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“SEO is vital to businesses for several reasons. First, SEO didn’t even exist until the early 1990s, when the internet first went live. With only a few websites available at that time and little need to compete for consumers’ attention, visibility wasn’t much of an issue. In addition, search engines didn’t have many regulations regarding what they expected from websites.
Sites have essentially become the be-all and end-all for today’s businesses. More than 90 percent of user experiences now begin online, so being visible to the public depends on companies’ websites. But, of course, simply having a website is only one small piece of the puzzle. Your website has to be optimized for that end goal to appear in consumers’ search engine results pages. That’s where search engine optimization comes into play. Who needs SEO in Calgary?“
SEO is vital to businesses for several reasons. Until the early 1990s, when the internet first went live, SEO didn’t even exist. With only a few websites available at that time and little need to compete for consumers’ attention, visibility wasn’t much of an issue. Search engines didn’t have many regulations regarding what they expected from websites, either.
Websites have essentially become the be-all and end-all for today’s businesses. More than 90 percent of user experiences now begin online, so being visible to the public depends on companies’ websites. But, of course, simply having a website is only one small piece of the puzzle. Your website has to be optimized for that end goal to appear in consumers’ search engine results pages. That’s where search engine optimization comes into play.
Today, though, there are more than 1.86 billion websites. That means surpassing your competitors and proving to prospects that you’re the right business for them isn’t as easy as it was 30 years ago. It’s only going to get more difficult moving forward.
On top of that, search engines are a great deal more demanding than they were in the past. They now have far-reaching expectations from websites and complex algorithms, like web vitals that help you provide essential metrics for healthy websites and help determine which sites are worthy of being recommended to the public.
Organic search results are those that are generated through the content on your website and other online outlets. They come from using the right keywords in your content, offering relevant information to users’ searches, having compelling meta descriptions for your web pages, and many other factors included within the SEO umbrella.
When search engines see all those elements in place, they’ll decide your website is essential and valuable to users, so they’ll put it atop the search engine results pages, or SERPS, that they generate for their users.
As it turns out, at least 75 percent of internet users opt for those organic search results rather than paid ads. Any company can pay to have their ads pop up in users’ searches, but those that show up because of organic relevance are the ones consumers want to see.
With the right SEO elements in place, the search engines will see your website and recognize your relevance to users’ searches. From there, they’ll place you at the top of those search engine results pages. Having said that, visibility is only one aspect to consider.
Once your website appears at the tops of the SERPs for searches that pertain to the products and services you offer, users are more likely to click on your website. Getting your foot in the door is crucial, but it’s only the beginning. Keeping them there so they’ll dig deeper into your company is also critical. That means ramping up the user experience.
We’ve all ended up on websites that provided little useful information. No doubt, everyone finds themselves on sites that don’t work properly or take them around in ridiculous circles when they click on various links as well.
What do we do when we find websites like those? We leave and find another company to do business with. Improving visitors’ experiences on your website through SEO will help prevent that from happening. You’ll be the one they go to instead of the one they leave in favor of other businesses.
Ultimately, your goal for bringing consumers to your website is converting them to not only paying customers but repeat business. If your SEO strategy gives rise to a site that offers useful information, gives visitors what they’re looking for, and encourages them to stay on your website long enough to learn more, you’ll be in a position to make those conversions.
Still, the transition to paying customers doesn’t necessarily happen right away. It takes several steps along the way. These include piquing visitors’ interest, prompting them to sign up for newsletters or other resources, and drawing them further into your sales funnel. Eventually, though, they’ll take the plunge and make the purchase. Every facet of SEO is geared toward fostering the end goal.
When a person enters a query into a search engine, the search engine generates a list of SERPs based on the users’ search terms. So, for example, when you type “plumber near me” into Google or one of its counterparts, the search engine scours the internet looking for websites that seem relevant to plumbing and coincide with your location based on its countless intricate algorithms. In turn, it’ll give you a list of websites that claim to offer plumbing services in or near your area.
At the top of the list, you’ll see a handful of ads from companies that paid to be there. Below those, you’ll see several websites that appeared due to organic search results, which many consumers are interested in. So chances are you’ll scroll past the paid results and focus on the organic ones.
Some of those websites may not really be relevant in the grand scheme of things, but their SEO made it seem as though they were. They may simply be selling plumbing tools or parts or offering classes for people who are interested in earning their plumbing certifications.
Others actually are relevant to your search, and their SEO proved it. They’re legitimate plumbing companies that provide services for homeowners and businesses in your general vicinity. From there, you’ll examine those websites to figure out which one you’ll hire to fix your plumbing issues.
