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optimise google 3 pack

Optimising Google 3 Pack For Business

Optimise Google 3 Pack For Any Business

Optimising Google 3 Pack is the ultimate goal for any local business. Having your business feature in the first 3 results in Google search engine results page SERPs for a keyword is far more valuable and cost effective than any paid marketing campaign.

Listing in the local 3 Pack speaks volumes for your brands reputation and performance. It creates a trust relationship between you and the searcher when they are looking for a business that can deliver on their needs. 

What is Google 3 Pack? 

Google 3 pack also known as Google’s Local 3 Pack came into play when Google started featuring Google Map results with the leading local search results.

This quickly became recognised as a good move and Google named it the Local Pack. Originally – this was 7 local businesses relevant to the search terms entered by users. After some extensive analysis this was reduced to 3 local businesses and this is how it still appears today.

The Local 3 Pack offers your business the most visibility in initial search results by location as seen below. 

local 3 pack search

Ranking for a competitive keyword in the Google 3 Pack can be a scary prospect especially if digital marketing space is not your natural forte. 

However if done correctly it can be a very successful platform for any local business. 

Where to start and how to get it right?

You can find everything you need to get started and maximise your chances of being featured in Google Maps 3 Pack right here. It is not something that will happen overnight but the return is certainly worth the investment of your time.

The key to success is not to try and cut corners with this. Stick to the rules and you will be able to use Google 3 pack to benefit your business long-term.

Below is a guide on what you need to do: 

1: Verify and optimise your GMB listing 

Numerous researches have been completed on this and the general consensus is that Google My Business – GMB signals are grouped as the most important factor when it comes to Local 3 pack ranking.

According to Moz Lab – Google My Business – GMB signals are the most important ranking factor when it comes to Local Pack or Finder Ranking Factors.

Verify & Optimise your GMB listing

One of the very first and most important steps you should take is to make sure that the GMB listing of your listing is verified. This is absolutely easy so there is no excuse – all you need to do is follow this link and simply add or claim your business on Google Maps.

This will be a lot easier from a desktop computer so try to avoid using your phone for this step. It gives more control of how your business features when appearing in Google search and allows you to modify information to maximise your results. 

Verify GMB listing

Once this step is completed then your GMB listing is setup and you can commence to optimise Google 3 pack for maximum benefits.  

Here are a few things you can do to get your Local 3 pack ranking heading in the right direction: 

  • It is important to rewrite your location pages to optimise your GMB. If you have a GMB listing with multiple locations – you can improve your rankings by rewriting the location page for each of the listings which will make you eligible to rank for additional queries.
  • You should also keep a close eye out for spam competitors that are ranking above you. Make sure you report any GMB listing spam, review spam and edited listings that are keyword stuffing – these are all effective tactics and will boost your own ranking. 
  • Positive and recent reviews go a long way to secure you a good position in your Local 3 Pack Ensuring as much completeness and engagement as possible with your GMB page is a crucial step of optimising for Google 3 Pack. You should always respond to reviews – no matter if it is good or bad in order to send the right GMB signals to Google. 
  • GMB posts are a great way of encouraging more engagement and leads from potential customers already interested in a particular brand. This will help you with link building which is good for Google’s algorithm.

 2: Link building 

Link building is a very effective way to optimise for the Local 3-Pack ranking just as link building is important for general SEO optimisation. Google has the power and resources to analyse all data related to your business and website.

This means that the more authoritative and trusted your business website is – the better your chances of being featured in the Local 3-Pack are. 

A key thing to remember when it comes to the Local Google 3-Pack is your website is still an essential tool for maximising your ranking.

One of the key metrics Google analyses when generating the Local 3-Pack schema is the inbound link authority of the business so keeping this up to date is imperative. 

Local Link building

In an ideal situation you will have plenty of high authoritative links to and from your website. Although link building can be quite complex – we have put together a few basic elements that search algorithms analyse when generating the Local 3-Pack. 

Top Basic Elements:

  • Inbound link authority – link authority is one of the most important link-building factors because it tells Google and its search algorithms that other people find your website and its content valuable. 
  • Inbound links from other local relevant websites – links from other local authoritative sources is another great way to up your ranking. Google assigns local relevance to links from nearby sources so you need to find ways to link your business to the most authoritative websites in your area. 
  • Link quality – as previously mentioned – the better the link quality, the better this will be for your ranking in both generic results and local searches. A great way to optimise your ranking is with quality high engaging content. Guest blogging and affiliate networking strategies are a brilliant way to build a catalogue of quality content whilst also generating large numbers of quality backlinks if you do not already have a catalogue of content on your site. 
  • Link diversity – since the latest Google algorithm update – search engines have now included back links in their analysis and ranking process. It is important to build links organically from a wide variety of sources to stay relevant in the eyes of Google. 

3: Local citation building 

A local citation means having another website reference your business, name, address, contact details etc. Citations are regarded highly by Google so it is important to get yourself listed where possible.

Citation signals like NAP consistency, citation volume, etc accounts for more than 10% so it is not something to be overlooked.

Great examples of websites that help boost your ranking are TripAdvisor, Yelp or Bing since they need to display your business NAP – Name, Address and Phone Number

link citation building

In simple terms – the more times your business or website is referenced elsewhere – the more authoritative and credible your business will become across to Google.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to optimising local citation building: 

  • Citation consistency – it is important that once you have built up your citation portfolio – ensure that your listing is consistent for the next. If your business NAP differs from one listing to another it reflects badly in the eyes of Google and could result in your website being labelled as spam and could affect your ranking in Google 3 Pack
  • Citation authority – just as inbound links from trusted websites are beneficial to your website as these will help boost your local ranking. As mentioned previously – building citations from high ranking and trusted websites such as Yell and TripAdvisor are a great source of local ranking success.  
  • Citation relevance – relevancy is another factor you need to consider during this process. Relevant domains in your geographic area – local newspapers, blogs, local directories, etc. will earn you brownie points in your local ranking. 

4: Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly 

It should come as no surprise that that your website needs to be mobile responsive in today’s digital world.

A huge 4 out of 5 people searching for local information are doing so from their mobile phone. Viewers expect instant results so if your website is unable to provide this then they will move swiftly onto a competitor.

This is on the increase since the younger generations are making their way through so our advice is to make your website mobile friendly as soon as possible.

A good way to test and see how your website is fairing is by using Google’s mobile friendly test. 

device and mobile friendly

There are a few things to bear in mind when creating the optimal website for your mobile users: 

  • Page speed – this is extremely important for both your users and for Google’s mobile bots. Google will penalise any site that has a slow page load time and users are not forgiving if they have to wait. A few ways to optimise your page loading times is via browser caching, reducing redirects, minifying code, optimising images and reducing side bar ads.
  • Do not block CSS and JavaScript – in crawl bot technology – if information is blocked then the site will be penalised. CSS, JavaScript, and images are all key fundamentals that will help Google bots digest and rank your site accordingly. 
  • Utilise the experts or use a mobile optimised theme – your website needs to offer the best user experience possible which means ensuring the foundations of the site are solid. 
  • Do not use Flash – todays mobile browsers no longer support Flash so avoid it at all cost. If you really want to include special effects then use HTML5 instead but bear in mind that this will impact your page load time. 
  • Use a responsive web design – a responsive web design will automatically adapt to the needs of the user. It will deliver the same content but in the format that is required of it either on mobile, desktop or any other portable device. 

