tempting rewards. Hashtag contests are among the most popular. These are often held to attract user-generated content and raise public awareness about a brand. Here’s how to start a hashtag contest on Instagram:

  1. Create a unique hashtag specifically for the contest;
  2. In one of your posts, ask followers to share photos featuring your product and tag them with your hashtag;
  3. Promise awesome gifts to winners who will collect the most votes, for example, a free product, discount, coupon, or some exclusive privilege. The prizes will incentivize people to participate while the need to get more votes will encourage them to tell friends about your contest. If you do everything right, your event can even go viral!
  4. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a feature that allows you to tell the story of your brand by posting content that disappears after 24 hours (so-called “ephemeral content”). Instagram Stories are all about photos and short videos captured on-the-spot, displaying the most vivid moments of life. This is why brands often use it to show the human side of their business, expand the outreach, and increase the audience engagement.

The possibility of editing images and adding funny filters and graphic overlays, as well as the unobtrusive nature of ephemeral content, make Instagram Stories insanely popular. Therefore, you simply can’t afford not using it if you are serious about marketing on Instagram.

Find out more about Instagram Stories and how to use the feature for marketing in our previous article.

  1. Partner with influencers

Influencer marketing on Instagram is one of the most effective ways to promote a brand and expand the audience. The strategy is simple: you contact an influencer in your niche and ask to make an Instagram post highlighting or recommending your brand or its specific product.

In that way, you get access to the influencer’s audience and advertise your product organically. However, for your marketing campaign to be successful, take care of the following:

  • Make sure the influencer is a good fit for your business: The ideal candidate for the job must be somehow related to your industry, share your brand’s values or follow a specific lifestyle. And it goes without saying, the influencer’s following must be large enough for you to invest in.
  • Make sure you have something to offer in return: Partnering with influencers can be quite costly, so you have to be ready to fork out a certain amount or at least offer a free product sample.
  1. Optimize your marketing efforts

Knowing the common Instagram marketing strategies is one thing, but implementing them skillfully and systematically is another story. To run a successful marketing campaign on Instagram, consider the following recommendations:

  • Post regularly: Regardless of the number of your followers, post new content on a regular basis. Thus, users will see your brand more often and be more likely to buy your product.
  • Identify the optimal frequency of posts: Examine the analytics to determine how often you need to publish new content.
  • Determine the ideal posting time: Find out when your posts are seen, liked, and shared more often. Publish new content when your audience is most active.
  • Make a content plan: Schedule posts in advance. This will allow you to meet the deadlines easier and come up with new content timely.
  • Track your performance: Always monitor the number of followers, posts with your branded hashtags, likes, and comments to know how to build your further strategy.
  • Follow the trends: The new ways to attract an audience on Instagram emerge all the time. Keep track of popular trends to keep your followers engaged.

Conclusion

To get the most out of Instagram, use the above tips and never stop improving the quality of your content. This is the only way to increase the number of your followers and promote your brand. And always keep focused on your audience. Remember that the key to successful promotion on the platform is communication and interaction.

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Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

How to conduct a SEO audit of a website: a checklist for 2018

Before you start a search engine promotion of your website, conduct
a thorough internal audit of a website, in order to identify and
eliminate the possible errors. We collected the recommendations of
different SEO-specialists and prepared a step-by-step guide for a
website technical verification. Here, you will get only practical
tips with the links to the official sources of the search engines.
30 paragraphs, a bit more steps, and the DIY website technical
analysis is ready!

1. Test and check your website for errors

It is recommended to scan your website for errors with a help of
the following programs:

While doing it, you should not only check the website pages, but
also the scripts, styles and images elements. Make sure to use
mobile or desktop version of User Agent, recommended by Google.

2. Structure your project

Website structure analysis allows you to better understand the
logic of the resource and select the landing pages that can
generate more search traffic. Based on the assembled structure, you
will be able to prepare the recommendations for CNC address
settings, and automatically generate website semantics, to create a
comprehended commercial content plan. It is more convenient to
structure your project in the Excel file.

