Tips for Businesses to Grow Their Revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic

posted in: Business

In these difficult times, we are responding to a pandemic that affects businesses and retailers around the world. Covid-19 is harming businesses in every country and destroying the economy. Uncertainty and not knowing when the pandemic will end will undoubtedly cause losses to most companies.

Things change every day. Different locations and states enforce different rules. Businesses of all sizes, from global institutions to small family businesses, are feeling the impact of the virus economically and emotionally. However, compared with brick-and-mortar retailers, this feeling is even greater. Because of the implementation of blockade measures, encouraging social isolation, and requiring people to limit contact with others, many physical locations have to open their doors to the public. Although this may encourage online shopping behavior in COVID-19, brick-and-mortar retailers need to find ways to stay relevant and improve their revenue figures to survive.

This will be the most difficult time they have ever experienced for many retailers, and understanding how to continue operating as a physical store may feel like an huge task. Fortunately, in this unprecedented period, we can still do something to help you, because in this article, we will study some specific techniques for physical retail during COVID-19.

How brick-and-mortar retailers can increase revenue and sales

When it comes to physical retailing techniques during COVID-19, it may be difficult to know which technique to follow, especially if you are not used to services such as social media, mobile CX strategies or general online shopping​​​ However, in terms of e-commerce settings, despite the widespread impact of the coronavirus, there are some very simple and clear ways you can take to position your company in a better position and actually improve your sales. These include:

1. Contact important customers

As we all know, 20% of customers contribute 80% of revenue. Because these customers are very important to your business, they must be prioritized immediately to ensure long-term loyalty is essential. Keep in touch with your customers in any way possible, whether it’s blog posts, text messages, emails, or newsletters. Given the current situation, they must all be your main focus. Whether it’s email marketing campaigns or social media posts, passenger clothing has done a great job, all of which provide enthusiastic support, useful shopping information and personalized discounts without departing from its brand image or tone. For example, you are now serving your high-priority and high-value customers, and it will return loyalty in the future.

2. Re-evaluate your product

As we all know, the outbreak of COVID-19 has changed our daily lives. When it comes to customers, this is one thing you can’t ignore. Some products you sell may not be relevant to their needs, while others may be more important than ever. Ask yourself the following questions to determine what should still be sold during and after the pandemic.

Which products you sell may no longer be relevant? During a pandemic, you may sell products that have nothing to do with customers. For example, you may be selling accessories for travel or live events, or – due to epidemics, travel and live events are greatly restricted, so you may not sell many of these products. In order to adapt to this situation and reduce the loss of sales, you may need to remove these products or change them in a way suitable for home use.

Which products can you sell that are more relevant to your customers? Consider how the pandemic has affected your customers and how their needs may change. As we mentioned, many online stores may feel the need to increase medical and cleaning supplies-it is hard to ignore the huge boom that has emerged in these products online. However, these products should only be added to inventory if they make sense to your business. If your online store sells books, adding hand sanitizer to the product may not make sense.

3. Communicate with customers

During and after the pandemic, it is vital that your business must constantly communicate with your audience. Whether it is financial difficulties or simple changes in daily work, the daily lives of enterprises and customers are undergoing many changes. According to the 4A survey, during this time, 43% of consumers felt relieved that they had heard news from brands they knew and trusted.

Use your messaging channels (including social media) to notify customers of changes related to your business (and stay the same). This includes the following:

  • Are all products still available?
  • How do you ensure the safety of customers and employees?
  • Will there be any delays in production?
  • Do you want to stop delivering to any country or region?
  • What is the estimated delivery time for the product update?
  • As the pandemic subsides, which services are returning?

By having a conversation with your customers, you can evaluate what changes they would like to see in order to see your business and make valuable feedback. Make it clear that you not only care about your customers’ wallets, but you are also passionate about how to help customers in a meaningful way.

4. Start planning ahead

If you do not make any crisis plans before the pandemic, your business may be caught off guard and suffer losses. There is no better time than now to start planning how to respond to the rest of the pandemic and how to return to normal once it is over.

Of course, this epidemic is largely unpredictable, and lock-in starts and ends quickly. It is not possible to plan a specific date for the reopening, so if the situation changes, please give the planned space a time for the change. Although we all want to increase sales, we also don’t want to lose sales – see what your business is currently doing and identify any weaknesses.

