We are very privileged to win a 2020 Canadian Search Award in the category of “best use of social media in a search campaign.” Our winning entry was based on an SEO campaign that was integrated with a Twitter content calendar. SEO and Twitter work very well together, as we explain in an Instagram Stories presentation that also includes a variety of data about SEO, digital strategies and social media.
Anyone in Vancouver who knows SEO (an anacronym for “Search Engine Optimization”) will say “good luck at ranking for Vancouver SEO!” That’s because SEO is one of the most valuable digital marketing disciplines.
We define SEO as the process used to communicate with Google, Bing and increasingly DuckDuckGo. Both Google and Bing provide sophisticated interfaces for SEO professionals so that they can register their client’s websites. This provides a level of verification beyond sites that are not registered. In addition, we register and maintain client listings using Google My Business and Bing Places, which are another direct connection with the search engines.
But registering client websites with Google and Bing is only the first step. There is much, much more to SEO.
Imagine you go to a foreign country that does not speak your language. You may be able to get around by pointing and gesturing, but it would be much easier if you spoke the same language. This is a good analogy for SEO. SEO is a language that Google understands. Without SEO, Google will do a pretty good job of interpreting your page. But if you take the time to communicate with Google in its own language, it will understand your page much better and reward you with better search results.
Why is SEO So Valuable?
Do you know anyone who hasn’t searched Google for something? Of course not.
Everyone uses Google to conduct research and find information. This means that there is a lot of free traffic out there. And this traffic is the best kind because it is coming from people who are motivated enough to be searching for information.
SEO is so valuable because it enables people who have never heard of you to find you. Said another way, SEO is so valuable because it connects you with people who are using Google to find products and services related to yours.
People who are searching Google are called “in-market” audiences; they are actively searching for things they are interested in. They are in the market.
People are in your market right now searching for all kinds of products and services — from cars to chiropractors to condos to kitchen cabinets. You just need to configure your website so that Google knows to show your pages for search terms that people use during different parts of their “purchase journey.”
Strategy is central to SEO. It isn’t enough to simply apply code to web pages without understanding the ultimate result. Consider these two searches:
If you are a Vancouver real estate developer, it’s a good bet that you want to show up for both of these searches. But from an SEO perspective, which one is more important?
If you guessed the first one, you would be right.
Social media and SEO are a match made in digital marketing heaven. Both are techniques we use to generate organic traffic. SEO pulls organic traffic to a website. Social media pushes organic traffic to a website.
SEO Process with Actual Vancouver Examples
We’ll rifle off a few real life examples to demonstrate how well SEO and social media work together. Later in this page, we’ll show you relevant stats such as how many people click on page one search results (SERPs) versus page two.
Podcast Advertising SEO Example
We have a client that sells advertising. Working closely with them, we have been able to use social media to drive traffic to pages on their website that relate to their digital advertising products.
To view a historical example of how we did this successfully, please refer to the description of an award we won in Feb 2019 for a “programmatic audio” campaign.
More recently, this client started selling podcast advertising. We reckoned if we combined social media with SEO we might be able to show up in Google searches for “podcast advertising.”
To prepare the campaign we wrote hundreds of Twitter posts (544 in total), many of which drove traffic to a “podcast advertising” page and other related pages on the client’s website.
The example above shows our tracking capability. We can tell you that your SEO is improving, but it is much better if we can prove it.
Tracking is critical or us because we want to know what is working and what needs more work.
To be clear, there is an awful lot of SEO that can be done. Depending on how competitive the category is, sometimes we’ll need to spend a lot more time creating content or using a range of SEO techniques to rank well.
In the podcast advertising example profiled above, we performed “on-site technical SEO.” This is a process that involves adding code to a web page. This code helps Google understand the page with much more clarity than it would if there was no SEO.
SEO Example for “Office Design Vancouver”
We have a client that is a leading designer of commercial office interiors in Vancouver.
As you might imagine, this is a highly competitive sector. This client uses another web design company but utilizes us for SEO updates.
Prior to redesigning their website, the client had very good visibility:
After a website redesign, their rankings fell precipitously. This is quite common if the SEO is not performed while the redesign is taking place:
Seeing these results, the client called us for an SEO refresh. Approximately one month later, these are the latest rankings:
You can see how, after only one month, the rankings have changed. There is still much to do but we can see the progress.
SEO Articles We Have Co-Authored:
- Social Media and SEO: 13 Ways They Work Together To Boost Your Visibility
- Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts: What’s the Difference & Which is Better?