3. Setup and implementation of clean URLs.

CNC are human-understandable URLs that are user-friendly and
briefly display the web page content. They should:

  • be logically structured;
  • be static or pseudo static;
  • contain clear and concise sections titles;
  • contain the maximally natural amount of keywords.

Therefore, it is better to eliminate the following things on your
website:

  • dynamically generated web pages;
  • pages with not informative for users URLs.

For the big websites, it is necessary to provide formula-type
references: {Domain}/{Section}/{Subsection}. For the small
websites, provide references for every web page.

URLs for multilingual
websites

The multilingual versions of websites are very often implemented
without changing the URL. If the second language version is helpful
for website promotion, you need to set up the static pages for it.
The best option is to have language versions in different website
depositories (e.g. /fr/, /en/, etc).

URLs for products

The URL addresses must be automatically generated for all the
products. In this case, make sure the addresses do not have any
unnecessary symbols. The following symbols are allowed:

  • Latin alphabet symbols;
  • Lower case;
  • Punctuation marks, such as hyphen.

Spaces are not allowed.

URLs for useful filters web
pages

All useful website filters (those ones that are capable of
generating organic traffic) should be formed with URLs and direct
links to these web pages. Do not forget to make static URL
addresses for pagination pages, articles, categories, and
subcategories.

Dynamics for useless filters web
pages

Generate dynamic pages, if there is an opportunity on your website
to choose between the following options:

  • Two or more filters from the same selection;
  • Two or more filters from different selections;
  • The filter, incapable of generating traffic.

In robots.txt, create a directive for Bing, where the dynamic
parameter of filter combinations should not be indexed. For the
Google dynamic pages, create either canonical attribute for main
category, or noindex, follow attribute. It is necessary to close
the dynamic attribute in the scanning parameters on the Search
Console. It helps to reduce the website load time while Google
crawling.

4. Configure https server

It is preferable to create a task for https setting up at the very
beginning of a technical audit, as the setting up of the links in a
sitemap and inside the code will hugely depend on the correct
implementation of https set up. You can read more here.

5. Optimize images

The images optimization includes the following stages:

  • Alt and title set up

Set up alt=»» and title=»» attributes for images that did not have
it before.

  • Alt and title removal from technical
    images

Remove alt and title attributes from all the images, that are part
of website layout and design.

  • Uninformative Alt and Title removal

Remove or replace uninformative alt=»» and title=»» attributes from
the images.

6. Optimize external outbound links

This task is relevant for those projects that have a large amount
of external outbound links. You can identify them with such
services as Ahrefs and Xenu. Collect all
the outbound links in a separate file, and set a task to a
programmer to make these links no follow.

7. Optimize elements of SEO functionality

At this stage, it is necessary to optimize the sorting and close
the website search pages.

Sorting optimization

Tag all the sorting pages with <metaname=»robots»
content=»noindex, follow» />. It is necessary to specify follow
parameter, instead of no follow one.

Closing website search
pages

Remove the website search pages, by closing them in robots.txt file
and removing search directory using GoogleSearchConsole.

8. Optimize the code

In order to speed up the pages processing by search engines and
browser, conduct a further code analysis and optimization.

Transfer the script from the page
to an external file

If the page code contains massive volumes of scripts, transfer them
from the page to an external file. It will reduce the volume of a
main code and will make it simpler for the search engines to scan
your website.

Transfer the CSS from the page to
an external file

If you find out that the page code contains massive volumes of CSS
elements, it is also necessary to transfer them from a page to an
external file. It will optimize the code and speed up the website
processing by search robots.

Combine the .js files into one
file

If the main code contains many references to the files with .js
extension, it is necessary to combine the .js files into one file
(if possible). Your main goal is to reduce the number of .js files
that are used for downloads. In fact, these operations reduce the
page load time and allow you to extend a limit of pages a search
engine crawler can scan per day.

Combine the .css files into one
file

If the main code contains many references to the files with .css
extension, it is necessary to combine the .css files into one file
(as in previous paragraph). It will reduce the number of search
engines requests to the server and increase the daily amount of
pages that can be scanned by search robot.

