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Let’s start off with the basics: What is a guest blog and why should you care? Simply put, it’s an article that an individual writes on a website they have no affiliation with. As a result, they don’t receive payment for the content like a freelance writer normally would. The reason people choose to participate in this is to reach a new, and ideally, larger audience. It’s a form of content marketing — getting your name or company in front of the eyes of new readers by creating informative and useful content. It can also be helpful in your link building efforts, which we’ll dive into more in-depth in a moment.

Although a lot of websites love getting free quality content, it can be tricky to find a site that will agree to host your article. Here are six tips to help ensure you can get published and how to get the most out of a guest blog.

1. Location, Location, Location

A lot of people get excited about guest blogging. They start writing right away and then focus on finding a website to host the content after. While this can work out, you can drive yourself crazy looking for that ideal fit and waste a lot of time in the process. The best way to start is research. Find websites that host blogs that cover your area of expertise, see if they’ve hosted guest articles before, and find the contact information (ideally, an editor).

2. Guidelines Help Guide You, Who Knew?

If the website you found does accept guest blogging, then there will often be a guideline page with details on the guest submission process. Read it, learn it, live it. Every site has different requirements for their guest content, so be sure you know what they want before contacting them. An example can be found here.

3. Never Ditch the Pitch

Once you’ve found a website that can be a good fit and you’ve read their guidelines, you then have to sell yourself to the editor. Think of it as a job interview; you wouldn’t walk in and only say “I want to write for you.” First, you want to introduce yourself and express your interest in being a guest contributor. You’ll then want to sell your expertise in the field/industry you’d like to write about (years on the job, education, awards).

If you have a personal or business blog on your company’s website, then send them some of your best articles so they can see your style and writing skill. If you don’t have a blog yet, check out this article on why hosting a blog should be a part of your marketing efforts. Once that’s tackled, you’ll have to pitch an article’s subject. The editors like having a choice, so you should have at minimum three different article ideas to pitch them, but personally, I try to submit five just to be safe.

4. Sending in the Right Choices

There is a three-step process when deciding what ideas you should be pitching to the editor that you will find useful. Here is what to do:

Pick your niche

Think of all the subjects you could offer expert insight on — all the connections associated with your job, business, or education. Once you’ve thought of every possible relation, see what’s trending. What are people interested in reading about right now? The more relevant your subject, the more likely it is that your article will gather readers, which benefits both you and the website’s editor.

Do your research

See what content the website already has written regarding the subject. Being topical is fantastic, but useless if they’ve already written about the issue extensively. The editor won’t be interested in a repeat article. They want original ideas. They might be interested in a new perspective, but be sure it’s different enough from the previously published work.

Focus on their audience

Research the typical target audience viewer and think about what would benefit them specifically. Is their readership primarily small business owners? Tech-savvy? Mothers? Millennials? Figure out who the audience is and write accordingly. Remember, the editor is interested in providing quality content specified for their audience.

Crafting the content

You’ve landed the interest of the editor and they want to read a draft, awesome! Now what? Well, of course, you put your writing hat on and get to work. Flesh out the ideas for the pitch that the editor chose. Find relevant articles from prominent publications you can reference in your copy that support different opinions in the article, find some quality images and videos that can add visuals to the article, and organize the information in an easily understandable format. A mistake I see a lot of individuals make is having the content be too self-promotional or transparently beneficial. They’ll reference their business or services far too often. The editor will see this as disingenuous and won’t publish the blog. Remember to stay humble. Referencing your business and anecdotes that come from your own experience is fine, as long as it fits with what you’re talking in the specific section and you do so sparingly.

5. Linking back to link-building

Using guest blogging as part of your link building strategy for your SEO can be very useful, but it also comes with some risk when done improperly. Google published a post with guest blog backlinking tactics that result in penalties. Now, this doesn’t mean you should shy away from guest blogging in your link building strategy, it just means you have to be responsible. There are a few tips you can follow to acquire backlinks in a guest blog that is ethical and won’t risk penalties, so check them out below:

A Link in Author Bio

The first is requesting a backlink to your website in the author bio. Most blogs have either a link to a bio-page for the author (even for a guest contributor) in the article or have a short bio at the bottom of the article. Having a backlink there is perfectly fine as it’s relevant to that section of the webpage, which is all about you (including your business). I’d also recommend linking to your website’s about page, to your professional bio page, or to your website’s blog page.

