Monthly Archives: February 2018

SEO Tips: What to Do if Your Website is Penalized by Google

SEO

The organic traffic your website gets from Google is essential for your business. Achieving high rankings in Google isn’t easy, it takes a lot of hard work, time and resources. Think about waking up one day to realize that all your SEO efforts have disappeared instantly because your site was penalized by Google. It’s scary to think that you can go from receiving thousands of visits to your website and have them all virtually removed instantly.

Penalties are nothing new for websites, but with recent updates to Google, they can happen to even the most ethically run website. Google has estimated that the search engine hands out over 400,000 manual penalties on a monthly basis. With that amount of penalties, it’s easy to see how they can happen.

Having your website penalized is not the end of the world (especially if it never happened before), there some things you can do to regain your lost SEO ranking, traffic and leads.

Why Your Business Should Have a Custom-Built WordPress Website

Custom Built Wordpress Website

Over the last few years, WordPress has grown to become the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the Internet. WordPress estimates that more than 25 percent of the world’s websites are powered by the platform. Brands both big and small are utilizing the thousands of features offered by the CMS.

WordPress is one of the most affordable solutions available to website owners. A simple WordPress theme is free to install, launch and maintain. There are many different open source and paid options that provide users with access to literally thousands of themes, templates, plugins and widgets. It’s likely that there is custom built WordPress solution for almost anything you could want on your website.

We’ve been helping business owners throughout Markham and the Toronto region design and build custom WordPress websites for nearly a decade. Over this time we’ve been able to build some really engaging and modern designs. Here are some the top reasons our clients have enjoyed using WordPress to power their website.

Easy to Use and Manage

WordPress was initially built for non-tech savvy content creators and bloggers, the interface of the CMS is designed to upload content quickly and easily. You don’t really need a lot of experience working with websites to add, update or delete the content on your website. The CMS is built with a simple to use interface, allowing you the ability to add text, images and even video with just a couple clicks. There’s no need learn or even look at HTML or other code. Your staff will need minimal training to hit the ground running and start posting content. The Internet is full of helpful online manuals and walkthrough videos that provide excellent tips for your staff. There are even mobile applications that let you update your website from your phone or tablet.

By default, WordPress allows you the ability to have full user management, RSS feeds, revision backups and tracking, blogging and many other features. WordPress is a very powerful tool right out of the gate with its many default features and plug-ins. There are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins that can be instantly downloaded, many of which are free or can be purchased for a small fee.

Affordable Website Development and Maintenance

Most WordPress websites require some customization work. When compared to other CMS solutions on the market such as Drupal and Joomla, WordPress customization is very affordable. Monthly website maintenance packages are affordable and will help keep your website running safe and secure for years to come.  With the size of its community, WordPress is constantly rolling out critical updates that make the platform evolve on a regular basis. The flexibility of WordPress is another reason why it works as a CMS for many Toronto businesses. WordPress can be used to create everything from a simple blog to a complex and custom website with many moving parts. Many time-consuming functions such as building contact forms, slideshows, and custom navigation can be done quickly without the need for heavy development time.

Some of the most commonly used web applications integrate easily with a WordPress website. Tools such as MailChimp, Facebook, Instagram, and other marketing platforms can quickly integrate with WordPress, this can create some exciting ways to build and engage with your customer base.

Full E-Commerce Capability

Every day businesses process e-commerce transactions on their WordPress powered website. Tools such as WooCommerce make e-commerce secure, easy to manage and scalable. Over the years the WordPress community has focused a lot of attention to towards online security. With some ongoing security maintenance, you will have the peace of mind of knowing your website is secure for your customers to process transactions. WordPress now has some of the easiest to use e-commerce solutions on the Internet.

With WooCommerce you can easily manage your inventory with detailed information, images and video on each of your product pages. Major online payment gateways such as Moneris, PayPal and Stripe can quickly begin processing payments on your WordPress site. You even have the ability to upload your entire inventory via a spreadsheet file to instantly populate thousands of items to your website. There are various syndication tools that will link your website to your company’s CRM tool.

Rank Higher in Search Engine with SEO

WordPress has a reputation for ranking well in Google search results with SEO-friendly coded pages and design. There are many factors that Google takes into account when they rank websites and WordPress takes most of these elements into account. The content is designed to load quickly with clean code, something that Google rewards heavily. There are some really great SEO plugins that can be installed for free that will instantly have a positive impact on your SEO strategy. Images can be easily optimized to load quickly and appear higher in search results.

Built for Mobile Devices

Creating a positive mobile browsing experience is something that’s important for all business owners. WordPress developers have focused much of their attention on building websites with a strong mobile design. Many traditional websites require a lot of code and testing to ensure their content works and look good on all mobile devices, WordPress automates this entire process. Many of our clients see a majority of their traffic now coming from mobile devices and WordPress is a great way to keep this audience happy and engaged.

As a Toronto online marketing company, we’ve had a front-row seat to the evolution of WordPress over the last few years and it’s only getting better. The open source nature of WordPress has a created a community with some of the best developers in the world constantly making updates to the platform. There are many reasons why WordPress has now established itself as the largest CMS platform on the Internet.