Check the hidden text

Revise the code for the different page types, in order to identify
the possible hidden text errors. In you find such errors, remove
the hidden text or make the text visible.

Delete non-informative elements
from the script

The code of the main website might contain the text elements that
should not be ranked. For example:

  • The titles of authorization registration forms with “Forgot
    your password?” text type;
  • The titles of the callback forms with “Order a callback” text
    type;
  • Any other technical elements that are not visible but are
    available in the main code.

Transform such text elements into the external file.

Transfer additional files to
another domain or subdomain

If there are additional scripts, styles and images files, transfer
them to another domain or subdomain.

9. Optimize the load speed of your website

In order to identify the elements of your website that need to be
speed up, you can use the following tools: GTmetrix; PageSpeedTools.
Group all the problematic areas into one file, and ask the
programmer to fix it.

10. Add microdata

This paragraph shows the examples of standard markup elements that
can apply to almost any project. Before posting these elements, you
can verify if they are correct with the Google
Structured Data Testing Tool
.

Logo markup

<script type=”application/ld+json”> { “@context”:
“http://schema.org”, “@type”: “Organization”, “url”:
“http://site.com/”, “logo”: “http://site.com/logo.jpg” }
</script>

Navigation layout

<div xmlns:v=”http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#”> <span
typeof=”v:Breadcrumb”> <a href=”http://…” rel=”v:url”
property=”v:title”>Name of nesting 1</a> </span>
<span typeof=”v:Breadcrumb”> <a href=”http://…”
rel=”v:url” property=”v:title”>Name of nesting 2</a>
</span> <span typeof=”v:Breadcrumb”> <a
href=”http://…” rel=”v:url” property=”v:title”>Name of nesting
3</a> </span> <span typeof=”v:Breadcrumb”> <a
href=”http://…” rel=”v:url” property=”v:title”>Name of nesting
4</a> </span> </div>

Reviews markup

<div typeof=”v:Review-aggregate”
xmlns:v=”http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#”> <span
property=”v:itemreviewed”>Product Reviews [Product
Name]</span> <span rel=”v:rating”> <span
typeof=”v:Rating”> <span property=”v:average”>average
value</span> of <span property=”v:best”>best
value</span> </span> </span> based <span
property=”v:votes”>number of ratings</span> assessments.
<span property=”v:count”>number of customer
reviews</span> customer reviews. </div>

Price range
categories layout

Suitable for categories of online stores. <script
type=”application/ld+json”> { “@context”: “http://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “Product”, “name”: “NAME OF CATEGORY”, “offers”: {
“@type”: “AggregateOffer”, “priceCurrency”: “USD”, “lowprice”:
“MINIMUM PRICE”, “highprice”: “MAXIMUM PRICE”, “offerCount”:
“QUANTITY OF GOODS IN SECTION” } } </script>

“Contact details”
markup

<div class=”vcard”> <div class=”adr”> <p><span
class=”locality”>CITY</span> <span
class=”street-address”>STREET</span></p>
</div> Phones: <span class=”tel”>+1
(800)469-92-69</span> <span class=”tel”>+1 (800)
469-92-68</span> </div>

Links to social
networks profiles

<script type=”application/ld+json”> { “@context” :
“http://schema.org”, “@type” : “Organization”, “name” : “BRAND
NAME”, “url” : “http://www.mysite.com/”, “sameAs” : [
“https://www.facebook.com/page_URI”,
“https://www.instagram.com/page_URI/”] } </script>

Social networks
layout

Writing an additional code for social networks.

