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October 19, 2021

What is our process for helping a local business become more visible in search results?

Discovery Our SEO firm begins every single campaign by immersing ourselves into the client, and their past history. We try to uncover as much as possible about your marketing campaign, and your company. Our goal is to understand your existing situation, and try to determine why your campaign has been […]

October 19, 2021

What method do you use to redirect a page?

There are a number of methods possible to redirect pages. Typically, the choice of method will depend heavily on your usage, and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, there are temporary redirects and permanent redirect. Each of these redirects have a usage case, and can be implemented through a […]

October 19, 2021

How can I see what pages are indexed in Google?

First and foremost, when you create a new website, or a new blog for your business – the first thing you care about is whether people are finding it or not. One of the first ways they’ll find it, is through search engines. Typically, you have to wait for Google’s […]

October 19, 2021What is our process for helping a local business become more visible in search results?

Discovery

Our SEO firm begins every single campaign by immersing ourselves into the client, and their past history. We try to uncover as much as possible about your marketing campaign, and your company. Our goal is to understand your existing situation, and try to determine why your campaign has been failing, or not performing, as well as it should. Typically, this phase will determine the rest of the campaign. We believe SEO is one aspect, of your overall marketing strategy. Our goal is to understand if SEO is actually the root cause of your business problems, or not. In some cases, companies believe they are lacking an SEO vendor – but in reality, other marketing issues exist – i.e. conversion rate issues, etc. SEO alone isn’t enough to propel your brand forward. In this phase, we help you understand how, or why, SEO can help and how we can synchronize SEO with the rest of your marketing campaign. During this phase, we conduct interviews with you, and your staff members, in order to understand what’s been working, and what hasn’t. Ultimately, this information will be presented to you in the form of a proposal. Typically, we schedule a phone call, or an in person interview, in order to go over the proposal, and explain what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and the results you can expect. We firmly believe in transparency – and if we don’t believe SEO is your root issue – we’ll explain that in the proposal and proposal alternative services that may help.

Initial Brief

We send an document, that requests relevant information from you – about your brand, and your past successes and failures. This info is used to understand more about your company, and give us a baseline.

SEO Audit

Our team conducts our own internal SEO audit of your brand. We investigate your competitors, and compare you to them. We look for strategic ways that can easily improve your campaign, and create a long term game plan.

Keyword Research

We investigate which keywords you need to rank for, and which keywords your competitors are ranking for. We conduct an analysis, in order to figure out why you are not ranking for those keywords, and how our team can help change that.

Consultation

After you review the proposal, we’ll schedule a phone call in order to get your feedback. Clients typically ask us about our approach, and what we do to get the SEO results our company is promising.

On-site Optimization

During this phase, we implement all of the on-site recommendations we made earlier. We create all of the content necessary necessary to implement the content marketing phase; in addition to creating content necessary for SEO landing pages, etc. Depending on where you are at, this can be the most important phase of your SEO campaign. In our experience, often companies are unable to rank for a certain keyword or phrase, simply because they don’t have the necessary content to rank for it. We can fix that, during this phase, by creating content specific to the keyword phrase you’re looking to rank for, or by adjusting your existing content so it aligns with how crawlers prefer it being structured. Many SEO firms forget this phase, and as a result – are unable to deliver results promised. We believe that successful SEO campaigns are rooted in great on-site optimization practices. Content creation, done in this phase, helps search engines and users understand what your website is about – and answers questions. With algorithms like Hummingbird, which favors websites with rich content – we believe content creation is crucial.

Technical Work

We adjust your on-site content, based on the keywords we’ve selected for your campaign. We identify what keywords have commercial intent, and will be profitable for you. We adjust your content, in order to rank higher for those keywords.

Content Creation

We create new content if necessary – such as new SEO landing pages. In addition, we adjust your existing content, so that it aligns with your keyword strategy. If we see a lot of pages that are weak, we’ll either consolidate them or add more content to them in order to make them richer.

Web Design

In some cases, clients have a terrible design, or have outdated architecture. During this phase, new designs, or overhauls, will be done. The success of your campaign is contingent on the quality of your site. It’s crucial you improve it, before seeking higher rankings.

Strategy

SEO is not a cookie cutter service, and most businesses fail to realize that. The lack of a strategy is why many SEO campaigns fail. Many SEO agencies claim that ranking on page 1 of Google is enough. We firmly believe that the only thing that matters is the revenue generated from your SEO efforts. Ranking is just 1 element of an overall marketing campaign. Our agency believes that SEO has to be done in concert with other forms of marketing. The reason we’re able to generate and deliver results is because we’re able to look at situation, on a macro level, and formulate a strategy which is going to work and take into account all your other marketing and advertising services. When we propose a strategy, we look at all the other advertising services you’re doing, like PPC, Social Media, Traditional advertising, Retargeting and more. We do more than just create nonsense backlinks. We create organic placements that show search engines you’re trustworthy, and that you deserve to rank. We create traffic from our SEO efforts by creating white hat links, on places people genuinely visit. In addition, our SEO strategy focuses on realistic goals – and realistic keywords. We pick keywords, during the strategy phase, that are realistic, and will result in traffic, conversions, and leads.