5: Content is King

The content on your website is just as important for your Local 3 Pack ranking as it is for your general SEO ranking so ensure that it is clear, relevant and informative.

The inclusions of specific keywords are essential but remember not to overstuff it and write for your user – not Google since Content is King

content is king

Here are a few things Google will take note of – when they are analysing your sites on-page content: 

  • Length of content – in the eyes of Google the length of content is an indicator of the quality of content. Remember – Google is smart so the content still needs to be relevant and authoritative not just written for the sake of being written. 
  • Local relevant content – to feature in the Local Google 3 Pack it is important that your content has local relevance and references to the areas surrounding your business. A great way of doing this is by using in-content links to local sites or references to the local areas of interest.

6: Using a NAP footer on your website

Using a specific schema mark-up will help Google’s bots crawl your site and understand its structure. This is not essential but every little helps when trying to feature in your Local 3 Pack.

A very easy way of achieving this is by including a NAPname, address and phone number in the footer of your website and must be consistent with your GMB profile.

name address phone number - NAP

7: Reviews – Reviews – Reviews 

Reviews are worth their weight in gold when it comes to your websites online ranking.

It is not just about how many five star reviews you have but it is also about how you manage those reviews and how you interact with your reviewers both positive and negative.

Reputation management is extremely important and should not be overlooked or judged differently. 

negative or positive reviews

Here are a few elements you should bear in mind when focusing on reviews: 

Responding to reviews – make it your mission to respond to all reviews both positive and negative. This not only encourages trust between you and your customers but also sends the right signals to Google. 

Encourage keyword reviews – obviously you cannot control what your customers have to say but try and encourage them to leave reviews about the specific product or services they have purchased as opposed to generic non-specific reviews. Google will look favourably upon this.

Purchase follow-ups – a great way of encouraging product specific reviews is as part of your follow service. This can be done easily through a CRM and can offer links to key review websites including Google. 

Do not ignore negative reviews – as mentioned – it is important to answer all reviews especially negative ones. A bad experience can be undone by excellent customer service and will be reflected positively by Google. 

8: Social Proofing 

Social proofing is essential on your journey to being featured in the Local 3 Pack. Google will analyse your social signals before it ranks your business. 

General rule of thumb – the more people engage and talk about your business via social media or other platforms – the better the local SEO. 

boost your brand's social presence

Here are a few social signals that Google looks out for when ranking for local search:  

Social media growth – a steady social media incline with regards to interaction, following and influence is a big positive when Google’s algorithm is ranking a local business.

User influence – the more shares, likes, retweets and brand mentions your business can get the better when it comes to local ranking. Ensure you are maximising your opportunities when it comes to your social presence. 

Consistent messaging and branding – make sure your branding; tone of voice and posting schedule is consistent. 

Consistent brand information – do not forget the importance of ensuring all of your brand information is consistent and point towards the right NAP. 

Customer engagement – as mentioned – it is important to ensure all reviews are replied to and this includes social media reviews and feedback.

It is important you are doing this across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

The key is to discover which platform will work best for your business and target audience. Make sure your business information is consistent across every platform. 

Get Started with Google 3 Pack

Remember – this is just a general guide and it is important to do your own research when it comes to what will work best for your business when trying to rank in your Local Google 3 Pack. Now it is time to put what you have learnt to good use.

At Best-Digital Marketing Services – as a digital marketing agency, we want to work alongside you to help improve your business and we have vast amounts of experience with different industries in achieving SEO goals.

We strive to build long lasting relationships with our clients and act as an extension of your business to bring overall digital marketing success. We aim to work effectively to help maximise your digital marketing efforts. 

To find out more about ranking in your Google Local 3 Pack call us now on 07794 113 607, email us or visit our website

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and select the package that suits your business needs.

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or fill your details with a message of your requirements at

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Optimise Google 3 Pack For Business

How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout Error on WordPress- The Comprehensive Guide

How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout Error on WordPress – The Comprehensive Guide

How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout Error – Comprehensive Guide.

There is nothing more frustrating and annoying than browsing on your WordPress website and encountering a white screen with an error message – 504 Gateway Timout Error.

For many blogs and e-commerce sites these errors result in the loss of sales and revenue from visitors instantly bouncing and customers unable to complete their purchases.

how to fix 504 gateway timeout error on wordpress

Here we will get into what is 504 gateway timeout error, the causes of 504 gateway timeout error and some recommendations on how to fix 504 gateway timeout error on your WordPress site.

Read more below about what causes this error and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

  1. What is 504 Gateway Timeout Error?
  2. 504 Gateway Timeout Error Variations
  3. Causes for 504 Gateway Timeout Errors?
  4. How to fix 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

What is 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP status codes starting with 5 are server-side errors.

They appear when the request cannot be performed due to a connection failure between several servers.

In simple term, this means that the server could not complete your request within the stipulated time period.

504 gateway timeout error

There are many error messages that you might see but some common errors that you might encounter are:

  • The White Screen of Death.
  • Error Establishing a Database Connection.
  • Too Many Redirect Error.
  • 502 Error Bad Gateway.

504 Gateway Timeout Error Variations

Due to all the different web browsers, operating systems and servers – a 504 gateway timeout error can present itself in a number of different ways. They will all still have the same meaning.

Below are just a few of the many different variations you might see pop up:

  • 504 Gateway Timeout
  • 504 Gateway Timeout NGINX
  • NGINX 504 Gateway Timeout
  • Gateway Timeout Error
  • Error 504
  • HTTP Error 504
  • HTTP Error 504 – Gateway Timeout
  • HTTP 504
  • 504 Error
  • Gateway Timeout (504)
  • This page isn’t working – Domain took too long to respond
  • 504 Gateway Time-out – The server didn’t respond in time
  • A blank white screen

Some companies even have custom pages for 504 gateway timeout errors.

504 gateway timeout custom page

Causes for 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

Before we consider the error itself it is important to understand how they are generated.

Whenever you start your browser and visit a website it sends the request back to the server where it is hosted on.

The web server then processes the request and sends back the requested resources along with what they call an Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP header.

This HTTP header contains one of many HTTP status codes to communicate whether everything is OK or if something has gone wrong.

Not all HTTP status codes are bad. For example a 200 status code indicates everything is OK.

Any status code in the 500’s is error codes (500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 520,etc.) that have different meanings.

These indicate that the request was accepted but the server prevented the execution of the request.

In simple terms a 504 gateway timeout error means that the server – acting as a gateway – timed out waiting for another server to respond.

Server Side Error

The code returns when there are two servers involved in processing a request and the first server times out waiting for the second server to respond.

In addition to server timeouts – there are other causes leading to 504 gateway timeout error:

  1. Slow Server.
  2. 504 Gateway Timeout Error PHP Workers.
  3. Problems With The Firewall.
  4. Network Connection.
  5. HTTP Timeouts.
  6. 504 Errors Impact on SEO.

1. Slow Server

It is possible that the server where you host your WordPress website is responding too slowly and therefore it generates gateway timeout errors.

slow server

2. 504 Gateway Timeout Error PHP Workers.

PHP workers are used to running code on your WordPress site. Demanding sites can make all Hypertext Preprocessor – PHP workers busy.

In this case they form a queue and if the queue and backlog are full then the old requests are ignored.

You can ask your host provider to increase the number of PHP workers. Additional PHP workers for a site allow executing several requests simultaneously.

