1st on the List Named Among Top SEO Firms in Canada in 2017

clutch-top-seo-firms-canada-2017-badgeClutch, a research firm located in Washington, D.C., just announced their list of leading SEO firms in Canada for 2017, and 1st on the List is at the top of the Service Focus list when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

We’re proud to have been awarded this prestigious position in Clutch’s top 10 list and continue to work diligently to improve our services while maintaining this industry-leading status.

Clutch Award Methodology

The methodology which Clutch uses is based on a company’s ability to provide proven deliverables reliably with high-quality results. Using both quantitative and qualitative parameters, Clutch assesses companies during a very thorough research process which includes speaking directly with a company’s past and present customers.

Clutch then analyzes this first-hand information along with other facets of their inquiry processes. These include a company’s market presence, industry experience, and capability for providing client results.

This rigorous vetting procedure provides potential buyers with a reliable, representational overview of SEO as a whole in Canada. Effectiveness as well as weaknesses of each characteristic related to the organizations. Clutch reviews are also exposed.

market-focus-SEO

Clutch Award Competitiveness in Canada

SEO in Canada is an extremely competitive business sector. Clutch awards in this sphere are highly sought after and coveted.

Year after year 1st on the List enhances and maintains a direct focus on what we feel to be most important to clients. The consistent, undivided attention to Search Engine Optimization is what makes us the premiere company in this market segment.

Relying on the experience acquired from 20+ years of developing SEO strategies, 1st on the List is clearly well-positioned to provide clients with the optimal SEO results they seek.

The Importance of Clutch Award Results

If you expect to have an online presence attracting site visitors and viewership, SEO is your number 1 priority. Clutch understands the importance of SEO development as it applies organizational growth. For this reason, they feature it as one of the most important categories of the 4 which Clutch scrutinizes.

The Top SEO Companies in Canada list presented yearly by Clutch provides empirical evidence for businesses and organizations evaluating prospective SEO advisement. Those who are seeking to make informed decisions about consulting with a Search Engine Optimization company regarding their SEO strategies have come to rely on these lists.

Power of Testimonials for Clutch Awards

Because Clutch speaks intimately with current and prior 1st on the List clients, their reviews cover the scope of our business past and present. Companies could not perform these types of evaluations on their own.

The power of Clutch Award results provides crucial appraisals for companies and better awareness of their market position. This enriches SEO for everyone, not just the customer.

We’re proud to have been a recipient during this year’s awards!

Read the Official Clutch Announcement: 
https://clutch.co/press-releases/announces-leading-seo-firms-canada

Visit our profile on Clutch:
https://clutch.co/profile/1st-list-promotion 

1st on the List is First on Clutch

clutch-badgeHighest Rated Canadian SEO Firm on Clutch!

At 1st on the List, we understand how crucial it is to be number one when people are searching for your company. It’s why we have staff members with over a decade of SEO experience meeting our clients’ needs and answering their SEO questions. When clients work with us, their websites’ SEO receives our undivided attention.

You may not realize that “SEO” for companies in the SEO industry is very competitive. Varying levels of SEO is offered by virtually every web developer and marketing firm. This requires us to think creatively and market ourselves strategically. Just like our clients, we need to set ourselves apart from the competition.

That’s why when Clutch, a research firm based out of Washington, D.C., approached us about their new platform that could make us even more visible to potential clients we jumped at the opportunity.

After doing our research we found that they are a leader in digital marketing industries such as advertising and marketing, web and software development, mobile app development and IT consulting. Clutch doesn’t take shortcuts with their online directory listings and research, so we knew that we could potentially receive the visibility required to help connect us with potential clients.

Since we’ve joined Clutch, we have experienced quite a bit of success. We are now the highest rated Canadian SEO firm on Clutch. It seems fitting that “1st on the List” is “1st on the List with Clutch”. This goes to show that we’re bringing our clients the best in SEO services and helping them reach their target goals.

Creating a profile on Clutch was a very thorough process. We filled out a detailed questionnaire describing all the services that offer  and the clients and industries we provide solutions to most often.

What sets Clutch apart from other Third Party Directory sites is the client reviews section.

Analysts at Clutch actually reached out to our clients and conducted phone interviews with them to get an unbiased view of what it’s like working with us. This truly gives us an idea of what we’re succeeding in and it also highlights the areas where we can improve. With a 4.8-star rating and positive reviews from our clients on the page, we’re happy with the thorough procedures Clutch has in place!

