10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach Today

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant as timing is a factor in the algorithm.

Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

Instagram Expert, Sue B. Zimmermansuggests posting when the majority of your audience is online:

It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.

If you are using an Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day.

To access your Instagram Insights, tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon (Insights icon) on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Instagram Insights - Followers

2. Experiment with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be!

On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos!

Instagram Engagement Study

It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. We found that hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage our followers.

Buffer Instagram giveaway contest

Some of the call-to-actions we have tried are:

  • Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below 👇
  • To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
  • To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media! 👊
  • What’s on your reading list this week? 📚 Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team! 😄❤

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts, we try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

Something that we do more often is asking a question in our Instagram posts. Several of our most-commented posts (excluding contest posts) are posts with a question such as thisthis, and this.

4. Curate user-generated content

Brian Peters, our digital marketing strategist, grew our Instagram account following by about 500% (4,250 to 21,000) in under six months. His secret? User-generated content.

Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.

Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.

User-generated content infographic

5. Tell Instagram Stories

In our State of Social Media 2016 report, we found that while 63 percent of marketers surveyed use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded!

Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds.

It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm; possibly one very similar to the feed algorithm. Spend the time to craft great Stories to help them rank better.

6. Go live on Instagram

A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.

Instagram Live

Social Media Examiner found that the more they went live on Facebook, the more their non-live content received exposure. Michael Stelzner said that one reason might be their brand is in front of their fans more often so the fans might go to their Page to see their content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video.

This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.

From our State of Social Media 2016 report, we concluded that live video has yet to hit mass adoption as only 27 percent of marketers surveyed had created live video content. While the percentage might be higher today, I believe live videos aren’t mainstream yet. So it’s another perfect way to stand out and deliver great content!

7. Use Instagram ads

This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.

If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!

Instagram ads - Promote existing post

So which post should you promote?

Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:

  1. Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
  2. Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
  3. Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
  4. For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
  5. For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
  6. For the third filter, select “7 days”.
  7. You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.

Picking a top post from Instagram Insights

As these posts have received the most engagement from your followers, they would likely also resonate with the people you promote to (assuming you have targeted people like your followers).

8. Post less

When explaining social media algorithms, Michael Stelzner encouraged marketers to re-think your posting strategy.

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

Sue B. Zimmerman also gave a similar advice for marketers who want to overcome the Instagram algorithm.

If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.

I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.

9. Create specifically for Instagram

One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Crossposting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.

Now with Tailored Posts, you can write customized captions for each social network. We’re hoping that this feature would encourage you to be (even) more creative with your social media posts and would help you drive more engagement.

Buffer Multiple Composer

10. Be a great Instagram user

This last point might be a little vague but it nicely wraps up many of the points above.

Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks.

My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:

  • Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
  • Answering questions on your posts quickly
  • Thanking people for commenting on your posts
  • Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them

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What’s your Instagram strategy?

The main objective of Instagram (and most social media platforms) is to make users happy and let them enjoy the experience. As brands on Instagram (and social media), I think we can do a lot to create great experiences for our followers — which will, in turn, benefit ourselves.

I’d love to learn from you, too! What’s your strategy on Instagram? Is anything in particular that is working well for you on Instagram? Thanks.

Your Business Needs Search Engine Optimisation

You have likely heard highly rated Internet marketers say over and over that your small business needs SEO. It is very probable that you get a daily drip of emails from SEO businesses with the aim of marketing their services to you. But very rarely do you hear WHY your business needs Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation, SEO for short, certainly plays a major role in the online success of your business. It adds to favourable search rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing and assists in the branding of your business as well. We have listed below the reasons your business should invest marketing pounds into being ranked favourably in the organic search results whether that be on a local level or a national level.

1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GET A HIGH ROI FROM SEO

No other Internet marketing strategy yields a return comparable to SEO. All to often, an SME won’t gain noteworthy success with SEO because they use the services of an inexperienced SEO agency or one that just outsources the work. Low-quality companies have very little idea when it comes to the requirements of a successful SEO campaign. They are lacking when it comes to delivering results.

In spite of that, when done in the right way, SEO is more than effective when sending constant organic traffic (website visitors) to your business website. The same amount of traffic would cost you an enormous amount of money if you paid for it through a paid search marketing campaign such as Google Ads.

2. YOU CAN BET YOUR COMPETITORS ALREADY DO IT

A large number of small to medium sized businesses erroneously presume that SEO is required only until top rankings are achieved. However, this belief is not accurate. When your business website reaches a Page 1 ranking in Google, it needs even more SEO work to continue to keep this ranking. In fact, you need to aim to improve your rankings further.

Always keep in mind that your competition are also trying every trick in the book to get these top positions in the search engines too. Hence, you need to step your game up and keep ahead of that competition. If you relax and take your foot off the gas, your competitors will take over these top spots. They will gain your business website’s portion of website traffic at the same time. People that would have visited your website will now visit your competitors website instead.

