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September 2018

Viewing posts from September , 2018

Why You Should Invest in Hiring Expert SEO Services

Do you need to improve your site’s SEO? Hiring expert SEO services can help.

You invested a lot of time and resources to build your website and make it perfect. Now comes the hard part – driving traffic to it. There are several ways you can drive traffic to your site – social media, SEO and email newsletters are just a few of them.

With SEO, people are looking for information and they’re looking to buy your products or services. In fact, search engines drive 93% of all web traffic and it has a higher conversion rate than other ways to market your business.

Yet, only a small percentage of websites rank in the top 10 after a year.

Instead of banging your head against a wall trying to figure out how to improve your ranking, read on to learn why you should hire a professional SEO company.

Technical Expertise

SEO is much more than keywords.

Google is said to use around 200 factors to determine search results. They range from your online listings and your site architecture to the number of links to your site & keywords.

An SEO firm can point you in the right direction to improve your search listings. They’ll do professional keyword research and make content recommendations.

They’ll also take a look at the back end of your website to make sure your most important content stands out in search results and your site architecture is clear for search engines.

Better Online Presence

Have you ever looked up a company online and found different phone numbers and addresses for them?

It’s frustrating, and it leaves a bad impression of your business. Potential customers will be confused. It’ll confuse search engines, too.

When you hire expert SEO services, you’ll find that they’ll improve your entire online presence. They can help you clean up your listings across all directories so they’re consistent.

Expert SEO Services Saves Time

When you hire expert SEO services, you ultimately save time and energy. How much time do you have to learn what the 200 factors Google uses to rank websites?

After you learn what it takes to rank your website, do you have the time and resources to implement those changes yourself?

No, you don’t. You have a business to run.

Hiring an SEO company would be a smart move because they already have the technical expertise, they have the training, and they know how to implement an SEO strategy to get results.

Improved Conversion Rates

Almost half of all searches are local. Out of those local searches, about 75% of those will call the results on the first page of search results.

Imagine ranking on the first page of Google and getting some of those calls. What kind of impact would that have on your business?

Even if people click through to your website, there’s a good chance that they’ll contact your business because they’re already searching for your product or services.

That improved conversion rate could improve your bottom line in a big way.

Increase Referral Calls

Many businesses rely on referrals to get new business. For 85% of businesses, this is the top way to drive leads. If your business is part of the 85% of those who depend on referrals, SEO can ensure that you’re getting all of those.

Right now, you might be leaving money on the table and not even know it.

Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes for a moment.

If you’re looking for a particular service, you’d ask people you know. You’ll then get a few recommendations and the first thing you’ll do is look them up online.

If you can’t find that business online or if you find different phone numbers for that business, will you call them? No, you’ll just move on to the next business.

SEO expert services can ensure that your business appears in search results and that your information is consistent across directories and platforms.

That will result in phone calls to your business.

You’ll See How Your Marketing Dollars Are Spent

When you invest in SEO services, you want to make sure you’re getting a return on investment.

The great thing about investing in SEO is that you can track just about anything. You can track keywords people use to get you’re your site and what they do when they get there.

Compare that to other forms of advertising where you invest a lot of money and assume that it works.

You’ll have access to detailed reporting, so you can see exactly how your marketing dollars are working for you.

Stay Ahead in a Constantly Changing World

We mentioned how many factors go into search results. On top of that, Google changes its algorithm frequently, up to 600 times a year.

Technology changes, too. We’ve gone from searching on desktop computers to mobile devices. The next frontier for search is voice search as people use devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo in their homes.

A professional SEO company knows what’s next in SEO and can help you get prepared for those changes.

What to Look for in an SEO Company

When you hire an SEO company, it helps to know that there are good companies and companies who promise a lot and don’t deliver. Here’s how you can tell the difference and hire an experienced company.

SEO Takes Time

When you invest in SEO, be prepared to play a long game. Any firm that tells you that they can get results in a month is probably using black hat SEO techniques.

Understand Your Marketing Strategy

SEO plays a role in digital marketing, but it also works together with social media, content marketing and branding.

Results in SEO don’t happen in isolation, but each component of marketing influences the results of the others to drive results.

A top SEO firm will take the time to look at your entire marketing strategy and implement strategies for each component to maximize all of your marketing results.

Hire Expert SEO Services

An expert SEO services company can help you save time and generate money for your business. They can also improve your overall web presence so it’s consistent to those searching for your business, products, and services.

If you’re ready to hire an SEO services company, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

7 Simple SEO Solutions You Need to Try for Yourself

In 2015, there were more than 1.1 million businesses in Canada. Basically, this means you’re up against a ton of competition as a business owner or marketer.