A Link in Blog Post

The second is including a backlink to a blog post on your own site that covers a similar subject in depth. When you write the guest blog, be sure to have a paragraph that briefly covers a topic that you’ve written about before that is relevant to your guest blog. At the end of this paragraph, add a link to your older blog post under the anchor text “learn more about X here” or something similar. As long as the link leads to a relevant and useful article that compliments your guest blog, you shouldn’t get penalized. If you don’t have content that is relevant enough already published on your blog site, you can always write a new article that fits your guest blog. Just be sure that it’s original content and only complements the piece. You will get penalized for duplicate content if two articles are too similar.

You can also add a link using images. I find Infographics work best for this method. Inserting an infographic in the guest blog is a great way to add value to the article that can simultaneously benefit you with a link.

Create an infographic related to your blog’s content and host the image on your site. When the guest blog gets published, the infographic should link back to the digital version hosted on your website. As the infographic is relevant content to the article, you’re in the clear for Google’s guest blogging guidelines.

In this age of technology, everybody can have a platform to share their ideas; the main issue is finding a platform with an audience. Guest blogging is one way to spread your knowledge and message to people. Always keep in mind that once you’re published, it’s out there for everyone to see and criticize if improperly done. Also, keep that in mind when writing to ensure your content stays genuine and doesn’t feel self-serving. Managing how you and your article are perceived is the most critical part of the process. Make sure it leaves a good impression of you and your company.

The post Why You Should be Guest Blogging appeared first on seoplus+ Blog.

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Christmas is coming, and what better time to think about rewarding a hard-working SEO in your life than right now.

You know who we’re talking about — the one who stares at Google Search Console for hours at a time while rocking back in forth in their chair, the one who rolls into the office looking like they haven’t slept in a fortnight, the one with a novelty beer helmet filled with espresso, or the one with sticky notes lining their entire screen — they’re all unique, we love ‘em all, and they could all use a hand.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are ten spot-on Christmas gifts for the diehard SEO in your life. Whether you want to help them stay organized, stay caffeinated, stay in the loop, or stay sane, you’ll find something for them here. Let’s go!

Some Top-of-the-Line Headphones

Every SEO needs to stay amped up during those late night optimizations and early morning audits. Now, think about the SEO in your office — have you ever looked at them at their desk and NOT seen them with headphones on? 99.9% of you answered no — what a coincidence.

It’s no secret that SEOs like to work to music — but what kind of music? In our experience, it’s music that carries a deep rhythm, has solid bass, and puts you in a sort of trance.

You know, the kind that locks you in for a steady session of setting 301 redirects or disavowing shady backlinks.

With that image in mind, we’ve compiled a couple of our top headphone choices for your everyday SEO.

Sony XB650BT Noise Cancelling Headphones

These over-ear headphones are wireless, have a built-in mic for client calls (good for all you pacers out there), and deliver great sound — all at a solid price.

These bad boys are sure to keep your SEO groovin’ without breaking the bank.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Headphones

How could we recommend headphones and leave out Bose? While these ones will run you more cash, they’re well worth it (and your SEO will love you for them).

The sound quality you get here is unmatched, they are Google Assistant and Alexa compatible, wireless, and much more. You can’t go wrong here!

A Stress Ball (you know, for algorithm changes)

Whether it’s for a website-shattering algorithm update (Panda 2016, anyone?) or a regular day in the trenches, gifting your SEO a way to let out some of their stress is never a bad idea.

All of us SEOs have been there — you have 37 unread emails, Google Analytics is stuck on the spinning wheel of death, you have a call in 20 minutes, and one of your client’s rankings have taken a sudden drop. What do you do in this situation? Before you spiral further than a private blog network post-Penguin, why not squeeze your stress away?

The Classic Stress Ball

Getting your favourite SEO one of these classic stress balls is never a swing and a miss. In fact, we 100% guarantee what their reaction will be: they’ll open it, cry a single tear, hug you suddenly, and walk away squeezing it without saying a word. Just wait.

BONUS GIFT: A Scalp Massager

Does anyone know if these actually work or not? Either way, they look funny and are sure to keep any SEO entertained (and on the right side of sane).

