The Future of SEO

THEFUTUREOFseoSEO can provide great benefits to your business. The right digital marketing firm will help you achieve this level of success through continuous and effective SEO tactics that work for you. Despite recent conversation, SEO is far from dead. In fact, SEO is here to stay as long as people continue to search the internet for products and services. Click the image on the left to view the info-graphic regarding the future of SEO. Make sure to click on the info-graphic  once more to zoom in.

Expand and scale your business with WSI Digital Marketing:

Contact us today to find out more about our SEO services. Interested in more than just SEO? Visit our digital marketing agency services page to discover our full range of online solutions!

The Importance of Online Reviews

Online reviews have become extremely important for companies and they play an important role in your online credibility. They can help improve your businesses’ search engine ranking, as well as generate conversions. Today, 92% of consumers read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014), and are more likely to click on your business listing if they see those golden stars. Consequently, online reviews generate more clicks from potential customers. Don’t be shy to ask your clients for an online review. In our experience, most people are happy to oblige.

Check out this presentation by WSI Montreal Partner, Laurie McCullagh for more information on the importance of online reviews.

3 Reasons Why You Should Invest in SEO

photo-1454165804606-c3d57bc86b40Virtually everyone is using a search engine to research options for purchasing decisions. In an article by Forbes Magazine, it was stated that between 80-90% of customers now check online prior to making a purchase. This data was retrieved in 2014, so the percentage of search engine users has only increased. In the wise words of Barry Schwartz:

“If you have a website that you want to do well, you need to invest in it. SEO is a core fundamental aspect of it. If people cannot find your website in search, then it is like the website doesn’t exist.”

Thus if so many people are going online when researching or contemplating a purchase decision using the keywords used by your business, you would want to have your website showing up on that first page of Google. Without investing in SEO, the chances of you ranking well for your product or services is very slim. Below are three primary reasons why your company should be investing in SEO.

Your Competitors Are Likely Doing It

If you are interested in establishing a successful presence online, increasing sales and winning the race against your competitors, then SEO should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. If your competitors are already investing in SEO and you are not, they are sure to be reaching higher ranking in Google than you are. Thus, if your competitors are investing in SEO, why shouldn’t you?

SEO has a high ROI

SEO provides an excellent return on your investment and it is quite cost effective. Though pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns may drive in a high number of sales immediately, SEO is a long-term strategy that offers a better conversion rate than PPC campaigns and will increase traffic, as visitors are already searching for information and at the purchasing decision stage. SEO is by far the most essential process that will increase the chances of having a successful online presence. It is a long-term strategy that will continue to reap rewards far into the future.

Maintaining your Position

As studies have shown that people are more apt to click on organic search results, investing in SEO not only provides a long-term benefit but it also enables you to maintain your position in search results ranking for your chosen keywords as long as SEO maintenance is consistent and ongoing.

Google loves fresh content that is created on a regular basis.  These pieces of content should all be optimized for your keywords.  They also provide opportunities for linking to other pages on your site. There is a big benefit to continuing the SEO process on an ongoing basis.  Having fresh new content to post to your social media profiles, which in turn, links back to your website is also apt to increase levels of engagement, traffic and will improve your online reputation as well. Ask us about our content marketing services.

As such, increasing your search engine ranking for keywords associated to your specific products or services is of great importance in regards to the overall success of your business. To increase or maintain your search engine ranking and to increase traffic and leads from your website, contact our WSI Montreal team of SEO Montreal experts to take the next steps to a ranking higher than your competition.

how to manage and respond to online reviews

How to Manage and Respond to Online Reviews

how to manage and respond to online reviews

With unlimited access to the internet, many people are more frequently searching online for information regarding a brand, service or product prior to purchasing. As such, third party reviews and word of mouth have become more powerful in swaying opinions than traditional advertising. Satisfied consumers will usually tell approximately 3 people about their positive experience whereas individuals who have had an unfavourable experience will tell anyone and everyone who will listen. This phenomenon makes online reputation monitoring and online reputation management essential to a company’s credibility and sustainability. Below, our digital marketing agency details how to manage and respond to reviews:

What Are Third Party Review Sites?

Important third party review sites include:

  • Google Reviews
  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Facebook
  • And More

Online Reputation Monitoring

Online Reputation Monitoring is all about listening to what people are saying about you online. This task has become increasingly more important as consumers have become much more vocal in regards to publishing their opinions, questions and experiences with brands, products and services in public forums and online review platforms.

Your companies’ reputation can easily be monitored by setting up alerts that will notify you of instances when your company is mentioned in conversations held online. By doing this, you will be much more aware of what your customers are saying about you. The simplest way to do this is to set up “Google Alerts” corresponding to your name, your business name, etc.

Online Reputation Management

The management of your online reputation involves becoming engaged in the conversations taking place about you online, as well as responding to third party reviews. The best way to manage your reputation is to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Should you only respond to the negative, you will appear defensive and could possibly begin to convey a negative overall image, not to mention neglecting reviewers who have provided you with priceless third party promotion of your brand/service/product.