In short, you need to comprehend that by sitting back, you allow your competitors to take your share of the web traffic in your industry. Disregarding SEO is equal to giving your website visitors and potential customers to your competitors without putting up so much as a fight.

3. YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS ARE USING MOBILE DEVICES

As is stands, mobile website traffic has increased sharply and outpaced the traffic via desktops and laptops. SEO ensures that your business becomes more visible to customers who are busy searching online for the products or services your business offers.

Local search engine optimisation (Local SEO) makes it easier for local customers to find your business in the search engines. These favourable search results can result in telephone calls, visits to your shop or offices, or even on-the-spot online purchases via your eCommerce website. Mobile search is undoubtedly the future of search. Make sure your business website is equipped for mobile search.

4. Search Engine Optimisation IS HERE TO STAY

SEO is not going away. What is required is for your business to adapt over time as SEO develops. The companies that have a firm grasp on the ever changing landscape of SEO adapt continuously to it without so much as a stutter. In the past 10 years, Google have punished websites utilising spammy link building techniques. Now, the focus is firmly on developing top-drawer website content and thus earning links from relevant and authority websites.

The core attributes of SEO will always stay the same. In spite of that, the techniques to keep top rankings will change all the time. In consequence, SEO will stay around for as long as the Internet remains as important as is currently does to businesses and individuals. Thus, it’s imperative that you get involved in SEO right now instead of remaining on the sidelines and allowing your competitors to gain your share of what could easily be your website traffic and potential customers.

5. EVERYONE SEARCHES FOR BUSINESS SERVICES AND PRODUCTS ONLINE

Having an SEO campaign in place enables you to increase the chance of potential customers trying to find your business website and engaging with your business. Try to think from your customer’s point of view and understand how extremely important the Internet has become to your customers.

Any person can now search for a business online and consequently review that business, review their products and services, and even buy directly from that business. And all of this can be done from that persons home or even on the go by means of a mobile device. For those reasons and if you wish customers could easily find your business online, you need Search Engine Optimisation, SEO.

IN SUMMARY

To enable your potential customers to find your small business online, your business website requires a powerful SEO strategy to pull in organic search traffic. In this day and age, SEO is more of a branding game and less of a marketing strategy. Given Google’s ongoing advancements in their search engines’ algorithms, it’s important to invest in a robust, SEO Internet campaign. Make sure you employ the services of an experienced SEO consultant to propel your small business website to page 1 in the search engines and to keep it there.

For the best SEO marketing tools take a look right here!!

Why Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

For business to business social networking, LinkedIn is where the action is!

LinkedIn is the most professional of the major social networking sites, used by over 450 million business professionals worldwide. Since it is largely focused on business to business connections, LinkedIn should be a big part of your social media marketing strategy.

Most people only use LinkedIn as an online resume. To take LinkedIn to the next level and use it as a marketing tool, put the following recommendations into action.

How Important Is Your LinkedIn Profile?

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive resume on steroids. In addition, to information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with the following Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase your expertise:

Status Updates: One of the best ways to keep your connections informed about your happenings is by posting ‘status updates.’ Status updates are brief statements that you feel your connections will find useful. In addition, they can include links to related content on your Website or third-party Websites. To appear active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates on a regular basis.

Posts: LinkedIn allows you to easily publish articles (or posts) to your profile. This is a great way to establish yourself as a though leader getting exposure to your LinkedIn community.

Videos and Presentations: If you post PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare or videos to YouTube, you can display these valuable content items in your LinkedIn profile.

Recommendations and Endorsements: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request recommendations and endorsements from your connections. A collection of glowing recommendations that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly enhance your profile.

Publications: If you wrote and published traditional books or e-books, you can highlight these publications with active links so connections can view and purchase them.

Projects: If you have successful projects you want to highlight, post your projects including a description, link and the team members you worked with.

Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Community Features

In addition to your profile, LinkedIn provides a number of community features that allow you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:

Groups: LinkedIn Groups help you stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise. Participating in LinkedIn Groups by adding value to the discussion is a great way to expand your circle of influence.

Company Pages: Company Pages are a powerful research tool that you can use to find companies to do business with or research competitors. In addition, you can create a Page for your company to showcase your expertise. You can publish your company’s description, headquarters address and Website address. To further your company page’s value, you can post targeted jobs, recruitment videos, information about products and services and company images.

LinkedIn The Business Building Tool

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool to help you grow your business and catapult your career. The following strategies will help you use this resource to produce results:

Brand Your LinkedIn Address: When you create a LinkedIn profile, it will create a LinkedIn Web address that will appear like a collection of odd letters and addresses. LinkedIn will let you customize this address to create a branded LinkedIn address with your name.

Become an Recognised Expert: By actively participating in LinkedIn group discussions and publishing thoughtful posts on a regular basis, you have an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader.

