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Maximize Your Business Exposure with Local SEO

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO Tips

How Local SEO Services Can Benefit Your Business

All businesses need online exposure if they want to compete in online and local markets. These days, more people use online search to find local businesses, so if you have yet to optimize your business online, you’re missing out. Local search engine optimization (SEO) services can help optimize your online presence, improve your site’s rankings, help customers find you easily, and keep you ahead of your local competition. Local SEO is all about giving your business the best exposure possible in a growing sea of competitors. Here are a few ways local SEO services can help your business rank higher—and maybe even outrank competitors—in local search results.

Optimize Title & Meta Description Tags

These tags show up in search results, providing users with a brief overview of your website content. How you use these tags will influence whether or not users will click on your website. Local SEO services can write compelling and concise descriptions to make your business stand out from the rest—and boost click-through rates. Here are some tips to help you avoid using poor titles and descriptions—i.e. being cut-off for search results for being too long—and to make the most of the space you have to attract local customers:

  • Only use page names—i.e. Home, Contact Us, Products, Services, FAQ—that help users navigate your site easily;
  • Include the name of your city and service area;
  • Use one targeted keyword near the beginning of the tag.

Create Online Local Business Listings

“Find me on Google!”
Online local business listings are necessary to help users find you through online search. It’s incredibly important that these listing are accurate and consistent across the web. Use major online listings and local listings for your city through a local business directory. It also helps to have accurate business information—name, address, and phone number (NAP)—on citation data aggregators—these distribute your business information online.    

Claim Your “Google My Business” Page

Local SEO Services can help you finalize the "Google My Business" process.
Google My Business
If you want your business to show up on Google’s local search results—most notably, the three-pack of the top three local businesses—make sure to claim your business on Google My Business. Once you’ve gone through the verification process, local SEO services can complete and optimize your business page with descriptions, categories, business hours, accepted methods of payment, and quality photos of your logo, products, and services. The same should be done with Bing’s local business directory.

Increase & Monitor Reviews

This review is for you.
Online reviews matter, a lot. Good reviews can help you rank higher on search and persuade customers to choose your business over another. Local SEO services can help you get reviews, manage them, and respond to them across different platforms. Reviews always need a professional response to show that your business cares about customers. Aim for reviews on your Facebook page and your Google My Business page since these reach a wider audience. The more positive, quality reviews you have on Google, the better your ranking will be.

Add Structured Data Markup to Your Website

Structured data markup should be added to your website’s code to give search engines your business information—including products, services, and reviews. This will give your business a competitive edge in local search. This data helps Google’s spiders read and understand the content that is on your website. Whether you have many competitors or few, exposure with local SEO is necessary for today’s world of online search. Get more visits and reach more local customers with the help of local SEO services.

Lia

Why Businesses Should Beware Memes

04/13/2018

Memes Don’t Make For Engaging Content – And Bring Copyright Concerns

Memes are fun. They make us smile, laugh, and forget about our worries for a moment. And because memes tend to elicit such a positive response, they tend to go viral, shared by thousands of users on social media. Memes are tempting! Just like that delicious lemon pie that adorable little pug is eyeing up there… Okay, we’re not entirely above using adorable, precocious animals ourselves. Since memes have such a large reach on social media and they’re relatively simple to make, you’ve probably considered using memes in your social marketing strategies. But before you do, you should know the risks involved. Posting a seemingly harmless image of a famous poor-tempered cat could actually cost you if you’re not careful. Using Ottawa SEO services for your social advertising campaigns can help you avoid any potential pitfalls. In fact, we’re covering a few key aspects of memes and advertising here so you know how to navigate them.

Copyright Concerns

Remember Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, and Keyboard Cat? They’ve all got something in common, beyond being incredibly popular examples of memes (and being cats, of course).

The worst possible reaction to using a meme.
The worst possible reaction to using a meme. Gif from Baskets, 2016, on FX.
  The creator of each one has taken legal action to protect the use of their property. That’s right, each one is copyrighted or trademarked. In some cases, they’ve filed lawsuits for unauthorized use of their copyright. While you might not want to feature a particularly ornery cat to make a point, other older, popular memes might have some legal issues attached to them. It’s a big potential risk, even if it’s just a quick post to your social media accounts.

Understanding Fair Use and Fair Dealing

Thanks to fair use limitations, memes can be created and used for sheer personal entertainment and shared amongst your friends on social media. “Fair use” here refers to brief excerpts of a copyrighted work being used as-is for criticism, reporting, teaching, or research. No permission is needed for fair use. But in Canadian copyright law, there is no fair use provision. The closest analogue is “fair dealing,” which covers use for criticism, reporting, teaching, and research, but adds parody and satire. If a meme or piece of work falls in these purposes, then it’s up to you to determine fairness based on a number of factors laid out by the Supreme Court of Canada:

  • Purpose of the dealing
  • The character of the dealing
  • Alternatives to the dealing
  • Amount of the dealing
  • Nature of the work
  • Effect of the dealing on the work

And, incidentally, if a work is copyrighted in Canada, it’s automatically protected in the 176 member countries of the Berne Copyright Convention.

