Instagram may allow users to Follow Hashtags

By Shar Martinez

Major social media network, Instagram could soon allow users to follow hashtags. If you’re not currently using Instagram as a marketing tool, you should really consider doing so.


Instagram is currently testing an option to follow hashtags. This is great for keeping up with #trendingtopics.

With over 800 million active monthly users, paired with the Instagram for Business tool this function may help increase customer-client engagement. Whenever a user searches for or clicks on a hashtag, every post that includes that hashtag will show up. The most ‘liked’ posts will remain at the top of the feed that includes all of the recent posts. Hashtags are very valuable for the fact that they can expose your message to people who are looking for something very specific. This is where using keywords that are related to your brand really comes in handy.

This will also help users to have a better experience with this app as they may begin to use it more to keep up with the latest news and updates even if the people they follow aren’t active.

Hashtags are quickly becoming a key component to modern life and could undoubtedly help businesses keep up with the interests of their target audience.

The amount of users who have access to this test feature is unknown. As this is only a test, Instagram declined to say more about it. However, it’s very likely that this will become a permanent feature.

Google Analytics for Beginners

I recently had the pleasure (and I use that word lightly, for the fact that the information was A LOT to take in) of taking a couple of analytics courses at Google Analytics Academy:

Today, I’ll be sharing an overview of Google Analytics for Beginners.

About the Course

Basically this course shows new users how to create an account, implement a tracking code and set up data filters. Whether you personally benefit from Google Analytics or not, this course will be helpful to list on your resume` or mention to potential clients who may want to hire you for marketing purposes for the fact that Google Analytics is one of the most popular and widely used tools to measure and evaluate websites. In this course you’ll learn how to navigate the analytics interface and report, and set up dashboards as well as shortcuts. Furthermore, Google Analytics for Beginners will demonstrate how to analyze basic audience acquisition and behavior reports, in addition to setting up goals and campaign tracking.

Certificate of Completion

img_5302As a bonus, you’ll also receive a certificate from the Academy for this course if you choose to take and pass the 4 assessments Google administers with at least 80% or higher. This certificate will be visible on your Google + profile for potential employers to see if you set your privacy settings accordingly. Please note that this certificate will not earn you the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ). However, this course, paired with Advanced Google Analytics will help prepare you for the GAIQ. The certification for all of the courses at Google Analytics Academy are valid for 12 months. To keep your certification valid you must retake the courses every year.


Course Features

This course in divided into 4 units that contain 3 – 5 lessons each that conclude with an assessment. For each lesson you have the option to watch a video (or launch guided tours, for some lessons) or to read the text transcript. In order launch the guided tours (demos), you must have a Google Analytics account. If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, Google will create one for you and add the demo to it. You’ll still be able to create other accounts in the future. If you’d rather not open a Google Analytics account, instead of watching the guided tours simply read the text transcript. I must state that the guided tours are very helpful, as they give you an actual look at how you’ll be accessing and using Google Analytics. This course is optimized for mobile devices, making it much easier to study on the go.

Material Covered in Google Analytics for Beginners:

Unit 1: Introducing Google Analytics
Lesson 1: Why digital analytics?
Lesson 2: How Google Analytics work
Lesson 3: Google Analytics setup
Lesson 4: How to set up views with filters

Unit 2: The Google Analytics layout
Lesson 1: Navigating Google Analytics
Lesson 2: Understanding overview reports
Lesson 3: Understanding full reports
Lesson 4: How to share reports
Lesson 5: How to set up dashboards and shortcuts

Unit 3: Basic Reporting
Lesson 1: Audience reports
Lesson 2: Acquisition reports
Lesson 3: Behavior reports

Unit 4: Basic Campaign and Conversion Tracking
Lesson 1: Measuring Custom Campaigns
Lesson 2: Tracking campaigns with the URL Builder
Lesson 3: Using Goals to measure business objective
Lesson 4: Measuring Adwords Campaigns
Lesson 5: Course review and next steps

As if Google hasn’t already given us enough information within the lessons alone, they also provide additional information to read, access to the Analytics Academy Discussion Community, practice activities and couple of pretty cool web tools to take advantage of.