You’ll most likely choose a company whose website doesn’t take forever to load, provides in-depth information about plumbing problems via its website, and gives you a clearly visible link to its contact page that actually takes you directly to the right location rather than freezing or giving you an error message.
How Google Search works
Now that we’ve covered the basic purpose of SEO and a few of the reasons your company needs it, we can dig a bit deeper into the situation. At this point, we’ll go over some of the ways in which SEO helps companies reach their end goals of making conversions. It’s a complex field with many twists and turns.
Numerous elements are involved in a successful SEO strategy. In a nutshell, though, they all come together to make sure your website and other online outlets are visible and work as they should. This entails meeting all of the search engines’ expectations, complying with their algorithms, and simultaneously dovetailing with what visitors want.
No matter what types of products or services you offer, you want your website to be like the one you would choose for your own needs. It needs to be the one other consumers would choose over the rest. Our SEO services can help ensure it is. Three primary categories of SEO make all that happen.
Technical SEO encompasses all the underlying factors that make your website work correctly and improve its visibility to the search engines as well as human users. Prospects and visitors won’t see your technical SEO directly, but they’ll certainly see its results. In fact, without effective technical SEO, the search engines may not even include your website in its search results for users. Some vital aspects of technical SEO are:
Image alt attributes apply text to your visual content.
Schema markup helps search engines to see what’s on your website more clearly, so they’ll better understand how relevant it is to users’ searches.
URL structures tell search engines about the information on your web pages and how the pages of your site apply to each other.
Sitemaps allow search engines to crawl and index your web pages, so they can make them visible to users for relevant search queries.
Canonical tags differentiate your web pages from others that might have similar content. This helps prevent your website from getting flagged for duplicate content by the search engines. Duplicate content could hamper your search engine rankings or even get your website shut down.
These pages can be frustrating when visiting a website, but they’re also essential for letting visitors know they’re trying to access a page that doesn’t exist. Though they’re necessary, it’s important to keep 404 web pages caused by broken links and other functionality issues at a minimum.
Redirects help keep visitors routed to the right locations on your website. This is especially important when changing website domains or implementing new web pages.
Mobile now accounts for more than half of users’ online searches, so mobile functionality is crucial. Technical SEO helps ensure your mobile sites work the way they should.
These are only a few of the technical SEO factors that are essential for businesses’ websites. This portion of the SEO field can make or break your website’s ranking no matter how much you focus on on-page and off-page elements. They directly affect your website’s indexability, visibility, and usability.
Try using this tool, to check for best practices to ensure your site is discoverable.
As the name indicates, on-page SEO includes everything on the various pages of your website. It makes your website more relevant and useful as far as the search engines are concerned. At the same time, it helps give visitors a more positive experience when they visit your site. Some of the most important elements of on-page SEO include:
Search engines look for written content on websites because it provides useful information and includes those all-important keywords that make it relevant to users’ searches. Human visitors often seek out written content to help them learn more about your company, its services, and your industry in general.
Pictures and videos are also helpful to visitors. They can provide a bounty of information and allow visitors to learn what they want to know without having to read to do so. Some people prefer to read, but others would rather listen or look at pictures. Visual content gives those in the latter category a suitable alternative. It also highlights inventory for companies that are selling products.
Internal links are those that connect your individual web pages to one another. For example, you may have a link from your “click here to schedule an appointment” call to action to your “contact us” page. Those links affect how search engines determine your relevance to users’ searches and impact the overall user experience for those who visit your website.
HTML tags define what your website looks like and how it works. They’re used to determine different fonts, paragraph beginnings and endings, video and picture placement, and numerous other aspects.
URL strings basically help determine how well your website will work, aid in storing information, and provide tracking capabilities among other helpful factors.
All these aspects go a long way toward building your website’s credibility and functionality. They work together to prove your website’s relevance in the eyes of search engines and human users. They also help ensure your site works the way it’s supposed to.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, covers everything related to your website but not actually located within it. These could include your social media sites, links to and from other websites, and even mentions of your company on other websites.
It’s important to ensure links to your website from other sources and from your site to outside sources work properly. Those links should also connect your company with authoritative websites to help build its credibility rather than detracting from it. Both of those aspects and others in the off-page SEO realm will affect your ranking in the SERPs.
SEO is a broad field with several subdivisions. Local SEO is one of the most important. This is particularly true for businesses that rely on customers in a specific area to stay afloat. Whether your business operates out of a single brick-and-mortar locale or has numerous branches across the country, local SEO is the factor that will help bring in nearby prospects and customers.
