Topic: Search Engine Optimization

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.

SEO & Google Rankings – Insiteful Solultions SEO

SEO & Google Rankings

Understanding SEO and Google Rankings: Markham and Toronto Business Should Answer the Customer’s Questions

Google is now a part of everyone’s daily life. In the beginning, it was accessed by a web browser on a computer, but today, it lives on your mobile devices, in your home with technology such as Google Home and even in your car when you’re driving to work.

Everyone searches the Internet for different things. Some searches cure hungry such as; how long should I bake an apple pie, some answer random questions such as; who won the first Stanley Cup; the sky’s the limit in regards to information people seek on Google. We are all curious about different things, and Google is used daily to find answers.

Yes, it’s important to rank high in Google’s organic search results. The higher your site appears, the more visitors to your website. It’s important to ask yourself – what are people asking before they load up your site. Once you have answered these questions, you’ll want to ensure that your website quickly addresses answers these searches as soon as people arrive on your landing pages.

Google is a source of information that’s universally trusted. When someone asks Google how to bake chocolate chip cookies, they expect to see a recipe, if a page appears that doesn’t give the information quickly, they bounce (literally) back to Google. Lots of websites have excellent content, but if it doesn’t answer the searches of their audience, it’s never going to as efficient as it could be. Understanding your audience and providing relevant and definite content is a powerful way to stand apart on the Internet and help your bottom line at the same time. Manners don’t exist when there’s a mouse or a swiping thumb if you don’t answer a person’s question they will go to the next website.

We’ve been providing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services for a wide range of clients throughout Markham, Toronto and surrounding areas since 2002. In the beginning, the goals for SEO were pretty straightforward. Develop a strategy that helps a website rank on the sought-after first page of Google. Today, it’s a little more involved; not only does content need to rank high in Google, but it also needs to keep visitors engaged. Gone are the days when more traffic to a website was the primary goal, a click from Google is only the beginning now.

Authority is one of the most significant factors in a person’s online research process. It’s important to establish your brand as a source in your market; relevant content is the best way to gain this respect. Study and after study concludes that people are visiting multiple websites in their online search; brand authority will help keep you top of mind.

Many homepages are underutilized on the Internet. How many times have you landed on a website only to find content that talks about how long a company has been in business, or a breakdown of their business philosophy? This material is all great information, but it probably didn’t answer the initial question that brought you to the website in the first place. The person already landed on your site, they’ve picked you in Google; there’s no need to sell them. Anyone visiting your site should have the information they are looking for in front of their eyeballs right away, once they have it, they will dig deeper and learn more about your brand.

Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Ask Google a question that’s related to your business. Maybe you’re a plumber, try asking Google how to fix a leaky faucet. Ideally, you’ll appear on the top of Google’s search results page.

The real test begins after you click your link. You should land on a page that explains how someone can have a leaky faucet repaired. Online video is an excellent way to present content in an attractive and highly engaging format. Show as much visual content as you can, keep your tone simple and inviting.

SEO is just as important today as it was when we were first started providing online marketing services in Markham, it’s just different. Make sure your website addresses the questions of your audience and save the other stuff until later in the process. Establishing your brand as a source of online information is a great way to create a unique online experience and generate more business.

Learn About Google’s Recent Algorithm Updates

We saw a lot of changes in Google’s algorithm back in the fall of 2016. It was one the most dramatic updates we’ve seen and many websites felt its impact. It’s clear that Google is shifting towards rewarding websites with a strong mobile interface and creating more room on the search results page for AdWords.

Things seemed to be fairly smooth in December, but like clockwork more changes came in the early months of 2017. There were two fairly minor updates in January and early February. These updates focused on private blogs and external links.

On February 7th, Google launched what proved to be a major update. There have been big shifts in rankings for websites throughout the Internet. We’ve seen some of our clients jump ten or even twenty spots overnight.

Google has been very clear in the philosophy behind their updates; Google wants high-quality content to appear on their search results page. Each of the updates they make to their algorithm is meant to increase exposure to good content.

Whenever there is an update to Google’s algorithm we tend to see some confusion for the first few days after the update happens. It usually doesn’t take Google long to make corrections and to tweak results.

There are many elements that go into Google’s ranking. Aggressive advertising, auto play videos, deceptive content, aggressive pop-up ads and various other things can hurt your website’s rankings. It’s also important to make sure your site loads quickly and looks great on any desktop or mobile device. Google wants people to know how to rank well and publishes a great guide.

Websites that contain things Google is regarding as negative are seeing certain keywords generate less traffic. It’s important to check your Google Analytics regularly to watch for unusual shifts in organic keyword traffic. Typically, some keywords will generate similar traffic, while other keywords will suffer from significant decreases.

One of Google’s biggest updates was found last year when the various versions of Panda launched. Many sites not meeting Google’s recommended content took a nosedive. Google looked at the update as a rankings adjustment, they were not trying to penalize website owners.

We find that web pages with low-quality content or pages lacking content are most likely to lose their rankings. It’s important to continually review your website and improve your content as you go.

Google is in the process of rolling out a mobile-first search page. This is making a mobile design that much more important. Sites without a strong mobile design will see their pages not rank well on this mobile search page. More importantly, a website with mobile issues will cause a frustrating experience for many of your users. So, make sure you check your website on various mobile devices to ensure your users will have full functionality.

It’s important to ensure your website is not embedding third-party advertising with malware. Also, advertising with misleading content can cause your Google rankings to decrease quickly.

Understanding Google’s updates will help keep you ranking well in Google and will also give your users a great user experience. We help Markham businesses stand out in Google by using the latest SEO marketing strategies to achieve sustainable organic keyword growth. Feel free to speak to one of our SEO specialists and get your website optimized for 2017.