Therefore it is always advisable to make sure you or your responsible administrator opt for a trusted and reliable hosting provider like Best-Digital Marketing Services who are able to provide the best and are available when needed.

3. Problems with the Firewall.

The firewall on your server may contain errors due to incorrect configuration or rules blocking the connection.

There is also the possibility that your WordPress security plugins might be blocking the communication between servers or even your local or Internet Service Provider – ISP or Internet Protocol – IP address.

To rule this out you can try accessing the site from a different Internet connection. On certain occasions – Distributed Denial of Service – DDOS protection systems can become over-sensitive and start blocking the requests from servers.

Best SSL Certificates Prices

With Best-Digital Marketing you will never encounter the http 504 gateway timeout error due to server inadequacy as we provide dedicated servers with SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily offline backup, daily malware scanning and clean-up, Let’s Encrypt SSL and 24/7 customer support by our experts with a starting price of just £39.99.

4. Network Connection.

If there is a problem with the network connection between the proxy server and the web server then this can lead to delays.

There may also be network problems with the load balancer – if it is used.

5. HTTP Timeouts.

This can occur when the connection between your browser and the web server is held open for too long. These commonly happen when running WordPress imports.

One way to resolve this is to switch to a faster internet connection or you can use a tool with support for WP-CLI such as the WordPress Importer plugin and run the import directly on the server – bypassing the HTTP connection entirely.

6. 504 Errors Impact on SEO.

Unlike 503 errors which are used for WordPress maintenance mode and tell Google to check back at a later time – a 504 error can have a negative impact on SEO if it is not fixed right away.

If your site is down for say 12 minutes then it is being crawled consistently and majority of the time the crawler will simply get the page delivered from cache or Google might not even have a chance to re-crawl it before it is back up and in this case you are completely fine.

impact on SEO

Should your site be down for an extended period of time say 5 hours or more then Google might see the 504 gateway timeout error as a site-level issue that needs to be addressed.

This will definitely have an impact on your rankings. If you are worried about repeat 504 gateway timeout errors then you should figure out why they are happening to begin with and some of the solutions below can help.

How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout Error

Where should you start troubleshooting if you see a 504 gateway timeout error on your WordPress site?

Without a great deal of context it can be frustrating and overwhelming where to begin.

Usually these are network connectivity issues and or problem with the server at which the site is hosted.

However it can also be a client-side issue or even a result of a third-party plugin.

how to fix http 504 gateway timeout error

So let us dive in and check out ways how to fix the 504 gateway timeout error and get back up and running.

How to Resolve Http 504 Gateway Timeout Error

There are a few measures that can be taken to get ahead of the 504 gateway timeout error which is caused by either the user or developer’s side.

These are in no particular order or importance since all of them are equally important and can be used in different combinations depending on individual circumstances.

The common fixes given below are divided into two section:

for the users

for developeres or web administrators

504 Gateway Timeout Error Solutions for Users

1. Refresh or Reload the Page

One of the first things you should try to do when you encounter a 504 Gateway Timeout Error is simply wait a minute and refresh or reload the page by pressing F5 or Ctrl+ F5.

refresh -reload the page

It could be that the host or server is simply overloaded with high amounts of traffic and the site will come right back.

Another thing you can do is to paste the website into https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com. This website will tell you if the site is down or if it is a problem on your side.

down for everyone or just me

This website will tell you if your site is out of service or if it is a problem on your side. This tool checks the HTTP status code that is returned by the server.

If it is anything other than a 200 which means Everything is OK then it will mean that your site does not work for everyone.

website status check

2. Clear Your Browser Cache

There is a good chance that the corrupted files stored on your browser might be causing this 504 gateway timeout error.

So by clearing the cache of your browser you might be able to resolve this error.

clear your browser

Moreover you should remove the cookies from your browser since this can also help in resolving this error.

3. Try in Incognito Mode

Another way to fix this 504 gateway timeout error is by starting a new Private or Incognito session in your browser. This should resolve the issue if it is caused by your browser.

private - incognito mode

4. Try Another Browser

You can try to use another browser such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

try another browser

If you do not see this 504 gateway timeout error when you change your browser then this indicates that the problem was your browser.

You can try to re-install the browser to check if this resolves the issue.

5. Restart Your Network Device

To do this – simply switch off your internet router from the mains for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

restart your network drive

Then switch the mains back on and ensure you switch your router power button on too and wait for your computer to establish a connection again. This should alleviate the 504 gateway timeout error issues.

6. Disable Proxy Settings

Sometimes you might see a 504 timeout error if you are utilising a proxy service. This is usually rare especially on the client-side.

disable proxy settings

However one might have been set without you even knowing it. Follow these tutorials on how to disable or check to ensure no proxy settings are enabled:

7. Clear Local DNS Cache

You can also try flushing your local DNS cache to see if this resolves your 502 bad gateway error issue. This is similar to clearing your browser cache.

In Windows simply open up CMD or Command Prompt and enter the following:

ipconfig /flushdns
clear local DNS cache
Command prompt > ipconfig / flushdns

You should see a Successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache – if it worked correctly.

For MacOS users you can enter the following in the terminal:

dscacheutil -flushcache

: There is no success message on Macs.

Finally you can temporarily change your client side DNS servers. By default DNS servers are automatically provided by your ISP but you could temporarily change them to a public DNS server provided by Google.

Most people prefer to use Google’s public DNS constantly because in the long term they are more reliable and a lot faster.

8. Check On Different Devices

Try opening the site on different devices like laptops, tablets or on mobile.

If nothing could help to fix the 504 gateway timeout error then this step will confirm and help you determine if the problem is on the server side or it is from your side.

9. Check DNS Issues

A 504 gateway timeout error could also be because of a Domain Name System – DNS issue such as the domain is not resolving to the correct IP address.

Configurate The correct DNS

If you have just migrated your WordPress site to a new host provider then is it important to wait for things to fully propagate which can take up to 48 hours in some cases. 

This will depends upon the Time to Live –TTL value of your DNS records and also check and see if there is no typo errors.

504 Gateway Timeout Error Solutions for Developers

If you are a developer or a server manager and you are facing the 504 gateway timeout error then the chances that you might be facing this error is because of other factors.

So trying the following solutions should eliminate the issue.

1. Check Your Server

You can determine whether your server is reachable or not by conducting a trace-route or ping test on the server IP.

ping test

2. DNS Propagation Check  

A 504 gateway timeout error can often be caused by problems with the Domain Name System –DNS server. There are two reasons for this.

This happens on the server side when the domain name is not changed to the correct IP address.

DNS propagation check

If you have just migrated your WordPress website to a new host provider then it is important to wait so the address can be added to DNS base.

In most cases it can take up anything between 24 to 48 hours depending on your host provider and the DNS records Time to Live –TTL value.

DNS Check

You can use the DNS test tools like DNSMapDNS Checker or MX Tool Box for this purpose. They are free to use to check your DNS are up and running and correctly configured.

3. Check Your Plugins and Themes

Many users believe that third-party plugins or themes do not lead to 504 gateway timeout errors and in most cases this is true.

However according to many users’ and our experience a slow non-cached plugin request can cause these delays since it uses more of your PHP workers.

Once you reach the limit of PHP workers the queue will remove your old requests which will cause the 504 errors. They should not be confused with 502 errors which are the result of a 60 seconds timeout.

