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To survive in today’s competitive world SEO is imperative for the business. Increased conversion rate, brand awareness, improves engagement with the customers and boosts brand’s online reputation of the firm  – with so many benefits to its credit, SEO plays an integral role when it comes to projecting a good impression of your business in the online world. So it is very important for the firm to have a clear vision of what are the areas you must take care of while hiring the best SEO Company.

1. Understanding the needs of your target audience 

Before selecting an SEO company, one must ensure that they understand the needs of your clients as well as have proper knowledge of your products and services as well. Once the SEO Company has a clear idea of your client’s needs, it must also have the capability of executing it. In all, having a clear picture of these basic things helps the firm to undertake its work in a proper manner.

2. Innovation and creativity are one of the deciding factors 

Once the firm has figured out the needs of your clients, the SEO Company you opt for must be able to put forward your ideas uniquely. Your work if executed in an innovative and creative manner has the power to get more accolades.

3. Keeping up with the new industry changes 

Google changes its algorithms around 500-600 times a year. It’s essential for an SEO firm to keep updating itself and not to fall behind during such times. In fact, the company must be able to predict what changes are expected in the future and how it will help your firm to grow in the long run.

4. Proper know-how of social media 

Now that social media is taking the world by storm. Anything and everything is put up on the social media search engines like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest. It’s very important for the SEO firm to have a proper know-how of social media and how to properly project a good impression of your firm on it.

5. Professionalism and Experience 

If the SEO company you are looking for has a good experience background, he can surely help you to get a better picture of your firm’s rankings. Skilled professionals are more capable to outrank your competitors than newbies.

6. Accountability 

The best SEO firms ensure accountability in their work. A firm, that seriously works for promoting their client’s business. Accountability is one of the crucial factors in the long run. To know about their accountability you can always reach out to their past customers and have a better idea.

7. Quality matters (Avoid Black Hat service Providers, post good quality content) 

In the world of Search Engine Optimization, there are a wide variety of techniques used by search engine experts to lure companies into achieving quick results. While there is a safe way of doing SEO, there is also a risky way, which is against the rules and regulations of Google. Black Hat SEO is a risky way to skyrocket your rankings by violating the search engine rules. If your website is tracked for undertaking unethical practices it can be hit with manual penalties as well as algorithm downgrades at the same time. At the same time it also important to post strong and the quality content reason being strong content works as a backbone for the website. One should always choose SEO firm depending on the quality of content and ability to improve as per changing times. Authenticity, relevance, accuracy, and reliability must be maintained by the firm.

8. Good Reputation 

Before hiring a firm look at what other people are saying about them. Although business websites are more likely to show positive reviews, as they avoid posting negative reviews about their business. It is advisable to read a review on third-party review sites such as Yelp, Google and many other online websites that have fairly strict policies to track the fake reviews.

9. Link Building Strategies 

A good SEO company will be able to understand the importance placed on both – one way and reciprocal linking by search engines. It should be able to offer and perform advanced analysis of your website’s linking structure and make efforts to improve it.

10. Keyword Optimization 

Keyword optimization is an integral part of your website’s on-page optimization. The SEO Company must be able to analyze and optimize keywords, suggest alternative ones, if necessary. You must have a clear idea of the tools that they are using. You must avoid companies that give automated submission because search engines are most likely to penalize the websites that use automated methods to skyrocket their results.

11. Certified in Google Analytics 

SEO companies that have individuals who are certified by Google Analytics provide open and correct analysis of the progress of your website. This, in long run, will help to provide valuable advice on which areas require more work. A good marketing plan can be devised on this professional advice.

12.Communication 

Communicating is the most important part of SEO. You must receive timely updates on the progress of your reports, expert suggestions, analytics report etc. There must be clear communication of the ideas between the client and the company for the successful implementation of the Seo project.

