Greg Ichshenko

Calgary SEO expert and digital marketing specialist,
developing advertising strategies for businesses of all sizes

403.308.5949

greg@ichshenko.com
1509 14 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T3C 0W4

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SEO Company "To the TOP!"

SEO rankings — are results of effective hard work and not a random matter.
Our SEO Company had to go through a lot of things to understand the proper way of communication with the Search Engines. All the way to the top consists of five steps:


Our SEO strategist in Calgary - Greg Ichshenko, can help your company create an effective SEO marketing plan and optimize your website to attract a targeted audience.

The latest publication in the blog

SEO Copywriting for Humans

No matter where or how you publish content, having a good copy online can help your website tremendously. The modern world focuses on communicating online for the most part. This is why online businesses are starting to see how SEO copywriting can help them grow their company and get…

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All projects in the portfolio

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is critical part of the comprehensive development and promotion of a website. In order for a site to appear in the first positions on a search engine results pages (SERPs) you can do so organically – which can take years or more – or you can hire an SEO Company. Only an SEO Company can advise you of strategic search queries to use when promoting your site. Overall, an SEO company will help you to increase the visibility and attendance on your website and furthermore help boost the success of your business. There is no doubt that the higher the position of a site in the results page of a Google search, the more users will go to it. You also gain the trust and loyalty of customers online and in real life when they can easily find you online.

What is an SEO Company?

An SEO Company is a type of digital marketing company that a business owner, or anyone looking to promote their website, would hire to become more visible, accessible and successful online. Whether it's a regional search in Calgary or topical search you're hoping to be number one in, hiring a SEO is a critical step in the sucess of your website and business. Google and other search engines use complex and ever-changing logarithms to ensure that their users find the quality content they are looking for without being inundated with spam. Spam is essentially paid advertising or content that will clutter your browser, inbox or search results and is not relevant to a user search queries. Google’s search logarithms are designed to filter out content that has built itself up organically - meaning that has developed popularity because it is authentically useful, relevant or popular in the real world. SEO companies use strategic methods to simulate this organic growth of online popularity (higher google rankings) in a much shorter amount of time. As business owners know sometimes it can take years to establish a following or solid customer base. the same goes for pages online. When done professionally, the work of an SEO company will save a webpage owner time and money whilst ensuring that a site is not considered spam by Google robots. Tip! Make sure you check out the previous clients and successes of an SEO Company. Online marketing companies that advertise as spam may seem like a cheap alternative, however, their services can actually hurt a site and a business if they are flagged as spam.

How does SEO work?

Quite simply, Optimization rules are set by search engines and are constantly changing. Each search engine, such as Google, will use and regularly change their own ranking algorithms. Ultimately, search engines are trying to best match their users with whatselection of keywords for which the resource is planned to be promoted they are searching for. Because the world is an ever-changing place, new businesses come and go, events pages are updated regularly, etc. Search engines have the tough job of sorting through endless data to find users the most relevant and useful results. In order to do this, Google will account factors, when deciphering content; such as how many times the searched keywords appear on a page, the number of times other websites refer to this page, how long users stayed on the page, etc. Ultimately, however, the magic formulas to get your website a high ranking is kept secret. Google does this to prevent spam or fraudulently promoted pages from taking advantage of the ranking formulas. All that being said, although the formulas are a secret, expert SEO Companies are constantly remaining up to date and know which factors are most weighty. By using these strategic tricks, it is possible to improve the position of a website in a strategic and timely way.

What are ways that a website gets optimized?

Some examples of how SEO is done...
  • Choosing Strategic Keywords - Through careful analysis of the search history of millions of users, the right keywords can make a huge difference.
  • Improving Relevance through proper organization of pages - By structuring the page organization on a website in a way that increases its searchability and relevance, websites have a far better chance of being seen as the right match for a querie in a search engine.
  • Providing or restructuring the content of your website - the descriptions, and body text on a web page is an important component. How often keywords appear on a webpage is one way a site is determined useful and ranked higher.
  • Showing the full extent of your business offerings online - A Photography, for example, can offer a number of different services, by only writing “Photography” with very little content on a web page, Google will rank this site lower than a company that describes, in detail, all of its services exes. Wedding Photography, Portrets, Real Estate Photography, etc.
  • Coding pages for SEO optimization - The “back end” structure of a website plays a huge role in the ranking of a page, a poorly created, organized, or coded webpage will confuse Google and hurt the site's chances of being ranked.
  • External Factors beyond the page itself - How often do other trusted websites, promote, mention or refer to your website? The more “popular” you are with other, quality sites, the better! An SEO can help make this happen.
All of these tasks can be divided into two categories, Internal Optimization and External Optimization. To learn more details about the differences, read on.

What is Internal Optimization?