Here’s what one of our valued clients had to tell the analyst at Clutch during his interview:

“We are very satisfied with their work. Their strategies are well thought out and they provide quality customer service.”

We’re excited to read more reviews as Clutch interviews the rest of our clients. Reading these thoughtful and positive reviews truly inspires us to continue providing great services for our clients. It encourages us to stay innovative so that we remain number one for Canadian SEO firms on Clutch.

As most businesses in all types of industries, we find that client testimonials and referrals are one of the greatest compliments we can receive. We’re excited to see what our partnership with Clutch will bring in the future.

Check out our profile and tell us you thoughts!

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Why Do WordPress Websites Get Hacked?

Uh oh! You’ve just received a Google Webmaster Tool notice saying “Hacking Suspected”:

hacking-suspected-message-google-webmaster-tools

Or perhaps you’re checking out how your website looks in Search Results and you see this small message by your website: This website may be hacked.

This-Site-May-Be-Hacked-Warning-in-SERP

Google adds this warning message to websites it believes a hacker has changed some of the existing pages or added new spam pages to. Google warns visitors that if they visit the site they could be redirected to spam or malware.

Not only is it unsettling to open your website to see spammy text on your site or pages completely changed around or new pages added, but it can be more alarming when Google is the one who tells you!

While you may feel singled out by Google you’re not alone. Just do a search for “WordPress hacking statistics” and you’ll see results such as “30,000 web sites hacked a day” and “73% of WordPress site vulnerable to attack”. This is a very real issue website owners are up against.

A hacked website can not only ruin your own reputation but can also put your visitors at risk if the hacker is using you to access your visitors’ personal details. Additionally, a hacked website can take substantial time and resources to fix and make secure again.

Did you know that we have WordPress security plans to lower your risk of WordPress hacking and provide fast support to fix your website if it ever does get hacked? If you’ve been hacked and just need to fix it contact us today!

How does WordPress hacking occur?

The basic explanation of how WordPress websites get hacked is that an unauthorized person gains access to your website and make changes. They usually hack in through vulnerable and outdated web script or by guessing your username/ password combination.

You may be wondering, But shouldn’t my WordPress website be secure?

You can think of the security end of your WordPress website similar to antivirus software for your computer. You have to constantly update it to keep your computer safe because hackers are always finding new ways to break in.

Why do WordPress hacking attacks occur?

  1. We can’t trust everyone. People can be mean and intentionally try to hurt others. One such way is hacking.
  2. Hackers do it for the thrill. Many hackers seek the thrill and bragging rights of breaking into another person’s website.
  3. There’s plenty of WordPress sites to hack. There are over 6 million WordPress websites out there making it an obvious target for hackers.
  4. Many WordPress sites are not taken care of and vulnerable. Whether naïve of negligent, many WordPress website owners do not know how to properly maintain their website and as a result make it easy for hackers to break in. Remember, hackers take the path of least resistance and hacking a WordPress blog or website that isn’t protected can be very easy.
  5. WordPress hacking information is out there. There are WordPress logs that record every update made in WordPress making it easy for hackers to see new releases and where websites may now be vulnerable. There are also people out there to who benefit from teaching others how to hack into WordPress websites.
  6. Hackers are looking for something to gain. Hackers may want to add links to your website to boost traffic to their own website, which we refer to as spamming. They may be looking to gain access to your accounts or accounts of your visitors, which we refer to as phishing. Other hackers may be looking to set up fake payment collection points on your website to get credit card details or to gain entry to servers that contain credit card details.
  7. Hackers may want to download malware through your site. Hackers will often create a large network of compromised computers and websites that they can use to attack other sites, making it harder for authorities to detect and stop the hacking.
  8. Hackers may use your site for other attacks. As an extension of number 7, hackers may want to use your computer to host malware such as Trojans and viruses rather than on their own servers so that their activity is not traceable.

Tips to protect against WordPress hacking issues

  • Make sure you have a unique username (the most common usernames in WordPress hacking attempts are admin, administrator, test, user, login)
  • Make sure you have a unique password (the most common passwords in WordPress hacking attempts are admin, password, 123456, password, admin123)
  • Limit login attempts
  • Get login notifications if you are worried
  • Make frequent backups so that if you site is hacked you have something to restore.
  • Choose a reliable website hosting provider
  • Keep your software updated and get professional help doing this if you need.

