Clio Websites is a Calgary SEO firm that has had the good fortune of working with Calgary-based companies that are hungry to increase their organic rankings through proven search engine optimization strategies.
If you want to learn more about SEO keep reading, or contact us today!
As strong SEO advocates, it is up to us to craft strategies that are allowing clients to get more visibility. However, building up your site’s presence in the complex space that is Google takes time and effort.
That’s why it’s important to take steps now towards success with long-term organic traffic benefits.
One of the most popular questions we get is how to boost organic rankings through SEO. While there are no magical Calgary SEO strategies that will guarantee top results, there are some proven strategies that will give you a high probability of success.
Here is a great introductory video about SEO from ahrefs:
WHY YOU NEED a Calgary SEO Expert
You might know the potential that search engine optimization can have on your website. But if you haven’t been an active participant in it, you may not be aware of some specific strategies that can significantly increase your organic rankings.
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a concept most of us have encountered at one point or another in our business journey.
But even after hearing about it for years, few people really understand what it is and how to do it properly. The truth is, knowing just the basics of SEO won’t help you much.
To get the best results from your time and investment in optimizing your website for the search engines, you need a solid plan.
This article will walk you through some proven strategies that you can use to boost your organic rankings and reach new customers that are searching specifically for your products or services.
And the best part? Once you nail the SEO process, you’ll secure organic traffic long term. Our Calgary SEO services pay long term dividends.
CALGARY SEO – CUSTOM CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES
Do you want to know how to make your business website a top search result?
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for creating SEO strategies. The key is understanding what you are looking for and figuring out the best way to achieve it.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider this article as a starting point in exploring the process of building custom SEO strategies that will work for your business needs.
There are plenty of resources available online to help you build SEO strategies. But these guides rarely take into consideration what your specific business needs are.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering SEO:
- What is the goal of my website?
- Are my clients likely to search for my services on Google?
- Do my clients know what their problem is?
- Am I the only one offering this solution?
- What makes me different from the competition?
You might find yourself in the early stages of building your business, or your website. Nonetheless, starting early with SEO can save you some pain down the line.
That’s why it’s important to be aware of the stage you are in, and the goals that you have.
Custom SEO strategies are SEO strategies that you create when your business needs specific solutions. These aren’t general SEO strategies that anyone can apply to their website – they are built specifically for your business.
Don’t worry if you’re not a developer or tech-savvy. That’s where we can help with our expertise.
Let’s explore some Calgary SEO strategies that your business can benefit from.
“On-page SEO” has become a buzzword in the world of Search Engine Optimization. There are many companies and consultants that claim to do it, but few actually can.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.
On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. This is because on-page SEO has a direct impact on a website’s performance in the search results. A good Calgary SEO company can help you improve your on-page SEO performance.
In today’s SEO landscape, you have to win before you even enter the arena.
Long gone are the days of stuffing your content with keywords and ranking in Google’s top 10. In fact, stuffing your content full of keywords will likely negatively impact how your page ranks in Google.
Here’s what you need to consider before diving into on-page SEO:
- Keyword research – both long-tail and general keywords;
- Meta tags, headings, and internal linking;
Before you start anything SEO-related, you should have at least some knowledge of what queries your potential customers are searching for. We can help you identify effective and noncompetitive keywords as part of our Calgary SEO offering.
These can be related to:
- Their problems;
- Their curiosities.
Keyword research is the process of finding the keywords your target audience uses when looking for things online.
The keyword research process can be broken down into three steps – keyword discovery, competition analysis and keyword ranking. And, while a lot of people get hung up in the details, you can get started with just a few simple tools and a bit of knowledge.
Take a step back and create a list of keywords you think your customer would search for if they wanted to find you.
If you are a CBD business, you could start by building a list of similar keywords:
- CBD oil;
- benefits of CBD;
- CBD companies;
- CBD supplements.
What businesses appear on the first positions of Google when searching for some of these keywords?