Warm Call Sales Prospects: If you’re in sales, you can use LinkedIn as a ‘warm calling’ tool. If there is a prospect you want to reach, you can easily find them on LinkedIn and see how you are connected to them. If you have an active list of LinkedIn connections, you are most likely only two or three connections away from the prospect. Use LinkedIn’s introduction features to ask one of your connections for an introduction.

Find Rock Star Employees: Successful business people are always looking to find valuable employees that will ensure their future success. LinkedIn provides you with an easy place to find them. You’ll have access to a pool of talented individuals within your LinkedIn groups. You can also post a job directly on LinkedIn to attract a talented set of candidates.

Keep Your Connections Current: Whenever you meet someone, connect with them on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to expand your influence and keep connections up to speed on your accomplishments.

7 Ways To Increase Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

If you are thinking about starting a blog or have been blogging for many years but the traffic and engagement or even sales have reached a grinding halt, it could well be time for you to transform your social media marketing strategy.

It is always a great idea to keep things fresh and up to date when creating a social media marketing strategy. There are a few things you can do in order to keep on top of new trends and increase engagement from your peers.

Why is social media marketing important for a blogger?

As a new or seasoned blogger, it’s important for you to create a community around your blog. Your community is going to be made up of loyal readers, people who share your content, and those who purchase products or services consistently.

Social media is the bridge that connects your audience with your content.

Having a solid social media marketing strategy is going to not only increase traffic and engagement, but it will also increase your income.

Check out the following ways to transforming your social media marketing strategy if you are ready to:

Increase your blog traffic.

See better engagement across social media and on your blog

Build a supportive and loyal community of readers and buyers

1. Set Defined Goals

Before you can even begin mapping out your social media marketing strategy, you have to set clear and well defined goals. You need to know exactly where you are and where you want to go.

Think of your goals as your GPS. Document your starting place and where you want to end. For example, I am starting with a group of 100 people in my Facebook group and I’d like to have 1,000 by the end of the year. Having defined goals will eliminate the guesswork and you’ll also have to opportunity to see just how much you’ve grown over time.

2. Deliver Content Wisely

Your audience’s problems are not only key to your content marketing strategy but also your social media strategy.

You have to not only provide great content, but provide great content in a way that your audience can best receive it. If your target audience is young male body builders, you may best reach them with live videos or short video clips that they can watch while at the gym versus long wordy posts.

Ensuring that what you are creating is received in the best way possible by your audience is going to increase engagement greatly.

3. Ask Questions

Such a simple thing is often overlooked. Simply asking questions at the end of social media posts can really increase engagement and even shares. Many of the post that do well for me are concluded with a question.

You can even do things to get your audience more involved: for example, asking them to tag a friend or share their favorites, or top things related to your post topic.

4. Share Content from Top Influencers

This can really help increase engagement. You should already be sharing 80% of others’ content, but many people are not sure what to share or whose content to share.

Try taking a look at some of the content of the top influencers within your niche. By sharing their content, you are showing your audience that they can trust you because you are willing to reach outside of your own work to connect them to useful content. When your audience feels that they can trust what you share, they begin to trust you and your brand and will be more willing to interact and engage with your content.

5. Focus on What Works For You

Just because you see others doing well on Facebook, doesn’t mean Facebook is for you or your blog.

Be sure to check your analytics and take note of which social media platforms are driving the most engaging traffic. I get a lot of traffic from Facebook because of the promotional groups I participate in. This isn’t engaging traffic.

Wherever you are getting organic traffic, that’s where you should focus your efforts. Every platform isn’t designed for every blog or blogger. Go where your audience is. My audience is made up of moms so Pinterest is a great platform to focus my efforts on. Focus on what works best for you, not on what others say you should focus on.

6. Be Transparent

It’s okay to be open with your audience. You don’t have to give everything away, but you should share some personal moments from time to time with your audience.

Social media allows us to connect with our audience in a more personable way. Use it to make sure you are creating that connection. Post a photo of your dog lying next to you while you work, share a story about a time you failed in your business, things like that not only connect us, but humanize our brands.

When your audience gets to learn more about the real you, they will want to engage and connect with you more.

7. Always Link to a Product

Whether it’s paid or free, you should always be sending your audience to some sort of product or service.

You want to give value in your posts and videos but always send them to get more. Every interaction is an opportunity. Many of us are afraid to promote ourselves, but if this is your livelihood, then you have to do more.

Link to opt-ins or paid products or services in your bios, on Pinterest, on live videos, within Facebook groups, on Twitter, everywhere. Remember, social media is a bridge. Use that bridge to get your audience to your blog, business, products, and services.

Social media is ever-changing. But you can always do these things to help you stay relevant and keep your audience engaged with your content.

Be sure to be social and actively respond and connect with your audience. Many people lose support by failing to respond to messages or comments. Even a simple, “thank you for sharing” goes a long way.

Whatever challenges you face in the world of social media marketing, remember to focus on what works best for you and what will allow you to best connect with your audience.