A Partner for Life

No, we’re not talking about a mail-order spouse. We’re talking about SEMrush, of course!  Know an SEO in your life who doesn’t have access to SEMrush yet? Get ready to change their life.

An SEMrush Subscription

This incredibly versatile tool does so much that it’s hard to give it justice within a paragraph or two. For starters, SEMrush offers priced packages which differ based on your needs. Outside of being the best keyword research tool on the market, you can perform detailed SEO site audits, competitor research, backlink audits, CPC data research, and much more.

SEMrush has a cult following, and it’s more than well deserved. You can pull country-specific keywords, mobile vs. desktop rankings,  PDF reports of your findings, and so much more. It is constantly being updated with new features, and its hefty price for a membership means that only real-deal SEOers typically use the platform.

Ready to make an SEO in your life smile? Hook them up with SEMrush.

A Meditation App

We know we sound like a broken record here, but between all the data research, never-ending optimizations, red alerts, and late-night fixes, it’s no secret that being an SEO can be a demanding job.

Research shows that meditation can relax your mind, have significant benefits on your mental and physical health, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even reduce your blood pressure. Sounds legit to us!

Know an SEO who you think can use any of these benefits? Why not get them a subscription to a premium meditation app?

The Mindfulness App

We chose this app as it’s ideal for busy SEOs who would like help to fit some bouts of relaxation into their day.

It’s packed with features that include reminders for when it’s time to meditate, integration with other health apps, and even a five-day guided practice. The premium subscription adds loads of features any SEO will appreciate!

A White Hat, Grey Hat, or Black Hat

Here’s a fun one for all our veteran SEOs out there. In case you don’t know what we’re referring to here, let’s go over our “hat classes” quickly.

White Hat, Grey Hat, and Black Hat SEO are terms that essentially describe how legit your SEO tactics are. For example, if you use approved tactics like back-linking, keywording, and writing solid content, that’s White Hat SEO.

You know that website you inherited that is stuffed with keywords, spammy, and has invisible, back-linked page text? That’s Black Hat SEO. Grey Hat SEO is somewhere in between (we’re looking at you, Arthur Morgan.)

Black Top Hat

Want to have a little fun with the diehard SEO in your office? Buy a black top hat, customize it with some SEO stickers (maybe even add in a monocle), and put it on their desk. Get ready for a funny reaction when they see it.

The Best Laptop for any On-the-Go SEO

Know a hardworking SEO who is in serious need of an upgrade?

Consider straying away from a desktop — getting them a robust new laptop allows them to work from anywhere just as effectively (that goes for at their desk too).

Today’s laptops are versatile, cost-efficient, and jammed full of features you can’t find in most desktops. SEOs in particular need something fast enough to run an SEO crawling software, compact enough to easily carry to client meetings, and with enough juice to write epic, cornerstone content on a single charge. With all that in mind, we’ve isolated our top choice.

Lenovo ThinkPad T480

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is the best laptop for any diehard SEO — here’s why.

The T480 has a unique battery-splitting system that allows you to remove the rear battery and replace it with fresh/larger units, allowing for up to 30 hours on a single charge. It also comes with an 8th Gen Intel i7 processor, so you’ll never find yourself struggling to run multiple things on multiple monitors all at once.

In short, you get the power of a desktop in the portability of a laptop. Did we mention it looks cool, too?

 A Desk Plant

Any SEO has a thing for watching things grow slowly, so why not get them a desk-sized plant?

As most SEOs spend 90% of their time indoors looking at rankings, sprucing up their desk with something green has obvious benefits. We recommend getting them something easy to maintain that grows slowly.

Not only will it improve the air quality and atmosphere of their space, if it dies, you get to make fun of them!

Asparagus Fern

What starts out as a desk plant can grow up to over three feet with proper care — image the hilarity of them having no idea what to do with their non-stop growing plant. These dense greens are easy to maintain and very popular.

An Organization Tool

Everyone knows that one SEO who has papers all over their desk, three empty coffee mugs behind their keyboard, and sticky notes lining their entire monitors.

Fortunately for them (and you), there are loads of organization tools around, both digital and physical, which can lend a hand.

Desktop File Organizer

For the SEO in your life whose desk looks like it belongs in an episode of Hoarders, getting them a simple desktop organizer is a great idea. You can go large, small, versatile — there are never-ending options.


