Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020. Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020 by BlindDrop Design, a Cochrane Web Design & SEO service provider.

Why Is Optimization So Critical in Web Design in 2021?

Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020. Web site optimization, SEO and digital marketing tips for 2020 by BlindDrop Design, a Cochrane Web Design & SEO service provider.

For many businesses, the beginning of a New Year brings with it a new marketing plan. Whether you are a new or established business, it’s critical to have a plan in place for your web marketing efforts. This applies to an online store, small business or large corporation. Your plan will of course include strategies to reach your marketing goals to increase your bottom line.

One strategy that is often overlooked, or under-developed, is web optimization. I am not just talking about Calgary SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, which focus on ranking well in the Search Engines.

As we start 2020 with fresh ideas and goals for our businesses and online ventures, we need to consider the following key factors. These factors can help or hinder your Web optimization and Calgary web design strategies.

The definition of optimization is, “the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.”
Isn’t that what we want for our business and all resources and channels associated with it?

If you want your business to succeed online, your brand and web presence needs to be properly optimized.

Proper optimization will improve:

  • People’s first impression of your company
  • Brand trust & authority
  • Visibility in Search Engine results
  • An increase in positive reviews
  • Your company’s visibility on other vital profiles on industry sites and review sites
  • Increased back links to your website
  • Customer engagement (not only on your website, but also social media and other websites)
  • How long a customer stays on your site
  • Your multiple channels used for content distribution
  • Increased targeted traffic to your website (More targeted prospects and leads)
  • All of these factors will ultimately improve your bottom line

The optimization process is, as you can imagine, a very detailed and work-intensive process. For this reason, it is something often overlooked by Web development companies, who often overlook basic optimization factors.

Of course, you may have built your own website using a web builder service rather than hiring a web design company to create a custom website. In this case, your site’s success will depend on how much time and energy you had to learn SEO, UEO (User Experience Optimization) and core marketing techniques like doing Web marketing research of your competitors.

I’ve been building websites since 1997 and the funny thing is that many of the key design and digital marketing strategies are still effective. It surprises me how often these are still over looked, even by professional Web agencies.

That said, the biggest change I consistently see is that, as Web technologies get more intuitive and powerful, they get equally more complex to manage behind the scenes. For example, this applies to hardware, like the advent of mobile devices, and software, like Google’s search engine and apps. The easier things are for the end user, the more complex the engine is running them behind the scenes.

Here’s a quick example: if you want to know how well your website is optimized, you need to audit it. So, when I audit an existing website for a client, or when I audit their competitor’s sites, the site scores are usually in the 40/100 to 50/100 score. By comparison, a BlindDrop-produced website scores between 75/100 to 95/100 in our third-party audit. Which site do you think will naturally rank more highly?

When your website is properly optimized, it will rank higher and reach more of your target market.

It will provide a better user (customer) experience.

Overall, it will best represent your services, products and brand 24/7.

BlindDrop is a Calgary marketing company that specializes in optimization. When we produce a Website, we use at minimum, three different auditing apps to get the best range of reference to determine what is uniquely necessary for each client’s website.

To remain successful online requires agility and a proactive approach to your marketing efforts. The Web is an ever-changing landscape. Your website’s rankings change daily. Those rankings will depend on 200 SEO factors that influence Google’s ranking algorithms.

But, as I said, it is not only about ranking high in Google. You need to make sure your website is user-friendly, intuitive and professional. This is also a main goal of the optimization process as well.

Web Optimization Strategies for 2020

So, let’s look at ways to make the best or most effective use of your Web presence and marketing strategies for 2020:

1.    Your Branding

Branding development and promotion in Cochrane & Calgary, Albert


I’m sure you’re aware that your brand is not just your logo by now. Your brand is the experience and relationship created by your company with everything and everyone. This includes your prospects, leads, customers, employees and suppliers.

Your brand is your influence on the world. Its relevancy, authority and influence will shift over the years.

Being proactive and attentive to your brand is essential. Also, make sure you are consistent with your messaging across all channels, from your website to email marketing, to print and signage, to customer experience and human resources.

Make sure your visual brand is:

  • Professionally created, with a clean, simple iconic design
  • Is engaging and embodies the unique and authentic feel of your business and its offerings
  • Developed with supporting elements in mind
  • Comes with a branding guideline for future use, especially to share with third parties so they use the logo and branding material as intended
  • Carried through all media consistently, from your website, to mobile apps, to print and signage
  • You have placed some thought to a tagline or slogan.
  • Up to date – your brand needs to balance between maintaining its history and familiarity, but be open to tweaking your brand image and messaging over the years to embrace shifts in design, accessibility and target markets.

