Toronto SEO: A Guide to Maximizing Your Online Presence

Toronto SEO Guide

Brightlocal’s 2021 consumer review survey revealed 99% of consumers used the internet to get information about local businesses. Most people now rely more on the web to get any information they need.

The 2020 pandemic showed the need for businesses to maximize their online presence. But beyond that, it’s become more obvious that companies must first gain sufficient visibility in their locality before expanding.

The easiest way to boost your online presence is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO works perfectly for growing brand publicity in specific locations like Toronto.

We’ll examine how SEO can boost your business’s online presence in Toronto and increase conversions.

SEO Strategies to Increase Your Business’s Online Presence in Toronto

It’s easier to let a professional SEO marketing agency build your business’s online presence. Especially when you can’t combine SEO implementation with running your business.

If you can combine the two, here’s how to go about it. Use the guide below to implement local SEO for your business in Toronto

Have a Website

A website is the first thing you need to build a significant online presence for your business.

Again, your customers will go to online search engines for information about your business. And your website provides a ready place for them to find the answers they seek.

Not having a website is a massive handicap to building your online presence. Social media outlets don’t provide as many functionalities for businesses as websites. Plus, websites provide more comprehensive digital fronts for businesses than social media

Statistics Canada reported that 70% of businesses with online sales had a company website. You’re likely to make more sales online with a website.

You can get a website in two ways. You may contract web developers to design your website or build it yourself.

You may find building a website challenging if you aren’t tech-savvy. But not to worry, there are computer programs and platforms that provide easy-to-use tools for business owners to build a digital front for their businesses.

For example, services like Shopify, WordPress, and Bigcommerce let you set up a website in a few hours with little technical knowledge. Their tools are intuitive and straightforward; you need no prior training to use them.

Alternatively, you may choose to code your website from scratch. But, that requires advanced web design knowledge and may consume time. This approach is not the best if you typically have much work to do.

Conduct a Comprehensive Review of Your Website

If you already have a website, but your online presence is still weak, something isn’t right. Your website should be the digital personification of your business. It should be the first thing people see when they look for your venture online.

You must do a website audit if you aren’t getting the internet publicity you expected or want. Examine your digital storefront for what’s not working or needs an upgrade.

Most local SEO guides for businesses will tell you optimization is the solution to all your online presence problems. But they miss the primary idea behind optimization, which is to make what’s not working work as you want it.

As such, you must first identify what parts of your website are responsible for its mediocre performance.

Auditing your website involves carefully examining all the features, elements and content to identify their contributions to your SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) ranking. Generally, the website examination will touch on the following areas.

  • Page speed consideration to examine how quickly your web pages load and render their elements. Ideally, a page should not take more than 3 seconds to load. Google consumer insights reported 53% of mobile users will leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Next, examine the performance of your images. Check if you’re using the right images. Also, heavy images cause pages to load slower. Ensure the images on your website aren’t heavy.

That also applies to videos and audio. You may use professional image and video compression tools to reduce the sizes of heavy images.

  • Next, you should also examine the website structure and navigation ease. Keep it simple and make the pages easy to access for visitors.

Other important considerations during a website audit are

  • Missing page titles
  • Duplicate content
  • Poor indexation
  • Broken links

Optimize Your Website for All Devices

Speaking of making pages easy to navigate, you must apply it across all device types. Let your web pages be easily accessible for users regardless of their devices.

More importantly, take a mobile-first approach to your website setup. Google uses mobile-first indexing for websites. That means your website’s responsiveness and performance on mobile devices will affect your ranking on Google SERPs.

In addition, Statista reported that 75% of customers browse the internet on their mobile devices. Consider that those people will access your website on their mobile devices.  Imagine their disappointment if they find it poorly optimized for their phones.

Then again, aside from taking a mobile-first approach, ensure your website is modern and attractive. Creative and catchy designs capture visitors’ attention.

How you optimize your website for mobile devices will depend on the type of website you have. Web page builders like WordPress and Spotify offer easy tools for mobile optimization. But if you coded the website from scratch, then you must re-edit your code for a mobile-first design.

Related Article: 8 Industries That Need SEO Services the Most

Upgrade Your Keyword Strategy

Keywords are core to all Toronto SEO strategies. Your website audit should reveal your keyword strategy’s effectiveness. That should give you insight into whether it needs a revamp or upgrade to bring better results.

Ahrefs reported that 95% of keywords get only 10 searches per month. It’s not about just guessing random words, you must identify the keywords that work. Consider the following steps for fine-tuning your keyword strategy.

Keyword Analysis

Keywords define what the content is about. They highlight the primary message in the information you’re passing to your audience. They’re also often pointers that lead the audience to and through the content — keywords help the audience find and understand your message.

Keywords analysis involves identifying the right phrases to highlight the core messages in your website content. These phrases must also reflect the target audience’s expectations when searching for what you’re offering.

For example, a web surfer searching for the keywords “Best Italian restaurant in Toronto” expects the search engine to show them results in that line. And your content targeting said keywords must fulfill that expectation

Keyword analysis begins with adequately understanding your message. Then, you must identify the probable phrases a web surfer will use when seeking to access the information in your content.

