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PPC or SEO? Which should you choose and what is the difference?

There comes a time when businesses are faced with a decision as to where to allocate their online marketing spend. Often, when it comes to targeted search-based advertising, a business will be presented with the option of PPC and SEO. Which should you choose and what is the difference?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising. Generally speaking, this refers to paying for search placement ads in a search engine. You bid on keyword phrases and pay when a visitor clicks on your text-based ad.

Pay-per-click is quick to set up, and you can start benefit from this form of advertising right away.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the art and science of building a website, landing pages and content that is designed to bring targeted search-based traffic to your website based on related keywords. In other words, someone goes to Google and is searching for a business with your products or services, sees your organic search listing, clicks on it and reaches your website.

Building a stellar SEO pipeline can take a lot of work and time; however, the benefits are great.

Ideally, you should make room in your budget for both forms of advertising. Pay-per-click is great for campaigns or when you don’t have time to wait for your SEO strategy to work; however, year after year, the best, most targeted traffic is usually generated from organic search.

In other words, SEO is a long game while PPC is now. As with all your marketing efforts, you can really maximize your efforts by layering your digital efforts throughout the online marketplace.

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing An SEO Services Firm

Hiring the right SEO Services firm can be daunting. Everyone has heard the horror stories of businesses who have hired the wrong firm, sometimes with lasting damage done to future SEO efforts. Or perhaps you have heard stories from businesses who haven’t been able to properly judge the work and efforts an SEO agency is doing for their fee. It’s hard for the average business to judge the merits of a company and ascertain who is and is not reputable. That’s why we’ve put together this list of top questions to ask when hiring an SEO services firm.

    1. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have Doing SEO & Can You Show Me Top Examples From Your Portfolio? You’re looking for an SEO services firm that has been around for years and has many examples of top search engine positioning and lead generation results in a variety of industries. Experience is backed by working knowledge. Through working in the industry, SEO experts go beyond simply best practices and recommendations and have developed an innate ability to naturally assess the situation.
    2. Do You Follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Search Engine Best Practices?Perhaps you have heard terms like white hat SEO and black hat SEO. Search engines are regularly updating their webmaster guidelines and best practices. If you hear phrases such as “we use practices designed to trick the search engines” that’s your cue to run away.
    3. How Do You Measure Success?Reputable SEO services firms outline the targets and the goals and then send regular reports and updates. Things most will measure include: keyword positioning, website traffic, lead conversions, web visitor demographics, time on site and bounce rate.
    4. You Can Get Me To Page 1?  Ok, But For What Keywords? This is a big one! It can be fairly easy to get a website to rank for an obscure, hardly searched keyword phrase. So, many SEO people will advertise guarantees to get you to page one of the search results. There is no way to guarantee search engine positioning, and any company that claims a guarantee, you need to be sure you ask for what keywords, what search engine and for how long.
    5. Am I Under Contract & What Happens When/If We Part Ways?Many SEO services firms have established long-term relationships with their clients and are confident enough in their services that they are happy to either not work within a locked-in contract or can easily explain the process that takes place once you leave. Ultimately, there are various reasons why a business may need to cancel their SEO services. Best practices are for the business to retain their content, access to their website (if with the same company) and all logins/passwords for accounts.When it comes time to interview for an SEO services firm, make sure you have these questions, and the answers you’d like to hear handy. You can then base your selection standards on your needs to select an agency that is most likely to achieve tangible results. 

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

How To Incorporate SEO Into Your Web Design

SEO Web design is the partnership of web design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is a philosophy that includes the user and lead generation within the web design and planning process. It is a way of thinking whereby SEO comes first, rather than as a post-launch activity.

Generally, many web designers outline SEO as one of their services and their process of SEO is post-planning and post-build. For some, it means an install of an SEO plugin so meta tags and titles can be optimized and content reviewed. For others it means general keyword research and content edits.

SEO Web Design from reputable SEO Web Design Agencies is a different approach altogether.

