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Instagram AR filters

Instagram AR Filters. Using Spark AR Studio | The Definitive Guide

By Augmented Reality, DigitalNo Comments

A key element for sustaining Instagram’s future and securing a stronger competitive advantage over other platforms such as Snapchat is going to be through the release of their new Instagram AR filters, providing users with new filtered experiences. These Instagram AR filterss mix the real world with the virtual world through the combination of technology and visual art. Spark AR Studio is the open source tool that we use to create them.

Spark AR Studio by Facebook allows any user to create their very own augmented reality filters and effects which they can then distribute through the Instagram platform for their followers to use and share.

Maybe the term “augmented reality” (AR) seems like something from the future, something that you probably aren’t going to be using in your daily life anytime soon. However last year, around 1 billion people had some sort of experience using creations made using Spark AR. That’s quite an impressive number of people getting on board with augmented reality and these Facebook/Instagram filters.

The custom Instagram Stories are no longer limited to the really famous people and brands of the world like Travis Scott or Nike. Now every artist and brand of any size is able to create a viral moment on Instagram though their individual Stories.

In the following we will discuss the future of Instagram, the best practices for creating your own Spark AR effects and finally how you can use AR filters to get more follows.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Spark AR Studio?
  2. How businesses can use Spark AR Studio
  3. How to access custom Instagram AR filters
  4. How to create your own Instagram AR filters
  5. Best practices for Instagram AR filters

What is Spark AR Studio?

Spark AR Studio is an open source augmented reality platform for Mac & Windows. It allows you to create AR effects for Instagram and Facebook. You can think of it like Photoshop or Sketch, but for AR.


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Augmented reality (AR) has been around since the 1960s – despite what you might think it really is not a new technology. However, over the last few years its growth has been exponential, and it has spread across dozens of industries. Today it can be found simply everywhere from Pokémon GO to Google Maps.

AR has blown up quite a lot because of social media too and a big part of this success is because of the recently released Instagram and Facebook camera effects.

Instagram and Facebook is the perfect medium to spread augmented reality to the masses. It has an extremely user-friendly UI and people are constantly searching for new ways to share their fun and increase their engagement. With over 500 million users active daily, we’re not surprised that their growth has been so rapid.

Previously these AR camera effect we’re only available on the SnapChat platform, but in 2017 Facebook decided to launch its own software that brands, and designers could use to create customized AR effects. This was a very key strategic decision as this was one functionality that SnapChat had held over the Instagram platform.

Upon initial release if you wanted your custom AR effects for Instagram you had to be accepted as part of their closed beta program. It just wasn’t open to everyone. Luckily for us and everyone involved it is now completely open and anyone or any brand can now create their own Spark AR effects and publish them to both Facebook and Instagram.

This is a fantastic opportunity for artists, brands, influencers and everyday people to get creative, learn how to bring their imagination into reality through AR and share it with the world. Despite its enormous potential and also its speedy growth, AR on Instagram is still massively underused as a marketing tool.

Because of this it’s a huge opportunity for businesses to get involved ahead of the curve and to find cool ways of using the technology to build and share their own branded AR experiences.

How businesses can use Spark AR Studio

There are many reasons why AR should be viewed as a genuinely powerful marketing tool and one of the biggest has to do with the freedom of creativity.

There are a lot of applications out there for this technology: cosmetics brand for example can use AR to let their followers and potential customers “try on” their products virtually. Furniture brands can use AR to show the followers how their products would look like at home. Fashion brands can create a virtual fitting room and let their followers try on shirts or sunglasses for example, to see how they fit.

There’s also an emotional value that comes with AR experiences. Businesses can build a personalized connection with their customers by creating different kinds of AR effects that give a firsthand experience of the brand or product. This helps to increase brand recall and loyalty, but it also is going to help drive more conversions!

instagram AR filter

Currently Instagram is baking this try on feature into the platform too. Instagram is beta testing a new feature right now that will allow brands to add AR effects to their product pages! Users will soon be able to virtually “try” products before making a purchase directly through the app.

Right now this feature has only been tested with a few brands like Ray-Bans, but this is certainly a feature that they will be opening up to more brands in the very near future.

Ar filters
Instagram AR filter

It’s not just about ecommerce and virtual try on functionalities, businesses also have a lot to gain from simply sharing these AR effects, as they are highly popular amongst users and have considerable viral potential themselves.

Adidas for example decided to create a custom AR effect that added a nostalgic VHS look to your IG stories, including a “glitch” effect. There was no real sell here, vintage filters and retro looking photos were trending on Instagram, so Adidas thought it would be a clever way to engage their audience with something that would be both appreciated and well received. All this sentiment just adds to the brand and the virality increases awareness.

AR filters are a clever tactic that can be deployed for building brand awareness and increasing social engagement. The effects Adidas created were super shareable and very on trend.

