Local SEO In Montreal – The Basics

Local SEO in Montreal is a challenge just like it is anywhere else. We have spent the time researching what does and what does not work so that we can help your website work as hard as possible for you. Let me explain how to do it.

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is slightly different than SEO in general if you are trying to optimize a site for a national or international presence. While the competition for SERP (Search Engine Results Position) may be smaller in terms of sheer numbers it can be much more intense.

That is because there are far fewer spots for them on the search results page than there are for organic web results. However they occupy the very favorable “above the fold” space in two spots; local listings and as red dots on the Google Map inset.

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In the image above you see the results of a search that I did on Google. My search as simply. “SEO, Montreal”. As you can see the important top half of the search results page (above the fold) is dominated by three types of search results. The first is advertising, the second is local directory listings and the third is organic search results from the web.

Of the three types of search results represented both local directory listings and organic search results are free. Those are the two we will concentrate on in this story. To do local SEO in Montreal properly you have to attempt to get as many search result positions on the first page, and especially above the fold as possible.

Local SEO In Montreal – Local Directory Listings

Local directory listings are one of the best things that has been introduced for local businesses on the web, They allow them to compete with large, national or even global companies for position on the first page of search results. They do this because, to have a local directory listing, you have to be just that; local.

Of course big franchise brands and the like often do have a local brick and mortar location in your town but even then the odds of you being able to compete with them are much greater than in general web results. Yes, you will still have to compete because there are a limited number of local directory listings shown on each page of search results.

In the case of the image above there are only three results shown on the first page. Because there are only a limited number of listings you have to compete if there are more businesses of your type in Montreal than are displayed. For nearly any business there are more than three in the city.

To compete you have to optimize the wording of your listing to be attractive to search engines. In addition you have to actively gather customer reviews on social networks and directories like Yelp as well as on social networks like Google+ which is directly connected to your Google local directory listing.

Local SEO In Montreal – Organic Web Listings

Organic web listings don’t have to be direct links to your page to represent your website on the first page of search results. Don’t get me wrong, those are great to have but it takes time to build that kind of authority on your site. However there are other sites which can give you a front page position.

In the section on local directory listings I focused on the type provided by Google, Bing and Yahoo. Those have specialized sections devoted to them on the results pages of each of those search engines. Yes, you have to do a listing on each search engines’s local directory separately as they don’t share them with each other.

There are many more local directory listings out there though that do show up in the web results section of search results. Sites like YellowPages.com, Yelp, 411.com and Foursquare For Business are examples of this type of local directory listing. Each of the ones I just mentioned have a slightly different purpose and each of those listed might have a different audience.

They also have the advantage of being well established sites that rank very well in local search web results. this is a big advantage for a new business who is trying to compete against more established businesses. You can do individual listings on each of them or use a service that will distribute a single listing to many directories.

Local SEO In Montreal – Content Strategy

Content Strategy involves more than just posting a new blog entry or image to your site or uploading a new video to YouTube. You can certainly do these things in a random manner and it will benefit you. However, by taking the time to sit down and devise a strategy to use in creating and promoting your content you will get exponentially better results and it will put you miles ahead of most of your competitors.

The search engines in general have ben working very hard to improve user experience. This is especially true of Google. In that regard they have made it a top priority to show users only the best possible answers to each query. They have introduced the Knowledge Graph design for search results pages and the concept of Semantic Search to ensure that only the best content reaches the search results page.

As a result businesses on the web have had to re-evaluate their entire strategy for optimizing their sites for achieving a page 1 listing in organic SERP. “Content is King” is a term that has been used for a long time but it has never been more true than it is today.

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Modern local SEOin Montreal or anywhere else requires a strategy. In the image above (pie chart on the right) you see the three parts of a successful content strategy. Of the three it is really hard to classify any as more important than the others because they all work together.

We help our clients with all three of these aspects of their content/SEOstrategy. Before we can even begin to see an increase in traffic to your site our expert technicians go over the site and fix any issues it has with on site SEObest practices. This is a larger issue than people realize.

Our next step is to set up your site so that it automatically distributes your content to a variety of destinations on the web. This simplifies a difficult task and frees up a great deal of your time. Even great content easily gets lost on the web because of the deluge of new content that is added every day.

Finally, we can help you to create and upload new content on a regular basis. Search engines love fresh content. Many business owners don’t have the time to create new content. Some are a bit shy when it comes to writing. We will edit your new content to make sure it conforms to Google best practices and/or create new content for you. We have a team of experienced writers at our disposal who can work for you to make sure your content shines.

If you would like more information on what it takes to stand out on the web just follow our blog. If you would like our help in creating and implementing a content strategy for your business please don’t hesitate to contact us today!