To start planning, review your business. Where did you lose sales, where did you gain sales, and where did you stand still? Determine how COVID-19 affects your entire business and entire industry, and take steps to mitigate the damage. Focus on the following key elements:

  • Remote employee productivity and collaboration
  • Supply chain and operational disruption
  • Taxation and trade issues arising from the national blockade
  • Brand response to COVID-19
  • Postponed projects and activities
  • New projects that meet the needs of employees and customers
  • Emergency funding and debt relief grants

You also need to monitor the economy and travel patterns in your country, as this may directly affect your business during and after the pandemic. The decision of the government of your country/region may affect the decision of your business, so please be aware of all changes at all times.

Get more clicks without affecting Rank

posted in: SEO

It is possible to get more organic search traffic without increasing your google rankings.

When users look for a service or product online, the results from Google all compete against each other for attention. Since the use of images in search results is limited (or non-existent) and all you have a words to compete, these words are the most important asset. The information that Google displays on search results is called the “search snippet”.

What is click-through rate optimization?

CTR (click-through rate) optimization is a process getting more clicks from search impressions by making your search snippet more attractive and appealing. It doesn’t always mean adding more words or 5 exclamation marks.

Enter the concept of “click magnet”

There are many factors which impact a user’s decision to click on something. These factors include:

  • Title and Description
    • Clarity, Appeal, Keywords, Call to Action, Message, Query Match, Intent Match, Curiosity Factor
  • Special SERP Features
    • Knowledge Graph Panel or Carousel, Featured Snippets, Video / News / Image Results
  • Search Context
    • Timing, Location, Device
  • Attractiveness of Competing Results
  • Rich Snippets / Schema
  • Brand Recognition
  • Local Results
  • Rank

The list is pretty long, but these elements above are a good place to start.

While some of the factors are out of the website owner’s control and fully in Google’s, that is why it is so important to focus all efforts in the ones we can affect. Description, Titles, Schema, Locality come to mind as the most obvious and the best to optimize, but there are some hidden jewels in there as well.

Like the Pros: Less is More

When you have a page full of long and wordy search results, perhaps reducing the amount of information and being more precise will make your snippet and page link more attractive. The white space you leave will create a natural separation for the eye to rest on and in turn give your snippet more quality time with the user.

How to know?

Your CTR data is available in Google’s Search Console. Professional digital marketing firms will connect your analytics to your search console and grant you access to the information you need. Look for CTR information on search queries and pay special attention to those results with a low or poor CTR value. Those are the starting point for improving your clicks without improving your rank.


CTR optimization is by far the quickest and most effective way to drive new organic traffic. This is also very basic SEO, which often gets ignored or is done poorly.

Before you start chasing links and dreaming up major content marketing campaigns, perhaps it would be wise to make sure your SERP snippets are up to snuff and bring home the bacon.

Is it good to use stock photography on a website?

posted in: Business

It is hard to find the right images to showcase your business and your products, especially if your business is a service. Hiring a photographer can be expensive, more if you don’t know exactly what you want, paying for a photographer to wait for hours for you to come up with the right idea is not a good use of money. But you still need images.

Stock photography is a great alternative to hiring a professional photographer AND models. Can you take the pictures  yourself and use a couple of friends as models, sure you can. Will they have the crisp quality and excellent presentation of a professional photo? Most likely not. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you are not a great photographer, just that in my experience, I’ve only seen three people take great pictures that could be used in a website, and they all were professional photographers themselves.

But, can people tell that you are using stock photography? Maybe, but a true commissioned professional photography will look as polished as a stock photo too. People look at those pictures and think they look professional and help the website, if they pay much attention to that fact at all. Pictures are used to enhance and define a message, but what users on the web really care about is information. What is your business about? Who runs it? What makes you better than your competitor? Etc.

So, should you use stock photography? Absolutely. Just remember to be ethical about it, don’t go around saying your product or service is shown in a picture where its not! Use them wisely and more importantly, hire a professional web design firm that knows how to use the images and will create an overall feel to your website.

So, don’t be shy, google stock photography and you’ll find some great examples of companies that provide professional photos at accessible prices.

6 great online marketing tactics to increase your leads

posted in: Business

Every day, week and month there are a series of inbound marketing strategies that a business owner should know to increase the number of leads. The top 10 tactics are right here:

Redesign the sales process

Seems obvious, and yet, when a business is not generating enough leads, the sales process is often overlooked and as a result, the little leads your business has are lost for an inadequate sales process. Users’ behaviour has changed in a drastic manner, if adjustments are not made to the sales process so that it matches the way your potential clients want to purchase, your business is at risk of loosing qualified sales.