An example of OpenGraphProtocol for social networks

<meta property=”og:url” content=”https://www.ning.com/” />
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Create your own social
network with the best community website builder – NING” />
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Ning – is the largest
online community building platform in the World ★ Create your own
social network in a matter of minutes ⚡️ Take your 14 days trial”
/> <meta property=”og:image”
content=”https://cdn.ning.com/wp-content/themes/ning/assets/img/ui/white/img_main.jpg”
/> <meta property=”og:type” content=”website” /> <meta
property=”og:site_name” content=”NING” /> <meta
property=”og:locale” content=”en_US” />

An example of Google+
layout

<meta itemprop=”url” content=”https://www.ning.com/”>
<meta itemprop=”name” content=”NING” /> <meta
itemprop=”description” content=”Ning – is the largest online
community building platform in the World ★ Create your own social
network in a matter of minutes ⚡️ Take your 14 days trial”>
<meta itemprop=”image”
content=”https://cdn.ning.com/wp-content/themes/ning/assets/img/ui/white/img_main.jpg”>

An example of Twitter markup

<meta name=”twitter:card” content=”summary_large_image”>
<meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@Ning”> <meta
name=”twitter:title” content=”Ning”> <meta
name=”twitter:description” content=”Ning – is the largest online
community building platform in the World ★ Create your own social
network in a matter of minutes ⚡️ Take your 14 days trial”>
<meta name=”twitter:image”
content=”https://cdn.ning.com/wp-content/themes/ning/assets/img/ui/white/img_main.jpg”>

11. Set up interlinking

There are basic and custom interlinking attributes.

Basic interlinking
attributes

Basic interlinking attributes include:

  • Breadcrumbs creation (if it is not created yet);
  • Adding there the links to additional subcategories or generator
    filter pages;
  • Adding the links to the accessories;
  • Adding the links to the related products;
  • Generation additional links to pagination.

Complex rules

Complex rules are non-standard solutions for improvement of website
ranking. More complex schemes are worked out for the specific
projects, taking into account the website volume, its structure and
linking logic of the competitors.

12. Check your website for pop-ups

To ensure that Google does not lower the website pages value,
it is important to get rid of the elements that can negatively
affect users interaction with your website. There are several types
of pop-ups. Pop-up

Pop-ups open in new windows. Using pop-ups is considered to be out
of the Google Search rules. That is why many browsers, particularly
Chrome, automatically block such elements. Users also negatively
perceive such pop-ups.

Overlay

Pop-up overlays are visual elements that appear in the same window
of the Internet browser. This can be e-mail newsletter subscription
form, course registration and similar items. From Google’s point of
view, they do not cause such big problems as pop-ups. However, they
can cause some difficulties, especially on mobile devices.

Modal window

Modal dialog windows are interactive windows, such as Lightbox
windows that show images in detail. This pop-up assumes that the
action is performed inside a new window, not in the content below
it. Thus, the subscription forms that appear over the content and
do not allow you to interact with it, can be considered as modal
windows. Their use is not a problem as long as they are not related
to spam, advertisement or anything else that makes the users
experience worse.

Interstitial ad

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the whole page at
the moment of changing the pages. A classic example of an
interstitial ad is Forbes.com format. When visiting the publication
for the first site, the user sees the following message: “Welcome!
The sponsor of a day is Brawndo. Brawndo has what the plants
crave”. This kind of interstitial ad scares off many people, since
they have to wait before reading an article. Google also has a
negative attitude towards such elements.

13. Optimize your website for mobile devices

Main website
adaptation

Make a technical assignment to programmers adopt the website for
Mobile:

  • Create adaptive design;
  • Create a mobile version.

Mobile and laptop versions
comparison

Compare mobile version to the desktop version, and check if the
mobile version corresponds to the desktop version of the website
(in case of transferring it to the separate domain or sub domain or
directory). Ensure that the following elements correspond to the
desktop elements:

  • Meta tags;
  • Content;
  • Marking;
  • Technical pages (pagination, sorting, etc)
  • Products characteristics and description.

One of the important MobileFirst Conditions is to have 100%
conformity hit.

Linking the mobile application to
the website

In order for Google to understand that there is a link between the
website and the mobile application, you need to add rel=alternate
to the HTML-code of the website. Then, use the sitemap.xml file to
identify the linking, and define how to display the search results.
In this documentation
you can find the information about the rules of android
app://com.example.android/example/gizmos address generation and
placing links for indexing applications on Google. After indexing
the website pages, the user will see the buttons in the Google
search results with the links to relevant applications that are
preinstalled on his smartphone.

