Posts Tagged search engine optimization

SEO / SEM Freelancers in Vancouver? How About Canada?

Calling all experienced search marketing freelancers! We’re looking for folks that can work on contracts and can demonstrate a lot of great past results.

About Us

We’re a digital marketing business in Gastown, Vancouver, Canada. We’ve got about 15 years in the search marketing business and need to talk to folks that are as excited about the field as we are.

We need someone that:

  • Is a native English speaker
  • Lives in Canada
  • Does sharp PPC Management
  • Can plan and execute SEO campaigns
  • Report on ROI
  • Dig through Analytics
  • Run with some modern link building techniques

Email us at [email protected] to get in touch. Talk to you soon!

Searchlove San Diego 2017 Highlights

search marketing conference

We found our favourite conference. SearchLove San Diego was on point with speakers, tips and actionable tactics for technical search marketers. Also, and I cannot say this loud enough….it’s at a beach resort in San Diego in February!

Here’s a few of our favourite presenters and takeaways.


Larry Kim

This was one of my favourite talks of the conference. Larry took a look at quality in content marketing and how click rates influence organic position, decrease paid costs, and give you something to use for years. The payoffs of high-engagement content are huge.

One of his big points was about how one piece of content can sometimes do more than all of your other pieces combined. In the slide below, you can see how one of Inc’s pieces of content flourished while all of its others were left floundering. We’ve seen this a lot with heavy content sites and draws the conclusion that the ideal strategy should be to find the few winners, rather than think all of your content pieces will be winners.


Wil Reynolds

Wil is well known in the SEO world for being complete fire and he didn’t disappoint.

He focused on how digital marketers consistently throw users into buckets rather than treating them like humans. Ranking for keywords doesn’t matter much if you can’t match the user’s intent with what you have. Match psychology and decision making. SEOs should be marketing using emotions, not just click rates.

He put emphasis on visiting where your clients or customers are. Talk to them, understand them, and see what their real life pain points are. Then you’ll be able to understand how to fix them by giving them what they need online. Relying on search volume won’t solve human problems.

Further to the point of intent – if Google puts an image in the results that should be a trigger that people don’t understand the product or service. His example of how people looking for “cloud computing” are bidding extremely high on the search term, but the fact that Google is putting images in the results means that people are looking for definitions, not to buy something.


Rob Bucci

Rob’s the best. He runs the keyword ranking software STAT in Vancouver. His talk surrounded the research he did on consumer intent and where Google will place you based on that intent. Whether it’s informational, commercial or transactional. The results were fantastic and one of his slides summed it up nicely:

“Intent beats identity. Immediacy beats loyalty. “

There’s waaaay too much to mention here so I recommend requesting and going through the slides here if you’re a search marketer: Using Search Intent to Connect with Consumers.


Rand Fishkin

Rand’s been a long time supporter of 10x content. The idea is, in essence to stop churning out cheap and fast blog content and focus your attention on building stronger pieces that will get attention and last. It’s an ROI-positive method that I’ve been supporting for years.

His presentation focused on great examples of 10x content, along with some that have completely missed out because they ignored SEO. A little keyword research goes a long way.


Annie Cushing

She is famous for having extremely actionable talks around analytics. If she talks at a conference you’re attending, you get your money’s worth.

Here’s a few of the big takeaways:

  1. Always use “site down” notifiers such as
  2. Configure a few Analytics custom alerts in case of traffic drops or your site isn’t working
  3. Configure more of those custom Analytics dashboards that make sense for your business
  4. There’s low cost dashboards that take in several external data such as


Greg Gifford

Greg spends his days pushing local rankings for car dealers in the US. His presentation was around genuinely strong tips for local SEO. It was refreshing to hear tactics around hyper local targeting. Many of his tips debunked what industry experts recommend. For example, he suggests local links with low authority might actually be better than high authority links with no specific location attached.