Instagram AR filter

Instagram has a system by which the filters and effects are locked unless the user is following the account. So as a result any creators of these AR effects have gained thousands of followers after sharing them on the Instagram platform.

This process of finding those exclusive filters on Instagram is slightly different now. Instagram has introduced their new gallery of effects, which makes it way easier to discover unique effects from the community! When you visit a creator’s profile, you can browse and access all of their custom effects by clicking the new effects tab over their feed. We’ll explain more about this later!


Here are some examples of how you can use Spar AR Studios to create branded experiences using Instagram camera effects:

#1: Instagram AR filters for online shopping

Instagram has created a new shopping environment which includes various new shopping features, pretty successfully. Some products just can’t be described that well with photos or video and now we have a new tool for allowing the consumer to experience a product online.

Kylie Cosmetics is a great example that most people have heard of to some capacity. When you select the AR effect by Kylie Cosmetics you can “try on” different lipsticks from the Lip Kits like Candy K or Glitz. This way you can see if the shade suits your skin tone before you buy it.

This is a perfect example of how you can use custom AR effects on Instagram. It’s not only fun to use these kinds of filters, but it helps potential customers to decide whether or not to purchase an item.

The streetwear label Off-White made a decent amount of noise using AR when they rolled out an effect that allowed users to “try on” sunglasses from their collection as well as adding other effects like their famous quotation marks. This all happened ahead of last year’s Paris Fashion Week

instagram filter

#2: Instagram AR filters for publishers

Publishers have a lot to gain from creating their own AR effects too and they are already doing it.

Buzzfeed Tasty is an ultra-popular food channel that jumped into the AR arena last year. When you select the effect the slogan “Oh Yes!” floats and twirls on the screen.

This effect can be used in so many different contexts. For example, when you are sharing pics or vids of the meal you just made you can make your friends think that you are an absolute culinary pro.

But the best thing is that you don’t have to use it for food only. It’s generic and fits many different usage cases. The only thing limiting the humor factor is your creativity.

Tasty Filter

#3: Instagram AR filters for causes

Rihanna took advantage of the AR effects last year and created her own effect to promote the Diamond Ball and Clara Lionel Foundation. The effect adds a diamond headpiece to your selfie. This way businesses can use AR effects to raise awareness for causes they and their audience care about.

An eco-friendly cleaning supply company for example could create an effect for Earth Day or any other environmental holiday. So different companies could use AR effects to raise awareness for various different issues.

So, are you ready to jump in and create your own AR camera effects for your brand using tSpark AR Studio? Go check out our guide to help you get started with Spark AR Studio!

AR camera effect

How to access custom AR filters on Instagram

There is a new way to find, try and explore new AR filters and effects on Instagram.

So, as we mentioned above you could only use the custom AR filters by following the creators on Instagram. Once you did that their filters would appear in your Instagram Stories camera.

But now the new profile layout simplifies the whole process a lot more! If you visit a creator’s profile, you will find a new effects tab above their feed. You can browse these effects and filters they created and use them by yourself.

When you tap on an effect, you can click on the option “Try It”.

This will open your Instagram Stories camera where you can try the effect right away.

By tapping the “save” icon in the lower right hand corner you can save the effect if you like it.

The effect will then appear in your own effects tray in the Instagram Stories camera. You can add it to any future stories from now on! By tapping the “Browse More Effects” button you can open the effects gallery and browse many different other effects created by the Instagram community.

You will find thousands of different AR effects and you can sort through them by category or topic! If you open the “Moods” channel for example, you can browse all the different effects that fall under that category. You can open the “Color & Lights” channel to browse effects that play with lighting. There is also a feed of selected effects from the creator community. It’s a bit like the explore page.

AR effects are still a really great way to gain more followers and advertise your brand even if you don’t necessarily need to follow a creator to get access to their effects anymore. Every time someone uses one of your AR camera effects, they are ultimately promoting it to all of their followers. So, it’s possible to create a snowball effect and go viral.

How to create your own Instagram Stories filters with Spark AR Studio

Spark AR Studio is now in open to everyone, so really anyone (e.g. brand, creator, influencers) can start creating their own AR effects for their Instagram Stories. It’s designed for anyone of any skill level regardless of your technical background or existing knowledge.

All you have to do is download the Spark AR Studio program and you can start building your own AR effects immediately. You don’t even really need any knowledge of coding to get started. Although some previous experience with unity or C# is definitely going to speed up the process, as well as providing more scope for more complex AR effects.

Spark AR Studio

There are quite a few tutorials on the Spark AR resources page if you are completely new to the design process. You can start to learn the program from there and get creative with trial and error! Facebook also provides documentation and guides that explain the approval process and how to get your effects published.

If you’re interested in producing one of these effects but don’t have the time to learn how to create your own effect, we would be more than happy to assist you. We have created a number of AR effects for various different brands and have developed a deep understanding of how to push this new technology to achieve something truly immersive for your user.