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is the process of getting your pages to rank higher on Google and other search engines, which will lead to more traffic and more sales.

We’ve compiled 6 simple SEO solutions that you should try out that will make you say, “Shell Yeah!”

Check them out!

1. Find Your Keywords

The first thing you should do when starting with SEO is deciding on your keywords. The whole point of SEO is ranking higher on search engines for specific keywords and phrases! So you need to make sure you’re trying to rank for the best keywords possible.

This happens through strong keyword research efforts. Think about what people are searching for when they look for your business’ products or services.

What do they Google? If you’re a pet store owner, people might search for “dog store in Seattle” or “pet store in Washington.” So you would want to rank for these terms.

Do some research with a professional SEO tool to find out what people search for most. You can also utilize free tools like Google Trends.

2. Content, Content, Content

Another SEO key is producing content. But it shouldn’t just be any content. It needs to be valuable and relevant.

Find topics that people are curious about in your industry. What topics could you write about that will get people to your website?

Once they’re on your site, you can make an offer to them… which means more cash for you! Yeah, buoy!

You should also produce content on a regular basis. Google prioritizes pages that are fresh.

This also attracts readers because you’re providing interesting and helpful content. Whether these are blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, or videos, content is a huge part of SEO in 2018.

So make sure you have a writer and a designer on your team who can produce these pieces.

3. Load Quickly: One of the Biggest SEO Solutions

The bottom line is that when websites load quickly, people are satisfied. The opposite is also true: when sites take forever to load, people leave.

This will happen to a certain extent no matter what. In fact, the average bounce rate is 26% to 40%. But many sites are at a much higher level, which negatively affects their bottom line.

Google understands this and so sites that load slowly are negatively affected in terms of SEO. This is because, in order for Google to be successful, they want to provide the best experience possible. And if the first couple of search results for a given query all load super slowly, the user is going to get frustrated and go to a different search engine to do their searching.

This is Google’s worst nightmare. So to avoid this. They give preference to sites who rank quickly.

To improve your site’s load times, there are lots of things you can do. Start by optimizing your images and getting rid of pictures with huge file sizes. Instead, compress them using an online tool.

Also, consider switching hosting providers (there is a reason that some hosting options are considered discount). Sometimes this is the core of the issue.

4. Pay Attention to Your Titles and Descriptions

This is a simple thing with a big impact: optimize your page titles and descriptions. These are the pieces of text that tell both users and Google what your page is about.

Every page on your site should be optimized to include that page’s keyword. This helps Google’s bots understand exactly the purpose of your page. So if your pages aren’t optimized in this way, water you doing?

This is also the text that appears in Google search results when your page ranks. So being clear and getting to the point helps web searchers know exactly what they’ll get on that page.

If possible, you should also include the keyword in the H1 on your pages. An H1 is the main header at the top of the page. Google also pays attention to this.

5. Optimize Your URLs

Also, don’t forget about your page URLs. Google’s spiders look at your URL as well to understand the content of your page.

If possible, include your keyword in the URL as well. This will make things super clear.

Don’t make your URL too long. When it’s super long, it’s easy for the bots to get confused. Shorter is better in this case!

6. Don’t Forget Those Links

Link building is one of the fundamentals of SEO. Google likes to see that sites are linking back to you because it improves your reputation in their eyes.

This is especially true when the links come from domains with a lot of authority! So if at all possible, work with large publications and websites to get a link back to your site from them.

The other part of link building has to do with your site itself. Your site should also have plenty of internal links. This shows Google that your pages are related to each other and it helps paint a better picture of what your website is all about.

So go throughout your site and include links wherever possible.

7. Hire an Expert

When it comes to SEO strategy, do you feel like you’re standing at the seashore screaming, “Kelp! Kelp!”? If so, consider hiring an expert!

SEO is complicated and is always changing. An expert from an outside agency will be able to provide information about the latest strategies.

They’ll know what’s working right this moment to help you rank as well as possible. Our team has years of experience working in SEO and is happy to help you! Contact us today to learn more.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve gone through these SEO solutions, it’s time to make some changes in your business. Implement some of these on your site as soon as possible! In other words, it’s time to seas the day!

Have questions or want professional help? Get in touch with us and we’ll be your marketing sidekick.

Brand Out & Stand Out: Top 4 Benefits of Strong Branding

Is your company lacking the adequate branding it needs? Without those crucial elements, your company might as well be a boat without an oar.