2.    Competitor Awareness

Competitor awareness in SEO services and Web design needed in 2020.


Competition levels, generally speaking, continue to grow, especially online. So, while we don’t want to dwell too much on what our competitors are doing, we need to be aware of where they are at, and more importantly, what they’re NOT doing.

As I noted earlier, a simple website audit can reveal where your competition is lacking from a branding and marketing perspective. It shows how much that business is invested in their online presence and, ultimately, how they are perceived by their audience. As this perception affects their bottom line, they are leaving money on the table by not dealing with these issues.

The awesome thing about competitors is that they actually are your key to success! Put aside your fears about them under-cutting you, or out performing you. There is room for everyone online. But you do need to know your niche, your competitors and your customers.

You can easily determine this with some top-level research. Once you know where your competition is at, you can more easily define your own goals.

3.    Build a Strong Foundation

When we build a client’s website at BlindDrop.com, we don’t just build a website. We always review the client’s current branding and online marketing efforts.

We then research the client’s niche and develop a Web marketing strategy. From this foundation, we start to develop the website.

Your Web foundation should include:

  • Professional branding
  • A well-researched list of proven keywords and search terms
  • An accessible website that is professional, intuitive, secure, fast loading and delivers the information, digital media, services and products your audience seeks.
  • Host your WordPress website on a managed hosting service, such as a dedicated server, that delivers highest security and page speed.
  • If you are considering using WordPress for your website, make sure you have chosen proven themes and plugins that help you optimize the critical functions of your website.
  • A core network of your brand’s channels that includes Social Media, Video and Industry-related websites. This sets the stage for your social media marketer to shine.
  • If you are a local business, you will need to focus especially on local search factors as well.

4.    Be Consistent

Consistentcy is key in Calgary marketing and branding solutions

Your brand is really a story that builds over the life of your business. As the story unfolds, your brand should remain the mentor to the intertwined stories of your customers, suppliers, employees and competitors. So, the one thing you can do to strengthen your story, to make it one to remember, is to be consistent.

Your brand’s story is told through your website, your social media channels, customer reviews and testimonials, videos, pod casts, employee longevity and any other medium that speaks of your brand.

So be consistent in your messaging. Review your branding, your content, your communications, signage and your phone scripts. Even simple things like your email signatures may be overlooked.

To be proactive is to be consistent in your delivery, despite the changes in your marketplace, your offerings or competitors. Consistency builds trust. Trust builds loyalty and authority in your niche.

5.    Focus on Authority & Service

Brand authority as part of online marketing success

Becoming an authority in your niche is critical to your online success. When you have authority, it is easier to build trust with those who are just learning about your company. The challenge with being an authority is that you need to maintain that edge every day.

An optimized web presence helps you build authority most quickly because:

  • Your brand is presented professionally
  • You appear among your competitors in Google search results and on industry-related review sites
  • You have an active web presence, both on your website and across social media channels
  • Your website is highly secure and loads quickly for your viewers
  • Your clients can easily connect with you via a variety of methods
  • Your industry awards and certifications are easily seen on your website and key profiles
  • You actively build and respond to customer reviews
  • You are able to determine shifts in demand for services and products and adapt accordingly

You will see that maintaining authority is aligned closely to maintaining a consistent, professional image and providing superior customer service.

6.    Be Active

Blogging is an important part of your SEO and web marketing strategy in 2020.

Yes, your New Year’s resolutions to be more active extend to your business and Web presence! A few key activities here:

  • Google rankings – Google’s current algorithms will rank sites higher that get more real visitors than a site that gets lower traffic. So, your ongoing optimization efforts help more people find your website, which in turn, ranks you higher.
  • Blogging – Adding new content to your blog is important, but focus on quality over quantity. By producing quality, optimized content, you’ll naturally reach more of your targeted audience and keep them on the page when they get there.
  • Social media – while being active on social media is an industry unto itself, ideally you are active on at least one or two key channels. From a marketing perspective, focus less on making a sale and more about providing value, sharing information beyond your own company news. This will help keep you top of mind, start conversations and build relationships with your targeted audience.

As such, all activities like these should be first inline with your optimization strategy and research. Again, this is an ongoing process, so your content marketing efforts need to be revitalized over time with fresh research data, updated messaging and proper distribution.

7.    Multi-Media

When it comes to optimizing your content distribution, go wide but stay focused!

Yep, you have to love paradoxes in life. By this I mean you want to distribute your content to a variety of media channels.

Keep it laser focused to those channels and your overall SEO strategy. This benefits your efforts the most.