There are several ways to fix the issue and one of them is to de-activate all your plugins. Remember that you will not lose your data if you disable them.

A. WordPress Admin Panel

You can do this by accessing your admin through WordPress dashboard, a quick way to do this is to browse to Plugins and select Deactivate from the bulk actions menu.

wordpress wp admin

This will disable all of your plugins and if this fixes the issue then you will need to find the culprit.

Start activating each plugin one by one and reload or refresh the website after each plugin has been activated.

wordpress admin panel

When you see the 504 gateway timeout error returns then you have found your problematic plugin. You can either contact the respective plugin developer for help or create a support ticket in the WordPress repository.

B. FTP Client

If you do not have access to the admin panel you can use the File Transfer Protocol – FTP client to connect to your server and rename the plugin folder to something like plugins_old and re- check your site again.

If it works then you will need to test each plugin one by one. Rename your plugin folder back to plugins and then rename each plugin folder inside of if it – one by one until you find the culprit.

You could also try to replicate this on a staging site first.

FTP client

Make sure that all your plugins, themes and the WordPress core are updated to the latest version and ensure that you are running a supported version of PHP.

If the plugin contains bad code then you may need to contact the WordPress developers to solve this problem.

4. Check Error Logs

You can also use your error logs which you can view in a section of the hosting dashboard. This can quickly help you narrow down the issue especially if it is a plugin issue on your website.

If your hosting provider does not have a logging tool then you could also add the following code to your wp-config.php file to enable the WordPress debug mode:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
error logs

Logs are usually located in /wp-content folder or sometimes they can be in separate folders.

You can also check the Apache and Nginx logs which are most often located at:

Apache:-  /var/log/apache2/error.log  or

Nginx:- /var/log/nginx/error.log

5. Check Nginx Settings

If you are managing your own server and WordPress sites on Nginx + FastCGI (php-fpm) or Nginx as proxy for Apache then there are some additional settings you can change to help prevent 504 gateway timeout errors.

A. 504 Gateway Timeout Error on Nginx + FastCGI (PHOP-FPM)

B. 504 Gateway Timeout Error on Nginx Proxy

If you are using Nginx as a proxy for Apache then you need to add the following to your nginx.conf file:

proxy_connect_timeout 600;
proxy_send_timeout 600;
proxy_read_timeout 600;
send_timeout 600;

Then simply reload or restart Nginx.

service nginx reload

6. Check Issues With Your Hosting Provider

Server issues are one of the most common reasons why users experience a 504 gateway timeout errors on their WordPress websites. In simple terms – Nginx or Apache waits for a response until the waiting time has expired or timed out.

We get a lot of clients that come to Best-Digital Marketing Services due to the fact that they are constantly receiving these errors at their current WordPress hosting site.

504 errors mostly occur on high traffic online and e-commerce stores with a lot of daily visitors.  The latter may have also installed numerous e-commerce plugins like Woo commerce plugins.

These usually have many non-cached requests which can cause the server to overload however such error can also occur in a variety of different types of website including blogs.

Many hosts usually offer to upgrade to a more expensive tariff plan to fix this problem and this usually helps to solve this issue which is often not necessary.

Web Hosting Packages 2

Here at Best-Digital Marketing Services we utilise truly unlimited web hosting this means that every WordPress site is housed in its own isolated location that has all of the software resources required to run it (Linux, Nginx, PHP, MySQL).

Many shared WordPress hosts do not have this capability and therefore a high-traffic neighbouring site causing 504 gateway timeout errors could very well impact your site.

Your sites are isolated and our infrastructure is built to easily handle thousands of concurrent connections. Even MySQL databases are hosted at localhost.

This ensures that there is no latency between machines which results in faster queries and less chance of timeouts occurring anywhere in-between.

Many clients who migrate to Best- Digital Marketing see huge decreases in their overall load times.

A. Website Monitoring & Downtime Alert Tools

It is also important to note that 504 errors can deceptively look a lot like 503 service unavailable errors or even 502 bad gateway errors but they are in fact different.

If you want to prevent such errors from happening on your site in the future then you can also utilise tools like updown.io or statuscake.com to monitor and notify you immediately if problems occurs.

It periodically sends an HTTP HEAD request to the URL of your choice or simply use your homepage.

website monitoring and downtime alert

The tool allows you to set check frequencies of:

  • 15 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • 1 minute
  • 2 minutes
  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes

It will send you an email if and when your site goes down. Here is an example below.


This can be especially useful if you are on a shared or virtual hosting which tends to overcrowd their servers.

That is why we always recommend going with a managed WordPress hosting or dedicated hosting.

7. Temporarily Disable CDN or Firewall

It could also be an issue with your Content Delivery Network – CDN. If you are using a third party CDN provider then an easy way to troubleshoot this is to temporarily disable your CDN.

For example if you are using a free CDN enabler plugin on WordPress then you can simply deactivate the plugin and test your website.

disable CDN

If you are unable to access your site’s dashboard then simply log in to your site via Secure File Transfer Protocol –SFTP and rename the plugin’s folder to cdn-enabler_old.

This will temporarily disable the CDN connection. The same goes for WP Rocket or any other plugin you might have hooked up to your CDN.

This could also happen if you use the back proxy services like Cloudflare or Sucuri since they use the additional firewall in between. Most of them cache 500 status codes when they are returned by your origin server.


Many users have noticed that this issue happens once in a while on Cloudflare’s free plan service. Unfortunately since Cloudflare is a complete proxy service there is no quick way to disconnect it.

However before you go pointing the finger at Cloudflare – it is important to know that there are two different types of 504  gateway timeout error variations as shown below:

A. 504 Gateway Timeout at Cloudflare (Variation 1)

If you see the following screen then this is actually a problem on Cloudflare’s end which means that you should reach out to them for Cloudfare support or check their status page.

504 gateway timeout

B. 504 Gateway Timeout at Cloudflare (Variation 2)

If you see the following screen then this is a problem with your WordPress hosting server – in which case you will need to skip over to recommendation No: 5 above.

504 gateway timeout v2

Most likely they are already aware of the issue and have their team working on it.

C. 504 Gateway Timeout at Cloudflare with Uploads

Another reason for a timeout could be related to the size of your uploads. They do restrict POST (uploads) to 100MB on their Free or Pro plan. 

We have occasionally seen clients have issues with files or upload smaller than this and the issue lies with your host’s end or Cloudflare.

An easy way to determine this would be by simply bypassing Cloudflare with your DNS hosts file and trying your upload again or simply disable Cloudflare temporarily.

If you are using Cloudflare with WordPress then it is always recommended to use their free plugin and exclude important URLs from caching such as your WordPress admin area.

cloudfare upload size

8. Spam, Bots and DDoS Attacks

Perhaps your website is been spammed by bots or undergoing a DDoS attack which can lead to uncached requests and server overload. And this results in a 504 gateway timeout error.

You can take a look at your server analytics and see if there are any patterns emerging by asking your hosting provider for this information or data.

The first report we recommend looking at is the top end client IP addresses. This can be useful especially if your site suddenly began to generate large bandwidth or traffic or getting attacked by bots.

top client IP

The second report we recommend to look at is the requests and bots. You can quickly compare the traffic to your website with the number of bots.

However remember that not all bots are bad. Google Bot is a good example as it scans the site to index the content and promote it in the search engine.

google bot

The third report we recommend is the cache analysis. Here you can see what requests are missing the cache, bypassing the cache and also the top locations of your site.