International Copyright

International copyright law may also play a role in what you post to your feeds.
International copyright law may also play a role in what you post to your feeds, though Canadian copyright law takes precedence.,
Things are different in the US and around the world, though. Thanks to fair use limitations, creating and using memes for sheer personal entertainment is possible. You can even share them amongst your friends on social media. There are four criteria to determine whether or not the use of a meme is a fair use:

  • The purpose and character of the use—i.e. is it for profit?
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount of work used in relation to the whole work; and,
  • The use’s effect on the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

When you share memes on your personal account, you are not doing it for profit, nor will your use of the meme have a negative impact on the copyright holder, if there is one. But if you use memes on your business profile to reach a greater audience—and advertise your brand—you are using it for profit, which is not fair use. But even if you’re reproducing work from another country within Canada, Canadian copyright law applies. So you’ve got to apply fair dealing anyways!

Memes are Considered Poor-Quality Content

With all the legal stuff out of the way, let’s get down to the real meat and potatoes as they relate to your brand and web presence: Memes aren’t great content. Sure, they can generate a lot of traffic and engagement, but as content – building blocks of your brand – they’re basically useless. They’re disposable content, entertaining and enjoyable to be sure, but they don’t add value. Compare that to an infographic or engaging blog post that can direct potential clients and users to your business. They’re a flash in the pan, great for getting attention, but poor at keeping it. Facebook also views memes as low-quality content, so if you post memes, they probably won’t show up on your followers’ News Feeds. Like Google algorithms, Facebook prioritizes high-quality engaging content that benefits users. Sure, memes are entertaining, providing a positive boost to our emotional well-being. But aside from the short-lived moment of hilarity, what else do memes do for us, really? So, in regards to your business page, you’re better off staying away from memes and instead posting your own high-quality content to engage your followers and increase your reach to new followers. With the help of Ottawa SEO services, you can improve your social marketing campaigns, and without the risk of any lawsuits.

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Why Mobile SEO Is the Way to Go

12/01/2017

A Look at How Mobile Search Will Soon Influence Google Rankings

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that more people are searching the web via their mobile devices. If you take a look around, people are glued to their phones, either nose-deep in the screen, or gently cradling their phones while attempting to have meaningful face-to-face conversations with people in the present setting. Since mobile devices are with users almost 100 percent of the time, it’s much easier to search via mobile than it is to walk upstairs or down the hall to use a desktop computer. But this growing popularity of mobile search has some serious implications for websites, especially those who have yet to make the move to mobile. Google strives to put user experience first, so when it comes to search, mobile search engine optimization (SEO) will be THE way to go for any website to make it in the new mobile world. If this impending change has you squirming because you have no idea what mobile SEO is or how to get there, then read on and get some help from your local Ottawa SEO experts.

Why Mobile?

According to a recent report, the majority of search traffic (57 percent) is coming from mobile devices—such as smartphones and tablets. That is more than half of users opting to use their phones or tablets to search online instead their desktop or laptop computer. Also, the majority of keywords (79 percent) rank differently on mobile than on desktop—47 percent of the 79 percent being in the ranking positions 1 – 20. This means that many websites are not search-engine optimized for both, and probably have better content on their desktop versions. This rise in mobile search means you need to get on board with fast, mobile-friendly sites that are also rich in content if you want to improve your brand visibility online.

Optimize Accordingly

To have a better online presence, make sure your visibility is high on both mobile and desktop search. Optimize your mobile and desktop versions depending on whether your site has more mobile or desktop users. This can be achieved through precise traffic analysis and making adjustments to your digital marketing strategy. The last thing you want is to prevent the 55 percent of search users from seeing your site.

Google’s Mobile-First Index

In response to this growing mobile search trend, Google is working on a mobile-first index to enhance the mobile user experience. While still in the testing phase, this new index will most likely be launched in the near future—possibly in early 2018. Currently, Google indexes (ranks) websites based on the desktop experience and the quality of content. If you have a mobile version of your site, it does not affect your website ranking; however, this will soon change as Google will start ranking your website based on your mobile version—looking instead at the mobile experience and content.

When You Should Be Concerned

If your mobile site is identical to your desktop version through the use of responsive design, then this switch to mobile-first indexing won’t affect your rankings. But if your desktop version is rich in content and your mobile site is lacking content—or you don’t have a mobile version of your site— this will certainly have a negative effect on your ranking once Google launches mobile-first indexing. So, if you haven’t gone mobile yet, get on it! Start by working on a responsive design for your mobile site to prepare you for the upcoming changes. At the very least, add your primary content to your mobile site if you’re not making the switch to responsive design just yet. If the quality content is there, your rankings should be good. You can also learn more about the guidelines for these upcoming changes by reading Google’s post on the topic. And to further improve your mobile SEO so your mobile site impresses Google and improves your ranking, get some help from Ottawa SEO experts.

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