Why we’re transitioning from Moz to SE Ranking

1_Featured graphic

As a digital agency, we take it upon ourselves to use the best SEO tools for our clients. Initially, Dasho Partners chose Moz for keyword planning and research since it is deemed as the best SEO tool for businesses, regardless of size.

However, as we continued with our craft, we have come to realize that Moz isn’t exactly the best fit for our clients’ and our own SEO needs. Although Moz is an effective SEO tool, there are other tools available that can produce the same, if not, better SEO research and results for a better price.

This realisation lead Dasho Partners to migrate its SEO work from Moz to SE Ranking – and here’s why.

Just because an SEO tool works great for some businesses, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work great for your businesses, too. In our case, Moz’ Pro Standard Package wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for in an SEO tool.

For starters, the Moz Pro Standard Package comes at $99/month which isn’t exactly a price too high for a good SEO tool. However, it has come to our attention that the standard package offers a very limited backlink index.

This was the first problem that we encountered with Moz! As a digital agency, we have plenty of clients whose websites are just starting out. Given that the websites we are working SEO magic on are fresh from our developers, it takes weeks or even months for Moz to index the backlinks. This was a huge setback for us!

The problems with Moz didn’t end there. We also noticed that the standard package only allows 5 keyword research reports every day. Again, many of our clients’ websites are still starting out, which means that our keyword research needs are far from being met by Moz’ standard package.

At first glance, it is easy to think that Moz’ $99 package is the best deal out there. However, many small businesses are starting to realise that this isn’t the case, and Dasho Partners can’t help but agree.

With all these factors considered, we started searching for a better alternative to Moz. After weeks of searching for SEO tools with great potential and an affordable price, we’ve come across SE Ranking – and this, by far, has been the best SEO tool we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.SE Ranking2_Pricing Plans Comparison_32_Pricing Plans Comparison_4

The SEO team over at Dasho Partners didn’t just base their decision to migrate to SERankings on the price difference alone. The tools offered by SE Ranking was the real deal breaker.

SE Ranking allows us to optimise all our SEO elements for our clients on top of receiving useful analytics reports about our websites on a daily basis. SERankings gives us a bird’s eye view of all our SEO and website projects, backlink profiles, website rankings, and even data on our competitors! The list goes on and on!

 

 

 

At Dasho Partners, we take care of our clients and their respective websites. They deserve nothing less than outstanding SEO work and we won’t be able to deliver results without SE Ranking.

Considering the sheer number of clients we cater to every day, we need the best SEO tool out there to provide useful keyword research, competitor research, backlinking indexing, and analytics. SE Ranking provides this and so much more for a very affordable price.

Migrating to SE Ranking from Moz is by far, the best decision out SEO team has ever made and we can’t help but vouch for this amazing tool!

Top 5 things I wish I knew before I started writing content

My Post

 

So the other day I read that the average page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains 1,890 words. And you know what that’s so true. It got me thinking if I was to go back in time and tell myself 5 things to improve my blogging what the hell would they be?

So I sat down and thought about this all day! It’s kind of crazy cause it’s so simple.

 

KISS!

Keep it simple stupid (or silly). The number of times I sat there for hours thinking what am I doing and where do I even start with this silly idea of starting my own blog. Really simply choose 4 topics that I wanted to speak about and the start one article on Monday with the aim to have it completed by Friday. Now some of you would think that’s a crazy amount of time to write a blog especially something simple as between 1000 – 2000 words.

But you know what, life happens sometimes things come up and you can’t always put your blog in front of family commitments as well as your primary work, cause everyone needs to pay rent. So keeping to the KISS principle will allow you lots of time to focus on writing good quality content that people will want to read.

 

Keeping it short doesn’t always help

So this comes back to my point take a week to write one really well-written blog with an aim to get up to 2000 words will really help you. Take Neil’s Quick Sprout site, he started writing posts from 500 – 1000 words and was getting about sixty-seven thousand visitors a month and when he switched it to 1000 – 2000 words he was able to grow it by 71% to over 115,749 in just a year. Now think about this, if you were able to funnel those visitors in to purchase items on your site you would have potentially increased the sales potential dramatically.
Start small, then move onto bigger and bigger content

So, like I said when I first started off writing blogs I started hard and went to write a 3000-word long-form content! And as you probably guessed correctly that I sat there and literally with the biggest mind blank on planet earth and all I did was build up my anxiety. Now there are so many blogs about SEO saying to write and write as much content as you can, and that’s somewhat true. So the secret sauce to getting into the rhythm of it is really important as practice will make perfect and starting firstly with an aim of writing 500 words and then slowly week by week eventually hitting the 3000 long-form content is a lot easier and better for your mind make slow gradual increases to it.
Know your audience

Like the basics of the SEO let’s start with the fundamentals, who are you targeting? What are the people like who you want reading your blogs? Now let say you’re blog is targeting the people in Sydney, Australia. When writing your work you want to ensure that you have the correct language in there. Now I know that may sound obvious but I always come across blogs and well-written articles however they use American spelling instead of the Australian spelling of work and yes there is a difference.

Additionally, try and use geo-specific wording like Sydney so that when your audience is searching through Google they will be more likely to find you and the correct article to present to the reader.

This makes it significantly less demanding for those looking in a particular area to discover your business and removing competitors that are in your general vicinity from query items, getting you closer to the best customers.

Good things come to those who wait

This is the most valuable lesson I learned, so this is something I learned the hard way, when I first started writing I went really hard and pushed out a lot of content onto my blog and was thinking why is this not working, why don’t I have any traffic! And yes it was very very frustrating! So I’m here to say don’t give up, don’t stop. You need to keep up the repetition and keep at it while you’re building your authority with Google.

There was a lot of times that I thought let’s just stop and give up and blogging for SEO in Sydney sucks! It doesn’t it’s just time that we all need to get used to.

 

Instagram Stories: A step-by-step digital marketing guide

INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS

Almost a year has passed since Instagram launched Instagram stories and everyone was in a frenzy. Some complaining that Instagram ripped SnapChat off by copying their platform’s main feature while others rejoiced and immediately tried out the new feature.

Today, it is still quite true that Instagram used SnapChat as an inspiration for Instagram stories. To make matters worse for the original, Instagram Stories has now evolved into a better version of SnapChat. This doesn’t just apply for the average, selfie-posting user. It also applies to businesses and the opportunities for entrepreneurs to market their product or service to Instagram’s 800 million monthly active users has been made easier.

Users and businesses enjoy Instagram Stories channel. Customers use it to share fun and memorable things, while businesses use it to promote marketing campaigns and increase brand awareness. The best part is, Instagram sees to it that customers still enjoy and control the content they see on their feeds in spite of businesses freely posting sale-driving and promotional content.

So, how can you start penetrating this online platform as a business? Keep reading our easy guided to INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS and learn the how’s, why’s, and tips for this social media platform that is full of potential.

 

Start with an INSTAGRAM STORIES STRATEGY

Start with an INSTAGRAM STORIES STRATEGY

Every marketer – traditional or digital – knows that a strategy is the first thing you should get to work on. The same applies for Instagram Stories especially if you’re planning to share content as a business and tap into the massive audience Instagram caters to every day. Your business can significantly grow it’s Instagram engagement with the right strategy in place.

Before putting together a strategy, it is important to understand the Instagram Feed Algorithm since it is the primary way people are ushered to discover new content on Instagram. The great thing about INSTAGRAM STORIES is that people can still find your stories if the algorithm thinks that the user might be interested in it, even if they don’t follow your account.

Your goal should be to appear on the “explore page.” If you can pull that off with interesting and eye-catching content, you will gain new followers and engagement. Now you might be asking specifics about what kind of content to post, when, and how often. Here’s a quick guide for you.

The How, When, and What of Instagram Stories for business

Advanced INSTAGRAM STORIES TECHNIQUES for Your Marketing Campaign

Advanced INSTAGRAM STORIES TECHNIQUES for Your Marketing Campaign

(adding links, location and hashtag stickers, tagging accounts, tagging businesses, share polls)

Over the years, Instagram has made improvements to allow users and businesses to benefit from new features. Here, we will break down the best ones businesses can use to improve their INSTAGRAM STORIES marketing campaign.

INSTAGRAM STORIES Links to Your Landing Page

For businesses, one of the best ones is the update that allows users to add a website link to their INSTAGRAM STORIES. Yes, now you can use your Instagram stories to drive traffic to your website’s landing page. How cool is that?

Businesses can use Instagram stories to promote products or services and easily guide interested users to their landing page to perhaps make the final step – convert!  

Be Discovered with Hashtag and Location Stickers

At a glance, the stickers on Instagram stories seem like a way to perk up a post or make it look cute and attractive. However, there are two important stickers that businesses can use to increase discoverability – Hashtag stickers and location stickers.

Instagram now makes users able to search for stories by location and by hashtag. We mentioned a few paragraphs ago that your goal should be to appear on the explore page. These stickers are your tickets to getting there if you use them right!