Trello is a nimble and versatile project management tool which can help any SEO stay organized and up to date on all their tasks. Trello is particular good for ongoing tasks which aligns with SEO work well.

The paid version also integrates with Google Drive, Hangouts, Salesforce, and more, keeping everything in one place for the quick-moving SEO.

A Top-Tier Coffee Machine

Coffee — every SEO’s best friend (sorry, tea drinkers).

This one really needs no introduction — any busy SEO will likely pay you $20 on the spot any time of day for a perfect cup of espresso. Have you ever seen an SEO running on no coffee? Not a pretty sight.

To save you from ever experiencing that, we recommend setting them up with our favourite coffee machine out there.

Nespresso Vertuo

While you can definitely opt for fancier and more complicated versions of espresso makers, the standard Nespresso Vertuo is all you’ll ever need.

It’s simple, reliable, easy-to-use, and delivers a perfect cup, every time. Your SEO will be able to choose from espresso shots or full coffees and will never run out of options to keep them happy. Be prepared to become their new best friend.

A Gag Gift

Last but certainly not least, you can never go wrong with having some fun with your SEO and getting them a personalized gag gift.

In our opinion, the best way to do this is to go the customizable clothing route.

Funny Customized Shirt

With a website like Vistaprint (there are endless options), you can take basically any logo, image, quote, or name and put in on a shirt to give to your unsuspecting SEO.

Wondering what to put on the shirt? How about an unflattering photo of their face? Maybe “SEO MAN” in big bold letters?

Or, how about a lame SEO quote?

“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google.”

How can any SEO not love that?

Whatever you choose to get your SEO this holiday season, make sure to show them your appreciation! We all know that being an SEO takes time, dedication, persistence, and maybe just a drop of crazy, so showing them that you recognize their effort is a great way of saying thank you.

Remember — try to tailor your gift to fit their personality, and don’t take it too seriously! Gifting in the workplace is meant to be fun and light-hearted, after all.

Happy gifting and happy holidays!

The post 10 Tailor-Made Christmas Gifts for any Diehard SEO appeared first on seoplus+ Blog.

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In today’s digitally tethered society, businesses depend on accumulating client reviews online as a means of demonstrating that they can be trusted, inevitably driving traffic and sales. However, encouraging clients to write reviews in the first place can be a frustrating process. That being said, there are several ways you can encourage a higher review count, greater client trust, and a supercharged reputation in one fell swoop. Let’s take a look:

1. Consistent Social Media Communication

Appropriately addressing issues and complaints raised in comments is critical. Doing so will convey to page visitors and followers that you take things seriously and respect clients… but it shouldn’t stop there. Always strive to provide accurate, concise, and clear contact information as well as a heartfelt apology for any mistakes on behalf of your business. Then, be attentive and openly work with complainants to make it right. It is important to not worry about whose fault it is, but rather how to professionally rectify the issue from a neutral perspective. It is crucial to word each response uniquely and not sound robotic, or it will appear as if you only care about your reputation rather than the happiness of the complainant in question. An organic, considerate, and authentic approach on your social media channels will encourage feedback by making people feel comfortable about providing their own.

Additionally, sharing positive moments involving customers or local events (charity functions attended by clients, honest heart-warming success stories, etc.) will also benefit the overall image of your business. Web users will see that your business genuinely respects clients and those in the community, and they may feel inclined to opt for your products or services as opposed to those of the “stiffer” competition. This potential spike in business could bring in more reviews, and if you’ve combined such an approach with tangible proof of your respect for the public, it will be even more effective in due time.

2. Consider Google as a Yelp Alternative

While many businesses encourage reviewing via Yelp, it is not recommended to do this due to its spam filters. While seasoned Yelpers leaving dozens of reviews aren’t going to be affected by this, casual first-time reviewers are often frustrated by its filtering process that can bury or altogether remove their carefully written reviews of your business (and chances are that they won’t want to spend time writing another one). It also doesn’t help that some businesses choose to pay for falsified reviews in order to drive income and create a specific impression of their products or services – simply put, you need to do better than this. While we aren’t suggesting that you avoid Yelp entirely, it would be best to not rely too heavily on it for review generation by clients. There are some fantastic alternatives out there, such as opting for Google reviews that show up when users search for your business on Google Maps. This is more effective at encouraging client traffic and, in turn, more reviews.