Quite simply, internal Optimization is work done to an actual website or webpage that will improve its chances of being ranked. Examples of internal SEO optimization are:
  • Compilation of the semantic core (selection of keywords for which the resource is planned to be promoted);
  • Improvement of the internal structure of the resource (CNC, Robots.txt, sitemap);
  • Elimination of technical errors (duplicate pages, broken links, increase in the speed of site loading);
  • Continuous improvement of technical usability of the Website (loading time, mobile view fixes, etc.);
  • Increase the relevance of the pages (matching the user's request);
  • Image optimization;
  • Providing Internal linking (cohesion between your website as a whole, consider each individual page).
Internal SEO optimization can be extremely time-consuming work; it must be a continuous effort and must be done properly. A good structure website from an end users perspective and from the “back end” is of primary importance when getting a website ranked. The success of website ultimately depends on how well made the website is. Beware of companies that offer great deals on websites. A poorly made website is worse than no website at all, because it may have several pages that an invisible to the end user but behind the scenes be used to link other spam sites, thus putting yours at risk of being flagged by Google. At the end of the day, a site should be high-quality, fast, user-friendly, comprehensive and completely relevant to what your customers or visitors are searching for. Like most things, it simple, but not as easy as it sounds.

What is External Optimization?

A good adage that is commonly used to describe how the google logarithms works is “you know a man by the company he keeps.” For Google, this means that the most often and the more prominent pages that mention, reference, or link to you, the better your website is. Simply put, the external endorsement is crucial for a website in getting a higher ranking. External SEO optimization is the buildup of the reference network, by getting links from other sites to your site. In real life, having a celebrity genuinely endorse your product is a great way to grow your following. The higher profile the celebrity, the better. Same goes for online content, however paying to have your website promoted is essentially spam, isn’t it? Totally, so this must be done by a professional in order to avoid having your site flagged or worse, shut down. Beware however that because Google is diligently filtering spam content, websites that offer cheap links can actually hurt the reputation of your website! To increase the organic awareness of your site by other sites and to grow a quality reference network, an SEO will provide you with:
  • Continuous publication of fresh, relevant and interesting information that your targeted users will naturally consume and share;
  • Register your website in various in search engines, catalogues and relevant databases;
  • Exchange links with popular and high-quality resources; sharing is caring.
  • Provide quality and strategically placed press releases; in the form of blogs, updates and posts.
  • Stimulate and provide continuous activity on relevant forums and blogs.
The external SEO process should not be done without first doing a competitive analysis, to see what competitors are doing well and what actions should be avoided to protect against actions that could be flagged by Google as spam. Google’s algorithms actively work to ensure that a site grows organically, so poorly done External SEO work is worse than doing nothing at all.

Is this even allowed?

It is true that Google is constantly trying to filter content, and paid promotions are consistently seen as spammy and thus flagged. However, SEO specialists follow an unwritten code of conduct to avoid running into conflicts. Ultimately SEO Experts are accountable to the search engines themselves. Unprofessional companies that offer discounted links or spammy materials are swiftly flagged and punished. Professional SEO Companies, however, conventionally divide optimization methods into three categories.
White-hat optimization - work on the resource without using officially prohibited methods of promotion, which could affect the search algorithms. Gray methods are not officially banned, but their use can be regarded as an unnatural overstatement of popularity. Some search engines block such sites. Black-hat optimization includes methods that are contrary to the rules. The risk to get under the filters and sanctions of search engines is very high.
  Any SEO work involves the use of techniques that directly or indirectly affect the work of robots. However, the "white" optimizers and marketers, are strategic, play fair, and do not violate the rules of the game. They keep up to date and adhere to the recommendations of Google to create good sites and optimize them. This information is publicly available in the Google Search Console Help Center and can be done by anyone at any time. A professional SEO company will just save you lots and lots of your precious time. Keep in mind that cheap SEO companies are often so affordable because they use many prohibited and cheap tricks. When rules of search engines are not observed, the consequences can be dire to the success of your website.

