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What’s Going On in the World of SEO?

Subject Matter Expertise, Social and Off-Page Signals Are Now the Driving Forces

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Overcoming The SEO Struggle

It’s unfortunate, but SEO might be one of the biggest scams of the 21st century.

SEO seems to have been ruined for many by a wide-array of overseas agencies that called themselves “experts.” These firms caught wind of the power behind title tags and keyword stuffing during the dot-com bubble, and have since been taking advantage of those seeking the dream of first-page rankings.

Sadly, it is true that many people have lost more money than they’ve gained from their SEO investment.

But why, you might ask? And isn’t it a bit hypocritical for us to say that, being a firm that offers SEO services?

Well, now that the secret’s out, here’s what SEO is actually all about.

SEO Won’t Work Overnight

But It Will Drive Traffic to Your Site, Increasing Conversions and Revenue Over Time

What effective SEO does, other than just increase keyword rankings, is increase the total organic traffic to a website. (all traffic from search engines)
WebMarketers is a digital marketing agency that’s been executing SEO since our inception.

  • In fact, we were born under the name Simple SEO, as that was our core offering before an explosive period of growth
  • We know the ins and outs of this potentially indispensable component of any marketing campaign, one that’s constantly evolving and keeping marketers on their toes
  • Our SEO team has more than 15 years of combined experience, and has worked with a diverse range of companies including CWF, Air North, Bank & Vogue, and Capital Choice Counselling

We are, indeed, positioned quite well to help.

But, given our expertise, we also know SEO’s limitations.

If you’re looking to make an immediate impact with your marketing, SEO isn’t the way to go, or at least not yet. If anyone tries to tell you (or sell you) otherwise, let us know. We’d love to set them straight. (ha-ha!)

SEO can pay big dividends − over time. When done effectively, SEO will drive organic traffic to your website and increase your ROI on a sustainable level. However, SEO requires a long-term outlook, and must be cared for in alignment with other marketing strategies at the same time.

Having said that, SEO does involve some technical fixes that can bring results fairly quickly. Maybe you’ve already got a well-established web presence, and are looking to refine the technical side of things. Or perhaps you’re looking to appeal to (or recover from) one of Google’s latest updates.

What steps would we take to provide those immediate results? We’d carefully research and write effective:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • On-page content
  • Navigational structure

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SEO Increases Organic Traffic

Authenticity and Authority Matter More Now Than Ever

SEO only adds value when it increases your organic traffic.

Effective SEO strategies are a great way to drive organic traffic. Just keep in mind that these strategies don’t produce full results right away.

Once upon a time, SEO experts could game the system to make a company look deceptively large and authoritative, by means of “super optimizing” a website. “It’s not how big your business is,” they’d tell a client, “it’s how big Google thinks your business is.” Gone are those days, for the most part. Now more than ever, SEO is about authenticity.

Good SEO establishes and builds upon a company or organization’s subject matter expertise through compelling content. This is the driving factor on the list of 200 Ranking Factors of SEO. Yes, the modern SEO guru still needs to be fully fluent in the underlying factors (both on-page and off-page) that Google is looking for.

Keywords, load speeds, mobile friendliness, images, links and backlinks are all part of the process. All these things take time for Google to be convinced that you have legitimate presence and authority. Most prominently, however, a website that’s positioned well for SEO must also deliver content that is useful to the customer, and specifically targets the search keyword(s) that brought them to your site in the first place.

That’s what translates to subject matter expertise, which can be defined at its essence as providing a solution to the customer’s problem.

What would be included in content that establishes subject matter expertise?

  • Specific, targeted keywords as well as examples that support those keywords
  • Numbers (again, supporting your content and building authority)
  • Links to other resources of similar content that also have credibility (like this one to Neil Patel’s Step-by-Step Guide to SEO)
  • Showing detailed connections between what is answered on a page (the “solution”), where a customer comes from (the “problem”) and where they’re going next

Business Example:
A Food Delivery Startup Going After Its Competitors

Let’s compare hypothetical two websites, both for local food delivery services.
The first one, OttawaEatsOnWheels.com, has been up and running for two years, gets 500-1000 organic visitors, and is on Page 1 on Google for relevant keywords.

The other, DeliveringOttawa.com, is brand new, ready to go live tomorrow, and has done everything right (within its control) as far as SEO setup.

Unfortunately, even after DeliveringOttawa launches, they’ll still be in an SEO waiting game. Eventually, they will make Page 1 and could even surpass Eats on Wheels.

