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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.

Things to Consider When You’re Thinking About Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing

Your business is your livelihood and time is a commodity that is hard for you to give up. It’s important to market your business to stand out, but it can take a lot of time, energy and knowledge to do it right. Outsourcing your digital marketing is a solution that works for many businesses. At Insiteful Solutions, we’ve been helping business owners such as yourself take their online marketing to the next level since 2002.

Partnering with a Markham digital marketing agency will allow you gain the ability to focus on your business, with the peace of mind knowing that your online branding is being managed by an experienced team. It’s important to partner with a marketing firm that regularly provides you with reports that accurately show your Return on Investment. A well-managed online marketing campaign will produce results both today and tomorrow. Even the best agency on the planet will not understand your business as well as you do, that’s why we sit down with each of our clients to design a plan that takes into account your goals, market, budget, and competition.

One the biggest advantages of outsourcing your marketing is consistency. Your staff needs to take breaks and sometimes even the most seasoned employees may choose to leave your company for other opportunities. Your marketing can instantly suffer when staff changes happen. Outsourcing your marketing means that you will never need to worry about unexpected gaps in your brand’s online growth. You have a team of experts who will be working regularly to create and maintain your business’ digital marketing campaigns.

Sometimes a fresh perspective can be a great thing. You and your team are busy working on your core business. During this time it can be hard to see past your daily routine and understand what others think about your brand. An outside consultant will bring a new energy to your brand, combining your knowledge with an outside viewpoint. This perspective brings an opportunity to look at your current marketing objectively, they can see what’s working and what’s not.

You work hard for your money and must be assured that your marketing agency is providing you with a strong return on investment. An experienced agency will show you results on a regular basis in jargon-free reports. They understand that you’re busy and provide insightful takeaways with clear next steps. At all times you should be in charge of the direction of your marketing, the agency is there to provide the tools, knowledge and people to make it happen.

Professionals who provide marketing services focus their energy on learning the latest digital marketing strategies. In order to be successful in their work, they must be life-long learners in the online branding space. Growing this skill set takes a lot of time and resources, working with a consultant provides access to a team ready to produce innovative work for your company. They are there to provide your company with ongoing optimization of your campaigns and will monitor your traffic.

A typical online marketing plan has a lot of moving parts. Typically, your business is looking at managing SEO, social media marketing, search engine advertising, website design, e-mail marketing, content marketing, mobile marketing and many other digital marketing solutions. It can almost be impossible to find the right person to manage and grow each of these marketing channels. By outsourcing, you can hand over your entire marketing plan to one experienced firm with experienced professionals in all aspects of marketing.

We’ve seen a lot of trends and changes in our history. We’ve seen the growth of social media marketing, built WordPress websites before it was common and witnessed websites move from desktops to mobile devices. Many of our clients have worked with us for years and we take a lot of pride in these relationships and the work we create together. Your business is important and we understand. We have a team of handpicked digital marketing experts, each with their own unique experience. Our Markham web marketing firm provides all-in-one solutions for businesses big and small. Learn more about how we can take your online marketing to the next level by contacting us today.

WordPress Website Maintenance

Wordpress Website Maintenance

A Guide to Keeping Your WordPress Website Running Smooth and Safe

Are you like millions of other website owners out there and have a WordPress website? It was a great decision, you have access to one of the most innovative and secure website platforms out there. It’s estimated that there are over 74 million WordPress sites online right now; that’s almost 19 percent of the Internet.

You’ve probably invested a lot of time and money into your WordPress website. It makes sense; your website is a core part of your online marketing and without it your business could be losing a lot of customers.

Most website owners do not really put a lot of thought into the maintenance of their site. You’re not alone if you think your website should simply be online and be fine after it’s launched. Plus, let’s be honest, it’s a really boring chore to maintain your WordPress-powered site.

WordPress is an excellent tool and we’ve built a lot of websites using the tool throughout Markham, Toronto and surrounding areas. Without regular maintenance, a WordPress site can be hacked. A hacked website is not fun to deal with. Typically your site will go down and will be replaced with malicious links and content. It’s a bad experience for your customer-base and it can have a really negative effect on your SEO ranking if it’s not dealt with right away.

Planning ahead is a great first step to prevent your site from being hacked. When you set up your site you’ll want to have strong logins. Do not use your company name as a login and avoid using common passwords.  Try using passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It will be a pain to remember but it will help protect your website and content. There are lots of plugins that will automatically update your WordPress theme and plugins such as Installatron (that’s the big one right now), stay away from these tools; they cause more problems than they are worth. Also, be careful about what plugins your install on your site, always read reviews.

Many websites are hacked due to malicious code left in a post’s comments section. Comments can be a great way to interact with your online audience, but if you don’t plan on utilizing this WordPress function you should disable it.

We have a lot of experience with WordPress, we’ve using it to build website since the beginning. Like a car, regular WordPress maintenance is the best way to keep your website running smoothly for years to come. In addition to understanding WordPress inside and out, we also know how vital your website is to your business. With our WordPress Maintenance and Updates Package, we’ll do the following to your website.

  • Take care of all WordPress theme and plugin updates
  • Schedule ongoing backups of your entire site
  • Track your site’s uptime, ensuring that you know if your site goes down
  • Ongoing malware and performance scans
  • Perform all of your website updates and make sure everything’s working afterward
  • Provide you and your team with regular reporting

Keeping your WordPress website healthy means keeping hackers out and it keeps your site running at a high level. Common issues such as high downtimes, slow loading pages, and broken links can cost your business customers. Regular WordPress maintenance is time-consuming, but leaving to us will give you the peace of mind that your website is doing its job 24/7. Learn more about our WordPress Maintenance and Updates package by contacting us.