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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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More Resources:


Featured Image: SPF/Shutterstock

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An In-Depth Guide And Best Practices For Mobile SEO

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Mobile SEO: An In-Depth Guide And Best Practices

Over the years, search engines have encouraged businesses to improve mobile experience on their websites. More than 60% of web traffic comes from mobile, and in some cases based on the industry, mobile traffic can reach up to 90%.

Since Google has completed its switch to mobile-first indexing, the question is no longer “if” your website should be optimized for mobile, but how well it is adapted to meet these criteria. A new challenge has emerged for SEO professionals with the introduction of Interaction to Next Paint (INP), which replaced First Input Delay (FID) starting March, 12 2024.

Thus, understanding mobile SEO’s latest advancements, especially with the shift to INP, is crucial. This guide offers practical steps to optimize your site effectively for today’s mobile-focused SEO requirements.

What Is Mobile SEO And Why Is It Important?

The goal of mobile SEO is to optimize your website to attain better visibility in search engine results specifically tailored for mobile devices.

This form of SEO not only aims to boost search engine rankings, but also prioritizes enhancing mobile user experience through both content and technology.

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While, in many ways, mobile SEO and traditional SEO share similar practices, additional steps related to site rendering and content are required to meet the needs of mobile users and the speed requirements of mobile devices.

Does this need to be a priority for your website? How urgent is it?

Consider this: 58% of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile devices.

If you aren’t focused on mobile users, there is a good chance you’re missing out on a tremendous amount of traffic.

Mobile-First Indexing

Additionally, as of 2023, Google has switched its crawlers to a mobile-first indexing priority.

This means that the mobile experience of your site is critical to maintaining efficient indexing, which is the step before ranking algorithms come into play.

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Read more: Where We Are Today With Google’s Mobile-First Index

How Much Of Your Traffic Is From Mobile?

How much traffic potential you have with mobile users can depend on various factors, including your industry (B2B sites might attract primarily desktop users, for example) and the search intent your content addresses (users might prefer desktop for larger purchases, for example).

Regardless of where your industry and the search intent of your users might be, the future will demand that you optimize your site experience for mobile devices.

How can you assess your current mix of mobile vs. desktop users?

An easy way to see what percentage of your users is on mobile is to go into Google Analytics 4.

  • Click Reports in the left column.
  • Click on the Insights icon on the right side of the screen.
  • Scroll down to Suggested Questions and click on it.
  • Click on Technology.
  • Click on Top Device model by Users.
  • Then click on Top Device category by Users under Related Results.
  • The breakdown of Top Device category will match the date range selected at the top of GA4.
Screenshot from GA4, March 2024

You can also set up a report in Looker Studio.

  • Add your site to the Data source.
  • Add Device category to the Dimension field.
  • Add 30-day active users to the Metric field.
  • Click on Chart to select the view that works best for you.
A screen capture from Looker Studio showing a pie chart with a breakdown of mobile, desktop, tablet, and Smart TV users for a siteScreenshot from Looker Studio, March 2024

You can add more Dimensions to really dig into the data to see which pages attract which type of users, what the mobile-to-desktop mix is by country, which search engines send the most mobile users, and so much more.

Read more: Why Mobile And Desktop Rankings Are Different

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How To Check If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly

Now that you know how to build a report on mobile and desktop usage, you need to figure out if your site is optimized for mobile traffic.

While Google removed the mobile-friendly testing tool from Google Search Console in December 2023, there are still a number of useful tools for evaluating your site for mobile users.

Bing still has a mobile-friendly testing tool that will tell you the following:

  • Viewport is configured correctly.
  • Page content fits device width.
  • Text on the page is readable.
  • Links and tap targets are sufficiently large and touch-friendly.
  • Any other issues detected.

Google’s Lighthouse Chrome extension provides you with an evaluation of your site’s performance across several factors, including load times, accessibility, and SEO.

To use, install the Lighthouse Chrome extension.

  • Go to your website in your browser.
  • Click on the orange lighthouse icon in your browser’s address bar.
  • Click Generate Report.
  • A new tab will open and display your scores once the evaluation is complete.
An image showing the Lighthouse Scores for a website.Screenshot from Lighthouse, March 2024

You can also use the Lighthouse report in Developer Tools in Chrome.

