Archive for the ‘Ottawa SEO’ Category

Are you Google Mobile Friendly?

by Ryan Grassie - Mar. 27, 2015 at 4:04pm

Google’s new mobile friendly ranking algorithm will be launching on April 21st. But how do you know if your website qualifies to benefit from the rollout?

We do know that this algorithm will be much larger in impact compared to the Panda and Penguin algorithms, webmasters and website owners are kind of anxious about this release.

Last week, Google answered a bunch of questions in a Google+ hangout on this hot topic of this new mobile friendly ranking algorithm change. The three things we learned from this hangout were:

  • The algorithm will start rolling out the last week of April and will take a few days to a week to be active around the globe.
  • You are either mobile friendly or not, there are no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this release.
  • The fastest way to see if your web pages are mobile-friendly is to see if you have the mobile-friendly label in the live mobile search results now. If not, check the mobile-friendly testing tool, which should match the live Google search results, whereas the mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools can be delayed based on crawl time. – Check out the tool here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you are not mobile friendly in the eyes of Google, some tweaks to your website can quickly change that. Contact us to help you out.

Top Blogging SEO Tips

by Ryan Grassie - Oct. 17, 2014 at 2:45pm

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords – Not Generic Ones.

When writing content for your blog or corporate site, it is very important not to jam a ton of keywords into a single blog post. Instead, focus on 1-2 keywords for each ariticle. It’s best to limit your amount of keywords to this number because 1) search engines like google and bing will actually penalize your post if it looks like you are jamming tons of keywords, and 2) it will keep you focused on a goal for your article or post. Of course more than one keyword may appear in your post; but the overall goal of the post should be focused enough to allow you to spend more time optimizing for just one or two targeted keywords.

Long-tail keywords may also be more efficient to use since your website visitors searching long-tail terms will often be more qualified then users searching for a generic term.

Where are the most SEO juicy parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in google? There are 4 important places where you should try to include your keywords:

a) Page Title

The title of your blog post should for sure include your keywords, but try to keep your long-tail keyword under 80 characters. The title of your article will be a search engine’s and reader’s first step in determining how relevant and important your content is, so including a keyword here is imperative.

b) Body

Mention your keywords at a normal pace throughout your post — don’t jam it in as many times as you possible can. Search engines like google will penalize any post they believe is using keyword mentions too many times for a particular keyword, so this requires close attention in your writing process.

c) URL

Search engines also look at your URL to figure out what your post is about. Your URL should reflect your title and content, so make sure the keywords you use are relevant to the article. If you have to trim your article URL down, make sure you keep your keywords in it.

d) Meta Description

Later in this blog article, we will get deeper into explaining meta descriptions. Your meta description is there to give search engines and your website users information about your blog post’s content. So be sure to use your long-tail term clearly here so Google and your website audience are well aware of the post’s content, but also keep in mind that how engaging the content matters for your conversion rates.

Include Meta Optimizations.

Meta optimization is not limited just to meta descriptions. Your page meta description is the additional text that appears on the search results that lets the user know what the link is all about.

meta-description
The meta description is important because it gives your readers information they need to decide whether or not your content is what they are looking for.

Your meta description should include the long-tail keyword you are trying to rank on google for, because if you are doing blogging right, it’s representative of the contents of your article.

Optimize your Images.

Your blog posts should not only contain text for SEO targeting – you should also have images that help explain your page content. Search engines don’t just look for images they look for images with alt text embedded in them.

You can figure out an image’s alt text by placing your cursor over an image and a small box will appear that describes your image

Don’t use too many Headings.

Headings can help organize your blog content but you can overuse them and then they can actually be harmful to your rankings. If you have too many similar headings you will be penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.

Use URL structures that help your visitors.

The URL structure of your website should make it very simple for your visitors to understand the structure of your site and what content they are trying to find. Search engines love URL structures that make it simple for them and your website users to understand the content of that page.

For exmaple: “forcefive.ca/blog/ottawa-seo-tips-for-website-owners” makes much more sense then “forcefive.ca/blog?=askjfnejnferiuf87yr4r”

 

Be Secure, Rank Higher

by Ryan Grassie - Aug. 7, 2014 at 1:58pm

google-logo-black-https-secure-ranking-seo

Google today announced that they are going to be ranking secure websites higher then websites that are not secure. Using the https way of securing your website – this is almost always a very simple addition to your website on your website hosting side of things. Another way to get that edge on your competition.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/google-gives-secure-encrypted-websites-higher-search-ranking-1.2729919

Understanding SEO

by Ryan Grassie - Jun. 23, 2014 at 4:51pm

Search engine optimization is the process of getting traffic from free listings on search engines. Websites are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

Search engines, such as Google and Bing, are considered a system that gives answers to peoples questions. These engines use an algorithm to rank websites based on specific qualities they display.