Final Thoughts :

Choosing the right company for your online marketing is extremely essential. Always opt for a firm that gives the right advice to keep up with the changing search engines, as it takes a keen eye to stay on top of the trends. Never fall for a company that lures you with big promises, proper analysis of its background, experience, past work, customer service, is its ability to face the challenges equally important. Don’t agree to work with the first one you talk to. Be picky!

Read Also :

The post 12 Things to Consider While Choosing the Best SEO Company appeared first on Search Engine Magazine.

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Do you have a creative mind and you like actively working with several special animations and effects? You could be searching for the best free animation maker software. This article will list for you the top 10 best free animation video makers in the market.

Top 10 Best Free Animation Maker Software: 1. Modo :

Modo tops our list of the best free animation video makers. It is a professional –dimension animation tool that allows users to work with multiple aspects and features like painting 3D models, modeling, and sculpting. Modo has a minimalistic approach when looking at animation video maker tools. However, some users will tell you that the efficiency of this tool is questionable. However, Modo is very good when you want an animation video maker that will bridge the gap between computer images and the reality. Like most of the animation tools, Mode will give you a free trial for thirty days before you decide to purchase its license.

2. Blender :

This is an excellent animation software that can be used by people at all levels, whether experts or amateurs. You can use Blender as VFX experts, studios, animators, students, and game creators among others. It’s an open source and fully free 3D video creation software. It has some cool animation programs that individuals from all works of animation love. These features range from post video creation needs, lighting, animations, and texturing just to name a few. This tool supports cross-platform inter-portability making it more easy to use this animation software.

3. Autodesk Motion Builder :

MotionBuilder is a three-dimension animation tool that you will use in virtual production. The App will help you to manipulate and refine data. It works quite perfectly in multiple environs and allows users to edit, capture and playback those complex character animations with a lot of ease. You can make a free download of Autodesk motion builder and use it for a period of thirty days before you purchase its license. However, the trial period goes to up to three years if you are still in school. It’s a very effective online animation maker.

4. Aurora 3D Animation Maker :

Aurora 3D Animation Maker is one of the best animation maker software that comes with a broad range of features for your application. The App has a long list of animations and you can also add a watermark to the videos or images and create special effects among other functionalities. You can start by downloading the Aurora 3D animation maker trial version before you go on to the paid version. Aurora could be your answer for the best animation maker software. It has a pretty simple interface and you will not find it hard to add animation effects to the pictures, movies, or videos.

5. Houdini :

The quality graphics of  Houdini makes it rank among the top free animation video makers. The App allows users to work with tools which support several schemes like animated 3D models, rigging, texturing, and modeling. With this animation tool, you can create a broad range of 3-dimension effects and content at the same time.

6. Autodesk Maya :

Autodesk Maya is among the leading 3-dimension animation software on the market. You can use this tool to develop and create 3D movies, games, people, and scenes. The application has non-complicates cool features that feel nothing that is less than real. It is a perfect animation software for working with animation, coloring, and modeling. The tool is ideal for creating broadcast television and games. The only challenge is that you have to be patient with this tool until you learn all the small and big parts of it in order to excel.

7. Anime Studio :

This tool is also a great animation software you can find in the market. It comes with a broad range of features that have all the tools that you require to give you an easy animating experience. Anime Studio will help you to deliver highly professional content with a lot of fun in the animations. Apart from the high level of fun, this software will make your work easier making life worth living.

8. Cinema 4D Studio :

This is one of the best online animation makers that have a user-friendly and intuitive look. Cinema 4D studio can help you to create advanced character animation and character rigs using its broad range of character tools. The software will always keep in mind the motion of your graphics. You can try the demo version of the Cinema 4D studio before you can buy its full version. What you get from its offerings and features will tell you that it’s one of the top free animation video makers.

9. Autodesk :

Most professionals in broadcast television, movies, and professional games like to use this 3D animation App. This product presents a stand-alone animation software package that has an incredible choice of features and tools to select from. It is an appropriate choice for anyone who wants to utilize animation software as animators and software. most people like to use this tool for educational purposes and school and colleges in teaching students the basic features of animation.