How Good Are Your email Subject Lines

Email marketing is a must for any brick and mortar business operating today. It’s still uncomfortable though, for many business owners. While writing those riveting, attention grabbing email subject lines might read more like “Mission Impossible” for you today, once you have finished reading this, you will be ready to make ground breaking subject lines of your own for your next email marketing campaign.

Anatomy of a Killer email Subject Line

In order to create email subject lines that grab reader’s attention, you have to first think like a reader. Go through your email inbox and think about the headlines filtering through it on any given day. What does it take to make you click?

Chances are the subject lines did one of these things in order to make you want to click.

1.Promised a solution to a problem.
2.Conveyed a sense of urgency.
3.Created a little controversy.
4.Asked a question that piqued your interests.
5.Was witty.

All of these things make great subject line ideas and can help you get your emails opened and read faster and by more members of your target audience. But why do they work?

Obviously, people who have specific problems on your email lists are likely to open up if you’re promising a solution to their problems. That’s why it’s important to keep the email subject lines relevant to your audience.

A sense of urgency often works because no one wants to feel as though they are missing out on the next big thing. This means they’ll open and click and just to make sure they’re not going to miss out on something that matters to them.

Controversy sells! It’s as simple as that. While you don’t want to go so controversial that your turn your audience off, it never hurts to start a good conversation or debate as long as you are, once again, keeping it relevant. The goal of email marketing, after all, is to get people to buy what you have to sell.

Piquing interests gets a little more difficult unless you know your audience very well. Chances are what one person finds interesting may not appeal to others on the same level. However, if you present it as a bit of a mystery, you might have them hooked.

Witty is great. It gets attention and garners interest on its own. It also offers readers the hope this this will not be some dry boring sales pitch on your behalf.
At the end of the day, you’re left with a handful of possibilities and your own talents to attract readers and clicks. These ideas will help get your brain going, but the perfect subject line needs a little more to make it work. Try these tips for size.

Be unique. Don’t follow the same trends others in your inbox have tried.
Be specific. Don’t be so vague that your readers aren’t sure what you’re actually talking about.
Be useful. Reward your audience with useful information that matters to them.
Finally, creating those riveting email subject lines is only half the battle. You must follow through with the subject line promises or you risk breaking faith with your audience and losing subscribers.

Dominate Your Niche In 50 Steps

Creating a site that gets a lot of daily traffic is something that needs to be maintained by consistently updating your website with great content and with the best SEO practices in mind. That’s why we’ve created this list of 50 things to keep in mind when trying to dominate your niche.

Creating a site that stands out on the web that gets hundreds of thousands of page views a month might not come across as an easy task, but by creating an awesome website with great content, it is an achievement that can most certainly be worked towards by anyone.

Follow these rules, and hopefully you’ll see plenty of progress and success in the months and years to come. Keeping content, usability, navigation, and more in mind, there are many avenues and methods that can be taken to help put you, your brand, and site, steps above the competition!

1. Create The Best Content To Dominate Your niche

There’s no better or more obvious way to dominate your niche then by creating the world’s best content. The better your content is, the better rankings and search engine positions your likely to see. But how do you create the best content? Don’t worry in this list, we made sure to add plenty of steps that can be taken to ensure the likelihood of better content being posted onto your site. One of which is by hiring more expert writers for your site.

2. Create The Best Blog Post Titles

Creating the best titles for your posts is one step that can be taken to ensure better content delivery. There are many benefits to focusing on your blog post titles such as better SEO rankings, as well as potentially longer times being spent on your site. Creating titles that are simple, yet invoke curiosity and explain what your content is about is a great first step to better blog post titles.

3. Ensure Your Site Loads Quickly

Ensuring that your website loads up quickly should be a given among most bloggers and webmasters. But when we get so involved in creating our website and content, load times can be totally forgotten or overlooked. To ensure your website loads up more quickly, minimize the number of plugins you use and use a theme optimized for SEO.

4. Make Your Website User Engaging

User engagement can play a huge factor for visitors coming to your site and how they perceive your website. By allowing individuals to post comments, and replying to those comments can allow for an increase in search term keywords, while providing a better and more helpful experience by users coming to your site.

5. Post Content More Often

You might see this method being used once or twice in this list and that’s because of its high importance to maintaining your site and establishing your brand online. The more content being posted on your site, the more of a presence you’re likely to have online and the better your reputation could become.

6. Offer a Product Or Service Not Offered By Anyone Else

Whether you’re an e-commerce site, a site that offers a service, or a blogger, offering something else that no one in your niche is offering can give you a huge advantage over your competitors. This could be anything from providing 24/7 help or promoting a product line that the online community in your niche feels so obliged to share with everyone else. Whatever it is, offer something no on else is offering to become the dominant player in your niche.

7. Make Your Site Stand Out On Social Media

Sites that stand out or make their mark on social media can provide your website with a boost in awareness, reputation, and even credibility. The more your website gets shared on social media, the more notice your website will receive. Focus on 1 or 2 major social media networks at first, then expand to others if possible. Use these networks as a method for branding your website and becoming known as a reputable source in your niche.