Benefits of Online Reputation Monitoring and Management

By monitoring and managing your online reputation you will:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Strengthen or salvage relationships with your customers
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Learn more about your customers opinions, thoughts, and expectations
  • Potentially increase in sales
  • Develop stronger sense of loyalty within your current customers

Do’s and Don’ts When Responding to Reviews


Do…

  • Thank them for their feedback
  • Respond to positive reviews in a friendly manner
  • In the case of a negative review – apologize for their experience
  • Explain the steps that you or your organization will take to prevent the situation in the future
    • Take it offline and invite the customer to contact you directly if they wish
    • If it is an ongoing situation, post updates on the social media channel to show potential customers that you are taking steps to rectify the issue
    • If the reviewer tends to rant, you should try to fix the issue they highlighted but avoid giving them much online attention

Don’t…

  • Take the feedback personally
  • Respond in an angry or abusive way and, most of all, do not attack the customer
  • Question the individual’s legitimacy
  • Use industry jargon that is not meaningful as you will appear to be robotic and insincere in your reply

Negative Reviews

To limit the impact of negative reviews:

  • Have a plan of action in regards to how to deal with them
  • Have a target response time (24 hours) to help minimize the impact
  • Educate your staff regarding how to respond to negative reviews

Unjust or Fake Reviews

Unjust or fake reviews could include reviews from disgruntled former employees or fake negative reviews written by a competitor. If you suspect a review is fake or unjust:

  • Flag it.Most online review sites emphasize trustworthy information and want to eliminate and filter fake reviews in order to provide accurate data to their clients. When you flag an unjust or fake review, be sure to point out any inconsistent information that can help prove that the review is clearly fake.
  • If you can’t remove it, respond to it. When you reply, be sure to respond strategically and carefully – never abrasively. Be matter of fact and call the review into question by stating that you have no record of working with the reviewer; this will raise a flag for any potential customers reading the review and make them question its validity.
    • One exception to this rule is Yelp. If you receive a fake review on Yelp, do not respond immediately, wait at least 10 days. Yelp uses an algorithm that filters reviews, so the fake review may get pushed down on its own, but not if you’ve already replied to it. The review has a higher likelihood of being filtered if is it from a new account that has posted less than 10 reviews.
  • Bury it. The more positive reviews your business has, the less credible the negative and fake ones seem. If your business has a 4 star average rating, your potential customers will see right through the fake review(s).

Online reputation management and monitoring should be essential components to any online marketing strategy. By staying engaged with your customers and participating in their online conversations, you are able to have a better understanding of how you are viewed by your customers, acquire valuable feedback regarding your brand, and target areas of your business that may require improvement. It’s time to join the conversation!

Don’t have time to manage your online reputation? We can help! Contact our digital marketing agency today about our local seo and online reputation management services.

what you need to know about the new google snack pack

What You Need to Know About the New Google Local “Snack Pack”

If you’ve done a Google search for a local business recently, you’ve likely noticed that something’s different. In recent weeks, Google has made an update to its Google Local search results and has rolled out the new 3 Pack, which the search industry is now calling the “Snack Pack”. Whereas Google Local Search results used to the list the top 7 ranking results for your local search – the 7 Pack – the world’s most important search engine has now narrowed it down to just the top 3. Not quite sure what we’re talking about? As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s the before and after:


Before
google-7-pack-local

Image Source (left): searchengineland.com

Nowgoogle-3-pack-screenshot


So what does Google’s local search update mean for your business?

Well, first off, if your local business wasn’t already showing in the 7-Pack, you’ll have to work much harder to get it to show in the Snack Pack. And if your business was showing as result 4, 5, 6, or 7 – then it’s back to work to try and crack the Top 3. With this change, brands now have fewer chances to come up in local search, reducing their visibility. Brands – it’s time to step up your local seo game!

What else has Google changed?

Google + Link Removed

As Google’s social network is currently in transition, it’s not surprising that Google + links have been removed entirely from local search results. Currently, non-verified listings are still showing up in search, but it’s unclear if this will always be the case, as Google has recently stated that they will be deleting all non-verified pages.

Addresses and Phone Numbers Removed

Surprisingly, Google has removed all phone numbers and exact addresses from the “Snack Pack”, now only the street name is listed. If you want more information, you’ll have to click on the business. Once you do, you’ll be redirected to a page with all the listings and a map.


Google Snack Pack Results
New Ratings Feature

Though not very noticeable at the moment, the 3-Pack features a “Ratings” feature at the top, on the left. With this feature, searchers can choose to see results only above a certain star rating. For example, if a user chooses to only view nearby pizzerias with a 4+ rating, pizzerias with a rating of 3.9 or less will be completely left off the radar. It’s important for local business to be mindful of this ratings system; if this feature becomes more important, it’s likely that businesses with lower ratings won’t get any visibility. Why search for a 2 star burger joint when there are plenty of 4 star restaurants in your vicinity?! As such, it will be very important for business to ensure that their business rating is 4 stars or higher.

Other New Features

Depending on the business category you’re searching for, other features that some users have come across include business hours and price range, as well as Zagat ratings for restaurants. Notably, on mobile, the “click to call” option is still available.


new Google local 3 pack via thesempost.com

Image Source: thesempost.com


With local search results being cut in half and the addition of the Ratings feature, it is now more important than ever for businesses to rank higher than the competition in local results. Local SEO includes ensuring that your address information is uniform across all online directories, as well as including optimised descriptions in every listing. Contact our digital marketing agency to find out more about how our local SEO services can help your business.

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