Greg also dropped some Facebook ad tips like throwing a bit of budget at ads with tight a tight geo radius. That way you can advertise at an NFL game for $100.


Ross Simmonds

Ross’ talk was great because it centred around real examples of big success. His Instagram account currently sits at 114k followers. It’s nice to see someone talk about action and then show exactly how well it did. The takeaway from this was to market your content like a scientist: experiment, experiment, experiment.


Tom Capper

This may have been the most important talk of the entire conference. Tom had a really strong argument of how influential inbound links are, which several presenters debated. A lot of campaigns are driven only to acquire links, and Tom’s research found that they’re important, possibly important, or not at all. Crucial information for those of us SEOs that are digging for links day in, day out.


Bing: The Laserdisc of Search Engines

bing seo dancing

(Bravo to the person that animated Chandler Bing on the Bing logo)

It’s the search engine that nobody talks about unless it’s brought up as a joke. It’s the Laserdisc of search engines. I try to bring up Bing professionally and the conversation quickly derails into questions about my sanity–even though it’s up to 20% of the market share in the US!

Here’s what I’ve found Bing to be completely helpful with.

  1. Older demographics.
    Younger, tech-savvy people have an easy time switching browsers and arranging preferences. Older folk seem to stick with the defaults on their PC.
  2. Bing Webmaster Tools.
    Why not have more data to comb over?
  3. Interaction Rates.
    Our Bing Ad campaigns have higher interaction rates than Google Adwords ones. Why is that? It might just be a more focused audience with less to click on.
  4. It’s Cheaper.
    Google Adwords is an extremely competitive marketplace for many industries. Many people can slide into a Bing campaign and benefit from low cost per clicks.
  5. Ad Demographic Targeting in Search
    This isn’t available in Adwords. Bing will allow (when available) bid increases for certain groups.



SEO: How to Rank Keywords in 2016

seo keyword rankings


The question used to be:

“What’s our rank?”

Now, the question should be:

“What’s our click through rate?”

Organic keyword tracking is not the beacon it used to be. Rankings are now scattered across an ever expanding amount of places. These days, it doesn’t matter if you’re third or fifth, but it does matter how many people are clicking on your links. Here’s a quick guide to ranking your keywords.


 How to Track Your Google Traffic

1) Get Google Search Console Data

It’s the most relevant keyword data available, and is somehow often overlooked. Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) tells you what your keyword click through rate is. It indicates how much traffic is being lost, which is the first metric you should be looking at. Ranking first is great, but how often are those people clicking on your link? Are paid, local and knowledge graph getting 80% of the clicks? Keyword rankings is a competitive game, so the first measurement should be against what others are getting.

2) Include Paid

Dr. Pete Meyers tweeted a search result (we’ve posted it below) that has 4 Adwords ads rather than the traditional 3. This dominates the page real estate. Paid and organic are arguably the same medium, and they all come from the same place: Search. Considering that Adwords is dominating the same search results as organic, shouldn’t it be included in rankings? Why separate the two if it doesn’t matter to the user?

google paid results with 4


3) Of Course, Track Keywords

Knowing their historical position explains a lot, but isn’t the beginning and end of organic. A few good keyword trackers we’ve seen lately are Accuranker and STAT.

Watch Your Keyword Locations

Rankings in New York are different than rankings in Vancouver. It’s common to first panic at a low average position in Google Search Console until you localize the filter. If you have a restaurant and rank for the term “restaurant,” people from all over the world may be influencing your overall position.

Google also does a great job of localizing searches. You may rank highly in Edmonton, Alberta but low in Hong Kong. Make sure you know your rank in the city you’re targeting. Authority Labs has postal code level targeting.

Mobile vs. Desktop

We’re seeing slight differences in rankings between mobile and desktop. They’re not the giant discrepancies that people were afraid of when Google announced the Mobile Update in April, 2015, but there are some inconsistencies between the two. This is a key factor to consider because if you’re #1 on desktop and #5 on mobile, you’d have to consider yourself as #3.