8. Brand Your Business & Website

Don’t just create a business or a website. Instead, you should always to attempt to create a brand that people will come to know and love. To better brand your business and or website, ensure that the website and content your posting has a purpose for your overall message.

9. Ensure You Have a Domain That Stands Out

Make sure you’re choosing a domain that is brand-able, and really stands out in your niche. Think of what people are more likely to click on when they see your future website listed on the first page or two of Google. Here is a small guide we created to help you create that perfect domain.

10. Use The Best Images

Using awesome images can have a major positive affect on your brand. If possible, try to capture and post some of these images yourself, instead of having to use stock photo sites every time. Taking the images yourself can go a long way in enhancing your website’s brand and credibility.

11. Create a Helpful Website To Dominate Your niche

Make sure individuals in your niche can find almost all the information they are looking for. All the questions relative to a product or service in your niche, should be answered by the content posted on your website, if you truly want to become a dominate player in your niche.

12. Avoid & Minimize Distractions Like Ads

The last thing on your mind when it comes to your website should be ad placement. That’s not to say you can’t have any. Just don’t make placing more ads within your content a priority. That’s not what leads to a great and successful site and can in-fact, compromise your long-term or future potential. Keep your advertisements or links as non-intrusive as possible.

13. Have a Good Variety Of Content

Don’t only ensure that you are posting consistently, but also ensure the content you posts comes in variety. This refrains your website from becoming overly repetitive and can give repeat visitors something new to look forward to daily.

14. Make Sure Your Website Is Well-Organised

A well-organized website will simply make your website easier to understand as a whole. To ensure better organization, use a menu structure and category hierarchy that makes sense. Also, make sure the categories being used are smaller sub-niche topics people in that niche are constantly searching for. That will make finding certain blog posts on your site easier than ever and ensure a much better user experience.

15. Become The Go To Resource

If you become the resource that everyone wants to visit in your niche, you can undoubtedly become a more dominant player in your niche. In order to become that go to resource, you need to ensure your website has content on many of the subjects and topics available in your niche. You should also ensure that content is being written with uniqueness and originality in mind.

16. Write Content No One Else Has Thought Of

Creating a website that promotes content creativity can help your site stand out in other ways. If you look at BuzzFeed for example, they’re actually a source of news who present their content in a much more engaging and trendy way. This is all due to the way they create their content and blog post titles.

17. Focus On The Details

Make sure you’re always focusing on the smaller details of the site. Aspects like font, color, headings, and more, can truly make or break your website’s short and long-term potential.

18. Write Lengthier Content, Guides, & How To’s

Ensuring there is a variety of content on your site can be made easy by creating really long and in-depth content that answers every question on that topic. Even though this content will be longer to create, its long-term rewards in terms of traffic, rankings, and credibility, will make it all worth it in the end. Visitors could also consistently be coming back to that content just as a reference or for getting an answer to a specific question.

19. Cover Everything Your niche Has To Offer

Don’t leave any stone un-turned, if you truly want to become the dominant player in your niche. If we take a look at CNN or FoxNews for practical purposes, we’ll find that the major news outlet covers absolutely every international news story they can on a constant basis. This means if you want to dominate your niche, constantly work towards filling your site up with more and more helpful content, that people can’t get enough of.

20. Grow Your Site With Age & Be Patient

Another important step towards dominating your niche, both now and in the future, is to allow your site to grow with age and practice patience. No website grows to its ultimate form overnight. It’s a process where the more content you add to your site, the more seeds you inherently plant for creating a more dominant online presence.

21. Post Often & Be Consistent

If you’re willing to let months go by without posting, you can never expect to be the dominant site in your niche. This is because there is a much greater likeliness your competitors are consistently posting. And if that’s happening, you need to make sure you’re on that same level or higher. Otherwise, why should your site be considered better or greater than theirs?

22. Hire Expert Authors To Write For You

One thing you can do as your site grows and grows is work on hiring more authoritative voices to write for your blog. This can essentially allow your website to become more of a resource for visitors who grow an increasing trust for the kind of content you publish.

23. Become An Authoritative & Trustworthy Source

Trustworthy sources will always achieve some of the highest rankings. But to build a website that established those two traits takes time and patience. For now, ensure the content or form of your content being posted is consistently being improved.

24. Get Noticed By Bigger Brands & News Outlets

Getting noticed by bigger brands and news sources truly means you’re headed in the right direction and can be a positive sign you’re posting the right kind of content. This means you should always create content other websites and brands are looking to share on their own.

25. Make Your Site & Content Reflective Of The niche Today

To become a bigger and better brand in your niche, ensure that the content of your site reflects how that niche is currently being perceived. It’s important to note that niches always go through changes overtime and it’s important for your website to reflect that. Technology changes, new products come out, newer innovations, etc.. Always try and capitalize on these topics trending in your niche.