  • Simply click on the three dots next to the address bar.
  • Select “More Tools.”
  • Select Developer Tools.
  • Click on the Lighthouse tab.
  • Choose “Mobile” and click the “Analyze page load” button.
An image showing how to get to Lighthouse within Google Chrome Developer Tools.Screenshot from Lighthouse, March 2024

Another option that Google offers is the PageSpeed Insights (PSI) tool. Simply add your URL into the field and click Analyze.

PSI will integrate any Core Web Vitals scores into the resulting view so you can see what your users are experiencing when they come to your site.

An image showing the PageSpeed Insights scores for a website.Screenshot from PageSpeed Insights, March 2024

Other tools, like WebPageTest.org, will graphically display the processes and load times for everything it takes to display your webpages.

With this information, you can see which processes block the loading of your pages, which ones take the longest to load, and how this affects your overall page load times.

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You can also emulate the mobile experience by using Developer Tools in Chrome, which allows you to switch back and forth between a desktop and mobile experience.

An image showing how to change the device emulation for a site within Google Chrome Developer ToolsScreenshot from Google Chrome Developer Tools, March 2024

Lastly, use your own mobile device to load and navigate your website:

  • Does it take forever to load?
  • Are you able to navigate your site to find the most important information?
  • Is it easy to add something to cart?
  • Can you read the text?

Read more: Google PageSpeed Insights Reports: A Technical Guide

How To Optimize Your Site Mobile-First

With all these tools, keep an eye on the Performance and Accessibility scores, as these directly affect mobile users.

Expand each section within the PageSpeed Insights report to see what elements are affecting your score.

These sections can give your developers their marching orders for optimizing the mobile experience.

While mobile speeds for cellular networks have steadily improved around the world (the average speed in the U.S. has jumped to 27.06 Mbps from 11.14 Mbps in just eight years), speed and usability for mobile users are at a premium.

Read more: Top 7 SEO Benefits Of Responsive Web Design

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Best Practices For Mobile Optimization

Unlike traditional SEO, which can focus heavily on ensuring that you are using the language of your users as it relates to the intersection of your products/services and their needs, optimizing for mobile SEO can seem very technical SEO-heavy.

While you still need to be focused on matching your content with the needs of the user, mobile search optimization will require the aid of your developers and designers to be fully effective.

Below are several key factors in mobile SEO to keep in mind as you’re optimizing your site.

Site Rendering

How your site responds to different devices is one of the most important elements in mobile SEO.

The two most common approaches to this are responsive design and dynamic serving.

Responsive design is the most common of the two options.

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Using your site’s cascading style sheets (CSS) and flexible layouts, as well as responsive content delivery networks (CDN) and modern image file types, responsive design allows your site to adjust to a variety of screen sizes, orientations, and resolutions.

With the responsive design, elements on the page adjust in size and location based on the size of the screen.

You can simply resize the window of your desktop browser and see how this works.

An image showing the difference between Web.dev in a full desktop display vs. a mobile display using responsive design.Screenshot from web.dev, March 2024

This is the approach that Google recommends.

Adaptive design, also known as dynamic serving, consists of multiple fixed layouts that are dynamically served to the user based on their device.

Sites can have a separate layout for desktop, smartphone, and tablet users. Each design can be modified to remove functionality that may not make sense for certain device types.

This is a less efficient approach, but it does give sites more control over what each device sees.

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While these will not be covered here, two other options:

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which can seamlessly integrate into a mobile app.
  • Separate mobile site/URL (which is no longer recommended).

Read more: An Introduction To Rendering For SEO

Interaction to Next Paint (INP)

Google has introduced Interaction to Next Paint (INP) as a more comprehensive measure of user experience, succeeding First Input Delay. While FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with your page (e.g., clicking a link, tapping a button) to the time when the browser is actually able to begin processing event handlers in response to that interaction. INP, on the other hand, broadens the scope by measuring the responsiveness of a website throughout the entire lifespan of a page, not just first interaction.

Note that actions such as hovering and scrolling do not influence INP, however, keyboard-driven scrolling or navigational actions are considered keystrokes that may activate events measured by INP but not scrolling which is happeing due to interaction.

Scrolling may indirectly affect INP, for example in scenarios where users scroll through content, and additional content is lazy-loaded from the API. While the act of scrolling itself isn’t included in the INP calculation, the processing, necessary for loading additional content, can create contention on the main thread, thereby increasing interaction latency and adversely affecting the INP score.