Create a memorable experience

What is a memorable experience on a website? It starts with the very first interaction with your brand, a user needs consistency and reliability to gain trust in your products and services. A memorable experience is simply one that can be remembered, either because it was shocking, easy to go through or fun. Make your brand stand out or be forgotten.

Lead Nurturing

Expert engagement
The power of a team of experts

Lead Nurturing is key to keep your business in front of people that has shown interest in your product or service. Investing in attracting leads is great, just don’t let them go away that easily. If a potential client has reached out, there interest and need, it is only logical that with more opportunity success can be achieved. Have customers sign up for your newsletter, send promotions and important news. Follow up on inquiries and add useful information with regularity.Keep in touch, remember birthdays and important dates, all of these pays down the road.

Content Creation

A good solid flow of educational content is a powerful way of keeping your website visitors engaged and coming back. Creativity and good writing skills go a long way. It is also beneficial for your SEO strategy to keep fresh content.

Your Website

Get a great website! It goes without saying that having an excellent website with attractive and well-planned web design is as important as adding gin (or vodka) to your martini. Your website has to touch your clients rational and emotional side as needed and in the right balance. How much rational or emotional will depend on the products and services you sell and the type of sales process being developed.

Use data to improve your work. Having a great looking website is just the beginning, make sure to check analytics to verify the direction where things are going. Assuming all things are good is not the right way to have a business. It is better to know what is wrong than to not know how it is doing at all.

Optimization and promotion

SEO, social media, bookmarking, feeds and other methods of making your website known are important to increase your leads. Without visitors to your website, you will hardly generate contacts and leads, so grow that number by having well executed SEO campaigns and a thorough promotional set so that people know you exist.

In conclusion

These tactics are great and can help your business grow exponentially. Online marketing is an ongoing job and can not be left forgotten. Remember to review and improve your marketing strategies frequently.

Preparing your ecommerce website for the holidays

posted in: Business

The holiday season of 2015 is getting closer every minute. We are about 1 month away from the beginning of the busiest period of the year for retailers. In 2014, ecommerce sales had a record year and the expectations are that in this 2015, sales online are just going to keep increasing. With billions of dollars at stake, you want to be sure that your online store is ready for the most important season of the year.

Mobile ready, responsive, or whatever, but be mobile!

Not even going to try to convince you about the benefits of being mobile. Everyone holds a smartphone now, it is not 2008 when smartphones were still some sort of a high end thing. Smartphones and superphones are just phones now, it takes real effort to want to go back to a flip phone or a mobile that is just a phone. So, why is it that many ecommerce sites are still not mobile friendly? This year, mobile purchases are expected to grow in at least 32% compared to last year. This is almost double the growth since 2014. Get moving and hire someone to build your new web design with mobile in mind… now.

Test your Tech

Even though all websites are expected to perform perfectly without question, it doesn’t mean you should trust they will. Test your website and your ecommerce. Make sure everything is working 100% and have other people test it too. Don’t trust your IT guy or your developers (regardless of how good or nice they may be), test everything yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that you invest money in getting people to your e-store, they love the products and are ready to buy just to find out that your shopping cart is broken or your credit card processing is failing. Got an update pending, get it done. Spend a little time and money to ensure all is in working order.

Also, speed. Fast websites are a must. Your ecommerce web must be speedy or else. Users can’t wait, they want their products now and your website is slowing them down. Unless you are the only business in the world that sells blue widgets, it is easier to look for a faster competitor and buy it there. Don’t let that happen to you, optimize your website speed, it helps for conversion and SEO.

Start marketing today

A month is not nearly as much time as you think it is to prepare for a busy holiday season. Planning alone may take most of the time left. Get going right away and plan your campaigns and promotions for the whole season. Develop a pre-season campaign, some branding and awareness do help improve sales when the time comes.

If you haven’t worked on your SEO, do so immediately. PPC ads can be run to test promotions or advise people of a big launch coming. Why do you think important video games are launched in December? They are great holiday’s gifts for kids and teenagers (and many adults). Run a pre-season campaign to make people aware of your business and when the time comes, turn it into a promotion and make the sales.

Are you Ready?