3. Follow Up With Satisfied Clients

Once a client is satisfied with whatever your business may provide, it’s generally a good idea to thank them for their patronage and politely encourage them to leave a review – just be sure not to push, whatever you do. Successfully implementing this approach will demonstrate that you value authentic input and want to build a successful business with client guidance as its foundation. Business cards, flyers, and most other handouts are perfectly suitable for this practice. Be sure to word such text carefully to remain consistently appreciative and professional, and provide appropriate directions to where they can write their review online.

In addition, an automatic email message for every online order is a golden opportunity to encourage client reviews. Many sellers on eBay and similar web-based retailers rely on this for feedback, and it generally works like a charm. When first composing such an email, always thank clients for their business and state that their input via a review is highly appreciated if they happen to have a few moments. Be sure to provide appropriate web links that have been tested to ensure they work, and avoid forcing the customer’s hand or outright requesting a review, as you could inadvertently influence them to cast your business in an unfavourable light. Be sure to include contact information so their concerns or questions, if any, can be addressed, which could lead to a sale and even another review for your collection.

4. Incorporate a Page for Testimonials

Instead of merely relying on an external archive of reviews, why not host them on the website of your business? Creating a page dedicated to client reviews and/or testimonials is a highly effective way of illustrating the importance of consumer trust in your products or services. It shows that you stand with your customers rather than in front of your brand image as a human shield. Curious browsers unfamiliar with your business and its reputation may feel more comfortable upon seeing even just the link to such a page (so put it in plain sight and make sure it works). As a result, not only could you potentially receive more clients, but also more feedback in the long run that can help your business gain more traffic.

To encourage this further, create a review form and embed it on the reviews/testimonials page so that users instantly see it. The less your clients need to dig, the easier and more organic it will feel for them to jot down a review of your business. Additionally, making a social media post welcoming client reviews, linking the new web page, and pinning it to the top of your public pages will enhance the effectiveness of this approach.

By demonstrating clear respect for clients, you are positioning your business as a professional and communicative body that values honest input and intends to build with it, not against it. With these methods in mind, it should be easier than ever to accumulate client reviews of your business online.

The post Feedback Frenzy: 4 Key Ways to Encourage More Online Reviews appeared first on seoplus+ Blog.

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Remember the days when Instagram was nothing more than the trendy new kid on the social media block? How the times have changed.

The mammoth of a platform now has over 800 million monthly users and is growing steadily with no end in sight.

Whereas Instagram was once an app where trailblazers shared their favourite photos and personal memories, it has quickly blown up to become one of the most lucrative online marketplaces in the world (the app is projected to generate $6.8 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2018).

Instagram is unique because it offers a gateway into the hearts and wallets of one of the world’s hardest to reach generations — millennials. While millennials are known to be tough to reach and influence through traditional advertising mediums (cable TV, for example), a whopping 59 percent of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram. This newfound cultural phenomenon has given brands everywhere a new way to reach potential buyers.

Furthermore, 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform. So, not only are loads of people using the app, but they’re also welcoming brands directly into their content feed. It’s something that arguably hasn’t been seen on this scale since the advent of TV.

There has never been a better time to take advantage of Instagram as a sales tool, especially if you run an e-commerce store. As 14 percent of users are likely to make a purchase right on the platform, it is clear why Instagram continues to prove to be so lucrative for e-commerce brands.

So, where do you start? How do you kickstart your Instagram sales funnel? Following the six tactics below should set you off on the right foot.

Use Instagram Ad Placements

Instagram ads have proved to be incredibly useful for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. Because of the way Instagram’s content stream functions, ad placements seamlessly slip into the feed of your audience and appear to be just another post from someone they’re following. Once they take a second look at the ad, they will usually realize that it’s a paid placement.

The good thing about Instagram, though, is that no one seems to care — audiences don’t mind seeing ads on the platform nearly as much as they do on other apps and media channels. Since they are mostly non-intrusive and are highly targeted simplistic pieces of content, audiences generally aren’t bothered by them.

If you are able to keep your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) low and see a clear profit by using ads, keep doing what you’re doing. Continue to up your budget and scale your campaign to find continued success.