For the best performance and stability reasons you should try to cache as many requests as possible.

This is not always possible since some sites such as those running Woo Commerce are generating a lot of un-cached requests.

They have to for the features like the shopping cart and checkout process to work correctly and stay in sync.

cache component attack analysis

A. Blocking Spams and DDOS Attacks

If you find and identify traffic or IP addresses that need to be blocked then you can use the WordPress security plugin.

However not all hosting providers allow you to install security plugins since such plugins can influence the speed and performance of your website especially when they scan the server.

Secondly the IP blocking feature may not work because hosting provider can use load balancers from the Google Cloud Platform.

IP addresses can always be blocked by the hosting support service but depending upon the length and scale of the attack this could be a never-ending process of blacklisting IPs which in most cases does not solve the problem fast enough.


When the attacks or spam is blocked in one area, they are often switched to other zones – changing IP addresses or using other proxy addresses.

Therefore we recommend installing a security solution such as Cloudflare or Sucuri.

9. Contact Support Team

If you are still constantly getting 504 gateway timeout error and you have exhausted all the above options and nothing else helps to fix it then contact your hosting technical support team.

Describe to them all the steps you have taken to identify the error caused and provide them with as much information as possible.

This will greatly speed up your request and the process o resolve this issue.


As you can see there is a multitude of different ways and methods – how to fix 504 gateway timeout errors on your WordPress site.

Usually these are a server issue in which case you can quickly reach out to your hosting provider to get it resolved.

But it is also important to remember that they can actually be caused by third-party plugins or overwhelming backlog or queue overflow of your PHP workers.

If you are having these issues then contact us today or our support team who specialises in web performance optimisation.

If you enjoyed this post then share this on your social media and you will love Best-Digital Marketing’s hosting platform. Turbocharge your website and get 24/7 support from our hosting team.

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Further Reading: Benefits of SEO

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How To Use Google Maps Marketing Strategy To Increase Sales And Customers

How To Use Google Maps Marketing Strategy To Increase Sales And Customers

How To Use Google Maps Marketing Strategy To Increase Sales And Customers

There is no surprise or you may not be shocked that – out of all the mapping apps out there like MapQuest, Apple Maps and others – Google Maps remains supreme and not just by a small margin but a majority landslide.

google maps marketing strategy

With so much popularity – you would be wise to think about how Google Maps marketing strategy could help your business grow by increasing sales and customers.

In a stiff competition like this – you will also need to give some thought to the best ways to achieve maximum visibility in your local search results.

To assist you on both fronts – we have written this article to help you with your Google Maps marketing strategy.

What is Google My Business – GMB?

Google My Business – GMB is a free tool for business owners or managers to manage and optimise their business’ profiles on Google Maps.

A Google My Business profile typically includes your business’ name, location, and hours of operation. The image below is an example of a typical Google My Business profile.

Google my business - GMB

When you claim your business using a Google My Business profile, you can optimise your Google Maps presence by ensuring that customers have access to the most relevant and up-to-date information.

You can also use your profile to interact with customers when they leave reviews, ask any questions and track Google Maps Ads insights to understand how customers interact with your profile.

Google Maps Ads

Although marketing on Google Maps is free – using local search ads can boost your business’ visibility in Google Maps search results.

Using these ads will bring your business listing to the top of search queries for keywords relevant to your business.

Google Maps ads use location targeting so they will only show up for location-relevant searches. These ads usually appear in desktop and mobile searches.

google maps ads

When you create ads for your business – you can track their performance to get a sense of how customers respond to your ads and take further actions like using your address to get Google Maps directions or click on the listed phone number to call you.

How Can Google Maps Marketing Strategy Serve Your Business?

At the core of this form of marketing is Google My Business – GMB. By creating and strategically strengthen up this online business profile – you can enjoy several benefits which include:

  • Additional visibility if you rank well in Google Maps results or even better in Google’s Local 3-Pack which shows potential customers the three most relevant local businesses and it is free advertising.
  • The potential for more sales since you will have more visibility on your business.
  • Differentiation from competitors if your profile ranks above theirs then it has a higher rating from customers and is more polished and professional.
  • More engagement with potential customers via more visits to your website, inquiries, etc..
  • Increased trust and credibility since it is clear at a glance that you care about your online reputation and more importantly about the experiences customers have with you.

In simple words – your Google My Business profile is like a 24/7 marketing and salesperson for your business but for it to be a good – there are some things you have to do.

The Basics of a Google Maps Marketing Strategy

To have any chance of ranking higher in Google Maps results – you must adhere to the following important criteria.

They are all equally important to ensure you get the best chance of ranking in Google Maps:

1. Claim Your Business In Google My Business Profile

Whether you already have a GMB profile or are planning to create one then be sure that you claim and verify your listing.

Verification is a simple process and can be done by mail, phone or various other methods.

No matter how you choose to do it – it will give you maximum control over your profile and the results it gets for your business.

claimed vs unclaimed

2. Add Your Location Data

In Google My Business there are two types of location data you need to add. The first is your exact physical location such as a full postal service approved address.

If you do not have a physical location where customers can visit you – you can easily hide your address from the public whilst still making the information available to Google so you are eligible to be shown in search results.

add location data

The second type of location data encompasses the areas you serve – always specify the cities, counties and/or countries you service customers in to boost your chances of being shown to people in those areas.

3. Provide Key Business Information

Besides your address and services areas – you also want to provide other crucial information such as your full business name, phone number, website, and up-to-date business hours.

This is a good idea when you are trying to rank better in search results and it is also a great foundation for good user experience – UX.

name address phone number - NAP

And good UX is absolutely essential if you want to tip the scales in your favour and motivate more potential customers to contact your business that will lead to more queries, communication and sales.

4. Select the Most Relevant Categories

Categorising your business gives you more contexts to what you have to offer. This way when consumers search for a local business like yours – Google will understands that your profile is relevant and is more likely to display it to potential customers.

When choosing from Google’s list of categories – just be sure to select only those that are closely related to what you do otherwise you may find that your GMB profile gets views but not much action because it is not what people are looking for. It is important that your profile gets seen by the right people.

More Opportunities To Stand Out In Search With Google Maps Marketing Strategy

Up to now, we have covered the basics and must-dos for any Google Maps marketing strategy.

The following methods are just as important for your strategy as the previous four since these will provide opportunities to stand out from your competition.

1. Eye- Catching Introduction

The introduction of your GMB profile is simply an opportunity to explain what you offer but in reality it is much more. It is your opportunity to:

  • Make a memorable first impression since Google Maps only shows a short snippet of the introduction in its results and this snippet has to be eye-catching enough to get people to click to learn more about your business.
  • Highlight the value of what you provide instead of just listing what you provide.
  • Show case what makes your business different and offer better than your competitors.

If you can do all of the above then you will automatically have an advantage over your competitor by providing what potential customers want to know.

2. Get Reviews From Your Customers

Both the number of customer reviews you have on Google and your overall rating can impact your business’s visibility in Google search results.

Therefore always encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews even if you have to make this request an official part of your process.

As the positive reviews flow in – the chances of dominating Google Maps and enjoying all the benefits that come with it will also rise.

negative or positive reviews

Having negative reviews should not hinder your business since if you can respond calmly and positively to your customers then Google will see it that you are a business that care about your customers and may even increase your ranking.

Note: Never ever resort to paying for 5-star reviews or any other shady tactics to make your business look better in the eyes of Google and potential customers.