- Optimize Your Business for Local Searches with These 8 Google My Business SEO Tips
- SEO Copywriting Tips for Writing High-Quality, High-Ranking Content
- 20 Ways to Fill Your Editorial Calendar with Highly Relevant Topics
- See more…
Vancouver SEO + Vancouver Social Media = 1 + 1 = 3
Does that formula make sense? With a little imagination, it does. This formula works because SEO drives traffic from actual people searching, and social media drives traffic from people using social media.
If you push and pull at the same time, your search results improve faster, which actually increases your traffic.
Social media is like a force multiplier.Push and pull to increase your traffic.
We have seen the results of combining SEO with social media. The combination is a winner.
The reason the combination works is that Google needs to see traffic coming to web pages. The source of the traffic is relevant. Paid traffic is different than organic traffic.
If you have two pages with the same levels of traffic but one source has traffic coming from social media and the other has “direct” traffic, Google will view the social media traffic as more valuable. This is because direct traffic usually comes from the company itself as they type the URL into the search bar.
The Vancouver Social Media and SEO Firm
We combine SEO with industry-leading social media to improve your visibility and awareness.Read the study on Google and local restaurants
If you’re like us, you lose sleep over your search results. Search results are extremely important. But what if your rankings slide because of:
- an algorithm update
- new competition
- your pages are stale
- your website traffic has slowed
- You did something you didn’t understand and it backfired?
Or…what if your website is new? What if you’re not showing up in search results for things other than your business name?
Whatever the reason is, we can help.
Read this article on how to drive traffic to your website without paid advertising.
It’s a proven digital strategy: drive awareness with people using Instagram and show up when people search Google. Cover both ends.
With so many websites in the world, relying on Google and Bing to figure out your website is not advisable. In fact, it’s a terrible idea.
If you have a new website or a website that shows up on page 10 of Google search results, this is a real problem. It’s a problem because the only people that will actually find your site are people who are trying hard to find it. These are people who already know your name. These are people who already know you.
Getting people who already know you to visit your site is easy; the power of digital marketing is to drive traffic to your website from people who have never heard of you.
Not only does it take a long time for Google to figure out what’s on your website and why it should be shown when people Google various things, but if you have a competitor that is skilled at SEO, they will almost always outrank you.
Search Engine Optimization is the activity of adding hidden code to website pages. This is code that only the search engines can see.
SEO is technical in nature because it requires a special cobination of skills to code and test the schema and related fields that are understood by Google and Bing.
Branded Search Versus “Unbranded” Search
The number one priority of effective SEO is not to show up for the company’s name (i.e. the name of your company) but to show up when
someone Googles something much broader. “New condos in North Van” or “2 BR for sale north van” are two examples.
Using SEO to win at unbranded search not only lowers the cost of your paid search but accelerates conversions because you are capturing interest at “the top of the funnel.” This is another way of saying that there are fifty times (50x) more people searching for “new condos north van” than “your company name”.
People who are searching for your company name already know your company name. So these people are not desirable targets. We want to collect new targets; people who are not familiar with your company name.
Connecting Google Search Console
In a market where one search can mean the difference between selling a luxury condominium or losing the person of interest after their search, SEO is often the deciding factor. For this reason, we actively monitor Google Search Console data and continually update your pages with the latest competitive data gathered from actual searches from people in your market.
What are the permutations of “2 BR for sale north van” or “New condos in North Van”?
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, we will connect your website with Google search console so that you gain access to valuable first-party search data. This data is used to improve the on-page SEO and works faster than any other method because we are using actual local data: real people performing actual Google searches.
Google My Business Description
We register your business by setting up a listing using a Google email account that becomes linked to your listing. We maintain this listing on your behalf by posting content and answering Google’s emails.
Technical SEO Descriptions
There are a range of SEO implementations: meta descriptions, “schema,” meta keywords, social SEO, image markup and more.
We will ensure that across the full range of SEO activities your website has the necessary code so that Google and Bing fully understand what pages to show for what searches.
On-page SEO elements include:
• Meta Descriptions
• Meta Keywords (yes, they actually do make a difference)
• Focus Keyword (if using Yoast with WordPress)
• Social Meta (open graph data)
• Structured Data (this is injected per page)
Social Media SEO Implementation
There are SEO fields related to your social media accounts (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook) that have yet to be configured on a page-by-page basis on your website. We will ensure that the competitive research data gleaned from Google Search Console will be implemented properly so that Google knows what social media properties are connected to your website. This not only improves your visibility but enhances your authority.