Tag Other Business Accounts

In the world of digital marketing, it is much easier to collaborate with other companies for mutual benefits. You can tag businesses that you partner with on promotions, contests, and events to drive engagement and tapping into the other business’ followers and get them to follow you as well.

Ask Questions and Create Polls

Instagram stories let you put poll and question stickers on your stories to drive engagement from your followers. This makes great for hearing what they have to say. In the digital age, everyone likes a chance to express their opinion. It makes people feel like they matter, and as a business, it is in your best interest to make them feel that they do.

Tools That Can Help Your INSTAGRAM STORIES Marketing Strategy

Although Instagram’s platform offers many built-in tools to perk up your stories post, there are many third party applications that can help boost your posts’ aesthetics. Moreover, using other tools to create your posts will set you apart from the typical filters and stickers that the Instagram audience are already accustomed to so well. Here are a few of our favorite tools for better and more interesting Instagram Stories for business.

TOOLS FOR BETTER INSTAGRAM STORIES

SEO Tricks That Define 2018

Every digital marketer’s dream is to get more traffic from Google. It’s a fact that you know to be true. SEO is the way to make this dream a reality, but with all the content uploaded by millions of websites everyday, how can you stand out? How can you be a step above the rest when everyone is doing the exact same thing in their SEO strategy? How can you be different when the competition is using the same keywords, targeting the same market, in the same area?

The key is knowledge. Arm yourself with the latest SEO TRENDS and secrets that are effective in 2018 and you will see results. One mistake digital marketers make is sticking to the same strategy for a little too long. If you keep an eye out every day for new trends that are proving to be effective, you will be a couple steps ahead from the competition who, most likely, haven’t caught up with what’s new.

Here are a few great SEO Trends that many digital marketers have yet to discover. Be the first of many to implement these strategies and improve your bottom line.

Create Shareable Content and Optimise It

You might be wondering day and night Why No One Is Sharing Your Content in spite of your rigorous efforts to post something every day. That’s just the thing, my friend. You can’t just post “something,” your posts should be beyond that. It has to provide value and entertainment, only then will it be deemed as shareable content.

The sad truth is that a whole lot of content posted online isn’t shareable and without these shares, ranking in search engines quickly drifts out of reach. Aside from creating shareable content, you also have to optimise it to improve its reach and engagement opportunities.

Feel free to adapt some of these content optimisation techniques featured below:

7 checklist for sharable content

 

Secrets to Finding Great Keywords

Using the same keywords as your competitors is still a viable way to get the traction you want. But there are other ways to find keywords that your competitors have no clue about! – and that is where you gain an edge.

Reddit

Reddit is a forum-style community where people talk about basically anything that can be discussed under the sun. The first thing you need to do to find effective keywords in Reddit is to find out which subreddit your target audience lingers in. When you do, you will be privy to the questions they ask and how they ask it. Try to find a trend, something mentioned or asked time and time again throughout the trend, and that my friend, will be the keyword you want to use.

Competitors

Let’s face it. Your competitors won’t be called your competitors if they don’t know what they are doing. Instead of feeling discouraged to climb Google’s ranking ladder, do the clever things and adapt the right things they do, or do it even better.

What you want to do is navigate to your competitors website, given that it is already ranking well in Google and copy-paste its URL to SEO TOOLS like SEMRush. You will be pleased with a list of keywords that are working effectively for them and this is your queue to start collecting the ones that relate to your business. Build shareable content for these keywords and you are most likely to be pleased with the results.

Be smart about this though. Some of these keywords are extremely competitive and you might have a snowball’s chance in hell to rank for it. While some of these keywords aren’t relatable to your audience, thus ineffective.

Wikipedia

Another neat SEO TECHNIQUE is to use Wikipedia to find topics and keywords that your competition most likely have no clue about. Sure, Keyword planner SEO TOOLS is always a first choice when it comes to analysing keyword volume, CPC, etc. However, try to keep in mind that you are trying to reach people. This is exactly why you have to utilse the thousand human-made articles on Wikipedia.

More often than not, Wikipedia articles contain links and terms that are often used by the average Joe. This is why these words or phrases have a high likelihood of being used as search queries in Google. Scan the site’s internal links, the “see also” section, and the information on the sidebars for great keyword candidates!

Create your own!

Using Wikipedia as a keyword source is a smart idea because you are tapping into how a human mind searches for information. Following this logic, you might want to consider your own human mind and how it gathers information online. Yes, that is right. Making up your own keywords is also a clever SEO TECHNIQUE that proves effective in 2018.

Chances are, you will be the only brand building content around your original keywords and if you are smart your choices, you will see results.

Tips for Effective Meta Title and Description Tags

There’s a reason why we invest so much time creating witty and relatable, keyword-optimised meta title and description tags in our SEO STRATEGY – the better these tags are, the more clicks your page generates on the SERPs. Here’s what you can do to write better meta tags for your content to perform better.

Long Tail Keywords

In many cases, it is challenging to create a title or description with keywords that makes sense. You might end up sticking to one keyword in an effort to avoid looking like you are trying too hard to stuff keywords in your title or description. That sentiment does make sense but there is a lot to gain from using long tail keywords and here’s nifty SEO TECHNIQUE to help you do it right.

Let’s say you are trying to rank for the keyword “Email Marketing Guide.”  Given that the SERP tides are in your favor, you can rank using this keyword. However, you can rank even better if you mixed it up a bit. For instance, adding the keyword “Beginner’s guide” transforms your meta title or description to contain the long tail keyword “Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing” and start ranking for both keywords.

Use AdWords as A Guide

Google AdWords specialists work day and night producing clickable ads and conducting A/B tests to figure out which ones are more effective. This makes AdWords a handy SEO TECHNIQUE to have in your pocket.

Why? Because these make for great copy for your Meta title and description! These phrases are already proven effective in the advertisers’ targeted niche, and it can work the same way for yours! Sounds simple? That’s because it is.

SEO in 2018 continues to grow more complicated and challenging each day. As digital marketers and SEO experts continue to become smarter, the competition turns more rigorous. It is up to you to keep up with the latest SEO TRENDS and TECHNIQUES in 2018. Share this helpful article with your friends and coworkers, or keep it handy because we will continue to update this list with even more helpful SEO SECRETS as we progress further into 2018.

Instagram Marketing: How to Stay Trendy in 2018

instagram marketing how to stay trendy in 2018

If you are a digital marketer and you are working on an Instagram Marketing Strategy then you must be asking yourself, “What are the marketing trends on Instagram this 2018?” Afterall, a brand has to stay relevant to its audience to keep striving in the fast-paced world of digital advertising.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that this year Instagram is all about improving your content both in quality and quantity, all because of Instagram Stories. This year is also about optimizing your content performance and considering paid advertising to increase and expand your reach on Instagram.

The gist of it is that 2018 is going to be the year that Instagram marketing strategy-making levels up to be more advanced and modern. Instagram has added new functional analytics tools and fun new engagement features.

Instagram has launched the new feed algorithm that has changed the experience for everyone. Instagram is also opening up new opportunities for content makers and brands with their new Paid Partnership feature, and let us not forget how the Instagram Stories feature is attracting more engagement from the audience. Learn more about these features in our other articles.

Since this year has been a bomb of features and fun tools, you will be needing Instagram marketing tips to keep up.

Here are the top 7 useful Instagram marketing trends for 2018

1. Boosting Instagram Posts Will Become Normal for Everyone in 2018

Since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, a lot of content maker feared that Instagram will become a pay-to-play platform much like Facebook. It didn’t seem like it was going to happen but 6 years later, we are finally at that dreaded point when we are starting to feel the significant decrease in organic reach.

Fortunately, organic reach is not a lost cause, using Instagram Stories saved the day by giving brands a new, effective, and free way to connect with their followers. Including the usage of the Instagram Stories feature is definitely worth adding into your Instagram marketing strategy. This feature even lets the brands add clickable links to their content as well!

However, your marketing strategy can’t depend on Instagram Stories alone, if you want to keep a high engagement and reach on Instagram in 2018, you’ll eventually need to get acquainted with Instagram advertising.

Dealing with Instagram marketing strategies may be quite intimidating to many small business owners and influencers who are not very familiar with Instagram ads. Although Instagram ads have been around for quite a while, getting started will require a small level of expertise. However, running your own Instagram ad campaign is nothing to be afraid of!

Instagram has made its ads simpler and more available, you can simply boost your regular post with just a couple of clicks. There is no need to set up specific Instagram ads and targeting.

It only takes a few steps. Promoting Instagram post is much like to boosting Facebook posts now. You just need to create your regular Instagram post, and then once it’s posted you can choose to promote it to get more likes, impressions, and “profile visits.” This way, you can customize the goal of your boost in accordance with your Instagram marketing strategy. Your Instagram post then appears in the feed like normal, the only difference being the “sponsored” notation at the top and the call-to-action button.