Are they established businesses? Do you know them? Are the results filled with forums, Wikipedia links, or Reddit?
Knowing your competition is paramount to a successful strategy. Some of the keywords you think of can simply be too hard to rank for at this point in time. They also might require more advanced SEO strategies to be able to outrank your competitors.
Search engine rankings have become the single most important part of any online marketing campaign.
To achieve top rankings in the search engines, you need to understand how they work and how to rank your website page using smart SEO strategies.
Keyword ranking refers to how high or low your website appears in search engine results pages (SERPS) for a given keyword.
However, keyword rankings aren’t set in stone. Several elements can cause your website to move up or down the SERPs for any given keyword such as search volume, competition, and content quality.
The concept behind keyword ranking is: the higher your page is ranked in the search engine’s index, the more likely searchers will be able to locate your page and visit it.
The best keyword ranking comes from a combination of factors, including how relevant your content is in relation to key terms and how often users are finding your page via Google search.
Let’s explore how you can optimize for those keywords and get top spots on the first page of Google.
On page Optimization – Meta Tags, Headings and Internal Linking
There are several ways to help you rank higher on Google, but one of the most important is with on-page optimization.
On-page optimization is about as old school as it gets when it comes to SEO. But it’s a process that should never be forgotten because SEO is more than just off-page factors like links and social shares.
On-page SEO keeps you focused on what your audience is looking for and how to give it to them.
There are 3 main elements that you should pay attention to:
- Meta tags;
- Heading tags;
- Internal and external linking.
The meta tags refer to meta titles and meta descriptions. These are the text snippets that appear on the search engines. These help Google and users understand what your page is about.
A web page’s meta title is the text that appears in your browser tab, and it’s also the text that search engines display underneath your page title in search results.
Although the meta title is not a required component of a page, there are several reasons why you should make use of them. A well thought out title can increase your ranking in search engine results and improve click-through rates.
A meta title should:
- Be clear and concise;
- Have between 55 and 155 characters;
- Include your brand name at the end, when possible;
- Include the target keyword.
On the other hand, a meta description is one of the most important HTML snippets on your page.
It’s important to have a meta description on each page of your site because search engines often use these descriptions to display snippets in search results.
Meta descriptions are also used on social media. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all use meta descriptions to create a preview when a link to your web page is shared on their site.
The snippet of text is usually based on the first few sentences of your meta description, so it’s important that the message you want to get across is clear and concise, while still appealing to users.
Headings (<h1> through to <h6>) guide people through long articles and help search engines understand your content.
They tell the reader what a certain paragraph is about so that they know whether or not to continue reading. Without them, readers will be lost through the huge amount of information provided, and won’t know where to look next.
On the web, as in any written story, heading tags establish a hierarchy that allows users to scan a page, jump sections and find what they are looking for.
We start with H1’s for the most important sections on the page. Each section creates its own section of H2’s, then H3’s if more detail is needed. Sometimes, even smaller sections need a heading tag, all the way down to H6.
The benefit of using heading tags is the improved ability to determine relevance when looking at a site for information and speed when quickly scanning a page for keywords.
Internal and external linking
Internal links refer to links that go from one of your website’s pages to another. They pass on trust signals and can often help improve ranking.
These are particularly important when you want to build links to content within your own website. Say you are selling CBD supplements for dogs. You want your product page to rank for “CBD supplements for dogs”, but the keyword is highly competitive.
Internal linking can help you link from long-form content pieces that touch upon the subject and using “CBD supplements for dogs” anchor texts.
On the other hand, external links are equally important. These are links from your website to pages on other websites. External links are more valuable when they link to high authority websites, rather than blogs or low authority domains.
We’ve talked about internal and external links, but how do you create effective content you can link from?
Content marketing is an essential part of your SEO strategy. With content marketing, you’ll get in front of the right people, at the right moment with the right message.