Do you think you are ready now? If the answer is no, don’t wait a second more and start working. Remember to test everything and make sure the website is up to snuff, it can be the difference between a happy new year and a sad one.

Online marketing for construction and renovation companies

posted in: SEO
Good SEO is like money in the bank
Good SEO is like money in the bank

The construction market is an important pace maker for the economy in Canada. A healthy housing market means that the economy is in good condition and consequently, this is reflected in the renovations market. When people are interested and can afford home renovations companies that offer kitchen, basement, bathroom or other similar reno services should take notice. Even though your business may be successful now, ensuring that you take every opportunity to continue to grow is the best way to protect your business for years to come.

Doing online marketing for your home reno business is not only smart, but an important decision that will keep your business going even when those bad times come.

From our blog, we review some cases in which online marketing has been an important part of their success be it directly or indirectly.

How to obtain a good ranking in construction?

When we are working on web ranking or seo for home renovations, we must ask the following questions:

  • What is the main purpose of the product or service to be promoted?
  • Who is the target audience we are focusing on?
  • Who are the main competitors?
  • What are the competitors’ strengths?
  • Are you specialized in a particular service?

It is very important to understand the number and strength of your competition when creating a strategy for the business in question. Our marketing strategy will vary depending on these factors. Let’s look at a couple of cases.

Woodridge Construction

Good marketing fits on every situation
Good marketing fits on every situation

Woodrige Construction is a company based in Guelph providing home renovation services. With a new website and associated promotion, they have been able to attract more customers interested in kitchen renovations Guelph and general contractor services. This has situated them as one of the leading remodeling companies in Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo.

And it is in this field, in which a business may need to be found in different cities that near by with completely different groups of people that web marketing can help.

On one hand we have the brand recognition, it is very important in these cases. If we search in Google bathroom renovations Guelph and we find we are making a direct relation between Woodridge Construction and bathroom renos in Kitchener, which makes brand recognition easier to reach.

This is a great example of how SEO can improve the branding of a business while increasing exposure for the business.

On the other hand, if we search for renovation companies and Woodridge Construction shows up, this is more to the case in which the brand’s potential in empowered and the business benefits.

Da Maren Renovations

Fo instance, if we were to approach Da Maren Renovations seo campaign with targeting concepts like kitchens or basements, we may have other methods to rank it in the right place. Instead, we could focus on terms like renovations Guelph or renovations Kitchener to focus on people in the region and have better possibilities to reach the positions desired in a smaller timeframe. Once your local market is doing well, we can take the next step and begin promoting the renovations business to a region (province or state) and increase the reach of the business by doing so.

In conclusion, a specialized online marketing firm that focuses on seo can provide proper recommendations with regard to which is the best strategy to follow based on all the factors in play and considering your business needs and situation.

Better yet, if you are considering a home renovation hire a professional home renovator or contractor and if you are thinking about optimizing your business website, then hire a true professional online marketer. The end results will make a huge difference and you can thanks us then!

How to obtain maximum benefit from your online marketing

posted in: Web Design

Online marketing has become one of the main tools at our disposal, no longer in the hands of multinationals or large corporations, but available to all those who want to optimize their online presence, regardless of the size of their business.

This is why, digital marketing or online marketing has the quality of being able to adapt to company size, but also to goals and objectives and above all, the level of investment that an organization wishes to set at any given time.

From our Marketing Stuff blog, we will discuss some of these points as they apply to companies of different sizes and budgets, to see how these techniques can help them achieve their objectives.

Counselling Therapist is Guelph

Can a counselling therapist in Guelph obtain good benefits from the internet? The answer is yes. For example, Eugenio Counselling has a website that promotes their services and is geared towards providing information and attaining the its online goals.

One of their main services is anxiety counselling. This is why they have written specific information about this service and set it up in which explains how their counselling services can help someone suffering from anxiety disorders or other emotional conflicts while allowing them to optimize this resource.

The organization of the website is such that the main focus is conversion ensuring that the visitor lands in the page containing the information being searched for. For instance, what is anxiety counselling, how effective is this type of therapy, who can benefit from anxiety therapy.

From that page, a user can fill out a contact form or send an email requesting an appointment and are able to contact the counselling therapist right away.


Home renovation company

A home renovation company would try to promote a variety of construction services while showing that their company is trustworthy and experienced. Being able to convey the quality of their craftsmanship and the level of professionalism of their trades, are key to ensuring that the visitor makes a decision to contact the company.