General SEO makes your business more visible to internet users who, as fate would have it, are prospects and customers. Local SEO takes matters a few steps further to promote your company to people in and around your service area. It helps bring local customers into your actual storefronts. It can also bolster your business among online shoppers who prefer to give their business to local companies.
Google points out that at least half of consumers seek out local businesses during mobile searches. More than a third of internet users look for local businesses when conducting searches via their stationary devices. A significant portion of online searches for local businesses lead to in-house purchases.
Local SEO significantly increases user engagement, improves brand recognition, and brings in new business. In turn, those customers will tell other local prospects about your company and pique their interest. If you’re not using local SEO, you could be missing out on a great deal of business.
Certain other SEO-related elements should be kept in mind during your efforts to improve visibility and bring in more traffic to your website. While one of the main points of SEO is to attract visitors to your site, that’s only the beginning of their journeys with your company. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the next step, and SEO can help foster that as well.
Bounce rate is the number of people who visit your website but quickly leave after the fact. When search engines see that people are visiting your website, it’ll increase your search ranking. If you have a high bounce rate, though, it’ll have the opposite effect no matter how many people are clicking on your site.
Search engines also look at session times, or the amounts of time people spend on your website, to help determine where you’ll rank in the SERPs. Certain facets of SEO and website design are aimed at increasing session times. As such, they help keep people on your website longer and increase the likelihood of making conversions.
Website design is a major component in attracting visitors and keeping them on your website long enough to not only make a conversion but make a positive impression on the search engines. That means having eye-catching web pages with plenty of color, varying fonts, and other dynamics.
It’s also important to combine written and visual content to give visitors multiple sources of information. Doing so allows them to choose which ones they want to take advantage of. If you only offer either written or visual content, you’re only catering to half your target audience.
Of course, having colorful designs and other elements in place doesn’t mean much if search engines don’t know it’s there. Because of that, incorporating metadata and the other aspects of technical SEO we’ve mentioned is vital. Those elements tell search engines what they need to know to decide if your website is relevant.
Websites with all the right technical SEO elements in place are more visible to prospects, so they’re more likely to attract visitors. From there, dynamic website designs with multiple forms of content hold visitors’ attention for much longer than boring, lifeless ones with little information to offer. Using SEO to ensure your site is easy to navigate is also essential to holding visitors’ interest.
We’ve already mentioned that written and visual content are important for websites from the human perspective. They provide ample opportunities for using keywords that show the search engines how relevant your website is to users’ searches as well. Still, it’s important to use those keywords in the right ways to promote your website.
Content should have plenty of helpful information rather than simply being filled with fluff, or useless text, to surround those keywords. You need to provide pertinent details that will help visitors learn more about the topics they’re searching for and answer their questions. Fluffy content is a bit like chicken noodle soup without the chicken or noodles. You might buy it once, but when you figure out it has little to offer, you’ll switch to another brand.
Your content also needs to be broken into smaller sections with plenty of relevant headings. This allows readers to easily scan it to find specific information. They don’t always want to read through endless information to find the answer to a single question.
Cannibalization has become a major problem among websites. That’s the practice of targeting the same keywords on different pages of a website. Cannibalization may seem like the perfect way to rank for an array of keywords and draw in prospects with a wide range of interests, but it’s actually counterproductive.
No doubt, your company wants to rank for several keywords within your field. It’s certainly possible to do that, but cannibalization isn’t the way to go about it. It’s best to dedicate individual pages to each of the keywords you want to rank for.
Combining technical and on-page SEO will greatly improve your search engine rankings from an initial standpoint. Having an attractive, user-friendly website design that works well and offers plenty of helpful information for visitors will keep people on your website for longer.
The longer they stay, the more likely they are to convert. Having more people stay on your website for extended periods of time further boosts your ranking as far as the search engines are concerned, and the cycle continues. Off-page SEO also does its part to improve your credibility, visibility, and ranking.
SEO is a highly effective, long-lasting approach to improving search engine visibility, drawing in website visitors, and making conversions. As your SEO strategy continues to prove your relevance and credibility to search engines and visitors, it’ll go even further to keep you at the top of consumers’ SERPs. It’s an ongoing cycle that provides numerous benefits for your business.
Organic search results driven by SEO generate eight times more clicks than paid advertising, and 90 percent of marketers insist that SEO has helped them bring in more business. That being said, reaping the full benefits of SEO requires an expert touch.
Code Web is your local Calgary SEO specialist. Our team provides the full range of website design and SEO services to ensure you’re able to make the most of your online marketing strategy. You can trust us to get your company into the online spotlight and help ensure visitors remain on your website long enough to become loyal paying customers. So give us a call to schedule a consultation and learn more about what we have to offer. You can learn about our Calgary SEO prices by clicking this link.