After creating an AR effect, you can then publish it to your Instagram profile or share it on an Instagram Story. Followers who see it can select it and use it for themselves too. The effect always credits the uploader as the creator, we always supply the project files so that you can upload the effect yourself. We can also take care of this for you. It’s a very simple process and the approval is a lot quicker than it was originally.

If you want to learn some more about creating your own Instagram Stories filter or effect with Spark AR Studio you can check out some more of our blog posts!

Best practices for Instagram AR Filters

As powerful as AR effects can be, they do also require a fair bit of thought and planning.

We are showing you some of the very best practices to follow when creating these effects, according to the product manager of Instagram’s camera team, Cemre Gungor:

#1: Serve a real need

AR effects can be used to serve a variety of different needs. They can be designed to help people with a specific problem or to make a decision, and other times they are just for a bit of fun. Here are a few key ones:

Help people to express their aesthetic: Instagram is all about visuals and people want to share their personal aesthetic. Many effects help people to improve their photos or videos with elements of color, light or visual design.

Help people to capture what they are feeling, thinking or doing: Effects can often help to amplify someone’s emotions and perspectives. People on Instagram love to share what they are into and express themselves. Effects that “facilitate expressions” tend to do really well.

Help people to get inspired or to have a bit of fun: Sometimes people don’t really know what to share. In this case these effects can assist with this. People get a bit of inspiration and are given an easy way to create something interesting that they can share, even when nothing particularly interesting is happening.

Help people to make their friends laugh: Effects can help to add humor to completely everyday situations. Humorous content has a much greater chance of being shared.

Help people to be part of something bigger: Many people celebrate cultural movements or support different causes on Instagram. Creating effects that are fitting for those movements or causes, is a great way to build a larger more engaged audience!

#2: Get out of the way

AR effects that are re-usable are often the most successful camera effects on Instagram. People can continue to use them over and over again. An AR effect is meant to complement the users creativity and helps to make that the center of attention. When you do this well, people will use your effect over and over again and create something entirely new every single time!

#3: Keep branding to a minimum

Branded effects feel more like a “gift” if they resonate with the community. It’s really important to pick and choose which brand elements you want to include in your AR effects. You shouldn’t really include your logo as this may prevent approval, but you can definitley use branded colors or a visual design instead for example.

Facebook research has shown that users are not big fans of heavily branded elements in these effects, so that’s the main reason why it’s best to think of your effect as more of a gift.

#5: Think outside the box

There are some effects out there which are extremely shareable even though they haven’t really been made with repeat use in mind. They are usually very novel and fun.



Using Spark AR Studio for business communication purposes can be a really effective way of connecting with your audience and followers, building awareness and even going viral!

It’s also a great way to grow your account whether you decide to create some of your own effects or you use already existing AR effects in your Instagram Stories.

Now is the time to jump on board the AR train!

#4: Make it easy and fun

It only takes a couple of seconds for someone to decide if they are going to use your effect. So you have to get to the point right away!

Make the effects work with the front-facing and back-facing camera.

You can also make the effect work when there’s more than one person on the screen! SnapChat even have animal face recognition so we can imagine this will be part of Instagram’s next update.

AR headset

Is There A New Samsung AR Headset In The Making?

By Augmented RealityNo Comments

Latest AR Headset In The Making

Samsung seems to be the latest tech company to be dabbling in a bit of augmented reality if recent patent application is anything to go by.

There have been recent rumours circulating online of a patent application that was made by Samsung and seems to be alluding to them getting involved in the AR headset game. It was a Dutch publication that discovered the patent application. It seems that the AR headset has a screen in each of its lenses. It has a cable coming down and along the right arm of the glasses. It isn’t clear from the application if that cable is meant for charging the device or if they plan for this device to be wired. To be fair in some regards it’s a bit easier and allows more flexibility by tethering the glasses to a proper gaming machine that’s jammed full of dedicated graphics cards. There is something to be said though for a completely wireless experience. The difference between the Oculus Quest and the Rift S in terms of being wired is definitely noticeable. However, for development purposes I went with the Rift S myself as you can always upgrade the hardware in your PC, where as the snapdragon chipsets used in the Quest are finite. That’s it. And let’s face it they will be bringing new ones out at the end of the year I’m sure.

AR Headset

This would be Samsung’s first time dipping their toes into those new refreshing augmented reality waters. Previously they had got involved in the virtual reality market, releasing their Gear VR headsets that had some affiliation with Oculus. To be fair to them, if you already owned a Samsung phone it was definitely one of the most cost-effective ways of getting into VR and it also really wasn’t all that bad of a VR experience either. Not like that Google Cardboard crap. I mean fair play for bringing AR to the masses, but the experience is generally pretty poor and relatively headache inducing. But at the price of some cardboard and some cheap lenses, I don’t know what you would really be expecting.

