Google Tag Manager Basics for Beginners

Google Tag Manager Basics for Beginners

There is a whole suite of Google services available that makes life easier for webmasters and marketers. More often than not, individuals that run a website will install Google Analytics to track website traffic and they will likely utilize Google Search Console and/or Google Ads for their SEO and PPC efforts.

For the most part, you can run your website and marketing efforts based on these services and do a good enough job with your conversions.

If you are looking to gain greater visibility on what website visitors are doing on your site once they get there, then Google Tag Manager is for you.

What is Google Tag Manager?

According to Google, straight from their site, they say:


Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tracking codes and related code fragments collectively known as "tags" on your website or mobile app. (click here for full overview)


So, what exactly does that mean and why should you care? Basically, the tag manager allows you to track certain events that occur on your website. And what does that mean? Well, if someone for instance clicks the "call now" button on your website, having that button tagged will then trigger an event that you can see on Google Analytics!

Is this the Only Way to Track Events on my Website?

No, not necessarily. If you are good at coding javascript, you can manually tag buttons, links, and other desired events. This is the beauty of using Google Tag Manager though, you don't need to be an expert coder to start tracking these events.

So, Why Should I Care About Tracking Events?

In this day and age of digital marketing, there are various sources of traffic coming in. To properly attribute where this traffic is coming is crucial, but being able to attribute who is converting, where the source of this conversion came from, and what elements on your site are not converting will allow you to better spend your marketing dollars.

Say for example you received 30 phone calls from potential leads to your business last month. Your marketing efforts included SEO, PPC Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Which marketing effort drove the 30 phone calls? Now, one month shouldn't determine how you spend your marketing dollars, nor should one type of event, but at least this is a good starting point for developing a larger digital marketing strategy.

Related Article: How Google Can Help Your Small Business

How Do I Setup Tag Manager?

Here are the steps to setup Google Tag Manager:

1. Go to

2. Sign into your Google account and click Create Account

3. Fill in account information, country, website address and choose web (for website, this tutorial is for tagging your website)

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot4. Read over the terms and service, accept and proceed.

5. Next, you see a pop up similar to below. This is the most coding that is required before you start using Google Tag Manager. You will need to add a piece of code in the <head> and a piece of code in the <body> sections of your website.

Google Tag Manager Screen Shot

You are now all setup. On the screen, you will see your "workspace". The 3 main components to pay attention too are tags, triggers, and variables.

Google Tag Manager Screen ShotWhat is a Tag?

A tag is basically a set of code that gets executed when an event occurs and it then sends information to a source like Google Analytics. In order for a tag to execute, it looks for an event to happen which is usually triggered by a set of rules that you design.

What is a Trigger?

A trigger is basically a set of rules that you design that Google Tag Manager will be on the look for to occur on your website. As mentioned above, once these rules are met, the tag will then communicate this information to Google Analytics as an event occurring.

What is a Variable?

A variable is a compartment used to store values. Huh? Well, to break it down in a way to better understand, a variable in Google Tag Manager is basically things that can potentially happen on your site that you can create rules around. As an example, "click text" is a variable. Now, we can create a trigger that says when the variable "click text" = call now, fire the trigger. Then, we can create a tag that is on the lookout for this trigger, and when it happens, it communicates with Google Analytics information for you to see on your Google Analytics dashboard.

A lot of this can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the information you receive from tagging your website properly can give you the data you are looking for to properly attribute which marketing campaigns are driving your best ROI.

Check back again for a future article that will show you how to create your first tag on Google Tag Manager.

About Retailors Group

Retailors Group is a results-driven marketing agency. We focus on digital marketing and field marketing.

72 Facts About SEO

72 Facts About SEO

Many website owners have problems with getting the desired amount of traffic on their websites. There are many strategies that can help enhance traffic, and even though it is not an appropriate strategy for every website, search engine optimization is one of the best strategies out there.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process that helps the growth of the online visibility of a website so that it gets unpaid (also known as organic, natural, earned) results which are the goal of every webmaster. It may target different kinds of searches such as image, video, academic, news, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Who Controls the Market?

With 2.3 million searches performed per second, Google is the leader among the search engines, and with 92.59% of the mobile devices and 72.87% of desktop searches belonging to the company, it has the biggest chunk of the market shares.

Other major search engines include Baidu, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex who have control of the smaller part of the shares.

What Are the Ranking Factors?

1. Page speed

Top ranking sites have 1,900 ms page speed.

2. Content quality 

Longer and informative content ranks higher.

3. Backlink profile

Rank 1 websites have more links.

4. Bounce rate 

The bounce rate of rank 1 websites is lower.