This is not ethical and professional since it will always come back to bite you later which will result in undoing the positive results from your Google Maps marketing efforts.

3. Add Photos, Photos & More Photos

Google reported that businesses with photos added to GMB profiles get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more visits to their websites than those with no pictures. Those statistics speak for themselves.

photos and more photos

If you hope to get meaningful results then sharing photos of your products or services, past projects, team and physical location is a must.

And it is also great to encourage customers to submit their photos as well since this will build credibility and trust with potential customers for your business.

4. Build High Quality Links

Another key factor that determines your position in search results is prominence which encompasses all the information available about your business online and how well you are doing in terms of search engine optimisation.

Building high-quality links and citations from relevant websites to yours is a top way to boost your Google Maps rankings and even earn a shot at being featured in Google’s Local 3-Pack.

get links with other businesses

So look out and create opportunities to earn mentions and backlinks to your site from:

  • Local websites and blogs.
  • Sites those are relevant to your industry specifically.
  • Popular online directories such as Foursquare.
  • Business directories specific to your location, service areas and/or your industry.

This will help you progress, build authority and signal relevance to Google which can lead to more visibility in local search results thus leading to increase in sales and customers.

5. Spend Some Cash on Google Maps Ads

Although it can be a slow start but earning a good ranking in Google Maps results is purely through organic efforts and is often an attainable goal.

local search ads

However if you have money to spend then you may want to couple your organic efforts with paid Google Maps ads. This will position your business front and centre in search results for keywords relating to your business and location.

It can provide a quick boost of visibility and traffic while you implement the other methods above and wait for them to start taking effect.

Google Maps: A Prime Tool for Local Marketing

When it comes to online marketing presence, using local marketing tools can make a measurable difference for your business especially for Google My Business and Google Maps.

You can get your business in front of potential target audience, encourage and enjoy more interactions with your audience which means more sales opportunities and increase customer base.

To enjoy these benefits – you will need to claim and optimise your profile, making sure to include all relevant business information like name, address and phone number – NAP, a captivating introduction to your business and high quality photos.

And also encourage and reply to customer reviews, building quality links to your website and investing in paid Google Maps ads when you have the budget to do so.

If you do these things then you will be well on your way to gaining more visibility, credibility and accountability in Google Maps search results.

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Right Keywords Can Bring You More Sales, Leads and Business

How The Right Keywords Can Increase Sales, Leads and More Business

Having The Right Keywords Can Increase Sales, Leads and More Business

Right Keywords are used to build your online visibility for the world to find your business and make you more sales, leads and additional enquires – locally, regionally or nationally.

Your customers’ ability to find you online without knowing your website’s actual URL rests on using appropriate keywords, terms and phrases.

choose the right keywords for any business

Your ability to outperform your competition rests on the use of the right keywords. They are very important but it can be quite confusing or daunting for any small business owners who may not be familiar with:

  • how to choose the right keywords or
  • how to implement them in their websites.

What should you know about choosing the right keywords, terms and phrases? Let us guide you and take a closer look.

They are in no order or importance since all of them are equally important.

1. Use the Right Tool

Chances are that you think you probably have a good idea of what terms your customers might use to find products or services like yours online and you are partially right.

However – never assume that you know all the potential keywords, terms, phrases and variants that your customers might use to search the Internet.

use the right tool

This is why it is so important that you use an accurate keyword research tool like SEM Rush or Tube Buddy to figure out what keywords you are going to target.

Google’s keyword planning tool is free to use but there are many others out there worth your consideration.

2. Start with the Basics

Many authorities recommend starting with a seed list of keywords and then start building on that.

A seed list is nothing more than a list of highly targeted, accurate keywords that have provides meaningful value to your business.

start with the basics

You will need to build on or grow this list over time by adding to it as you learn more by:

  • encountering new terms
  • using advanced research tools and
  • discovering what your competitors are doing.

3. Localise Where Possible

While localisation will limit your reach but it can be important for a number of reasons:

  1. it reduces competition.
  2. it makes you more visible to customers in your actual geographic area.
  3. it improves your overall web visibility for those terms and reduces the time to see your return on investment – ROI.
localise where possible

Use your city name, county name and the names of nearby areas if they are applicable in conjunction with your keywords.

4. Use Competitors as Inspiration

While you may not want to target all the same keywords as your competitors, since that would increase your costs and the competition for each one – you should take a cue from what they are doing.

use competitors as inspiration

You will find that this can provide you with considerable advantage information about keyword terms or phrases, long-tail variants and even the density that you want to hit with your content.

5. Use Similar Terms

Once you have chosen your starting keywords then spend some time determining which similar terms would be wise to use.

use similar terms

For example – if you operating a shoe store then you might target basics like women’s running shoes but you might also opt for something like:

  • women’s wide width running shoes or
  • women’s pink size 5 running shoes or
  • maybe women’s Nike running shoes

if you wanted to focus on a particular brand and so forth.

6. Choose Keywords That Work for Your Products or Services

Occasionally the right keywords, terms or phrases for your products or services are not the most frequently used by customers. This does that mean that you should skip them.

choose keywords that work on your products - services

This can actually be a good thing. Implement some of the more commonly used keywords but focus mostly on the right keywords even if they are not all that frequently used.

You will enjoy more targeted traffic, your overall competition will be lower and the costs to use those same keywords in PPC campaigns will be lower too.

 7. Identify Primary and Secondary Keywords

When you think about keywords – chances are that you are already considering using primary keywords – those that relate directly to your products or services.

Nevertheless – you should also need to consider using secondary keywords. These relate to what you have to offer but not on the same level as primary keywords.

identify primary secondary semantic keywords

For example – if your business sells local harvested and sourced honey. Local honey, natural honey and unpasteurised honey would be primary keywords but you could also target secondary keywords like natural snacks, organic foods and more similar like choices.

8. Remember – Content Quality Over Keywords

Sometimes it can be tempting to think that implementing the right keywords is all you need to do and that is incorrect.

Google will reward a website that does not really do much with keyword implementation but has outstanding quality content more than they will a site that does all the right things with keywords but fails to implement quality content.

content is king

Always remember – no matter what – Content is King.

Keyword density and accuracy always take a back seat to content quality and volume.

9. Choose Focus Keywords and Background Keywords for Individual Pages

Just like primary and secondary keywords used throughout your website – individual pages should have a focus keyword – the one used most frequently as well as background keywords that are used less but tie into the overall conversation:-

  • helping you provide valuable content and
  • optimising your website for search engines.
focus on keywords phrases terms

Get Started With Right Keywords For your Business

As you can see – choosing the right keywords is more complicated than simply using the names of your products or services in your website content.

It requires various degrees of planning, pathways, strategies and a great deal of savvy to pull it off successfully.

Hence there is no need to stress since Best-Digital Marketing is an agency with vast amount of experience, knowledge and expertise who want to work with your to get your keyword optimisation strategy headed the right way.

get started with keyword optimisation

Email us, go to our website, text or call us on 07794 113 607 and see how we can help you increase sales, leads and more business for your online website now.

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How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

While more consumers are embracing video content, research shows that marketers are struggling to keep up. In fact – 59% of marketers still consider video content creation the most challenging content to make.