26. Interlink To All Your Posts

By interlinking to your posts, you’re essentially creating an encyclopedia in its own way that can be used as a helpful online resource by visitors. Your ultimate goal in any niche is to help others. Interlinking to your posts therefore, is an SEO strategy that makes sense.

27. Write Content That Solves Problems

Seek out the problems individuals are having in your niche and create content that solves those problems. This will ensure better long-term SEO rankings and better awareness by visitors. Supplement your content with longer how to guides and tutorials that solve these long sought-out issues.

28. Create Lists Like This One

Creating lists is a popular method big brands like BuzzFeed and many others use to get the attention of visitors. They’re easier to read, browse through, and can be more fun to engage with. That’s because lists are a very straight-forward way of digesting many different kinds of content.

29. Learn To Outsource Various Tasks

Don’t try and manage all your web tasks alone. Instead, always work on building and managing a team who can take on some of these tasks for you, even if you can’t see the short-term profitability in doing so. This could lead to a better and more trusted brand over-time, by allowing you to focus on your most important tasks for long-term website growth.

30. Ensure Your Site Has a Contact Page

These three sections can ensure your website is more of a legitimate resource than others. By allowing visitors to contact you or know more about you, your brand, and vision can put you a step above other competitors who may have failed to do so. Ensuring visitors can contact you can further help your brand and promote more word-of-mouth advertising by those your brand has helped.

31. Make Your Content More Thorough

There are some types of content that simply require details and thoroughness. Always ensure that if you’re choosing a topic to write on, you cover all the bases, especially if that topic seems to require it more than others.

32. Supplement Content With Videos & YouTube

One way to ensure better variety and addition of content is by supplementing your content with YouTube videos. This can allow you to present content in a much more appealing way and allow you to ‘act out’ the content instead of writing it down for everyone to read. It can essentially also lead you to building a brand potentially twice as strong by creating both a YouTube and Google or search engine presence.

33. Ensure Website Is Mobile-Friendly

This is a fairly easy, basic, and straight-forward SEO strategy that will lead to better rankings and help you dominate your niche. For most, this is a one and done strategy that requires your theme to be mobile friendly. To ensure your website is mobile friendly, simply check out your website’s mobile status in Google Search Console.

34. Ensure Smooth Website Navigation

Focusing on your user experience is one great way to stand above the competition. Ensure smoother and better website navigation by adding a related content widget to the end of your posts. This increases the likeliness users will continue to visit other blog posts on your site. Provide related content you feel you’re targeted audience is interested in reading for a better user experience.

35. Focus On niche-Specific Keywords

For most bloggers, focusing on niche-specific keywords should be a given. Always make it your jobs, as an SEO enthusiast, to find both short and long-tail keywords you can base most of your content off of. These are the search terms people in that niche are searching for. The more keywords you can capitalize on and base great content off of, the more likely you’ll be found in the search engines.

36. Don’t Limit The Type Of Content You Post

As mentioned, mix up your content often. Never stick to just one kind of post as it’ll be much harder for your website to reach the majority of your audience. Types of content you can focus on include:

Reviews
Videos
Tutorials
Guides
How To
Opinionated
Lists

37. Consider Creating a Forum

Many of the dominant players in their respective niche have integrated a forum into their website. This is something you should only consider if it makes sense doing so and you feel is something you can manage or have a desire to achieve. Top websites like WarriorForum.com have built much of their reputation based on their forum alone.

38. Offer Lower Prices Or Higher Quality

One of the most important steps you can take if you’re an e-commerce site is to offer lower priced products than your competitor. Otherwise known as USP or unique selling proposition, this will give customers a reason to come back to your site over others. Whether it’s a higher quality product, lower priced product, or easier shipping and services, it’s important to find what part of your service will stand out more-so than others.

39. Maintain a Stellar Online Reputation

Maintaining a great online reputation for your brand is a task that comes along with any and every website. You want people to discuss your website in a positive light. The bigger your website and brand grows, the more important this task becomes. The more positively people talk about your website, the more likely it is to grow in popularity across the internet.

40. Focus On Community Involvement

Community involvement is really what provides proof that your website has content worth reading. Similar to engagement on YouTube videos that provide credibility for that video, same goes for websites. Whether its comments or shares, always try and focus increasing involvement in your community and your niche, as this will help with brand awareness and recognition as well. Comment plugins like Disqus can also go a long way in encouraging more users to get involved in the discussion, while blog commenting is another great way to bond relationships within your niche and keep you up on hot topics.

41. Add Social Media Sharing Links

Social media sharing is another great way to boost your website’s popularity and a method that allows your visitors to become more engaged with your website. Make sharing across social media sharing and entice people to share with easy-to-use links and with content that truly helps them. With one share leading to another, it can be hard to imagine just how fast your website could spread or grow on social media, on social media alone.