What qualifies as an optimal INP score?

  • An INP under 200ms indicates good responsiveness.
  • Between 200ms and 500ms needs improvement.
  • Over 500ms means page has poor responsiveness.

and these are common issues causing poor INP scores:

  1. Long JavaScript Tasks: Heavy JavaScript execution can block the main thread, delaying the browser’s ability to respond to user interactions. Thus break long JS tasks into smaller chunks by using scheduler API.
  2. Large DOM (HTML) Size: A large DOM ( starting from 1500 elements) can severely impact a website’s interactive performance. Every additional DOM element increases the work required to render pages and respond to user interactions.
  3. Inefficient Event Callbacks: Event handlers that execute lengthy or complex operations can significantly affect INP scores. Poorly optimized callbacks attached to user interactions, like clicks, keypress or taps, can block the main thread, delaying the browser’s ability to render visual feedback promptly. For example when handlers perform heavy computations or initiate synchronous network requests such on clicks.

and you can troubleshoot INP issues using free and paid tools.

As a good starting point I would recommend to check your INP scores by geos via treo.sh which will give you a great high level insights where you struggle with most.

INP scores by GeosINP scores by Geos

Read more: How To Improve Interaction To Next Paint (INP)

Image Optimization

Images add a lot of value to the content on your site and can greatly affect the user experience.

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From page speeds to image quality, you could adversely affect the user experience if you haven’t optimized your images.

This is especially true for the mobile experience. Images need to adjust to smaller screens, varying resolutions, and screen orientation.

  • Use responsive images
  • Implement lazy loading
  • Compress your images (use WebP)
  • Add your images into sitemap

Optimizing images is an entire science, and I advise you to read our comprehensive guide on image SEO how to implement the mentioned recommendations.

Avoid Intrusive Interstitials

Google rarely uses concrete language to state that something is a ranking factor or will result in a penalty, so you know it means business about intrusive interstitials in the mobile experience.

Intrusive interstitials are basically pop-ups on a page that prevent the user from seeing content on the page.

John Mueller, Google’s Senior Search Analyst, stated that they are specifically interested in the first interaction a user has after clicking on a search result.

Examples of intrusive interstitial pop-ups on a mobile site according to Google.

Not all pop-ups are considered bad. Interstitial types that are considered “intrusive” by Google include:

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  • Pop-ups that cover most or all of the page content.
  • Non-responsive interstitials or pop-ups that are impossible for mobile users to close.
  • Pop-ups that are not triggered by a user action, such as a scroll or a click.

Read more: 7 Tips To Keep Pop-Ups From Harming Your SEO

Structured Data

Most of the tips provided in this guide so far are focused on usability and speed and have an additive effect, but there are changes that can directly influence how your site appears in mobile search results.

Search engine results pages (SERPs) haven’t been the “10 blue links” in a very long time.

They now reflect the diversity of search intent, showing a variety of different sections to meet the needs of users. Local Pack, shopping listing ads, video content, and more dominate the mobile search experience.

As a result, it’s more important than ever to provide structured data markup to the search engines, so they can display rich results for users.

In this example, you can see that both Zojirushi and Amazon have included structured data for their rice cookers, and Google is displaying rich results for both.

An image of a search result for Japanese rice cookers that shows rich results for Zojirushi and Amazon.Screenshot from search for [Japanese rice cookers], Google, March 2024

Adding structured data markup to your site can influence how well your site shows up for local searches and product-related searches.

Using JSON-LD, you can mark up the business, product, and services data on your pages in Schema markup.

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If you use WordPress as the content management system for your site, there are several plugins available that will automatically mark up your content with structured data.

Read more: What Structured Data To Use And Where To Use It?

Content Style

When you think about your mobile users and the screens on their devices, this can greatly influence how you write your content.

Rather than long, detailed paragraphs, mobile users prefer concise writing styles for mobile reading.

Each key point in your content should be a single line of text that easily fits on a mobile screen.

Your font sizes should adjust to the screen’s resolution to avoid eye strain for your users.

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If possible, allow for a dark or dim mode for your site to further reduce eye strain.

Headers should be concise and address the searcher’s intent. Rather than lengthy section headers, keep it simple.

Finally, make sure that your text renders in a font size that’s readable.

Read more: 10 Tips For Creating Mobile-Friendly Content

Tap Targets

As important as text size, the tap targets on your pages should be sized and laid out appropriately.