For example, when you write an optimized blog post, also consider:

  • Making it into a video for YouTube, social media and embedded on your website.
  • Recording an audio-only version for a pod-cast or audio file.
  • Make it into a branded, optimized PDF document that can be downloaded and shared.
  • Creating lead-in posts on social media that draw interested readers to your article
  • To include your optimized content and messaging in your in-person sales presentation, advertising campaign and print media. Remember, consistency is key, but adapt it as needed for each medium, as your audience and delivery will change each time.
  • To use it as a basis for other types of advertising and communications in mobile phone apps, Google ads, email marketing,  print, radio and TV.

Web and Digital marketing can feel overwhelming. So many options and so little time. It’s hard to know where to start and which marketing channel will be most effective for your business.

Building a Solid Business with proper web strategy.

Some Quick Optimization Tips

  1. Start at the end – define your goals and decide what you realistically need to achieve from your marketing efforts.
  2. Be realistic – don’t over-commit to marketing to ten different channels if you only have time/energy/budget for two or three channels each month.
  3. Start with your “hub”, your website. It is the alpha and omega for your web marketing efforts. Yes, you can have success on your social media channels, but you don’t have as much control, impact nor freedom as you do with your website.
  4. Incremental changes add up – keep at it! It’s better to make small changes and efforts each month, than feel the weight of having to make many changes less often.

In summary, focus on making the best or most effective use of your online brand, internet marketing and website. Your efforts will have a ripple effect to all of your existing channels.

So, start with a professional audit, do proper SEO research and build a strategy from there based on your competition and your current Web presence.

If you’d like help with this process, just fill out the form below.

I can provide you with a detailed, one-time service that will objectively identify the areas that you need to improve and a strategy to get them actively in place.

Just fill out the following form to get started!

Lucas Arnatt, Cochrane web designer serving Calgary, AlbertaAbout the Author

Lucas Arnatt is a Web consultant and owner of BlindDrop.com, an award-winning Cochrane web design and SEO company based in Alberta. Lucas has been building websites since 1997 and has worked with hundreds of companies in Calgary, Alberta and across Canada.

BlindDrop specializes in branding solutions, website optimization, SEO services, custom WordPress development and managed WordPress hosting services.





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Top 10 SEO Marketing Strategies for your Business

What is SEO and How Can It Help My Company?

As a business owner, you need to at least be aware of how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can affect your business’ success online.

SEO is an industry to itself, as it involves all of the ways a brand can naturally (organically) gain visibility online without running paid advertising.

The goal of SEO is to get your business ranking at the top of page 1 of Google so your customers (audience) can easily find you.

For those people looking for your service, the fact that your website is ranked at the top alongside your competitors, tells them straight away that Google has determined that your site is an authority and can be trusted. In many ways this can go much further than buying ads.

From an even wider perspective, SEO is part of UEO (User Experience Optimization), which again focuses on providing the best online experience for your customers, an experience that should naturally reflect your company’s high level of service and goal of customer satisfaction.

To simplify the focus of SEO, it can be divided into a strategic combination of On-Page and Off-Page SEO techniques to help your business get higher visibility in Google and other search engines. This article outlines the top 10 areas that are needed to not only make your website stand out on top but provide a professional, effective and consistent web presence.

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1. Tell Your Brand’s Story, Make the Customer the Hero

Forget about SEO for a minute and focus on some core questions about your business:

What is the essence of your unique business? Think about your visual identity, character, culture, mission and vision, successes (and failures), and which values you uphold – basically who is your company, what is your expertise and what can you offer new and existing customers?

What is your niche?

Who is your target audience?

What are their challenges?

How can you help them solve these challenges?

Once you have a better understanding of your company and your customer, you can start to build a compelling brand story for your target audience (customers, suppliers, team members) to engage with, make them the hero in this story, help them to their success.

Marketing in the social media influenced world is more about story telling these days than selling. While advertising still plays a role in this picture, it is perhaps driven by deeper values than before. People don’t want to be sold to, they want to connect, be heard and guided to the best solution to their problem.

Google and other search engines are focusing more and more on ranking those sites more highly that deliver a superior user experience. If you have a value-based website that delivers great content, has great reviews and a strong social media following, you will naturally rank well.

how to make a seo content strategy

2. Build a Content Strategy

Your content strategy is again to focus on creating targeted, relevant and useful information for your audience. This applies to your written content, videos, pod casts and PDF downloads. When using photos, use professional custom photography if possible, as that is unique to your brand, or at least, use a higher quality stock photo that has a more natural look that engages your audience. Make sure all of your content creation supports and deepens your Brand story.