42. Ensure All Your Content Is Fully Readable

Readability is a huge and differentiating factor from one niche site to the next. It’s so important to emphasize your website’s readability and in placing it as a top priority for your website. Many visitors will simply leave a site because they had trouble reading the first sentence or two. Take the extra step to ensure you have some of the best readable fonts across other sites in your niche. This not only refers to plain paragraph text, but text in your titles, headings, and menu as well.

43. Create Audio Podcasts

One method that can truly allow you to dominate your niche is by creating audio podcasts. If you don’t prefer getting on camera or creating YouTube videos, one way to implement more content variety is by getting on a microphone and getting in a discussion over a topic in your niche. This can create some awesome debate or controversy in your niche and get noticed way more often. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income utilizes this method quite a bit and has grown to incredible new heights over the past decade.

44. Create a Newsletter To Dominate Your niche

Creating a newsletter for your website is an excellent way to grow an audience you know wants to hear from you. With your daily newsletter reaching the inbox of hopefully, thousands of subscribers, you can in-turn build your brand to a new height by constantly looking for new ways to help or entertain them. With a list, you now have a resource at your hand that you can work on using to spread the power of your brand even further.

45. Revise Old & Outdated Posts

As a blogger and webmaster, it’s always important your website doesn’t contain outdated information, especially if you’re aware of it. Every few months, go back to old posts just to make sure the information is accurate and reflects what is going on currently. If you have the extra time, consider sprucing up older posts you feel could be improved.

46. Keep An Eye On Rankings

If you’re looking to take your job seriously, keep an eye out for rankings. There are a number of ways you can do this to keep track of your progress, while placing markers on future goals. One way is by simply using Google Search Console to look at movement in keyword positions, impressions, and clicks. You might also decide to hire a third party service to keep track of this for you like the keyword tool Jaaxy or the all-in-one toolkit, SEMrush.com.

47. Watch For New Competitors

You should never panic whenever you see a few new competitors entering your niche. This is an inevitable occurrence that can’t be avoided and should not cause you to worry. Because your site has aged longer and gained more trust overtime, new competitors shouldn’t come as a threat. Instead, use them to see what new ideas they are implementing in the niche to see if it can inspire any new ideas for you.

48. Keep Your Site Updated

By consistently keeping your site updated and by adding new content to your site overtime, you can be sure to maintain both short and long-term rankings. This can help keep and maintain current rankings for your site and ensure potential future growth. Keeping your site updated is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your website’s rankings and contribute to growth for sites that are just starting.

49. Create Resources & Citations For Your Blog

One great strategy to keep visitors returning to your blog is by creating a resource section for your blog. With this page, you can include any tools, websites, or services you use that helps solve a problem within your niche. This is further useful as it compiles and lists everything being used by yourself in one easy to visit section on your blog or website.

In addition, make sure you create a resource or citations section at the end of blog posts that need them to instill more authority and trust. Wikipedia.org for example, never fails to include a citation/resource section at the end of their posts, turning them into a very credible source.

50. Follow The Steps In This List Often!

The last thing you want to do to truly dominate your niche is to follow the steps within this list often. Choose new steps or strategies to implement and work on over a course of a few months or more. This will allow you to grow your website to new heights, especially if you find that step takes more courage than others.

Whether that means hiring new individuals to join your team, creating 2,000+ worded readable content, getting on camera or microphone to stir a debate, or improving your keyword research, there are a never-ending amount of steps you can take to dominate your niche.

So why not start on your next plan or step today to dominate your niche?

Updating WordPress

Are you wondering whether updating WordPress to the latest version is the best idea?

Would you like to know the pros and cons of updating WordPress?

In this article, we will explain why it is crucial that you always use the latest version of WordPress as well as show you how to properly update WordPress.

WordPress is free, and it is developed by a community of developers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and enhance existing features to stay up to date with new industry standards.
So in other words, when you do not update your WordPress site, you are risking your website security and missing out on new features / improvements.

Let’s take a look at pros and cons of updating WordPress.

1. Security

Security is arguably the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date.
WordPress currently powers 23% of all websites in the world. Due to it’s immense popularity, WordPress is a popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves, and wanna be hackers.

Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to learn and improve it. However it also means that hackers can study it too and find ways to break into websites.

Now the good part is that not all hackers are bad. There are a lot more good hackers than bad ones which means that security experts around the world can study the code and properly report security bugs / fixes. Every time a security vulnerability is reported, the core WordPress team works diligently to release an update that fixes the issue.

This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities. Hackers can search for websites running the older version, and you may become a victim of a sophisticated attack.

Not just WordPress itself, plugins can also be exploited by hackers. You need to make sure that all your WordPress plugins, themes, and the core itself is always up to date.

2. Cool New Features

Each major WordPress release comes with new features and changes to the software. For example, WordPress 4.0 came with improved plugin install experience, 4.1 introduced inline image editing, and 4.2 came with faster plugin updates.
WordPress 4.2 introduced faster plugin updates.