AR Headset

I should probably point out that this really is only a patent application, so like no one should be getting their hopes up at all. This design could just be some sort of internal creation or it might just be some prototype that will never see the light of day or ever be released to the public. Supposedly it’s not just Samsung that have been toying with the augmented reality headset market. According to Bloomberg Apple has been getting involved with a bit of AR and more rumours have it that they will be dropping their own augmented reality headset sometime in 2020. Whilst it’s not clear what major player is going to crack the AR game wide open; it is pretty clear that AR is going from strength to strength and we are likely to see some pretty big advancements in the technology this 2020.

Instagram Stories Ideas For Marketers

5 Instagram Stories Ideas For Marketers

By Digital, Online MarketingNo Comments

Unless you have been hiding under a pretty big rock you’ve obviously heard about Instag 5ram stories. In fact if you are a fan of the Instagram platform you probably spend at least 20 minutes a day mindlessly clicking through people’s stories. This is exactly why Instagram stories are a great way to reach your audience. Not only that but due to the nature of an Instagram story, the expectations on production quality are very low, and if anything it all adds to the authenticity of it anyway. So now that you are completly sold on Instagram Stories here is instagram stories ideas for marketers.


“All the experts from around the world are here and they’re telling you what’s going on and where you need to be,” said Drew Taddia.


Here are five Instagram Stories Ideas For Marketers, from Alex Beadon:

#1: Post content consistently. Post regularly and at a pace that works for you. Stick with a set schedule that your audience can depend on. The frequency is up to you, but it is important for people to expect regular content from you.

#2: Create a weekly series. A series gives your audience something to look forward to. Examine what could be relatable and relevant, then create your own series. For example, each Thursday share relevant news. Mix different kinds of content from photo and video to screenshots from your phone or computer in your series. Experiment and have fun!

#3: Share your expert advice. Add value with Instagram Stories by sharing advice. Keep a running list of common customer questions and answer them through a Story.

#4: Run promos. Share fun promotions on Stories that go beyond a discount. Find creative new ways customers can buy from you. Highlight customers and celebrate their wins. Share testimonials or product launches. Use Stories to create social proof or promote a hashtag.

#5: Go behind the scenes of your life and business. Pull people into your life and your brand through Instagram Stories. Behind-the-scenes Stories can be about anything, from what goes into making your product to getting to know your team. Let people peek at how your products are made or share fun facts about yourself or business.

BONUS: What might seem “boring” or “mundane” to you could be fascinating to your fans. Show some of the crazy or ridiculous stuff that your customers would never see anywhere else.  .

Tourism Technology Trends

Emerging Tourism Technology Trends You Should Know About

By DigitalOne Comment

Emerging Tourism Technology Trends You Should Know About

There have been so many different advancements in technology and new tourism technology trends, that have all impacted the way we travel. Ultimately all these new developments result in a more exciting, engaging and interactive experience. Want to know what the future has in store for us? Well give that magic 8 ball a shake, hopefully the out look is good.

I don’t think there is any dispute over the importance of technology’s role in the tourism industry. It strongly influences and continues to shape the manner in which we all travel. Whether it’s the destination where we are going or the different activities we’ll do once we get there and even afterwards, once we are back form exploring. According to Google, 74% of people plan their trips through the internet. With only 13% holding steady and still using travel agents. This alone gives you a good feel for the impact of technology on the travel industry.

I mean let’s face it, I’ve gone to cities before for the sole reason that Ryanair were giving me a €48 return. If you just feel like going anywhere, its never been easier to hop online and see what deals the budget airlines have to offer. See what is the cheapest and most interesting and it’s time to start getting those bags packed. For 3 months’ time, if like me you’re booking discount Ryannair flights. It’s rather funny how taken for granted this is these days.

In this piece I’ll be really looking into this with regards to mobile devices. As let’s face it, mobile has taken over. I often used to say I wouldn’t buy on mobile, I would browse and buy later on a computer. But with the advancements in mobile design and the simplification of ecommerce on mobile even I have noticed a shift in my online consumption habits.

Tourism Technology Trends

Tourism specialist and travel industry expert Xavier Cubeles pointed out at a conference in Barcelona how the travel industry is in the midst of a very big transformation. The internet and the advancements and spread of mobile has completely disrupted the way that the majority of people plan, book and ultimately experience their trips. This has had a huge impact on the way destinations must promote themselves going forward.

Mobile Technology Advancements

This is unquestionably the latest leading role in the evolution of travel. The mobile has ultimately become the travel agency, the tour guide, the restaurant critic, our navigator, the list goes on and on. It never leaves our side these days and a holiday is no exception. Everyone is leading with a mobile first design for bookings, reservations and absolutely everything else. TripAdvisor reckon 45% of people use their mobiles for everything to do with their trips.