Whether or not you choose to use Instagram stories or placements in the main feed for your ads, the general guidelines for your posts will be the same. Primarily, ensure that your ads are designed well and match up with your audience’s tastes. They should be minimalistic and slip into the feed/stories as well as possible. Remember, Instagram is a photography app — make sure your ads fit the ethos of the platform!

Turn Your Bio into a Call to Action

Your profile’s bio is your prime real estate. We’re talking the penthouse of Instagram here.

Using this space to create a compelling call-to-action is one of the first things you should do on Instagram. As the app doesn’t have a lot of other space for text or links throughout its interface, you really need to get creative and use what you have to the best of your ability.

We recommend ensuring the text in your bio supports the CTA at the end of it — none of this space should go to waste. The good thing about this form of CTA is that you can directly update your bio whenever you need to, say if you have a new product line or promotion you would like to drive traffic to.

For most accounts (accounts with under 10,000 followers), this is the only opportunity you will have to link your customers somewhere — make sure you make good use of it! There are some paid tools like Link in Profile that allow you to have multiple links in your profile.

Engage Your Customers Using User-Generated Content

Ask yourself: why do people use Instagram in the first place?

If you understand that the vast majority of people use the app with the intention of gaining a sizeable following, you’ve got the right idea.

Knowing this, you need to take advantage of it. The best way to do so is to encourage users to post their own photos of them using your product or service and tag your account or use a hashtag to get involved. Using this tactic, you are able to create an online community centred around your business.

Reposting these user-generated photos on your feed will further entice your audience to get involved and keep trying to get featured. Doing this drives continuous engagement and increases your brand’s visibility. Spivo, an Ottawa-based selfie stick manufacturer, does an incredible job of this:

Use Influencers to Your Advantage — Get Collaborating!

Influencer marketing has become extremely lucrative, both for influencers themselves and for the brands using them. An estimated $1 billion is spent annually on Instagram influencer marketing, so it’s no wonder why international corporations are paying thousands and even millions of dollars a year for the service.

Influencers vary from local food bloggers all the way to the likes of Beyoncé, who can earn more than $1 million per post. While A-list celebrities earn vast amounts by promoting products, the average sponsored post costs more around $300 — a much more reasonable figure for smaller companies.

Even though there are relatively tight restrictions regarding sponsored content transparency, the legions of followers amassed by these Insta-stars welcome their recommendations and product endorsements.

By using the right strategy, you too can take advantage of this loyalty and leverage the influencer’s network to drive your own business’s conversions. Since your audience (the influencer’s followers) will see these placements as coming from a place of trust in the hands of their influencer, your ads won’t even seem like real ads to them.

Now that we’ve sung the praises of influencer marketing, let’s talk about how to stay vigilant.

Just because they have plenty of followers or charge a lot doesn’t mean they will be a good fit for your particular brand or product. Nothing is guaranteed with influencer marketing.

The main thing you need to look out for is fake followers. Social Blade is a useful tool which lets you peek into their Instagram Analytics profile — just enter their username to get started. If they have a legitimate following, their follower graph should show a steady increase. Fake followers usually show up as peaks and steady declines. Beware of bought followers — these are all but useless!

Real Followers:

Fake Followers:

If you’re unsure, reach out and ask them for a media kit or details regarding their demographics. Remember, influencers with higher followers cost more. Smaller accounts have modest yet loyal followings with high engagement rates — sometimes these accounts will work much better with your efforts.

Use Links in Instagram Stories

While being a highly useful feature, being able to post links/CTAs to your Instagram story is a right reserved for accounts with more than 10,000 followers.

Instagram Stories is a fun tool that allows users to post images and videos that disappear after a day. This is perfect for posts that while pertinent, don’t belong in your feed permanently. As stories are a quick-hitting feature, users have 10 or fewer seconds to decide whether or not to act on your CTA — this excites the users and gives them a rush when they click through to the destination.

Using hashtags in your stories is a way to compound your efforts and give new people a chance to find your story and access the CTA. You are even able to hide them by making them match the background — use the photo match tool beside the colour swatch.

When using hashtags, make sure to do your research and pinpoint which ones will gain you the most business. While targeting niche hashtags may seem pointless due to the smaller search volumes, you will be much more likely to find a paying customer than by targeting a broad keyword. If you want to use a more popular hashtag, try not to aim for those with search volumes past 500,000 users.