Also, you can click here to read more about our SEO methodologies.
Sometimes, even traditional local SEO techniques won’t help small business owners compete with the franchises and multinational chains that are starting to edge in on Calgary’s mom-and-pop business scene. You shouldn’t just give up. Using hyperlocal SEO techniques can help to drive traffic to your website even if it means outcompeting larger competitors.
Hyperlocal SEO is the most granular form of geographical targeting. It allows you to target customers not just in the same city but down to the neighborhood, or even a block of the neighborhood. If you own a local business, it’s a smart move to practice this kind of micro-level optimization.
Hyperlocal SEO works because it targets more geographically specific and less competitive keywords. If you wanted to draw in customers to a new retail store in Eau Claire, for example, you could try targeting broader keywords such as “shopping in Calgary,” but there are a lot of other, larger companies doing the same. Aiming for less competitive keywords like “stores in Eau Claire” makes far more sense since there will be less competition.
Hyperlocal SEO isn’t usually worth the effort for large companies with multiple locations. That’s part of why it’s so effective for smaller, mom-and-pop businesses. You might want to give hyperlocal SEO techniques a shot if you own a store, restaurant, mechanic shop, or even a barbershop that primarily serves a particular neighborhood.
It’s relevant to note here that hyperlocal SEO is different from local SEO. While local SEO services target cities or general metropolitan areas, hyperlocal SEO techniques are focused on micro-segments of those same places.
Now that you know what hyperlocal SEO is and why it works, let’s delve into how it works. Some of the techniques used in hyperlocal SEO are similar to local SEO strategies, but remember, while the latter focuses on broad geographical targeting, the former aims to attract customers from the neighborhood, block, or even street. Effective hyperlocal SEO techniques can include:
Creating mobile-friendly content is not the exclusive purview of hyperlocal SEO. It’s a crucial step for any business owner given that a majority of Internet users now access Google using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices rather than laptops or desktop computers. That said, keeping things mobile-friendly is especially important when it comes to hyperlocal SEO.
The reason it’s so important is that people are turning to their mobile devices to meet their needs in increasingly large numbers. Whether that means finding a local grocery store or booking an appointment at a nearby spa, it requires access to a mobile-friendly website. Because Google has designed its algorithm to prioritize the pages that seem the most helpful and relevant, the ones that offer a greater level of usability are more likely to rank first.
You've probably noticed by now that keywords are important to any kind of SEO strategy. In this case, finding the right keywords to target means restricting yourself to a much more limited area. Longtail keywords will still include the same variations on the general ones used by all businesses in the same industry, but you should also include references to:
The easiest way to tell if a keyword makes sense is to think about how you would search for a local establishment. If you were out visiting a friend in a new city, you wouldn't search for all of the restaurants in the entire metropolitan area. You would query restaurants in the same neighborhood, or even on the same street.
Similarly, if a family of tourists was visiting Calgary on vacation, chances are the person responsible for choosing where to eat wouldn't be trying to traipse all the way across town. He or she would search for "restaurants near Bow Tower," to give a straightforward example. You can accommodate those visitors by using hyperlocal SEO keywords.
Google My Business (GMB) is an incredibly helpful tool for both local and hyperlocal SEO. Optimizing your GMB account can dramatically increase search visibility and maximize the number of walk-ins you see from those searches.
Local SEO experts will tell you to check your GMB account for accuracy and keep it up to date. When it comes to hyperlocal SEO, you'll want to take things a bit further. Try adding granular location details to your profile. Anywhere that you can input descriptions, be sure to mention the business's street address, neighborhood, or nearby landmarks to rank higher in hyperlocal results.
Google's search engine algorithm will also take into account how far a brick-and-mortar business is from the user when suggesting hyperlocal results. What that means for you is that it may be necessary to create multiple GMB accounts and associated landing pages for businesses with more than one location.
There are neighbourhood associations for just about every different part of Calgary. If you want to take hyperlocal SEO to the next level, start reaching out to them and asking about how to get listed in niche-specific or community-specific directories. Getting backlinks from local community organizations' websites will signal to Google that your business is legitimate and help it rank higher in response to hyperlocal queries.
If you own a local business, you should be taking advantage of hyperlocal SEO techniques. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the basics. It’s still important to create high-quality content, build a backlink profile, optimize landing pages, and pay attention to technical SEO factors.
There are always practical reasons to shop local, not just in person but also for online services.
Working with local Calgary internet marketing experts is even more significant when implementing a hyperlocal SEO strategy.
These techniques require an intimate knowledge of the city and its many vibrant neighbourhoods.
Be sure to work with someone who knows them personally.
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