So how do you optimise your videos for search engines quickly and effectively? Video SEO is constantly evolving and staying current on video optimisation best practices is absolutely essential.

optimise Video SEO strategy

Today – YouTube’s algorithm tries to match each viewer to the videos he or she is most likely to watch and enjoy. With more than 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, this is quite a challenge.

In this post – you will learn how YouTube’s algorithm works and find actionable advice on video SEO best practices in order to give you a step-by-step guide to optimise your videos SEO strategy.

How Does YouTube’s Search Algorithm Work?

YouTube’s search and discovery systems tackle this task by sorting through loads of videos to find the most relevant and useful results to a user’s search query.

YouTube’s algorithm then follows the audience by paying attention to things like:

  • What they watch.
  • What they do not watch.
  • How much time they spend watching.
  • Their likes and dislikes.
  • Not interested feedback.
factors affecting video seo

Stop using the old tips, tools and tricks that you learned some time back and get up-to-date in your understanding of how YouTube’s search and discovery system works?

These are in no order or importance since all of them are equally important in your video SEO optimisation strategy.

1. Choosing The Right Hosting Platform

Choosing the right hosting platform for your videos matters more than you may think. When you base your SEO strategy around video content marketing, each video acts as an anchor that draws in search engine traffic.

If your website goes offline then it could be disastrous for your revenue since the average unplanned website outage costs businesses between £4,327 and £6,429.

choose the right hosting platform

Therefore you should choose your host carefully. The right hosting platform for your business will depend on two main things:

  • the length and size of your video and
  • your website host since not all hosts support embedded videos from all platforms.

For the best results always use a widely adopted hosting platform like YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia or Daily Motion.

If your video is small then you may opt to host it in-house but make sure you test it before pushing publish to ensure it loads quickly.

2. YouTube Search

Like Google’s search engine – searches on YouTube strive to surface the most relevant results according to specific keyword definition queries.

Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description and video content match the viewer’s query.

Beyond this – YouTube also look at which videos that have received the most watch time and engagement for a particular query.

Youtube search

Want to know which keywords and search terms to target for video SEO? In simple words – YouTube search results are not a list of the most-viewed videos for a given query.

Keyword search tools can give you lots of options but you need to select just a small subset of them for your newest video and your selection should help your target audience find the videos they want to watch and also maximise their long-term engagement and video satisfaction.

3. Titles and Thumbnails

Titles and thumbnails on a video are usually the first things viewers see when browsing on YouTube. They help viewers decide whether to watch your videos and build anticipation – if they accurately represent what is in your video.

YouTube will know if viewers are enjoying your content if they click on your video and stay to watch most or all the way through.

However if your video titles and thumbnails do not deliver on their promise then viewers will leave immediately and this can limit your discoverability on YouTube.

The longer you can keep people watching your content on YouTube – the more your content may get surfaced.

Here are some tips for optimising your video titles:

  • Write titles that spark curiosity and include keywords.
  • Keep titles concise up to 60 characters – with the most important information upfront.
  • Save episode numbers and branding towards the end.
  • Check that your titles do not get cut off in suggested videos, search results and mobile.

Thumbnails are usually the first thing viewers see when they find one of your videos and 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.

When you customise your thumbnails – be sure you have a strong, vibrant image that looks great large and small and conveys key information about your video.

You can always apply the rule of thirds – to compose interesting and dynamic images then overlay them with your branding and/or descriptive text.

video titles and thumbnails

Always make sure to use a font that is easy to read on screen when adding text and think about how it can be eye-catching and age-appropriate for your target audience.

Here are some guides for optimising your thumbnails:

  • Think about your thumbnail before you shoot so you can capture several options.
  • Align any text to the left  since YouTube put buttons on the right-hand side
  • Use bright colours to grab viewer’s attention
  • Make a high resolution thumbnail and keep it under the 2MB limit.
  • Specifications: 1280 x 720 pixels – 16:9 ratio as a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP or .PNG.
  • Zoom in and out of your thumbnail to see if it looks good small and large.
  • See if your thumbnail would stand out among other thumbnails.

4. Suggested Videos

Suggested videos are a personalised collection of videos that an individual viewer may be interested in watching next, based on his or her prior activity.

These videos are shown to viewers on the right side of the watch page under Up next below the video on the mobile app and as the next video in auto play.

YouTube researchers have found viewers tend to watch more videos when they see recommendations from a variety of channels hence the Suggested Videos. Recommendations are ranked to maximise engagement for the viewer.

Signals that contribute to these recommendations include:

  • Videos that viewers watch along with the current video or videos that are related topically. These could be videos from the same channel or from a different channel.
  • Videos from a viewer’s past watch history.

You can see which videos bring viewers to your channel from Suggested Videos in the Traffic sources report in YouTube Analytics by clicking on the Suggested videos box.

YouTube Suggested Videos

Here are some tips for optimising your videos for Suggested Videos:

  • Make strong calls to action to encourage viewers to watch another video in your series.
  • Long endings may delay viewers from watching more so be mindful of how your videos end.
  • Use playlists, links, cards and end screens to suggest the next video to watch.
  • Develop a series of videos that are connected organically.
  • Make videos relating to popular formats on YouTube such as challenges or lists.

Last but not least – you can expect Google to roll out Related Topics for Videos on YouTube fairly soon.

5. Front Page Or Home

Front Page or Home is what viewers see first when they visit YouTube.com or open the YouTube app. It is their personal primetime destination – a place where viewers can discover the most relevant, personalised recommendations.

It is a great place for your videos to be found by non-subscribers since over 200 million different videos appear on Front Page or Home each day for viewers around the world.

When a viewer visits Front Page or HomeYouTube displays videos from their subscriptions, videos watched by similar viewers and new videos.

YouTube Home Page

The selections of videos are based on:

  • Performance: How well the video has engaged and satisfied similar viewers among other factors.
  • The viewer’s watch and search history: How often the viewer watches a channel or topic and how many times YouTube has already shown each video to the viewer.

It is worth noting that subscribers watch more from their subscriptions via Home than through the Subscriptions tab.

Here are some tips for optimising your videos for YouTube’s Home Screen:

  • Upload new videos on a consistent basis to give your target audience an expectation of what is coming as new content.
  • Keep viewers engaged for longer and encourage them to come back for more via a long video or several short ones. The longer you keep viewers watching the more your content is likely to get surfaced.
  • Consistency – when you create something that is working for your target audience then do it again. YouTube surfaces more content that your viewers like so do not be afraid to experiment but be mindful. Observe feedback from your target audience and give them time to adjust.
  • By going to your YouTube Analytics Traffic Sources report – you can see how often your channel appears on Home –globally by clicking the Browse features box and looking at the stats for Home.

6. Cards and End Screens

Cards and end screens encourage your viewers to take an action. Cards are preformatted notifications that you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.

Once they are set up – a small teaser or rectangular box will appear in the top right corner of the video to give your viewers a preview of the message.

If fans tap or click the teaser – the card associated with the video appears below the player on mobile devices in portrait mode or along the right side of your video on desktops. If they do not – it disappears from their view.

Cards work well when they are:-

  • in conjunction with scripted call to action or
  • relevant to your video content.

So if you mention a specific video or a piece of product then you could try adding a card at that exact moment.

cards and end screens

Here are some tips for optimising your cards:

  • Use cards and scripted calls to action to link to other videos, playlists, associated websites, to prompt your audience to buy a product or support your crowdfunding campaign.
  • Use cards in older videos to highlight your most recent uploads or to promote product or fundraising campaigns.
  • Use up to five cards per video.
  • Use cards to cross-promote other creators and credit collaborators in your video.