This is essentially why all travel related businesses need to tweak their methods of communication to prioritise these mobile devices. KLM for instance already uses Facebook Messenger as an passenger information system. The way it works is once a person makes their reservation, it send the person all their information about their ticket through the messenger. It even sends their boarding pass and flight updates too. This just makes the whole travel process, something that is known to be highly stressful so much easier for about 90% of travellers. It puts all the necessary information in one place, literally right in the palm of your hand. There is no need to download anything or get new apps. It’s all just there.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) have really made their debut over the last few years in the travel world. The truth is that when the technology first launched it was more gimmicky and really wasn’t providing much value to the user. These days more and more companies are using it to promote their offerings, to allow users to virtually try out the experience in an attempt to sway them over the edge into a booking. Others are using it to simplify the whol travel experience like Gatwick airport AR which directed you to your gate etc with overlaid arrows to point you in the right direction. Having ran full pace through Barcelona airport once only to end up at the wrong gate trying to board a flight to Portugal I for one can see the value of this AR application.

Thanks to these new technologies we can literally transport ourselves virtually to the remotest of areas of the world without ever leaving our own living room. Ever wondered what it would be like to climb Everest and not have to queue to get to the summit. Not any more with the EVEREST VR app, that lets you climb to the top of the world without ever even standing up. Wow!

tourism technology trends

Internet of Things (IoT)

There is huge talk around the internet of things. Whenever I hear this, I can’t help but think of that Simpsons Treehouse of Horror where all the signs come alive and start attacking Springfield. Why does automation always have to go so Skynet? Anyway, it’s going to be big and not just because you can text your toaster and tell it to order you some pat the baker. It’s going to bring advancements to the tourist industry too. It’s all around integrating sensors into things like cars and suitcases and building and connecting them to the internet so we can get more data than is humanly possible to process. But hey it definitely allows for a potentially more personalised customer experience, even if that comes with a hint of robot uprising. Apparently some Virgin hotels provide an app that allows their guests to control elements of the room from their mobile device. You don’t even have to get up to change the temperature or to look for the remote . To be fair there is a suitcase with a built in tracker so that your device will track your bag at all times. Being stranded in hungry with no bag for 4 days I can safely say I want one.

Virtual Assistants

We all have heard of Alexa and Siri at this stage. Unless you have literally been under that rock for so long that you have begun the carbonification process. If that’s you well they do just about everything these days, just get an Alexa and you’ll never be alone again. Well now hotels are starting to introduce virtual assistants into their environments. IBM launched their more sophisticated AI assistant Watson. Where he differs is that he create a much more personalised customer experience. These will be open source eventually for hotels to white label and make their own. And in theory teach them things that other AI assistants may not know. Particular policies or ways to interact with guests. It’s really rather limitless.

Voice search travel industry

Big Data

There is just always so much talk about big data, but lets face it right now it’s just too big. We need proper AI systems to be able to deal with it effectively. As such we are yet to see many of the opportunities it offers being showcased for the travel industry. Despite this there are a few guys using it already.  The Melia hotel chain does this to some extent. They use information on their different guests to work out the best target for marketing purposes. By looking at their database and the amount spent, the reason for travel, country of origin and then cross checking this with public data what you are left with is the best group of customers that you are likely to have the highest success rate with. Better segmentation ultimately increases the efficacy and increases the ROI.

tourism technology trends


Anyone who knows me will know how much I love blockchain and not just because I got in crazy early on XRP. Its because this technology is going to change the world as we know it. The market will take back control from the banks, and we will no longer be tied to inadequate and incumbent services from which we have no alternative. Whilst this is mainly for the world of finance its surely going to impact on travel too. Although there have been no good examples yet, through single identifiers and smart contracts I can see how it could be used to track passengers or luggage more technically.

Well there you have it. Some of the new technology advancements to hit the travel industry. If you are looking at ways that you can implement some of these new technologies into your travel business strategy, then give us a call and let’s see how we can help bring your business into the forefront of this new space.

How many backlinks per month

How Many Backlinks Per Month Should I Be Adding?

By SEO5 Comments

Before we get into why you came here, how many backlinks per month? I think it’s important to point out at this stage, that whilst backlinks are a very big factor in your websites ranking, they are not the only factor. The content on your website is as equally important in helping you climb up those Google rankings.

What counts as a good link?

First off let’s start by talking about what actually constitutes a good link. Ultimately you want them to look natural. That means you don’t want them to be too rich in anchor text, you ideally want them to come from authoritative sites that don’t look spammy or like you have just bought a load of spammy links and lastly you want them to be relevant to your business. It wouldn’t seem very natural for a bunch of gambling blogs to be linking to your hair dresser,,, unless maybe there are some good odds on someone’s new hairstyle

Let’s face I, this isn’t new information and it really just comes down to common sense. If you think it looks bad, it’s probably bad. If you are judging the link, then it’s likely certain search engines would too.

However. what about your link-building velocity? How many backlinks per month should you be building and how quickly are you meant to be building them? No need to panic I’m going to walk you through both of these questions over this article.

how many backlinks per month

So, what’s the magic number, how many backlinks per month should you be building?