Here is one specific strategy for ranking in Google, that you can start applying today:

It is now best to optimize keywords for a page’s topic, not just its target phrase. To do this, use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords. These are natural alternative search phrases of your target keyword.

Google is focusing more on semantic search to provide a more natural and accurate search results for its users. This means less focus on keyword density and more focus on producing natural, accurate and context-based content. By doing so, you are actually reaching more users outside of your keyword targeting range because LSI focuses on the topic of the page’s content rather than the keywords themselves. This is not to say keywords are thrown out the proverbial window, rather they become the topic, rather than the focus.

An easy way to determine some popularly searched LSI keywords is to search for your main topic in Google and analyze the “Searches related to” suggestions that Google offers. This is a great way to get ideas for writing relevant content and reach your target audience who are looking for those answers. A similar technique is by typing your target keyword into the search bar and review the autofill suggestions it provides.

Once you have your list of LSI keywords, you can focus your content generation around these refined searches and blend them into your Brand’s storyline.

how to use social media for best seo calgary

3. Get a Handle on Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. It is hard for business owners and marketers to keep up. Social media channels are always improving and changing their platforms, updating algorithms and increasing the pressure to promote content and ads. Brands and businesses have to keep up with these changes, or be lost in the crowd. In addition, a brand must continually be working to build an audience of fans and followers, finding relevant content around trending topics and hashtags to be seen as an authority and influence in their niche.

Some authorities say that social media has become the “great equalizer” for marketers because your can build a great brand simply by being creative and knowing your audience. However, I would argue that being “creative and knowing your audience” is essentially what marketing is, so larger companies who have time and resources to be creative by hiring brand managers, marketers and designers and “know their audience” through hiring a professional team of SEO experts who have the time and know how to mine through competitor analysis and historical search data, will generally come out on top.

So, I see this as one of the biggest challenges that small businesses are having online today. These challenges are from both an SEO and business management point of view. Since Google and other search engines use social signals as part of determining a brand’s influence and authority in their search results, all businesses should at least have a social media presence established to allow for this factor.

This presence is the extension of the Brand and its story. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest have billions of combined users, many of them on some or all of these top channels. So, your brand and its story need to be professional, consistent, engaging and useful to your audience. Your Social Media audience is interactive, opinionated and reactionary, so you need to be ready to respond quickly and politely when they reach out.

So yes, it is possible for a small Brand to build up a massive following and become an influencer. However, for a small business, it is yet another thing to have to worry about building up and maintaining.

Social media, like all online experiences is about relationship. Yes, that is a broad term, but that broadness reflects the massive potential of the online world.

Every business should at least:

  1. Make sure you have these key social channels set up, branded and optimized properly.
  2. Then make sure they are connected to and from your website. Marketing studies, such as this one on Social Sprout, have shown that a customer is more likely to choose a company that has a responsive social presence over one that does not.
  3. Be realistic and focus on two factors, this is the quickest way to get going on Social Media: consider which platform you are familiar with and use most often. Then determine if that same platform is where your customers are. If you use Facebook and are a B2C, then yes, it is very likely that you can successfully reach your customers through Facebook, as you can target your local audience and demographic. If you have a LinkedIn profile and deliver B2B services, then it makes sense to focus there.

By focusing on one social media channel, you can build up confidence and audience. However, I would still recommend getting all other key social channels set up properly. Once you have gotten comfortable with that one channel, you can then easily start to share the same content (with minor revisions) to all of your channels.

how to use press releases for seo calgary

4. The Many Benefits of Press Releases

While the traditional newspaper industry is overshadowed by online news publications, the equally traditional press release continues to be a great marketing and PR tool for all sizes of business. Specifically, a well-crafted press release will give your website a nice boost in rankings!

Keep your marketing strategy research and brand story in mind when you approach an effective press release for your business.

The fastest and easiest way is to hire an expert to write and distribute your press release using a paid release distribution service. This ensures that your release will get picked up quickly by authority news sites across North America.

From an SEO point of view, you have to be careful with SEO keywords in a press release, keep wording objective, natural and focused on a news worthy item. If you are a local business then working in an event that is happening in your area will help you naturally reference that keyword. Using an appropriate topic is essential to keep it objective and timely.

If you are stuck for where to start, a company like BlindDrop can help you determine your topic, write the release and distribute it.  Such press release topics include the announcement of a:

  • Brokerage
  • Contest
  • New Article
  • Case Study
  • New Album
  • Charitable Donation
  • New Product
  • Reputation Management
  • Free Webinar (Pre-recorded)
  • Book Launch
  • New Service
  • Company Wins Award
  • Free Report
  • Upcoming Webinar

The press release can also be sent directly to local papers; however, they will require more lead time (3 to 6 weeks) than doing an online distribution (3 days to a week).