This year, it is actually normal for brands to obtain low organic reach on Facebook. This means that most brands and small businesses are heavily dependent on Facebook ads to get their content seen by their target audience.

This scenario is not true for Instagram this 2018, but it sure will be a lot harder to reach a high engagement without any paid support or marketing strategy.

As a matter of fact, a number of Instagram influencers have already started promoting their posts in an attempt to keep their engagement high. They also do this to stay relevant.

For sure you would also want to stay relevant to your audience, if you are determined to stay ahead of the trend this year, then you better start learning more about paid advertising.

2. New Shopping Feature Changes the Retail Game

This year, Instagram launched a new shopping feature integration in partnership with Shopify.

What does this feature do? Instagram’s marketing new trend, the shopping feature, lets Shopify users tag their products in each photo, listing the item’s name and price right in the photo. Users can then click through to purchase the item right in Instagram, without having to leave the app.

According to Shopify and TechCrunch, “Instagram is already a ‘significant’ driver of Shopify merchant store traffic, so being able to convert said traffic right on the platform instead of round-tripping could result in a big boost of additional sales.”

3. Your New Home Page will be your Instagram Profile in 2018

This is the year when your Instagram feed will become just as valuable as the homepage on your website. More and more people are starting to search for brands on Instagram first, instead of Google. Which is why investing on your Instagram Marketing Strategy is just as important as investing on your website.

What does this mean for the brands? If you spend a lot of time making sure the photos and copy on your website are all amazing, then you would have to start doing this for your Instagram Feed.

Stand out by creating your own Instagram aesthetic and planning your feed so that it goes together as a whole is super important for growing your account, and it’s going to become an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy in 2018.

They say that the first impression is the last impression. It is true that your existing followers will not really visit you after clicking the follow button, but having a consistent aesthetic will help people decide if they want to follow you in the first place.

Take note that using a consistent colour palette and editing style goes a long way in making your profile come together.

If you still think that the aesthetic of your Instagram profile matters and is, in fact, a big deal, then consider this: Instagram has placed more importance on your actual Instagram profile and given brands a new way to get more followers, showcase their brand, drive traffic, and sell products with the release of the new Instagram Stories Highlights.

To give an example, Glossier has always been an early adopter of new Instagram features, and they already have multiple Instagram Stories Highlights on their business profile:

Glossier is using one of their Instagram Stories Highlights to feature a specific product, Cloud Paint, and at the end of the story, there is a call to action to swipe up, which leads you to the online shop to actually purchase the product.

With an amazing Instagram profile, you can increase awareness and education about your business in a single profile visit. I would keep a close eye on your profile visits stats in 2018, you may find that your Instagram marketing is growing your business, even without new followers.

4. Instagram Stories Ads as Your Secret Weapons

The concept of the Instagram Stories may have been just a copy of the version that Snapchat has, aside from the fact that Snapchat has more filters, but in 2017, Instagram quickly became a trending item and rose popularity to over 300 million daily active users, which is two times the size of Snapchat.

Using Instagram Stories for business is an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy for 2018, but the real trend for 2018 will be using stories to reach new audiences.

As all things should do Instagram advertising will continue to grow in 2018, and the real winners will be the early adopters who find success on Instagram Stories.

If you want to have a big opportunity to play around and find out what works for your brand while the digital marketing costs are still on the cheap side, then the stories advertising platform is the way to go.

Since a lot of people are very much enticed to watch their Instagram stories every day, you will be seeing more creative and conversion-friendly Instagram Stories ads in 2018.

5. Instagram UGC + Digital Rights Management Will Be one of the Hot Trends

The increased awareness about digital rights management for Instagram is brought about the rise of User-Generated Content nowadays. Due to the rise in user-generated content, your brand may end up seeking a social media policy and a process to ask permission and get approval from your customers to repost their user-generated content in any case, this will be playing an essential part of your Instagram Marketing Strategy.

Instagram has recently implemented Facebook’s Rights Manager program on Instagram, which allows publishers and creators to upload a library of their content to be monitored on Instagram. Publishers can then block their content if it’s being posted by an unapproved source, or monitor the video views.

You need to be careful in what you post in order to avoid a PR disaster this year. You have to make sure that you are following the rules and asking for permission before you repost on Instagram. You want to achieve that high engagement with the Instagram trends, but you would want to stay out of trouble as well.

Instagram is currently testing a regram button, which could help brands avoid sticky situations over photo permissions by ensuring that proper photo credit is given. But like Instagram’s paid partnership tool, it might not be enough to satisfy the law.

6. Sponsored Content Due to Micro-Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity thanks to Instagram, but in 2018 you won’t need to have to have millions of followers to cash in on this trend.

Micro-influencer marketing is officially the next big trend. Expect that brands are trying to find success in working with Instagram accounts that have smaller, but more engaged followings. Including micro-influencers in your Instagram marketing strategy could have a good return.

What does it really mean being a micro-influencer?

The definition varies from one person to another, but generally speaking, a micro-influencer is someone who has significant, but not massive, social media following. This could mean having anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.

While Instagram influencers have gained something of a celebrity status, micro-influencers are more like everyday relatable consumers. Micro-influencers are trustworthy since they are like everybody else. Since they are effective elements to Instagram marketing, they might stay in the Instagram Trends list for a long time.

This year, you may want to get ready for when everybody (even your friends) starts to do #spon on Instagram as brands double down on influencer marketing and expand to micro-influencers.

Not all sponsorship has to be paid, brand sometimes reaches out to their loyal followers to give them a pleasant surprise. This makes their “regular” follower feel more engaged and connected with the brand along with Instagram influencers.


If you’re a small business, working with micro-influencers could be an effective and affordable way to grow your business in 2018.

#7: Gets More Analytical Instagram Marketing Strategy To Keep Up with the Algorithm

You have to pay close attention to your audience this year. Knowing and understanding your audience help you create content that will speak to them on a new level. This will improve your content performance.

This means that it is time to get up close and personal with your Instagram analytics this year.

Since the new Instagram algorithm is ever-changing and so dynamic, it lowers the reach and engagement everywhere. Brands and influencers are almost required to constantly be optimizing their content for the algorithm in order to get high impressions and engagement.

The bottom line here is that you should let the Instagram Trends this 2018 guide your decisions when planning your marketing strategy, but make something in your own style so you can stand out.

 

Instagram Paid Partnership Feature 101

instagram paid partnership101

 

If you have been looking around your Instagram app on your phone, there is a chance that you would have noticed a new paid partnership feature on Instagram. This feature works hand in hand with the new Instagram Algorithm that has was launched to improve your experience as their valued user. You can read all about it on our Instagram Feed Algorithm Explained article.

 

What is the New Paid Partnership Feature All About?

 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been taking a lot of new ways to deal with all the influencers and businesses that violate its requirements. To avoid and eliminate the risk that may come with creating sponsored posts through Instagram Marketing, Instagram has launched a new paid partnership feature.

 

Instagram did a test run of the new feature by releasing it to a small group of influencers and businesses in June 2017 and later on, they expanded the feature to a bigger audience in September 2017. When things seem to be working out extremely well, Instagram made the feature available to all accounts that have high levels of engagement. Meaning that this feature is accessible to users who are doing well in the new Instagram Algorithm.

 

This right here got some Instagram Marketing experts reaching for a social media marketing guide.

 

 

What else do you need to know regarding the usage of the new Instagram Marketing tool, the new paid partnership feature and what are the reasons why this may still not be an effective way to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Reasons Why the new Instagram Paid Partnership Feature is a Substantial Tool

 

Brands have found a new way to reach Instagram audiences efficiently. They have found out that an influencer-based advertisement is an effective Instagram Marketing strategy. In turn, an influencer-driven marketing became the biggest and most popular way to send the brand message to the audiences.

 

Brands partner with influencers to boost the launch of their sponsored content campaigns. Through the popularity of the influencers and the Instagram Algorithm system, businesses can reach into a gold mine of potential clients and customers.

 

From the perspective of an Instagram user, Instagram Marketing through influencers is convenient since they get to know more about new products and services from the accounts they already follow. They get to learn about new launches and promos by just browsing through the app with no extra steps whatsoever.

 

This resulted in the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to start taking violations of its Endorsement Guides more sternly. As a matter of fact, the FTC began sending warning letters to 21 Instagram influencers, including Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell last month.

 

This is the reason why Instagram created the new paid partnership feature; to avoid this kind of scenario and to bring a much more substantial transparency and consistency to sponsored content.

What Does the new Instagram New Paid Partnership Feature Do Exactly?

 

All apps create new features and improvements to ensure that both the business side and the user side of their community are all happy and taken care off. With these goals in mind, an Instagram Marketing tool has been created to do the following:

 

  1. Assist the influencers in disclosing whether a post regarding any products or services is sponsored.
  2. Aid the business in gathering information and statistics on how their sponsored content campaigns are performing with the Instagram Algorithm in play.