You want as many backlinks to your website as possible, right? Well unfortunately like mustard on a hot dog this is just one of those cases where more isn’t always better

It doesn’t matter how many links any body else has or tells you that you need, it’s not about the quantity. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is the quality of the link. A link coming from a site like JOE, assuming its coming from a relevant section, is going to have a lot more weight to it than 5 links from some random mom blogs with a low domain rating. Essentially you need to try and build as many high-quality backlinks as you can. Even better if they are linking to internal pages on your website versus the homepage.

What’s so important about linking to the internal pages? Well generally it is easier to build links to the internal pages rather than the homepage. Have a think about it. Would you rather link from your website to someone else’s informative article that’s published on an internal page or to someone’s homepage of their business that is most likely selling something? The answer is the internal page. It’s always the internal page.

Using this tactic is going to make it hard to compete on a numbers basis alone, but it is going to give you a lot more authoritative links to your website which is definitely going to assist with outranking your competition.

At what speed should you ideally be building links to your website?

how many links per month

Providing that all the links you are building are quality links that aren’t spammy, you generally will not need to be stressing about the velocity of your link building activity. Even if you end up building a load of links really quickly you are going to be fine. However, what I have heard being reported before is that with new sites or websites with less than 100 links being penalised for increasing their links to quickly. For instance, if you built 500 links in the first month to a brand-new website or to an existing website with a low amount of links, then you could very well notice your website rankings temporarily dropping.

It wont last long they will eventually increase to a higher position than that of their original ranking. But generally, link building too fast can seem a bit unnatural. You want it to be as natural looking as possible, I don’t know how Google’s algorithm works with link velocity, but this is just what I try to go by.
So, what I would look to do with a brand-new website or a relatively link-less old website is build 10 to 15 new inbound links in the first month. Then over the next months you can start to increase it up.

I would go for something like:

Month 1 – build 10 inbound links (to your homepage)

Month 2 – build 15 inbound links (a mix between homepage and internal page links)

Month 3 – build 30 inbound links (mix it up again)

Month 4 – build 40 inbound links (just internal pages)

Month 5 – build 40 or more links a month (just internal pages again)

Month 6 – build all the high-quality links you can (still only internal pages)

During the initial months the aim is to build links to both your homepage and your internal pages, however later on you want to move your focus entirely towards your internal pages. You want to do this because it looks more natural to have most of your links pointing to the internal pages. As we’ve previously mentioned people are less inclined to link to website homepages and as such you need to tailor your link building behaviour to what ever seems the most natural.

The above outline is really only concerned with new websites or old website where no work has been done really to date. If you happen to be in possession of an old website that has over 100 inbound links, you essentially can build as many quality links as you want every month. It’s going to be pretty hard for you to build over 50 links a month anyway.

It doesn’t just take a lot of time to increase your link building, it’s going to be pretty hard to get more than 50 new links every month, unless you have published a piece of content that’s gone viral or you are buying links, which can be a dangerous game if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If I Build Too Many Links Too Fast What Could Happen?

If you end up running into this issue, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s really unlikely that you’re going to get slapped with a Penguin penalty, that is so long as all the links you have been building are of a high quality, they’re relevant and aren’t rich in anchor text.

Worst case scenario your search traffic might plateau for a couple of months, they could even drop a smidge, but eventually you’ll see a nice quick increase in your search traffic. If you don’t get this quick increase in the traffic to your website it could mean that some of the links you have been building weren’t as high quality as you had thought, it could also mean that your content is thin. If it isn’t one of those issues, then you are going to have to add more content. That means adding more pages and writing more long form posts. You also need to look at how you are cross linking internal pages on your website. It can sometimes be a bit of work, but these are relatively easy fixes that are going to lead to an increase in website traffic. Just remember not to panic if you don’t see it shooting up straight away, it can take a bit of time.

It doesn’t matter what quality your links are, it’s still can take anywhere from three to six months for you to see any good results for your hard work. So even if you are putting in all this time into building those links, just make sure not to stop just because you aren’t seeing any big results in the first two to three months.


If you begin link building with the method above, you will probably start to see your website rank for more of the long tail terms. After a period of time and if you increase the amount of content you are publishing, you will also start to rank for head terms. Realistically most of your traffic will be generated from three to four-word search terms.

When building links to grow your website traffic, always remember that the most efficient way of building links is with content marketing. If you create quality content that contains genuinely useful information, rather than having to go around grovelling for links, you can greatly increase the chances of people linking to and just generally sharing your content.

Online Marketing Tactics

9 Online Marketing Tactics That Actually Increase Conversions

By Online Marketing2 Comments

9 Online Marketing Tactics That Actually Increase Conversions

When it comes to online marketing tactics my philosophy has always been content is king. And this isn’t just because people have been beating that drum for the last 10 years either. We can see especially this year with googles algorithm changes where the most coveted SERPs are favouring better content that provides a genuinely useful user experience. Gone are the days of churning out predominantly useless blogs of 600 words just to show to google you’re committed to content production.