Competitor’s Keyword Research

After understanding your message and possible keyphrases, you should find out what works for your competitors. Go through your competitors’ websites to investigate their content and keywords.

Search for the service or product you offer, and see what comes up. Then go through the websites, and scrutinize their content. Check for the elements they have that you don’t and see how you can incorporate them into your website.

To quicken the process, use SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to analyze your competitor’s website. Simply search for the competitor’s website, and these tools will generate the keywords they’re ranking for organically

Maximize Geo-Specific Keywords

Following the previous steps, you already have the core message you want to pass, and you know what keywords your competitors rank for. By combining these two, you can come up with a solid keyword strategy for your business.

But you can make those keywords more geo-specific by adding a location to them. For example, if your SEO keyword is “Italian restaurant,” make it more geo-specific by upgrading it to “Italian Restaurant near me in Toronto” or by adding the specific neighbourhood in the city.

Use On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing all the elements on your web pages to make them perform well on SERPs. Google factors in the performance of every element of a web page to determine its search ranking.

Do the following when implementing on-page SEO.

Optimize Titles and Meta-Descriptions

Search engine algorithms use the Titles and Meta descriptions to determine a blog’s relevance to search queries. When optimizing for local SEO, it’s best you include geo-specific keywords in your web content’s title and meta descriptions.

Use Keyword-Mapping

It’s not enough to just throw keywords around on your website. You must be intentional about how you use each word.

A way to do that is by mapping specific keywords to individual pages on your website. Each page should have a target keyword that highlights the page’s purpose.

Curate Relevant Content on Your Blog

High-quality relevant content is crucial to increase your online visibility with SEO. Often, search-engine-optimized titles and keywords are the bait while the backing content is the hook that grabs your audience’s attention.

You may get more customers to visit your website with SEO, but you won’t keep them without information that’s worth their time. Curating relevant content, particularly articles and blog posts is a good way to achieve that.

Implement Internal Links and Get Backlinks

Another excellent on-page SEO strategy involves connecting different pages of your website with hyperlinks. Strategically put links leading to your other web pages in each content. For example, you may include a hyperlink to your Services categories page in an article in your blog.

Backlinks from multiple relevant websites are also crucial for SEO. Backlinko reported that the number of domains linking to a website influenced its ranking.

The easiest way to get backlinks is to put high-quality content on your website that others will want to reference on their domains.

Alternatively, you can write on guest-posting websites and include hyperlinks to your web pages in the content.

Work on the Business’s Google My Business (GMB) Listing

Having a Google Business Profile (GBP) lets you control how your business appears on Searches and Maps. Without a GBP, Google won’t recognize and treat your setup as a business. And that’ll negatively affect your business’s performance in local searches.

If you don’t already have a GBP then you must create one. You only need to submit some information about your business to Google to create the profile.

Brightlocal reported 64% of customers have used GMB to find contact information for a local business. It’s crucial you submit only accurate information when creating your GBP.

Use Accurate Local Business Citations

Citations are similar to your GBP, they’re listings featuring public information about your business. But they go on authority websites like Yelp, Yellowpages, and Apple Maps instead of Google listings.

Search engines also consider citations as ranking factors for local search visibility. Ensure the information about your business on Citation websites are consistent across the board and with your GBP.

Optimize Your Website Schema

Schemas let you embed your business information in your website’s code. This helps search engine bots better identify and categorize your business. With Schema, you’ll register details about your business deep in the framework that makes up your website.

Complement Your SEO Efforts With Other Marketing Channels

You shouldn’t only rely on optimizing your digital setup to show up in search engine results. Use other marketing channels aside from SEO to improve brand awareness for your business in Toronto.

Use these alternative avenues to encourage people to search directly for your business.

Email Marketing

Email marketing involves getting people to sign up for your email publications. It lets you send messages directly to your target audience’s email. It provides a good way to promote your business and increase its brand awareness in Toronto.

Social Media

A strong social media presence is a plus for your business in many ways.

  • Statista reported about 35 million Canadians are active on social media. You get to easily reach them with your social media channels
  • You also get to maximize social commerce and social media marketing to get more visitors to your website via backlinks.
  • Lastly, your business’s social media profile may serve as an extension of your website. Make it possible for people to interact with your business on social media without having to visit your website.

Related Article: SEO Marketing: Your Complete Guide that Tells You Everything

Optimize Your Digital Footprint for Search

Doing local SEO for target audiences in Toronto isn’t as challenging as you may think it is. You don’t need technical knowledge for the most part. A few tweaks around your website and existing marketing avenues should be sufficient to get your online presence growing quickly.

If you’re still stumped on the best SEO solutions for your business in Toronto, then it may be best to let the professionals handle it for you.

We understand the challenges that may come with running your business commitments and implementing SEO strategies simultaneously. Partnering with an intuitive SEO agency like 2Marketing may be the better options.

We’ll anticipate your business’ digital marketing needs and provide actionable solutions so you can focus on what you do best — bringing value to your customers.

Feel free to book a consultation session with us to discuss SEO and digital strategies to maximize your online presence.

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