What is PPC and how is it different from SEO?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, it is a form on of paid online advertising, where companies looking to promote their site in search of customers are given top positions in exchange for paying a small fee every time their website is clicked on. Simply put, it’s a quick and easy way to buy visitor to your website instead of building up a following organically. You may have heard of Google AdWords, for example. This is one of the most commonly know and most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for an ad placement on the select few sponsored links that appear at the top of a search result. Ever notice the word “Ad” in a little green box beside the link to a website? That’s Google Adwords. These positions are filled by a complex bidding process where Google considers the amount an advertiser is willing to pay-per-click and how relevant, useful and liked the website content is for users. PPC can be a useful, quick and easy way to promote a website. However, it can also be very costly (this is how search engines generate revenue after all.) PPC is also an art in itself, spending lots of money on advertising without doing solid and exhaustive keywords research can be a complete waste of money. It’s a good idea to idea to consult an SEO specialist prior to getting too excited about promoting your website through the PPC method. Here’s a summary of some of the important differences between SEO and PPC.
SEO PPC
Appearing at the top of a Google Search - Can take months or even years for certain sites to get to the top + Instant results
Budget vs. Results + With an SEO, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much it will cost to promote your site over time. However, if the amount of visitors exceed your expectations, the price is the same. - The more visitors to your page, the more you pay.
Flexibility - An SEO Expert will give you a strategy and will conduct their promotions based on your targeted keywords + You can change the keywords and strategy of your campaign instantly and as often as you’d like
Aftereffects + The results of expertly conducted SEO work will have a lasting effect on your position and your business. Organic traffic continues to flow even after completion of work. - When the advertising campaign stops, the flow of clients stops.
Trust + Users are more likely to trust a website that has grown organically or promoted through the work of a professional SEO - Users have a natural distaste for blatant online advertisements and can hurt the reputation of a company
Guarantees - With SEO work, there are no guarantees for the world online is always changing + Fixed positions are guaranteed as long as you continue to pay for your position
  The reality is that SEO and PPC are aimed at solving different problems and it's important that as a website owner you make the decision that’s right for you. Sometimes, depending on your budget, a combined effort a great way to go. Making use of an SEO and Paying per click can increase the visibility in both a short and long-term way. Making use of both methods can help manage your reputation effectively, test changes to your advertising strategy, identify the most effective keywords for attracting the most real customers and neutralize the seasonal sales decline. At the end of the day, building a strong online reputation with search engines and your customers is the ultimate goal.

What does “tools” an SEO Company uses to “organically” grow the ranking of a website?

It’s important to keep in mind that an SEO expert can’t do his/her job without the cooperation of a whole team of people and pool of resources. Analysing and building a strategic keyword structure makes use of many analytic tools. Optimal content is usually written by experts who are guided and directed by SEO Experts to effectively display its relevance to the right keyword searches. And most importantly building an online network requires many different players and resources. Here are some examples of tools that an SEO Company would use.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider - A desktop program available by subscription, used for scanning websites to provide technical reporting.
  • Plagiarism Checker - A free online services used for checking the uniqueness of the text, helping avoid plagiarism.
  • Semrush.com - A paid service used for researching competitors websites.
  • Serpstat.com - A paid multifunctional service that allows you to monitor positions, analyze backlinks, key phrases, auditing, and analysis of competitors.
  • Ahrefs.com - A paid service for analyzing the link profile of a website (Links from external sites to your website)
  • Whoishostingthis.com - A free hosting verification service.
  • Builtwith.com - A service which provides the main technical characteristics of a website.

Why is it important to hire a professional?

There are three straightforward and important reasons why hiring a professional is crucial for the success of your business online.
  1. Trying to grow your website on your own can take years of trial and error. You may have grievous technical issues on the back end that are killing your chances of ever ranking and not even know it. Keywords are important and without the strategic ones you’ll be just another website lost in a sea of infinite data.
  2. Simply using the free SEO tools provided by your web hosting provider will give you no competitive advantage. The fact of the matter is they are made simple and easy to use so that everyone and anyone can do it, and everyone is.
  3. Cheap SEO companies can actually damage the reputation of your website. These companies are cheap because they offer links that are often illegally purchased in bulk, Google is extremely diligent about finding these companies and flagging them as spam as well as all of their customers. Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in a web of dirty “clicks,” literally.

Top 5 things to consider when trying to decide to hire an SEO.

1. Being reputable online is important to your existing customers

The fact of the matter is that we live in a digital age. Even if you have a strong customer base, having a strong brand presence online is important for establishing and maintaining credibility with your customers. We expect that the digital versions of ourselves are correlated with reality, especially in the world of business. Having a poorly made, or poorly ranked web page reflects badly on your reputation as a company and can hurt the trust of even your most loyal customers.

2. People are looking for you. Wouldn’t it be great to make it easy for them to find you?

Have you considered that in your area customers are searching for the exact products and services you offer online, every day? Maybe they are currently a customer of one of your competitors but are unsatisfied and looking for you. Many people make purchasing decisions in the comfort of their own homes. Even people in your own city of Calgary, AB may drive past your business everyday but not choose to stop in until they see your name at the top of a google search online. Why not have them trust and be excited about what you offer without even having to meet them?

3. Getting an online “face lift” can help you in more ways than just online.

Building a website is much like building the identity of your business. Going through the process of choosing your target audience, based on real data of what people are searching, can help you see areas where you can grow. Maybe there are products and services that people want that you can offer but just never thought to. Additionally, writing and designing the purpose and face of your company can help guide your actions in real life.