Despite this there are some good online marketing tactics that you can start using today, that will make your content better at attracting organic traffic but also at converting that traffic into sales. Here are my 9 favourite online marketing tactics. If you’re not using them, you should be.

The Hidden Coupon

Here’s one of my favourite tricks that customers on some of my websites have used a countless number of times and that is the hidden Easter egg coupon. So, the idea behind this is, when people go to your checkout and they’re met with a box that says enter your coupon code, if they don’t have a coupon code they can often get a bit turned off and decide they don’t want to buy. Sometimes these people (you know who you are) abandon their cart completely or else they go off to search around on google to find a coupon. I bet you’ve probably done the same thing right. Well since you know your customers are already googling the name of your website and the search term coupon, you can just go right ahead and create a page on your site, jasont29.sg-host.com/coupons (I don’t have any on this site before you go looking). Then make sure the page looks genuinely exciting, you want to get the user pumped up that they have found it. You know the drill, confetti cannons, balloons, fireworks, the whole 9 yards. Just make it a small 5% discount coupon. I’ve found that it can increase conversions really well.

online marketing tactic

Check The Price On Amazon

When you’re going to use links to affiliate products whether its on amazon or anywhere else, rather than having some big obnoxious buy it now button, or a big spammy looking ad image (you know exactly what I’m talking about). I tend to use a text link that says something like, “click here to check out the current pricing on amazon”. When you do that it just comes across way less salesy, and ultimately less spammy, and guess what? people are actually more likely to click the link just to check the price. And once they check the price, they get the cookie and if they do go ahead and make a purchase of any kind then well done you earnt the commission for it.

Abandoned Cart

One of the simplest online marketing tactics that you can use to really increase your online conversion rate is by doing something with the abandoned carts left at your checkout. Someone thought they would buy something and then at the very last minute, for whatever reason they have just gone and exited out of your site and did not return to complete the purchase. So, what I typically use for any checkouts, particularly ones that are for info products is SendOwl. It’s really worked well for any of the sites that have decided to go with it. SendOwl is a truly amazing tool with lots of functionality, one thing that it does is if somebody puts an info product in their cart and then says, naaah I‘m not feeling this anymore, I’ve changed my mind and they go to leave, which about 15% of online consumers tend to do. I don’t know why but some shoppers just love to put things in their cart and then they go and get distracted or whatever makes them decide to leave.

In this case one thing that really helps is to have an option for abandoned carts. Usually how this works is that you have gotten their email at the start of the sign-up process and then when they abandon the cart you can go ahead and send them an email. I tend to try and avoid doing it this way if possible as I don’t want to take their email at the beginning of the checkout process. I want that to be as quick and painless as possible. So, what if like me, you don’t have their email yet. Well in that case, what I would recommend doing if you are using SendOwl, the way it works is if they have something in their car and they press back to leave, they will automatically be displayed a pop up that says something like “hey would it change your mind if I gave you 20% off”. You would be amazed at how effective this truly is at increasing your conversions on online stores. Another option for abandoned carts is, if they abandon their cart, as soon as they’ve put anything in the cart you tag them with the facebook or google tracking pixel. This then allows you to show them retargeted ads, as you know that they have left but we’re interested. There are plenty of other ways to deal with abandoned carts. If you’re interested in finding out more about this topic leave a comment below or email me directly.

abandoned shopping cart

Just In Time Webinars

With the just in time webinar, you’re going to send your users from your YouTube channel to your webinar. You are going to say something like “hey we’re doing a series of webinars, go check it out at my website.com/webinar”, when they get over there, they’re going to see a countdown timer that says, “next webinar starts in 5 minutes”. And what that does is create a sense of urgency and this will really give you a much higher number of people engaging with your webinars. When you tell people, you’re going to do a webinar, you might get a good response for sign-ups but lots of these people will forget or be busy with their lives and their many many children and ultimately just won’t show up. Most people will be willing to wait five minutes to view the content there and then, whereas getting those people to return at a later stage can often be substantially more difficult and give you a much smaller conversion rate.

You can get a free trial of the webinar software here

Active Campaign For Email Marketing

The next of my favourite online marketing tactics is smarter email marketing. This is something that used to be really expensive or just downright impossible for anyone who wasn’t a digital marketing guru. But now you can do it much less expensively. Let’s say you have a site in the fishing industry. Well, there are all different kinds of people who fish. We have people who are in to fly fishing, we have ppl who are interested in saltwater fishing and then we have people who could be interested in bass fishing and just generally all kinds of people. So, when I release an ice fishing course, if I send an email out to everyone, about 75% of them are just going to get annoyed by my email. It doesn’t apply to them, it’s not specific to their interests, they could live beside the sea, where the water never freezes. You need to get the right offer to the right people if you want to get the sale.

