Winnipeg's tried, tested, and true SEO Experts

Winnipeg SEO Experts Fresh Traffic will be in the limelight with our very own SEO Expert throwing out the opening game pitch this Friday at the Winnipeg Goldeyes home game. It’s been a little over 2 years since Jerry came to Winnipeg, and SEO in Winnipeg has changed quite dramatically.

SEO Experts are everywhere suddenly, pay-per-click management companies have cropped up, and web consultants city wide have taken notice of the whirlwind that is Jerry. Enigmatic, eccentric, and charismatic, known in some circles as the Google Optimization Guru, he’s brought Fresh Traffic’s expertise to Winnipeg and Canada’s SEO market. I’ve been working with Jerry for a little over 18 months, and it’s completely changed the way I use the internet. Improperly SEO’d sites stick out like sore thumbs, poorly coded, written and laid out; it’s painful to look at some local, and even global companies who’ve spent thousand’s on what is a “style before substance” website.

Search engine optimization isn’t a fly by night. Search engine marketing isn’t just “the latest” in terms of buzz. Internet marketing whether local in Winnipeg, nationally across Canada, or globally is here, and it’s here to stay. The code will change, the internet will evolve, grow, and adapt..but the fundamentals will remain. The sooner that the old boys realize that, the sooner they’ll realize their pocket books will begin to grow with a perfectly implemented SEO/SEM campaign from Fresh Traffic; Winnipegs tried, tested, and true, SEO Experts.

How to Become an SEO Expert

Search engine optimization (SEO) is more difficult than rocket science. Becoming a Jedi-level SEO master requires years of practice for most mere mortals, and like a Jedi, if one falls out of practice, one’s skills quickly wane.

This is not a static science. Search algorithms change constantly, and as they are carefully protected secrets, one can never know what those designing the search engines are really doing under the hood.

No, it’s not rocket science; A more apt analogy would be trying to reverse engineer a UFO that one can only see from afar, the specs of whose propulsion system constantly change.

Do not kid yourself: Becoming a genuine expert in this field is no easy task. In addition to all the knowledge needed, competition can literally be fierce. Your competitors may even actively sabotage you. One mistake can undo months of hard work.

If working on behalf of a client, you had better be darn sure that you keep your methods above board so that you do not get their site exiled to the far reaches of the Internet where it will never be found.

Meanwhile, some of your competitors will be using very underhanded techniques to try to make that happen. Like I said, it’s hard to reach Jedi level, and once you do, you have to take care to stay on the bright side of the Force.

If you are in business, it is extremely important to choose the right SEO company or employee.

If you want to become the right SEO company or employee, here are a few suggestions on ways to train yourself (and being self-taught is the only way to do this):

1. Build at least five websites and administer them for at least a year. Keep each one separarate from the others, its own little sanitary petri dish not to be sullied.

2. Go about it scientifically. Test hypotheses rigorously until you have a few bona fide theories. Keep good records and track results. Take special note of changes in search engine behavior and the keywords and descriptions that draw your visitors. Connect those changes to your SEO activities.

3. Learn how to identify effective keywords. Despite what you may have heard, this is not as easy as finding words that are both searched for and non-competitive. It’s best to be somewhat intuitive. What keyword combination are potential customers likely to use as opposed to bored or curious web surfers?

4. Use different tools until you find one that works. I have my favorite, but I’m not going to mention it in this article. We all have to have our little secrets.

5. Success before sales. Once you have at least 20 pages to the top for fairly competitive keywords, you can turn prospects into clients.

6. Play your cards somewhat close to your chest. Once you have some success, take a cue from the people who write the search algorithms and keep your exact methods to yourself. Also train and improve continuously so that your skills do not slip.

If you go through that training course, you will become a Jedi-level SEO expert who commands top dollar and deserves every penny.

Here at Fresh we have been doing this for over 10 years, yes the boss is really the master.

Three top organic SEO tips to improve your web page rankings

Three top organic SEO tips to improve your web page rankings in YOUR competitive world!

Organic SEO TIP 1
Ensure that the key phrase you are chasing is in the title, first line of your copy and also the description tag.

SEO Organic Tip Two
It’s important that real life human beings can understand the words on the page and that it is not written just to impress the search engines. You’ll be doing business with real people not computers so address their needs.

Tip 3 to rock your Organic SEO
Ensure you link out from your article to at least one other website… ideally half a dozen or more. These contextual links will boost the relevance of your story and so help it fly.

What Does An SEO Company Do?