AMP web pages set up

The technology of accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is based on open
source code. These pages are stored in a special Google cache,
which provides faster downloads. Here,
you can read in details about the logic of creating AMP pages.

14. Set up redirects

Professional SEO-audit of a website also includes a full check for
redirects. Let’s have a look the most common ones.

301 redirect: uppercase to
lowercase

https://MyWebsite.com https://mywebsite.com Set up 301 redirect
from upper case to lower case for all the pages. If for upper case
pages there is already set up a canonical tag on lower case pages,
then there is no need for redirect.

301 redirect: www to
non-www

https://www.mywebsite.com
https://mywebsite.com The
website should be accessible by one domain. Therefore, configure
the 301 redirect version of a website from www to without www (or
vice versa).

301 redirect URLs with or without
a trailing slash

https://mywebsite.com https://mywebsite.com/ The website should
be accessible by one URL, preferably with the slash sign in the
end. If you find a problem, configure the 301 redirect version of a
website without slash into the version with a slash at the end.

301 redirect for pages with and
without extension

https://mywebsite.com/index.htm
https://mywebsite.com/ The web
pages can be accessed in .php, .html, .htm, .aspx, .asp extensions.
Check the availability of the pages in these extensions.

301 redirect from IP

http://194.35.16.75/ http://mywebsite.com/ If the website is
duplicated by the IP address, configure 301 redirect duplicates to
the main website.

301 redirect: duplicate
paginations

In case you go to the second page of the website, and then return
to the first page, and find out that the URL address is different
from the one on the original page, it means that the pagination on
the website is not properly set up. This is how it looks like:
https://mywebsite.com/landing
https://mywebsite.com/landing/page-1/ In
this case, configure the 301 redirect and merge the web pages.

Check for redirect
chains

If there is a problem of redirect chains (when one page is
redirected to the second one, and vice versa), then configure the
correct 301 redirect.

301 redirect for the 404 page
with external links

If the website has a reference history, check the website for
external links, for example, with Ahrefs service. Сonfigure 301 redirect to
similar pages for all the 404 pages that are redirected from
external links.

15. Set up canonical pages

Dynamic pages
canonical

If the page is duplicated by adding any get-parameters in the end
of the URLs, register the canonical tag on the root page of a
website. An example The page of the same event is available at the
addresses: https://mysite.com/events/
https://mysite.com/events/?id=123
To remove tag duplicated on all dynamic pages, specify the
rel=”canonical” attribute. For example, for the web pages: https://mysite.com/events/
https://mysite.com/events/?*
where * means any symbol or sign, you need to add a code:
<linkrel=»canonical» href=»http://mysite.com/events/» /> The
similar setting should be made for all dynamic web pages of the
project.

Duplicate pages
canonical

The Internet shops quite often contain the duplicate products, due
to the different colors of these products. As a result, almost
identical products can appear on the website. In this case, select
displaying a single page, and specify the rel=”canonical” attribute
for it.

Self-referential
canonical

Put rel=”canonical” attribute for all the web pages. Example:
<linkrel=»canonical» href=»http://www.site.com/landing/«/>,
where landing is a static landing page, where the canonical is
placed.

16. Set up the 404 error

Checking the 404 error
response

404 page should get the 200 status code. The best way to check it
is to use Google scanner Fetch as
Google
or Webconfs.com
service.

When interchanging directories
locations

If after interchanging the directories locations or separate words,
the web page opens and gets the 200 status code, then set up 404
server response. Example. There is a web page:
site.com/animals/elephants/. Let’s swap the words
“animals” and “elephants”. If the page
site.com/elephants/animals/ gets the 200 status
code, then you need to set up 404 server response on this page.
This problem most often occurs when you select two filters in the
depository and swap their locations. Therefore the interchange of
filters location is checked by default.