On-site Strategy

Our team delivers an actionable strategy that addresses on-site issues you have, and we evaluate how to fix them. We propose solutions, that we can implement with, or without, the help of your existing web design/development team. We operate as independently, or in synch, as you require us to.

Off-site Strategy

Backlinks are the end game of any SEO strategy. They help you rank higher, and are one of the most important variables in search engine algorithms. We cultivate a list of websites that we’ll reach out to, after high quality content is created, in order solicit noteworthy backlinks.

Analytics

During this phase, our team sets up all of the various forms of analytics that help you understand the value of what we’re doing, and more importantly the business results coming from our efforts. That includes call tracking, Google analytics, Heat maps, and all other forms of tracking services – including conversion tracking.

Content Marketing Strategy

During this phase, we help you understand how we’re going to create amazing content – and more importantly, how that content will be marketed in order to get backlinks, and ultimately help you rank better in search engines. Understanding how this phase will play out, is one of the most important things for you as a client – since ultimately, it’s successful execution is when results manifest.

Client Approval

After we’ve finalized our marketing strategy, we present it to you. Once you approve it, we start implementing it – and getting to work.

October 19, 2021What method do you use to redirect a page?

There are a number of methods possible to redirect pages. Typically, the choice of method will depend heavily on your usage, and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, there are temporary redirects and permanent redirect. Each of these redirects have a usage case, and can be implemented through a wide array of technologies.

Types of methods to redirect a page

301 – Moved permanently, recommended

302 – Moved temporarily, should be used sparingly

Meta refresh

What’s a redirect?

It’s a method to send users and/or search engines to a different URL from the one they originally went to.

301 redirects pass 90-99% of the ranking SEO juice to the destination page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this redirect. In most cases, you want to implement a 301 redirect.

302 redirects, are temporary redirects. According to some Google employees, in some cases a 302 redirect may be treated as a 301 redirect. If you are going to leave a 302 redirect in place for a long time, it may become a 301 redirect in Google’s eyes.

Meta refresh redirects are a type of redirect that’s executed when a user hits your page. They are slower, and not recommended. Meta refreshes pass some link juice, but aren’t recommended due to their slow execution, and loss of SEO juice.

SEO Best Practices when redirecting a page to another page

It’s common to redirect one url to another. It’s critical though you observe best practices, otherwise you risk losing SEO value. If your goal is to send both users and search engines to the new page, then you should do a 301 redirect. It’s crucial you remember that when you setup 301 redirects, it takes time for search engines to discover the 301 redirect and credit the new page. This timeline can be elongated, if search engines rarely visit the webpage. Options like 302s, will not pass rankings and/or search engine credit to the new page.

If your goal is to do A/B testing, and and you won’t be redirecting people to the destination page/pages permanently, then you should do a 302 redirect.

What to do when switching domains

If you’re switching domain names, you should be considering a 301 redirect in most cases (assuming you aren’t in a penalty). If you do a 301 redirect, you should redirect each page to it’s new counterpart. According to some Google reps, if you 301 redirect all the pages to the homepage, that could a 404 soft error on all of them, resulting in no SEO juice being given to the domain.

What to do when A/B testing landing pages

If you’re redirecting users to A/B test landing pages, we recommend using a 302 redirect. When you use a 302 redirect for a short period of time, Google let’s the original page you had rank, without interrupting your SEO rankings. This allows you to preserve your SEO rankings while letting you do the A/B test. We typically don’t recommend leaving this in place for an extended period of time. Some Google reps have mentioned that 302 redirects can be treated as 301 redirects, if left in place over an extended period of time. This leads us to believe that if you’re doing A/B testing with a 302 redirect for an extended period of time, this could cause harm to your rankings.

What to do when you change the permalink slug of page

If you change the URL of your page, such as: www.lawyer.com/criminal to www.lawyer.com/criminal-lawyers, then you should a 301 redirect from the original link to the new one. In this case, it’s assumed you tried to improve the SEO friendless of your page, and changed the URL. In this case, you want both users and search engines to see the page has changed – and to give SEO credit to the new page. The 301 redirect will be the safest way to do this.

October 19, 2021How can I see what pages are indexed in Google?