SEO companies employ techniques designed to boost your Web site’s ranking on search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.). Unlike pay per click services, many SEO offerings can’t be tracked in terms of exact ROI — many techniques are used together to drive overall Web traffic. Most SEO companies provide some or all of the following services:

1.Web site and Server Audit – Most SEO firms start here, making sure that search engines are able to properly index your site. This can include making changes to your site map and other revisions.
2.Manual Submission – SEO companies regularly submit your site to search engines for indexing. Note that some in the SEO community feel this process isn’t strictly necessary.
3.Link Building – Links from other sites that “point to” your site are a valuable part of any SEO effort.
4.Keyword Research – What search queries are your target customers entering? What words (if any) do your competitors have a stronghold on? Keyword research is both a science and an art — most SEO companies use proprietary software programs to help them determine which popular keywords are worth “targeting” and then work with you to incorporate those terms into your site’s text and external links.
5.Content Writing – The firms will help you create new or revised site content based on keyword research.
6.Tracking and Maintenance – Search engine ranking is only temporary. The relevant keywords can change and the search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms. That means maintaining a high ranking requires monitoring and ongoing effort.
Of course, specific companies will provide additional services or specialize in a particular area. But a basic SEO contract should address most of the services above.

Looking for Expert Advice on SEO? Call us today 204.942.4200

Happy Anniversary Fresh Traffic Canada

Well it seems myself and Google have yet again something in common, birthdays.

Google went public 5 years ago and Fresh Traffic moved to Canada 2 years to the day.

To say it has been a hard slog would be a understatement, 4/5 years behind the times where the Internet is concerned, It felt like the Jurassic era, some company’s here still think it’s a fad, unbelievable.

Never one to quit though we have soldiered on spreading the word of search marketing and web optimization use for business.

I was invited to come look at Winnipeg Manitoba the heart of the continent after intially agreeing to go setup office in Toronto, boy was I surprised.

The place is great, the people are great and lots of opportunity, but business marketing here is well, old and local.

Marketers here still look to local Rags, local radio, oh… and of course the billboards and buses. Some are still amazed with their zerox machines and some have fax too.

Now for someone who was taking payments by text message in Europe 6/7 years ago, marketing the internet in 1999 and leading the search engines top listings from 1997, you can see this would be a bit of shocker.

Times are changing though, the news has arrived that the US has a new President and yes he won the election with help from the internet. The local papers now talk about twittering and radio adverts even mention www. in advertising.

Manitoba is trying to be greener, so hopefully all the monies spent on glossy magazine advertising that get 500 readers might soon change to PDF’s and save loads of trees.

Fresh is trying to do its bit for Manitoba by planting the oranges and seeds around the Province in hope that they will one day take root and prosper the new business with fresh ideas.

Would I change anything? Not on your life

Google's anniversary gift: A 420% gain

The search engine titan’s stock has more than quintupled since it went public in August 2004. But will Google’s next five years be as successful as the past five?

Can you believe that it’s already been five years since Google went public?

The search engine giant debuted on Aug. 19, 2004 at $85 a share. Today, the stock trades at about $445. That’s a nearly 420% return during a time when the Nasdaq is up only 8%. And shares of top rival Yahoo! have been nearly cut in half during the past five years.

Yet, it doesn’t look like all those Googleaires are too interested in celebrating their 5-year anniversary as a public company. Check out the Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) homepage and you don’t see one of its usually witty cartoon renditions of the logo like you do on other “holidays.”

Nonetheless, it’s been an interesting five years for the search giant to say the least.

The company has used its strong stock price and mountain of cash reserves as currency to scoop up the likes of YouTube, DoubleClick and Postini to name a few.

Google has also remained relatively focused its core search business, resisting the temptation to go overboard in the glitzy, but not all that profitable, social networking business. And that’s a good thing.

It’s common knowledge in the industry and online that Google Inc also bought my company happily named Google back in 2004 before going public.

I often wonder what would have happened if I had not agreed to accept their out of court settlement and NDA back then, mind you I can take away many friendships made and the knowledge that we are one of the few elite company’s in the world who actually know how it is done.

May be I will write a book one day, we only agreed a 3 year non disclosure and keep your mouth shut until we are up and running.

Nothing has changed really, Google is fundamentally the same, it works the same, they have just added and titivated a few thing, how do we know this? well everyone of our clients is still page one, yes even 5 years on.