This is why design is of some importance. To showcase the work, we need the best possible light and to do that, the design has to be clean and highlight the images of past work. People judge the capabilities of a contractor by the quality of work they have done. This is why we have worked to carefully select the images shown on the main services and included past work imagery showcasing kitchen renovations and basement renovations, for example. Woodridge Construction was delighted to see their work in a display that enhanced their quality. Similar case with Home Renovations Guelph, another contractor in the Guelph area who is having a lot of success with his home renovations company.

Their old construction or renovator website was simple, and lacked appeal to higher end customers. Kitchen renovations are a high end product that people are willing to spend on as long as the final results makes them happy for a long time. Similar with other type of renos, the website should be a reflection of the company it represents.

Pregnant women clothing shop

photography-website-designA very different scenario is that of an ecommerce website. Because of its nature, all efforts should be put into producing sales on each product and promoting the sales available online. Our client, a pregnancy hospital gowns shop, was having a tough time selling their products, hospital gowns for pregnant women. The idea is interesting and has appeal, women don’t like having to wear those drab hospital gowns that leave little to the imagination and prefer to look good and feel comfortable wearing a well designed hospital gown.

While price is a factor, the success of an ecommerce store like that depends on more than that. If we look at the website we will find that the colour combinations and the structure of the site plays a big role in directing users to the desired outcomes. A great deal of thought has to be given to the shopping cart experience, in some cases you want to make it more complicated and in most, it should be as simple as possible.

In this type of online stores, taste and style come into play. Showcasing a product for pregnant women in the best light possible, while detailing the benefits will lead to higher conversion rates. Managing its online marketing campaigns, be it adwords, display, or social media ad buys, the website needs to be very easy to navigate and the category structure of the products should be clear without the need of explanation.

Always trust your web marketing consultant, and if you can’t trust them, get one that earns your trust as the web marketing team can be your biggest ally in your way to success.

How to become a Trusted Sender

posted in: Business

Email deliverability. It is a common problem, you start sending business emails, doing some email marketing and using your business email. Suddenly, someone tells you that your emails are going to the junk folder or are being labeled as spam by their email software (Outlook, Thunderbird or whichever the person happens to use). Your business depends on being able to communicate with its customers, so you go into crisis mode. Start calling your hosting company, your web developer, and start asking everyone you know about it. Congratulations, you now have an “email deliverability” problem. (more…)

How to choose your keywords for SEO

posted in: SEO

The very first step in search engine optimization is always keyword research. It is not advisable to start SEO without having done a proper analysis of the keywords we want to target. Running an SEO campaign without keyword research is like driving a car with your eyes closed. (more…)

Why is my ecommerce store not selling?

posted in: SEO

The internet is a world where many believe that by simply setting up a webpage or a basic ecommerce website all the awesome benefits of online marketing will happen in a few weeks. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, you may be wondering, why is my ecommerce store not selling?

This type of thinking is usually not associated to the offline world, where most people believe (to varying degrees) that it is necessary to invest in paying your retail location’s lease, setup distribution methods and provide products that relate to market needs. Most understand that to start a business you have to invest in a physical location, setting up shop and doing some traditional promotion. Furthermore, most agree and accept the costs of traditional media. Not so much with digital media.

This is why the starting point of all marketing is always the same fundamental principle. More than once have we heard from business owners that they expect to invest as little as possible (‘I don’t have much to invest’), without understanding what is required to attain the level of success required for their business (‘I don’t believe in online marketing, but everyone is doing it’), asking for the minimum and expecting the best. It should be no surprise that many of these businesses end up struggling.

eCommece stores are many times created the same way. Low budget, little planning, large expectations… not a winning combination. Depending on what the particular situation is, we usually face one of different problems when trying to achieve ecommerce sales:

Situation 1: The website receives little to no visitors

If a website is not getting any traffic, we find two possible reasons for that:

  1. Gets little to no traffic because the traffic simply doesn’t exist or the amount of traffic is not the expected by the business owner
  2. The relevant optimization actions have not been taken to ensure the traffic and inform users of the existence of the store

In case 1 we must remember the importance of a market analysis. Just like a major brand product launch, small businesses or startups benefit greatly from investing in proper market research. Beware though, online market analysis may yield very different results from offline and both must be conducted to verify beliefs and findings. At SearchEngineOp we are often surprised by clients who refuse to do online market research to find out if there is demand for their products or services, after all, proper research can save any business thousands of dollars that could have been wasted otherwise.

