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Discussion of Web Marketing issues, including optimizing your business listings's Web Marketing Blog

Doing an SEO Check-Up on your Website

You’ve invested in your website, and you’re doing some serious web marketing (you’re on FoundLocally, right?) But are you maximizing your results?  There are two approaches to web marketing & design for web marketing:

  1. If you do good design and coding, you can get solid “organic” results on Google, Bing and Yahoo. These sites are competitive and set an ever-higher bar for ideal rankings. Yes, you can BUY top ranking (that’s what SEM professionals can  help you with) but if your site meets a couple of common sense criteria (Search Engine Optimization or "SEO"), you can DO WELL without paying for the privilege.
  2. If you need fast results for a new product, or have a time-sensitive promotion (like for a holiday), then Search Engine Marketing ("SEM") advertising is a good bet. You have no  control over how fast Google indexes & ranks your content, or how well Facebook “shares” your content with followers. But by paying for the privilege you can quickly be included (or first) in relevant listings & results

And if you have a less-than-optimal website (after considering all the factors below) you may have NO CHOICE but to spend more on SEM  and online advertising to get results.  

You may even find that it may make more sense to build a completely new website, rather than fix up and "patch" the one you've got. Though a  mini-update may be enough to tide you over during the New Website's Design Phase (which can often take longer than expected)

Here are some of our thoughts on some things that are either easy or inexpensive to jump-start your search engine rankings and traffic...

Tip for SEO

Nobody gets site design and optimization efforts PERFECT (or has the budget to). But  your SEO efforts should be rewarded by the search engines, typically in 3-5 weeks, with better ranking results.

Keep in mind that your competitors are doing this too, so you may need to periodically re-evaluate your site, the competition, search engine rankings --and this process--to keep you at or near the top of search results.

LocalMap & Searches enhanced with Responsive Design’s LocalMap uses your device’s GPS location, wherever you are. You’ll find it’s such a handy feature, that you should add it to your device’s home screen.

Search is more than just search, when you can find ALL THE FEATURES right around you—especially when you are lost, and don’t know exactly where you are—so the LocalMap feature is a proximity-based search, showing you everything around you. Its displayed in LAYERS, so the screen of search results is not too cluttered. But its very handy!

A realtor can see what schools, stores, and restaurants are close to a house they are showing. A teacher can show what is nearby to their school.  A traveller can see restaurants, sports/fitness facilities, and attractions that are close to their hotel, or conversely, what hotels and restaurants are closest to their highway off-ramp.

The colour-coded pins each link to a listing, you can view more information about. The colour key is displayed below the map.

Business PROFILE Templates Improvements

As part of our Responsive Design process, we have reviewed every single form on our website( and there are HUNDREDS) to see that they are as clear and ass efficient as possible.

Over the years, we have added many templates (there are over 50 now) to help the free listing process (see "
Add Canadian Business" menu at the right, for your community) for businesses by pre-selecting the categories for the most common new listings.

We have added Quick-Keys so with a single keystroke, the most common templates can be accessed:

Quick keys port of Free Listings PROFILE form

Canadian SEO for non-Canadian SEO Firms

We get inquires form Web marketers who are not from Canada, but working with and on behalf of their Canadian clients (as much as we –on principle—prefer businesses support other local businesses), we wish everybody all the best with their marketing. Our goal is to encourage everyone to make EFFECTIVE use of

Non-Canadian Companies

Listings by non-Canadian Companies are GENERALLY NOT WELCOME on FoundLocally. Our directory is for targeting Canadian consumers or travelers in their OWN COMMUNITY. As such,  overseas businesses (Asian Africa, Europe, South & Central America), are not welcome. However, we welcome American companies in close cross-border proximity like Niagara Falls NY , Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

But, Pakistan, Los Angeles, or New York City business definitely do NOT meet "local" listing requirements... Don't WASTE your time trying.

If you are a foreign web marketer, add yourself as a Registered Contact (in the second part of the phone number field put your full phone number with INTERNATIONAL PREFIX. USA companies can just enter area code + phone number in the second phone number field. Use your own corporate email address. This way we can contact you about listings you enter. There is no bias in how fast your listings are approved, so be honest and accurate with this contact information!

