Why You Need to Use Instagram

Social media has continued to be a great marketing tool for business. There are many businesses out there that have been able to increase their sales and grow all thanks to social media. There are different social media platforms out there, each having its pros and cons. There are some that are popular for marketers, while other are seen as not providing enough value for marketers. One social network that has seen an increased interest from marketers is Instagram. Instagram gives the marketers a chance to engage through visual content. Why should a business use Instagram?
Users spend more time on Instagram than any other network besides Facebook

This gives business a chance to engage with their prospective customers easily and convert them to customers. Instagram offers a huge opportunity for a business looking for a way you dominate in a more niche network.
It is still early enough to establish a presence and dominate your niche

Getting noticed on Facebook can be an uphill task for small businesses. This is due to the fact many businesses are using this platform. There are fewer businesses using Instagram, providing you with an opportunity to build your audience.

Augmenting your brand with visual content

Visual content gives you the chance to decide how you want to showcase your brand. You have a wide range of filters that will help you give a different feel or look to your images, which can help in conveying your desired mood and message.
Instagram doesn’t have a filtered feed

Unlike Facebook where you get to see a small portion of your audience, Instagram will show up the feeds of every single one of your followers. This is an assurance that your valuable content will be seen, as long as you are posting regularly.
Instagram is ideal for sharing

Instagram has been designed for use on mobile devices. This means it is easy and quick to share images irrespective of when or where you are posting from. This gives you a chance to share shots that can elicit significant engagement.

High conversion rates

While direct sales are usually not the primary benefit of using social media, there is no doubt that having a high conversion rate is a bonus. Instagram has higher conversion rates when compared to other popular social networking sites.

Instagram continues to grow, and businesses should be able to leverage the power of Instagram.

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The Latest Google Algorithm Update

 

 

Google released a statement on September 23rd 2016 announcing the release of its Penguin 4.0 update which would now run in real time. Here is the statement that Google issued:

 

 

“Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. (…)  With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.”

 

 

Read the full blog post here.

 

 

The Penguin updates have generally gone after unnatural backlinks and over optimisation of anchor text ratios in the past. The first main Penguin update occured in 2012 and many sites got penalised. The interesting thing about this latest edition is that along with it running in real time (no more waits for the algorithm to refresh) it is also been done on a page to page level, so it may be even harder to recognise if it only affects one or two pages on your website.

 

 

 

 

Several experts in the SEO industry believe this  rolling algorithm update to be a good thing and predict it will improve the quality of search results by reducing the amount of spam techniques used by “black hat” SEO practitioners. The roll out is far from complete so it is impossible to draw any conclusions as of yet.

 

 

In my opinion, this latest algorithm update now means we need to be even more aware and proactive with monitoring a websites backlink profile. Whether you’ve done poor SEO on your own site (way too many exact match anchor texts!) or have been the victim of a negative SEO campaign, you need to audit your link profile on a more regular basis and get those links removed or disavow them through Google Search Console.

 

 

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How AMP Will Help You

 

 

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is a project brought out by Google and Twitter to produce very light weight HTML pages that load incredibly fast on mobile devices.

 

 

As I’m sure everyone is aware more and more people are accessing the internet from a mobile device – whether it be a tablet or a smart phone. Around 60% of web searches are performed on a mobile device in 2016. On these devices normal HTML pages can load very slowly and this can lead to lost web visitors (people expect information pretty much instantly!) so in order to combat that AMP pages with their stripped down code will load very fast.

 

 

 

 

Webmasters can add the AMP pages to their sites so they can be accessed via the website and Google aims to store cached versions of these AMP pages on it’s servers around the globe allowing instant uploading of these pages on request.

 

AMP is mainly on news sites but is expected to roll out across all websites in the near future. Companies like WordPress.com and Twitter along with news sites like The Guardian and CNN have been at the forefront of the AMP revolution but AMP pages are expected to be more and more prevalent as time goes by.

 

To find out more about AMP visit this website:

https://www.ampproject.org

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Powerful Ways to Use E-mail Marketing

 

 

Nowadays, marketers are required to do less work in order to reach their potential customers. They can connect with their audience in a highly personalized way without having to leave the boundaries of their budget. While most marketing trends will come and go, e-mail marketing will always remain.

 
One of the reasons why e-mail is so popular is the fact that it has a very large reach. While social media platforms may boast of over a billion users, they cannot surpass the amount of people that e-mail is able to reach. E-mail is the currency of the World Wide Web and everybody who is active online has an email address.

 
Another major benefit of email is the fact that e-mail delivers the message. The majority of emails you send will reach their recipient. On the other hand, it is less likely that a person will view your post on Facebook. This alone shows that if you use e-mails accordingly, you are likely to reach a larger audience when compared to when you use social media.

 
You can send single e-mails, an e-mail series as part of an autoresponder or even a monthly newsletter. All of these ways are effective at communicating with your customers for a very low cost (often free). You can also import e-mail lists into platforms like Facebook and advertise to “custom audiences” of the e-mails that Facebook matches to its users – this is incredibly powerful!

 

The key to making e-mail marketing work is to get your message opened so you need a compelling subjest line that creates curiosity and makes the recipient want to open it. The other key is consistency. Whether it be an e-mail newsletter or an e-mail series they have to be consistent as people are very unlikely to buy from you off of a single e-mail. But if they receive regular communications from you that add value and allow them to get to know, like and trust you they will be far more likely to purchase from you in the future.

 

When used properly e-mail marketing is still a powerful platform and used with social media and even direct mail it can help you grow your revenues and therefore your business.

