I’ve found that SEO has been misunderstood.
The fact that SEO is such a difficult industry to understand, and the fact that it’s always evolving with Google’s latest changes, makes it a volatile and risky area for business owners to know who to trust and what to do.
This article is one angle on explaining SEO and should be considered as one option and outlook on what SEO is and means to people. Because SEO changes so often, we’ve compartmentalized SEO into 4 categories in order to understand the fundamentals and how to get the most out of it.
Keep in mind, in this article, we are only talking about organic (non-paid) search engine optimization, although I do suggest for companies to do Google Ads and/or have a balance of both Google Ads and organic SEO to create the best lead generation system they possibly can.
When you excel in the following 4 categories, you will be able to solidify the foundation for your SEO.
There are so many different ways to learn about SEO. This method is what we’ve come up with for business owners to better understand and navigate this unique and evolving industry.
We have categorized SEO into 4 main areas. Each category encompasses various tasks and strategies. As SEO changes and evolves, the new updates can fit into these categories, and you or an SEO expert can measure how successful you are within each category. This in turn can help you understand what you need to focus on or what you can help with to improve your SEO moving forward and with consistency in your marketing.
By using this system, your company can stay consistent with your marketing efforts and hold yourself accountable to keep up with these 4 categories.
Strategize content on all the pages in your (mostly) static website, keywords used, and amount of keywords vs. content.
If you want to rank your website in Google, the number one thing you can do is have a lot of content on your website. What I mean by that is every page on your website should have 500+ words. Google is a search engine that requires text-based content on your website for it to scan through and figure out what your website is about. The content on your website should be unique (not copied from somewhere else on the Internet). While you're at it, you should make sure the content speaks to your audience and is engaging. Talk about benefits of doing business with you, why should someone care and/or want to do business with you over your competitors, what your process looks like, and what makes you unique as a company.
Once your content is written, do another once over and make sure your primary or secondary keywords are incorporated throughout your website. Are there keywords that describe you? For instance, if you are a massage therapist, do you have "RMT" or "registered massage therapist" keywords written on your website? Do you have keywords that describe the service you provide such as "massage therapy" or "deep tissue massage," etc.?
The next part we'd suggest you consider is location (city, province/state, or country). Next to your keywords or within your website copy somewhere, you should also focus on where you physically are or where you'd like to do business. For instance, "massage therapy vancouver" or "RMT vancouver."
Take into account Google’s requirements for websites to be indexed in their search engine: how to spec your website and code are, how efficient your website is loaded for users, and benchmarking guidelines and/or comparisons to other websites across the Internet.
There are many different ways to build a website, and there are many different ways to display or host a website. This is an area that you definitely want to hire an expert for to make sure your website is set up correctly and to give you the best chance for success. You may have an important piece of code that's throwing off your whole marketing campaign. For instance, your website hosting might be so slow that your website visitors aren't even loading the website before they've decided to leave, or your website contact form might not be working due to poor email delivery settings from your web hosting company.
This is also an area where a lot of business owners use software or consider reports from people who are trying to sell them on marketing services. How do you know which report or software is actually telling you what's important, and how much of an impact does each of these warnings or errors have? SEO software and reporting are actually quite complex and would take years to learn to be able to decipher what matters the most. The suggestion here is definitely to hire a professional to help you when it comes to website code and hosting.
Over the years, Google has done an excellent job of educating webmasters on the rules and regulations they put forward on how to best optimize your website to rank well in its search engine. In short, Google wants to give the best search results as possible to their end users. Webmasters want to deliver the best results for their customers. This in turn should mean that Webmasters should do their best to abide by the guidelines that Google recommends. If Webmasters don't abide by the rules, they may see their clients' websites removed from Google completely as a penalty. The point here is not to try and cheat the system. It's not worth being removed from Google's search results.
Knowing these guidelines takes time and years of experience. As such, this is another area you'll need to hire an SEO expert for. Here's a link to Google's Webmaster Guidelines: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en
This area also evolves and is essentially a never-ending area. Every time you add something new to your website, it opens up a list of tasks that you could do to optimize your website further. Knowing which tasks are most important and which tasks are much less of a priority is the real key here.