5. SSL Security

27% of top search results use https.

6. Click-through rate 

Higher CTR leads to higher rankings.

7. LSI Keywords 

These keywords help Google understand what a page is about images – Most of page 1 results have an image on their page.

What Lies Ahead?

With the rapid growth of voice search, 50% of online searches will be voice searches by 2020.

Most searchers are moving mobile as search on mobile devices is starting to dominate. Search engines such as Google are getting along with the trend. They require that websites become mobile-friendly, or get out of the search.

The importance of Google answer box terms is growing as Google answer box gets triggered to about 25% of total searches.

Take a look at the infographic which follows to better understand SEO in 2018.


How Important is a Top Listing In Google?

How Important is a Top Listing In Google?

I want to start off by telling you that this is a sales pitch…in a way… Well maybe not… However, I will ask that you call us if you want us to help rank you after you finish reading this. For now, all that I ask is that you manage to keep your attention on the next couple of paragraphs and learn the importance of being at the top of Google.

Are you a windows and doors contractor? Maybe a plumber who specializes in basement waterproofing services? Or a financial advisor who provides critical illness insurance?

Regardless of what type of product or service you sell, whether you’re a videographer, sell shawarma, your clients go through a certain process in order to choose the solution for their problem. Before showing up on the top of page one, you need to understand that process and how clients interact with search engines at each step of that journey. Let’s assume I need to find a new optometrist because I just moved to a new neighbourhood.

First, I am going to take my phone out and Google search “optometrist” near me. Google says 60% of people that search a business near them make a physical trip to a location of their choice within 24 hours. I am going to look at the first 3-5 options, open their website, read reviews, and do a little bit more research. I will either decide on the spot to call someone and book an appointment or I will re-visit the topic again in the following days. If I revisit the topic in the next few days I will probably go through the same exercise again, remember a couple of names maybe and repeat the process.

If you are one of those optometrists that show up on the top, 3 things are important to me:

1. The User Experience of the Landing Page

A landing page is the first page you land on once you click on the business. There are several things to consider on your landing page such as: Did the landing page load fast enough? Is the website optimized for Mobile devices? Is there an easy way to interact with the business – is the “book an appointment” button or the “call now” button in front of me? Is the website modern and clean? Can I trust based on my first impression that this establishment cares about their clients? Do they care enough about their own business to keep things updated? Is there a map of their physical location on the website? Can I see some client testimonials there? All these factors contribute to the image I am creating of that business.

2. Does the Business Answer the Questions to My Problem?

If I searched “optometrist” near me, is it clear on the landing page that I am looking at an optometrist office? Although it seems obvious you will be surprised at how many businesses want to promote a specific product or service and confuse users by occupying most of the real-estate on the home page with their current promotion that often is not related to the core service or product that made the user land on that page.

3. Other Online Presence

Now that I am somewhat sold on the business, I want to do some additional research. I will look at reviews, social media pages, online mentions of that business, and Google Listing.

All of these things will contribute to the process of deciding who to give my business to. It seems like a lot, doesn’t it? I just want to point out though that none of these points are relevant if you do not show up on the search results when customers are searching terms that are relevant to your business. Remember how the journey started? I took out my phone and Google searched “optometrist” near me.

If you need help getting your business there, call us! Try searching “escape room Mississauga” or “bathroom vanities Kitchener” on Google. All of our clients ranked on page 1 within the year of hiring us. You can check out our other SEO articles if you want to know more about how to rank high on Google.

How to Submit Your Website to Google

How to Submit Your Website to Google?

Do you have a business, but don’t have a website? If so, you’re missing out on many opportunities for your business. Wouldn’t you want your customers to know your business and what you can offer them?

You can help your business grow by establishing an online presence with website design. Having a website allows your customers to access your website at any time to browse for the products or services that your business offers. Our team at Retailors Group will take the time to understand your business to ensure that your goals are aligned with your website. Whether you want to utilize a website for branding, to collect leads, or to generate sales, Retailors Group has a solution for you.

And on the other hand, you’ve created an amazing site. Are you ready to share your website with your customers? If so, you need to submit your website to Google so it knows your website exists. Google will crawl and index your content to get your site listed on search results. This happens automatically over a couple of days or weeks, but manually submitting your site to Google will accelerate this process.

How does Google find my content?

Google uses a crawler called the Googlebot to crawl billions of pages on the web. The crawling process starts with Googlebot using a list of URLs generated from previous crawls. Then, it augments those pages with sitemap data provided within Google Search Console. Googlebot also looks for new sites, any broken links, and updates to existing pages.