  1. It Starts With The Planning – SEO moves beyond keywords and content and incorporates planning for user experience, lead generation, site speed, user paths, targets and goals. During the planning phase, we work with you to determine your services and products, your target user and the best way for them to interact with your website.
  2. Keyword Research – During the planning phase, we undertake exhaustive keyword research. What we uncover in the research process helps lead the way for key site planning decisions.
  3. Competition Research – It’s important to know what the competition is doing in order to best plan how to compete best in the marketplace.
  4. Site Architecture – Our SEO and web development teams work together to outline a site map that acts as a plan for your website pages. The keyword research, competition research, the user and your goals help outline what the best navigation, page names and content for your website will be.
  5. The Build – There are a variety of ways to build a website, but for a website to perform well in search engines, there needs to be an SEO approach to the build. Search engines, such as Google, outline best practices that, when followed, set your website up for success. Things such as user experience, site speed, tags, hosting location and navigation all contribute to overall SEO Success and need to be considered during the build process.
  6. Content – Website content should reflect your business and what your target visitor is looking for.  Content should be more than simply a reiteration of your brochure. By taking an SEO approach to content creation, your content is written specifically for the user and then optimized for the search engines.
  7. Ongoing Analytics & Reporting – SEO Web Design does not end once a website launches, in fact, launch is basically the beginning. SEO professionals love to dig into site analytics to see what is performing well and what may need a revision. User queries and intention can change which is why monitoring analytics, search engine results and leads is an important aspect of the SEO process.
  8. Maintenance – A variety of tweaks, both programmatically and within content, will be made on an ongoing basis.

Our best results come from web design builds that were done with SEO strategy at the forefront. While sometimes, in a non-competitive market, SEO can be added post-build, best practices and the best opportunity for success come from a true SEO web design.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

10 Tips To Increase Conversion Rates on Your Sales Page

If you build it they will come… or will they? When it comes to websites and online marketing, you have to do more than put content on a website to attract visitors to your website. Then, when you do finally get them there, you have to offer them the valuable information they are craving.

 

But, there’s more to it. After all, most businesses are trying to grow their business, sales revenues or mailing lists. That’s where conversions come in. If you want to convert more visitors on your sales page, you need to reel them in. A well-designed, well-marketed sales page is key.

 

  1. Ensure Your Offer Is Right For Your Audience
  2. Use Testimonials To Build Trust
  3. Do A/B Testing
  4. Ensure Your Page Design is Optimized For The Right Visitor (hint: a clean, fast-loading, easy-to-read and navigate page is optimal)
  5. Ensure Your Content is Scannable
  6. Choose The Right Images
  7. Have a Variety of Content Options (some people like to read, some like to listen, some like to watch and some like to scan)
  8. Optimize Your Form For Ease
  9. Try Different Call To Action Buttons As Visitors Go Down The Page
  10. Lose The Navigation

 

In other words, keep it simple and focus on the ease of use. Lead the visitors through a journey that entices them to buy or fill out the form. Use these tips and you should expect an increase in your conversion rate.

5 Online Marketing Trends in 2018

Online marketing has opened up marketing avenues for businesses. Every year new technologies appear making it easier for companies to target and market to their potential customers. The Internet has changed the face of how a business communicates, tells its brand story and obtains new business. From the tried and true SEO and Email marketing to AI and PPC, is your business keeping up?

 

Top 5 Online Marketing Trends in 2018

 