Let’s use the example of succession planning services. ¿Is there market interest in this type of service? The first thing we do is verify interest through search queries. The idea is that if people are interested in the service, they will be looking for it. The real problem is figuring out what terms people will use as these are sometimes not that obvious.

If we use phrases like “sell my business Kitchener”, or “succession planning Kitchener” we will find two things; a) These terms are dominated by banks and b) people looking for those terms may not be looking for the same service. Another point may be that the volume may be low. These terms should be analysed carefully as even low numbers for a business that needs only a few clients for financial success (pun intended), may be adequate. Additionally, people may honestly be interested in the financial services being offered. So we can test the market by creating an Adwords campaign and a landing page to verify people’s intent and interest (as one type of market research we do).

It is also possible to analyse search trends to understand if there is a pattern behaviour where people may search for the services more at certain points of the year. It allows us to estimate the search traffic at different points in time as well as compare the traffic trends year over year.

For case 2, we simply need to work on optimizing the website. A long term vision is the best because SEO results compile over time and become exponentially better.

Situation 2: Visitors are not qualified traffic

Let’s imagine that we are trying to promote counselling Guelph or family counselling guelph. In this case we are talking about a counselling service in a specific region, but same principles apply to ecommerce websites. There are two possibilities why a user may visit our website and leave as quick as possible. We would call these escapes a bounce and our problem a “high bounce rate”.

In this situation we also find two possible scenarios:

1. The website does not meet the clients’ needs

The first consideration we need to keep in mind is that the website must meet our clients’ needs and expectations. This is sometimes confused with ‘colours’, ‘cartoons’ and general “craziness” (which I dubbed the 3Cs of bad conversion).

In our example, we want people to find the website soothing and easy to navigate. We are adapting the website to the prospects’ profiles and to the best conversion practices. While it is not designed ‘mobile first’ (which is our preferred method), it does translate well into mobile and both experiences are easy to use and allow for finding the information needed.

We have also ensured that navigation is clear and that calls to action are available without being annoying to the visitors. Our average bounce rate for that website is 27.4%, well below the average (good websites have between 50-60% bounce rates, bad ones have 70-80% and really bad ones have above 85%).

2. The product is not aligned with clients’ needs

Another possibility to a high bounce rate is that the visitors may not be finding the product attractive. Sometimes, in spite of all the belief in the product, clients are simply not interested. Great ideas in paper are not always embraced by the public and end up left on the side of the road (one example is the now silly QR codes).

Other times the issue is that we are not attracting the right public or audience. This may require a simple change of direction for the terms being optimized or a better job at describing the products in the meta-description and title of the pages.

There are many possibilities of why a website may be having conversion issues. The ability of the digital marketer is the differentiating factor (as well as the client’s willingness to allow the marketer to do the job).

Situation 3: Website is not optimized for conversion

This is a tough one. Most people only think of website conversion as the website being good looking or pretty. However, website conversion is much more than that, a small increase in conversion could be a huge difference.

Conversion can be affected by the website speed, the structure of the information or the amount of steps required to finalize a purchase. Color of buttons, location of calls to action, and many more aspects influence this important metric.

The best way to determine how to improve conversion, is through a series of comparison tests, driving traffic to different versions of the same pages and tracking the results.

SEO benefits for small businesses

posted in: SEO

The internet has become one of the main business drivers for small business owners. It is so, that one of the first things that people think about when setting up a business is having an online presence that represents their brand’s identity. The ease and convenience of using the web to find out information or make purchases without having to go out or listen to a sales pitch are some of the big reasons why the internet has become such a powerful global economy driver. (more…)

Design the right website

posted in: SEO

The design of the right website is one of the most essential points of any digital marketing plan. It is no longer enough to have a simple brochure webpage, it is important to consider several different paramters surrounding it that can be critical to obtaining the expected results. (more…)

Why is Social Media important

posted in: Social Media

The whole reason for you to have a social media presence is one single goal: to increase revenue. This could be because of better customer service, improved sales conversion, word of mouth on steroids or great branding, but the goal remains the same. SearchEngineOp can help you create and manage your social media networks to achieve measurable goals. (more…)

Renovations Waterloo

posted in: Business

Waterloo, Ontario is a beautiful town. Housing is high quality, the standard of living is superior and the people are very friendly. If you find yourself living in this beautiful small city, you are lucky. (more…)

Surfing Costa Rica

posted in: Business

Surfing is a fantastic experience. The beach, the sun and the waves, what could be any better than that?