 

 

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What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it a revolutionary piece of online software that allows you to automate many things. It is a free web based service that has a wide range of uses. It is both a website and mobile app – it can automate everything from your computer and smart device that has app-enabled features. For example, you can control your thermostat through IFTTT so that when it reaches a certain temperature you receive an e-mail!

Here at Atlantis we use it mainly as a marketing tool, helping us to post to our social media sites. Because IFTTT connects with blogging platforms like Weebly and WordPress along with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn we can set IFTTT to syndicate our blog posts to be automatically shared on all of our social properties.

When we publish a post on our blog it is automatically shared to over 17 other properties which we don’t have to touch and all of this only needed to be set up once – talk about efficiency!

To do this for yourself, simply set up an account with IFTTT (it’s FREE) and log into their platform. You’ll then need to verify all of your social properties inside of IFTTT to allow access to each one. After this you set up a series of recipes, which are basically simple instructions for the software where the trigger is the initial action. To use this for blogging you simply use your blog’s RSS feed as the trigger and tell the software to respond on each of the accounts you include. You’ll need to set up a recipe for each platform all triggered by the RSS feed.

This process will take you a few minutes set up but then runs on auto-pilot from then on. You may need to come in from time to time to update or delete a recipe if it is no longer compatible.

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Get Your Website to Load Faster

 

 

Increasing the load speed of your website is not only a matter of improving the user experience but more crucially, also a matter of improving your search engine ranking. Unknown to many is the fact that Google added the load speed of websites as one of the many metrics used in ranking websites in its search results. The use of this metric means that load speeds are now very much part and parcel of SEO.

 

 

Additionally, research shows that faster loads speeds can positively impact your conversion rate. People on the internet these days are impatient and if your site takes more than 4 seconds to load then people will hit the back button and visit one of your competitor’s sites.

 

 

It, therefore, goes without saying that fast load times are crucial for online success. So how do you achieve quick load speeds? Here are some of my best tips that can help you get your website loading faster.

 

 

1. Use a Caching Plugin

 

 

A cache is a temporary storage bin for data that is going to re-used. In terms of web browsing a cache feature makes a record, or cache, of your website so that it can be recalled much quicker when someone tries to load your website. If you’re website is on WordPress than W3 Total Cache or WP Supercache are easy plug ins to install and configure. This alone can speed up the loading of your website enormously.

 

 

2. Use a Content Delivery Network

 

 

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is composed of a number of servers that are spread around the world. A CDN makes your website faster by allowing your users access to information from the nearest server, thus reducing the number of nodes they have to go through to ‘fetch’ the information. Accessing information from the nearest server ensures that the bandwidth associated with accessing your website is the least possible. This makes your website significantly faster.

 

 

3. Choose Good Quality Hosting

 

 

Although many people may think this is a no-brainer, you would be surprised by the effectiveness of having a faster web host, hence the need for emphasizing it. Although top quality web hosts tend to cost more, the speed with which they allow your users to access your website is well worth it. While well known hosts such as GoDaddy or HostGator are reliable hosting solutions I like the service provided by Blue Host which is a little more expensive but you get great results with them.

 

 

4. Compress Your Images

 

 

Large images take an age to load. So it is vitally important to reduce the image sizes on your website. You can either do this before you upload them to your site, using any image editing software, or there are plug ins that can make them smaller on mass. WP Smush is one such example and will efficiently reduce the file size of your photos which allows them to load faster on your website.

 

Fast loading websites rank higher in Google, there is no doubt about that. But also your conversion rate is going to be negatively effected by a slow loading website. So use the tips in this article to get your website to load as fast as possible.

 

 

 

 

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The Best WordPress Themes For Small Businesses

 

 

For those of you who don’t design websites and maybe aren’t familiar with WordPress, a theme is what controls the look of the website. From the font size and colours to where certain items are displayed on the page – these are all controlled by the theme. The theme also dictates the functionality of the website. While there are some great free themes, generally the themes with the most functionality are paid themes and their are thousands to choose from. I’m going to look at a few that I like and use.

 

If you are looking for the best WordPress themes for small businesses, you have come to the right place. Although there are so many themes on the market, many of these are not the best for a small business. You need to do your homework before picking the most appropriate WordPress theme for your own website. If you are planning to build a business website, WordPress is a great platform for this purpose. There are many free and paid WordPress themes on the market. Here are some of the best WordPress themes for a small business.

 

Lead Gen Theme – This is a simple and clean theme that I like. It is very customisable and is designed with the small local business in mind. You can integrate maps and schema code with the theme very easily and the code is clean and it loads fast – all of which is important for SEO purposes.

 
MediaPhase – This is a versatile and multi-purpose WordPress theme which is a great choice for small businesses and corporate users. It is even suitable for online shops, digital agencies, and bloggers too. The theme comes with a full-featured homepage template. The theme is fully responsive which is great for desktop computers and mobile devices. There is a tidy mobile navigation menu. The theme allows you to customize your homepage just the way you want. There is also a lot of neat typography and post styling options available with this theme.

 
THBusiness – This is another great WordPress theme for small businesses. It consists of a simple and elegant blog layout for your website. You only need to drag and drop the widgets to create your professional looking website. The theme is created with a Twitter Bootstrap so that it is viewed perfectly on a desktop as well as mobile devices. You can choose from the different colours with the theme. It allows you to fully customize your website.

 

The aforementioned are some of the best WordPress themes for your small business.

 

 

 

 

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