Ottawa Business Support

Ottawa Business Assistance Program The city of Ottawa has a Business Assistance Program that is intended to assist local businesses wishing to improve client services in both official languages; English and French. The program is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and is the solution of a needs assessment undertaken by the City of […]

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New Plastic Surgery Website Serving Toronto

Hey, just giving a shout-out to promote a website we just developed for a client.  The website is  As you can imagine the website is targeting those who are interested in learning more about plastic/cosmetic surgery and/or having plastic surgery in the Greater Toronto Area. There is much useful information on this easy-to-navigate site.  […]

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Business Scale and SEO Quality

So you’ve been monitoring your business activity,
profits and losses and came to the conclusion that to fix at least one of the
problems you have is to apply this SEO (search engine optimization) thing
you’ve heard of.
  You have decided that
you want to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  You want to be on page one of the SERPs
because you understand the benefits; more traffic to your site(s)!

Excellent!  So
you move forward to track down a local SEO company to provide the service for
  That’s another good move since you
need to know what you’re doing so that you do not damage your site or your
site’s chance to rank prominently in the SERPs.
Anyway, you have confidence in the SEO consultant and decide to hire
  Now, you feel you can just sit
back, let the expert do his/her thing and you’ll see a significant increase in
traffic to your website.
  If you hire the
right company that will certainly be the case; impromptu external
changes notwithstanding.

However, that may not be all that is necessary for you
to increase your sales.
  Ranking in the
SERPs and having
website traffic
to your site, however beneficial, is not the be all and end
  That is but one component of the larger
business success picture made up of other equally if not more important

For now, let’s assume you have all of the other
obvious factors in place.
  One aspect
that is often overlooked by people in their zeal to make big bucks is scale;
scale of operation.
  The question you
have to ask yourself is whether or not your business is equipped to handle the
predicted increase in customers provided by your SEO consultant.

Remember that the numbers provided to you were
estimates, based on a good information source, but estimates nonetheless.
  The actual numbers realized could be lower or
they could be higher.
  Most often the
real numbers are higher.
  What are you
going to do when all those additional customers start to roll in?
  If your business is not set up to handle the
influx you are doing a disservice to your customers and yourself.
  The result will be customers lost at the
forefront or at the after-sales point because of poor quality of service;
  Then you’ve lost a customer and
all of their referrals!

There is a risk for sure.  You’re thinking that you’re venturing into
new territory and what if this SEO company doesn’t deliver?
  Then you’re stuck and have lost money
preparing for what you considered an eventuality that never happened.
  Well, you as a business person know there are
  Find a way to limit your exposure
and plan for the increase when it happens so as to limit any negative impacts
on your customers.
  You will need to
monitor your metrics closely and scale up accordingly.

There are no guarantees but one.  If you don’t have a plan in place you will
most certainly fail!
  Don’t assume that
your consultant is your saviour.
can be an asset. However, there is still work in other areas that you need to
ensure gets done; either by yourself or by outsourcing to your consultant or

Be diligent!  If
you’re looking to promote your business in Ottawa using SEO then visit us at

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Mobile Friendly Update

Hello all.  On 21 April 2015 Google will be taking steps to ensure your websites are mobile friendly; see the announcement.  If they are not there will be consequences.  Most likely you will be ranked lower or perhaps not even at all!  I think one can see from this that there are two SERPs; one […]

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SEO Tips applicable for 2015

Here’s a presentation from Steve Nuttall that I found interesting and thought should be shared. He provides some insight into what Google considers important lately. As we know this can change at any moment. It seems to be clear where Google is heading though. Enjoy!
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Ottawa SEO Company View on Prequalifying Clients

Most small business owners, especially startups, cannot fathom the idea of prequalifying clients.  Unless they are swamped with business they would not consider the idea of turning away anyone.  After all, bills have to be paid!  Fair enough.  However, no one wants to deal with difficult clients or those involved in industries that do not align with one’s values.  Therefore, one should filter out those with whom they do not wish to work; prequalify.  It doesn’t matter if you perform SEO service in Ottawa, Toronto, or Nashville.  In my opinion taking action to identify the “good” clients is definitely worthwhile.

Prequalifying starts with you, your ethics and your goals.

Why Prequalify?

Prequalifying happens every day.  I’m sure you’ve been subjected to a prequalifying process at some point in your life.  Think about when you went to apply for a loan or mortgage.  There were a series of questions that you were asked to determine if the lender should do business with you.  Ideally, if you’re not a good fit according to their criteria then you would be turned down.  Job interviews is another example.  If you’ve been called for an interview you’ve passed at least one prequalifying stage.  Prequalifying does not guarantee success because the process can be abused to the detriment of all.

