Written By: Jasmin Bollman, Digital Marketing Specialist, Rebel
The question I get asked most often in my job is: “How do I get my website noticed?” It is the eternal question for entrepreneurs – one that can be seemingly insurmountable in its scope.
But the great news is that there are simple, actionable ways that you can start getting your small business noticed online right now. And the fact that you’re a Canadian entrepreneur? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake. Read on to find out why.
Start with SEO
You can have the best website and coolest business in the world, but none of that matters if no one can find it. What you need is to join the elite club that every entrepreneur wants to get into—the first page of Google search results. Make sure your website’s performance knocks it out of the park with search engine optimization (SEO).
To do that, you can use tools like Yoast and Woorank that will evaluate the pages on your website and provide you with insights on how to improve them to gain traction with your SEO efforts. This can range from adding relevant tags on blog posts and photos to updating your site with keywords that people are actually searching for.
Make security a priority
Google announced recently that they will begin giving ranking preference to sites that use SSL certificates. That is, the built-in security feature that ensures customers can send you their personal information (like credit card numbers) securely. Have you visited a website and seen “https://” in the address bar? That means the website uses SSL certificates to encrypt information being sent to them.
Not only will you be giving yourself a better Google ranking by installing SSL certificates, but you will be giving your customers peace of mind, too. That is a win-win situation for start-ups and entrepreneurs that are looking to grow their business online.
Build a website that works
In this day and age, the way your website looks is the first impression many people will have of your company. If it looks like it was built with Geocities circa 1996, you’ll be giving people the wrong idea. The good news is that this is a very easy problem to fix.
There are plenty of comprehensive and easy-to-use site building services out there. You really can’t go wrong with any of the big players, but Weebly is our personal favorite. The service lets you optimize your site for mobile and desktop, choose from a set of pre-built themes and drag-and-drop the apps and widgets you want to include on your site’s homepage.
At Rebel, using Weebly is simple and foolproof – simply turn it on in your Domain Manager. With every domain you buy at Rebel, you get one one-page Weebly website for free. So you can play around with settings to your heart’s content until you find the site design that is absolutely perfect for your business.
Fly your Canadian flag
Like I mentioned earlier, the fact that you are a Canadian entrepreneur automatically gives you an advantage. Why? Because you get the privilege of using .ca domains for your business.
When you started looking for a home for your business online, did you discover that so many of the great ideas you had were already registered by someone else? There’s a reason for that. Over 100 million .com domains have been registered throughout the world, compared to 2.5 million .ca domains. That means there’s a much higher chance of you actually getting a relevant URL, which is a key part of good SEO.
Already have a .com domain that you like? You don’t have to start from scratch with .ca. In fact, you can purchase your matching .ca domain and redirect it to your already existing .com. This way, you still get all of the SEO advantages of using a .ca (and you can use your .ca web address when advertising your business to Canadians) but you won’t have to rebuild. Unless you want to, of course.
Market yourself to Canadians
Made-in-Canada is kind of a big deal, and there’s nothing that Canadians love more than supporting a fellow Canadian. In fact, in the same CIRA study we mentioned earlier, they discovered:
By using a .ca domain for your website, you are sending out a signal to your fellow Canadians; one that comes with built-in trust and security. And here’s the thing: when you use a .ca domain, Google gives you a higher ranking when people search for businesses like yours. Let’s say you are a coffee shop located in Saskatoon: if someone searches for “coffee shops near me” and you’ve got that handy .ca domain, Google will show you over your .com-only competitors because your site is automatically rated as being more relevant.
There’s never been a better – or easier – way to get your Canadian business noticed.