The new Instagram Paid Partnership feature allows the influencers to be transparent regarding their content. This encourages them to clearly state whether a post is sponsored by making options like adding that information through an Instagram tag available.

 

When an influencer tags a post, their followers will see “Paid partnership with [business partner]“ right under their username, above the image, or the area where you would normally see the post’s location.

 

This does not only work on posts, this function is also available for Instagram Stories, wherein the tag will appear on top of the story right below the influencer’s username.

Tagging the business on paid partnership posts allows them to be able to see the reach and engagement, such as likes and comments, of the posts on their Facebook Page Insights. While for Instagram stories, the tagged brands will have 14 days to see the performance of their posts. They will be able to see metrics like reach, taps forward, taps backwards, replies, and exits within this 14-day period.

 

If the businesses wish to, they can have the option to turn on the “Partner Approval” setting. This gives the brand the power to approve or disapprove any sponsored content partnerships before an influencer’s tagged post is published so they can ensure that their Instagram Marketing materials are all topnotch.

Is the New Instagram Paid Partnership Feature Compliant of the FTC Guides?

 

This is the part where you would be needing a social media marketing guide. It gets quite confusing at this point.

 

Instagram has been trying to create an impression that this feature is a great way to bring transparency and consistency to sponsored content for brands that are utilizing Instagram Marketing, but the Federal Trade Commission does not agree entirely to this.

 

The FTC has updated its Endorsement Guides recently, wherein the commission discusses the issue of built-in platform disclosure, much like the one Instagram launched, stating that they don’t always meet the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is concerned as to where the disclosure is located or placed one these Instagram Marketing materials. Since it is placed above the Instagram post, the FTC takes issue that it may not get the attention of the viewers. Aside from that, the FTC states that simply flagging that a post contains sponsored content might not be sufficient if the post mentions a lot of different brands, but does not mention which of the brands, products or services were paid.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to point out that at the end of the day, the responsibility for clearly stating and disclosing the sponsorship of a material still belongs to the influencer and the business, and not on the platform in which they are posted.

 

This does not mean that the new Instagram Paid Partnership feature is completely useless.

 

It is true that the simple act of tagging a business with the new Instagram Marketing feature may not sufficiently meet the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements stated on the guideline, which means that an influencer would still have to state and disclose any partnerships they may have in their Instagram caption, but the feature still offers a lot of great insights and amazing benefits, and is surely a step forward in the right direction.

 

To give an example, businesses did not have any tools to monitor the performance of their sponsored Instagram Marketing campaigns before, but now, they can keep a close watch of the success of their sponsored posts with intricate metrics.e

 

The new Instagram paid partnership feature allows business to collect more data to help them make better decisions during the planning stage of their Instagram Marketing campaigns. Brands can determine which influencer is more effective for their products and/or services and they are able to estimate what ROI they can expect.

 

The influencers can also benefit from being able to collect this kind of data. Influencers can make informed decisions when they are optimizing their sponsored posts or when they are finding new opportunities with a new business partner.

 

How to Use Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature

Right now, the new Instagram Paid Partnership feature is made accessible to a select number of celebrities, influencers, public figures, publishes, and businesses. There is still no clear information on when this Instagram Marketing tool be available to the rest of the general public, but according to a recent Medium article by Eduardo Morales, who is also known for running the Instagram account: @pinlordon, Eduardo received an in-app notification when he was accepted to try out the new feature.

 

How to Get Started With Instagram Paid Partnerships as a Business

The first and vital step is to be granted access to the feature as a business, you would want to begin by turning the partner approvals setting on.

 

  1. You will have to go to “Options” and scroll down to the new “Branded Content Approvals” section.
  2. The next step is to toggle the “Require Approvals” button to on.

 

Once you have done this, whenever an influencer requests to create sponsored content for your account you would have to tap “Approved Accounts” immediately below the “Require Approval” button.

 

Here you can approve accounts to create sponsored Instagram Marketing content for you.

 

Once an influencer has been approved and accepted, with the help of the Instagram paid partnership feature, you will receive a notification via Facebook and Instagram whenever they tag you in their posts. While you will receive a notification via Instagram Direct if you are tagged in their Instagram story.

 

There will be times that you would like your tag to be removed; there are two ways to do this:

  1. The first option is to use the Business Manager on your Facebook page. For you to be able to remove a tag, you are able to select either the posts tab or Stories tab, and then click on the downward arrow next to the influencer’s Instagram handle, and click the “Remove Tag” button.

 

  1. The second option is to remove the tag within Instagram. In this case, all you have to do is click the ellipsis button on the right-hand side above the post and select the “Remove Me From Post” option. For Instagram Stories, the ellipsis button will be in the bottom right-hand corner.

 

How Do You Access Your Paid Partnership Insights as a Business

When your sponsored Instagram Marketing content campaign is activated and live, you will have access to your insight into the “Branded Content” tab in your Facebook Page Insights. You will be able to see your Stories insight there as well, but, you would only have a 14-day period to see the metrics and statistics.

 

You can also check on your paid partnership insights with Facebook’s Business Manager in the “Branded Content” tab under “Measure and Report.”

How to Get Started With Paid Partnerships as an Influencer

 

The first step is to be granted access to the feature as an influencer, you can immediately begin tagging businesses in your sponsored posts.

  1. If you are posting a regular Instagram post, you can start by selecting “Advanced Settings” on the last page of the new post creation flow. If you are posting the content on Instagram Stories, simply tap the “link” button at the top of the screen.

 

  1. In both cases, you should be able to see a new “Branded Content” section. Select the “Tag Business Partner” button.

 

  1. In this area, you should be able to search for the business you want to tag in your post or story. If the business requires approval first, once you have selected them, they will appear below in a “Require Approvals” section.

 

  1. Once the business approves you, you’ll find them under the “Branded Content” section in “Advanced Settings.” Tapping on their name will add them to your post or story.

Updates to Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature

 

In November 2017, there has been an expanded accessibility of the paid partnership feature. Instagram has added new capabilities to improve the Instagram Marketing experience as well.

 

Some of the new features include in-app notification for influencers whenever Instagram’s system finds content that is not compliant with their policy. The influencer will be notified through the Instagram app and will have the option to tag a business.

Simply put, these notifications are intended to make it easier to use the “Paid Partnership with” tag and educate the community on Instagram’s branded content.

 

Instagram also stated on the future of the feature, stating that they aim to offer more flexibility to influencers and businesses that use the tool. “Over time, our goal is to make it simple for all Instagrammers to identify commercial relationships on Instagram.”

 

While it is true that the new Instagram Marketing feature, Paid Partnership feature, does not satisfy the FTC’s rules, it is undeniable that it is still a great addition to Instagram for both influencers and brands.

 

the ultimate guide to backlinking

The Ultimate Guide to Link Building – 7 Things You Need to Know

the ultimate guide to backlinking

Anyone who is anyone knows that link building is an important skill to have in your toolkit when doing SEO for your customers.

Link building is not just doing one thing but it’s rather a few different skills that come together. These include mastering your content, sales, coding, understanding the human psychology, and marketing. This ensures that you stand out when trying to get other people to link to your site.

No matter what anyone says the bottom line is that if you want to get more people on your site, and link building is the most important part of your process.

I have broken this guide up into 7 parts for you.

link building 2

Let’s get started.

 

1. The fundamentals of link building

Let’s take a step back in time and recall the days before Google dominated the internet. The likes of Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Ask Jeeves ruled the search engine lands. Basically, they ranked websites based purely on the contents of a webpage.

 

Enter Google!

 

Google totally changed the search engine game with the PageRank Algorithm. The process basically looked at the number of people that had linked to your page. That algorithm was 20 years ago, and even till now, it’s by far the best way to determine the quality of the webpage. Google has maintained link building as the go-to ranking signal.

A lot has changed in 20 years and Google has moved onto Penguin (explained later). The shift has been from quantity to the quality of the links.

So what is a good link, and how do I make that happen?

 

2. Finding high-quality links

 

So firstly, let me break it down as simply as I can, on what makes a high-quality link and what makes the link bad.

Authority of the page

When trying to build a link to the page, you need to consider whether it has a high authority in PageRank? Because if it does, then this is going to directly impact your rankings in a positive way. As a matter of fact, Brian from Backlinko conducted testing and found that the authority of the page matters more than other indicators.

Remember that links from high authority pages pass on more authority to you, which is known as PageRank.

The thing to remember is that Google doesn’t share your PageRank information publicly. This is because it’s part of the foundation of the famous Google algorithm.

 

Authority of the site

So now onto determining the sitewide authority.

Think of it this way. If you were linked by smh.com.au and say… a not so well known blogger. The Sydney Morning Herald link is going to have a much bigger impact overall.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already onto your emails drafting your pitch to smh.com.au! Remember outreach is hard but it’s always well worth the effort.