Turn Posts into Purchases with Shopify Integration

Engaged followings and streamlined, product-friendly feeds have naturally turned Instagram into a highly functional sales channel for Shopify users. This has lead to the development of shoppable Instagram posts.

This new feature allows merchants to tag products directly in their posts, allowing users to enter into the purchasing process straight from the app. Using hashtags as you usually would and leveraging your Instagram reputation allows you to showcase your products directly to people all over the world.

In order to use this feature, you must have the Facebook channel installed in your Shopify store, have an approved Facebook shop, have an Instagram Business account, and operate your business in a supported country.

Let’s Wrap it Up

Your main takeaway in reviewing these tactics should be that Instagram now offers so much more than it used to for businesses — it’s no longer simply a social media platform; it’s a goldmine for e-commerce merchants (and is being continually optimized for success).

The tactics we reviewed today are all proven ways to optimize your Instagram sales funnel. By implementing some or all of them as a part of a larger cohesive strategy, you can expect to see increased brand loyalty and conversions as a result.

Whether you plan on using simple, free methods or large-scale tactics, ensuring that your efforts align with your brand identity and your customer’s wants and needs will solidify your place in the market and guarantee your sustained success on Instagram.

The post 6 Key Tactics to Kick-Start Your Instagram Sales Funnel appeared first on seoplus+ Blog.

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Gmail is the gold standard for everyday business operations. Its many unique features and user experience can make it easier than ever to deliver exceptional-quality service to clients.

Still, there are some of us out there who haven’t made the switch from those old Hotmail addresses (remember those?) and aren’t aware of the benefits Gmail can provide.

So today, let’s go over a few examples!

Follow-Up Assists and Reply Reminders
Google has implemented an algorithm that carefully and securely analyzes your inbox, which is saving office workers around the world from many a headache. Follow-up assists and reply reminders are exactly what they sound like: Emails that Gmail recognizes as time-sensitive or in need of your checking in are tagged with an orange blurb after the subject line indicating how many days ago it was sent, asking if you want to follow up or reply.

This makes it easier to check in on clients and track how much time you’ve given them between emails, ensuring you don’t cross the line between making a touch point and driving them crazy. It also protects against forgetting about getting back to people in time.

Quick Mouseover Menus
If you’re handling many clients as most agencies and businesses do, it’s likely that you’re looking for ways to speed up your inbox cleanup strategy. If so, Gmail’s quick mouseover menus are here to save the day. Whenever you hover your cursor over an email in your inbox, several options will appear in place of the date on the right-hand side of the subject line. These include archive, delete, mark as read or unread, and snooze (more on that last one later). Before, you would have to open the email to click one of these options. 

It might not sound like much of an improvement to some, but when you receive hundreds of emails a day, it can make all the difference in streamlining client services. Sort through and clean up that inbox of 1000+ emails at the speed of light – there’s no longer an excuse for it!

Quick Access to Attachments
As of a recent update, no longer do you have to open an email to get to attachments. Files now appear as buttons beneath the subject line in Gmail’s newly modernized refresh, enabling for you to just click to open and download to your heart’s content.

And speaking of content, it’s now easier than ever to search for that one buried email with the attachment you need – even a quick glimpse at your inbox indicates which emails have attachments, which themselves are colour-coded (orange for PowerPoint and blue for Word documents, for example).

Email Snoozing
Often, you’ll be too busy to stop and keep replying to emails throughout the day – it’s a distraction that can take you out of a focused mindset, potentially reducing work quality. Email snoozing is a handy new feature that allows you to get things done without inadvertently burying new inbox messages.

To use this feature, simply hover over the date in an email in your inbox, click the clock icon and choose your snooze settings. So if you’re working on a big project that requires all your attention, snooze until tomorrow or next week without feeling pangs of guilt. This way, you won’t get as stressed and will be able to address client concerns at a time when you’re able to fully focus on their emails. The result? Thoughtful and considerate responses that they’ll appreciate more.

Gmail is a critical element of many agency and business operations when it comes to improving client service quality. With these helpful new features, it’s even easier to deliver the best service possible, as soon as possible. If you haven’t made the switch, now is certainly the time to jump ship and enjoy a wealth of improvements – for yourself and for your clients.

The post 4 Great Gmail Features to Improve Client Relations with Your Agency or Business appeared first on seoplus+ Blog.

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