10. Autodesk 3ds Max :

Autodesk 3ds Max also falls among the best 3-dimension animation software that operates with the upon polygon modeling principle. The tool will allow you to create D images like cones, and pyramids just to name a few. You can use Autodesk 3ds to work on major projects and you will come to discover that it’s very easy to work with this software over time. The other good thing about this App is the fact that it allows you to download plugins if you wish to expand its capabilities. Take advantage of the 30 free days that Autodesk 3ds Max offers before you can decide to buy the software.

Summary :

Now you have the list of the top ten best free animation maker software in the market. Some of the tools may appear to be complicated but you will get used to them as you continue using the tools. The most important thing is to identify a tool that will address all your animation needs with a high-level precision.

The post Top 10 Best Free Animation Maker Software appeared first on Search Engine Magazine.

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Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) were once closer to science fiction than reality. However, both are experiencing substantial growth, with VR headset sales expected to go from 7 million in 2016 to 37 million in 2020. More possibilities are being unlocked using these technologies every year.

Most consumers are aware of the steady growth of VR and AR, but they might not know as much about how they’re being used in an e-commerce context. Along with an increase in on-demand app development, many tech-savvy e-commerce vendors are already using the technology in unique, innovative ways.

By blurring the lines between physical and virtual, and giving customers an unprecedented online shopping experience, these technologies are already changing the e-commerce and will only continue to do so. The following are just a few of the ways in which AR and VR have the potential to radically shift the world of e-commerce.

Make the Technology a Priority:

It’s easy to utilize the newest technology in a fun, generic way. while some businesses may be content to do so, there are much more interesting possibilities available with augmented reality. The best marketers are already finding unique ways of offering real value to consumers through AR technology, rather than simply viewing it as a novelty.

Take Sephora, for example. The beauty company recently implemented augmented reality into its mobile application to give users the opportunity to apply cosmetic products into an AR version of their face. Online shopping is constantly increasing its market share, illustrating the need for convenient digital solutions like this.

Another interesting takeaway from Sephora’s use of augmented reality technology is the fact that it outsourced the development and maintenance of this aspect of its marketing to a smaller company. It can be difficult to find the same level of expertise in-house, and outsourcing has proven to be a great resource for many businesses looking to integrate their augmented reality and virtual reality marketing.

Focus on Convenience and Ease of Use:

While introducing technology into the sales process seemingly complicates things, it can actually make purchasing decisions easier for customers when used effectively. Augmented reality can be seamlessly implemented into a physical store, giving customers the best of both worlds when deciding if a given item is right for them.

For customers who are shopping online rather than in-store, AR technology can offer them similar aspects of the traditional experience. IKEA, for example, gives users the opportunity to visualize what furniture would look like in their actual living space, significantly simplifying a once complicated, time-consuming process.

Offer Customization Options:

One often underutilized aspect of these technologies is the possibilities they open up for customization and personalization. Nordstrom has been among the leaders in this field, as their curated shopping experience offers each customer a unique view based on his or her size and style preferences.

AR brings a wide new range of opportunities for businesses to customize the user experience in a variety of unique ways. More than ever, companies need to reach out to their audiences not just with their products, but also with the shopping experience itself. Nordstrom is one of many examples of businesses going above and beyond with their customer service.

Provide Added Value Online:

We’ve established that making it easier for your customers to shop online will attract them away from your competitors, which is why there’s such fierce competition in nearly every industry. Recent technology has even made it possible to, in some cases, emulate the benefits of physical shopping online, removing even more barriers to making a purchase.

One of the consistent issues customers face when shopping online is the lack of interaction with the product in question, and businesses are already coming up with methods of bridging that gap. Warby Parker was among the originators of this trend, allowing customers to physically try on frames before committing to their favorite, but companies are constantly finding more efficient ways of working on this issue.

