SEO in Toronto?
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If I were to explain the way SEO works by using a comparison, I would say that it’s beautiful blend of art and science—very much like baking. If you forget to add baking soda to the recipe, your cake will not rise. If you fail to decorate your cake, or just dump icing on it, it might taste good, but you’d be the only one who knows that because it will look unappetizing to others--although it might sound far-fetched, Search Engine Optimization is very similar to baking. It’s a combination of many elements (ingredients), and if one is left out then your campaign will not reach its full potential. Additionally, if the content is not engaging or appealing, your audience will by-pass your website. Don’t bake a cake that no one wants to eat.
Now that we know that effective web optimization should be delicious, we have to consider how we implement it today. When someone says “SEO has undergone some changes over the years” they are making a huge understatement. Google updates it’s algorithms and layouts frequently, it’s difficult to keep up with them. This year alone, we have had two updates—the most recent one was on February 23, 2016, and it affected Google AdWords. Now, when you enter a search query, you'll no longer see the entire right column of paid ads on the SERP. Although this is a paid feature, it impacted the CTR for several organizations and also affected organic keyword searches as well. At the beginning of the year, major ranking shifted significantly, and although it was rumoured to be another “Penguin” update, Google merely left the update unnamed and reported that it was another “Algo Change.” We’ve only grazed two of the updates, and if you’re not versed in the area of Search Engine terms, you might be a little confused at this point, so we’ll steer the blog to focus on some elements that you can control as a small business in Toronto. By creating compelling web content, ensuring a strong social media presence, and also implementing robust email marketing campaigns to generate leads, you can substantially contribute to your website SEO and increase your SERP.
When SEO began trending as a marketing buzzword, many website administrators and digital marketers would focus on keywords and performing keyword research. For example, if you owned a BMW dealership or any other car dealership in Toronto and wanted to optimize your website, you would research what words people were searching for in your industry and figure out how to place them on your site. Right? While keywords play a significant role in SEO activities and are as essential to a campaign as an oven is when baking a cake, adding keywords to your website is not the only driving force that will bring you success. After the most recent “Google Panda update” that happened in the summer of last year, Google buckled down on how it ranks pages and would examine the quality of a website’s content. Panda was originally introduced in 2011; however, the latest tweak has enabled the world’s largest search engine to single out and penalize web pages and sites that contain poor-quality content, keyword stuffing, and plagiarized material. As a marketer or someone who is interested in investing in Search Engine Optimization, you’re probably wondering how to overcome the provisions and guidelines to rank at the top of Google, or how to improve your content so it will receive the thumbs up from Search Engines. First, let’s take a look at what web content is. Content can be anything from videos, images, and of course, textual content or digital copy. Determining what content to use or produce may be daunting for many businesses, and quality video or audio can be difficult to obtain for some, as this type of material can be costly and requires editing knowledge for it to be presentable. For this reason, written content, for the purposes of Search Engine Opimization and digital marketing reigns supreme.
If you want to push your SEO content to its full potential, you can’t stop on your website. Searches need to view it off-site as well. When you publish copy off-site, it reaches a larger audience, and it also provides links that will drive traffic back to your website. Fresh, relevant, and useful content that consumers find engaging makes you` sit favourably with Google, and it also lets your particular market know that you know what you’re talking about—establishing yourself as a leader in your industry will prompt users to share your content, and will boost your SERP significantly. For local businesses, in particular, online directories are a goldmine for SEO fuel. If you’re an entrepreneur in the GTA, and you want your page to focus on Toronto SEO, submit content to sites like blogto.com, NOW magazine (nowtoronto.com), or Toronto.net. Depending on what market you serve, there are a number of industry-specific directories as well. Just to give you a few examples, if you’re practicing in a Toronto law firm specializing in family law, www.divorcemagazine.com is a fantastic resource to submit content to—this is especially useful for divorce lawyers in Toronto to build inbound links and to develop influence among other legal professionals. In an entirely unrelated industry, if you’re in involved in automotive and want to attract people using specific SEO for car dealers in Toronto, you can submit content and list ads in automag.ca. Experiment with different online directories and you will see a change in your rankings in the months to come.
How strong is your social presence online? Is your business registered with Google and do you have a Facebook company page? Do you tweet frequently and are you on Instagram? Ensuring your social media is up-to-date and are consistent with your brand assists with search engine optimization. When you register as a business with Google, and someone searches your company’s exact name, you should show up as #1 on their SERP, and a map indicating the location of your Toronto small business will also display. Showing up in the top results during search queries is awesome, but showing up twice, is even better. Make sure you link all of your social media pages together and ensure that you are consistent and that the content is current. Gaining followers and users who are interested in your product or service creates market qualified leads—the more your direct relevant traffic to your site, the higher your conversion rates will be. In the end, you Social Media is a revenue generator and works hand in hand with SEO, supporting your business’ bottom line.
When you visit a website, you are often prompted to join a mailing list to view the rest of the site. By willingly providing your email address and subscribing to the newsletter, you have helped that company’s SEO campaign. How does an outbound marketing tool help with SEO? When an email marketing campaign is sent off to a subscriber list. An effective newsletter will include share links, and if the content is engaging, readers are likely to share the newsletter by posting it to their social media or blog—BAM! They’ve created new links that direct traffic to that business’ website. If you’ve ever used MailChimp, you might see an option to view the email in your browser. When you click to see the email in your browser, it opens up an entirely new page outside of your inbox—this counts as offsite content, and will score some brownie points with major search engines. Furthermore, the email will be branded and most likely have links to your blog or site. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re running an email campaign, such as catchy subject lines. The more opens you have, the higher your click rates will be. The higher your click rates are, the more traffic your site will receive. We’ll cover more on email marketing campaigns in another blog, but you get the idea of how using something a tool like MailChimp will help boost your SEO.
We’ve covered some bases for a launching a successful Toronto SEO campaign and how content, in various forms, plays a role in the success of your website. As the Best SEO Company in Toronto, we are often approached by small business owners who are concerned about producing “enough” content. Regardless of your industry, if you’ve had enough confidence to start a business based on your product or service, you probably have lots of knowledge on it. It’s your expertise, and if you think about who your audience is, the wheels should start turning. Give us a call today to set up your free SEO consultation, or to find out more about our content services. If you have the ideas, we have talented writers and content marketing specialists who can turn your thoughts into original content that will keep your audience captivated, and help establish your brand as an industry leader.
From a digital marketing standpoint, SEO is about the overall experience of a searcher, which starts when they enter a search query related to your business. By providing them with a great experience through secure website accessibility and SERP listing, quality web content, and easy navigation, the better your SEO will be.