Your business can literally do anything with WordPress and our team of experienced designers and developers will make your website stand out with a unique and interactive design. Contact us today to learn more about how WordPress can benefit your business today.

Ranking High in Google – Why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important to Your Business

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (better known as SEO) has been an important part of online marketing for over a decade. For years SEO experts have been working hard to make websites appear higher in organic search results. Having your website seen on Google will produce more traffic and therefore more conversions on your website. It’s estimated that Google receives 57,000 searches per second on any given day, that’s around 2 trillion searches in a year. The world uses Google and it’s important to claim your brand’s digital territory.

The early days of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) were a digital wild west. Site rankings could vary greatly from one day to the next. People were also using search engines such as Yahoo!, MSN (before it was Bing) in addition to Google. Strategies for ranking higher did vary from search engine to search engine, but loading up on links, having strong META tags, and lots of content would usually do the trick. Over time the search engines got smarter, old SEO tricks stopped working like they did in the past and Google become a dominant force. It’s estimated that over 79 percent of Internet searches in 2017 happened on Google, followed distantly by Bing at just 7.27 percent. Google and other search engines got better at understanding how their audiences read and clicked through online content. This focus on showing relevant content made the Internet easier to navigate but made old school SEO tricks obsolete.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still alive and well. Actually, today is a really exciting time for doing SEO. Websites are being rewarded for having engaging and relevant content with more eyeballs in Google. A lot of SEO really comes down to common sense. Writing strong online content on a regular basis is the best way to gain more traction in Google search results.

People are changing how they interact with Google all the time. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a heavy shift towards people using their mobile devices to look up information on the Internet. Google has a strong track record for building their search engine to suit the needs of their users. Websites with a strong mobile presence now appear higher in Google’s organic listings. Most of Google updates over the last few years have focused heavily on rewarding websites that load quickly on mobile devices with increased rankings. Google estimates that over 40 percent of people only search Google on smartphones during an average day. If your website doesn’t have a strong mobile design you’ll be buried in Google search results.

We’ve also seen a growth in localized searches in Google. People are using Google to instantly access information about their local communities. Google estimates that ‘near me’ searches increased by two times over 2016 and it’s a trend that’s not slowing down. This has created a need for businesses to monitor their Google Reviews and engage with customers in a timely fashion. It’s important to constantly add localized information to your website to get ahead of your competition.

Voice activated search is another emerging trend on Google. People are using their fingers less to conduct searches on Google, instead, they are speaking to their smartphones, watches, tablets, smart speakers and even vehicles to access instant and localized information. Ranking organically is key to gaining traffic via this growing search method in Google.

Google is a business and they are in the business of making money (and they do a really great job at it), over the last few years there has been a lot more of Google’s search real estate devoted to AdWords advertising. This shift towards paid results has left less room for free organic search listings and competition for the remaining spots has created fierce competition for many companies. Combining an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign with a Google AdWords strategy is an excellent way to instantly gain traction on Google.

It’s important to think like your audience when coming up with an effective SEO strategy. You understand your customers better than anyone, using this knowledge to determine which keywords you want to focus your energy on is the best way to get results. Tools such as Google Analytics will give you an amazing insight into how your audience interacts with your site and what searches in Google are producing the best results. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for your marketing toolbox and it’s 100 percent free. Many of our clients have found success ranking for long-tail search results. A long-tail keyword is a phrase entered in search with at least three words, these searches help users find really niche and targeted information. Generally, long-tail search keywords are easier to rank high for with a lot less competition. Hubspot estimates that 50 percent of search queries contain four or more words.

Another key factor that Google uses to determine how your website ranks are the code used to make your site function. Websites with clean and easy to read code will rank higher than sites using bloated code. We’ve found that using WordPress to power a website is a great way to build an SEO-friendly site. This easy-to-use web platform can be updated effortlessly and the design and development options are almost endless. It’s estimated that over 20 percent of the websites on the Internet are now powered by WordPress, including well-known sites including The New Yorker, Variety, BBC America and MTV news. Generally, WordPress websites load quickly, can be easily read by Google and look great on mobile devices.

You could have the best website in the world, but if it’s not ranking high in Google it won’t be seen. There are a lot of online marketing firms who promise instant SEO results and special relationships with Google. The only way to achieve SEO success is to put in the work and commit to regularly posting informative content on a well-designed and mobile-friendly website. There are really no shortcuts to ranking high in Google. SEO is worth it and with recent increases in localized and voice-activated web search, it’s more important than ever before. High-quality content will not only help you rank better in Google, it will also help establish your brand as a trusted source in your market.

We love talking about SEO and we’d like to partner with your Toronto business to take your SEO strategy to the next level. Our Markham online marketing company believes in transparency, that’s we keep our clients up-to-date with regular and jargon-free reports, allowing you to quickly measure your return on investment. Contact us today and learn how we can help take your SEO marketing to the next level.