Skip to main content
Tag

local seo

growth marketing toronto

Toronto SEO Guide: Why Businesses Need A Local SEO Agency

By Growth Kolony Blog, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Local SEO, SEO No Comments

Toronto SEO Guide: Why Businesses Need A Local SEO Agency In Toronto And How To Find One

By: Growth Kolony

Did you know: 88% of consumers who do a local search visit a store within 24 hours.

So if you’re looking to land more local leads and turn online traffic into real foot traffic, find a local growth marketing agency in Toronto.

Without question, getting found on local search engines like Google is one of the most effective ways your business can drive more local leads to your store.

Yet with 46% of Google searches being local searches, over 56% of local businesses fail to claim their Google My Business.

Why?

In this local SEO Toronto guide you will learn:  

– What exactly is local SEO?

– How local SEO in Toronto works 

– How local SEO helps Toronto businesses with online sales

– How much should you pay for local SEO in Toronto

– How to hire a local SEO agency in Toronto

– How to pick the right local SEO package

What Is Local SEO? 

Local SEO is an online marketing strategy that optimizes landing pages and websites for local searches with the objective of increasing local visibility.

They do this by targeting local customers at the perfect time while they search for local products and services when they need them.

A local SEO agency will help a business target customers on popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Apple Maps, to just to name a few resources, and help businesses drive traffic and lead by ranking them for relevant search terms for a local region.

How Toronto Local SEO Works?

Toronto local SEO works just like local SEO in any other region.

Search engines rely on search signals to retrieve the most relevant local data from local search results.

Local search data includes local content on local landing pages, Google Maps, social media profile signals, online reviews, citations, directories, and other properties that help search engines prioritize the best local search results for target users.  

When a user searches for a particular keyword, you’ll find the local SEO results at the top, also known in the SEO industry as the Google Local “Snack Pack”.

These results normally show above organic results.

local snack packThe main difference between local SEO and organic SEO results is that local SEO strategies target a URL with a specific location; like a brick-and-mortar location, whereas organic results focus on ranking websites that may not have a brick-and-mortar location.

How Local SEO Helps Your Toronto Business With Sales?

With 97% of users and customers using search engines before making a purchase on a product or service locally, the opportunities for online lead generation through local SEO are lucrative. 

According to one study, the Google Local Snack Pack get 33% of the overall search traffic.

This means any Toronto business that ranks in local search, will take home its share of the local SEO market pie.

Just imagine getting 33% of the impressions every day and month.

On the other side, when you fail to rank on page one in local search, you’ll miss out on a world of opportunities.

Because 91.5% of Google users ignore page 2 of Google. 

How Much Does Local SEO Cost In Toronto?

Being a top local growth marketing agency in Toronto that’s ranked in the top local SEO three-pack, we often get asked, “how much does SEO cost?”

There is an industry range floating around of between $300/month – $10 000+/month with averages between $1000 – $2000/month. 

Of course, you get what you pay for.

There are some agencies who will even offer $99/month to land more volume of clients and only do an hour of work every month.

And there are also agencies that overcharge and still do little work, which is why many business owners out there are skeptical of the SEO industry.

There are a wide range of plans out there, and it’s easy for an untechnical-savvy user to get hoodwinked.

But each website is different and each local agency SEO will operate differently as well.

The price of local SEO also determines how fast you want to “work the system” and use it to your advantage.

There are 3 main local SEO plans Toronto businesses often consider:

  • Automated: This is where your SEO agency will use in-house software to automatically submit your website to relevant local directories and citations. It’s more of a band-aid solution to a gunshot wound.
  • Small Scale: This is an SEO strategy that works for one location. It’ll help your location rank higher in search results and drive more online leads.
  • Comprehensive: This is where your SEO agency will take control of website management, link-building campaigns, citations, mobile SEO, online reputation management, social media and content marketing and including custom reporting. 

All three local SEO plans do make a difference and eventually in most cases businesses with more than one location will go with the Comprehensive option, which includes all of the above and more; accelerating the overall local SEO ranking process.

How Much Should You Budget For Local SEO In Toronto?

It’s best practice for every business to allocate 5% – 35% of their overall annual revenues to growth marketing.