DeliveringOttawa can do the following:

1.Have confidence that their site’s properly-positioned SEO strategy will pay dividends in the long-term

2.Continue to bolster their SEO efforts by building out more high-quality content on the website (especially through blog posts, or anything else that Google can “read and interpret”)

3.Build Links – An effective way to rank higher more (quick boost and then steadily increasing) is by building links to reputable sites with content that complements or augments theirs, getting backlinks from partners and customers, and establishing trust and authority

4.Focus on other marketing efforts, such as pay-per-click (PPC); email; social media (organic and paid); etc.

5.The new company may take some time to rank for MAJOR keywords, but they can still get organic traffic and benefits by leveraging longer-form content to get a lot of “pockets” of search traffic for more specific search phrases for which theyhave closely matched content on their page (see above visual of the keyword pyramid)

What Makes Effective SEO Content?

Longer Isn’t Necessarily Better; Relevance and Subject-Matter Expertise Will Produce Real Results

Okay, so content is the key to good SEO. We’ll just crank out more long-form content, right? Not exactly.

The key here is to establish subject matter expertise.

Your content should show that you are fluent in the subject(s) that the visitor to your site has searched for. From the headline, image, and first paragraph onward, their attention must be caught, and they must see you as a trusted expert in this field. And content really is about quality. Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better.

“There is no law that says your content must be a certain length to rank higher,” says Neil Patel, the digital marketing and analytics expert. Patel notes that Google is looking for quality content, measured in three core areas:

  • Depth of the content
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Focus on the target keyword

In other words, good content is relevant content.

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Let’s say, for example, that you run a photography business. Should you write a 2,000-word page that addresses every conceivable facet of photography?

NO.

That’s a spray-and-pray approach that doesn’t address relevancy. You’re far better off asking:

“What specific keywords related to my business are customers searching for?”

“What specific areas of expertise can I establish that will be valuable to customers?”

Then create a series of shorter pages, each addressing targeted keywords or questions people type into Google, like “wedding photography,” “portrait photography,” “where can I have headshots taken in Ottawa?” and so on. Each page, of course, establishes you as a subject matter expert on the given keyword the customer has searched for.

The specificity of the content is what makes it more relevant.

How Can WebMarketers Help?

We Bring a Successful Track Record in Content Marketing

We’ve achieved successful results for numerous clients with content marketing.

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Getting Post To Reach Virality

And What Should Sound the Alarm Bells?!

Everybody has probably gotten a call from abroad, selling SEO, by someone offering immediate results with vague promises of rankings and other measurements – without any mention of METHODOLOGY.

If you get these calls, run far, and fast…. AWAY!

It turns out that the majority of our clients have tried SEO elsewhere, often more than once, to disappointing results. Multiply that by the number of businesses that have attempted and failed at SEO, and the amount wasted on SEO globally is quite possibly in the tens of billions of dollars.

Be wary of “SEO Services” that:

  • Offer immediate or too-quick results
  • Give vague guarantees of page rank or scoring criteria
  • Seem obsessed with keyword rankings, offering keyword packages, etc.
  • Can’t provide examples of client work; or, if they do, it lacks content, substance, and other measurable factors.

Bonus points for agencies who can do this:

  • Emphasize client’s subject-matter expertise as the central SEO strategy
  • Focus on increasing organic traffic on your website as its biggest KPI
  • Underscore relevancy as key component of SEO (and marketing in general)
  • Acknowledge that SEO is a long-term process, and either offer concurrent marketing strategies or can refer you to firms who do
  • Bring experience in executing the above, with testimonials & supporting examples
  • Are subject matter experts themselves, and “walk the walk” on their own website

What Can WebMarketers Do For You?

As you might have guessed by now, WebMarketers is all about those factors in the second category.

We’ve helped many clients implement and advance their SEO strategies, bolstering their subject matter expertise and relevancy, and delivering ROI through increased organic traffic.

We’re passionate about marketing, and feel strongly about good SEO as part of an overall marketing strategy that produces long-term success.

Want To Do EVEN More?

As a business owner, you can take advantage of SEO as part of a powerful marketing strategy.

  • Do you want to increase traffic to your site?
  • Do you want to be seen as an expert in your field?
  • Do you want to see long-term, sustainable ROI from your marketing?

With WebMarketers, you’ll have a team to help you achieve this and more! Let’s sit down and strategize a plan to make a SEO a star in your marketing lineup.

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