While the underlying technology is still constantly being improved, novel marketing concepts like digital avatars who can try on virtual clothes are much closer than you think. The businesses that will succeed the most in the near future will be the ones willing to think outside the box and offer an unmatched customer experience.

Use AR to Catch Your Audience’s Attention:

Multiple forward-thinking companies have started to utilize many of these concepts in unique ways to attract foot traffic and offer a different shopping experience. One example of this trend is Timberland, which offered the ability to virtually try on clothes using a mirror in the window display.

In addition to streamlining the process of trying things on, this also makes the store stand out from others around it. The company’s goal was to use the ability to “try clothes on” outside to convert more passersby into customers. But even if participants didn’t end up going in the store to buy anything, their use of the display encouraged people to interact, drew more attention to the store, and thus brought in more traffic.

This is a great example of a business using AR to improve the customer experience while simultaneously leveraging its marketing capabilities. While many businesses spend their AR resources on one or the other (experience vs. branding), Timberland managed to do both effectively using a single tool.

Just as the sudden rise of e-commerce challenged existing businesses to update their practices, recent improvements in AR and VR technology have brought them to a position of prominence in the world of e-commerce. Companies that utilize AR and VR effectively will offer a simplified experience to their customers.

Furthermore, businesses that ignore the opportunities and risks posed by this technology will likely suffer, while those that take advantage and invest in it will be the most successful. These ideas are just a few of the countless ways in which companies are already leveraging AR and VR solutions to make shopping easier and more convenient.

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The post How Augmented Reality Is Being Leveraged in E-Commerce appeared first on Search Engine Magazine.

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In its drive to become an-ever-more intelligent (and humanlike) answering machine, Google continues to roll out its periodic algorithm updates. These are geared towards providing the best search engine user-experience possible. To everyday searchers, brand marketers, and all varieties of busy professionals. And so far, it seems that all the back-end effort (on part of the engine’s engineers) has really paid off! Because Google, according to my latest Optimum Internet search, continues to lead the search engine market in 2018.

Google is Still the King of the Search Engine Domain:

As per Statista’s July 2018 estimates, the engine showed an impressive 86.02 percent of search engine market capitalization share. Its main competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, lagged far behind with only a 6.5 percent stake. And these figures really speak for themselves; indicating that Google easily seems destined to continue onward with its victorious march. At least until something completely revolutionary takes place in the search engine world. And new players arrive on the scene.

A future which, to be honest, seems almost fictitious at this point!

In total, SEO specialists have identified 12 algorithm updates/shifts so far since the onset of the New Year. And 9 of these have been confirmed – meaning that they are currently effective. So if you’re a search engine tech, you should really make haste to learn about them. Otherwise, you may risk losing some ground from beneath your feet. Especially if your website projects have something to do with the industries that a few of these updates address.

So ‘being forewarned is being forearmed’ is really the best approach to take in this case.

2018 Algorithm Updates – by the List…

The following list only indicates those algorithm working-changes that have been confirmed by Google. And these are the ones which you should cater to on a priority basis.

  1. ‘Brackets’ Core Update – March 2018
  2. Zero-result SERP Test – March 2018
  3. Mobile-First Index Roll-out – March 2018
  4. X (Without Label) Core Update – April 2018
  5. Meta-Description Length Update – May 2018
  6. Graphics Carousels – June 2018
  7. Mobile Speed – July 2018
  8. Chrome Security Update – July 2018
  9. ‘Medic’ Core Update – August 2018

I’ve briefly discussed each of these below.

Brackets – March 8, 2018:

Informally called the ‘Brackets’ update, this core algorithm tweak was soon confirmed by Google’s Danny Sullivan in a tweet posted on March, 12. This update was thought to basically refine the way in which Google analyses and shows ‘Rich Snippets’.

Rich snippets are the extra information tags (pictures and captions) that make a search result query more meaningful. Because of their aim, they are thought to improve the search engines user-experience.

