A little while back I wrote an article about Google’s intent to start using mobile-first indexing, something that they’ve disclosed a little earlier the same week. What it essentially means is that Google will now crawl and index your mobile site primarily and it is going to provide them with data and snippets used in the search results.
This change won’t be rolling out to all the users instantly. Instead, Google will slowly test it to see how it goes. However, their developers are confident that this will allow them to display more accurate results so it’s only a matter of time until mobile-first indexing becomes global.
In my last article, I focused on how to write mobile-friendly content, completely neglecting to make sure that you’re prepared for this transition as a whole. Well, I came to my senses! Now that it’s fairly obvious that Google will be placing more and more emphasis on mobile friendly content, everyone who has been slow in adapting to it has to pick up their pace.
Today, smartphones are beasts. Such large elements no longer have too much bearing on the site, at least from the perspective of what the devices can handle. GoogleBot wants to see the same things that your users are seeing so it can categorize and recognize your content. Make sure your mobile site is not blocking or hiding those elements – they’re extremely important for your ranking.
It’s all about the Speed!
Google aims at ‘less than half a second loading time’, at least according to their own Meile Ohye. Ain’t nobody have time for waiting around, as the popular YouTube video would say. Your users expect to see content fast and they won’t be sitting around on their thumbs waiting for it. Neither will Google. This video about site performance from Google Webmasters explains the whole thing in detail.
- Streamline your code – bloated code will make your site load slower. Make sure you take out all the unnecessary characters without jeopardizing code’s functionality.
- Reduce image size – large images may look nice, but only on a large screen. They are completely unnecessary on hand-held devices. Make sure you optimize and reduce the size of your images drastically. If you have a WordPress size you can do it in bulk by using one of these image optimization plugins.
- Cut down on redirects – with redirects, your site will reload multiple times and that is going to cause speed issues.
Give Promo Codes to Your Followers
One way to get your followers to make their first purchase is to place promo codes strategically in your posts. You want to try and time these promotions at times when followers are most likely to see them. You also don’t want to promote your products or services too often, so you need to come up with a strategy that balances out valuable content and promotional posts. Placing hashtags in the posts can also help make your promos go viral, increasing visibility and possibly your conversion rates.
Host a Fun Contest
The great thing about Instagram is that it is easy to host contests that people will join in. You can do something creative like asking followers to post photos of themselves doing a particular activity or with a certain product (preferably yours). Both the contest and the prize must be enticing, so think of clever ways to draw in large crowds of followers and their friends. You can use tools like Wishpond to help organize your contests. This integrates seamlessly into MailChimp, Salesforce and other tools.
Include User-Generated Content in Your Posts
Customers who post great things about your products, services and brand can be reshared with your followers as a form of social proof. People love to see happy customers associated with a brand they’re considering purchasing from. You can create alerts to notify you when your brand or products are mentioned, so you can share the posts right away. If you have difficulty finding user-generated content, ask customers to share their experience on Instagram in exchange for a future discount.
Tell Compelling Visual Stories
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a photo alone is enough to tell an interesting story. The great thing about photography is that with the right snapshot, you can tell a great story with a few words or sentences. If needed, you can also use Instagram videos to further your storytelling and enhance your creativity.