When the crawling process is complete, the results are fed into Google’s index. Google will look at the information on your webpages such as title tags, meta descriptions, and more.

How can you check if your site is listed in Google? You can check if a particular site is listed by typing in “” Take a look at the example below for a drain cleaning page.

Example of how to check if your site is listed in Google (Drain Cleaning)

How do I submit my website to Google?

1. Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Log in to Google Search Console to add the URL of your site and select “Add a Property.”

Add your site to Google Search Console

2. Verify Your Site on WordPress

Log in to WordPress and select “Appearance.” Then, select “Editor” and click on “Header.php.” Look for the head tag of the header and paste the HTML tag you copied from Google Search Console. Go back to your Google Search Console dashboard and click “Verify.”

Verify yoursite on WordPress

3. Submit Your Sitemap to Google

Go to your Google Search Console dashboard and select “Crawl,” then “Sitemaps,” and click on “Add/Test Sitemap.” Open a new tab and type in to get your XML sitemap. Copy everything after, then go back to your Google Search Console dashboard, paste the sitemap on the box and click “Submit Sitemap.”

Submit Your Sitemap

4. Fetch as Google

Fetching as Google will help your content appear in search results as soon as possible. Go to your Google Search Console dashboard, select “Crawl” and click on “Fetch as Google.”

If you want to fetch your entire website, leave the center box blank, select “Fetch” and choose “Crawl This URL and its Direct Links.” If you are fetching a specific webpage, enter the URL of that webpage, select “Fetch” and choose “Crawl Only This URL.”

Fetch as Google

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Are you looking to grow your business and attract more customers using local SEO strategies? Local SEO is an effective way to market your business online because it helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers. One of the best local SEO strategies to help improve your online visibility is Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free and easy to use tool for businesses to manage their online presence. Claiming and verifying your local business’ Google My Business listing can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Search, Maps, Local Pack, and Local Finder.

Below is how your business would show up on Google’s search results. If you Google search the term “Banquet Hall Mississauga” you will see the top 3 businesses on the first page.

Related Article: Why is SEO Important for Small Businesses?

Benefits of using Google My Business

There are 3 benefits of using Google My Business for your business:

1. Manage your information

Google My Business will help you manage the information that customers see when they search for your business, products, or services. Did you know that businesses who verify their information with Google My Businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable by potential customers?

2. Interact with customers

You’ll be able to read and responds to reviews from your customers and post photos that show off what you do with Google My Business. Did you know that businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses who don’t?

3. Understand your presence

You can see insights on how customers search for your business, as well as where those customers are coming from. You’ll be able to see information such as how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results.

Optimizing your Google My Business Listing

If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business listing, that’s the first step so visit to get started. There are many local businesses that just claim their Google My Business listing and forget about it. Most local businesses don’t realize that Google offers a variety of other features that you can use to optimize your Google My Business listing.

Here are 10 ways to optimize your Google My Business listing:

1. Enter Complete Information for Your Listing

Google will ask you to fill out the information about your business such as an address, hours, and phone in order to complete your Google My Business listing. This information will make it easier for your potential customers to find more information about your company. Completing all the information Google asks for is very, very important because if you don’t, anyone including your competitors can suggest a change or edit to your business listing.

Take a look at this example of Skyward Business Centre, office space in Mississauga. This is how your Google My Business listing will look like with all of the information filled out.

2. Include Important Keywords

Your Google My Business listing is just like your traditional website SEO. Google uses a variety of factors to serve search results, therefore including important keywords to your business will be helpful since your website is listed directly with your Google My Business Listing.

For example, if you’re selling a product like ATVs you should include keywords such as ATVs for sale, quads for sale, and four-wheelers for sale or if you’re providing a service such as installing charging stations for electric cars, you should include keywords such as electric car charger, home charging station, and condominium charging station.

3. Google My Business Posts

You should utilize Google My Business Posts because it’s almost like mini-ads or social media posts that show up in Google search underneath your Google My Business listing. Here are examples of Post ideas for Google My Business Posts:

1. If you’re having an event you can set up an event Post with a date and time.

2. If you have a sale going on during a specific time you can create a sale event Post.

3. If you created a killer blog with amazing content, add a short description, and link to the post on your blog.

4. Booking Button Feature

Google has a booking button feature that can help your business stand out from the crowd. If your business relies on customers making appointments and you’re using integrated scheduling software, people can now book an appointment with your business directly from your Google My Business listing.

5. Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is an amazing feature for Google's local search. This allows people to ask questions about your business and you’ll be able to answer those questions.