A great metric to use is the one by MOZ known as Domain Authority. This is a metric widely used in the industry and is what I fall back to on the platform I prefer using, SE Ranking.

 

Site Relevancy

 

Ok, so we have covered the authority side of things, but that’s not all.

Relevancy of the site that you have a link with matters a whole lot as well! Let’s take an example of a website we’re doing SEO for. Their main focus is blogging about Law in Australia.

While doing my outreach I find a blogger who’s willing to link with us. The only thing is, his blog is about how awesome the Sriracha sauce is. Will that still work?

Sorry to say, but no! Even if it carries a high authority number. How do we know this? Well again one of my favourite bloggers interviewed an ex-employee from Google and they mentioned that getting links from high authority is valuable but relevancy will matter to the theme of your site in PageRank.

 

The positioning of the link

The position of where the link is on a site is super critical as well. Remember hiding links in the footers etc are never worth as much as links that are in the centre of the content.

 

Editorially placed link?

Whenever placing a link always stop and ask yourself, was the link editorially placed? Meaning, did someone place the link cause they think your site is awesome? If you answered yes, then good!

If the link is placed from a generated profile and dropped into a site? Then it’s definitely not an editorial link. Remember creating links that aren’t editorially placed can be considered 2 things. The first they’re not natural links and second they can be considered a violation of Google guidelines.

 

Linking the anchor text

So this is really simple and is when part of the text is a clickable link. Something to note is that Google uses anchored text as a ranking signal.

When Google scans the texts it sees the anchored text and reads it as a link. Like anything SEO related, abusing anchored text may be considered spammy. Remember to link your co-citations for the words and phrases that are near the link.

Google uses co-citations. The reason is that the text around your link also tells Google what the page is about.

 

What the hell are Nofollow and Dofollow!?

So when I first started off, I couldn’t work out what Nofollow and Dofollow were. Basically, all I understood was that Dofollow was really good.

Basically, Nofollow is when the link tells Google not to count this as an endorsement. Now as it’s SEO related, you want to get as many Dofollow links whenever possible, but always size up the links quality!

 

3. Marketing your content

So good quality content helps you build fantastic backlinks. But remember, putting your content with just text, isn’t going to get the results you want. The key is that certain types of content work best for developing links. The four most common types, and the ones I try and use are:

Visual Assets

Try and use items like images, diagrams, infographics and charts to add visual appeal. Remember that people reading your content will find it much easier to read your content and connect with it if it is visually appealing.

There is a really good example in which Brian from Backlinko published an infographic related to SEO and anatomy of an optimised page and it got shared 2500 times.

So in short visuals help… A LOT.

 

List Posts

So, to be honest, I really hate listed posts, but hey… they help and people really love them. From a psychological perspective, they’re not only digestible but provide small snippets of information to the reader making it an easy read.

There is an analysis that BuzzSumo conducted with a million articles and they found listed posts generated the most amount of backlinks than any other type of content out there. That includes videos and infographics.

Research and Data

Write content that’s actually useful to people. Insights from studies and your own research will always rank better. Using statistical analysis and data will lead to highly linkable content. Using this type of content will make it highly likeable and links will add up fast.

Provide In-depth guides

Providing resources that cover specific topics in depth for the reader all in one place is particularly important. Not only does it mean that people will spend more time on your site, but it really helps you become the front of mind choice for the specific topics.  

4. Outreach

I always say that outreach is the hardest part of link building for white hat SEO. Honestly, it’s one of the best methods, especially using email outreach. The most difficult part is really getting it out from the spam folder and into the hands of the blogger.

Who is most likely to link with me?

Try and find people that are most likely to want to link with you. Start firstly by researching your keywords in Google.

Pick up all the URLs of say, the first 5 results of the keyword searches. Then run link analysis. I usually use the tools provided in SE Ranking… You can also use Ahrefs.

Now that you’ve have worked out what their authority scores are, start finding the email addresses. Something really important is please please please… don’t use the sites contact form as it will probably end up somewhere in a black hole never to be found. I discovered hunter.io a few months ago and it’s made the process a whole lot easier.

Ok now you have the email address, it’s time to send them a personalised email. When you’re sending hundreds of emails in the outreach process, you want to standardise the wording to make it as easy as possible. The trick is to make it a script without looking like one.

link biulding 3

 

5. The shiny black hat

So this is an odd topic. You would think I would stay far far away from this topic. But I need to tell you about this so you know first what links will go against Google Webmaster Guidelines and what you should avoid altogether when building links.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you how you do your SEO, but I would really recommend that you stay away from cheap tricks of black hat SEO. The risk really does outway the short-lived reward.

 

Google Penguin

Google Penguin is a penalty based on the Google algorithm that will target spammy link building techniques or super shady blog comments.

The reality is that no one outside of Google knows how they use the algorithm to pick up and target the sites for manual penalties.

 

6. Strategies for developing links

Firstly look at the “resource page” link building. A resource page is a page that carries links out to awesome content on a specific topic.

The reason for the existence of these pages is basically for linking out. So, they make for a perfect opportunity for link building targets.

First, jump into Google and type in your keyword + inurl: links. Examples below:

link building 4

 

Ok, now you have found some pages. Drop the URL into SE Ranking (or whatever you use) and weigh up the sites. Ask yourself, is this site worth my effort?

Find the best content you have for that site and make sure it’s relatable. Lastly, test out your outreach script and remember that the key is to use a script but not make it sound like one, rather it should sound personalised.

 

Hunting broken links

LinkMiner is going to be your best friend here. It’s a Google Chrome browser plugin and can help you very quickly identify broken links on a site.

Use the exact same steps as you did for resource pages and gather a list of broken links using LinkMiner. Start drafting your script for broken links and pitch your content and link for your site as the replacement.

 

7. Advance level link building

Unattributed links

Remember when someone writes about you or your brand they don’t always link back to you! The best method is to send a gentle email to the writers and ask them to link back to your site whenever you’re mentioned.

9/10 times it works! But you do get the odd person who won’t reply. BuzzSumo is an awesome tool to find these mentions. This also goes for images as well. A simple reverse search can help you build links for images without attribution.

Time your emails! This is a tip I got from Backlinko and the tip makes total sense. Timing your emails for outreach to the recipients afternoon will probably mean they have fewer emails in their inbox. Now there are lots of scheduling tools out there. I say try and find a free one, but there is also an app called Boomerang you can use.

Visualise your content

Going back to the previous section about using infographics and visuals… it’s much more likely for a person to read your content and want to share, and link to it if it is visually appealing. This is considered an advanced activity as it’s very hard to execute by yourself. Usually, you need a team of designers to produce something worthwhile… but this is what makes it easier to digest the information.

 

Instagram Feed Algorithm Explained

instagram feed algorithm explained

What is Instagram? Simply put, Instagram is a social networking application that lets its users upload and share pictures, videos and graphics with their friends. Instagram is also a good tool for digital marketing in this generation so you can bet that it is part of most marketing strategy this 2018.

Instagram has issued an announcement that the chronological feed would be replaced with a new feed algorithm that would arrange the posts based on the user interest and relationships. This new modification had mixed reactions from Instagram users. Most users are not fond of the change. As a matter of fact, a petition was started to “Keep Instagram Chronological”. This petition has received over 100,000 signatures which says a lot about how upset people are about the new Instagram feed algorithm.

Is the new Instagram feed algorithm that bad? One thing is for sure, that Instagram is not the same as it was before. The new change may benefit you if you intend to use Instagram for marketing, but as a simple user who just wants to browse and share pictures and videos with friends, this may come off as a bit frustrating. Here are the things you need to know about the new Instagram feed algorithm, and how it could affect your experience and account.

A Quick Glance on Twitter

Twitter had a similar change with its algorithm much earlier this year. Many twitter users are not happy with the announcement, much like the initial reaction with Instagram. The founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey quickly responded to the insurgency of its users. Jack Dorsey made it clear that Twitter’s new timeline would give the user to opt-in or out of the new algorithmic timeline. However, since the issue has died down, Twitter has quietly turned the new algorithmic timeline on for all its users. Twitter users can still choose to opt-out if they wish to so they can switch back to seeing the tweets chronologically on their timeline.

Now let’s get back to Instagram and its new feed algorithm. According to Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder, “on average, people miss about 70 per cent of the posts on their Instagram feed.” Changing the Instagram feed algorithm “is about making sure that the 30 per cent you see is the best 30 per cent possible.” Instagram published the blog post “See the Moments You Care About First” which had a similar tone to Twitter’s “Never Miss Important Tweets from People You Follow,” with Instagram explaining that the new feed algorithm was developed “to improve user experience” and that “your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”

 

Twitter decided the switch to an algorithmic timeline to encourage more engagement amongst its users. They said that “People who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone”. We can assume that Instagram is going for the same effect. Afterall, if more users are engaged with the content, the more time they spend on the application. The more time people spend on the application the more effective Instagram marketing would be.