  1. AI – Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots – Chatbots aren’t new in the world of digital marketing; however big improvements have been made. In 2018 more and more businesses jumped on board the chatbot bandwagon. Generally, most brands are using AI for customer service.
  2. Stories – Storytelling took on a new form in 2018. Social Media ‘stories’ grew in popularity. Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube all have their own version of stories, generally designed for a user to share moments of their day. Because stories generally disappear after a certain amount of time, stories play on our ‘fear of missing out’.  FOMO means that followers, fans and consumers will be eager to consume your content before it goes away.
  3. Video – Video is a fantastic tool in your online marketing tool belt? Why? People love videos. It’s an easy way for people to consume information. This increased engagement in your content can work wonders for your SEO and marketing campaigns.
  4. Voice Search – People still head to search engines such as Google to find products, services and information. Now, with more and more homes getting ‘smart-assist’ devices, along with Bluetooth enabled devices, voice queries are a growing trend. Ensuring your website is found how people are searching was a key trend in 2018 that will continue to grow next year.
  5. Personalization – It might seem a bit creepy, but brands and businesses have the ability to monitor your digital footprint through your cookies. When a brand can leverage this data to provide you with personalized content (whether in an ad, email or website content) you are more likely to convert. It’s like when those shoes you’ve been coveting online suddenly start following you around the Internet. Or, when you spent some time on a website devouring a piece of content and next time you visit they serve you something similar.

 

As we head into 2019, one thing remains clear. Good content that provides visitors with what they’re looking for is key. This helps with search engine positioning, digital marketing and social media. When you can layer your efforts and cover the digital landscape your brand is poised for success.

Keyword Ranking Fluctuations

We always caution our clients that SEO is a long-term affair and to not get caught up in the short term results. Part of this reasoning is because of the layered approach of a well-executed SEO campaign, but also because right out of the gate, a website’s positioning in the search engines is expected to fluctuate.

Once a search engine finds out about your new website, it will begin the spidering process. As this occurs, it will test drop you in a variety of search positions. Google even has people who help index by hand, meaning, they take a look at your website and the search query to determine relevancy.

In addition, it can take some time for search engines to spider every piece of content on your website. Every time you add new content, the search engines are triggered to begin to rank it. Good content can help boost that piece, but also the entire site whereas bad content can do the reverse.

When it comes to new content and websites, Google cautions to expect rankings to fluctuate and even jump on and off the rankings altogether until the search engine can best ascertain where the website should naturally fit for that result.

It pays to be patient and have a professional monitor this fluctuation. They know what’s normal and when it might be a sign to investigate more thoroughly.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

The Importance of Having A Steady SEO Campaign In Order To Build Rankings Over Time

A well-performing SEO strategy is built over time. SEO is a layered effect and can sometimes be a little game of “what came first, the chicken or the egg”.  That’s because many of the algorithms that a search engine uses in their rankings are based on so many different factors that work together.

For instance, what is your website’s user relevancy for the query? You might find that more competitive keywords are harder to achieve top rankings for; however, as you work on less competitive keywords the results for your other keywords improve as well.  This is because you’re updating your content, increasing your website traffic and generally putting in SEO efforts that contribute to the overall plan of attack.

SEO professionals and firms will have a phased approach for SEO. They will have top keyword phrase and their goals to achieve better rankings. They will also have secondary keywords and long-tail search queries that can build up to a lot of targeted, relevant traffic.

This phased, layered approach takes a steady delivery and ongoing efforts to achieve success.

SEO is not a one-shot kick at the can. In fact, the most successful SEO campaigns are the result of months or years of ongoing, steady effort all properly planned and executed in a systematic manner.

 

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

WordPress Theme Vs Custom Design

There are so many platforms to build a website in, and undoubtedly, WordPress is one of the most popular. For many businesses, this is a popular choice because it allows them the ability to have a website within a popular CMS platform. Plus, when using a theme or a template, a professional looking website can be created at a fairly reasonable price point.

 

The Pitfalls of a WordPress Theme

WordPress themes and templates are designed for ease of use; however, sometimes the very things that make them easy, make them difficult moving forward. When your website is built within a theme or a template, you are locked into the features and attributes of that theme and it can be hard to do customizations.

WordPress is home to a variety of plugins that make it easy to have complex features on a website. Unfortunately, many of these plugins can bloat or weight down your site which can result in decreased performance and speed.

 

The Pitfalls of Custom Design

Sometimes, custom website design can be cost prohibitive when compared with a template or theme design. It can also take longer to build.

Generally, if you’re aiming for a good return on investment, lead generation and top SEO results you will either want a custom design or a hybrid of custom design and WordPress theme. WordPress is highly customizable and top, experienced developers and programmers can create amazing features and designs with quality code that will not weigh down your website.

