This website aimed to provide the client with a mobile ready website design that on one hand was ready for any mobile screen resolution/size AND gorgeous on a tablet, laptop or widescreen monitor.
Ahh….the feeling of getting your first website off the ground. Or better, the excitement of having your little seed of a site get picked up by Google-bots and begin it’s organic growth to search engine ranking page one. Whatever the feeling, it is something to have finally, painstakingly, seen your vision through from inception to creation.
So what’s next? That depends on what you are trying to achieve. If it’s page rank, more links, or simply a window for your potential and real customers to interact with you, there are endless options. Take our site for example, it didn’t start off quite the way it is now and it won’t be the way it is now a year from now. It’s popularity or relativity to the subject matter it entails (in our case web sites, seo, referencement, blog, etc…) is a way to make it stronger with search engines. Currently, that’s best done with regular quality content, that’s especially fresh.
For you, your website may be another tool to support your local advertising efforts or something similar to what we want (a vehicle to get traffic!). Either way, many companies that I have met over the last couple of years, that spend plenty on local advertising, don’t or didn’t have websites (that work for them) until recently. Many business owners don’t get it, aren’t shown what there is to get “out there” or don’t have the resources to help them get it. Seems crazy, but in 2013 the montreal website designer scene is still a situation where people are either designing sites real cheap or pay more than they need to. It’s crazy!
A website is your online store/shop/business/24/7 salesperson…describe it as you may the fact that many have taken it so lightly is pretty risky. Thankfully, more & more business’ are figuring out to listen to he/she who brings in news of purely approaching your business development from an on line perspective. It’s kind of like a revolution and it’s perfect!
As our fledgling, attitude packed Montreal based internet company has moved along over the past few months, it has become apparent that there are some inconsistencies going on, that at first you would think, shouldn’t exist. I’ll try to highlight…
As we work (and wait patiently) for our own search engine optimization efforts to bear fruit, we have had to (and this is in no way a complaint) rely on true grit, old school approach to business development, cold calling. In doing so we have done well and have found that SEO services are apparently not necessarily purely shopped for online by sme’s.
A few months ago, anybody I knew (and I didn’t know many) vaguely familiar with Montreal SEO services companies or providers, all quickly confirmed that you could and would find the true best offers or companies on the first pages of the serp’s related to the query in question. In this case anything with the words (and you know ‘em by now); search, engine, optimization and montreal (or – pardon the plug – Le Referencement, in french) would be quickly found by googling ‘em/it.
Well, today, we’re considering ourselves lucky (D’oh! There goes that, just jinxed it). It seems like there are a lot of companies that would rather (and this is in no way a diss, cause I’m doing it right now!) sit behind the computer to orchestrate there content, siloing plans and link building strategies before getting on the horn. What!?
How can it be that we are in the infancy of 2011, (it’s official…we’re in the future!) and there are companies who have had sometimes two to three “quotes”/proposals on the table, but still listen to every word and bit of information we give them over the phone? I’d originally planned to sell websites all week long right? I thought any business conceivably thinking of buying seo services in montreal would have either purchased the services from someone (either locally or overseas) they had found online. Huh, not so. The cell phone in 2011, much like some 40 years ago (that last bit would only work in Back to the Future), still can go toe to toe with a link off of page one on Google, at least sometimes, I’m beginning to think.
The obtainment of seo services for sme’s, as stated in the title, is not as apparent as you’d (I’d) think (thunk), lol, it’s late gotta wrap up quick…
There are business’ we come into contact with, who regularly show obvious interest in the topic of furthering their online visibility and increasing traffic. They have come into contact with one or more service providers and yet, they’ll entertain the thought of meeting us…another internet marketing or montreal seo services company. It strikes me that, that, doesn’t show a ton of comfort with the subject. Here’s where the phone beats the net hands down. A purchaser, owner, or someone that’s shopped around and has become familiar with what to look for in terms of key points will pick up real quick if what your saying (or not saying) warrants an extra second of their time. There really isn’t a better way to have a first contact (first contact… high school memories or Star Trek, you choose ;), the deal, or the point clearly get’s transmitted & picked up via the conversation. The human factor, subtle conviction, well handled objection refutation all bring someone seriously considering search engine optimization down to earth. It ain’t crazy science fiction through words and Google and a link in blue on a white background of a computer screen that’s gonna do it…it’s people talking and understanding one another.
In short, we all participate in an effort to better our business’ online visibility (I hope). Search engine optimization, SEO or Le Referencement IS what we all must do in order to get to where we want to be seen online. How it’s purchased however, we’re discovering is not always through pull…sometimes you just have to push.