Hotel SEO Services

In the past, hotel chains were only working on taking their Brand to the next level and used to spend millions of dollars on expensive advertising budgets. Many Hotels had so good name that their Marketing was restricted to retaining old customers but today that is not enough. With the growth of Internet – Travel & Leisure Industry also saw a shift in the pattern of the customers. Attracting New clients became tough, competition increased and according to a recent survey nearly 40 % of the bookings are booked online.

According to one survey conducted in recession times – Hotels that had an Ongoing SEO Campaign saw less fall in hotel bookings in comparison to the Hotels that didn’t have an SEO Campaign. 500 Hotels in the US were surveyed. Experts say that Internet hotel marketing is key for growth and gaining traffic.

It is expected that Online Bookings will increase in the days to come which seems to be true due to the reason that today Online Air Tickets bookings are increasing , cars can be rented online hence hotels are going to be searched and booked more online in future. The use of fax and phone for hotel booking have drastically fallen down which was the main source of booking in past especially from used by Corporates for Hotel bookings.

Hotel Industry has avoided the fact that ” If Hotels avoid the manner how the customers want to communicate and wants to keep on using the traditional methods of Hotel booking then it will be do difficult for them to retain old customers and survive”.

Few hotel online marketing strategies we use are:

1) We add Customer Reviews (testimonials) and ratings to their hotel’s F & B, Room Service, Hygiene, Internet Service at the Hotel etc. which has increased mileage in hotel bookings.
2) Many of our clients saw a drastic increase in their business in matter of days after we uploaded their Business (Hotel) Address on Google Maps.
3) As a part of Internet Marketing we can Promote the hotel by Releasing Internet Press Releases which is a proven technique of Search Engine Optimization in which we can Promote Deals and educate the customers by providing them knowledge about our Hotel and the services we offer in a very informative and innovative manner.

We Optimize your existing website to generate more traffic and ultimately increased revenue. Our SEO Campaigns are designed to provide everything you need to raise your website rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. To begin with, your website will be researched by our Experts and an SEO Analysis will be provided which contains the Suggestions and inspection report of your website.

Feel free to contact our SEO Experts and request for an SEO Analysis !

Developing a Website That Generates Traffic and Increases Sales

When you own a business, your website is one of your most important tools that can be used to reach new customers and generate higher sales.

Whether you have an established website that is not currently working for you, or you are a complete newbie to the online marketing world, improving your website so that it generates traffic and increases sales is the right thing for your business.

Without a high quality website that attracts visitors and provides you with a way to capture information, you are not using the Internet’s power to its full potential. The information below can provide you with an idea of why a good website is so important for your businesses’ bottom line.

Why is a Quality Business Website so Important?

A high-quality business website provides you with a way to capture the enormous amount of traffic that is on the Internet. It also makes your business more accessible to your customers.

It does this, by giving website users a way to contact you or find out valuable information about your products or services without having to get on the phone, and during non-business hours.

There are literally millions of people searching the Internet for various reasons on any given day. If you are not trying to capture some of those visitors, then you are losing out on many potential sales each month. Just as your store gives you a physical presence a high-quality website provides you with an online Internet presence.

Benefits of Having a Good Website

As a business owner, there are many benefits to having a quality website that is able to not only generate traffic but also increase sales for your company. The first benefit that a business website can provide you with is it enables you to have access to customers that you otherwise might not have contact with.

Without a website, you are only able to reach your potential market through traditional means, and not those potential customers that primarily use the internet for their purchase research.

By enlisting the help of an internet marketing service company, you can create a highly effective direct response website that enables you to reach out to Internet traffic.

By adding an opt-in form to a quality website, you can increase your earning potential each year by at least 20%. An opt-in form provides a means of capturing visitors’ contact information. This is very valuable as it will allow you to send current and potential customers information about promotions, important updates, and special sales events throughout the year.

The visitors on your list will be people that you know are already interested in the services that you are offering, and by sending out a sales message to them your rate of return will be much higher than with an untargeted ad in the newspaper.

One of the most important benefits that a business website provides is that it allows you to remain a step above your competition. If other related local businesses do not currently have websites, you are already reaching far more people than they are.

By creating a high-quality website that can generate massive traffic and drive sales, you are ensuring that your site will be listed before the competitions’ in the search engine rankings.

How to Develop a High Quality Business Website

Unless you are professional, the best way to develop a high-quality business website is to seek out an Internet marketing company or web designer that can create a customized plan for your business.

These companies have experience marketing to those online, and they can help your website by marketing it for targeted driven traffic, and ensuring that it gets ranked well within the search engine listings.

