What is SEO?
Canada and more specifically Toronto SEO experts spend months strategizing over correct SEO techniques. Issues where plenty of small tweaks naked to the open eye where you can make in a fraction of the time.
Let’s step back a moment. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization. Hmm…. what’s that? Sounds like some rocket space fuel to propel astronauts to a new galaxy! SEO experts formulate and strategize plans to enhance a website, online profile to strike highest positions for specific search engine ranking keyword inputs. Simple, NOT! Reality is it’s time-consuming, at times tedious & results reflect ingenuity of the strategy implemented.
The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach will never replace the expertise of a dedicated analyst, but it could start you off on the right path, making it easier for a Toronto SEO consultant to take over in the future. In fact, these simple tweaks are the foundation of most small business websites.
Here are five easy, simple optimization tips you may not have thought about yet. All of the advice is aimed at individuals and small businesses that don’t yet have the necessary budget for an all-out professional SEO campaign in Canada.
1. SEO Research Creatively
The first stage in any optimization project is to do valid research and set the foundations based on that data. Normally, this means identifying the keywords people are using in search.
The word “research” makes this task sound boring, lengthy, and uninteresting. In fact, research needn’t be a nightmare. Google has its own easy-to-use Keyword Tool, one of many similar tools on the web. But don’t neglect old-fashioned research methods as well:
● Quantify: customers how they found your site. Did they click a link? What did they search for? Try sending a survey.
● Collect: what friends search for if they were looking for a company in your niche. How do their ideas compare with yours? You may be surprised.
● Simplify: to describe your service in a single sentence. What are the common themes in their replies?
Research doesn’t have to be that boring, costly, or time-consuming as you would have though: you can be creative without cutting quality. Supplement your conversations with conventional keyword research and you’ll have a complete picture in no time.
2. Future-Proof: Structure Sensibly
SEO is about user experience for Canadians searching is Google.ca. Google is especially keen on making content easy to find- but relevant, sans manipulation. That means you have to make an effort to present your website properly and structure the data within.
Fortunately this isn’t really a big deal: it’s a case of getting your templates right from day one.
The stakes are higher, and the techniques web developers use are more involved. With the advent of HTML 5, layout and structure are more important than ever. New tags and techniques are slowly creeping into web development, and soon, you’ll simply have to use these tags to get noticed—–Google Plus, Rich Snippet Tool for garnering better conversion in SERP’s.
Here’s an easy, quick structure action plan:
- Ensure every single element on your page can be understood by Google. Use alt tags for images, for example. (This also helps with accessibility.)
- Use headings properly. Your article should have one H1 tag – not three. Conventions are there for a reason, so take advantage of them and get into good habits.
- Create a website sitemap. Use video site maps for multimedia sites or auto-generated site maps in CMS software.
- Read up on new tags in HTML5, like < article > and < aside >. Use them now and get a head start so Google.ca knows how to interpret your webpage.
- If relevant, use rich snippets on your site. Use rich snippets to augment your search engine listing with ratings, author information, and more.
3. Focus on Quality, Engaging SEO Content
With the basics in place, it’s time to publish some content for Google to index. This is definitely one area where you can’t afford to cut corners, yet it’s often sidelined. But without content, there’s nothing to optimize, so it’s absolutely crucial to get it right.
By “content”, we normally mean regular blog posts or longer articles like the one you’re reading now. The approach you take will vary, depending on your own industry and the types of content you want to create. If text content isn’t enough, try adding video and audio to the mix.
To get Google’s attention, you’ll need to publish content that is crafted, informative, and unique.
● Avoid copying, don’t scrape, and don’t spin. Your readers will know what’s worth reading, and what isn’t- easily.
● Avoid Spammy content. Don’t listen to anyone who advises you to publish sub-standard articles.
● Keyword ratios are no longer important. Go for relevant phrasing and long tail keywords at a push.
● Write useful content. While word counts don’t matter, your content needs to be lengthy enough to impart a reasonable amount of information.
It’s crucial to publish as often as you can afford to so that you build up a readership and a positive reputation. While this may involve paying someone to help write or manage your content, it’s probably the best investment you’ll make in your optimization campaign.
4. Be Logical Utilizing Social Media
- Having busy, well-maintained social media pages is great.
- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, MySpace – valuable for SEO.
- Social media is a useful companion to optimization: push content out, share it, get feedback, and generate relevant traffic.
- Social media can also become something of a black hole time vs. money and spreading limited resources.
Social media strategists have different views on the best way to handle the problem. We’d suggest being smart with your time. You don’t have to have an account on every social network; in fact, it may be best to actively avoid opening too many.
● Start off with a handful of accounts – the ones you find easier to manage.Watch your analytics and referral traffic to find out which social sites are generating visits and which ones are not.
● Measure the time you spend on each account. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted, and be aware of the “black hole” effect.
● Close down accounts that are not providing a good return on investment.Remember: investment can be time as well as money.
● Spend carefully. If social advertising isn’t working, don’t throw good money after bad.
In truth, there’s no one social networking strategy that suits everyone. It’s a matter of trial and error. But make sure social is supporting your optimization project, not hindering it or slowing it down.
As far as we’re concerned, the only must-have is a Google+ page (for the Authorship benefits). Everything else is optional.
5. Stay Up-to-Date: Google Panda Penguin Algorithms
Canada SEO information is abundant (and, naturally, easy to find since it’s optimized so well).
However, Canada SEO is a constantly evolving industry. Information quickly goes out of date, and today’s recommended practices may become tomorrow’s penalty magnets.
Search engines are continually tweaking their ranking algorithms and penalizing sites that try to game the system. It’s up to you to stay one step ahead:
● Only refer to advice that’s new. If a piece is more than six months old, it may no longer apply.
● Never take a shortcut, even if it’s presented as a magic cure-all for your optimization project. If it feels like cheating, Google probably feels the same way.
● Beware of outdated practices. Things like buying links, hiding links, or stuffing keywords into content don’t work anymore.
● If in doubt, consult a pro. They know what they’re doing, and could save you a lot of time and money.
Conclusion: The Golden Rule
Canada SEO is all about making your website appealing to search engines (machines, effectively). But SEO revolves around the needs of humans.
There’s a lot of information about optimization, but don’t be overwhelmed. It’s all based on one simple, golden rule:
Google’s aim is to present relevant information to human readers. Canada SEO is the mechanism by which we make that information easier for Google to find.
Lastly: the sky’s the limit when it comes to results for SEO.
Author by: ColinBhimsen Canada SEO Guru: Google+ New-Age Internet Marketing Guru brings expertise in: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Marketing and effective B2B marketing strategy. His educational background includes E-Commerce Management specializing in marketing, website design, and business development.