Instagram as the Best Engagement Tool

The new Instagram feed algorithm may be frustrating for common users, but this new modification is actually beneficial to content creators. This new feed arrangement can help people who create amazing content to gain more likes, views and follows than they already are receiving. However, it will take a toll on the average users who do not get hundreds of likes on their posts. The algorithm can make it more challenging for them to have their content shown since the algorithm is meant to show the “best” content to its users.

The new Instagram feed algorithm became a cause of worry for some brands. Brands are especially concerned regarding their engagement performance on any platform, this change on Instagram made them worry that this is the first step in going the direction of a Facebook-like feed wherein the published posts are only shown to a few of the page’s followers. On the other hand, Instagram is a staple in marketing strategies because of its high engagement with the target audience.

 

Losing Control Over Your Feed

When Instagram still has a chronological feed, you have full control over what you see in your account. You have full control over your activities like who to follow and unfollow, which posts to like or ignore. You can create your own personalized experience. When Instagram shifted to a new feed algorithm, you may feel like you are slowly losing control over the content that you want to browse through.

The 3 most important Instagram feed ranking factors

Instagram considers three main factors that determine the people and posts that you interact with on your feed:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Relationship

Let us have a deeper discussion regarding each of these factors below:

Interest: Instagram will try to predict how much you will care about a post

When Instagram announced the change from a chronological feed to a new feed algorithm, it is mentioned that Instagram would show you content that you will more likely be interested in first. The purpose of the Instagram feed algorithm is to arrange the photos and videos on your feed based on the likelihood that you will be interested in the content. Instagram will also consider your relationship with the people you are following and the timeliness or relevance of the post.

The new feed system ensures that all the content you see in your account is relevant to your interest. The more it is relatable for you, the more it will rank on your feed. Instagram knows your interest base on the genres or categories of the content that you have interacted in the past. For example, fashion, food, sports, travel and the likes.

Timeliness: Instagram will consider how recent the post is

One of the key factors of the new Instagram feed algorithm, as mentioned by Instagram a while back, is timeliness.

“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

Since the implementation of the new feed system, Instagram aims to show its users posts that are recent and relevant to them.

Relationship: Instagram also analyzes the accounts you regularly interact with

In a June 2016 announcement about the feed ranking algorithm, Instagram stated the following:

And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.

Similar to Facebook, Instagram doesn’t want you to miss important posts from your friends and family, such as a post about a close friend’s big announcement, a family event, etc.

This implies that the content from your “best friends” would rank higher on your feed.

It is also believed that the new Instagram feed algorithm studies your past interactions to identify who your “best friends” are on the app. In a talk about designing and implementing the Instagram algorithm, Thomas Dimson also shared in his statement how Instagram could have determined the people you care about:

  • People whose content you like (possibly including stories and live videos)
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for
  • People you know in real life

Although these criteria are not exact to what the Instagram feed algorithm is using, these items give us a reasonable idea that Instagram probably considers the accounts you interact with most often as “people you care about”. And therefore, it has analyzed that content from these accounts will rank higher on your feed; that you would care about the posts from these accounts.

Through Business Insider, an Instagram representative has stated that profile searches are one of the signals that Instagram looks at when ranking posts on your feed. When you search for certain profiles on a regular basis, it likely indicates that you are particularly interested in these accounts’ posts and might not have seen them on your feed.

Instagram will then rank the posts on these accounts higher on your feed so that you will not have the need to search for their profiles to see their posts. All this to improve your Instagram experience.

It has also been stated that when the Instagram team tested out the new feed algorithm, the number of searches went down. The team look at it as a good sign as this means that people are seeing the posts they are interested in without having to search for their favourite profiles.

 

How to Calm the Frustration

When you are trying to fight the fact that you are losing control over your feed due to an algorithm, it can get pretty frustrating. Once you get over the change and start accepting the system, you will start to see a lot of benefits to the new Instagram Feed Algorithm.

One of these benefits is that you will really see the posts that matter most to you. When you open Instagram, instead of seeing the latest post from a few minutes ago, you will see the most important post since the last time you checked the application. This system effectively declutters your feed and cuts out all the noise from all the other accounts.

The algorithm prioritizes the best content for you. Not everyone has plenty of time to browse through Instagram, if you were in a position that you cannot stay too long on the app, surely you would rather see the best post you missed since the last time you opened Instagram rather than what has been posted last in the past few minutes.

Facebook introduced the algorithm feed to its users way back in 2009, and people were unhappy. Just as they were unhappy with it on Twitter and now on Instagram. We have to keep in mind that the way Facebook was used back then is different from the way we use it now. Back then, Facebook is only used to connect with a small circle of friends, but now you can use Facebook to connect with thousands of people. Facebook can even be used for marketing strategies!

Try to visualize the situation if your Facebook feed is still chronological, it will be a mess! You would be missing out on the content that you are really interested in. Imagine going through a lot of posts that you do not really care about, from people that aren’t really close with. This can cause you to lose interest in Facebook altogether.

The same thing can be applied on Instagram, as the years go by and as the app improves, more and more people are joining Instagram. We are going to be following more people than ever. It may seem like a bad idea right now, but there will come a time when a chronological Instagram feed will no longer be sustainable for its users.

When you do not see the content you want on your feed, your tendency is to clean out the people you follow. You will be unfollowing accounts just to keep up with the feeds of the people you actually care about. This kind of scenario puts the views and audience engagement at risk. A lot of people may not agree with it yet, but introducing the new Instagram feed algorithm is a solution in keeping people interested in the app for the long run.

 

easy and effective backlinking

Easy and Effective Backlinking Guide

easy and effective backlinking

Some may say that the cores of successful SEO campaigns are compelling content, eye-catching visuals, and an optimised website. This is all true as true can be, however, many SEO marketers tend to forget one other important SEO factor: Backlinking.

What is backlinking? Do you really need to do it for every piece of content you publish? What are the benefits? How do I get started with Backlinking? We will answer all these questions for you and make everything simple!

Let’s begin.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks happen when an external website decides that your website is cool enough to link their content to yours. This can be in the form of using your website’s content as a reference or using something you said as a part of their content.

Search engines factor in backlinks to rank your website in the SERPs. Basically, they count backlinks as votes for your website thus affecting your brand’s authority on the web.
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.34.48 am

When other websites backlink to yours, it tells the audience and the search engine that your content is credible, valuable, and oozing with quality. Just think of it this way, you wouldn’t backlink to a website that looks bad or produces low-quality content, right?

Building backlinks is a very long and time-consuming process – but it’s all worth it. The more backlinks you have, the higher your content ranks on the SERPs. In fact, a recent study shows that links are still Google #1 ranking factor.

 

How to Build Quality Backlinks

The thing is, not all backlinks are good for your website’s health. You might think that the more backlinks you have, the better off you are. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Google, like every other search engine, also factors in the quality of the website that chooses to link back to you. If the website that backlinks to yours is of low quality, produces blackhat content, or has a bad record with the search engine, chances are that your rankings will be hurt instead of boosted.

According to one of today’s best SEO magicians, A single quality backlink can be more powerful than 10,000 low-quality backlinks.”  

What Backlinko said is very true and every SEO marketer who wants to achieve great results should live by these words.

So, how do you build quality backlinks?

The first step to building the backlinks you need is to know what quality backlinks look like in the first place. Here’s a checklist for you.
checklist

Quality backlinks are definitely hard to get especially because websites with high domain ratings are already well-established. These brands are probably busy with other things to notice your content. Which is exactly why you have to care about the kind of content you produce. If your content is beyond amazing, even the biggest brands can take notice and find your content worthy to backlink to.

 

Content Turned Into Backlinks

The best way to earn quality backlinks to your website is to dish out remarkable content. This is the only way. Nothing less than amazing content will be noticed by the authoritative websites you are targeting, so make quality content your priority from the onset.

Let’s say that you are already dedicated to producing quality content. Your website, is in fact, full of it. What do you do next?

Link Roundups

What are link roundups and how do I get them to work for me?

First of all, link roundups are blog posts that collect quality content about a certain niche and link out to them once published. These blogs usually publish content on a weekly or monthly basis.

You’ve probably encountered link roundups before! While researching for content references, or while looking for guides to hone your digital marketing techniques. Fortunately, now you know that these link roundups aren’t just used as a collective resource on a certain niche. Now, you know that it is also your best friend in earning quality backlinks.
Your goal with link roundups is to get these blogs to include your content on their weekly or monthly posts. This is a great way to market your content and earn backlinks while you’re at it.

Here’s a quick tip.

You have to reach out to these link roundup blogs!

Of course, before reaching out, you have to know which link roundup sites are related to your niche. You can try searching for these queries to find them:

building links 2

Once you find the websites related to your topic, it’s time to reach out to them via email. If you’re lucky, they might even share your content on their social pages.

It looks like a lot of hard work, we know. But it’s definitely worth it.

