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How To Get More Followers On Instagram: 22 Tips To Try

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How To Get More Followers On Instagram: 22 Tips To Try

Are you looking to get more followers on Instagram, but don’t know where to start?

There are many ways to increase your followers on Instagram – some people buy them or boost posts, but these tactics only work temporarily, and can backfire over time.

Instagram has become the go-to social media network for sharing photos and videos with more than 2 billion active users today.

As a result, Instagram marketing and having a high follower count can boost exposure and visibility for businesses looking to reach their target audience.

Here are 22 strategies to get more followers on Instagram without breaking the bank. From increasing likes to posting high-quality images, all of these tips are tried and tested:

1. Have A Plan & Create A Content Calendar Full Of Great Ideas

We usually focus on ideas, delivery, and optimization when we create great content.

It should be no different when we share photos and videos on a business or brand’s Instagram account.

It’s important to take time to brainstorm engaging content ideas that align with seasons, holidays, your business’ upcoming events, and (most importantly) your overall traffic and sales goals.

Although, you can still be flexible and post spontaneously as ideas come to you.

But having a library of ideas and a (tentative) schedule will keep you ahead of the game instead of scrambling for something to post.

And depending on your business, you could post several times a day or several times a week.

So, make an Instagram content plan and stick to it.

2. Only Post Well-Composed Images & Videos

Businesses should only use high-quality photos and videos when posting to Instagram.

By high-quality (I mean crystal-clear) unpixellated shots. Instagram, above all else, is a visual platform.

Businesses can’t post blurry photos or images that have part of the image cut off.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be to a National Geographic standard. It just needs to be in focus.

Low-quality content won’t get engagement and might even cost you some followers.

3. Experiment With Different Filters & Dimensions

Just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with filters and use different dimensions.

In fact, you should use filters on your content.

The more creative and original your photos are, the more likely people will share and follow your account.

You could also download photo editing apps to touch up your photos.

When it comes to dimensions, don’t feel relegated to the square – use the landscape and portrait options.

4. Use Instagram Analytics To Feed Your Persona Research

With an Instagram business account (which is free), you’ll have access to analytics that shows when your audience is most active.

Use that data to optimize your posting schedule.

Instagram also gives you insights into your audience’s age, gender, and location breakdown, which can be a starting point for your customer persona research.

5. Tag People In Your Photos Who Interact With Your Brand

Another way to be discovered by people who aren’t following you is to tag relevant accounts so that you show up in their tagged feed.

If you own a fitness studio, you could take a group shot after a Body Pump class and tag every person in the photo. Then it’ll populate all their tagged feeds.

Their followers will see the post and discover your studio.

But this strategy also applies to other brand and business accounts.

If you can share the spotlight and tag others, do so. It’ll circle back to bring you more Instagram followers and leads.

6. Optimize Your Instagram Bio With Branded Hashtags & CTAs

Your Insta bio should be used to feature branded hashtags, a link, and a call-to-action, which is crucial when looking for new Instagram users.

This section lets users discover who you or your brand are and whether they will follow you.

But don’t sound desperate or come across as spammy.

You want to let users know who you are and why they should follow you.

Make sure this section is updated when needed.

7. Ask Questions In Your Posts & Include CTAs

At the end of each post, include a clear call-to-action or a question to boost engagement.

CTAs include things like:

  • Learn more – link in bio!
  • Double tap if you want to see more videos like this!
  • Follow us so you’ll never miss an update.

You can also post questions. This will help keep your audience engaged, show that you care what your audience wants to see, and give your ideas for what to post in the future.

8. Add A Link To Instagram To Your Website & Email

Make sure existing clients and customers find your Instagram by adding an icon to your social links or embedding Instagram content on your site.

You can also link to your brand’s Instagram account from your email signature.

And use a plugin to feed your latest Instagram posts directly to your website.

This can be a great way to promote your new account to people who regularly visit your site, building your following of clients.

9. Cross-Post Your Instagram Content to Facebook & Twitter

Cross-posting Instagram content to Facebook and Twitter can drive users back to your Instagram profile.

Users who didn’t know you’re on Instagram and following you on other platforms will also discover that you’re on Instagram since the post will note it was shared from Instagram.

You can adjust your settings for every post to cross-post automatically, or you can do it manually for select posts.