Update your website with fresh, relevant content (usually blog posts or landing pages).
This is an area that I feel all business owners need to start considering much more within their marketing campaigns. It's an area that they can have input on in which they can fine tune their brand messaging and attract more ideal customers by producing relevant and engaging content. Once you have completed #1 and #2 to a level where you are happy with, moving on to #3 and #4 in this program will really ramp up your results and solidify your marketing.
Think of this part of your SEO as running your outbound messaging to generate your inbound inquiries. Much of the success for marketing is based on the message you want to convey and how deeply defined it is. Marketing experts will tell you this is where you need to define your voice. What I mean by this is: why are you in business in the first place? What's your story? Bringing this into your marketing blog posts and landing pages will give you better long-term success.
Ultimately, you can hire people for this area, although if you don't supply them with your tone and background messaging, they may not be able to communicate or write the way you want them to.
This is often why the business owner is the one who's best to write the articles and has trouble passing on this task to someone else. The mindset in this step is very important. Find a way to fit writing content into your schedule, or hire a professional who can match your tone and messaging that can get you results. Another key tip is to not just write the articles, blog posts, or landing pages, and then just leave them there. You need to promote the content once written, and get it in front of people. You've already spent the time or money on writing the content. Now, get people to read it!
Consider the popularity of your website (in Google's mind) across the rest of the Internet (including Social Media) and how many links point back to your website (Link Building).
People don't talk about this area as much as they should. The involvement and impact of the rest of the Internet on YOUR website is actually quite important.
When we talk about exposure, we are referring to your Internet marketing reach. How many people are you in front of with your message? Social media is often referred to as the way to achieve a high amount of exposure in an efficient amount of time. It's outbound marketing of your messaging. Google considers social media popularity of websites when ranking them within their search engine. Being popular on social media by sharing your website link and gaining more likes, shares, etc. will help your exposure popularity.
Are you listed on other websites in locations that someone would click on to visit your website? How relevant and related is that website to yours? If you have other high authority websites linking back to your website, this will help with your relevancy. If those websites are talking about you and linking to you, what are they saying about you? How is this reputation affecting your website or marketing in general?
This part of SEO is heavily reliant on how well you are doing with Ongoing Content Marketing (#3).
This article is an overview and is meant to educate small business owners on which areas they can help with and in which areas they should hire an SEO expert.
Another important thing to consider regarding SEO is that Google Ads is an option in which you pay for top-page ranking within Google's search results. Having a balanced attack on marketing of Google Ads monthly ad spend and SEO will give you the best results. ROI Web Marketing offers marketing packages that include Google Ads & SEO services that are focused on lead generation to grow your business.
"Kevin and his team are experts in their field and I would highly recommend using their services if you're looking to gain more online customers. Worth every penny!" - Eddie Hall, Hall Electrical
"I have worked with ROI marketing for 4 months now and found them to be really responsive and proactive with regards to making suggestions to improve the performance of our Google Advertising. With their help we have significantly reduced the cost of our CPC and driven up our revenues." - Jason Beevis
"Kevin and I have collaborated on numerous occasions while working a common commercial account. Kevin possesses a deep understanding of the online retail industry; this combined to his ability to bring together his colleagues and engage them to work towards a common goal have resulted in a net increase in revenues for all clients we have worked for. -Very strong business understanding for SMB -Excellent business accumen -Not scared of taking risks -Convincing communicator If you are looking for a well rounded business/marketing consultant, I can definitively recommend Kevin Hicks as a candidate." - Patrick Do, SAP HCM Functional Analyst at Canadian National Railway
"Working with ROI on our web marketing is an absolute pleasure. The team is efficient and skilled. I trust ROI web marketing to guide us to optimize my businesses ad spend. Thank you so much ROI!!" - Kent MacWilliam
"Kevin, his team and I have worked closely together with a few clients and they have never let me down. We have set targets with projects hat we did not have the know-how or skills to work through and they were there every step of the way and exceeded our expectations. They have been a great on-line partner and I highly recommend them." - David Anthony Childs, Living Blueprint
"I’ve been working with Kevin, the owner, for over five years now and I have to say it’s the best B2B experience I ever had. Profession honest and always willing to find a solution. If you ever looking for a company that has the same values as you do, you’ll definitely want to talk to Kevin.