Find Broken Links

Surely you’ve come across a few links that lead you to an error 404 page. Typically, you’ll just ignore it and find another resource to use, right? Wrong!

As an SEO marketer, broken links should be a cause for celebration! Why? Because this gives you a window to have your content replace the one that used to be on the broken link.

Big websites that link to other websites are probably too busy to regularly check for broken links in their content. This is where you come in. Once you find a broken link, you can let them know via email and pitch your content to be used in its place.

To find broken links on websites, you can use Chrome’s extension “Check My Links.” This handy extension will find broken links on a website and highlight them in red.

So, what you want to do is find authoritative websites related to your niche, find broken links in it, and check if you have content with the potential to replace it.

Once you do, you can let the website owner know. Be as friendly as friendly could be at this point! Inform them about the broken links and smoothly hint that you have a website and that you would be more than happy if they choose to link to your content instead.

 

Link Building with Infographics

Everyone loves infographics! These graphics contain valuable information turned in to a concise and straight-to-the-point image. I for one, prefer to look at an infographic that is easy on the eyes instead of reading a massive paragraph that ultimately says the same thing as the infographic.

Now, how can infographics help with your backlinking strategy in 2018?

Well, think of it this way. If someone already has a brief, yet the detailed representation of valuable data, wouldn’t you want to use that for your own content instead of writing a paragraph or two about it?

If you dish out beautiful and meaningful infographics, other websites in the same niche can and will use your graphics on their blog posts and backlink to you!

This is a great example of how you can make your content work for you. Which is exactly why we will keep telling you. Care about your content!

Backlinking Strategies That Work

Reclaiming Your Links

The internet is huge. Plain and simple. If you don’t keep track of your content, no one else will. That’s the reality of how things are today. There will always be websites or posts that fail to backlink to you when they use your content. It is possible that they simply forgot to do so. Now, it is your responsibility to give them a friendly reminder to do the right thing and backlink to you.

What you need to look out for are mentions of your content or brand that don’t link out to you.

mentions

The author did well to mention SEO Pundit, however, they weren’t able to add your link.

This isn’t something to be mad about. All you have to do is send the author an email, reminding them that they forgot to add the link to your content.

Be friendly when using this strategy. If you establish a relationship with the website’s owner, you might be able to regularly link to each other and help each other with traffic and shares. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to collaborate.

Here’s a friendly tip:

Mention.com is a handy tool that you can use to get notified whenever a post mentions your brand. From here, you can check if they linked to your website after mentioning you.

Earning Backlinks

It’s one thing to build backlinks, and another thing to earn backlinks. These two are very different, but both produce helpful results for your brand.

Earning backlinks means, you deserve it! According to GotchSEO, you must become obsessed with pleasing your audience.

 

Please Your Audience

Remember, search engines were created with the user in mind. There wouldn’t be any need for it if users didn’t ask questions or if they don’t search for content or information.

With that in mind, always create your content with the intent of pleasing and delivering what your users need and want.

SEO marketers often obsess over gaining Google’s favour. That means hitting every factor in Google’s algorithm, sometimes, even at the expense of content quality.

Some websites posts content with spammy keywords, hoping that they can gain Google’s favour. However, Google does not like this one bit. Why? Because users will frown upon content that doesn’t make sense. If you squeeze in keywords for the sake of just having that keyword in the paragraph and ignore the fact that it just sounds wrong – you’re going to have a bad time, and so will your readers.

 

Do it for the User, not the Search Engine

When planning what topics to create content for, SEO markers tend to search for what keywords are often searched for by users. Topics with a low search rate are often listed as invaluable and most content creators will decide against creating content for the search query.

That’s just wrong.

If you think you can create content that will help the 10 people that search for a certain query per month. Go for it! The purpose is to help people, not to have every piece of content rank first in Google.

It is true that search engines rely on algorithms to rank your content. But search volume shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Treat SEO like a human being, not a robot. Think of the people who you can help with your content. It doesn’t matter if there are thousands of them, or just 3 or 5. In time, someone will find your content useful. Some other brand will discover your content and link back to you because you are one of a few who produced content for that topic.

In SEO, if you prioritise the user. You can never go wrong.

 

Why Your Social Media Marketing Is a Mess Without a Content Plan

They say that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is not only a valuable life lesson; this also applies when you are creating your social media marketing strategy. If you do not exert any effort to consider all the possible outcomes, you would not be able to prepare a solution for any possible issues on the way.

When it comes to content marketing, it is best that you see the big picture and plan each milestone accordingly. The best way to organize your steps and goals is to put them on a well-planned content calendar.

It is easier when you can view everything in one place. Keep your entire social media marketing strategy planned out in one calendar! You would be able to stay organised, focus on deadlines, and be more productive in general.

We are right in the middle of 2018; a new year is just around the corner, which means it is about time for you to think about a new strategy. You would find yourself in one of these situations:

  •         You are brainstorming for a new mind-blowing content marketing strategy for the coming year. You want to get ahead so you are working in advance.
  •         You have decided that it is time for you to get more organized so you can get more work done. You are looking for the perfect content plan template that you can use to track your productiveness.
  •         Or, you are freaking out on how confused, frustrated and lost you are with your progress this year, and you can’t even begin to understand how you are going to start the coming year.

In any of these cases, the key to an organized social media marketing strategy is a content plan template or a content calendar.

Major publishers opt to use editorial calendars to plan their content throughout the year, and they are doing so for a good reason. Content marketers should learn from these publishers and follow their lead.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned content marketer who just wants to get through the year in one piece, we will show you how to build a good content plan template to get you through the remaining months of 2018.

 

What Is A Content Plan Template?

There is more than one type of content plan templates out there and they go by many names. You may search it as a content calendar, social media calendar, or an editorial calendar. No matter how you call them, their basic purpose remains the same.

Basically, a content plan template can be anything you can use to plot out a plan, create a schedule, and organize content and other marketing projects.

There are three common types of content calendars:

  •         Printed Calendars- These are the non-digital type of content calendars. It is the traditional hard copy solution to your organizing needs.
  •         Spreadsheets- If you need a cost-effective tool for creating a marketing calendar, you can always use Excel or Google Sheets. Excel is readily available on most computers and/or desktops and Google Sheets is accessible to you if you have a Gmail account.
  •         Applications- If you have a bit of budget and you are willing to spend on premium planning tools, consider investing in premium content planning tools.

Example of an Effective Content Plan Template

Different layouts, tools, and methods work for different people, but here are the most common tools, options or features that you may want to consider ensuring that the application that you have chosen can make your life as a content creator easier when working with a content plan template.

  • Colour-coding– Since we are visual creatures, it would help you significantly if you can assign a colour for every type of content and projects that you have on your calendar. The colours should be consistent throughout the calendar. You can do this for blog posts, e-mail newsletters, webinars, social media campaigns, and the likes. Each category should have their corresponding colours.
  • Marketing Folders- If you are working on big long-term projects, you may want to have the option to create individual folders for each one of them so you would be able to place multiple related parts into one place. This can avoid your projects from being all over the place. If it is possible with your tool, you can also colour code the folders that you have created per project.
  • Filters– This is a very handy tool when creating your social media marketing strategy. Since you would be planning for the whole year, it helps when you have the tool to filter your content on the calendar by type, team member, tag, colour label, keywords and more.

Why Should I Use A Content Plan Template?

To put it simply, guessing your way out of the year is not a smart plan. If you do not have a solid plan, you would end up wasting time that you could have been spending on being productive. Being organized plays a big part in success.

A content plan template can make it easier for you to see the big picture when you are planning out your content marketing strategy. Not only that, it also helps you see any possible issues that you may encounter on the way, this allows you to come up with a solution before the problem even comes.

It is completely up to you if you want to plan for a week, a month or even a year! Once you have your content plan template ready, you could easily:

  • Meet your deadlines and be proud of yourself for getting work done.
  • View your entire task list in one place. This will prevent you from driving yourself crazy while trying to remember if you missed anything.
  • Plan a strategy for creating your content. For instance, instead of procrastinating until the last minute to create some materials for a holiday, you can plan ahead and create in advance.

 

You would be able to work more effectively and efficiently with less pressure from the stress.

How To Plan Your Content Marketing With A Content Plan Template

Now, that we have the basic information about an effective content calendar, let’s get a more in-depth view on how to plan your strategy with a content plan template.

To start planning your calendar, begin with two week’s worth of content first. This way you would have enough to work with, but not to the point that you would be overwhelmed.

You can plan as far ahead as you can, but make sure that your plans are reasonable and that you have considered enough space for holidays, seasonal events, and the likes.

Defining your What, When, Where, and Why

You should try and figure out which content channels and types you are considering to work on for the year. This is important when you are working on your social media marketing strategy.