Enter your Canadian clients into the most appropriate directory (see the simple Cheat Sheet, below)

Responsive Design: WordPress or NOT?

“Responsive Design” is a popular topic in the web design field these days, and a big business builder for designers and programmers. But what does it MEAN FOR YOU?

 Responsive Design lets a single version of a website adapt to each device’s resolution and show a “most appropriate” version suiting each device and its typical audience. This recognizes that both the audiences and their needs & priorities can be VERY DIFFERENT on different devices. That means businesses need to consider not the just form-factor (how content, menus, and navigation may change), but the actual content may change.

Calgary Herald's responsive website is a WordPress site

 To view Responsive Design in action, click on the right margin of your browser window (the cursor will look like a two-headed arrow) and start dragging the right margin toward the left side of your monitor, to see how different screen and tablet resolutions are displayed, until you get down to roughly the width of a smartphone screen. Do this for the top of the screen, the middle of the page, and the bottom (footer) to observe how elements and display of those elements changes before your eyes. No only is this process fun, but it is informative as well.

Mobile-Geddon: Is it really?

Google announced (months ago) that it will adjust its search results to favour those sites with mobile-ready web content. They say changes will affect search results after April 21. This is causing some consternation with many businesses. Why? They are afraid they won’t show up in organic search results costing them traffic and business.

An effective website, includes both desktop and mobile versions

Why is Google REALLY doing this?

  • Two-thirds of internet searches and surfing is being done on mobile devices from smart phones (when people are in meetings, when people are using transit, when people are waiting for the movie to start, when people are in a bar--to win a trivia bet). sees about 2/3 of our traffic from mobile users, on either smart phones or tablets.
  • Companies using Google AdWords [] to get traffic over and above their “organic” search results, are going to be affected—and have been already--- they are paying for search clicks going to their site, but those 2/3 of people on mobile devices see a desktop-only site and click back to Google and go to the next site. You’re paying for “traffic” that is not going to waste time on your Troglodyte website (and Google looks stupid to mobile users by sending them to badly formatted content, just because an advertiser is paying them to)
  • The “Apps” revolution of a few years back turned out to be a DUD (but a total money maker for Google and Apple). Users prefer mobile web sites for brands not already core to their lives. It’s a pain to download and maintain “apps” for each business they just MIGHT patronize. Businesses win because they do not have to have an app for Blackberry, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Microsoft… just create and maintain one mobile website.

Updating Your E-commerce Presence

E-commerce can either supplement the sales of a bricks & mortar business, make the customer process easier for their customers, or indeed create a business selling only online to a specialized but geographically diverse market. FoundLocally has clients who fall into each of these three groups.

If your business sells online, you need to stay on top of current trends, or at least not fall noticeably behind. Because if you dont, your COMPETITION will.

Older e-commerce sites have a lot of catching up to do, especially those custom-built, or that that have their engines dating back to the 1990s or early 2000s.

New Table of Contents for Easier Navigation

We've improved the Table of Contents on the bottom of's website pages. Two years ago, we made them "collapsible" to give  our website a tighter & cleaner appearance, but nowadays Google penalizes website for content not displayed.

So, we added back the full Table of Contents back to our page footer, integrated with our Most Popular Links, as well asl lnks to other communities across Canada, and our affiliated websites.

Looking Better in FoundLocally Search Results

We recommend you do a SEARCH, using the Search box at upper-left, and searching by popular keywords that apply to your and your business (like “realtor” or “hotel” or “sushi”)

  •  Review how your listing appears compared to competitors.

  • You can also click on the editorial stories that appear above the business listings, and try the context-sensitive search (by category & neighbourhood) at the right

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned, LocalMap feature added

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned

June 13, 2014 Media Inc has redesigned its mobile version of its website, making its various features more accessible with fewer actions.

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned, LocalMap feature added

Using your devices GPS location, the LocalMap provides a person context for wherever they are. A realtor can see what schools, stores, and restaurants are close to a house they are showing. A traveller can see restaurants, sports/fitness facilities, and attractions that are close to their hotel, or conversely, what hotels and restaurants are closest to their highway off-ramp. And, unlike a lot of restaurant guides, includes fast-food and coffee franchises in its search results and maps, great for families!


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