Words

Choosing specific language will help with your websites SEO. Search engines will pick up on certain words used. Therefore, using key words that are directly related to the topic of your website, or what your business does, will boost your ranking on search engines. Words are a large part of SEO and they definitely matter. When putting together a website take the words you use into account.

Titles

Although page titles are not directly seen on websites (seen in the code), they too have a huge impact on a websites ranking on search engines. Using specific titles in your code will help a websites SEO. For example, if the website you created is for your construction business, using words and titles that pertain directly to construction will make you more popular on search engines. Titles often summarize web pages, so picking the right title is important.

Links

Links between websites matter. Websites linking to other websites acts as a positive recommendation. Search engines will pick up on websites that have a lot of outside links pointing to it. But you have to be careful because negative links can also be out there. Some people create links to promote their own websites, which can deteriorate your website’s search engine ranking.

10 Ways to Improve Your Local Search Engine Results

by Ryan Grassie - Dec. 4, 2012 at 2:33pm

There are many things you can be doing with your website to help you gain more traction in your local search results. For example, we always want to be first in the “Ottawa Website Design”, “Kanata Web Design”, “Stittsville Web Design”, etc. Here are some great tips on how you can make this happen.

Make sure that you have a crawler friendly web site
The very first step in improving your performance in local search engines is to make sure that the search engines can easily crawl your site. Minimize the use of tables, and avoid deeply nested tables. Make sure that your business name, address, and contact information is featured prominently on the page as text, and not hidden from the crawlers in an image file. Your homepage title should include your business name, address and key words. Place a “H1” header near the top of the page that also has your business name, address, and local keywords in it.

Include your business address twice on the page
In addition to placing your business address prominently on the page, also include it in the footer. Abbreviate the business province in one of the addresses, and spell it out in the second iteration. Abbreviated provinces are sometimes misinterpreted by the crawlers.

Local blog articles
Write blog articles that include content that is written for your local followers. Using local keywords will be adding valuable content to your site.

Check out your business listing on the major search engines
Check out your business listings on Google, Yahoo Local, and MSN Live Search. If your business is not found, you should submit a listing at Google, Yahoo, and Superpages (for Microsoft Live Search).

For each listing, make sure that your contact info is correct, your business description is complete, and that it uses the same keywords that you are using on your web site. Make sure that your description has all the info that your potential customers will need to contact you. Include the county in addition to the city on your business listing. Finally, check out any photos of your business on the business directories, and provide better photos when you can.

Get your business rated
Ask your satisfied customers to write reviews and rate your business at Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Ask them to use the same keywords that you use in the business description and on your web site as part of their review. Don’t add too many reviews over a short period of time, and make sure that the reviews are very unique.

Solicit local links
Find a bunch of web directories that are local to your area, and ask them to link to your web site. Contact your local chambers of commerce (there are 2 in Ottawa) and ask them to link to your business from their web site.

Check out your competition
Do a local search for your business keywords (i.e. Web Design, Ottawa, ON) and see who your competition is. Find out who is linking to your competitors and investigate whether you can get the same sites to link to your business website. The links can be determined by going to Yahoo and typing “linkdomain:” and then your competitor’s web site (i.e. linkdomain:www.yourcompetitorssite.com). Click on “inlinks” in the results page.

Check inlinks for your site as well, and see who is linking to you. Make sure that the information on those sites is correct, and contact them if it isn’t.

Verify directory information
Check out your business listing on your local phone company site and other local phone directory sites. Make sure that your business information and description are what you want. Also, make sure that your information is correct at InfoUSA, Amacai, and Acxiom, which are major sources of local business data licensed by many directories.

Create separate web pages for different cities/regions
If your business serves multiple cities or regions, consider creating separate web pages for the different locals. It will take some time, but can really pay off in the end. To avoid duplicate content issues, be sure to have very unique, relevant content on each of the local specific pages. You can use online plagiarism tools to be sure your not content stealing. Be sure to include the county in addition to the city in describing your business.

 

Have a Website, Have a Business, Getting Leads?

by Ryan Grassie - Aug. 8, 2012 at 2:03pm

eMarketer reports this week that the corporate website is second only to referrals in terms of lead generation for B2B firms. Yet more than 4 out of 5 (84%) said that their website was not performing to their expectations in terms of generating leads. And not just leads, but quality leads.

Well, what do we expect? As B2B organizations, we typically take our website for granted. We build it, make updates every once in a while… maybe when Bob quits or Jane joins the company we update it, or maybe even throw up a press release.

What do you WANT your website to be? If it is simply a brochure on the Internet, then you can leave it alone, wait for your sales reps to point people to the site… and cross your fingers that it supports your efforts.

OR you can look at a website as what it should be – a lead generation engine. This takes time and investment. The type of time that I am taking to write this blog for example. Writing blogs, creating content is the number one way to drive traffic to your site. And not just traffic – qualified leads. Individuals who are searching on the topic that you are writing about.

