Before I begin I want to be clear on one thing. SEO is an investment.
It will bring your business more sales.
You have to spend a little to make a lot.
I also want to be clear that this post is for anyone anywhere looking into pricing for search marketing. We welcome clients from all over the planet not just Victoria.
So yesterday I got a phone call from someone asking how much our SEO Victoria BC service costs. It’s a question I get asked a lot. But it’s hard to answer right away.
So many things factor into our costs. It’s tough to do over the phone without seeing your website, your competitors and what the search rankings look like right now for your desired search terms.
A few of our current clients have told me about our competitors. During phone calls our competitors beat around the bush when it comes to costs.
I’ve found other companies aren’t very transparent. Our goal is to be fully transparent with the blog post.
So here is what factors into our costs and pricing structure.
1 – Your website
I had a call from the owner of EZLeadCapture.com. He was telling me a competitor of ours wanted $1000 just to do a website audit of his site.
Yes taking a look at your current websites optimization and determining how much on site work is needed factors into our costs. But we do this free during our research when creating a strategy and proposal for you.
We then come up with a cost to better optimize your website for the search engines and searchers.
2 – Your current rankings
We then go to the search engines to see how visible your website is when it comes to relevant searches for your product or service.
3 – Your competition
If your search results are lacking, which is usually the case when contacting the best SEO company in Victoria BC, we then find out what your competition is doing to out rank you. So we go through their website to do an audit.
Then we find out what websites are linking back to them through a couple of software products we own. This is known as linking building/backlinking. We call it the human growth harmone of search engine optimization. This helps us figure out how much time it will take to outrank them.
These are the factors that determine how much our service costs. So it’s hard to have a standard costs as these three factors will vary from business to business.
There are hundreds of realtors in Victoria and only about a 20 used car dealers.
Todays post will talk about getting your image to show up beside your website. The image to the right is for a new website I just started called Best In Victoria. It’s a way to help my current clients get more backlinks to their website while increasing their exposure.
A nifty idea I think. But enough about that plug!
During a recent search you may have noticed images showing besides website results in Google.
You may have also wondered how to get that image beside your website or blogs search result. Well I will show you how in this post.
This is known as Google’s rel author. It’s a way to tie your Google + profile to your website or blog.
The biggest benefit I see for local businesses is improved click through rates. Seeing a business owners image before they view the website builds trust before they have visited your website.
Mark Traphagen posted on Google Plus a few studies from website owners. No matter what the increase % is, it will boost your click through rate.
I had a potential lead contact me a few months back. I asked him why he clicked on my website. Keep in mind this was before I was ranking high for SEO Victoria BC. He said it was because I had an image beside my website.
Already the time I spent doing this was well worth it.
Setting up Google Rel=Author
1) Setup a Google + Profile.
If you already have a GMail account, you should have a G + account too.
2) While fully filling out your profile, add your website(s) to your “Contributor To” section.
The “Contributor To” area is located under the “About” tab in your Google + profile and down at the bottom in the “Links” section.
Obviously replace your profile link where mine is listed in blue.
4) Head over to the rich snippets testing tool and enter your website url. You will find out if your G + profile and website has the link above properly displayed. If not, something has gone wrong. If that’s the case, post below in the comment section and let me know.
Hopefully you know understand how to get an image beside your website in Google search results.
I’ve picked up a few SEO Victoria contracts in the last month. Mostly because I am now ranking #1 & #2 for the search term Victoria SEO.
Back in April I decided to change the keywords that I was targeting. So I went after every combination of SEO and Victoria. Considering it only took 7 months to get to the top spot (I was ranking #2 after 4 months), I feel confident that I can help anyone get there in a shorter period of time.
After all, my competition is SEO experts. Your competition is not.
As much as I like to boast about this, I want to give away a few tips to help your website. Although Google states that this will not help your rankings, it will help the search engines learn where your business is located. No matter what, it’s always a good thing to please the search engines!
Much like my 10 part series on the best free internet marketing tools, I’m going to give you a series of blog posts on how to please Google and help your search rankings.
Tell Google You Are a Local Business
One of the first things I do with any of my clients is add structured data to their main domain.
Here is the definition of structured data:
“If Google understands the content on your pages, we can create rich snippets—detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range.”
Even though you can tell Google and the other search engines that you want to rank for city related search terms, it’s still a good idea to add these rich snippets to your website. Once again I do this by adding some coding to their website to tell the search engines that the business is local and more specifically, what industry it is in.
You can test to see if this has already be done by visiting the rich snippets testing tool. Simply enter your main domain name and hit preview.