Additional Information to Read

As an example of some of the additional information provided, if you aren’t familiar with analytic jargon, Google provides a glossary at the end of lesson 1.1. I found the glossary, along with everything else to be very helpful. If you don’t know anything at all about Google Analytics before you immerse yourself in the course, I highly recommend reading the glossary to become knowledgeable of the terms that will be used in the remainder of the course.


  • Analytics solutions
  • Attribution
  • Attribution model
  • Channel Grouping
  • Content Grouping
  • Conversion
  • Custom Dimension
  • Data Set
  • Dimension
  • Event
  • Goal
  • Hit
  • IP address
  • Measurement Protocol
  • Metric
  • Pageview
  • Permission
  • Property
  • Reporting API
  • Roll-Up Reporting
  • Sampling
  • SDKs
  • Segment
  • Session
  • Solutions Gallery
  • Source / Medium
  • Tag
  • Tracking code
  • Tracking ID and property number
  • Universal Analytics
  • User ID view
  • View
  • View Filter

This glossary alone, is an excellent resource to have as it leads to even more information.

Practice Activities

The practice activities are for those who take the course to get a better grasp on topics that we’re covered in the lessons. For example, unit 3, lesson is all about Audience reports. The activity in lesson 3.1 allows extra practice analyzing Audience reports using the Google Merchandise Store demo account, that are followed by questions, such as:

  1. Under Audience, in the Demographic Overview report, which Age Group brought in the highest number of users?
  2. Under Audience, in the Geo > Location report fir the country of India, what region brought in the highest number of users?
  3. Under Audience, in the Mobile Overview report what percentage of sessions came from mobile devices?

All of the questions in the practice activities and assessments are true or false, or multiple choice questions.

The Google Analytics Audience reports are very useful as they provide insight into the characteristics of your users. These reports are used to identify visitors by age, browser, device type, gender, geographical location, interests, operating system, and a lot more. The interests feature is excellent for advertising purposes. This data gives a great foundation for growing advertising into similar demographics, and for adjusting advertising on exactly the user who demonstrate a likelihood to utilize specific content or purchase products.

Free Tools

Moving on, the Analytics Academy Discussion Community is great interacting with like-minded people and getting answers to questions you may have. Another great tool to explore that Google provides in Google Analytics for Beginners is Test My Site. Test My Site is an assessment tool that analyzes your website’s speed and performance on mobile devices. It gives you details on:

  • Loading time: how long the primary content of your page takes to appear. Google notes that loading time can vary based on server location, device, browser, and third-party apps. If your site contains carousel and overlays, this may impact your loading time, big time.
  • Estimated visitor loss: the probability of a user leaving your site as a result of waiting for more than 3 seconds for it load. (I’m so guilty of doing this!)

So, of course I tested this little ‘ole site if mine. My result for loading time: 5 seconds. My result for estimated visitor loss: 19%.


They gave me the following recommendations with this key [x] = should fix, [!] = consider fixing and [✓ ] = looks good:

Reduce page weight

  • [✓] Compress images
  • [✓] Compress resources with GZIP
  • [!] Minify resources

Reduce number of requests

  • [!] Leverage browser chaching
  • [x] Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  • [✓] Avoid landing page redirects

Make a quick first impression

  • [✓] Load visible content before CSS and JS files
  • [✓] Reduce server response time

Google inserts a disclaimer, making it crystal clear that this report is intended as a guideline only. Google does not guarantee improvements of site performance.


I learned so much during the Google Analytics for Beginners course (as well as the Advanced Analytics course). Whether you own an international website or run a tiny blog, this course will benefit you tremendously. It’s especially beneficial to those who want to understand the dynamics of online marketing. According to Marketing Land, an estimated 29.3 million websites use Google Analytics.

Understanding this tool well will set you apart from the crowd. As a freelancer, that’s what I’m constantly doing. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in the freelance marketplace, if you can do something to put yourself ahead of the crowd, do it!

It’s free, what are you waiting for?

Pop Up Domination Overview

Finding an opt-in program that actually works and that is cost-effective is nearly impossible. Have you heard of Popup Domination?