End screens are also a powerful tool that can help extend watch time on your channel by directing viewers to something next at the end of your videos.

You can add them to the last 5-20 seconds of a video and they appear on both desktop and mobile.

Here are some tips for optimising end screens:

  • Use end screens to promote up to four different elements: a video or playlist, encourage viewers to subscribe, cross-promote another channel and link to approved websites.
  • Consider leaving space at the end of your video for your end screen elements to sit.
  • Do not use card teasers and branding watermarks during an end screen because both are suppressed.

7. Include Video Transcripts And/Or Closed Captions – CC

Did you know that 83% of consumers watch videos on mute and it is true. Research from Verizon shows that 80% of people are more likely to watch a video in full if it has captions.

Therefore if you want to keep this traffic then you will need to add closed captions to your video and should also include something else like a video transcription.

add transcripts and or closed captions

Adding a video transcription and a closed caption to your video will help your web page rank better as Google’s crawlers will scan the text for keywords and rank the page accordingly.

They will also help you attract more voice search traffic and make your content accessible to people who cannot listen to videos.

To add a transcript and closed captions to a video – simply use a transcription tool or manually insert them yourself.

8. Video Likes and Dislikes

Likes and dislikes are among the hundreds of signals that YouTube considers for ranking. Their recommendation system learns from whether or not viewers are choosing to watch a video.

The system learns how much of the video the viewer watches and if they are satisfied. Your overall video performance is decided by a combination of these factors.

Typical Audience Retention Data learns how YouTube Analytics now reports key moments in audience retention to help you understand what is working and what is not.

YouTube like dislikes share comment save

You now understand why many YouTube creators ask viewers to like their video, post comments, share the video on their social networks and subscribe to their channel.

All of these are forms of viewer engagement and satisfaction – they are all signals that YouTube considers for ranking.

9. Supplement Your Video With Good Website SEO

While video SEO is an excellent strategy in itself, search engines would not rank your videos unless the rest of your website is search-engine friendly which means that you need to optimise your website by:

  • Checking your website is not blocking crawlers with a robots.txt file
  • Using keywords in your web page title tags and meta descriptions so search engines can understand the page contents
  • Optimising your images so search engines can index them correctly via naming your images – social media strategy rather than IMG392848.
  • Ensure your website loads in three seconds or less as faster websites rank better
  • Launching a sitemap
  • Minimising page redirects
  • Installing an SSL certificate
  • Using a mobile-friendly theme
  • Targeting keywords relevant to your niche
videos with good website SEO

If you want to ensure your website’s SEO follows best practices then you should also double-check that you are not making any technical SEO mistakes.

10. Video Uploads and Playlists

Regular publishing schedule can draw viewers back to your channel to watch more videos and by using playlists – this can help them easily find more of what they like on your channel.

To stay on top of viewers’ minds – many creators find that setting a routine publishing schedule will help viewers know when to expect their next release. It is like anticipating when the next episode of your favourite show is coming out next.

Subscribers can find your new uploads in their subscriptions feed and can opt-in to mobile or email notifications based on their interests.

YouTube video uploads and playlists

11. Measure Your Performance

If you want to succeed with video SEO strategy long-term then you will need to measure the performance of your videos so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. This means you will need to track metrics like:

  • Watch time – the total amount of time people spend watching your video.
  • Average view duration – how long the average viewer spends on your video.
  • Viewer demographics – what gender your viewers are and where they live.
  • Conversion rate – how many people buy your product or service after watching your video by using link tracking software.
  • Bounce rate – how many people leave your website after only viewing a single video or page.
measure your performance

Stay Ahead of Video Optimisation Developments

Video SEO has changed dramatically over the years hence use these guides to optimise your videos for search and discovery as quickly as possible.

Marketers have forecasted that millions of YouTube viewers will watch the platform’s content on connected TV – CTV devices in the near future.

Now YouTube viewers have pivoted to TV screens as their method of choice for watching content – a trend that is experiencing significant growth during the height of the pandemic.

connected TV - CTV device

Using a TV clicker to tap out each letter of your target term on your CTV can be long winded and painful.

Maybe the integration of voice search will make this easier in the future or maybe getting found on Home or Suggested Videos and Related Topics will make YouTube Search a relic of the past.

Watch this space!!!

Get Started with Video SEO Strategy Now

If there was ever a time to add videos to your digital marketing strategy – that time is now. Research shows that online videos will account for 82% of internet traffic in the future and rising.

If you want to win some of that traffic then you will need to start producing videos now with our Video SEO services.

Now that you have learned how to use video SEO to your advantage – there is only one question left to answer: how can we help you incorporate video into your video SEO strategy?

video seo services include

At Best-Digital Marketing, we utilise video SEO best practices and techniques to get you the results you want so call us today on 07794 113 607 or for a customised video SEO plan pricing.

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why is website content important for business

Why Is Website Content Important For Business?

Why Is Website Content Important For Business?

Can you imagine showing up to a website that had little to no information or descriptions of the company’s services? Most people would instantly click away and go looking for a more reliable source of information.

This is why website content is important for business to find success online.

why is website content important for business

As you create your website – the words, texts, visual, audio and media on each page plays a pivotal role in converting each visitor into a lead or a paying customer.

Learn why website content is important for your business and how you can create it easily and effectively. There are in no order of importance since all of them are equally important.

1. Give Target Audience Valuable Information

Arguably the most important reason to have highly engaging content on a website is to educate, explain and inform target audience on your website.

Without high engaging content – no one will know what your business is all about, what you stand for and how they can benefit from what you have to offer?

give target audience valuable information

Regardless of the types of content you decide to share – always ensure the content is highly-engaging and gives audience a clear picture of your business or brand.

Make sure to take the time to write down all the details about your products or services on landing pages and other parts of your website. As long as the information you share is readable, clear and straightforward – it will provide value to anyone who views it.

2. Engaging Content is Important to Google

While it is vital to have high-quality content on your website, only a few people will ever see it if you do not focus on getting it indexed by search engines.

This is done through the proper practice of search engine optimisation – SEO strategy optimisation which is why content is crucial on a any website.

Google loves all forms of interesting high engaging content and it favours video as well as clearly written blogs.

The better your website is able to use SEO best practices and techniques – the more likely it is that people will find your content and be able to learn more about your business or brand.

3. Focus on Keywords, Phrases or Terms

One of the most important aspects of content for SEO is the usage of keyword search, phrases and/or terms. These are search terms that highlight everything from your products and services to items that are directly related to your offerings.

focus on keywords phrases terms

Keyword search tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush are popular resources for conducting keyword research which will give you a better understanding of what to write about.

They will also give you an idea of topics you can focus on when creating video content, infographics ideas and different types of engaging content.

4. Key Is Content Marketing Effort

The importance of content for marketing purposes cannot be overstated. In fact – the term content marketing encompasses all forms of digital advertising including blog articles, case studies, E-books, videos, case studies, white papers and beyond.

key is content marketing

The more you can integrate all these types of engaging content marketing into your daily, weekly and monthly efforts – the higher your chances of reaching consumers whom will become paying customers.

5. Sharable Content Could Go Viral

There are no clear defined steps when it comes to making a highly engaging shareable video content or creative blog post to go viral.

But when creating content for your website – always focus on providing engaging value with your target audience to have a better chance.