When deleting intermediate
directories

If after deleting intermediate directories or single words, the
page opens and gets the 200 status code, then you better set up 404
server response on this page. An example: There is
a web page: site.com/animals/elephants/. Let’s
delete the “animals” directory. If the webpage site.com/elephants/
gets the 200 status code, you have to set up 404 server response on
this page.

When adding entities

If after adding arbitrary directories or single words, the web page
opens and gets the 200 status code, perform the same actions just
like in the previous two paragraphs. Example:
There is a web page: site.com/animals/elephants/.
If you add an arbitrary directory
site.com/animals/elephants/elephants, and the page
gets the 200 status code, set up 404 server response on this page.
The same rule should apply for checking non-existent language
catalogues. I.e., if the website does not display different
language versions, check if this version can be automatically
generated by the system. In order to do this, add /fr/, /en/, /eu/
after the main domain address. If the page gets the 200 status
code, but in fact the different language version does not exist,
set up 404 server response on this page.

When adding elements to the
primary address

If after adding arbitrary words to the existent directories, the
page opens and gets the 200 status code, then, as you already know,
you need to set up 404 server response on this page.
Еxample: There is a web page:
site.com/animals/elephants/. If we add the numbers
into the directory and make it
site.com/animals/elephants/444, and the page will
get the 200 status code, set up 404 server response on this page.

17. Set up language switching elements

If the website has several language versions, set the correct
attributes (hreflang) for the web pages. Example #1. The website
has three language versions (English, Spanish and French) that
differ from each other and are located in directories (folders).
The main website page site.com is in English, but it already has
the selection of language versions. Set up the following:

http://site.com/ <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en”
href=”http://site.com/” /> <link rel=”alternate”
hreflang=”es” href=”http://site.com/es/ ” /> <link
rel=”alternate” hreflang=”fr” href=”http://site.com/fr/ ” />
http://site.com/es/ <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en”
href=”http://site.com/ ” /> <link rel=”alternate”
hreflang=”fr” href=”http://site.com/fr/ ” /> http://site.com/fr/
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en” href=”http://site.com/ ”
/> <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es”
href=”http://site.com/es/ ” />

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Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount

How to Make Money on Instagram

Do you reckon yourself among avid Instagrammers? Do you frequently share your photos with the global community? If you do, then you have probably considered an idea of making money on it. Let’s face it, the possibility of earning thousands of dollars just for posting pictures is incredibly tempting! The truth is, in the age of social media we live in, it is not just a fantasy – it’s a prospective business that is opening new opportunities for socially active and enterprising individuals all the time.

It is reported that the number of monthly active Instagram users has reached an inconceivable 800 million! No wonder that brands in almost every niche turn to reputable Instagrammers for help in promoting their products and services. Social media like Instagram give companies public reach and access to the most important resource – audience. That’s why they are ready to pay hefty sums to whoever is able to draw public attention to their brand.

So are you ready to know how to make money on Instagram? Follow on and you will find out what exactly Instagram influencers do to secure a steady inflow of cash.

Prerequisites for a successful Instagram monetization

Followers

If your goal is to get paid for your Instagram posts, the first thing you’ve got to take care of is your audience. Your success depends mostly on your followers, and their number must be high enough to guarantee a public reach that will satisfy the requirements of companies you are partnering with.

It is as simple as that: the more followers you have, the more chances you get to receive a lucrative offer. If your social profile is not popular enough, why would companies even bother to contact you?

On the opposite, Instagrammers with a powerful following represent a valuable resource for brands to raise awareness about their products.

Authority

To be able to exert influence on your followers, you need to possess a considerable level of authority among them. If your content is in high demand and has proven to meet high-quality standards for a long period of time, you can basically consider your status established, given the number of your followers is big enough.

Authority is required to make people trust you and believe that your level of expertise in a particular niche meets their expectations. Possessing a right amount of credibility, you can recommend products and services to your followers through Instagram and expect them to pick up trends from you. To understand the logic behind this scheme, it is enough to answer a simple question: will you listen to a stranger who is recommending you to buy a product or follow the advice from your close friend? Most probably, the latter. This is exactly how your authority should work on Instagram: you make people engaged with your posts, become a part of their lives, share interesting content, and then leverage your credit of trust to pursue commercial purposes.