While you’ve thought of a clever business name, a colour palette, and a logo, that proves to be not enough. These days, people want to be intrigued and wowed by brands. They’re no longer buying products that speak for themselves– they want to buy into brands that are authentic and compelling.

A few terms to keep in mind when developing your brand further is quality, credibility, and experience. Think of these keywords as the secret ingredients to your fantastic recipe for creating a brand.

Still not convinced on why branding is important? Allow us to explain the benefits of branding so you can see why it’s vital.

Here we go!

Be the Big Fish in a Little Pond

Rather than be the small fish swimming about in a big pond, strong branding can make you the opposite. To be the big fish, you need to hone in on what makes you stand out in a crowded market.

Whichever industry you’re in, differentiating yourself from your competitors is a must. You and the competition probably have similar products or services but it comes down to your branding in order to make people choose you.

Sure, you can go out and purchase a premade logo for a cheap price. However, you need to have more than that.

Set yourself up for success by thinking beyond a logo. Good branding is more than “nice colours” that you may like slapped together. It’s more than just ordering clip art to be used as a logo.

Think of the reasons you got into business. Was it to empower the local economy and create jobs? How about selling product so you can donate to local organizations?

Pinpoint what makes your business unique by digging deeper. Good brands have clear purposes, remember that.

It’s All About the Money, Money, Money

Obviously, that’s not how that song goes. But let’s be real here: you didn’t create a business to not make money.

When your branding game is strong, that means you can actually charge what you’re worth. Especially when you’re just starting out, finding those customers or clients can be a struggle. No one knows who you are yet so you think it’s a good idea to undersell yourself.

Wrong. So wrong, in fact.

You can’t build a sustainable business if you’re cutting prices all the time just to gain sales.

Solidify your branding first before you launch. That way, you can dazzle those who see you for the first time. They’ll have no choice other than to get on board with your company 😉

If you didn’t get the chance to perfect your brand before you launched, it’s not too late. Revamp it to where you can start charging the proper price of your products or services.

Customer Loyalty Is the Name of the Game

Customers are the heart of every business. They’re the reason other people hear of your company. When they spread the word, it spreads like wildfire. Why?

Because when your friend tells you of a new product or service, you believe them when what they have to say is positive, right? Your friend hasn’t steered you wrong yet, so you trust their recommendation.

People want to connect with brands who also share the same values as them. If you give donations to cancer research, that may be enough for someone to do business with you, especially if they know of someone with the disease.

Not only do the values you abide by win you customers, but the promises you deliver on ensure you of their return. If you promise a new product launch at the end of the month, you best follow up on it.

If you don’t, it’ll be hard to win their trust back. Not to mention they’ll be less interested in another product launch for fear it won’t be delivered when promised.

Keeping your company values and promises in check will be sure to win you more customers. And when more customers have trust in your company, the more referrals you’ll receive.

Having a Solid Brand Means You Won’t Regret it Later

We’ve all been through these days where we can’t seem to make up our minds. One morning we want coffee, the next we’re craving tea. There’s no consistency.

With a brand, you need to be consistent. In order to do that, you need to be content with your branding. That means loving the colour palette, the logo, and the vibes you put out.

If you went for the cheapest options possible when first building your brand, chances are you won’t be happy in the long run. Once you start making money, you’ll see that you want to hire a graphic designer to make you a killer logo. That means you’ll be changing your logo which means that’ll confuse your customers.

If you would’ve set a good foundation in the first place, you wouldn’t have to change anything within a year or two of being operational. That’s why it’s crucial you take your time to build a brand so that way, you can keep it intact for years to come.

That not only saves you time but money as well.

The Benefits of Branding are Hard to Ignore

Whether you spent days or years developing your business, branding is where it’s at. These days, markets are oversaturated so that’s why it’s more important than ever that you stand out like a starfish in a sea full of barnacles.

It’s the key to standing out and gaining more revenue. After all, who couldn’t benefit from an extra doubloon or two?

Ready to take the plunge? Get in touch with us today and see how we can help set you up for success with expert branding services!

HTTP vs. HTTPS: What’s the Difference?

The internet can seem like an endless sea of data – an estimated 1,200 petabytes worth of data are stored on just Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft servers.

With so much information shared between people, securing it is important for any business to stay afloat. Unsecured data can give hackers access to millions of users’ sensitive information. Leaks can sink even the best ship, so they must be prevented at all costs!

That means using HTTPS to communicate with customers and not regular HTTP. Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, used to be what everyone used in the early days of the internet.

Now, after the technology industry standardized security protocols, HTTPS is the only way any business should interact with the online world. It can be difficult understanding the difference between the two, though. HTTPS is just the secure form of HTTP. And it didn’t earn the ‘S’ at the end of its acronym for no reason!