It’s important to try to create unique content, rather than spilling out the same information over and over again. This can be done through:
- Original research;
- New tested strategies;
- Case studies and learnings;
- Step-by-step processes;
- How-to guides.
Writing unique content is not enough. You need to provide valuable information that actually helps the user and moves them from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, ready to buy your product.
Your content can include:
- Infographics are the perfect way to ensure that your message will be retained by its readers. In fact, you’ll find that user retention will go up dramatically when you include an infographic, as they tickle several areas of the brain. Overall comprehension is far greater with infographics and their use should definitely be considered.
- Updated content – taking a new perspective on content creation can spark curiosity among users.
Your new piece of content needs to satisfy the user intent. If you’ve done your keyword research right, readers will be able to find you using specific search terms.
But what happens if a user lands on your page and they don’t find what they are looking for? That’s a bad user experience. Make sure that your content covers the topic thoroughly and that it provides an answer to the users.
On-page content is great when you do it right. However, how do you make sure your pages are getting the attention they deserve? How do you build up authority to your site?
That’s where off-page SEO comes into play.
Off-page SEO refers to all SEO tactics that take place outside of your website, such as:
- Link building strategies;
- Guest posting;
- Social media.
An effective off-page SEO strategy will help you boost your visibility in organic search, establish trust with users and improve your website traffic too.
Link building is all about earning valued links from other websites.
You can post content on your own website to encourage others to link back to you in their blog posts and articles.
You could also reach out to industry-related blogs to ask for someone to write about the benefits of your business.
However, Google’s been known to penalize certain black hat link building tactics, such as:
- Paying for links;
- Exchanging links;
- Hidden links.
White-hat link building is helpful for a number of reasons. First, Google pays more attention to links that point to a website from other popular sites. That’s why you always want to aim for links from high authority, relevant websites.
Second, links can be used to communicate a message or tell the search engines what your website is about. A health website linking to your cars website will definitely not help much. However, a news website launching a press release on your newly launched car business can definitely boost your rankings long term.
The key is writing high-quality content that gets attention, shares, and pings. But how do you do that on a low budget?
Social Media Management
Social Media is an underrated link building tactic.
Although social media links do not directly contribute to your SEO efforts, they can definitely boost traffic and bring relevant users to your website.
Social media marketing is about building a strong relationship with your fans. The more conversations you can generate, the better your brand will be perceived.
If you’re a brand that wants to use content marketing as a way to reach more people, then social media can be your starting point.
TECHNICAL SEO AND UX – Our Core Calgary SEO Offering
Having a strong technical foundation is critical for doing SEO well. So, what is a strong technical foundation?
Since search engines rely on certain technologies to crawl and index your site, technical SEO is focused on building a site that can be crawled and indexed effectively.
Technical SEO includes website performance improvements and page-level optimizations. These internal site changes can boost the ranking of pages on your site without any link building or external factors.
Often, technical SEO is the first step in building a starting point for your organic traffic efforts. At Clio, we specialize in technical SEO and this is a core offering for Calgary SEO services.
In order to have your content ranked by Google, it needs to be indexed and crawled.
Technical analysis refers to the nitty-gritty of your site. It’s related to optimizing page titles, meta tags, alt tags, and image filenames.
It also entails setting up redirects in place and getting the 301s working properly. It’s making sure that your analytics platforms are installed correctly and functioning.
And, it’s adjusting your mobile responsiveness to make your site super-friendly for your visitors who are browsing on a mobile device like a tablet or their smartphone.
SEO-friendly Website Development
More often than not, websites start working on their SEO efforts at a later stage in their business. This can lead to a lot of issues that could take too much time and too many resources to solve.
However, starting with SEO even before you develop your website can help you get ahead of your competition.