Quality content

When you post photos on Instagram just for your friends and family, you should hardly strive for perfection, unless you want to surprise everybody with your photography skills. But when it comes to making money on Instagram, the requirements for your professionalism can be extremely high. This is when your skills of taking cool snaps and the equipment you use really matter.

To make brands take an interest in you in the first place, you have to make sure your photos are good enough. Even more so when you start working with companies. To be able to meet their expectations for the quality of photos you will need a powerful camera capable of taking photos in high resolution (4K is preferable). Your creativity and ability to make perfect shots come to the forefront as well.

Tips on how to get it right

In order to become a successful Instagrammer, you should follow some simple rules. With a right approach, you can get enough followers and achieve a required level of authority to become an Instagram influencer.

  • Provide enough information about yourself. Write an extensive Instagram bio that will allow users to get a better understanding of who you are and what you do. Ideally, your bio should be short and concise, although offering a clear description of your personality and area of expertise. Contact information is important as much. Don’t forget to mention your geographical location too.
  • Make use of relevant hashtags. What can be more important on Instagram than a masterful use of hashtags? Tags are basically keywords that allow you and your images to be found by other users. That’s why utilizing right hashtags will give you more visibility and expand your reach. Take some time to research the most popular hashtags in your niche and don’t forget to include them in every post you make. You can also check out a couple of online tools like TagForLikes or Hashtagify.me to find the appropriate tags.
  • Post only good quality photos. Build your reputation on images you are absolutely sure of and don’t give others a reason to question your professionalism by posting photos of lower quality. Remember, Instagram was created for sharing images in the first place, so make sure the photos you post are capable of catching attention and keeping your audience engaged for a long time.
  • Be consistent. Apart from the quality of your posts, another aspect that matters as much is the regularity. If you have made a couple of interesting and successful posts and then disappeared out of sight, you will most probably lose your audience. Becoming an Instagram influencer is pretty much like surfing: you catch a wave and do your best to ride it as long as it can carry you. That’s why your posts should be frequent. In this way, you will remain on people’s radar longer and maintain the engagement you have once created.
  • Find your theme. This one goes hand in hand with determining your niche. You must come up with a well-defined topic for your Instagram account, so that other users can easily identify your scope of interests and understand what kind of images to expect from you. If you don’t focus on one specific issue and make posts on many different subjects at once, you can get your followers confused. And in that case, they can easily lose interest in you.
  • Introduce a story. To uphold your followers’ engagement, it might be a good idea to weave in a kind of narrative in your posts. Naturally, it is not easy to tell stories by means of visual content. But you can think of the ways to create a story-like progression to your posts, make a logical link between them, implement cliffhangers, just like in movie series, leaving your audience craving for more.
  • Keep communicating. As with any other social media, ensuring a powerful following on Instagram is impossible without communication. For this reason, it is vital to keep in touch with your followers all the time, using any means and opportunities at your disposal. Interact with other Instagram users by commenting on posts and liking them. You should always be open for discussions if you expect people to let you in their lives.
  • Combine different channels of influence. While focusing on Instagram, it is highly recommended not to give up on other social channels that can bring new visitors to your Instagram account. First and foremost, create a blog that would be an extension of your Instagram channel. It will allow you to elaborate on the topics broached by your Instagram posts, and hence make your content more self-sufficient and versatile, giving it more value. Just remember not to stray too far away from the ideas conveyed by your images on Instagram, otherwise, you are risking to cause an unnecessary confusion. Additionally, your blog can help you avoid long and aesthetically displeasing captions and keep your posts leaner.
    Other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. can also be very useful for expanding your public reach. Integrating all of these options will enable you to achieve the best results in establishing a solid follower base and achieving a high level of credibility.
    If you own a social network on Ning, consider all these solutions at your disposal because you already have a comprehensive platform for starting a blog and can make other social media work for you thanks to the seamless integration option.

