411 Blog

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO


Work with a 411 Web Specialist to improve your website

Optimizing your website for search engines can lead to more web traffic, brand visibility, and ultimately the amount of revenue you’ll get. But before you get started, you need to understand the different types of results, and how SEO can help.

Paid Versus Organic Search Engine Ranking

When you type something into a search engine like Google, there are two sections of results: the paid ads at the very top, followed by the ‘organic’ or unpaid results.

To come up in a Google Search, the most efficient way is to sign up for Google Adwords. This is a paid online advertising service that creates ads in Google searches. However, you can also improve your search ranking organically. If you’ve read our digital marketing glossary you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing discipline used to increase your visibility in unpaid or organic search engine results.

How to Increase Organic Search Ranking

There are several things you can do to help your website get indexed by Google and show up in searches. Below are four organic ranking factors:

1. The number of websites linking to your site

Include a link to your website on:

  • Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and YouTube
  • Listings and other websites in your field, like 411.ca, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, etc. You should also ask your customers to review your business on these platforms. The more positive reviews your business has, the more likely people will be willing to click on your site, increasing your traffic.

Take the time to create a Google My Business profile – it will increase your chances of appearing in search results.


2. Relevance of content

The more keywords about your product/services and business you put into your website and other online platforms, the better. You should also include the city/region your business is located in or serves, because people will typically include an area when searching. The most important thing to remember is to use keywords naturally. Write with people in mind first, and search engines will take notice.

If you have a 411 website, your Web Specialist will work with you to optimize the keywords on your website.

3. Frequent updates

If a website is updated quite frequently, you show Google that you are active. Start with the basics like making sure your contact info and pricing are always up to date. Make sure the information matches what is on all your online platforms (Google +, Facebook, 411.ca…) Then, try adding extras like promotions you’re offering or photos on a frequent basis.

4. Popularity

This essentially means the amount of traffic to your website. Feel free to encourage people around you and in social media to visit your website. This is another reason why it’s important to add your website to your social media profiles, because it will help to generate more traffic to your website.

The most important thing to remember is that improving organic search results won’t happen overnight–it takes anywhere from 60-90 days to be indexed naturally by Google. But, these organic SEO techniques will help you improve your ranking over time, so more customers can find you when they’re looking for a business like yours.

Work with a 411 Web Specialist to improve your website

Laura has a B.A. in Honours Communications Studies from McMaster University and is currently enrolled in Humber’s Public Relations Postgraduate program. She is passionate about writing and local business, so this blog is the perfect combination of the two.