10. Run Contests & Campaigns To Increase Brand Reach

Once you’ve started growing a follower base, you can hold contests and campaigns that can attract more users to your page.

For example, you can drive traffic to your website or sell your product by running an inspiring Instagram contest.

You can either ask users to like, comment, use a specific hashtag, or ask your followers to tag a friend.

When you ask users to tag a friend, it exposes your brand and page to more Instagram users online.

It is an effective way to increase your brand awareness and reach and a key hack to get more Instagram followers.

11. Look At What Your Competitors Are Doing

Another best practice for how to get followers on Instagram is to look at what your competitors are doing and learn from it.

Researching their accounts might reveal hashtags you didn’t think of, influencers you have yet to reach out to, or other strategies that can inform your own.

Also, note which of their posts are performing the best – that can serve as another clue as to what can work on your account.

12. Interact Across Instagram (Follow, Like & Comment On Other Posts)

Strategically engage with users who will potentially like your profile.

Practically, that means interacting with potential customers and brand allies by liking, following, and thoughtfully commenting on their posts.

Start with your hashtags: Click on your frequently used, relevant hashtags to discover others posting similar content.

Another good practice is interacting with those who are already following you. You should follow them back and like their content.

The more you engage, the more you’ll show up in others’ feeds and get noticed.

Plus, it shows you’re an authentic, real account who believes in reciprocity!

13. Don’t Use Too Much Text In Your Photos

In general, you want to save the words for your captions. People go to Instagram for visual content.

So, posting a lot of text in an image is outside the norm.

A short, positive quote or statement is excellent but only attempts to fit a partial product description or long message in the image.

If you’re looking for ways to add text to photos, Canva is a free tool that comes in handy.

14. Never Include Logos & Watermarks On Your Images

Stamping your logo onto your Instagram post disrupts your content and users’ experience.

People don’t expect to see logos or watermarks on Instagram posts. While it’s not advised to put a logo on your content, you can include branding.

For example, if you’re a B2B company posting a behind-the-scenes shot of your employees, have them wear shirts with your logo.

Or, if you’re a fashion retailer, you could occasionally include a strategically placed bag in a photo with your store’s name.

Keep it subtle, or you’ll risk being unfollowed.

15. Use The Right Hashtags To Capture New Audiences

Using hashtags on Instagram will get you in front of new audiences searching for the type of content you’re posting, whether they’re following you or not.

If you have a local business, make sure to include local hashtags, as well.

Take the time to research hashtags and find the best ones for your particular content.

It’s easy to identify which hashtags get the most traction.

When you start typing # and your word, Instagram shows how many posts have been done around that word.

Hashtagify.me is also an excellent tool for finding hashtags that are getting much traction.

You can type in your primary hashtag, which will show you its reach, related hashtags and their reach, all the hashtags related to those, and so on.

How Many Hashtags Should I Add To An Instagram Post?

It’s common to stick to five to seven to avoid looking spammy. But you can add up to 30 hashtags.

Where Should I Add The Hashtags On An Instagram Post?

You can add them directly to the post or in a separate comment immediately after posting – it’s an aesthetic choice.

Some users prefer to add single periods separated by line breaks after their caption and then add hashtags.

Whatever you choose to do is fine, but keep it consistent across posts, so you have a streamlined, professional look.

16. Use Geotags To Reach Local Audiences

Another way to get found in by users who aren’t already following you is to geotag your content – but not necessarily with your store location.

Try using your city or a nearby (relevant) landmark that gets many searches.

When people are searching for that nearby location, they can now come across your content.

If your content is doing exceptionally well, it can even be featured at the top of the search.

17. Only Add Links To Your Bio

Any link you include in an Instagram post will not turn into a clickable link – instead, it will just serve as an annoying and lousy experience as your audience tries (and fails) to open it.

Rather than including an unclickable link, direct people to click the link in your bio.

They can easily click that and head to your site to check out all you have to offer.

Be sure to put your link in the “link” section when you edit your bio, and mention that in your post.

And, because space is limited, use a link shortener like Bit.ly to save room.

You can optimize the link further by customizing it, so it’s not a random string of characters but a meaningful word or two.

18. Tag Products In Images & Videos To Drive Conversions

Take advantage of Instagram’s tagging feature if you’re selling a product.

Businesses can tag photos or videos with product links.

To use this feature, you must have a business page on Facebook complete with a product catalog.