Montreal Search Engine Optimization services Gone Wrong: A Dizzying Account Of An SME’s First ExperiencePosted by admin on January 10, 2011
As a new company providing internet marketing services in and around Montreal, we headed out our first month the good old fashion way. That is, by pounding away at the phone. With time the agenda began filling up and the skin (already thick) thickened further, thus making the unbearable pretty bearable, even fun (phone calls fun, LOL!)After many phone calls, one call, immediately sounded like it would be different from the rest.
I began talking to a lady who after I introduced myself and where I was calling from, giggled. After the mention of my company name, she quickly pointed out that our name sounded an awful lot like the french term for search engine optimization or SEO, le Referencement. She quickly had admitted to me through her giggle, although subtle and unintentionally, that she got what the name was about. In a fraction of a second I asked myself, “…has she already optimized her website or not?”, “was I too late”. Had she already begun working with another SEO company?
The appointment was booked after determining that she had in fact come into contact with someone who was a “SEO expert” but, she mentioned, she wanted a review of what she had signed with the other company, before listening to what we had to offer. A review? Hmm…somethings up?
On the call at her workplace, I sensed that I was being scrutinized from the get go. She honed in on all discussion that was related to our seo services. It was important to let her know, our business philosophy was built around a holistic approach to online advertising. That search engine optimization actually took into consideration many factors, from site structure, to the words on her site and so on. This didn’t cut it. She needed to see just who was going to be doing our, or rather her optimization if she chose to give us a shot. At least, that was my read of the situation.
Who was our so called “expert”? I debated revealing my cards initially and let me say that I did not introduce myself as an expert, as it wouldn’t have been a good angle to take. Moreover I introduced her to our company Référencemoi.ca as a service provider with the tools in our bag that would get her to where she wanted to go.
Prefacing the revelation of who our “Montreal SEO expert” was, with a little reminder to the potential customer that there were companies in our city charging as much as $500/hour for their services, who were actually not even full time SEO, or even basic web solutions companies, I gave in. “Phew…” she exhaled. Telling me, “…I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t them!”. I felt for her, instantly, I came to understand why she was scrutinizing me the whole time. Scammed, she’d been scammed…I had to dig deeper. As a young business running into a situation like this was going to give us a serious heads up as to the other types of other seo companies in montreal, with which we were going to have to compete, or do patchwork for. Pretty major patchwork.
After a healthy needs analysis, I discovered that the company in question had “optimized” her site for two words. Two words man!!! She had been charged an insane amount of money for what she thought would be a custom search engine optimization program. For her to learn six months later that all that was done was the addition of a couple of pages to what had previously already been a page rank 1 website, which had now gone to a PR 0! Ouch!
The worst revelation came about probably because she saw that I actually sympathized, listened, gave a (choose your favourite four letter expression that fits in) ____! Basically, she had been convinced to hand over a huge lump sum upfront, for something today that when we query her terms…nada. Yeah, her site is pretty well done, but nada…no site of her URL on any of the first SERP’s (search engine rankings pages). She hadn’t ever gotten a follow up call from them, she had always had to call them, she didn’t see the results and felt duped. No kidding. She paid several, thousands of dollars. My head was spinning…
The worst part, she was fair, straight up with her wants & needs and could be a great account in your typical sales organization type of a way. Or as a young owner, a great company to have the opportunity to have as a client and work with. Anyway, we know that there are white hat companies and black. Knowing what we could do, we therefore pushed forward and won over her confidence, and are currently rebuilding her a new SEO services package.
What a mess! Time to get back to work.
A short while ago, Bing and Facebook teamed up in the search war against the goliath, Google. For most people, this partnership meant nothing more than most strategic alliances in the business world. While nice on paper and a cool story in the news, the effects of the partnership had little or no impact to the consumer…or so they thought!
Since most people don’t regularly (if at all) use Bing for their Internet searches, the impact, and in some respects the benefit, was not immediately understood. It took some time, but Facebook users have been slowly becoming aware of the Instant Personalization settings that this merger created.
On the one hand, Instant Personalization offers a highly personalized search like no other (well, at least unlike Google). Visit a partner site and you can see comments written by your friends and articles that they shared. The expected advantage for Internet users is that when visiting sites like CNN, they will stay longer due to the personalized results that have been automatically provided. When first launched it was only with 3 sites but has since expanded to more; of course the goal is for this to permeate the web.
What is bothersome to most Facebook users is that their profile information will be used by the partner site to personalize their visit. Their name, profile picture, gender, connections and all other public information can be used in order to enhance and further personalize their visit. If using your personal information isn’t bad enough when you search, it is also used when your friends search. For example, on a site like RottenTomatoes.com, a movie reviews site, you can see which movies your friends recommend and their movie reviews. All of this sharing of personal information is troubling to many.