Here are some pieces you should take care of right from the start:
- Optimize your robots.txt file. This file gives certain instructions to the search engines on which pages you want to be indexed and crawled. For example, you always want to block admin pages from being seen by Google;
- Your URL structure needs to be well defined. You should avoid using unusual characters in your URLs, such as “?”, “_” or “.”. Also, your URLs should include your target keywords, and exclude any URL parameters that don’t make sense;
- Make sure there aren’t any 404 pages on your website. 404 error pages are frustrating and intimidating to visitors, and confusing to crawl robots. They annoy the user, and they could cause visitors to leave your site altogether. Make sure that you either redirect these pages or personalize them.
- Your website should have an SSL certificate installed. HTTPS encrypts the connection and makes users feel safe from man-in-the-middle attacks. Hence, adding it to your site is a step in the right direction, if you care about both users and rankings.
- You should optimize your website for mobile devices. The number of users accessing the internet through mobile phones is growing rapidly. Businesses that treat their website as merely a desktop version are going to find it difficult to capture the attention of their target market.
BUSINESSES WE WORK WITH
Local SEO is like business insurance.
You make sure that if a business owner has a fire in their building, they will be covered, and will not have to worry about not being able to continue paying the bills and keeping their doors open. We are also a local business, and we love helping other local business succeed by using our local Calgary SEO services.
Local SEO is crucial for anyone who needs to attract local customers from a search engine locally, especially a brick and mortar business.
It also gives your local business maximum exposure to local users who are looking for the type of product or service that you provide.
Although on-page SEO and technical SEO tactics remain roughly the same across local and national businesses, local SEO strategies differ a bit through their unique way of acquiring more organic traffic:
- While for national SEO businesses, link building strategies work across a variety of websites, for local SEO you would want to focus mainly on local citations and local links – think of citations from Apple, Bing, or Yellow Pages;
- Keywords for local SEO businesses might be different, in that they target “near me” queries. When someone from Calgary looks for a coffee shop, they are more likely to search for “Calgary coffee shop”;
- Your local business needs to have a strong presence on Google Maps. Google Maps ranking factors range from relevancy, prominence, and distance.
If your local business is small, try not to compete with Starbucks, but rather with other small mom and pop businesses that are easier to outrank.
Ecommerce SEO focuses mainly on product optimizations.
This is a complex SEO strategy, and many sellers don’t understand the widespread benefits. SEO makes it possible for online stores to compete with Amazon, your local grocery market, and more.
For example, our strategy is to find and focus on keywords for your ecommerce segment that have a low competition level and high search volume. We run a competitor analysis for your ecommerce segment and use these keywords to create content that provides value.
A combination of SEO efforts and PPC strategies can get you ahead of the competition, by uncovering low competition keywords that would otherwise get unnoticed.
Voice search is the future of SEO. You’ve probably heard about it, but do you know how it works and what challenges it presents?
Here’s what you need to know!
Voice SEO ties closely to local SEO, as it’s often related to “near me” keywords.
You’ve probably used an Alexa or Google device at some point in your life, being too lazy to browse the internet on your mobile.
“Hey Alexa, what’s the best pizza restaurant near me?”
That’s where voice SEO comes into play. Such a strategy can essentially help your website “rank” for voice search.
Voice SEO works best for small, local businesses. Optimizing your product pages and Google Maps rankings can help you secure a personalized response from Alexa including your name and having one more customer join you. We can help you tune your website for voice SEO with our Calgary SEO service offering.
CALGARY SEO CONCLUSION
While SEO might sound overwhelming, small businesses can also use these strategies to rank and gain search traffic.
To be profitable, you have to prioritize your marketing investment and focus on tactics that will give you the best results. You will find that there are many ways to get exposure for your business by employing SEO strategies. If you work with a professional Calgary SEO company, you can increase your success rate.
We are always here to give you a helping hand. Reach out and let’s discuss!
WHY CLIO WEBSITES
Clio Websites is a full-service website design and marketing company in Calgary. We have vast experience in responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development and support, and online marketing. Clio offers free consultations and free website evaluations and we receive glowing reviews from our clients.
We are always available and happy to answer any questions you may have, so please contact us to find out more.