Since we’re in a digitally-dominant world and growth marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing, take 50% – 90% of your marketing budget and use that number for growth marketing which includes local SEO.

Other elements like overall company size and level of competition play a role in how much you should invest in local SEO and your local SEO agency in Toronto should be able to read the market, show you the data, and give you an accurate monthly estimation.

How To Hire A Local SEO Agency In Toronto?

Learning how to find the right local SEO agency in Toronto is a lot easier said than done. 

There are a lot of local SEO agencies out there who work without certifications while offering a world of promises at a too-good-to-be-true rate.

Sure it’s a great rate but it’s also a money grab and a huge waste of precious time.

The time that could be spent on real growth.

Before you jump into a contract with the first local SEO agency you engage with, it’s best to create a shortlist of options. 

Tip #1: Make sure that your local SEO agency has SEO credentials 

Any good and reliable local SEO agency will have Google or Bing badges and certificates. 

Make sure your local SEO agency at the very least has their Google certificate.

Tip #2: Does the local SEO agency have case studies?

Your local SEO agency should have at least a handful of links and examples of clients that they have worked on in the past. 

After you get the list of URLs, make sure that these websites are ranked in local search and are ranked for keywords with local regional modifiers.

Also, look if they have been able to get local Google reviews for their client websites as well.

Tip #3: Is the SEO agency organically ranked for keywords?

It’s a red flag when the SEO agency you plan to hire fails to provide evidence of keyword ranking.

Do your research and see if the potential SEO service provider you plan to hire has a local digital footprint on sites like Google, Bing, Yelp, and Clutch to just to name a few resources. 

Tip #4: Ask if your local SEO agency practices white-hat SEO

When search engines like Google spot pages and websites committing black-hat SEO, they often remove them from search results.

This is the last thing you want to happen when running a business today. 

Before you hire any local SEO agency, make sure that they agree to abide by the Google Webmasters guidelines.

Tip #5: Ask your local SEO agency what you will expect in the report

One of the big issues when businesses first get into local SEO is that they do not understand what to expect, nor know what kind of reports they should receive. 

Sure SEO is an investment at the start.

But after 3 months you should see some noticeable progress in traffic, rankings and overall goal conversions.

If you’re going to spend money, you’ll need to know where your money is going so let’s make sure you get your local SEO agency to report the following at the very least:

  • Keyword rankings report for each local location; 
  • Traffic report for each location, including conversion rates, leads or sales. 

How Do You Pick The Right Local SEO Package? 

Picking the right local SEO package should be aligned with your overall objectives and goals. 

This depends on how competitive your market is, your budget, the size of your company, and many other local SEO ranking elements. 

The SEO agency should be able to narrow down your budget, expectations, key performance indicators, and marketing goals and put you in the right slot best suited for your special case. 

Summary

50% of users who perform a local search result in an offline purchase within 24 hours.

Finding the right SEO agency in Toronto is crucial to growth and the search process is similar to finding the right mechanic.

When you let SEO agencies review your site, they should be able to diagnose the underlying issues, offer solutions to your problem, and show you reports to back everything up. 

Before you commit, make sure to follow our quick list of tips on how to find the right local SEO agency in Toronto.

Like with all industries, you’ll find the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you have any questions about SEO in Toronto and getting ranked on page 1 Google feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.

online reviews

Local SEO Tips: How To Get More Online Reviews And Improve SEO Ranking

By Growth Hacking, Growth Kolony Blog, Local SEO No Comments

It’s no secret that online reviews help improve SEO ranking.

On top of that, positive online reviews can increase conversion rates by as high as 270%.

With 90% of consumers reading online reviews before visiting a business, it’s never been more important for businesses today to have an online reviews strategy.

Below we highlight why online reviews are important and helpful tips that’ll take you from online reviews zero to hero.

Let’s get into it.

Why Are Online Reviews Important For Your Business

Most customers are social creatures.

They need validation from their peer group and the general public.

So when they don’t know what to buy, they go online and look for social proof and consult with an online community for social validation.

And online reviews play a big role in today’s digital world.

It’s commonplace to read and write one.

According to Search Engine Land, 70% of customers will fill out a review when asked.

Yet, there are a lot of business owners today who are hesitant to ask for reviews.