Does Going Mobile-Friendly Increase SEO Rankings?


Maybe? Possibly?

Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin just detailed how “going mobile-friendly” has impacted The site was a bit late to the mobile-friendly party, having just made the switch earlier this year in response to user feedback and Mobilegeddon. The Moz site receives upwards of 600,000 sessions per day, so any shifts would be quite noticeable.

The results? It didn’t do anything.

Rand says the most important part of switching to a mobile-friendly experience is the empathy it shows for Moz’s users. That in itself may be enough of a reason to go mobile, but as far as SEO goes, after monitoring the traffic for 4 months, going mobile-friendly doesn’t seem to have had an impact on Moz’s rankings.

However! Before you start comparing your stats to Moz, keep these points in mind:

  1. Moz has major authority in the industry, and
  2. There aren’t rankings stats in here. Maybe the reason they didn’t seen an increase in traffic is because they stayed at #1 for a lot of positions. A smaller business’s traffic may have moved around considerably.

So will going mobile-friendly increase your SEO rankings? You might have to wait and see for yourself.

Mobilegeddon: Early Days

google mobilegeddon

It’s very early days into Google’s mobile update. There have been some rumblings online about ranking drops, but not many. The important things to note:

• The full roll-out will take a few weeks, so ranking drops will appear over time
• There isn’t enough data yet to make many meaningful decisions
• Desktop rankings will not be affected
• The update is applied to pages, not entire sites
• Google has a mobile-friendly test:

The bottom line is that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, this update should be one more encouragement to get one, but should you panic? At this point, we don’t have enough data to know.


Google Highlights Mobile Friendly Sites

Mobile results tag

Mobile SEO is taking a leap forward. Google is introducing a “Mobile-friendly” tag when users google from their handheld devices.

This is key because click through rates in organic rankings are a key indicator to Google that it is an important website, and one they should rank higher. We are assuming that their spiders will return values back to the server that indicate mobile focused items such as:

• text size
• use of Flash
• page width
• a mobile specific theme or url

If you haven’t invested in a mobile theme or responsive site, now might be the time to consider it.

Latest Google Panda Update & Quality Content

Content marketers & SEOs beware. The new Panda update is taking further strides in order to identify quality content. Google’s Pierre Far had this to say on Google + recently:



This comes as no surprise as the recognition of quality content has been at the root of many of the previous algorithm updates.

Pierre’s last comment regarding “high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher…” is a fantastic glimpse into what Google is trying to accomplish. Reward those with great content, not those with a lot of content.

Great move. Looking forward to it.

Google Update: Pigeon

Google SEO Update - Pigeon

The latest Google update to hit is Pigeon. It hit around July 24th, and the results seem to be mainly for local business results. This is the reason it’s called Pigeon – they usually fly home.

What Changed?

1) Local results. Local businesses may see a shift in their traffic starting from July 24th, especially in their Google Business Listing stats. Pigeon has limited the amount of “packs,” seen below in the search results column. This one is for “Vancouver restaurant.”

Vancouver Restaurant Google Listings


2) According to Pete Myers, these keywords lost a lot of results:
• cars for sale
• apartments
• cruises
• train tickets
• sofa, wheels
• liposuction
• social security card
• motorcycle helmets

3) These are the keywords that gained in results:

• skechers
• mortgage
• apartments for rent
• web designer
• long john silvers
• lamps
• mystic
• make a wish foundation
• va hospital
• internet service

More than anything, we recommend that business owners check the effect on their own Google Business Listing stats.

The SEO Rapper

Charles Lewis is awesome.

He’s been rapping for about 6 years about SEO, which we find pretty great. The best part is he’s informed, gives accurate advice about search engine optimization and he’s also a pretty great rapper!

We’re patiently awaiting an update from this 2012 video on Google algorithm changes.