Popup Domination is a great way to increase your web subscribers which in turn will increase both your site traffic and revenue. Popup Domination is an email opt-in WordPress plugin that will allow you to take your email promotions to a much higher level. When visiting your site, your visitors are immediately welcomed with a beautiful light box popup containing profitable information pertaining to your site that will aide you in building a huge mailing list. These popups can contain anything from ordering your latest e-book to signing up for a trial offer, ultimately building your list and earnings. Popup Domination’s light boxes are simple, clean cut designs that will give your site the professional look that you desire. Thousands of individuals and industries are using Popup Domination to earn more revenue. Popup domination is also used by many well-known bloggers to increase their opt-in conversion. There is no other available web tool that can increase your subscribers as immensely as the Popup Domination software will. Many people have the perception that building a list to market to be challenging but with this opt-in program it’s anything but challenging, it’s fairly easy.

Popup Domination has many amazing things to offer you. They have several features that are geared toward helping you obtain more subscribers. You get a WordPress Plugin and stand-alone version, so even if WordPress isn’t your web platform, Popup Domination will work with your site. It has seven themes that have been beautifully designed along with fifteen color selections to choose from; allowing you to match your light box to the style of your website. All of the themes are fully customizable. This brilliant program works with all mailing list providers, even custom systems so that you’ll always be able to build up your list. It works with all caching software as well. Popup Domination has an exit Popup functionality which is very significant. It comes with complete statistical data and so much more. If you really want to increase your subscribers and earn more profits then this package is absolutely perfect for you.

At the moment, Popup Domination is actually discounting their package by 80 percent so that you only have to pay a total of forty-seven dollars for this extremely profitable software. This is a great deal and it will not last long so you should make full use of this offer and act upon now. By getting Popup Domination, not only will you get a discount, many amazing features, earn more subscribers and revenue but you’ll also get an email domination system bonus and the Photoshop PSD files for all of the high converting themes designed for ultimate flexibility upon purchase and download. Popup Domination offers a 60 day 100 percent money back guarantee. If by some highly unlikely chance that you don’t like this program or benefit from it, they will give you all of your money back without any difficulties. Popup domination also has an affiliate program that allows you to earn commissions by simply promoting their software.

The Popup Domination software is easy and quick to set up. It’s just like any other WordPress plugin when it comes to installation, so you don’t have to be an expert when it comes to design and coding by any means. However, along with all of those great features that you’ll get upon purchase, they even give you a video that shows you how to both install and use the software. The video is given to you for free and includes a step-by-step guide that shows you how to maximize your profits. The team behind Popup Domination actually cares about you and your success. They have a support system which is available through their site to answer any questions that you may have. This isn’t one of those programs where the company just ‘takes your money and runs’– if it was Popup Domination would not offer discounts or give you a 100 percent money back guarantee, let alone provide customer support! But there’s even better news, Popup Domination is currently offering a 7 day money back guarantee if you use their program for 7 consecutive days and don’t see a double in your subscribers at the end of the seventh day; they will refund all your money right then and allow you to keep the helpful video which is worth two-hundred dollars.

Overall, Popup Domination is an exceedingly effective program that is reasonably priced, with many amazing features that will help you earn more profits the day that you install it. This product is definitely worth over a thousand dollars when it comes to terms of value, so whether you think that forty-seven dollars is reasonable or not, by purchasing Popup Domination you are actually investing thousands of dollars into your business. If you are a true Internet marketer, you should know that this will pay off greatly. It doesn’t matter what the content of your website contains, if you are trying to market something then this brilliant software will benefit you immensely. There are no other popup plugins that are as cost effective and have as many features to offer as Popup Domination does. This program has been proven to be effective numerous times.

Your web visitors will not feel like they are getting Internet spam when they see your popup. Popup Domination works really well and gives your website a professional polished look. It’s fully customizable so that it will fit the needs of your website and it’s very simple to use. Popup Domination is a significant essential when it comes to Internet marketing. Your subscriber list is guaranteed to dramatically increase with Popup Domination. Keep in mind that there is a money back guarantee so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose! There is no risk of any kind involved. Boost your subscribers and sales, purchase Popup Domination now!

[SEO/keyword sample produced for a previous client.]