Your results might be blank. So to see if you’re listed as a local business, you might see something like this test for StudioYDesign:
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Looking at the above, we’ve notified the search engines that we are a Victoria Furniture Store.
Add This Coding to Your Website
You can add this information to your website coding in two ways.
For the item type, find out if your business and industry is listed at Schema.org. Once you click on that link you will see “local business” and “restaurants” links. I’ll assume you are one or the other. Click on whatever link applies to you and scroll to the bottom where you will see more links like this:
Click on your proper industry if it’s listed. Don’t see your business? I’ll cover what to do in a bit.
I like to think the majority of my blog posts are quite in depth.
Today’s post is going to be short and simple.
Last month I purchased a 2012 Nissan Altima and of course I needed new insurance.
Most dealerships have the insurance portion contracted out to a local company. The Nissan dealership and insurance company I dealt with were no different.
Except one major service. Instead of having someone sit around waiting for cars to sale, Maxxam Insurance takes their business mobile. So when a car is sold the salesman will call one of the many Maxxam representatives and they’ll drive to the dealership.
This obviously increases their sales efficiency. But they also increase their client retention and word of mouth. Let me explain how.
Telemarketing Can Work
Fast forward to last week. I get a call from one of the Maxxam reps telling me my insurance is up. This is a nice touch because a few years ago, I actually drove around without insurance for a week!
ICBC sends a reminder notice but why can’t the insurance company I dealt with make a phone call as well? Follow up phone calls can provide a unique personalized touch after the sale. But what about the case of an expiring service?
This is something we agreed would work better when dealing with the customer service over at Victoria Transmission and Auto Care. Before our follow up and reminders were sent out by a company using automate post cards and emails. In the end we felt the phone call had more impact and was far more personal.
The reminder about my expiring insurance is the vital piece of information they need to make the next step. And that’s to retain me as a client.
But it’s the simple way they make that happen which helps increase word of mouth and their sales. Since they have mobile agents all over, they drive anywhere to meet you.
They’ll even make any changes to your insurance before you get there. It’s a painless transaction. So instead of having to drive to an insurance agent and deal with lineups, Maxxam drives to you.
The Meaningful Marketing Way
Why do I know this increases word of mouth? Because I hardly ever talk about businesses but I’m going to blog and post on Facebook about my positive experience with Maxxam. It’s the Meaningful Marketing way.
They’ve out cared their competition by;
Reminding me my insurance was up
Working around my schedule and meeting me my place of work
So my question to you is, what can you be doing better from a customer service standpoint that makes people talk about your business in a positive light?
Here’s another brief example from Jam Cafe in Victoria. Often busy, Jam provides coffee to patrons waiting for tables outside. A great touch that many don’t forget and mention when they talk about their experience there.
My mother mentioned this right away when we got there. And in a conversation with a friend a couple weeks ago, she mentioned right away the fact that they served coffee to her and her friend waiting outside.
Back in days of telephone books, we had no way to tell if the business was trustworthy. We just went through a page at a time and made our decision based on very few things.
So there was no first impression outside of a logo and advertisement.
However the internet has given everyone a voice. And with that voice people can say what they want about anyone. Including businesses.
When people find any Google Places business listing, they want to see what others have to say. Especially if they’re a first timer. It’s why Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor are so big.
Reviews are like a comment card. But everyone can see them. It’s not like the old days of comment cards when management were able to discard the bad reviews.
To sum it up, your reviews are your business’s first impression.
More the Merrier
Having just a few reviews is fine. But just about every Places page I see has 0-5 reviews. I believe the more reviews you have, the higher your social proof.
It also means that your business must be pretty remarkable. Especially if your competitors have very little reviews. If people love your business and take the time to write a review, you’re doing something right!
The more reviews you have the easier it is to stand out from the competition.
Getting More Reviews
I started this post off by saying all you have to do is ask. And that’s what I want you to do.
If you’ve been in business for over six months, chances are good you have repeat clients. Those are the ones who would be willing to write a review.
All you have to do is ask them.
There are only two ways we communicate (outside of body language) so here are the two methods you can ask for reviews:
1) After checkout (verbally)
If you have a physical storefront, you probably have a computer with a POS system. When they’re finished their checkout ask them how their visit was and if they have a Google or GMail account. If they enjoyed it (I’m sure they did) kindly ask them to write a review on the spot.
This might be hard for some of you to do. I suggest asking those repeat clients whom you’ve built a good rapport with.
When you do this, make it really easy for them. Have your browser on your Google Places page and be sure you’re logged out. Then all they have to do is click on the “Write a Review” button and they’ll be asked to sign into their Google/Gmail account.
Some people might not know their password. But you can ask them to follow step two.