What do you do if there is Hacking Suspected on your website?

If you just received a Hacking Suspected notice or see a “This website may be hacked” label beside your website in Google search contact your web designer or developer immediately.

1st on the List takes website hacking very seriously which is why we take a proactive stance and offer WordPress Security Protection Plans to all our clients. Each month we make sure that your software is as up to date as it can be and run regular backups of your website.

Get protection for your website today by calling 1-888-262-6687 or by filling out our Quote Form and asking for a WordPress Security plan.

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Yellow Pages Halting Delivery in Select Areas

On Monday February 2, 2015 Yellow Pages announced that select neighborhoods across Canada will no longer receive Yellow Pages phone directories on their doorstep.

This comes as a result of both consumers turning to the Internet to find local businesses and contact information as well as Yellow Pages transforming its services into a digital format rather than print.

The phone directories will still be available through distribution points in the areas without home delivery. Residents are also able to request home delivery of a phone book by calling Yellow Pages Distribution Services directly.

Caroline Andres, Vice-President and Chief Publishing Officer of Yellow Pages, is optimistic that its phone directories still have a purpose,

 “The print directory side of our business continues to have a solid user base and to fulfill a specific need for the small businesses that use it to market their goods and services … This evolution of our distribution approach is aligned with the transformation of our company as we look to ensure the directory is making it to those who use it, in an efficient and responsible manner that continues to generate quality leads for our print customers.”

Yahoo! News Canada discussed Yellow Pages’ recent announcement and made the point that home delivery of Yellow Pages directories are only the latest example of once-needed goods becoming obsolete. Other examples included public pay phones, wristwatches, and phone operators.

What are your thoughts? Do you think phone directories are becoming obsolete? Are you one of the businesses that rely on phone directory advertising to attract quality leads as Andres says? When phone directories are no longer delivered to homes across Canada will your business be found online instead?

Where is Your Phone Book?

Upon opening the door to the shared entrance of our office building I noticed a small stack of new phone books sitting at the bottom of the stairs. Scribbled on the post it note are the instructions, “for 2nd floor offices” which shows that these books filled with hundreds of local businesses’ carefully spent advertising dollars weren’t even delivered! They are just sitting in a pile.

Where is your phone book?

Where are your advertising dollar being spent?

Is your business advertised in places your potential customers are actually looking?

pile of phonebooks at bottom of stairs

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In Answer to Your Questions

Recently a business owner emailed us with some good questions about us as he was obviously searching for a new SEO company to hire. We felt we should share these with everyone as these are the types of questions (and more importantly answers) that will help you find an ethical and experienced SEO provider. You can find more information like this on our complete FAQ page as well as our brand new eBook “14 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring an SEO”.

If you still have questions we’d be glad to help! Send us a quick email to contact@1stonthelist.ca.

How will you determine which keywords will be the target of your optimization efforts?

This is a great question. You can check your main keyword now with our Instant Site Evaluator tool. It gives you a quick overview of the URL you provide (usually your home or index page), with an analysis of your keyword ranking, your content, your popularity and technical health. For a full site review, we perform Keyword Research which investigates what your website(s) already has credit for with the Search Engines, what your potential customers are actually searching, search volumes and competitiveness of different search terms, all while considering your target areas and what is achievable within your budget

Will the optimization program include an analysis of site’s design, navigation, coding, content, and incoming links?

All of these items are addressed in our detailed Site Audit. The Audit is the very first thing we do on any SEO project. We believe our thorough analysis (most client’s audit reports are 60+ pages and include a prioritized list of recommendations) allow us to achieve the best results possible for our clients. Many times we can find issues that have gone unidentified by previous SEO companies.

Do you have a link strategy for your site and the ability to promote the site through content on appropriate third-party sites (i.e. article directories, blogs, video, images)?

Backlinks have changed dramatically in the last few years with Google’s strong stance against artificial links. This includes any links you personally pay for or hire an SEO company to build for you. Our approach to help our clients develop unique, useful content that others will naturally link to.

Are your techniques White Hat or Black Hat?

We follow 100% White Hat SEO that you can read more about on our SEO Ethics page. As a side note I don’t think that any shady SEO would actually admit to you that they use “black hat” or questionable techniques.

Can you please provide with some references or samples of successful results in the major search engines?

