Friday, October 18, 2019

4 Instagram Updates You May have Missed this Month

Social media is constantly changing. New platforms emerge, new algorithms throw away what once worked and new updates change the way we can create engaging content. With all these changes happening in real-time, you may have missed these four essential updates for Instagram.

There are more than 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram worldwide and that number is only growing as more people are using to share and interact with the businesses and brands they love. 90% of brands use social media to increase brand awareness and reach a potential audience through a strategic approach and curated unique content.

1. Eliminating the “Following" Tab

The ‘Following’ tab is being removed from Instagram. The ‘Following’ tab was a feature on the popular app within the ‘Activity’ tab, which would let users see how people they’re following were engaging on Instagram. All activity from people you’re following could be found in that ‘Following’ tab. “The ‘Following’ tab listed which posts and comments were recently liked by people you’re following.”

2. Dark Mode for Instagram

What is ‘dark mode’? Dark mode makes your screen, apps and whole appearance choose a dark system. According to Apple, “In iOS 13.0 and later, people can choose to adopt a dark system-wide appearance called Dark Mode. In Dark Mode, the system uses a darker color palette for all screens, views, menus, and controls, and it uses more vibrancy to make foreground content stand out against the darker backgrounds.” 

Anyone on iOS 13 or Android 10 is able to choose ‘dark mode’ on your phone and Instagram. 

light vs dark mode

3. New App: Threads

Instagram released its newest standalone messaging app called ‘Threads.’ Similar to Facebook Messenger. According to Instagram's announcement, “a new camera-first messaging app that helps you stay connected to your close friends.”

In ‘Threads,” you can only message your close friends from a list made by you on Instagram. You are able to share videos, messages, photos and Instagram Stories from your ‘Close Friends’ list.

Instagram announced, “for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.”

threas new app
Threads: Instagram
4. Product Launch Stickers

500 million people use Instagram stories daily. As social media introduce more features within their platforms, there will be more ways for businesses to connect with their followers. Instagram specifically, is testing reminder notifications for product launches. 

“Today we’re testing a new way to set reminders about upcoming product launches so people can buy your products the moment they’re available, right on Instagram. From checkout to shopping from creators, this is part of our ongoing investment to make it easier for people to shop.”

instagram update

These reminders will help connect even further with your followers and reach potential customers. Four big updates to one social media platform are huge! Capitalize on online marketing and social media services for your business. Social programs are very much like any other specialized task or responsibility in your business. There is a steep learning curve that requires full-time attention and a continual focus on changing technology. That person has to be accountable for the message and its results. 

Solutions by Design offers affordable social media marketing for a fraction of the cost of what most companies offer. Call us so we can personally assess your needs and build a strategic social media program for you. 

Friday, October 4, 2019

SEO: Google’s Core September Update

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the online visibility of your website in a web search engine’s unpaid results— referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.

SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. Search engine optimization is something that is always changing with updates by search engines and should be worked on and monitored.

Google is the king of search engines. “Google has dominated the search engine market, maintaining an 88.47 percent market share as of April 2019.” 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day and the number only seems to be increasing every year. Google releases a few core updates to its algorithm, which impacts the way websites are ranked and how the search engine works.

“What is a Google core update? A Google core update is when Google adjusts its core search ranking algorithm with the goal of returning more relevant and useful search results to the searcher.” According to Google, “Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our search results. Most aren’t noticeable but help us incrementally continue to improve.”

With each update Solutions by Design analyzes what impacts this has on each client. Google’s core updates come a few a year, however, the impacts can lead to a decline in rankings, a spike for others, emphasizes backlinks or content, while some updates don’t impact others at all.

What is in this update? 

A Change in Rankings: 

With any update, search results change for each website. The website may see a spike in ranking higher for their keywords, while others see a drop in their ranking positions. Updates also impact click-through rates, which lead to a decline in website traffic.

In 2018 alone, Google made over 3,200 changes to its algorithms. However, core updates affecting search algorithm changes happen only a few times a year, with Google announcing the update and what it means for websites.

This September update affected the health and finance industry more than any other website. “Whenever Google updates its search ranking algorithms it means that your site can do better or worse in the search results.” Understanding when Google does these core updates allows us to understand when something has changed on websites such as traffic and where we can improve upon for better rankings. Always optimizing SEO is essential, especially as Google changes its algorithm.

What Can We Do? 

As an SEO company, Solutions by Design is always tracking changes in SEO and how to get our clients to rank as high as possible organically. If SEO rankings have been impacted, it does not mean that your website has been punished in any way possible by Google. According to Google, “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall.”

Google reminds us of what is rewarded and the best way to ensure search engine optimization is at its best for all websites. Focusing on content and websites that offer great quality content is what is rewarded in search engines. Here are recommendations on what to ask when creating content for your website, straight from the search engine source itself, Google.

Content and Quality: 
  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis? 
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
Presentation and Production Questions: 
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
Expertise Questions
  • Is the website source trustworthy?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
Comparative Questions:
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines? 
As an SEO company, Solutions by Design is always tracking changes in SEO and how to get our clients to rank as high as possible organically. Real SEO is worked on every month: adding, changing, linking, and enhancing so we get you results that are tough to achieve. Contact us for more information on how to get your website ranking in your communities.