It’s a great user experience for users, and it’s a huge win for businesses looking to drive conversions seamlessly.

19. Create A Branded Hashtag For Your Events

Create a branded hashtag for your next event.

It will give your brand exposure and curate a unique stream of all the content from your event and allow others to connect and engage with your brand and other people at the event.

Leading up to the event, you can use your branded hashtag to promote the event, and after the fact, you can use it to post follow-up content.

20. Repost When You Get Tagged To Showcase Positive Reviews

Whenever a user tags your business or brand, get extra traction from it by reposting it directly to your feed.

Showcasing positive reviews and mentions is a great use of Instagram for business.

Make sure to reach out to the user and thank them for their post and ask if you can have permission to repost it (Instagram’s terms of use note that you should obtain written permission to repost a user’s content).

Most likely, the user will agree.

You can repost manually or use an app like Repost for Instagram.

Either way, remember to credit the original poster in the caption and tag them in the photo.

21. Use Instagram Ads To Get In Front Of Your Audience

Consider devoting ad spend to promoting your Instagram profile.

You can create effective carousel ads through Facebook’s Power Editor and promote your content.

If you’re running a specific contest or marketing campaign, you can use Facebook advertising to push the content in front of more audiences.

With the ability to target your customers based on their interests and behaviors in Power Editor, you can ensure that your posts will be viewed by Instagram users who will be interested in your business.

While some of these strategies may work better than others, find the ones that work well with your business or yourself.

22. Get Your Account Verified 

Getting verified on Instagram (or any other social media platform) never hurts your engagement.

The little blue tick gives your brand credibility, trust, and authenticity.

While only some will qualify for Instagram verification, it’s something to strive for.

Getting verified is one more way to stand out from your competition and deliver a trust signal that your business is real.

To be considered, your account must be:

  • Authentic (you must prove you are, in fact, the brand or business you claim to be).
  • Unique (only one account per brand can exist).
  • Public.
  • Complete (with a bio, profile photo, and at least one post).
  • Notable (Instagram must deem your brand “well-known” and “highly searched for”).

Final Takeaways

If you want more followers on Instagram right now, take advantage of these tips.

Make sure you utilize Instagram analytics, research your hashtags, post high-quality images, and create engaging copy and CTA.

If you use these tips as a guide, you’ll set yourself up for success in meeting your Instagram goals.

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Featured Image: SPF/Shutterstock

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New Google Ads Feature: Account-Level Negative Keywords

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New Google Ads Feature: Account-Level Negative Keywords

Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin has announced that account-level negative keywords are now available to Google Ads advertisers worldwide.

The feature, which was first announced last year and has been in testing for several months, allows advertisers to add keywords to exclude traffic from all search and shopping campaigns, as well as the search and shopping portion of Performance Max, for greater brand safety and suitability.

Advertisers can access this feature from the account settings page to ensure their campaigns align with their brand values and target audience.

This is especially important for brands that want to avoid appearing in contexts that may be inappropriate or damaging to their reputation.

In addition to the brand safety benefits, the addition of account-level negative keywords makes the campaign management process more efficient for advertisers.

Instead of adding negative keywords to individual campaigns, advertisers can manage them at the account level, saving time and reducing the chances of human error.

You no longer have to worry about duplicating negative keywords in multiple campaigns or missing any vital to your brand safety.

Additionally, account-level negative keywords can improve the accuracy of ad targeting by excluding irrelevant or low-performing keywords that may adversely impact campaign performance. This can result in higher-quality traffic and a better return on investment.

Google Ads offers a range of existing brand suitability controls, including inventory types, digital content labels, placement exclusions, and negative keywords at the campaign level.

Marvin added that Google Ads is expanding account-level negative keywords to address various use cases and will have more to share soon.

This rollout is essential in giving brands more control over their advertising and ensuring their campaigns target the appropriate audience.


Featured Image: Primakov/Shutterstock



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Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

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Google's Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Google Analyst Gary Illyes offers guidance on large robots.txt files, the SEO impact of website redesigns, and the correct use of rel-canonical tags.

Illyes is taking questions sent to him via LinkedIn direct message and answering them publicly, offering valuable insights for those in the SEO community.

It’s already newsworthy for a Google employee to share SEO advice. This is especially so given it’s Illyes, who isn’t as active on social media as colleagues like Search Advocate John Mueller and Developer Advocate Martin Splitt.