Search Engines Love Online Reviews

The more customer reviews your company gets, the more Google loves you.

Search engines show users the most relevant and most credible content for each search query.

If a company is receiving a lot of love online, then you are more likely to show up on page one.

Online Reviews Serves Fresh Content

One of Google’s many algorithms is fresh content.

It often ranks websites by how relevant and up-to-date they are.

Google reviews also show users that your business is still in business and fresh and available and up-to-date.

While encouraging customers to leave a review, another great way to keep your website fresh is to update pages or blog regularly.

Online Reviews Gets You On The Local Pack

Google’s Local Pack are the businesses that show up under Google Ads.

Google will generally show the top 3 local businesses for each query.

It features contact information and their ratings.

For example, if you searched for a local service or product in a particular region like, “cafe near me” or in this particular case, “growth marketing toronto”, Google will show you the top 3 businesses in their Local Pack.

Online Reviews Make You Trustworthy

In today’s world, customers have more options than ever before.

So when they visit a store they generally have already done some homework online.

This is where online reviews help your business drive more foot traffic and convert more leads.

When your business has online reviews from real customers, it shows that your business is legitimate and has been validated and trusted by previous customers.

Online Review Tips And Tricks

1. Sign Up For A Google My Business Account

The first thing you want to do to increase your business reviews is to first make sure you can receive them in the first place.

For Google Reviews to be possible, your business needs to create a Google My Business account.

The process is simple.

Google even provides a guide to make sure any business owner – tech-savvy or not – can manage it.

Once your business account is verified, any customer that is looking for your business will find all the information they need. Like the following:

  • What you offer
  • Service options
  • The address
  • Opening hours
  • Menu
  • Website
  • Phone number
  • Reviews

It’s also worth noting that the number of online reviews and your current star rating is shown directly under your business name in the search results.

2. Encourage Customer Reviews

Most customers are aware of online reviews and that they can review businesses online; be it through Google, or another platform like Yelp.

But most of the time, customers are not incentivized to write an online review or prompted to do so. Don’t feel ashamed to remind people that the option is there.

It’s important not to make people feel pressured into leaving a review, but, planting the idea can be all that it takes.

As they leave your store, or after they make an online purchase, you can say something as simple as, “thanks for your purchase, and if you’re happy with it, feel free to leave a Google Review.” See? Not complicated, not pushy, but can ultimately lead to more sales and a higher ranking.

3. Don’t Be Discouraged By Negative Reviews 

The reality is, many people are going to look up your business with the sole intention of leaving an online review if they are not happy with their experience.

That’s the nature of the beast.

However, your aim should be to make sure the number of positive reviews is higher than the number of negative ones.

Don’t be discouraged by disgruntled customers.

Instead, use them as a learning opportunity to improve your products and services so you can prevent their issue from being one in the future.

You can also reply to negative reviews as well, share your side of the story and give readers context.

4. Don’t Be Fooled by All Positive Reviews

If you’ve been looking at your competition, frustrated at how they managed to achieve a perfect star rating across hundreds of reviews, then don’t be concerned.

According to research, a perfect score can actually decrease the trust of a business.

It sounds strange, but with the prevalence of fake reviews, having an average score of between 4.5 to 4.7 can make your business seem more trustworthy than one that achieves a perfect 5-star rating.

5. Reply To Google Reviews

A Harvard Business Review study found that if business owners respond to a customer review (be it a positive or negative one), they can see a rating increase.

Remember, you can learn a lot from all reviews that customers leave, so engaging with them on a public platform can have more of a positive impact than you might think.

Be transparent about any mistakes you may have made, and, thank them for taking the time to leave the review.

Ask questions if the information is unclear, and offer a solution to their problem.

You can even humanize the response by putting your name at the bottom of it.

Responding promptly is also quite important, for it shows your customer that you respect the decision they made to come forward and value what they have said.

6. Advertise That You Have A Reviewing Platform

If you’re struggling to drum up reviews for your Google My Business account, try positioning or marketing to your audience that your business has a reviews page.

You don’t have to take out a full-page ad in the newspaper, but small, discrete links in emails and on your website can often be enough.

Remember, you’re not trying to drum up a positive review, but a review in general.

By providing a link for people to click, you’re making it easy for customers to leave an online review.