Even as a local business, using a country-wide online distributor can still help boost visibility with local rankings, if you write and optimize the press release correctly for SEO.

When done properly, a press release can help your business to:

  1. Gain more targeted traffic to make more sales.
  2. Gain more credibility online to increase traffic.
  3. Increase your authority with Google and customers by outranking your competitors (or at least appearing side by side with them in search results).

As you can see, a press release offers often overlooked benefit, however when done correctly, they will help you:

  • Gain new backlinks
  • Build instant authority through association with well known news websites
  • Create buzz around your business.

On top of the benefit of a short turnaround in gaining exposure on dozens of news websites, your press release will often stay live and ranked well for months at a time. So, there is a long-term benefit to a press release aimed at a short-term topic.

If you don’t have a product-based announcement, you can focus instead on doing a value-based announcement. For example, a survey or report-based release that provides valuable information to your customers or suppliers will increase the perceived value and authority of your company. Look back to your Brand Story’s values that you have already determined to ensure that every press release you create embodies those same values.

calgary seo how to backlinks

5. Yes, You Still Need Backlinks

Getting backlinks to your business website is still part of the bread and butter of SEO. Aim to build links naturally across a wide range of domains in a natural way.

The types of backlinks you can get will vary in impact on your SEO, the higher authority sites that are more popular, higher domain link authority and trust will be worth more than a multitude of lower valued links. From my experience, having an SEO team to help with this one factor is worth the investment. Link building can be a challenging task, so hiring an expert can be the best answer to the conundrum of trading your own time for the dollars spent on hiring someone else.

A good starting point for building backlinks to your site can include (but is not limited to):

  • Directories
  • Review sites
  • Social Media profiles
  • Social bookmarking sites
  • Guest blogging on other’s blogs
  • Other 3rd party sites who have complementary services or products
  • Forums related to your services
  • File sharing sites
  • Search Engine submissions
  • Video channels and sites
  • Infographics as link bait

Getting a diverse source of links is critical – so getting lots of links from lots of different referring domains is best.

Link building is a complex subject far beyond the scope of this article, but this list is a good place to start exploring the best options.

how online reviews help seo for business

6. How to Manage Online Reviews

Customer reviews and ratings are an important part of how people (and therefore Search Engines) view your brand. And those 5-star ratings can definitely affect your bottom line. Reviews are a key asset when it comes to your reputation. So, it may seem like common sense that business owners should be up to speed on this topic, but many still aren’t. Some businesses understand and take this responsibility seriously enough that they have integrated this part of their customer service into their daily online activities.

For those that are not yet convinced, here are some things to remember when it comes to online reviews and how they can affect your online business:

  1. Why customers buy – studies have shown that nearly all (93%) of customers buying online are influenced by online reviews. Even if they are only scanning review scores and number of reviews, that can be enough. Of course, many will go deeper and read the reviews before making their decision.
  2. Determining search results – Reviews help to determine which search results are visible and therefore get clicks and traffic through them.
  3. Your website rankings in local search engines – Google takes third party reviews and reviews on its own platforms (Google My Business and Google Maps) into consideration when compiling its Local pack of listings and featured snippets. From an SEO point of view, this is an area that your SEO expert can make a difference by optimizing and properly coding the site for Open Graph and other meta data that can help Search Engines further define a website and its rankings.
  4. Reputation management – If you haven’t taken control of managing your reviews, now is the time. Whether you have reviews or not, if you have not connected with these review sites to manage them, then you need to be proactive. One negative review can go a long way to harm your business, especially if you do not respond to it quickly enough to minimize the damage the review will cause. Since review sites (including Google) want to provide an unbiased review process, they will not usually remove negative reviews unless they breach their terms of service. Customer reviews are a double-edged sword for business owners, especially those who are in niches where customers take their services to heart. Great reviews can put them on top, while negative reviews can cause a lot of stress and be disheartening to a business owner who really is trying their best to make their business work and give the highest level of customer service.