 

This may include the following:

  • A blog or website content that needs to be updated regularly. This is probably a big chunk of your content marketing strategy.
  • Social media platforms. You need to determine which networks you will be using to promote your content so you can prepare the right kind of materials.
  • Email Templates. According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media for leads generation or customer acquisition.
  • Video Marketing. The popularity of video marketing is gradually increasing, adapt with the times and use your content calendar to plan every shoot.
  • Magazines, brochures, or newsletters. We are slowly transitioning to a digital world, but prints are not going away anytime soon.

How To Keep Your Content Plan Template Full the Whole Year

Your work starts when you begin filling out your content calendar. At this point, you would already be needing a lot of ideas so you can plan around them right away.

Here are the three simple steps on how you can brainstorm for ideas:

  • It is important that you write down any idea that would pop in your head for the next 10 minutes. You don’t have to worry if they’re good or not at this point. Any idea counts while you are at the brainstorming part of planning.

 

  • Once you have listed all your ideas, you can now spend some time rating them. You should decide whether they are great ideas that you can add on to your content plan template and work with, or are they ideas that need more refinement, or maybe they are ideas that would not really help you attract any audience. It is okay if you end up with more of the bad ideas, you can always add more possible topics or revise.

 

  • After rating your ideas, choose which ones would you like to add on to your calendar or not.

 

You can brainstorm once a month so you will always have plenty of ideas to keep you busy for the whole year.

How to Implement a Consistent Colour-Coding Scheme

A colour-coding scheme can help you quickly identify content categories on your content plan template.

You can personalize the colour-code on your calendar in any way you like, but, a successful scheme should consider the following elements:

  • Everyone who would be using the content plan template should have agreed on the colours to be used. Everyone should know which colours refer to which types of content.
  • The colour codes should be consistent throughout the calendar. If you assign the coluor blue for Twitter posts, Twitter posts should always be highlighted in blue. If your graphic designer’s tasks are highlighted in red, it’s important to keep it that way. Otherwise, you can run into some confusion and miss your deadlines.
  • Your colour scheme should be simple. Try to use only a few different colours as your team needs.

There are several ways on how you can assign your colour code, here are a few ideas:

  • Code by campaign. If you are working on creating campaigns that span multiple channels, then colour-coding each piece of that campaign can make it easier to see which piece needs to be prioritized and which piece is scheduled to be published.
  • Code by theme. This is similar to colour-coding by campaign, if you’re working on creating content on different channels around a theme, it will be helpful to see each piece that belongs to that theme in one glance.
  • Code by team member. If certain team members have content or tasks they’re responsible for; this can help them see everything they need to get done.
  • Code by channel. You can also colour-code your content based on which channel you intend to post it on (for example: You can have all the Facebook posts in blue, all YouTube videos in red, all blog posts in orange, etc.).

 

These are just the basic or common ways of creating a colour coding scheme, but you can always create your own scheme that would match your social media marketing strategy.

 

Regardless of which tool or application you use, deciding to get organized is the first step to having a more productive year. You will find yourself being able to work better once you have a solid game plan laid out in front of you.

Digital Marketing Strategy 2018: Why Graphic Design is a Must

1_graphs

Is timing really everything? Is having all the right materials enough to be successful? Are all your materials really right?

Some people believe that there is a right time for everything, but if you want to get ahead and stand out, anytime is the right time. Blending in with the times can only get you so far, but blending in can also make your disappear. This may be the case, but do not rush to launch your content just yet.

 

You might think that you are ready to slay with your content marketing once you have created an elaborate definition of your audience, planned out an intricate editorial calendar and dedicated countless of hours on researching and developing a faultless content, but you are not quite there yet.

The marketing industry is extremely fast-paced, in turn; content marketing is getting more competitive by the hour. Most marketers opt for content marketing for their strategy which means that there would be more competition when it comes to getting the attention of your audience. You would need more than just good writing to be able to stand out.

You should start to consider integrating graphic design, infographics and other visual storytelling materials into your marketing strategy. This way you would be able to tell your content apart from your competition.

Benefits of Graphic Design in Your Marketing Strategy

Over the years, we have developed a visual culture, which means people respond better to content with visual elements. Your audience will be able to process the message that you are trying to get across more efficiently when you present the information through graphics. Shapes and colours can help your viewers remember your brand better.

In general, people respond better to visual information rather than just simple texts. You would also notice that more page visits are received by social posts with images versus the posts without visual designs. Your business would more likely be noticed if you market with graphic designs and infographics.

They say that to see is to believe, so let’s discuss the ways on how to include visual elements into your content marketing strategy. See the difference between plain text content against a content reinforced by dynamic graphic designs and visuals.

How Much is Enough?

Putting in the right amount of images also plays a part in making your content effective. Putting too much can make your post cluttered and aesthetically unattractive, on the contrary, putting too little can make the content look dull and unreliable. Fortunately, you no longer have to try and fail to get the ratio right.

Goldilocks had to try three chairs, three bowls of porridge and three beds to know which one is “just right”, but BuzzSumo has your work cut out for you. Based on the data collected by BuzzSumo through a number of blog posts, the right amount of visual material is one image for every 75-100 words:

“In a study of over one million articles, BuzzSumo looked at how many blog posts with images were shared. Then they looked at how many images, per how many words, got the best results. What they found was articles with an image once every 75 -100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images.”

You have to plan the placement of your graphic materials carefully so you can ensure maximum effectiveness of the visual material.

Working with Original Designs

 

Using stock images is good, but it is even better if you utilize custom graphic designs that are specially made for your content. Since stock images are not exclusively yours, this may affect your percentage of standing out. Statistic says that content with relevant images has 94% more views than content without relevant images. Aside from the ratio of the quantity of the images in your content, relevance also plays a part in ensuring effectiveness.

The best approach when you are planning to use custom graphic design is to write the content first before reaching out to a graphic designer. An effective graphic designer can use the existing post to immediately understand the designs that you need. The content will help the graphic designer create a relevant visual element for your post.

Tell your Story Through Infographics

Infographics have become a preferred form of content marketing because they are able to pack together the content into something more shareable, especially on social media. They have a good amount of information which is incorporated with visuals that makes it an amazing tool for marketing.

You can choose to create an original content from scratch, but one of the most efficient ways of using infographics is to reuse an existing blog post. This is effective in the sense that you already know how this content performs in attracting your audience, if it is a success then you can double the results and if it did not perform as well as expected, you get another chance to boost that content through visuals. Also, since the content is already outlined in the existing blog post, most of the work will just fall on to your designer who can start on converting information into graphics.

How to Boost Activities on your Content Marketing Materials

Turning every post into an infographic may sound tempting considering its many benefits as a marketing material, but let’s face it; you can’t turn every post into an infographic. You can get a similar effect if you create social media related content marketing materials to promote your content. For example, on Twitter, tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

Your audience might get tired of your content if you keep on reposting the same featured image over and over again. You can avoid this issue by creating a series of distinct graphic designs that is custom made for your blog posts only. Since the images are unique to your brand, you can re-share your content multiple times without worrying about repetition for your audience.

There are 3 common, but effective forms of original social media images that you can use to improve the traffic in your content:

  •         Quotes- On Twitter, tweets with quotes get a 19% boost in retweets. This is also true for Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media platforms. To utilize this content, you can convert a quote into a graphic design or add it on to an image.
  •         Screengrabs- You can take a screenshot of the blog post that you want to share, this allows you to share enough content to give your audience a sneak peak of your post. This also allows your audience to see your content in a different format
  •         Visual How-Tos- If you plan on creating a DIY guide, you may want to have the steps illustrated. This allows your audience to have a better understanding of the project since the illustration serves as a visual aid. The illustrations also encourage your audience to read more of your post.

Sharing Your Content

Once you have fortified your content with good graphic design and compelling visual storytelling, your content is ready to be shared. This content marketing strategy does not only improve the performance of your content on Twitter and Facebook, but also on all the other visual-centric social media platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and many more. Including visuals to your content allows you to have more distribution channels.

 

Adding visuals to your contents allows you to connect with a new set of audience for the first time. Graphic elements can expand your audience reach in many ways. It helps in gaining likes, shares and other forms of traffic on different platforms.

Different visual assets perform differently from one another; when you are sharing your content, remember to consider these differences so you can ensure that you are utilizing them the best way possible.

 

Knowing which visual element works best can help you prioritize your materials as well. You can easily evaluate the materials that you are using through social metrics like shares and link clicks; you can also get a good idea of which kind of visual element contributed the most on your content post through web metrics like new visitors and page clicks.

 

You do not only have to work hard, you also have to work smart to get ahead and get the best return on your investments.

Consistency is one of the keys to success. Consistently use good graphic designs and visual storytelling to help you lift up your content and build a good reputation with your audience. Use effective images to be able to communicate your message to your audience more efficiently, show them that you care about their needs and that you want them to understand what you have to offer.

 

Of course, you also have to set your content in front of more potential customers, using the right tools and materials can help you get there. At this point, you could understand that effective visuals are vital content marketing tools that you simply cannot ignore.