Interesting Facts to Know about Google’s Algorithm

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When someone conducts a search on Google, they get hundreds of search results almost instantly. Have you ever wondered how this mechanism works? Actually, Google has its own algorithm to determine what pages should appear in the first page of search results. It’s okay if you do not want to dig deeper into the technicalities, but there’s no harm in knowing some interesting facts about Google’s algorithm. Whether you are an SEO expert or simply pursuing a SEO training course, here are 5 interesting things to know about the search giant and its algorithm.

1. Google Dance is not actually a dance form

In the early last decade, Google used to make sudden changes in its search rankings every month. These sudden changes had a name – Google Dance. If you thought Google Dance is a kind of dance, now you know it’s not. Back then, the search engine would often name the sudden changes by location as well, for instance, Florida Dance and Boston Dance. However, Google has stopped making such sudden updates (read Google Dance) every month since 2003.

2. PageRank got its name from Larry Page

You thought PageRank is a way of determining the quality and relevance of a website. You are right, but it has nothing to do with its naming. In fact PageRank was named after one of Google’s co-founder – Larry Page.

3. The original name of Google’s algorithm has never changed since 2013

Yes, you read it right! Hummingbird is the official name of Google’s algorithm since 2013. Meanwhile, the search giant has made several major updates by the names – Penguin updates, Panda updates, and Pigeon updates. But, make no mistake; they are just the names of the updates – not the original name. Hummingbird continues to remain the original name of Google algorithm, even today. Some experts say Hummingbird is a perfect name for Google’s algorithm, because it is a combination of numerous ingredients to make searching on Google faster and more accurate like the bird itself.

4. Google updates its algorithm 500-600 times a year

Surprising but true! Google is very quick to respond to any changes in the way people search online. In order to adjust to the ever-changing search behavior of people, the search engine now makes up to 600 updates every year. However, most of these updates are so minor that even SEO experts would not know about them. It is true that the frequency of Google updates has increased considerably over the past few years. One of the major reasons for this is that more and more people now are searching on mobile devices. Also, the number of users is growing fast.

5. There is no story behind every name

Names of Google algorithm updates do not always have a story behind them. Some were named after famous engineers or Google employees, while others have no specific reason for naming as such. However, most of the names of Google algorithm updates, including Panda updates and Caffeine, were named by Google itself.

via Dynamic Marketing

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Tips for Optimizing Videos for YouTube

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As ranking with text-based content getting competitive, many marketers today are trying to market with videos. For most of them, YouTube is the place to upload their videos. However, ranking your videos on YouTube is no longer a walk in the park. With more than 100 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, YouTube now is the second largest search engine in the world, after Google. Just creating and uploading a video on YouTube is not going to help you get noticed. You can hire an SEO consultant to boost your YouTube SEO. If, however, you do not want to hire SEO service at the moment, you can follow the below tips to optimize your videos for YouTube.

Use the right keyword

When someone searches for a video on YouTube, they still have to use a keyword or key phrase. There is no other way. That means keywords are important. You should find the right keyword and optimize your video with it. One rule of thumb is to look for keywords that provide top video results not only on YouTube but also on Google. For instance, if your key phrase is ‘how to make pancakes’, check whether you get video results when you search Google with that key phrase. That way, you are using a keyword that will provide you traffic from Google search as well. Also, use Google Keyword Planner to check whether the keyword provides at least 500 monthly searches.

Add effective title and tags

The right title and tags make your content more easily searchable. Make sure that you use your keyword once in the title. Ideally, your title should have five words. It is always a good idea to put the keyword at the beginning of your title, if possible. When it comes to tags, consider using all related tags, so that your video not only ranks higher on YouTube searches, but also shows up more often in YouTube’s sidebar suggestions.

Write an SEO-optimized description

This is another very important tool to boost your YouTube SEO. The description is basically an introduction to your video. You should write what the video is about. Try to be specific and use bullet pointers, if possible. Keep the length about 250 words and do not forget to include keywords, ideally twice in the content. It is always a good idea to include a keyword once in the first paragraph and once anywhere in the rest of the text. It is also important to include a call-to-action at the end of your description.

Make a great video

Just optimizing your video of YouTube is not enough. You should focus on the quality of your video content. The content should be useful for the viewers. You can seek professional help for video creation, if required. This is important because YouTube puts a lot of value of the ‘watch time’. If your video has a lot of views, but poor watch time – it may still fail to impress the search engine. Views are how many times people visited your page, while watch-time is whether a visitor has actually watched your video till the end.

via Dynamic Marketing

5 Ingredients of Good SEO Copy

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The days of writing content for search bots are over. Now you need to post original content for human readers, even when your real intention is to boost your SEO. If you are planning to create content for SEO, you should keep yourself updated with the latest SEO rules. Often, when people hire SEO services, they depend on them for everything related to SEO, including SEO copywriting. The problem is; not all SEO agencies have a dedicated team for creating good content. Before hiring an SEO consultant or agency, check whether they have expertise in writing SEO copy. One good idea would be to read some of the content on their website. If you are not sure what makes a copy SEO-friendly, read here about the five elements of good SEO copy.

1. Originality of content

Search engines penalize websites that post copied or duplicate content. And if you think original content is anything that passes the Copyscape, think again! It is not only about copying words. If you steal an idea, it is still considered as plagiarism. Even rephrased content may be considered as copied content. All you need is original ideas expressed in simple, easy-to-read sentences.

2. Strong headlines

The main headline of your copy should have something to capture the attention of your audience. Studies show that a strong headline helps attract more readers to you content. If possible, use keywords in your headline so that the search bots can easily find them for relevant audience. Another good idea would be use sub headings in your post. It not only helps make your post readable, but boosts your SEO.