Here are some easy steps to managing your online reviews:

  1. Determine where your company has reviews – this will take some digging through Google and other search engines if you are doing this manually. But look for review sites in your niche (primarily your location and service) and then see if you have a pre-existing listing and if your competitors are listed. If your competitors are listed there, then get a listing. If they don’t have a listing there, and it makes sense to you to get one, then be the first to get one! If you can find a review site in the top ten search results for your keyword, that is a higher priority listing to get. A review site on the first page of Google gives you the chance to be one click away from first page traffic.
  2. Sign up for Google My Business and claim your listing – This is another area often missed by new and established businesses. These listings are important for all businesses who want to increase visibility in Google’s search and improve communication with Google’s services. These listings are particularly important to local brick and mortar businesses as Google provides input of business description, physical address, website, hours of operation and of course review management. Once you have access to your reviews you will be able to respond to any existing reviews (it is good to reply to both positive and negative reviews) and monitor any new reviews.
  3. Once you have your key review site listings claimed and optimized, make it part of your daily or weekly tasks to manage any new reviews that come in. If you don’t have any reviews then guess what your task is? Simple, you need to evaluate your sales cycle and look for opportunities to request reviews from your customers (without offering them incentive). Also, add a page to your website that offers your customers links to your claimed listings. This way you have better control and influence in the natural building of reviews. Google also prefers to see reviews being added in a consistent manner, so keep that in mind too.

If this feels like a daunting task, or if you would prefer to have a professional help, I would highly recommend you do so, at least to do the proper research of the best review sites to align with for your niche. A professional service will also get them properly branded and optimized for you and offer a training session on managing the account once complete.

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7. The Importance of Citations & NAP

Citations are basically another term for directory listings. And many directory listings now have a “leave a review” feature. So, now you can see the strong connection between a Review site and a Citation. For example, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Urban Spoon, Cylex, TrustedPros, HomeStars, etc. allow you to create or claim listings. However, in some cases, your company’s info may have already been scrapped and an automatic listing may have been created on your behalf. In this case, it should just be a matter of claiming the listing and fleshing it out from there.

Directory listings that do not have review functions are still worthy of consideration since they list your NAP. NAP stands for Name Address Phone and is the bread and butter of your business information that is scraped and shared across the public domain. Services like WhiteSpark are a great way to find these citations and those of your competitors, so you can locate and create listings to surpass them.

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8. Blog Posting Methods for Your Business

Your blog section of your website is your active hub. It is the easiest and most efficient way to publish new content and share it to your audience. Blogging is a massive industry, however for most companies it remains an untapped opportunity. There is definitely merit to just having a blog set up on your website. Search Engines like to see that a blog is part of the website’s features, which is another reason why WordPress is a great option on which to build your company Website.

Having a blog opens the door to many specific methods of traffic generation and SEO benefits. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Service Highlights
  • Product Showcases
  • Case Studies
  • Company News
  • Guest Blogger Posts
  • Curated Blog Posts
  • Information & Tips
  • Local & Niche related Events
  • Sales & Promotions

All of these opportunities should be explored from the perspective of your Brand’s story, culture and niche. This not only helps to gain the best search rankings and targeted traffic, but also eases overwhelm of entering into this daunting process. By reviewing your own day to day business processes, insights, products, customer service, events, sales and promotions, you can more easily build a realistic and successful strategy.

Remember to develop blog categories and sub categories and research and include relevant tags.

Longer blog posts of quality content will gain better rankings than shorter ones and include mixed media too, including videos.

Include a mix of external links to other related websites and also internal links to other pages and posts on your own site. Do this all with moderation and purpose in providing the best information to your reader.

Once you have any blog post published, make sure to share the content out through your social media channels and also make sure that the content itself is shareable, so those people who find your blog post useful can easily share it to their own channels.

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9. Create the Best Website Experience You Can

When you consider that your website is often the first impression of your brand, you enter the world of UEO (User Engagement Optimization) also known as User Experience Optimization. This includes SEO, so ranking highly so your website is found easily – think of having your brick and mortar business located on a bustling high street full of customers (i.e. page 1 of Google), versus being hidden away on a desolate backstreet where no one even knows you exist (i.e. pages 3 or deeper on Google).

Being found easily is part of the best positive customer experience. You need to be accessible in search, social and in popular directories.

But once they have found your listing and clicked on your link to visit your website, what will they find? What they should find is a website that:

  1. Is properly branded – this includes adherence to visual branding guidelines and engaging content (text, image, video) that relate to your brand story
  2. Has easy to use navigation on all pages – this includes properly developed main navigation that is ideally universal (access to all pages of the site) and supporting navigation in the content area and footer to make for an easier and more relevant journey through your site.
  3. Has a home page that highlights important areas of the site, including products, services, specials, recent blog posts, etc.
  4. Is relevant to the listing that they had clicked on – there is nothing like a mis-represented page to increase its bounce rate.
  5. Is mobile friendly – having a responsive website design is essential these days as more and more of your audience embraces mobile technology.
  6. Builds trust by using such features as a secure connection (https://) using a valid SSL certificate and any industry or association seals that instantly show credibility.
  7. And is focused on fulfilling their needs, including what problems your brand solves for them. This is a shift from the more traditional focus of telling customers how great and different your services and products are. Products and services solve problems, so what are the problems your customers face and how can you help them get there?