In the SEO community, reporting about site ranking-drops started pouring in as early as the first week of March. That was the time when many techs anticipated an update taking place from the search engine’s end. The ‘March Tremor’, some were calling it.

Sites that were already optimized for these page elements didn’t seem to suffer too much. And those in this category that saw rankings drop were soon relieved. Because their SERP positioning was more or less restored by the last week of the month.

Zero-result SERP Test – March 14, 2018:

This was a test conducted by Google for a one-weekly period. Its purpose was to test user response against time/date and mathematical calculation queries. Many SEO have taken careful note of this ‘case study’. Because they think that Google may be onto making some similar future standardizations on this front.

When the update was in effect, users didn’t see any organic search results (pertaining to these queries) in SERPs. Instead, the answer to their question came in the form of knowledge cards.

Specifically, the results came as part of the search box.

From a developmental perspective, these could come in very handy for mobile surfers. Google has already, on numerous occasions, communicated on the importance of making all sites mobile-friendly. And to many developers, this test seemed like further progress in that direction.

Mobile-First Index Roll-out – March 26, 2018:

This update is a good reflection on Google’s on-going commitment towards full-on mobile search viewing. Through it, the search engine’s crawlers finally started indexing mobile-optimized sites on a preferential basis.

If an updates trend-graph is plotted for recent Google updates, it becomes quite apparent that most of them relate to mobile optimization.

Unnamed Core Update – April 17, 2018:

Like many updates in the past, this one continues to stoke a lot of mystery in SEO circles. Google didn’t name it. Nor did the SEO techs who monitor such algorithm shifts. With the reason being that they didn’t quite know what it was for.

But its detection was significant because search rankings for a lot of sites were affected.

Meta-Description Length Update – May 13, 2018:

Meta-descriptions continue to command a great deal of importance for search results. And very simply, this is because they inform searchers about the content of a particular site page.

Whereas Google had previously allowed snippet lengths in the 300 characters range, the search engine decided to cut back on this provision. And so on the 13th of May, it confirmed that character-length was being restricted to about 160 characters. This update, as was expected, was soon followed by SEOs furiously instructing their content writers to limit their creativity. In the case of snippets, that is.

Graphics Carousels – June 14, 2018:

This update proved to be a real pain for some brand websites that relied primarily on marketing their products through video thumbnails. Because of this change, Google started to display video thumbnails in the form of a carousel.

SERP results were greatly impacted as a result.

Mobile Speed Update – July 9, 2018:

This update targeted mobile sites with slow page-loading speeds, in an effort to force them to make changes. Other websites, as per page rank measures, didn’t see any significant drops in their SERP positions.

Chrome Security Update – July 24, 2018:

This was an attempt by Google to reign in non-HTTPs sites by placing a ‘not secure’ tag on them. So whenever a searcher attempted to access them, he was confronted by this warning message. But for these dialog boxes to appear, users were first required to install the latest Chrome build.

‘Medic’ Core Update – August 1, 2018

This update was seen to primarily affect websites that belonged to the health & wellness industry. Some of these pages saw major increments in their search engine positions. Others weren’t so lucky. There were even rumors of some major health retailers suffering from sudden losses in profits.

Which was to be expected, by all accounts.

Read Also:

The post Latest Google Algorithm Updates that Can Affect Your SEO in 2018 appeared first on Search Engine Magazine.

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It comes as no surprise that digital marketing has emerged as a great alternative to a successful business. Now putting together an effective digital marketing plan is possibly the trickiest thing to do. Implementing and executing a digital marketing strategy that uplifts the goals of your business, requires you to recognize and adopt the best marketing processes, you should have clarity on how to pick up information that will assist you to initiate, develop and nurture a digital marketing strategy.

1. Create your buyer personas 

For implementing and executing any offline or online marketing methods, you need to understand who you are marketing to. The best digital marketing techniques are based on a detailed buyer persona, and the first step to effective digital marketing is to develop these personas.