4. Connecting with other businesses online can bring new opportunities

We all know that in the free market competition is the fuel for innovation, however, cooperation can also promote growth, especially online. Building a network online, through links, content and connections not only promotes your website but can also put you in touch with a great network of other successful business in yours or related fields.

5. The work of an SEO pays for itself

If having a great website that was easily found online brought you, 5 new customers, wouldn’t the work of an SEO have been worth it? In the real world building a customer base can take years. Simply relying on referrals is inconsistent and unreliable and can result in tons of lost revenue or giveaways that never pay off. The digital world works at a much faster speed, and doing it right - even more so! Isn’t making money and growing your business the whole reason you started one in the first place? What are you waiting for?

Five crucial questions to ask when choosing the right SEO.

  1. Where is the SEO Company’s website ranked?
  2. Was it advertised to you as a Pay-per-click or Google Ad?
  3. How can you trust that they will not just do the same to your website?
  4. Do they comply with Google Penguin Algorithm updates and how?If you are not sure, or it’s not explicitly stated on their website. ASK! If they don’t immediately start talking your ear off about all the requirements, they don’t know what they’re talking about.
  5. What other website have they successfully ranked?Always ask an SEO Company for some examples of their previous clients. Building a reputation online for an SEO is everything, do your homework before you start spending your hard-earned money for nothing.

Why is SEO so expensive?

 

SEO takes many hours of research, creative output and skilled labour.

Hopefully the information available on my website has given you a better idea of the amount of work involved in getting a website to the top. The fact of the matter is, many factors, people, and hours are involved in optimizing and linking a website. And because our company is located in Calgary, Canada, we can't live off a$1 and hour.

Cheaper services mean lower quality work that could, in the long-run hurt your website and end up costing you more.

Like most products on the market, the price is often correlated to the quality of the product. Cheap copywriters may create material that is not relevant to your business. It have spelling errors or be optimizing your site for the wrong keywords. Furthermore, cheap services offering discounted backlinks not only will not get you the traffic you’re looking for, they also have the potential to damage the credibility of your site, resulting in a flagged, or worse, banned website.

Advertising is expensive.

More traditional methods of advertising are often so cost prohibitive for the average small business. A bus stop advertisement on a busy street in Calgary, for example, as well as murals and billboards can be hundreds of dollars per month. Even a small ad in a magazine can be over hundred dollars for a single issue. Pay per click can cause you to spend your entire marketing budget on paying for accidental traffic with no return and cost you losing the trust of your potential customers. At the end of the day, SEO work can seem expensive but the lasting and tangible effects on your business are worth it. Send us an inquiry and we will figure out a way to work with your budget and get you results that matter in today’s digital age.

We offer scaled price packages to fit any budget.

Here at To-The-Top, we understand what it’s like to be running a start-up or business on a budget that’s why we offer customizable packages that give you the tools, guidance and coaching you need to optimize your site on any budget. You can save our time and yourself money by purchasing one of our SEO Private Coaching packages, we’ll do the research and give you clear directions, by doing the upgrades and changes to your website yourself, the right way, the first time, you’ll reap the same benefits for a fraction of the price.

SEO Pays for itself.

It’s important to consider that not appearing in a search engine is having negative effects on your business that you may not even realize. Don’t lose the trust of your customers, don’t miss out on attracting new customers and don’t let any more time pass you by. Get started today, each new client you get is money spend on an SEO, money well spent.

Can I promote my website without hiring an SEO Company and how?

You can! We can help. Check out one of our personalized SEO training packages and we will provide you with the research data you need to get started. We’ll also give you personalized tips and instructions to fix your site, write effective and optimized content and start building an online network. Even if you choose not to work with us, we hope that some things you learned on our site will help you get off to a good start when it comes to your online marketing.

Last minute tips from the pros.

Do not make the mistake of paying for a cheap, advertised, online SEO. These services will hurt your business and end up costing you more money in the end. Using a local company, like us - based in Calgary - can give you the peace of mind knowing that you have someone accountable and available to you to ensure you get what you pay for and more! Remember that organic traffic and building a community of genuine followers online is the most effective way to rise to the top. It may be useful to talk to a brand strategist to get yourself some clear and effective perimeters to ensure that your company and your brand are looking their best and clearly communicating the messages you want to your customers. The most important thing to remember is that growing a business and growing a presence online takes time. Be strategic and consistent but most importantly be patient.

Conclusion.

We hope you have learned something here today! If you want to learn more, you can immerse yourself in learning the rules of search engine optimization and Internet marketing, in Calgary or anywhere; take advantage of our tools and resources to learn more. Track the latest news and industry trends. The digital worlds are constantly changing and there are no shortage of chances to quench your thirst for knowledge. Otherwise, give us a call! Calgary SEO Company "To-the-TOP!" is always ready to offer high-quality help with personalized plans to meet your goals and budget.