First and foremost, when you create a new website, or a new blog for your business – the first thing you care about is whether people are finding it or not. One of the first ways they’ll find it, is through search engines. Typically, you have to wait for Google’s crawler to visit your website and then add it to their index. So the question is, how can you see what pages are indexed, and moreover, how can you improve variables that make it so Google will crawl quicker. Here are some basics so you can understand how to know if your content is being indexed, and some great ways to ensure Google bot is crawling your website/blog.

What’s Googlebot, Crawling, Indexing, etc.

The Googlebot is the search crawler Google sends to collect info about articles on the web – and to then add it to Google’s searchable index. Crawling, is the actual process where Googlebot is going around the web and finding new information. Googlebot follows links, from one website to another, in order to find new things to crawl. Indexing, is the process in which information is gathered by Googlebot from what it crawls. Once the article it crawls is processed, they are added to the searchable index if it’s determined to be of high quality. When the article is being indexed, Googlebot processes the words in the article. Things like title tags, alt tags, etc, are looked at in order to help Google understand what the article/content is about.

Googlebot finds new content by looking on the web at places like blogs, pages, press releases, etc, in order to find links. It crawls the web pages, and then goes to the destinations of the links in order to find new places to crawl. It also look at website sitemaps in order to find a list of destination subpages to crawl.

How you can get your content discovered

Here are some great ways for your new content to be discovered by Googlebot.

1. Create a sitemap – Sitemaps are XML documents on your website that list every single page in your website. It is updated frequently, and tells search engines what new pages have been added, and it’s something that is helpful in order to promote regular indexing of new content by crawlers. For example, if you website is built on WordPress, then you can install numerous plugins in order to have the sitemap automatically created and updated.

2. Submit the sitemap to Webmaster tools – After you create your sitemap, the next thing you should do is submit it to Google webmaster tools. If you don’t have one already, create a free Google webmaster tools account, and add your website to webmaster tools. After you add your website to webmaster tools, you can go to the sitemaps option and add a link to your website’s sitemap to Webmaster tools. This will tell Google to crawl your sitemap, and the pages listed in it.

3. Create social network profiles – Crawlers get to your website through links on other websites. One way you can get your content discovered is by creating social network profiles, and then adding links on those profiles to your content. Examples of profiles are: twitter profiles, facebook pages, google+ pages, etc.

4. Create content offsite – Remembers, crawlers look at content off-site, and look at embedded links in it. One great method of getting both links, and getting Google to index your content, is to create offsite content, such a guest blog post to a website in your niche, and then embedding a link in it back to your content. Please note, you don’t want to create blackhat content, and engage in spammy link building techniques. This is against Googles guidelines.

Ok – so how to check # of pages indexed

It’s actually easy. First, you can go to Google webmaster tools and look there. You can see inside Google webmaster tools the amount of pages indexed. This is a very simple way. Another way of understanding how many pages you have indexed is by doing the following.

1. Go to google.com

2. Type in site:domain.com

This will show you a list of all the pages indexed by Google. You can then scroll through all the content indexed.

Another cool thing you can do is type the exact url, in quotation marks, and do a Google search for it. For example, if you wanted to see if this page is indexed by Google, you would type in “https://www.seocompany.ca/how-can-i-see-what-pages-are-indexed-in-google/” – into Google, and then if it’s indexed, Google will show it as a search result.

What if the index count is “going down”

Google’s index count is a good indicator of how much content you have indexed. Typically, Google will remove low quality content from it’s index, in order to reduce pollution. Sometimes, Google’s overall # of pages indexed number might change and fluctuate. If you see a 1% to 5% fluctuation in terms of overall # of pages indexed, that’s pretty normal. Things are in flux, and some of your outdated articles that are lower quality may get tossed out of the index, etc. Sometimes, Google’s # of indexed pages may fluctuate for no practical reason at all.

If the # of indexed pages drops drastically, meaning over 10% drop, then that’s a potential issue. Here are some reasons why the # of indexed pages might go down

1) You de-indexed them via robots.txt file. This is a very common mistake. Sometimes, you may inadvertently de-index your website by setting certain sections of your website as no-index, or no-follow, and therefore cause issues

2) You may be in a Panda penalty, or have a filter applied on some of your content. If you see content being de-indexed, you should look at the quality of the content. That means, look to see if it’s thin, or low quality. For example, in the past we’ve seen websites get penalized heavily because they have 400-500 pages of content, where each article is maybe 300-400 words long. In theory, it sounds fantastic having so much content, but when the length of the article is so thin – Google will actually think you’re trying to game the system. If you have too much content like that, you can trigger a Panda penalty – which results in your entire website getting penalized.

 

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Max Soni

Founder & CTO,

Soni Consultants / Brand With SEO

Sasha Aksenov

Chief Creative Strategist

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Aaron Fischer

Director, Reputation Managemnt

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James Wallace

Director of Business Strategy

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