I want to do a shout out to Kevin one more time — thank you again for being there for me and my business from the very beginning. If it wasn’t for you and your team I would not be at the level of success that I am today. Thank you Kevin." - Ray Rieger
"Can’t recommend this company for web and SEO marketing enough. Without them I don’t know where I’d be today. They’ve done everything from build my website to optimizing my keywords and build me up a great online presence. KEVIN and his team are very responsive to any of my questions or request. Thank you guys your amazing!" - Kurtis Martin, Unique Detailing
"Kevin not only has helped me re-launch my website, but has also helped me understand the value of internet marketing. Kevin has taken the time to listen to our needs and what we want to accomplish with our website. He has also brought some remarkable ideas to the table. Kevin will give you great quality, service and maintenance at a reasonable cost. I highly recommend Kevin to anyone looking to take advantage of internet marketing and social media as well as getting great service and advice." - Joseph Tablan, Financial Security Advisor
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"When I started with ROI Web Marketing, I have to admit that I was struggling with my business. The company not only helped me understand what marketing is all about, but the team also helped me launch a new website and advertising campaign that tripled my business in a year. Now, I get regular phone calls specific to my industry. I didn't know a website could be so useful!" - David Glisinski, Gannet Diesel
"ROI Web Marketing has been supporting and providing only the best service and reliability to Astone Fitness for over 10 years. Kevin Hicks and his very talented team are always quick to reply, resolve any of our IT issues and are friendly and helpful. If you need any help with your online business i'd highly recommend working with ROI Web Marketing." - Astone Fitness
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"Kevin's ROI Web Marketing offers a rare combination of technical expertise to build effective web sites, marketing expertise to make sure it attracts clients, along with branding expertise. Plus he's a a great person all around." - Carla Rieger, Director at The Artistry of Change
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"I had known Kevin for years prior to a business relationship and always knew him to be kind, honest, and genuine. When we connected in business he was managing online assets for a few brands in his portfolio. We began collaborating on a pro bono consulting project and then collaborated on developing and delivering comprehensive web marketing programs for a variety of SMEs. Kevin is now consulting for both the Rayne Longboards and Vicious Grip brands I manage and I am indebted to him for all his partnership far beyond any monetary value. I recommend Kevin to anyone I can and he is currently servicing a number of those connections." - Les Robertson, Marketing & Sponsorship Manager at Rayne Longboards
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"ROI Web Marketing recently finished our new website for South Vancouver Family Place. Kevin and his team were patient, responsive, professional and creative in their work. We appreciate the time spent and the end product was exactly what we had hoped for. We will continue to use ROI as our web host as we appreciate their work and their expertise. Thank you Kevin and Samantha and ROI." - South Vancouver Family Place
"Kevin and his team done am amazing job with getting my website set up and continuously updating it. I keep getting calls from new clients just because of you guys. Thank you guys very much!" - George Kovalyov, CPA, CA
"ROI Web Marketing has been extremely helpful for my business by taking its web presence to the next level. From the first discovery meetings to this date, I feel that they get my business. That's why they're able to run my Google Ads campaigns in a very efficient manner. That means that I've been getting strong leads with a very small ad budget. I've already recommended ROI Web Marketing to other clients and friends of mine and will continue to do so." - Elton Hubner
"I have had the pleasant experience of working with Kevin Hicks and Samantha Bangayan, of ROI, during the building of Sarah Gallop Design Inc. website and subsequently Top Shelf Design Inc. website. They were great to work with during development; solutions minded for my sometimes nit-picky requests, and a great source of support and education as we continue to work with the site, ever improving it to deliver, both business to us and a portfolio and resource to our clients. They are helpful and efficient, and I would certainly recommend them for your web design and marketing services." - Roz Screeton, Sarah Gallop Design Inc.