During winter in Canada, people dream of escaping to a sunny destination like Costa Rica. Some even consider Costa Rica surfing as a great option… (more…)

Online marketing basics

posted in: Stuff

For several years now, an online presence has been an extremely important asset in business and startups. Companies look at an seo firm as an actual partner more than a simple service provider and web design agencies as a vital element in their promotional efforts. (more…)

Counselling on the web

posted in: SEO

Small businesses and independent professionals (like consultants) are experiencing a rapid presence growth in the web. This is particularly true if we talk about professionals related to the health markets.

Doctors, dentists or simply businesses that related to the medical field like plastic surgery or even ophthalmologists have learned how to take advantage of the web to promote their services to prospective and real clients.

In the case of counselling, it is one of the health services specialties that have the great benefit of connecting potential customers with providers through the internet. Lets review on specific examples of how to have website of this type and how to improve results.

What should a Counselling services website have?

A website about counselling services should of course have the basic elements of the rest of websites should have. Information should be clear, specially information related to the people who are behind the website, including contact information, office address, phone number and ideally, the name and professional background of the person offering counselling services. Web design Guelph trends should be kept in mind while designing for its target audience.

Colours are important. White backgrounds with green or blue elements, preferably pastel tones would be the most adequate for this type of websites. White, greens and blues are colours associated with health professions and well-being.

Once established the previous elements, it is important to present the specialties and services offered. If the site is about family counselling Guelph or online counselling, it is important that the home page have direct access to that information.

counselling on the web

Important: Where is the counselling provided?

If it is about counselling Kitchener or Guelph, it is important to provide this information to the users and visitors right away. People will want to know if the services are within their travelling distance or if an alternative like online counselling is available.

Fot this, we have several options that Google provides, which means that getting good ranking would be essential. It is convenient to have an SEO agency create a plan or strategy to achieve those first page rankings when someone is typing the search keyphrases related to counselling Guelph or counselling Kitchener.

This way, we will not only have a great website for this type of services, but we will also be available and easy to find by those prospective clients who are searching for the services.

As in many industries, it is all about location, location, location. Where do you put your calls to action? What is the service area? Where is the office located?

Planning is the best way to ensure the results are what is expected. Starting a project without any planning or at least some basic research is a risky endeavor that should be avoided.

Multiple rankings for one keyword

posted in: SEO

To obtain the first place in some keyword phrases that have a high conversion rate is one of the most important goals in our business, this is also to improve the benefits obtained for a company working with us. (more…)

Starting a business in Ontario

posted in: Business

Many people find themselves with a great idea for a product or service. Even though the prospect of starting a business seems daunting at first, many attempt it. The learning curve is long and difficult, however, success is always at hand.

The most important thing to keep in mind when starting your business, is a clear understanding of your product or service and how you plan to market it, in other words, how you plan on getting the word out so that people come to you.

In any case, below we give you some basic pointers to consider when starting your own business in Ontario:

  1. Time and effort are the two biggest tools of an entrepreneur. Starting a business and running it can be a lot of work. Take time to consider all it will take and your willingness to work for it. Are the risks associated with business’ ups and downs something you can manage?
  2. Structure. What will be the structure of your business? Will if be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation?
  3. Marketing. Consider a budget for marketing. Many businesses are started without any consideration for marketing, it is important that you take some time to research the potential and evaluate the best marketing options. Who are your competitors and what are they doing? Why should a customer prefer your products over the competitions? Do you need a website?
  4. Financing. How much money do you need to start? Plan your budget realistically and decide whether you need financing. Keep in mind your overhead, every cost including staff, office/store space, marketing, tools and operating budget. Can you support your business and yourself for at least 2 years? Most businesses only find out if they succeed after the second or third year, the first one is usually the hardest one when starting.
  5. The Law. Learn about taxes, licensing, health and safety regulations, etc. Understanding your local and federal legal obligations is important, particularly taxes.

This is a primer of what you should think about when starting a business in Ontario. It is by no means an exhaustive exploration of each element and each one deserves special attention and consideration. Take your time to plan and work hard, good planning and resilience  are trademarks of successful business owners.