Ways to monetize Instagram

Now when you know the basic rules of the game, you must be wondering what sources of revenue famous Instagrammers usually procure for themselves. There are multiple ways to make money on Instagram, and the most popular of them are publishing sponsored posts, becoming affiliated with brands, selling products, and selling photos.

  1. Sponsored posts

Making sponsored posts is one of the proven ways of monetizing Instagram. A sponsored post is a piece of content, an image or a video, highlighting a certain brand. Captions to such posts usually contain branded hashtags, brand mentions, and links to affiliated web resources.

The logic behind this marketing strategy is very simple. If you have a lot of followers, brands will want your outreach to raise awareness about their products and services. So you share it by making sponsored posts and get paid for it. The price of your posts depends heavily on the number of followers you have, as well as your authority among them.

Given a remarkable following on Instagram, there are high chances that companies interested in your services will find and contact you on their own. But you can also try various tools that help Instagrammers find brands to partner with, for example, Buzzweb, Influence.co, TRIBE, TapInfluence, etc.

However, to be able to preserve your credibility and integrity, you’ll want to support only those brands that fit your lifestyle and personality. The idea is to put in the spotlight only the products that you truly believe are good for yourself. People that follow your Instagram channel and trust you as an individual are likely to click on the link and buy the product. So your goal is basically to set up a trend. But if you personally don’t trust the product or the brand, best stay away from promoting it. Otherwise, your followers will most likely feel the dishonesty and leave you, which you certainly don’t want to happen.

  1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is similar to making sponsored posts but differs in a way that makes it more sales oriented, meaning that you get paid not for generating awareness but for encouraging people to actually buy products. Thus, your Instagram posts must convince users to click on the affiliate URL link provided by the brand or use promo codes, driving the company’s sales. The links can be introduced both in your bio and captions.

This strategy is less straightforward than selling products directly and requires quite a lot of creativity since your job as a brand’s affiliate is to make sure that clicks are translated into sales. It works well with industries like garments, tourism, healthcare, beauty and others.

To find companies that would potentially like to affiliate with you, it is worth checking popular online marketplaces like ClickBank or RewardStyle.

  1. Selling photos

Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur with ambitions, you can always try to sell your photos to private users, companies, or agencies – Instagram is an image-sharing platform after all!

Images, just like any other product, can be effectively sold, licensed, and printed on a variety of goods. You can use Instagram to showcase and promote your unique photos. If they reach the right audience, you will have all the chances to successfully make money on them.

Therefore, your primary task is to take remarkable snaps, put your personal watermark on them, provide engaging captions, and use relevant hashtags to reach out to the public that might be interested in your talent.

  1. Selling your own products

Supporting other brands is not your only option. You can create your own brand and use Instagram to promote it.

If you have a product (physical or digital) or service to offer, there’s nothing easier than creating a business account on Instagram and advertising it by posting photos, showcasing your contended customers, etc.

You can set up your own online store and sell all kinds of stuff. If you used to sell photos, you can try expanding your business by selling items with unique prints of your own design, be it t-shirts, mugs, posters, pillows, etc.

If you consider yourself an expert in some particular area, there’s nothing preventing you from writing, promoting and selling an e-book through Instagram.

  1. Selling your Instagram account

Yes, as relentless as it might sound, selling an Instagram account is also a viable way of making money as long as your follower base is big enough for others to take an interest in it. Certain individuals and companies would be happy to get access to your audience for a right price. A couple of online services can help you with this, for instance, Fame swap or Viral accounts.

Conclusion

Making money on Instagram is real. It is a feasible opportunity that has grown into a full-on business for many Internet enthusiasts who had managed to earn a reputation for interesting content and then leverage it for getting revenues.

As you see, you don’t have to be a social media marketing pro to benefit from the opportunities offered by Instagram. If you know your ways around this social platform and have a clear understanding of your audience, there’s no reason not to try monetizing your endeavors. Just remember why people started to follow you in the first place and maintain this identity that makes you posts special. If you are able to find a balance between doing business and preserving the integrity, then you’re good to go.

 

 

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