6. Google My Business Reviews

Did you know 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Google encourages businesses to ask their customers for online reviews. These reviews will appear next to your listing in Google Search and Maps which will help your business stand out in search results.

7. Photos and Videos

Make sure you add photos and videos to grab people’s attention. This is a great way to show off your brand and let your customers find out what your business is all about.

8. Business Descriptions

Google now allows businesses to include a business description on Google My Business Listing. This gives you the chance to tell potential customers your story and what makes your business unique. Please keep in mind that you only have 750 characters and only 250 of those show up in the Knowledge Panel.

9. Services and Menus

The services and menus feature is useful if you sell services such as a spa, nail salon, or hair salon. This feature allows you to list out all of your services and provide prices so that potential customers can easily see what your business has to offer. This feature is only available for health, beauty, food and drink, and other service businesses that don’t have a third-party menu link.

How to Optimize Anchor Text For SEO?

How to Optimize Anchor Text For SEO?

In the early days of SEO, black-hat SEO experts were doing everything imaginable to rank their sites on Google which included keyword stuffing and creating spammy backlinks. (Black-hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies and techniques that focus on search engines rather than a human audience). Those older SEO hacks are long gone as we deal with a much more sophisticated algorithm like Google Penguin.

Google Penguin was launched on April 24, 2012 to decrease search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using black-hat SEO strategies and techniques. Such strategies and techniques are commonly described as link schemes that involve artificially ranking a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page.

Now that Google Penguin is part of the core Google Algorithm, the anchor text you use in your backlinks and internal links is a lot more important. Anchor texts are an important part of SEO and have a strong impact on your search engine ranking. So in this blog, we will show you how to optimize your anchor text in order to positively impact your SEO.

Related Article: The Beginner's Guide to Link Building for Small Businesses 

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a link that appears in a different colour and underlined. Anchor text indicates what’s behind that link, provides context for search engines, and most importantly increases the chance of someone clicking on your link. The image below is an example of an anchor text on a web page. The clickable text that you see in a hyperlink is “basement waterproofing.”


But, what does an anchor text look like in HTML? In HTML, the first piece of code is the URL and the second part describes the link. The image below is an example of an anchor text in HTML. The anchor text that you see in HTML is “debt consolidation.”

Anchor Text with Google Penguin

How does Google Penguin analyze anchor text? How does it determine whether a site should be penalized or not? Well here’s exactly how Google Penguin works:

1. You create a backlink

2. Google indexes the backlink through Search Console

3. Google places your backlink into its database for your specific website known as your link profile

4. Steps 1-3 are repeated over and over again, so now you have a link profile that Google Penguin analyzes

When Google Penguin analyzes your link profile, it compares it to your on-site keyword optimization. (A link profile is the makeup of links directing to your site). So if your on-page content is optimized for “condos for Sale North York,” 100% of your anchor texts shouldn’t be “condos for Sale North York” or you will get a penalty. Google Penguin will see that you are trying to rank for “condos for Sale North York” and you are building links artificially. Therefore, exact match anchor text + keyword-rich optimized = Google Penguin Penalty.

The Different Types of Anchor Texts

So then how do I avoid getting penalized by Google Penguin? In order to optimize your anchor text in order to positively impact your SEO, you need to have a clear understanding of the different types of anchor texts.

1. Generic Anchor  Text

Generic anchors are normal text like go here, this page clicks here, read more, additional info, check this out, more info here, and about the author.

2. Branded Anchors

Branded anchors use the brand name as text. These are the safest to use unless your website is an exact match domain. Well-know brands and sites like Best Buy and Amazon will have the highest number of branded anchor texts.

3. Naked Link Anchors

Naked link anchors link back to a site by using the URL. For example, and are examples of naked link anchors.

4. Brand + Keyword Anchors

Brand + keyword anchors are a combination of your brand name and your choice of keyword. For example, “Experiential Marketing by Retailors Group” is an example of a brand + keyword anchor.

5. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Anchors

LSI anchors refer to the variations of your main keyword. Just think of it as a synonym. For example, if your main keyword is “financial advisor”, LSI keywords could include “financial planning,” “wealth management,” and so on.

6. Partial Match Anchors

Partial match anchors is the partial presence of keywords in the anchor text. For example, “useful anchor text guide” and “learn more about anchor text.”

7. Long Tail Anchors

Long-tail anchors are similar to match anchors except that they’re longer. For example, “anchor text is an important part of link building” and “anchor text have a strong impact on your search engine ranking.”

8. Exact Match Anchors

Exact match anchors are the exact match of your target keyword. They are the most important type of anchor text and play a crucial role in improving your ranking or getting penalized by Google. For example, if your target keyword is “optometrist,” your anchor text is also “optometrist.”