In this case, ForceFive builds websites, and ensures their high performance and ROI over time by regularly “ghost” blogging for our clients – creating thought leadership and more importantly, incoming leads. A website should be delivering sales opportunities. If yours isn’t, you have work to do. And I get it – no one wants more work… but we want and NEED sales. You work at getting sales… right?

This requires offering compelling, free content in the form of blogs, white papers, and e-newsletters – and sometimes requiring registration for access.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your website can drive sales, please drop me an email and I’ll share more with you about how ForceFive Media can turn a small investment into big business.

Google Plus One and Your SEO Rankings

by Ryan Grassie - Jun. 27, 2012 at 1:21am

At first, this tool is going to be used for approving search results – a great way for Google to continue tweaking their rankings. But, that’s not all. Check out what the narrator says about the future of the Plus One button:

“…and soon you’ll be able to Plus One more than just search results. You’ll also find Plus One buttons on sites across the web, making it easy to Plus One pages after you have visited them.”

Right now, the +1 button is used just for search. If you search for “Ottawa Website Design” and decide the fourth or fifth page in the search results is better than the first, you can +1 that ranking, basically telling Google “this search result is the best for this keyword”. That’s powerful and Google will gladly integrate those results into their search rankings.

But, that’s only the start. With +1 in search results, webmasters have very little control over who votes for their site. However, Google is going a little further and this is where things get truly interesting. Imagine what happens when someone clicks the +1 button on a page of your website. Google now knows that someone thinks your content is useful. It’s the same as getting a backlink from another site – someone says “this guy knows his stuff”.

Of course, we won’t know for a little while how much of an impact the +1 button has on search rankings, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume Google will take it into account.

In fact, the head of the Web Spam division at Google – Matt Cutts-  has said in the past that they want to integrate social interaction into determining content quality. Now that the +1 button has been rolled out, it’s only a matter of time before this very social tool becomes an important part of their algorithm. After all, they track, monitor, and gather all the results from those clicks. You can bet they’ll use the data.

Further supporting this is a quote from the Webmaster Central blog:

“We expect that these personalized annotations will help sites stand out by showing users which search results are personally relevant to them. As a result, +1’s could increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to the sites people care about.
But the +1 button isn’t just for search results. We’re working on a +1 button that you can put on your pages too, making it easy for people to recommend your content on Google search without leaving your site.”

If there’s anything we know for sure, guessing Google’s intentions is tricky. But, with so much evidence pointing toward social integration into search and the +1 button finally rolled out, I can safely say that a smart webmaster and Internet marketer will keep a close eye on these tools. Soon enough, I believe this tool will become a fantastic resource to better connect with readers while improving rankings in Google.

For more details about the +1 button and Google’s plan for it, here is a useful link:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/03/introducing-1-button.html

The Importance of Local Search Traffic in Ottawa

by Ryan Grassie - May. 16, 2012 at 4:21pm

Local search engine marketing is a big key to the success of many local businesses.

There are many local SEO techniques that can be used to achieve positive results from local marketing, but one major thing that some business owners often overlook is the concept of local search marketing.

Using the proper search engine marketing techniques will enable you to increase your business with local traffic. For example instead of targeting “Nike Shoes” instead target “Ottawa Nike Shoes” and because the term is local you have a much higher chance of success. We will get into the details of this more below.

Local Search Engine Optimization in Ottawa (or anywhere)

Local search engine optimization can be a little tricky, but by incorporating it into your marketing plan you can see an increase in sales that would not have been possible without this marketing technique.

Local search optimization can be achieved in a number of ways and can be especially important for small businesses.

Many people will perform a local search when looking for a particular product or service. This can be especially important for small business owners as most, if not all, of their business comes from within their local community.

This is why it is important to be sure your website is optimized for your location as well as your business.

Making sure your city or town and the surrounding areas are part of your local search engine optimization tactics is a key in being able to increase your business with local traffic.

If you do business in Ottawa, Ontario then you will want people in Ottawa to be able to find your business quickly and easily when doing a search for the products or services you offer.

By using local search optimization methods, not only will people in Ottawa be able to find your company when doing a search, but you can also get more traffic from people in surrounding areas like Kanata, Stittsville, Orleans, etc by optimizing results for those areas.

Optimizing for Local Ottawa Searches

Optimizing your website for local search results can be especially profitable due to the fact that people searching for something are more than likely interested in buying it.

There is a need or a want for the product or service, and by being able to find your product or service easily it will not only result in an increase in traffic, but an increase in sales as well.

If you would like to increase your business with local traffic by using local search engine optimization, you basically have three choices.

You can learn local search optimization techniques by educating yourself through the wealth of information available on the Internet, taking classes or courses in search engine optimization, or hiring a local search optimization company (ahem 😉 to do the work for you.

Whatever avenue you decide to take, increasing your business with local traffic is something that every business owner can achieve with the proper techniques.