For more information on web design, contact us today.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

Advantages of Mobile Marketing

For many businesses, their advertising measures have moved beyond traditional offline and online avenues to mobile marketing strategies. With so many people on their mobiles and tablets for so much of the day, mobile marketing allows businesses the opportunity to reach people with incentives, offers and messages wherever they’re at, in real time.

5 Advantages of Mobile Marketing

  1. You Reach Them in Real Time – most people are within reach of their mobile device at any given time. That means your mobile marketing efforts will reach them with barely a delay.
  2. Improved Data Management & Targeting – Targeting on a website relies heavily on cookies and IP information, both of which can change or be re-routed or dynamically assigned. Mobile marketing relies on mobile phone numbers which are individual to the user.
  3. Location Awareness – Mobile marketing firms can use location awareness to target people with offers, messages and incentives when they’re most likely to act because they are nearby that place of business.
  4. Fast & Direct – Text messages are generally concise and direct which can be of benefit in the world of advertising.
  5. Easy to Track – Mobile advertising is very easy to track which can help in your efforts to ensure accurate targeting and messaging.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.

 

Lead Fluctuation

A good SEO strategy encompasses more than simply ranking for the best keywords. After all, a website can be more than simply a tool for information, it can be used to convert traffic into leads.

What is Lead Generation?

When it comes to your website, what do you want to measure? If a business has an e-commerce platform, its ideal leads are orders through their shopping cart. For businesses that do not sell products online, they generally count a lead as a contact, whether that comes in the way of a form fill-out, a newsletter sign-up, an email, a phone call or a business visit.

At 1st On The List, we know that the majority of a website’s good leads come from organic search traffic. The process of ‘SEO’ allows us to find out what people are searching for online that relates to your products or services, lead them to your website, entice them with good content and then convert them to a lead.

Our SEO is backed by a tried-and-true process that includes extensive and regular keyword research, content that helps people with what they’re looking for, and clear calls to action.

How Many Leads Should I Expect to Receive?

Well, the answer to this varies depending on your industry, the volume of searches and your target audience. In fact, it can often take a website visitor three or four visits before they fill in a form, contact you or sign up for your email newsletter. In addition, they often visit a few other websites as well.

In order for a person to ‘give up’ their contact info, they expect something in return. In most cases, a healthy dose of industry advice and content is a good start.

Why Do My Leads Fluctuate?

So, let’s say you’re getting a lead a day for a couple of weeks and then all goes silent again. You might jump to the conclusion that your website is broken or that you’ve fallen off the search results. But more often than note, leads fluctuate because of something entirely different.

Conversions are dependent on customer intentions. If a website has a relatively low traffic volume, they are very susceptible to lead fluctuation based on a website visitor’s intentions.

Time of the day, week or year. Some businesses see a typical cycle of lead generation. For some they will notice most conversions happen at night or in the morning, or at noon while people are on their lunch breaks. Others might notice they get nothing on Wednesdays. And others find certain months, time of the month or even times of the year will generate more conversions than others.

Here’s What You Need To Know

Our team regularly audits your conversions, your website tracking and functions and your rankings in the search results. Drops in conversions are rarely due to website function or ‘SEO’. In fact, almost 100% of the time, it’s due to the visitor and their intention.

Often, when we notice conversions have gone quiet for a period of time, it picks right back up a few days or weeks later. Once again, this is because not all visitors will ‘buy’ on their first or second visit. In fact, if you open up your conversion window to a wider timeframe, you may even notice an increase in visits, rather than the decrease you’ve noticed in the short term.

Getting a predictable flow of new business online can be challenging, especially for some businesses and industries. The best source of new business does come from organic search results, which means an SEO plan is the ideal way to ensure steady, targeted traffic to your website.

About 1st on the List

Located just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1st on the List is a boutique SEO Company that has been offering search engine optimization, pay per click, and SEO web design services since 1997.

To learn more about our services, please call us Toll Free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email.