Tap targets include navigation elements, links, form fields, and buttons like “Add to Cart” buttons.

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Targets smaller than 48 pixels by 48 pixels and targets that overlap or are overlapped by other page elements will be called out in the Lighthouse report.

Tap targets are essential to the mobile user experience, especially for ecommerce websites, so optimizing them is vital to the health of your online business.

Read more: Google’s Lighthouse SEO Audit Tool Now Measures Tap Target Spacing

Prioritizing These Tips

If you have delayed making your site mobile-friendly until now, this guide may feel overwhelming. As a result, you may not know what to prioritize first.

As with so many other optimizations in SEO, it’s important to understand which changes will have the greatest impact, and this is just as true for mobile SEO.

Think of SEO as a framework in which your site’s technical aspects are the foundation of your content. Without a solid foundation, even the best content may struggle to rank.

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  • Responsive or Dynamic Rendering: If your site requires the user to zoom and scroll right or left to read the content on your pages, no number of other optimizations can help you. This should be first on your list.
  • Content Style: Rethink how your users will consume your content online. Avoid very long paragraphs. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” to quote Shakespeare.
  • Image Optimization: Begin migrating your images to next-gen image formats and optimize your content display network for speed and responsiveness.
  • Tap Targets: A site that prevents users from navigating or converting into sales won’t be in business long. Make navigation, links, and buttons usable for them.
  • Structured Data: While this element ranks last in priority on this list, rich results can improve your chances of receiving traffic from a search engine, so add this to your to-do list once you’ve completed the other optimizations.

Summary

From How Search Works, “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

If Google’s primary mission is focused on making all the world’s information accessible and useful, then you know they will prefer surfacing sites that align with that vision.

Since a growing percentage of users are on mobile devices, you may want to infer the word “everywhere” added to the end of the mission statement.

Are you missing out on traffic from mobile devices because of a poor mobile experience?

If you hope to remain relevant, make mobile SEO a priority now.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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HARO Has Been Dead for a While

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HARO Has Been Dead for a While

Every SEO’s favorite link-building collaboration tool, HARO, was officially killed off for good last week by Cision. It’s now been wrapped into a new product: Connectively.

I know nothing about the new tool. I haven’t tried it. But after trying to use HARO recently, I can’t say I’m surprised or saddened by its death. It’s been a walking corpse for a while. 

I used HARO way back in the day to build links. It worked. But a couple of months ago, I experienced the platform from the other side when I decided to try to source some “expert” insights for our posts. 

After just a few minutes of work, I got hundreds of pitches: 

So, I grabbed a cup of coffee and began to work through them. It didn’t take long before I lost the will to live. Every other pitch seemed like nothing more than lazy AI-generated nonsense from someone who definitely wasn’t an expert. 

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Here’s one of them: 

Example of an AI-generated pitch in HAROExample of an AI-generated pitch in HARO

Seriously. Who writes like that? I’m a self-confessed dullard (any fellow Dull Men’s Club members here?), and even I’m not that dull… 

I don’t think I looked through more than 30-40 of the responses. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It felt like having a conversation with ChatGPT… and not a very good one! 

Despite only reviewing a few dozen of the many pitches I received, one stood out to me: 

Example HARO pitch that caught my attentionExample HARO pitch that caught my attention

Believe it or not, this response came from a past client of mine who runs an SEO agency in the UK. Given how knowledgeable and experienced he is (he actually taught me a lot about SEO back in the day when I used to hassle him with questions on Skype), this pitch rang alarm bells for two reasons: 

  1. I truly doubt he spends his time replying to HARO queries
  2. I know for a fact he’s no fan of Neil Patel (sorry, Neil, but I’m sure you’re aware of your reputation at this point!)

So… I decided to confront him 😉 

Here’s what he said: 

Hunch, confirmed ;)Hunch, confirmed ;)

Shocker. 

I pressed him for more details: 

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I’m getting a really good deal and paying per link rather than the typical £xxxx per month for X number of pitches. […] The responses as you’ve seen are not ideal but that’s a risk I’m prepared to take as realistically I dont have the time to do it myself. He’s not native english, but I have had to have a word with him a few times about clearly using AI. On the low cost ones I don’t care but on authority sites it needs to be more refined.