Now if you were using an older version of WordPress, then your WordPress experience would be a lot different than someone using the latest version.
You will have trouble finding WordPress help online because you are using an older version. Users on WordPress support forums will assume that you are using the latest version of WordPress.

3. Speed

Each new WordPress version improves performance. WordPress developers are always trying to make things faster. Each new release comes with several performance improvements that makes WordPress run faster and more efficient.

For example, WordPress 4.2 improved JS performance for navigation menus, and WordPress 4.1 improved complex queries which helped with performance of sites using those queries.

Since speed is a huge factor in SEO, you should definitely keep your WordPress updated to ensure maximum performance benefits.

4. Bug Fixes

Older WordPress versions may have bugs. Despite the rigorous testing of major WordPress releases, sometimes bugs may slip through the cracks. That’s why there are timely minor WordPress releases (the ones with X.X.X) to account for that. For example, the most recent WordPress 4.2.3 update fixed 20 bugs from the 4.2 release.

Now if you go to WordPress support forums asking for help, the first advice you will get is to update WordPress because that may fix the issue. If you insist on not updating WordPress, then you will be unable to receive help.

5. Compatibility (or NOT)

Often plugin and theme developers coordinate their updates with major WordPress releases to ensure they’re taking advantage of newly available features and enhancements.

However in some cases, an update can break your existing WordPress plugins if they weren’t following the best practices and coding standards.

This is why it is crucial that you keep regular WordPress backups. To sum this up, the only downside is that in some rare cases your site will break. However the upside is that you have:

A. Improved WordPress security
B. Cool new WordPress features
C. Faster WordPress experience
D. A bug free WordPress website
E. Better compatibility

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your WordPress site updated, let’s take a look at how to update WordPress.

How to Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

Updating your WordPress core, plugins, and themes whenever there is a new update for them is fairly easy. WordPress comes with a built-in update notification system. It highlights the number of available updates when you log into your WordPress dashboard.

All you need to do is visit Dashboard » Updates page and install those updates. This is a one-click process.

However since many website owners do not login to their WordPress dashboard daily, they may not even know that there is an update available for days. Thankfully, you have a few options.

If you’re using WordPress 3.7 or above, then automatic updates are turned on for minor releases (which are reserved for security and bugfixes). You can turn on automatic updates for major releases, plugins as well as themes.
Alternatively, you can get email notifications when there is a new update for your WordPress site.

Get Email Notifications for Updates in WordPress

When you’re busy running your business, logging into your site to check for updates is usually the last thing on your mind. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could get an email notification whenever there is an update on your WordPress sites?
Well that’s possible.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. Upon activation, visit Settings » Updates Notifier to configure the plugin settings.

WordPress update notification plugin settings

This plugin uses WordPress cron to check your site for updates every hour. You can change that to once or twice daily. When there is a new update available, this plugin will send you an email notification.

By default it checks for WordPress core update, plugin updates, and theme updates. All you need to do is click on save settings with test email button.

How Much Traffic Does a Website Get

 When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern.

When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay.

Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.

Below you will discover 10 ways to see how much traffic does a website get.

1. Alexa Ranking

The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:

Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

  1. If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
  2. If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.
  3. If you use Internet Explorer, switch to Chrome. If you insist, you can download the Alexa Toolbar.

Alexa’s reliability is shaky, some argue that it’s worthless so it’s important to consider other metrics.

2. Compete.com

Compete.com is like Alexa, except they pull their stats from multiple sources and it’s only based on U.S. traffic.

Based on checking my sites and Income Diary, the “Unique Visitors” stat that it generates is much lower than the actual traffic.

3. SimilarWeb.com

SimilarWeb is another website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa and Compete, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

ID SimilarWebThe main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. FeedCompare.com

Feed Compare is a neat tool that lets you see how many RSS subscribers a website has as long as they use FeedBurner.

Step 1: Find the FeedBurner ID for a blog you’d like to check:

SethsMainBlog Feedburner
Most sites should link directly to their RSS feed on FeedBurner. Look for the orange icon.

Step 2: Put the FeedBurner ID i­nto Feed Compare’s tool.

Seth Godin Feed Compare
As you can see, Seth Godin has over 500,000 subscribers and it grew 1,500 in one day.

5. SEMRush.com

A great tool for website based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:

SEMRush Income Diary
As you see, Michael ranks 1st for “internet businesses,” 4th for “how to make money blogging,” and 6th for “how to make money online.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 20,000 times per month.

As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.

6. YouTube or Vimeo Views

If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Video
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Views
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.

7. Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

8. Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Total Comment Counts

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.

9. Check their Archives

In the beginning, lots of bloggers share all of their stats about how much traffic their site is getting and where this traffic is coming from. As the blog grows, this information becomes more and more valuable so most bloggers stop sharing it.

If you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.

A few sites, like ThinkTraffic.net, choose to publish traffic reports every month because those stats are very relevant to their audiences.

10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages

By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.

If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.

If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.

WPBeginner on BuySellAds

The Final Word

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic does a website site get?