To learn about how HTTP and HTTPS are different, and why you should use HTTPS, keep reading!

Data Sent Over HTTP Is a Treasure Map to Personal Information

Imagine if pirates didn’t try to hide their treasure. They wouldn’t ever hide their treasure maps, and anyone would be able to steal their loot. In security terms, this unhidden treasure map would be written in something called plaintext.

The text you are reading right now is something called plaintext. This is exactly what it sounds like – text that hasn’t had anything done to it.

The data that is sent over HTTP is the same way. Anyone who can get their hands on it will be able to read it. This is why most financial transactions over the internet are not sent through HTTP.

So, if a hacker decided to set up a man-in-the-middle attack between your computer and Amazon’s server, they would be able to see your debit card numbers if you made a purchase.

HTTPS tries to make sure this can’t happen.

HTTPS Buries the Treasure and Hides the Map

Rather than hold the map up for everyone to see, pirates hid the path to their treasure. HTTPS does the same thing.

Data sent through HTTPS is encoded before your browser sends it off. It uses a type of security method called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

SSL takes the data you type in, and everything else that is sent off, and encrypts it. This means that if you tried to look at the data, you would just see gibberish.

So, if a hacker obtains your data as it is sent through HTTPS, they will not be able to read it or really do anything with it.

By encrypting data this way, HTTPS secures a person’s personal information as it navigates the internet. Even if that information doesn’t reach its destination and someone else opens that message in a bottle, they won’t be able to read it.

Computers Can’t Trust Each Other With an Ocean of Data Between Them

When you log into a website like Facebook or Amazon, you are actually just connecting to another computer. The servers websites use for their websites are really just big, expensive computers like the one you’re using to read this, with the only difference being many people can use them at once.

Think of them like ports, with many people coming and going all the time. Only sometimes, you may think you’re at one port when you’re really at another.

Hackers will sometimes make a website that looks a lot similar to a Facebook or Amazon login page. When people log in to these fake pages, they can be fooled into giving a random person their login details.

HTTP connections have no way of telling if the computer it is connecting to genuinely belongs to Amazon, Facebook, or anyone else. There is no way to tell if you’re at the right port.

Without a way to tell the difference between a true server and an imposter, users could hand over sensitive information without even knowing it.

Land-ho! HTTPS Will Make Sure You Get Where You’re Going

HTTPS is like having a navigator on board who knows the seas like the back of their hand. They will be able to tell if you end up in the right port.

Because HTTPS uses SSL, it can verify that the computer a user connects to is actually who they claim to be. The verification is done through a thing called an HTTPS certificate.

These certificates act like keys to decrypt the encrypted information sent over HTTPS. When data is sent from a user to a server, the information is turned to gibberish to protect it.

When it reaches the server a user intended to send it to, it needs to be decrypted. This is done through a private key.

SSL essentially puts a padlock over information by encrypting it, which can only be unlocked with the right key, which only a genuine server will have. These keys are actually long strings of random letters and numbers but are essential to proving that a server is real.

Basically, it’s like your navigator will only let you dock somewhere if they recognize the area.

Certificates are issued through third-parties responsible for making sure they are going to the right people. Operating systems come with a list of known third-party issuers and automatically trust them.

Getting an SSL certificate also does more than just secure information. With an SSL certificate, a company’s brand will be boosted as it develops customer trust and loyalty.

Without a certificate, customers will receive a warning message whenever they connect to a company’s website. This can make potential customers nervous, and cost the company valuable business.

There is More to it than Just HTTPS

Even though it is the standard for online communication, HTTPS is not entirely secure. Malicious users can obtain self-signed SSL certificates, which can be used to better impersonate trusted brands.

These certificates are generated through free software and enable HTTPS connections between a malicious server and users. They trick browsers into thinking a server is genuinely from a particular website when it can actually be malicious.

Everyone Needs a Crew to Navigate the Digital Seas

People are less likely to purchase from a business that is not secured in some way since it puts their personal information at risk. A truly secure business does more than just build an online presence and go where the customers are. It also develops security protocols that protect themselves and their customers.

This involves building a website with servers that have been tested against penetration or injection attacks. The servers for any reputable online business must reliably hold massive amounts of customer information, without any leaks.

Building such a network of servers can be impossible for the business itself. Instead, most businesses opt to use third-party developers. They usually understand the technical nuances of building an online business beyond just implementing HTTPS.

To recruit your next crew to help you on these treacherous digital waves, just contact us!