Off-line business owners can increase their revenue by creating a business website or revamping their old one. Without a high-quality site that is able to generate traffic and increase your sales, your online presence will do you no good. Enlist the help of a professional Internet marketing company to develop a website that will help your business thrive.

Retailer 'turns to internet marketing over TV'

The Gap has chosen to forgo traditional television advertising for its new fashion line, instead opting for social media as its marketing channel.

Born to Fit, a new line of denim wear, will be using Facebook as its main advertising channel in order to reach consumers.

Created by AKQA, the campaign will feature banner ads placed on blogs to state what each page is there to do. The banners on – a lifestyle and entertainment site – state the journal is ‘born to strategise’.

Although the campaign will also use more traditional marketing methods such as cinema, print and outdoor ads, their purpose is to send more consumers to the Facebook page. Once there, users will find a video of Rada Shadick – Gap’s fit engineer – explaining the inspiration behind the new line.

Experts in the online marketing sphere recently suggested that it was necessary for digital advertisers to harness the power of social networking as it offered good campaign opportunities.

Brought to you by FreshTraffic – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

Bing Gives Microsoft a Boost, but Can It Compete with Google?

Even before it made a widely anticipated announcement on July 29 that it would partner with Yahoo to do battle with Google in the market for search-related advertising dollars, Microsoft commenced a $100 million campaign to attract users to its new search engine — Bing.

Early reports show that since its June 3 launch, Bing has managed to draw more users than its predecessor, Live Search. According to Wharton faculty, however, while Microsoft’s campaign — which is both a re-engineering and a rebranding of Live Search — has been successful so far, it is unclear whether even such a well-funded effort can make significant inroads in a market dominated by Google. On the other hand, they believe the campaign helped pressure Yahoo into what may ultimately be an important partnership for Microsoft after months of fitful negotiations.

Aside from the big spending on advertising, Microsoft imbued Bing with features that were not available in Live Search, including better parsing of images and a focus on four key consumer-oriented areas: product comparisons, travel planning, health research and finding local businesses. Microsoft’s aim: Position Bing as a “decision engine” that can cut through the clutter on the Internet.

Prior to the launch, Microsoft was able to generate buzz among Bing’s early reviewers and adopters, a critical component of marketing in the age of social networks and blogging. Live Search lacked that virtual word-of-mouth support. Live Search also lacked another marketing component that Bing shares with Google: a name that can be easily used as a verb.

A lot can rest on a name change — and Microsoft desperately needed to update its search engine moniker, says Jehoshua Eliashberg, a Wharton marketing professor. “Microsoft had a bad experience with MSN Search and Live Search, and it makes sense that the company had to rebrand,” Eliashberg notes. “Bing is a much more effective name.” Jerry (Yoram) Wind, another Wharton marketing professor, adds that Microsoft really had little risk in renaming its search engine. “Live Search didn’t have traction before, so there’s no group of consumers who will be upset [that it has been replaced].”

“Rebranding a product is necessary when it no longer has the brand positioning or value perception in the consumer’s mind that a company wants,” says Wharton marketing professor Eric Bradlow. “This rebranding can be done via advertising, changing the features of a product or — ideally — doing both. Name selection is also important. Bing has an exciting sound to it and is memorable.”

Thus far, Microsoft has been modestly successful at attracting traffic to Bing. According to comScore, which measures web use, Bing drew 8.4% of all Internet searches in June, a gain of 0.4% over Live Search’s performance in May. Google had 65% of the June search traffic, while Yahoo drew 19.6%.

Microsoft’s next challenge is considerably more difficult. Wind says that Microsoft has to keep promoting Bing to illustrate commitment to the name and to retain customers. Generating enough excitement to get consumers to try Bing is one thing — retaining them is quite another, according to Wind.

Is Bing good enough to keep people coming back and make it an alternative to Google, which has millions of satisfied customers? Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, who co-directs the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative with Bradlow, says the hand-off from attracting to retaining customers is often difficult. “Marketing officers don’t do a good enough job of generating trial versus repeat customers. It’s easy to get people to try something — you just shout at them enough — but the traditional aspects of marketing are useless in getting repeat customers. The product has to deliver the goods or people will just go back to Google.”

Microsoft executives are upbeat about customer retention, and hope even to turn Bing into a verb, like “xerox” or “google.” Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, said at a recent conference that the Bing moniker was “pretty unforgettable” and it’s up to Microsoft “to turn this into a verb.” Reaching that goal is easier said than done. For example, Wind notes that he has “googled on Bing.” “We’ve still got a long way to go,” said Turner, “but we have momentum.”