3. Effective titles and descriptions

Many people, even some experts, do not know the importance of creating great meta titles and descriptions. Often, these descriptions encourage readers to click on a search result. There are different character limits for titles and descriptions. You should follow that. Try to make full use of the space provided. You can even insert keywords in your title and description. One common mistake people make is that they provide a lame description of the post.

Instead, you should try and attract the attention of your prospects with something interesting. For instance, you can start with a question or state a problem and then say how the below page can help resolve the problem – all within the space provided.

4. Content that adds value

Even though you are writing for SEO, you should make your content useful for human readers. If the copy does not add value to your readers, they’ll reject it right away, no matter whether your website ranks higher in search results. So your focus should be on creating useful content.

5. Storytelling

Stirring a little emotion to your content helps make your readers think the way you want them to think. It is also called persuasive writing. You are not just presenting facts, but telling a story. And what better way to connect with someone emotionally than by telling a story? If your copy tells a story, it will easily engage your readers and encourage them to take actions. You can add a call to action at the end. It works well to turn your readers to your subscribers or your prospects to your customers.

via Dynamic Marketing

4 Things Every Small Business Owner should know about SEO in 2017

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Most SMBs today understand the importance of having a strong online presence. They know they need to use SEO as a tool to improve their online reputation. But, most of them are not sure whether they should hire an SEO expert or go for DIY SEO. As a small business owner, you may not have the time to keep yourself updated with the ever-changing Google algorithms. That’s why seeking professional help is always a good idea. That does not mean, however, that you should not even try to know the basics. You can join an SEO training course to quickly know about the SEO best practices. Here are four things to know about SEO in 2017.

1. Mobile websites are a must-have

With more and more users searching on their mobile devices, it is important for SMBs to have a mobile-friendly website. Your search ranking will depend on whether you have a mobile site and how it performs. Make sure your mobile website has a fast loading time. Consider using HTML5 instead of Flash for a more responsive design. Also, make sure that your mobile website includes all important information about your company. Use short title and description for best results.

2. Ensure strong social presence

Just doing onsite SEO is not enough. Search engines now judge your online reputation on the basis of other factors, such your social media presence. You should use multiple social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Some of your social media content may not be indexed by search engines, but they still help give a strong SEO boost. If you are not sure how to use social media to strengthen your online presence, you can ask your SEO expert or join an SEO training course in Singapore.

3. Avoid using pop-up ads on your mobile site

Users do not like to be interrupted by pop-ups. Hence, Google recently advised against using pop-ups, especially on mobile sites. If you continue to use mobile pop-ups, you may end up seeing your search ranking plummet. The search engine clearly specifies the types of pop-ups one should not use and the types you can use. For instance, you should not use a pop-up that appears when someone visits your website or a pop-up ad that must be closed to be able to access the main content. However, you can use pop-ups for legal reasons or accepting online payment.

4. Enable HTTPS

URLs beginning with https are more secure that the ones beginning with http. You should enable https to your website to protect against hackers. In addition to making your website more safe and secure, https helps improve your site’s search ranking. Search engines like Google consider https enabled sites more reliable and thus rank them higher. Also, when visitors visit a website that is not https enabled, they get a warning that the site is not secure. This may end up increasing bounce rates on your website. And search engines like Google perceives higher bounce rates as a negative sign, which could eventually hamper your ranking.

via Dynamic Marketing

Types of Content Your Local Business Website Must Have

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If you are running a local business, you can benefit from online marketing and SEO services. However, developing content for your local business website entails a slightly different approach. Your SEO consultant can help you in this, but you may still want to know a few things. For instance, knowing the basics of Google’s Micro-Moments concept helps you understand that different people visit your website with different purposes. Some people want to know about your products, while others want to buy from you. Also, there are people who want to physically visit your store, while others may simply want to complete a task on your website.

To address the different needs of potential customers, your local business website must have different types of content. Here’s a look.

1. NAP

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. You must provide this information on multiple pages of your website. Ideally, the contact page should include your NAP on the top right. In addition, put NAP in the header or footer of every page. Also, make sure that both human readers and search bots can easily read this information. It is also important to maintain NAP consistency. For instance, if your business is called XYZ Agency, you should not call it XYZ Company, XYZ Firm, or only XYZ. Use the same spelling everywhere. Look for typos and other errors in phone number and address as well.

2. Home Page

The home page of your website is often the starting point for your visitors. Some people look for quick information on the home page, while others may want to get more details. Your content for home page should have something for both types of customers. For instance, you can use bullet lists for those looking for quick info. At the same time, provide descriptive texts about your services or what makes you stand out from the crowd, so that visitors looking for more information are not disappointed. Another good idea would be to provide links to other pages in your website for more details. Also, consider changing the home page content every few months.

3. Contact Page

Your contact page should include your NAP, a map, detailed driving directions, information on closed days and hours, links to your social media pages and blog, payment gateway, and a call to action.

4. Customer service policy

You should also develop content on your customer service policy and distribute it among all your employees, especially your front office executives. A copy of the customer service policy may also be included on your website, so that interested customers can download and read it.

5. Reviews and testimonials

Most people today read online reviews before buying a product or service. So consider creating a page for reviews and testimonials. Have a clear policy for posting reviews and testimonials. Outline the terms and conditions for reviewers. For instance, you may choose not allow posting any reviews from unregistered visitors. That way, you can earn the trust of your customers and have more people take your reviews seriously.

In addition, you should also have a products/services page and a store locator page on your local business website.

via Dynamic Marketing