To sum up, your website visitor’s experience is about sharing and engaging on a value level rather than an information level. In this way, your company can more quickly connect with your customers needs, build trust and authority and reflect the level of customer service you deliver in other business channels.

wordpress managed hosting wp engine calgary

10. Why Managed Hosting is Worth Every Penny

Last, but definitely not least, on the list is web hosting. A good host is critical to your site’s uptime and it is also an important factor in your search engine rankings and trust scores. From a performance side, Google looks at page speed as a ranking factor, as a page that loads quickly provides a better user experience. Page speed is ultimately a combination of server side, website software and content optimization factors. However, as your hosting environment is the very foundation on which your web presence rests, it is a critical component to your site’s success and is worth the investment.

If you are running a WordPress website, I highly recommend using a Managed WordPress Hosting solution. A premier managed host for the WordPress platform will deliver exceptional service and support in these areas:

  • The server will be specifically optimized for WordPress
  • Ensure automatic updates of WordPress core software
  • Have bullet proof, real-time Security to block hackers
  • Deliver fast server speed for quick page loading
  • Daily automatic backups, plus an option to do manual backups and have restore points to return your website to an earlier version
  • 24/7 support including live chat, phone and support ticket options
  • Flexible & scalable platforms
  • Multiple datacenters, preferably in Canada if you are a Canadian-based business
  • Free SSL Integration
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) control and integration
  • Staging sites for web development
  • Advanced server-side caching
  • Server-based content performance tracking – so you can review and improve your site performance via WordPress-focused analytics
  • A unique user-friendly control panel to manage your server settings

If you are looking for the best WordPress hosting, I can personally recommend WP Engine for all of the above. They have been our Web hosting partner for 6 years and the service and support has been excellent. We have never had a site hacked or had any downtime. WP Engine guarantees that it won’t happen, if it does, they will fix it for free – a promise I did not find on any other competitors. They are always forward thinking and have expanded all areas of their hosting environment and support, yet have kept the user interface easy to use. You can read more about managed WordPress hosting or sign up for your own account on WP Engine here.

In the end, doesn’t it make sense to choose a managed hosting service for your WordPress website that the experts use themselves?

These top 10 SEO strategies are key to your company’s success online. Each strategy has an entry point and some top-level actions that every business can and should make if they want to succeed online. My company has been helping businesses since 2001 and we can help you with any of these strategies, from online marketing strategies, to branding solutions, WordPress hosting and custom development including E-commerce solutions and all off-page SEO and social media tasks to improve your visibility and activity online.

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The Theme of Location in Web Design

Web design covers the full gamut of elements that comprise a Web presence. One interesting theme that ties design together is location. Location, location, location – we hear this phrase ringing across the Web when talking about Web sites, especially when it comes to search engine optimization or advertising space. However, there is very little in your Web site that does not relate to location. It is a critical element in everything from hosting to web design, from social media, to advertising.

1. Domains – Location plays an important role in domains. If you have a website hosted as a subdomain with an existing domain (e.g. blogger.com) then you are in close proximity to some potentially major Web real estate. Being tied into a larger community or network in such blogging sites will help people find you and you find them. The other side of real estate is real, real estate – the kind with bricks and mortar – where you can get a domain that has your region in the domain name, for example, we could build a site around the keywords “Calgary web designer”. If you service only one area or region then this can help you brand your site to show your dedication to this region, be it a town, city, state or province or even a country. You can even create multiple subdomains for each region that you serve, under a main domain, if you have a business that has multiple offices or locations across the country or around the world. It shows your customers that you serve their local needs.

2. Web Hosting – This is a lesser known factor that is often overlooked by people looking for Web hosting packages. Find out where your host has their host servers located, most people do not take the time to do this step. They only look for the lowest price and best deal. For example, we use servers that are located in Calgary, Alberta. IP addresses are taken into consideration in some search engines’ indexing, so having a local host can help a bit with your search engine ranking. It can also be easier for you to get support if your Web host is located nearby.

3. Web Design – Location in Web design focuses on the visual real estate of any given Web page. Generally speaking, the highest valued areas should be dedicated to logos, advertising space and featured content. The top left or top center is the standard place for the Web site’s main logo, which is accompanied with key navigational elements, such as the main menu and login forms. Advertising space can also appear along the top, sides or bottom of the Web design. If, for instance, you dedicate the right column of your Web design to show Google Adsense advertising, then you will see that Google will provide targeted ads that, yes, are determined by your location and/or the location of the user viewing the ad. So if the user is in Calgary, Alberta, then they may well see ads posted for “Calgary Web designers” as a key word, based on their IP address. The location of content might seem like a given, but it is important that the main content, and any highlighted content, be placed in clear and easy view for the user to scan quickly.