I think this pretty much sums up the state of HARO before its death. Most “pitches” were just AI answers from SEOs trying to build links for their clients. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not throwing shade here. I know that good links are hard to come by, so you have to do what works. And the reality is that HARO did work. Just look at the example below. You can tell from the anchor and surrounding text in Ahrefs that these links were almost certainly built with HARO: 

Example of links build with HARO, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerExample of links build with HARO, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

But this was the problem. HARO worked so well back in the day that it was only a matter of time before spammers and the #scale crew ruined it for everyone. That’s what happened, and now HARO is no more. So… 

If you’re a link builder, I think it’s time to admit that HARO link building is dead and move on. 

No tactic works well forever. It’s the law of sh**ty clickthroughs. This is why you don’t see SEOs having huge success with tactics like broken link building anymore. They’ve moved on to more innovative tactics or, dare I say it, are just buying links.

Sidenote.

Talking of buying links, here’s something to ponder: if Connectively charges for pitches, are links built through those pitches technically paid? If so, do they violate Google’s spam policies? It’s a murky old world this SEO lark, eh?

If you’re a journalist, Connectively might be worth a shot. But with experts being charged for pitches, you probably won’t get as many responses. That might be a good thing. You might get less spam. Or you might just get spammed by SEOs with deep pockets. The jury’s out for now. 

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My advice? Look for alternative methods like finding and reaching out to experts directly. You can easily use tools like Content Explorer to find folks who’ve written lots of content about the topic and are likely to be experts. 

For example, if you look for content with “backlinks” in the title and go to the Authors tab, you might see a familiar name. 😉 

Finding people to request insights from in Ahrefs' Content ExplorerFinding people to request insights from in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

I don’t know if I’d call myself an expert, but I’d be happy to give you a quote if you reached out on social media or emailed me (here’s how to find my email address).

Alternatively, you can bait your audience into giving you their insights on social media. I did this recently with a poll on X and included many of the responses in my guide to toxic backlinks.

Me, indirectly sourcing insights on social mediaMe, indirectly sourcing insights on social media

Either of these options is quicker than using HARO because you don’t have to sift through hundreds of responses looking for a needle in a haystack. If you disagree with me and still love HARO, feel free to tell me why on X 😉



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Google Clarifies Vacation Rental Structured Data

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Google updates their vacation rental structured data documentation

Google’s structured data documentation for vacation rentals was recently updated to require more specific data in a change that is more of a clarification than it is a change in requirements. This change was made without any formal announcement or notation in the developer pages changelog.

Vacation Rentals Structured Data

These specific structured data types makes vacation rental information eligible for rich results that are specific to these kinds of rentals. However it’s not available to all websites. Vacation rental owners are required to be connected to a Google Technical Account Manager and have access to the Google Hotel Center platform.

VacationRental Structured Data Type Definitions

The primary changes were made to the structured data property type definitions where Google defines what the required and recommended property types are.

The changes to the documentation is in the section governing the Recommended properties and represents a clarification of the recommendations rather than a change in what Google requires.

The primary changes were made to the structured data type definitions where Google defines what the required and recommended property types are.

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The changes to the documentation is in the section governing the Recommended properties and represents a clarification of the recommendations rather than a change in what Google requires.

Address Schema.org property

This is a subtle change but it’s important because it now represents a recommendation that requires more precise data.

This is what was recommended before:

“streetAddress”: “1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy.”

This is what it now recommends:

“streetAddress”: “1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Unit 6E”

Address Property Change Description

The most substantial change is to the description of what the “address” property is, becoming more descriptive and precise about what is recommended.

The description before the change:

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PostalAddress
Information about the street address of the listing. Include all properties that apply to your country.

The description after the change:

PostalAddress
The full, physical location of the vacation rental.
Provide the street address, city, state or region, and postal code for the vacation rental. If applicable, provide the unit or apartment number.
Note that P.O. boxes or other mailing-only addresses are not considered full, physical addresses.

This is repeated in the section for address.streetAddress property

This is what it recommended before:

address.streetAddress Text
The full street address of your vacation listing.

And this is what it recommends now:

address.streetAddress Text
The full street address of your vacation listing, including the unit or apartment number if applicable.

Clarification And Not A Change

Although these updates don’t represent a change in Google’s guidance they are nonetheless important because they offer clearer guidance with less ambiguity as to what is recommended.

Read the updated structured data guidance:

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Vacation rental (VacationRental) structured data

Featured Image by Shutterstock/New Africa

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