A picture from a road in La Mancha, Spain
The road ahead

Another complexity is if you are trying to start a business in Ontario (register it), but that operates at another location outside of the province. When we were asked by Water Dreams Costa Rica to do their web design, we faced an interesting situation. They provide surf camps in Costa Rica and wanted to attract people interested in surfing and SUP. Their main customers are in Canada and particularly from Ontario. Their marketing had to consider several law complications, licensing matters in two countries and business structure and management. A simple idea of having a surf school where people can learn to surf and do SUP, became quite complicated. Fortunately, they were able to sort through the complications and people are enjoying great surfing experiences through the Water Dreams team.

When you are considering starting your business, look at all angles before opening the doors. Digital marketing can do a lot for your business, but do not rely on it to make your business, it is still marketing and as such it is just one component of a much more complex endeavor.

How to install Gnome Shell themes in Ubuntu 11.10

posted in: Stuff

As easy as just two simple steps. Of course, this assumes you have already installed the Gnome Advanced Settings panel (gnome-tweak).

First add Satyajit repository by openning your terminal and typing (or copying from here) the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:satyajit-happy/themes

Once the repository is added, just install the Gnome-Shell User Theme Extension:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme

This last command will enable an option in the Gnome Advanced Settings panel go to “Shell Extensions” and enable the “User Themes Extension”. Logout and log back in. At this point there should be a new “Shell Theme” option that allows uploading of new gnome-shell themes which can be found at


How to add Facebook Videos in your Website

posted in: Stuff

Facebook allows for videos to be uploaded to any account and it is easy and convenient for many users. However, Facebook does not offer a simple way  to embed them in your web pages or website like Youtube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites do. Facebook does not officially provide an embedding code, so for people who want to embed a Facebook video on their blog post or web page, there is no readily available way to do it. (more…)

Adding Youtube videos in Joomla 1.7

posted in: Stuff

Sort of gave the trick in the title. Inserting Youtube videos in Joomla 1.6 or Joomla 1.7 (sort of our flag systems along with WordPress), the only thing that needs to be done is clear all the filters from the content editors on the articles manager options. (more…)

SEO… what?

posted in: SEO

We online marketers and web world people like to think our language is as universal as music. However, majority of people, even people who use the internet fairly regularly, have difficulty understanding the whole concept of “online marketing” or ideas like “SEO“. But what are these concepts really? (more…)

Should you get SEO for your website?

posted in: SEO

Don’t wait until your competition out-ranks you, get SEO right now!

Really. SEO is an extremely important element for your website. Back in 1994, when there were a handful of websites, SEO was meaningless (doubt if it even existed beyond getting the proper domain name). In 2011, launching a website that is not search engine optimized with clean code, proper tagging, well written, etc, will only mean you are spending money to have a pretty brochure that only the people you give the domain address will see. Its not bad, you can use it in your printed materials to give people more information online. However, most businesses want their websites to be a strong sales tool that gets them prospects and customers. (more…)

So… what’s the offer? Or strategies for a downward market

posted in: Web Design


Took it while shopping for groceries the other day, this is a great offer no one can resist. 1 pack of wieners for $3.49 or 2 for $7!

As a matter of fact, most of the store was offering “discounts” and “special offers”. I’ve noticed that in this particular store, they normally have a rotation of offers to keep products circulating. (more…)

Virtuemart and the impossible Modules

posted in: Stuff

Geekspeak alert. The following is a horror story about playing with Joomla, VirtueMart and its PHP files. May this help anyone looking for a solution to the itemID problem in VirtueMart. The following may not be a perfect solution, however, in the particular situation it worked like a charm and continues to work. (more…)

Copywriting for money

posted in: Stuff

…or how to get people to give you money with your copy

When writing for anything that has the goal of someone giving you money, tell them why they should do it. We as buyers are only interested in your product or service for selfish reasons… what is known as the WIIFMs (or What’ s In It For Me).


SEO for fun

posted in: SEO

SEO is sometimes referred as an art, a skill, a craft and even a science. However it is never referred as something people just do for fun.

Search engine optimization is complicated and time consuming. There is no serious SEO who will tell you otherwise. Most serious SEO companies need to have a large team of programmers and SEO experts to provide proper services to their clients. (more…)

Yellow Pages: When a monster is cornered

posted in: Web News

Everybody remembers the days when Yellow Pages was the place to get all business information you needed. You wanted a service or product, didn’t know where to get it, you looked into the Yellow Pages. However, times have changed dramatically. (more…)

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