4. Web Content – When it comes to your main content you need to consider the location of your content on the page, so it is prominent and easy to read. Location is also important for titles and contextual links. For any content generated for articles and article spinning, location is also key, first for adding in your keywords but also to the location of the backlinks to your site. Search engine spiders will prefer to see your links at the top and bottom of the content.

5. Search Engine Optimization – Google and other search engines now display results based on the viewer’s location (e.g. Google Local), so it is important that your Web site be properly optimized and submitted to the main search engines. Create a business profile that defines your location. This will ensure that your listing will appear along with your local competitors and above those who are not located in your region. Defining your location in your search terms will immediately help to funnel local, targeted traffic to your site.

6. Bonus tip – Web Advertising – Paid advertising is related to search engine optimization. The two big hitters Google Adwords and Facebook ads both provide powerful tools to define and track your campaigns. You can specify the regions and specific locations that you’d like to target with your ads, thereby providing you with targeted hits to your Calgary website.

Location, as an element of Web design, needs proper attention at all stages of Web development. Keep location in mind from the domain registration down to post-launch search engine marketing and Web advertising campaigns. Whether you are located in Calgary, Alberta or anywhere else in the world, location will play a critical role in the success of your site.

Calgary Web Hosting Recommendations

Calgary Web Hosting Recommendations

Like most offerings on the Web, you can find Web hosting solutions for any budget, from free shared hosting to owning your own dedicated server rack in a datacenter. Obviously the range in cost echoes the range in services provided and since there are so many hosts and hosting reseller packages you will first need to discern what service you require by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What will you be using your hosting package for? Will it be to run a simple website? Or do you need a specific platform, such as Linux or Windows to run Web software or certain types of scripts and databases used for dynamic Web sites and E-commerce solutions?
  2. Do you have a Web designer or IT personnel to help you with setting up your account and Web files? Or are you willing to take on the learning curve of figuring out whatever Control Panel is included in your server package?
  3. What level of security is provided by your Webhost? Can you easily integrate an SSL certificate into your account? Does the host offer back up features to make sure your files are kept safe?
  4. If you opt for a cheap reseller hosting solution, how much does the host upsell features for? For example, how many IPs do you get with an account, how much  Web space, bandwidth, email accounts are included and how much is it to increase these features if you need?
  5. Is your prospective host a long-standing service? Do they regularly update their systems and have ongoing support by ticket submission and/or phone support?
  6. What is their claim for uptime? Even a claim of 99% uptime could mean that the service is interrupted for up to 3 days per year. Do they have redundancy in place to avoid downtime?
  7. If you are looking to integrate an e-commerce payment solution into your website where credit card transactions are stored in your site’s database, be sure to do the proper research to find a PCL compliant secure server, which means it has passed rigorous security tests and is also subject to recurring tests to ensure ongoing security of your data.
  8. Where is the Web hosting company and its servers located? Are they somewhere on the other side of the world, or can you call them or even take a short trip and go and take a tour of their facilities?

Free hosting usually comes with the catch of banner ads being displayed on screen along with your site. If your website is for business purposes it is best to choose a Web hosting account that allows you 100% of your Web presence.
Many Web hosts also offer a “free Web site builder” along with their hosting plans, which can be helpful for a quick startup website, but be aware that these types of websites are template-based sites, so your site will look extremely similar to other sites using the same template. So again, for business website design, it is always best to invest in the most custom Web design for your website, since you only have moments to capture the interest of your audience with the first impression that your site creates for them.
An ideal host will provide as close to 100% uptime as possible, up-to-date servers located in a secure datacenter, close to where you live and work and offer exceptional service and support. The host will also be clear with what its packages include and what additional charges are required should you exceed the limits of your Web hosting package.
BlindDrop Design hosts and manages its clients’ websites at a secure datacenter in Canada. We offer the next level of service where, in most cases, we manage client requests for adding email accounts, provide stats information and explanation, provide free set up and transfer for new clients (as part of our Web development contracts) and make sure that our sites and email run as smoothly and spam-free as possible.

BlindDrop offers a premium Managed WordPress Hosting package that has been sufficient for the majority of our clients. Those clients looking for specific hosting requirements are also accommodated with a custom solution that meets their needs. Such custom solutions include VPS servers, Colocation space, and high volume bandwidth. Please contact us today for more information on your Calgary or Cochrane Alberta Web hosting needs.