Throughout the past week, Illyes has shared advice and offered guidance on the following subjects:

  • Large robots.txt files
  • The SEO impact of website redesigns
  • The correct use of rel-canonical tags

Considering the engagement his posts are getting, there’s likely more to come. Here’s a summary of what you missed if you’re not following him on LinkedIn.

Keep Robots.Txt Files Under 500KB

Regarding a previously published poll on the size of robots.txt files, Illyes shares a PSA for those with a file size larger than 500kb.

Screenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises paying attention to the size of your website’s robots.txt file, especially if it’s larger than 500kb.

Google’s crawlers only process the first 500kb of the file, so it’s crucial to ensure that the most important information appears first.

Doing this can help ensure that your website is properly crawled and indexed by Google.

Website Redesigns May Cause Rankings To Go “Nuts”

When you redesign a website, it’s important to remember that its rankings in search engines may be affected.

As Illyes explains, this is because search engines use the HTML of your pages to understand and categorize the content on your site.

If you make changes to the HTML structure, such as breaking up paragraphs, using CSS styling instead of H tags, or adding unnecessary breaking tags, it can cause the HTML parsers to produce different results.

This can significantly impact your site’s rankings in search engines. Or, as Illyes phrases it, it can cause rankings to go “nuts”:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises using semantically similar HTML when redesigning the site and avoiding adding tags that aren’t necessary to minimize the SEO impact.

This will allow HTML parsers to better understand the content on your site, which can help maintain search rankings.

Don’t Use Relative Paths In Your Rel-Canonical

Don’t take shortcuts when implementing rel-canonical tags. Illyes strongly advises spelling out the entire URL path:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Saving a few bytes using a relative path in the rel-canonical tag isn’t worth the potential issues it could cause.

Using relative paths may result in search engines treating it as a different URL, which can confuse search engines.

Spelling out the full URL path eliminates potential ambiguity and ensures that search engines identify the correct URL as the preferred version.

In Summary

By answering questions sent to him via direct message and offering his expertise, Illyes is giving back to the community and providing valuable insights on various SEO-related topics.

This is a testament to Illyes’ dedication to helping people understand how Google works. Send him a DM, and your question may be answered in a future LinkedIn post.


Source: LinkedIn

Featured Image: SNEHIT PHOTO/Shutterstock



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Everything You Need To Know

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Of all the many, many functions available in Google Ads, I have a few that are my favorites. And sitelink assets – previously known as sitelink extensions – are at the top of my list.

Why? Because they’re so versatile. You can do almost anything with them if you think through your strategy carefully.

For example, you can use the mighty sitelink in your advertising to:

  • Promote low search volume themes.
  • Push lagging products out the door.
  • Maximize hot sellers.
  • Highlight certain product categories.
  • Answer common questions.
  • Handle PR problems.

And that’s just a start! Sitelink assets can almost do it all.

Best Practices For Using Sitelink Assets Extensions

If you truly want to get the most out of your sitelinks, you need to think about your intention.

To help you with that, I’m going to lay out a few sitelink guidelines.

1. Get clear on your objectives. Before you start, you need to think about your goals. What are you trying to achieve with these assets? Are you advertising products or services? Will the asset work well with both branded and non-branded keywords? Your answers to these questions will help determine if your sitelinks are versatile and useful to the searcher.

2. Use sitelinks as part of your larger strategy. Don’t think of your sitelinks in isolation. You should also consider the accompanying ad, landing page, and other assets. Make sure they all work together in service to your overarching strategy.

3. Use a mix of sitelinks. Sitelinks can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you’re using a variety. For example, you don’t want to use every sitelink on an ad to promote on-sale products. Instead, use a mix. One could promote an on-sale product, one could generate leads, one could highlight a new product category, and one could direct prospective clients to useful information.

4. Create landing pages for your sitelinks. Ideally, you want to send users to landing pages that tightly correlate with your sitelink instead of just a regular page on your website.

5. Track sitelink performance and adjust. It’s not enough to set up sitelinks. You should also track them to see which links are getting traction and which ones are not. This doesn’t mean that all sitelinks should perform equally (more on this below), but it does mean they should perform well given their type and objectives.

Why it’s Better To Use A Mix Of Sitelink Assets

Let’s dive deeper into this idea of using a mix of sitelinks by looking at an example.