Will all of this sharing of information cause the sudden downfall of Facebook? No. The downfall of Bing? No. The fact is, this will likely go away like the other prior privacy issues that Facebook has seen. Remember the sharing of private info by third party apps? Facebook is still growing despite that, and other scandals. Fortunately, anyone who is truly bothered by the “invasion of privacy” has a number of options to deal with it:
- Adjust the privacy settings so to not share their information with websites and other apps through Instant Personalization. (To do so go into Privacy Settings and edit the Instant Personalization Settings – before you do so you will be greeted by a Facebook video selling you the pros of the service)
- Cancel their Facebook account – after all, it’s just an Internet thing anyway!
- Realize that Facebook isn’t, and since expanding beyond the college dorm, hasn’t been private. What you put there is for all to see – so stop sharing private information on your status as if you’re having a one-on-one, heart-to-heart with a long time friend! Facebook is a fun SOCIAL networking site meant to expand your network. If you want to keep things private, don’t write it down and broadcast it!
Well, it is the last day of 2010 which means that it is time for new year’s resolutions. While it is customary to come up with personal resolutions, I felt it would be a great time to come up with some Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization resolutions for 2011.
Now, these aren’t only resolutions for me and Referenceme.ca, rather they are for SEO and SMO in general for us and for our clients. These should be some things for you to consider to do in 2011 if you are not already doing them:
1. Focus on organic search engine optimization
Since the top search engines will be furthering their attempts to make search hyper-personalized, the best bet towards good SERP placement continues to be organic SEO. Through a properly built site, SEO friendly URLs, properly completed Meta and Alt tags, well written content and effective linking, your site will still rank well despite the changes that are coming and that have already been made.
2. Increase your social network presence and activity
With Bing and Google stepping up their social media influence on ranking, businesses intent on having good positioning on SERPs need to include an effective social media optimization program. This doesn’t necessarily have to be over the top (although depending on your objective an over the top SMO program could have great ROI), but at least a presence with a decent amount of activity. Determine which social networks your clients are currently likely to be part of and get started.
3. Be prepared for more changes
Witnessing the changes that have come in 2010 in search engine optimization, expect more to come. The war in search is only getting started as more and more local businesses are beginning to enter the world of Internet marketing. Therefore, keep your ear to the ground and be ready for the factors that will impact your ranking in 2011.
4. Reputation management should not be ignored
There are more and more reasons why businesses (especially national and multi-national companies) should be paying attention to their Online reputations. Social networks and blogs have given the opportunity to anyone with access to a computer and the Internet to share their opinions with the world. Since one upset customer will tell ten times more people than a satisfied one about their experience, companies can be losing a lot more than they used to if someone takes the web with the complaint. Businesses have to start becoming more proactive towards managing their brand’s reputation.
I guess four resolutions is a lot to handle for the new year. Companies who follow these resolutions should be better off at the end of 2011 than they are at the end of 2010.
Here’s my personal wish of the best to you and yours for 2011. Health and happiness, and may 2011 also bring lots of business success too!
It has been only a few months that my partners and I started Referenceme.ca (a.k.a. Référencemoi.ca). I have been sitting down with clients to discuss their new web site designs, Search Engine Optimization programs and the potential to work together. Already, in this short time, I have met no less than a dozen small business owners who have been taken for a ride by so-called SEO experts and web designers.
The stories of people who took large sums of money up front and then never delivered on their promises are so common that it is the number one obstacle that we face on a daily basis. Having to convince people that their business needs a website isn’t hard; most people have realized that truly profitable years of advertising in a print directory are past us. Google has replaced the yellow pages as the number one source of information that consumers turn to when looking for a product or service. Since being online is evident to most businesses, they are ready to pay anyone who presents themselves as knowledgeable and capable of building them a nice site and decent online presence. Unfortunately, due to this opportunity, there are many “experts” who have preyed on the innocent.
The aftermath has left the market burned – reluctant to trust anyone who presents themselves as an “expert”. Luckily, when we sit down in front our clients we are capable of showing them how true professionals work. That still doesn’t prevent tons of businesses from being taken advantage of. Here are the top three steps that can prevent you from getting ripped off from a web designer or SEO expert:
- Research your needs – the advantage is always to the party with the most knowledge. While it may be difficult for you to know as much the person in front of you, learning a little about what you want will reduce the chances of you getting taken for a ride.
- Research the market – looking around at what competitors charge will allow you to compare apples with apples. You will see if the search engine optimizer or web developer is giving you the best value for your money. This doesn’t mean you should go for the least expensive since you will often get what you pay for if you go cheap. Rather, compare results, price and services to be offered that best match your needs.
- Be comfortable with the payment options – ideally this should work like a home renovation job. While you may need to give a deposit for the work to get started, you shouldn’t have to finance the work. Pay as you go and ensure that there are pre-established guidelines for the completion of payment.
I hope this posting will help as many businesses as possible from getting ripped off in their search for a solid online presence.