So why do it?  When you started your business you should have established some guidelines to identify with whom you will do business and why.  Obviously, the looser the guidelines the looser the prequalifying process; it may even be nonexistent (meaning you’ll take all comers). 

Personally, I’m in business to help my clients and myself.  When working with someone I must want to work with them.  If I am uncomfortable, or downright upset, with any part of the client relationship the journey will not be enjoyable for me and the outcome may not be the best for the client.  That would affect my relationship with the client and possibly future clients!  Would the fee made on that work be worth it?  No!

Think About your Clients first

Again, I put my clients first.  And, really, you should too!  Without them you’d not have a business and would not be able to pay your bills and enjoy all the benefits of success.  A happy client will get you more clients and give you repeat business.

You do not want to do harm to your client.  That’s why you prequalify.  You want to ensure that your client will be happy at the end of the process.  Your client’s expectations should be met when it comes to the service you provide, the price paid, the delivery timeframe, the attention and communication given.  You need to make sure that the client and you are a good fit and your ethics and integrity aren’t compromised.  For example, don’t take on work for someone in the porn industry if that industry goes against everything you believe or if you are concerned about what your friends and family might think.  Most likely you would not be devote the proper attention required for that client and job.  Again, you want your client to be extremely happy at the end of the day.

By the way, if you take the time upfront to be selective, you will end up saving time in the long run by avoiding clients who are not serious, can’t afford your rates or who would just put you in uncomfortable situations.

How to Prequalify

Prequalifying happens one way only.  You, as an SEO consultant, need to ask the potential client questions, obtain their answers, assess their answers against your criteria and then make a decision on whether or not you will work with them.

Remember the questions (some at least) you ask will be a reflection of your ethical viewpoint on what’s important to you.  Some of the areas you should consider probing are:

1.    Are there any industries/professions with which you do not want to be associated?  Some of those industries may be porn, gambling, file sharing?

2.    Seriousness of the potential client.  Is the lead ready to do business now or is he/she just probing and looking to get something for free?  This is a difficult one to judge and you will most likely make a mistake once in a while and get involved with someone who is not serious and who ends up wasting your time.

A method of gauging seriousness is to request a signed contract and a deposit first.  This is very reasonable and professional.  Those who are willing to put pen to paper and part with some coin up front are serious players!

3.    Does the lead have a budget that can support your rates and the work he/she is looking to get done?  If you are outside of the lead’s budget range, it is better if you turn the lead down so that he/she can find someone else that he/she can afford.

4.    Are the lead’s goals and expectations of the outcome and schedule realistic?  This is not an immediate deal breaker.  Quite often the lead is just not aware of what is in the realm of the possible.  Educate them and then proceed from there.  Also, are they requesting services you offer?

5.    Is the client a good match with you?  This is more of a gut-feel thing.  Based on the client’s responses, how they responded and the brevity of the responses one can get an idea of how important the potential work is to them.

6.    Back to schedule.  Does the client’s schedule expectations align with yours?  Can you fit them into your schedule without sacrificing the quality of work for them or any of your existing clients?

Methods of Prequalifying

The ways of prequalifying are very simple and mostly self-explanatory.  As stated before, you want to ask questions.  There are different points in the process where you can ask the questions.  You can ask:

1.    On your website:  set up a contact form that list your questions and captures the lead’s answers.  You can develop forms for free here.  It is best to define your criteria for working with clients prior to the contact form.  This allows clients to prequalify themselves and only those who fit your criteria will complete your contact form.

2.    Email: You can use a simple contact form to capture the contact information of every potential client on your website.  Then, contact them with an email that lists your criteria and questions.  Those who meet your criteria will respond with answers to your questions.

3.    Phone call:  This is the same as the email above with the exception that you are phoning your leads.  This has more of a personal touch and one gets the additional benefit of tonality and other aural clues immediately.

4.    Face-to-Face:  set up a face-to-face meeting with your lead and present him/her with your questions.  I do not prefer this one since you can end up wasting much of your time.  It is much better to use one of the other methods before ever meeting with the lead personally.  And really, in-person meetings are not needed in this business when you have the other methods of communicating.

I hope the above helped you in some way.  All information may not be useful to you.  However, if just one tid bit of information helps in some way then it was worthwhile in my mind.  Check out my Ottawa SEO Twitter page.

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