"I recently had the pleasure to work with Kevin on the design and development of a new website for PM-Volunteers.org. He was extemely professional in his approach to the project. He delivered a fully functional and creative end product well ahead of schedule, with an absolute minimum of issues from a client perspective. I would recommend him for future web design projects." - Bob Prenovost, CRM, PMP, LEED® AP
"As a client of ROI we are very please with the service. Kevin and his team go above and beyond to create a great client interaction which allows your vision, as the business owner, to come to life quickly and effectively. The speed his team operates at, the pride they take in the service and product delivered and the personal client/customer relationship they create make them our first and only choice for web marketing and web design services. We have seen 200% in Jan for growth and 170% in Feb. Give your team and you my best!" - Cecil Bond, Mr. Cover All
"We couldn't be happier with Kevin and his team in helping our business grow. They are very collaborative and provide exceptional, professional service and expertise! They really take the time to get to know your company and provide you with several action plans as well as regular check-ins and metrics. Thank you so much!" - MultiServices Vancouver
"My specialty fitness business, in which I teach Pfilates (pelvic floor Pilates) was only designed 2 years ago, which has with it extra challenges, in that I needed marketing but also a need to educate the general public as to what it is exactly. Kevin has presented me with creative and meaningful suggestions for my web site and Facebook. Also being on a budget, I didn’t want to spend a lot, but I feel I got an outstanding Web Site and excellent support. Kevin is always there when I have questions, and has provided me with the tools and encouragement I need to manage my web site and Facebook page." - Brenna Jacobson, South Delta Pfilates Therapy
"Kevin and his team have been working with my small business over the past 6 months and we have been extremely happy with the results. We went from almost no customers finding us online to a significant number of google customers per week. Above this, Kevin is a genuinely great guy. If you are looking to improve your online marketing presence, I highly recommend ROI Web Marketing." - Katrina Sovio, Alaia Physiotherapy
"There were many Web Designers to choose from. Kevin was by far the most organized, reliable, trustworthy, detailed and professional. I referred him to the company I worked for. He was given the contract. It was an amazing experience as he was an educator. The website was truly in a form of Art Work-not only did I learn from him how websites are created but how profits can be generated by hiring the right person. He is an SEO expert, experienced Web Designer and a Marketing Specialist at ROI Web Marketing. I highly recommend Kevin to everyone." - Pam Rai, Insurance Specialist
"After being in the digital marketing space for 5 years, I've seen the types of businesses that are out there that do digital marketing. Since leaving the digital marketing space, I've had a chance to refer multiple businesses to ROI Web Marketing and have seen them all see success with their digital marketing. Some of them have worked with multiple marketing agencies in the past with limited results and then have not left ROI after getting started with them. Highly recommend the ROI team for all your internet marketing needs!" - Earl Almeida
"Whatever it is you're doing, keep it up. My hits have become far more valuable lately. In the last three to four weeks I've booked up as much work as half of last year. I have been getting jobs very easily in the last little while. I also get regular compliments on my website. 50% of my prospects mention it. Hats off to you guys." - Marten Kerkhoff
"Kevin and his team have built and maintained our website over the past three years and we’re very happy with their service, attention to detail and how quickly they respond. We would definitely not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for web marketing services." - Philip Rechsteiner, Rechsteiner Construction Ltd.