How Important Are Good Search Results?
Search results are critically important to every business. Regardless of the company’s business model, businesses that rely on generating new sources of revenue and cash flow must also rely on visibility in search results. In short, the business must be “Googleable.”
Visibility in search results, however, is not that easy. Especially considering the fact that a business must appear on page one for the search term it wishes to rank for. As we see below, page one on Google gets 92.8% of the clicks, with page two returning only 4.9% of clicks.
But there’s more. It’s not just enough to rank on page one. We see that the lion’s share of clicks go to the highest ranked search results on page one. People are lazy!
Another important stat: you could pay Google to show an ad when people search for “career counselling” and other search terms, but these ads only get clicked 4% of the time. If there’s an “organic” alternative, people will almost always click the result that isn’t an ad.
Our on-site SEO provides the organic alternative to the paid ad.
Over time, this is a terrific investment because you don’t have to keep running ads every month. On-site SEO is the gift that keeps on giving!
Different studies put the share of traffic of the first position at around 33%, with the second position getting around 15% of share, 9% going to number 3, and steeper dropoffs after number 5. At minimum, 50% of clicks go to the top three results.
The chart below sums up the click through rate (CTR) by position on page one. As you can see, after position 4, the CTR drops off dramatically.
ClickThrough Rate is defined as the ratio of users who click on a link to the number of total users who viewed a page.
A CTR of 26.9 means that roughly 27% of people who saw the search results page clicked on that link.
We are known for our social media but our SEO services drive an additional layer of visibility and traffic generated from people using search engines and clicking on links inside social media apps.
In a landmark study involving 26 million social media shares, the top four ranking positions on Google are the ones with the most Facebook and Google activity.
A fascinating study by QuickSprout found that social media activity is positively correlated to search engine rankings.
Considering that at least 55% of clicks (some studies say it’s more like 90%) happen on the first page of search results, anything you can do to move to page one is a priority.
Social SEO is a Great Way to Improve Your Search Results.
The combination of social media with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works so well because Google’s algorithm attributes value to schema markup and new content that is derived or includes social media sources.
For example, driving traffic to a website from a Twitter or LinkedIn profile can include an embedded reference (schema) not visible to the user, but visible to search engines.
Who uses search engines in social media apps? Everyone who uses social media, or about 66% of the population.
Many age groups use multiple social media apps — as many as five — and
pretty much everyone who uses social media searches for something. What’s more is that an increasing number of people use social media to discover products — before performing a Google search.
If they don’t find what they want on social, only then do they resort to Google.
In Vancouver we are pioneers of social SEO. Because we have seen the results first-hand, we view social SEO as the most exciting segment of digital marketing.
Social SEO is what helped us get noticed in a very competitive field. We compete against traditional marketing agencies. Some of our competitors have been around longer and spend more than we do. But because we are a “pure” social media firm, we view social media as our competitive advantage.
Any business that doesn’t show up in a search result is in trouble. We can help.
How SEO Works
We add SEO code to your website that only Google can see. This code educates Google about what it is you do, and adds context to Google’s database about your brand and the search term(s) you are correlated.
— Sky Alphabet 🚀 (@skyalphabet) July 2, 2017
Here’s an example using a recent case study.
This case study is an example that many businesses will relate to.
#1: What are people searching for when they want to hire a “top designer”?
Most people looking for a top designer would enter “top Canadian Design firms” or “best Canadian design firms” in Google. This is what comes up:
You get a lot of results that are all over the place. This is what we call a “top of the funnel” search result.
The searcher hasn’t yet narrowed their search term from “designer” to something more specific. The searcher isn’t looking for a jewellery designer. Or an SEO firm that is also a website designer (!) No.
In this case the searcher is looking for someone to handle the re-branding and launch of a new website.
These are questions that are part of the routine SEO discovery process: defining search intent, trying to figure out what people are looking for and what language they use to find it. This is also known as keyword research. Keyword research is big business!
Keyword research is as important to social media as it is to SEO
Keyword research was such a groundbreaking, business-building concept when it first emerged that it propelled Google into one of the most successful companies in the world.
That’s because small businesses were forced to actually define why customers choose them. It made small businesses focus on conveying what they do better than anyone else: why do customers search for me?
That’s the SEO part. Now for the social part.
— AJ Ghergich (@SEO) May 19, 2017