You can read both our Client Results page and our Client Testimonials page. We will gladly provide some relevant testimonials based on the type of project you are interested in once we have determined what your project needs will be.

Kindly tell us how long have you been in business?

Our company was founded January 1997. Take a read through our Corporate introduction which covers our background in the business and our philosophy.

Kindly tell us the price and the pages and the words optimization?

Each website and SEO campaign has its own specific needs and we develop a custom strategy to help each client meet their goals. Because each site and campaign has its own timeline and focus we gladly provide custom pricing once we have had a chance to discuss your project in more detail. In the meantime, here is an overview of our general pricing.

What is your Google Places strategy?

We highly recommend Google+ Local for locally-based businesses who serve customers within their own city. This said we help all clients by claiming the listing, writing optimized descriptions, coaching the client on how to get more reviews and so on.

What offerings do you have in traffic generation or conversion rate optimization? 

Traffic generation and conversion rate are part of the strategy we build with you. We have several options and a Conversion Optimizer on staff. Once we know more about what you are looking for we can provide more details.

How will you take care of Panda and Penguin Algorithm?

Panda is Google’s algorithm regarding Content on your website. Our optimization services focus on quality, onsite updates including unique and relevant content. Since the last Panda update on May 20 we have seen several of our client’s traffic increase because of how we have helped them build great content.  If you feel you have been penalized because of Panda we can help strategize on how to generate new, unique content for your site.

Penguin is Google’s algorithm regarding Backlinks. Over the years we have avoided link building and focused more on the quality of your own website. As a result our clients have not been affected by Penguin because of linking from our end. If you have a Penguin penalty (you can see a Manual Penalty applied in your Webmaster Tools) we have several different approaches to helping you clean this up, depending on your budget.

What question are you itching to ask?

We are here to help. For the past 17 years we have worked to find the solutions to helping businesses like your find their niche in the online marketplace. Whether you have an existing website that needs updating, a new business just launching into the marketplace, or are reaching out in new directions into social media, we have the team that will help you define your strategy, tweak your content to its optimum potential, or even build your site. You can find many of your answers in the Resources section of our site or just drop us a note at contact@1stonthelist.ca

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wishing all of our clients, acquaintances and colleagues a very wonderful Christmas season with continued prosperity into the New Year. Many of our staff are taking some extra time to spend with friends and family over the week of Christmas. For immediate assistance please leave a message on our Toll Free Line at 1-888-262-6687  and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Celebrating at the Business Excellence Awards

This week our team at the opportunity to attend the Business Excellence Awards put on by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

As mentioned in our previous post were were nominated for Established Business of the Year with 1-19 employees. Although we were not the chosen recipient we had a blast celebrating with other local businesses.

This year The Drum Cafe was the featured entertainment for the evening in addition to dinner and the awards presentation. We were all given djembe drums and followed The Drum Cafe’s lead for learning to drum together.

With countless laughs and some sore hands the next day from drumming so intensely, they certainly made the evening memorable!

1st on the List Group

Chris and Marie

The Drum Cafe take the stage.

Carissa, Robin, Tom and Tony.

Congratulations to all this year’s recipients!

Getting Ready for the Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards

Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business Excellence Awards

Our office is a buzz as we get ready for tomorrow night’s Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards. This year we’ve been nominated for the “Established Small Business of the Year” along with 10 other worthy Abbotsford businesses.

This title will be awarded to a business with 1-19 full time equivalent employees that has been established for more than three years. The recipient demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and performance in key measures of business success. The recipient is a leader in their field of expertise or industry sector. The recipient business shows a substantiated history as an established business while exhibiting sustainable growth over numerous business cycles. The recipient shows a passion for innovation and adopting a process of continuous improvement. An illustration of the creativity and imagination of the recipient business is evident in their public persona. The recipient business responds to adversity with professional grace and uses those events to turn a negative into a positive. The recipient shows a high level of care and concern for the community and has elements of social enterprise in their corporate culture.

Best of luck to all the nominees tomorrow night!

TopSEOs.com Best in Search Award

Yesterday we received a special package from TopSEOs.com here at the office.

We opened the box to discover a trophy for “Consistently Ranked as a Top Performer” in Search Engine Optimization in 2012. It’s nice to receive some recognition for our hardwork.

After quick photo shoot this afternoon the award is now proudly on display in our foyer with some of our other awards.

Top SEOs 2013 Award for Search Engine Optimization