"Kevin and the team at ROI Web Marketing are geniuses with AdWords and all the technical stuff that hurts my brain. They get results and know little-known secrets that make a BIG difference. We've worked with them on a few different client campaigns and always are shocked at the leads they generate. I would highly recommend them to anyone who's ready to move forward and level up in their business." - Jennifer Madani
"My experience with ROI has been top notch and can not recommend them enough. Attention to detail and value for money is unparalleled compared to other agencies." - Jon Rees
"There aren't many marketers out there that are honest and provide a great work to their customers. As a digital marketer myself, I can tell you that Kevin at ROI Web Marketing is one of those rare marketers that you can count on! I always recommend him to entrepreneurs who need a website and web marketing. He always answers in a timely manner, you can tell he really cares. Thanks for doing awesome job!" - Laure Sabini
"Kevin and his team have done great work for our business. Their knowledge of all facets of online marketing and SEO have helped drive more leads which have turned into numerous new clients. I would highly recommend their services!" - Eric Sakawsky, Worldgo Travel Management
"Kevin and his team are absolutely fantastic. Always keeping their clients on track. Always responsive. Always taking steps to produce results. Highly recommended!" - Faizal Nuraney, Nuraney Law
"I want to start with some gratitude - you guys are such an important part of our business and its very much appreciated. We measure how people hear of us, and “I saw you on the Internet” accounts for 23% of our new patients. That is very significant, and I want you both to know I’m grateful every day for the hard work you do behind the scenes. THANK-YOU!" - Matt Furlot, Legacies Health Centre
"Kevin has demonstrated his ability to stay a step ahead of the trends. Doing so has enabled me to capture a first page ranking on Google and create growth for my business. I always enjoy hearing what Kevin has in store next for my marketing and how it will impact the growth of my business." - Maki Riddington, Owner of Maki Performance Training
"We always wanted to revamp our web marketing efforts, and Kevin helped us with this in a huge way. I always believed the internet was a powerful tool, but never thought it could help my business in a significant way. I can now say that my website is a large source of leads and new business. I would recommend Kevin to anyone who is looking to increase their web presence and wants their website to start paying dividends!" - Jordan W Cahill, Cahill Professional Accountants
"ROI has been doing our Pay Per Click Google marketing for the last 8 months, they have done a fantastic job. Each month we get more clients. Kevin and his team are on it - I couldn't ask for better, these guys are crushing it." - James Kok, Alpine Counselling Clinic
"Kevin and his team are fantastic to work with. They have helped us navigate the complex system of Google Ads. They made it easy to make sure our money brings in quality leads. It's bee a great Return On Investment! Thank you ROI!" - Dasha MacWilliam
"Only work with ROI Web Marketing if you really want your business to increase. I'm serious. I've been working with Kevin Hicks for over 5 months, and his work alone in getting to know my business, as well to know my values and what I stand for to really truly be conveyed in the type of business I want. Kevin takes the time to get to know you, and works with you coming up with solutions and completely takes the guesswork out of building your business. ROI Web Marketing sends out regular monthly metrics, so that in addition to our face-to-face meetings and his check-ins, I always have a picture of what the numbers are with my business. Kevin additionally is passionate about educating his clients, and brings in helpful techniques so that you are more empowered about where to go to next. I have been very satisfied with the quality and the consistency of the value I receive, and I will continue to work with ROI Web Marketing as an integral part of building my practice." - Dr. Marcia Halajeski, Chiropractor
"Kevin and team are very knowledgeable, professional and caring. They listen to you and come up with solutions that work. I was with a previous marketing company that had my business flat lining. When i decided to work with Kevin he had my online performance running again at full speed in minimal time. Great company, great people. If i could double the amount of stars i would. Highly recommended!!!!!!" - Chris Lester, Recycle Your Auto
"If you need SEO or pay-per-click web marketing, you need to talk to ROI Web Marketing first. They are extremely skilled and super honest. They will take a holistic look at your online presence and make sure they have all the relevant details to create a fantastic SEO campaign for you. You'll also end up with business and marketing advice from them, too. They also provide expert tracking so you can see the results you're getting from your internet marketing." - Flora Gordon, Graphic Design
"I have used ROI Web Marketing for about 3 months now. There's definitely has been more web presence which generated into more business for my firm. Kevin and his team at ROI Marketing has been very patient with me and walked me through the process of having everything set up. Would highly recommend!" - Jerome Tsang, Notary
"This company was referred to me and I am so happy I decided to ask for their help. They have increased business by helping with SEO( Search engine Optimization- I had no idea what this was but it helps make your ranking better in Google and other sites). They are easy to communicate with and are always suggesting ideas to increase customers to my business." - Michelle Kegaly, New West Wellness Centre
"Working with Kevin was a great experience as he provided excellent service as well as results. As a bonus, his services were affordable. I would be happy to work with Kevin again!" - Ciara Ann O'Connor, Personal Trainer
"Kevin has been a key member of my team and a HUGE part of the business growth that I've experienced through his adwords and web design. The ROI team has come up huge as part of my online marketing. Thank you a million." - Anthony Taylor, SME Strategy