Buyer personas are a reflection of your ideal customer(s) and developed by surveying, interviewing, and researching your business’s target audience. It’s essential to note that this detail should be based upon real data wherever possible, as relying on assumptions regarding your marketing strategy would take the whole process to the wrong direction.

To get a clear idea of your persona, your team should study a group of customers, or prospects, and also the people who are not connected with the database that determines who your target audience should be.

But the sort of details you should gather for your own buyer persona(s), depends on the kind of business you have. It is likely to differ depending on whether you’re B2C or B2B, or whether your product is costly or reasonable.

2. Maintaining the SEO practices

Search engines are the first resource the users and consumers utilize to look for the services and products they need. So, it’s crucial for you to know whether you’re getting found when your target consumers are searching for products or services online.

Search Engine Optimization can assist you to become visible to your consumers on search engines like Bing or Google. When you optimize your blog or website appropriately by putting the targeted keywords that are relevant to your specific industry, search engines will rank the website and make your website visible on the first few pages of the results, so that the target audience can easily locate it. Now SEO processes can be quite tricky, and you need to be patient and consistent with your efforts.

SEO is not only about driving the traffic to your website. Through onsite and offsite optimization alongside good content, you can witness effective growth for your business by adopting the appropriate strategies to make the presence of your website more prominent on the search engines.

However, before implementing your own SEO strategy, you must gain enough knowledge regarding online influences, competitors, and consumer behavior. Only then, you’ll be able to implement the search engine optimization methods that will allow you to generate more focused and quality traffic instead of generic online traffic.

3. Harness the power of Social Media

Since we are elaborating on digital marketing strategy, it would be incomplete if we don’t mention social media. There is hardly anyone who isn’t active on social media platforms owing its ease of accessibility, so staying in touch with and entertaining your customers is extremely convenient when you have a prominent social media presence.

Talking about the functionality of social media, one vital aspect to be talked about is “marketing”. People mostly like to relate to simpler and more understandable things. In today’s world of social media advancements, digital marketing has got a major role to play.

So make use of various social media sites to form and maintain a relationship with your consumers and influencers. Social Media gives you the power to interact directly with your customers and know what they are thinking about your particular products or services; so that you can alter your digital marketing strategy according to the requirements.

4. Opt for Content Marketing

Content is one of the essential aspects of digital marketing. For any SEO or social media techniques to stand out, you need to provide relevant and impactful content. Content is the driving force of such processes and presents a solid combination.

Your objective should be to present the right content in the right place. Therefore, you need to know the type of content that is crucial, so that you can focus on presenting supreme quality content. Before preparing a remarkable and compelling content, you need to think about your resources.

The creation of content (like videos, photos, blog posts, social media posts, etc.) and sharing it on various social platforms for lead generation, or brand awareness, gaining more customers, driving traffic, or forming reputation; is mainly known as content marketing. Typically, this marketing method is adopted to gain the trust of the customers with the help of content, without resorting to promoting the business directly.

5. Take to Blogging

It’s imperative for an effective business process to have a blog, as it is an unparalleled asset for promoting the products and services you offer, and your overall business. Creating blog posts would allow you to gain more trust from the users. Keep a blog section on your official website and present content that would inform and educate your target audience.

Now when it comes to effective marketing strategies, through blogging, you have the option of sharing relevant content on social platforms and interact with your consumers. And a business that invests in blogs can drive more traffic to their website as opposed to those who don’t blog.

6. Carry out effective email marketing

Email marketing is a potent and efficient medium that reinstates other marketing strategies that you have adopted. As opposed to social media marketing, email marketing tends to be more personal. It can solidify the connections that you have with your long-term consumers. However, there are numerous aspects that you need to understand, like how to utilize social platforms to build your email database, and also find the best content strategy by mixing email marketing with social media.

So with these aspects in mind, you can effectively put together a great digital marketing strategy.

Read Also :

The post Important Aspects of Digital Marketing Strategy for a Successful Business appeared first on Search Engine Magazine.

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