The smarter way to do this is to make your website the intermediary. On your website you are going to have all the different categories, you can have one for ice fishing, another one for saltwater fishing and lastly one for bass fishing etc… (You get the drift). And we have all these people coming to the website and many of them will sign up to your email list. Now when they sign up to your email address you get their IP address and then you can see all the different pages and categories that IP address has interacted with.
If you have a good email marketing system it can do all this for you. When someone signs up for your email list and they’ve been to an ice fishing page, they get tagged in your email system as an ice fisher, this allows you to send them only ice fishing offers. And then when you have a new bass fishing course it goes out to just the people who are interested in Bass fishing. Previously the only tool I am aware of that used to be able to do this was Infusion Soft. But this was a bit overkill and very expensive. Now there is a load of different companies that make this so much easier. The one I would recommend most is Active Campaign for any of your email marketing going forward. Also checkout kbell.ie for a call answering service.

email marketing

Deadline Funnel

When you have an item for sale on your website, your conversion rate will increase dramatically if you have a timer/countdown or are showing the user a special limited time offer. The problem is that you would have set a certain sale time for all users regardless of when they visit your site. Well, what if you could have that countdown timer for each individual user, but actually have the timer end for each of these individual users, rather than just restarting when the page is refreshed. So that way you’re not lying to people as it is on an individual person basis. Each person would only have 24 hours to complete a purchase. Well, that’s what Deadline Funnel does for you. It’s software that has a sales page that as soon as somebody clicks the link, their timer starts for them and so as people enter your sales process, they get the opportunity to buy for a limited amount of time at that sales price. But everybody only gets that same opportunity for the first 24 hours or whatever you want to set it to. This literally rockets up your conversion rates and it is a legitimate tactic that is not in any way misleading your customers.

You can alternatively use a WordPress plugin such as Finale Lite – Sales Countdown Timer & Discount for WooCommerce. I have not used this particular plugin as of yet but I will be looking into it in-depth in the coming weeks and may do an entire post on this topic. This is one of the best online marketing tactics for increasing conversions.


The Upsell

The next of the online marketing tactics is the upsell. Now the upsell is when you have a product, people are already there, they’re purchasing it and then you make them an offer on another product that you also sell. This tends to work extremely well when the next product you offer, is substantially less than the product they are already in the process of buying. It really needs to be about less than half. Like if they’re spending 50 euros on something and you offer them an additional product for 7 euro, what’s another 7 euro added on. Especially if it’s a related product that they are likely to want anyway. This doesn’t tend to make a lot of sense if you have a really dedicated customer base or community, the kind of people that are probably going to buy all your products anyway, but for the real transactional business, it makes a lot of sense to try and get that extra sale regardless.

You can use SendOwl for this too. As well as lots of other solutions. The main reason to use it for this is that they allow you to process the card after everything is already done, the customer has already made the order and then afterwards it says “Hey would you like to add this for another 7 dollars”, and your customer is like “yes of course” and they just click yes and its done. The important part of this process is that they didn’t have to add in their payment details again. The reason this is better is that if you try to upsell before your customer has entered their card details, it can actually make some people completely back out from the initial purchase. Again, this has proven to work really well, and is rather effective at boosting sales and just getting a little bit more spend from the customers you aren’t likely to see again.

Convert Your Subscribers Straight Away

One of the best online marketing tactics that continues to work over an over is to make good use of that first initial email to somebody as soon as they sign up for your email list. That first email is often wasted. Usually, people just have their autoresponders or their first email that just says, “your subscription is confirmed – we promise we won’t spam the shit out of you”. Instead, I tend to write something else into the subject line – “Subscription confirmed here’s that coupon I promised”. Obviously somewhere on the website, it says that they’re going to get a coupon, but most people don’t even know about it and aren’t expecting it.

So, they go ahead and subscribe to the website and that first email will help get them to the website shop where they can buy your product or whatever. And they’re sitting there feeling like ooooh I have a coupon. A good trick for digital products is to set it up that there is only ever one coupon, so in that email you could tell them that, “Hey here’s the coupon I promised, it will give you 25% off my products and this is literally the only coupon you will ever find for my products”. This can be pretty effective, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

Don’t Link Your Post – Make Them Google It

This tactic is hands down an awesome way to boost your ranking for a certain article, providing that when you talk about that article or the same concepts from within that article in a different content type such as a podcast or a YouTube video. What you’ll do instead of creating a bitly link or a short link to send people to that article on your website, you’re going to get them to google the exact name of that article. What this is going to do is it’s going to send Google a signal that people are actually googling this topic and then these people are selecting your website first. And providing your user experience is good they aren’t then bouncing straight away. That is going to boost your rankings way up!

And that’s everything! All 9 tactics that have been used extensively. They have been shown to boost traffic to many different types of websites offering a range of different types of products and will genuinely help to convert way more sales than just having great content. Just always remember that there is no replacement for the best tactic of all, quality content and a killer content marketing strategy.