Target: Yahoo

Fader says that Microsoft’s marketing of Bing is primarily focused on brand awareness and getting consumers to try the search engine, but the software giant’s ads are clearly aimed at taking on Google directly — even though Microsoft’s search engine has little chance of toppling the market leader. So why target Google? Because Yahoo was — at least initially — the real target, says Fader. “Bing has absolutely no chance of beating Google, but if it can crowd out the other players, it can be a solid No. 2,” he notes.

“There is historical precedence for this type of campaign,” Fader points out. “The Bing campaign is exactly the same as the Visa campaign [in which] it said consumers needed a Visa [card] because American Express wasn’t accepted everywhere. After a while, everyone knew you should carry a Visa and an American Express card. Visa wasn’t targeting American Express, though. It was trying to crowd out MasterCard. It’s the same thing here. Yahoo was Microsoft’s MasterCard.”

The early June search traffic showed that Microsoft’s crowding out strategy worked. Youssef Squali, an analyst at brokerage Jeffries & Company, said the comScore numbers indicate that Bing’s gain came at Yahoo’s expense. “Bing’s share gains seem to come directly at the expense of Yahoo while Google remained unchallenged,” Squali wrote in a research note.

Wharton management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak adds that those early gains by Bing probably provided leverage for Microsoft’s successful effort to partner with Yahoo. “Microsoft was playing Bing two ways. The first was to position Microsoft as a bigger search player. The second was to secure a search and advertising pact with Yahoo.” Offering a credible search engine of its own made it “easier for Microsoft to go to Yahoo and say, ‘If we combine, we can have 30% of the search market.'”

More than Search

However, Bing and the partnership with Yahoo are about much more than chasing Google in a search engine competition. Wharton experts say the search effort represents a defensive strategy that can protect Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar businesses, such as Windows and Office, while enabling new business models.

“I view the Bing marketing as a component to an overall defensive strategy at Microsoft with respect to Google,” says Eliashberg. “Increasingly, the two will compete head to head” in areas beyond search.

Google has a web-based suite of applications that aims to compete with Microsoft Office in consumer and small business markets. And Google’s enterprise application division is designed to take away Microsoft’s corporate customers. The Mountain View, Calif., company also has recently announced plans to create an operating system for netbooks, small computing devices intended to be tethered to the Internet. Microsoft’s Windows XP is currently the dominant operating system on netbooks, the fastest-growing slice of the PC industry.

Efforts by Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft to keep market share from Google will revolve around free, web-based versions of its most popular products. For instance, Microsoft is planning a web-based version of Office that will be free to consumers who are willing to accept the advertising that comes with the product.

“Bing is [a] pawn in this broader game that Google and Microsoft have going,” says Fader. “It’s a big chess game [with] Microsoft and Google competing on many fronts. Ultimately, Microsoft and Google will end up respecting each other’s turf by threatening nuclear war. Neither really wants to be in the other one’s space, and they will be perfectly happy when they carve up the market.”

Bing’s i
nitial gains may not indicate future success, and marketing can only go so far. Wharton faculty say it will take six months to a year to accurately gauge Bing’s momentum. “If I’m a Google user, it’s still unclear why I would switch to Bing,” says Wind. “In order to switch, you have to have a good reason, and in general, people are happy with Google. Microsoft had to create a fair amount of buzz and excitement to lead people to try it, and the company did that. But how do you retain them?”

Microsoft doesn’t have to go back too far to see the historical disconnect between attracting and retaining customers. In June 2007, IAC/InterActiveCorp invested nearly $100 million in advertising for its redesigned search engine, and by October of that year it drew 4.7% of Internet search traffic. But by June of this year, its portion of the traffic had declined to 3.9%.

While Microsoft is unlikely to topple market leader Google, Bradlow says that the company’s new search engine has a chance to gain traffic with its focus on key verticals like health and travel. “Focusing on a marketing niche definitely makes sense. Typically, when there is an 800-pound gorilla, the adoption of a follower happens first on a niche basis, and word-of-mouth becomes a great source of recommendations.” In that respect, Microsoft’s strategy to “conquer things one vertical at a time” gives Bing a chance, he suggests.

But marketing alone will not make Bing a success. Microsoft has to convince habitual users of Google to switch to Bing. “It’s very hard to get people to change habits, especially when you’re competing against a brand [like Google] that has become a verb,” says Eliashberg.