In a new client account, we created four different types of sitelinks:

  • Two sitelinks are product-focused (as requested by the client).
  • One sitelink connects users with an engineer to learn more about the product (“Speak to an Engineer”). It has more of a sales focus.
  • One sitelink allows users to learn more about the products without speaking to an engineer (“What is?”).

The “What is?” sitelink is outperforming the “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink when we measure by CTR. While we need more data before making any changes, I predict we’ll eventually swap out the sales-y “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink for something else.

The fact that the educational link (“What is?”) is performing better than the sales-y link (“Speak to an Engineer”) isn’t too surprising in this case. The product is a new, cutting-edge robot that not many people are aware of, yet. They want more info before talking to someone.

sitelink extensions - performance exampleScreenshot by author, January 2023

By using a mix of sitelinks, and assessing the performance of each, we gained a lot of valuable information that is helping to guide our strategy for this account. So going with a mix of sitelinks is always a good idea. You never know what you’ll discover!

Sitelink Assets Examples

Now, let’s look at some specific examples of sitelink assets in Google Ads.

Example 1: Chromatography

Sitelinks extension - Chromatography exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Application Search: This ad is for a highly technical product that can be used in a wide variety of applications. (Chromatography is a laboratory technique for separating mixtures.) So putting “application search” in a sitelink here might make sense. It helps prospective clients find what they’re looking for.

Sign up and Save Big: A good sitelink for lead generation and potential revenue.

Technical Support: I’m not a big fan of putting technical support in sitelinks. Tech support seems more targeted to current users rather than prospective users. But who knows, maybe they really do want to help current users get tech support via their advertising.

Guides and Posters: Again, this sitelink is a bit unusual, but it might be appropriate for this product. Perhaps people are downloading branded posters and posting them in their workplaces. If so, it’s a great way to build brand awareness.

Example 2: Neuroscience Courses

Sitelink Extensions - Nueroscience courses exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

I love everything about these sitelinks! The advertising is using them to reach people in all phases of the buyer journey.

For people not ready to commit:

  • Study Neuroscience: This sitelink is broad and informational. It’s helpful to people who have just started to explore their options for studying neuroscience.
  • Get Course Brochure: This sitelink is also great for people in the research phase. And while we mostly live in an online world, some people still prefer to consume hard-copy books, brochures, etc. With this sitelink, the school is covering its bases.

For people getting close to committing:

  • Online Short Course: This is the course the school offers. It’s a great sitelink for those almost ready to sign up.

For people ready to sign up:

  • Register Online Now: This is the strongest call to action for those ready to commit. It takes people directly to the signup page.

Example 3: Neuroscience Degrees

Let’s look at another example from the world of neuroscience education: this time for a neuroscience degree program.

Sitelink extensions - neuroscience degree exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

In contrast to the previous two examples, the sitelinks in this ad aren’t as strong.

Academics Overview: This sitelink seems more appropriate for a broad term search, such as a search on the school’s name. If the searcher is looking for a specific degree program (which seems like the intention based on the term and the ad), the sitelinks should be something specific to that particular degree program.

Scholarships: Just as with the above sitelink, “Scholarships” doesn’t seem very helpful either. The topic of scholarships is important—but probably doesn’t need to be addressed until the person determines that this school is a good fit.

Example 4: Code Security

Next, let’s look at two Google search ads for code security products.

Sitelink extensions - code security exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

 

The sitelinks in these two ads look like typical assets you’d find for SaaS, cloud-based, or tech companies. They click through to a lot of helpful information, such as product plans and success stories.

I particularly like the Most Common Risks sitelink in the second ad. It leads to a helpful article that would be great for engaging top-of-funnel leads.

On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of the Blog sitelink in the first ad. “Blog” simply isn’t very descriptive or helpful.

Still, there are no right or wrong sitelinks here. And it would be interesting to test my theory that blog content is not a top-performing asset!

Sitelink Assets Are More Than An Afterthought

I hope I’ve convinced you of the usefulness and versatility of sitelinks when created with specific objectives that align with your broader strategy.

So don’t create your sitelink assets as an afterthought.

Because if you give them the careful consideration they deserve, they’ll serve you well.

Note: Google sitelink assets were previously known as sitelink extensions and renamed in September 2022.

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