Tips & Best Practices for Anchor Texts

Optimizing anchor text without being penalized by Google Penguin for your website can be tricky. However, here are some useful tips and best practices for anchors text to help you optimize your anchor text in order to positively impact your SEO.

1. Keep your Anchor Text Relevant

Make sure your anchor texts are relevant to the content you’ve placed them. For example, if your target keyword is “link building,” you should write an article specifically about link building. The more relevant your article is to your keyword, the better your rank will be on Google.

2. Distribute Different Types of Anchors

You should distribute different types of anchors as it can make or break your search engine ranking. There is no ideal anchor text distribution, however, according to SEMrush, your anchor distribution should be 40% branded anchor text, 25% naked link anchor, 5% brand + keyword anchors, and so on. You can refer to the image below for the anchor text distribution graph.

1. Track your Anchor Texts

It’s important to track the anchor texts that you’ve used when you’re building backlinks. Therefore, you need to be organized and ensure you’re not over-optimizing your page with keyword-rich anchors.

4. Acquiring the Right Links

You should acquire the right links from sites with high traffic and authority. Having authoritative sites linking to you is great for your link profile. Focus on sites with Domain Authority above 30 and Page Authority over 35.

The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building for Small Businesses

The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building for Small Businesses

The importance of building high-quality links has never been higher as the landscape of SEO and link building is always changing. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to link back to your own website. Search engines like Google use links to crawl the web, crawl the links between the individual pages of a website, and crawl the links between entire websites.

How a Link is Created

Before you begin to understand the importance of link building, it’s important to understand how the basics of how a ink is created, how search engines like Google see links, and what they can interpret from them.

Example: <a href=“”>Basement Waterproofing</a>

1. Start of Link Tag

The start of the link tag (“<a”) is called an anchor tag. The link tag and tells the search engine that a link to something else is about to follow.

2. Link Referral Location

The “href” stands for hyperlink referral. The text inside the quotation marks (href=“”>) indicates the URL to which the link is pointing. The text inside the quotation marks could also be the address of a file or image to download.

3. Visible Text of Link

This is the text (“Basement Waterproofing”) that users see on the page. If they want to open the link, they need to click on the text. The text is usually formatted with blue and/or underlining to stand out from the text that surrounds it.

Basement Waterproofing4. Closure of Link Tag

The closer of link tag (“</a>”) signals the end of the link tag to the search engines.

What Links Mean for Search Engines

There are 2 ways that search engines use links: to discover new web pages and to help determine how well a page should rank in their results.

When search engines crawl pages on the web, they extract the content of those pages and add them to their indexes. Then they decide if the page should be ranked well for relevant keywords by looking at the content of the page, the number of links points to that page from external websites and the quality of the external websites. Therefore, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well for relevant keywords in search results.

Don’t you want your business to show up on the top results in Google? If you type in “cultured marble Kitchener” on Google, you’ll see Marble Tradition on the top results for this keyword.

Cultured Marble

How Link Building Can Benefit Your Small Business

We know that search engines like Google looks at the number of links that point to your page from external websites and the quality of the external websites to determine how well your page should be ranked for relevant keywords. However, there are other benefits to link building:

1. Building Relationships

Linking building involves reaching out to relevant websites, blogs, and influencers in your industry. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Mississauga, you should reach out to insauga. They write blogs about food, lifestyle, new openings, real estate, and many more. They are also the largest online media company in Mississauga with over 5 million reaches per month.

Reaching out to key influencers in your industry will help you build long-term relationships which will help your business become highly regarded and trusted.

2. Sending Referral Traffic

We know that the impact of links from high-quality websites impacts your rankings, but what about the impact of those links on referral traffic? Wouldn’t having a good link from a highly-visited website lead to an increase in your traffic? The answer is yes.

If you stumble across a blog by insauga about “The Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Mississauga”, wouldn’t you look into those restaurants (check out their menu and where it is located) and perhaps even going to eat at one of those restaurants? Therefore, if you have a link from a relevant website, chances are that the traffic is also relevant which can lead to an increase in sales.

Link Building Strategies

There are many link building strategies you can use to get external websites to link to yours. Here are the 3 ways on how to get other sites to link to you:

1. Content Creation

Create unique and high-quality content that people will want to reference and link to, and tell people about it.

2. Reviews and Mentions

Don’t be afraid to put your business in front of influencers. Approach influences in your industry, such as bloggers or people with a large social media following about your product or service.

3. Links from Friends and Partners

Ask your friends and partners to link to your site. However, just make sure the links are from sites are in the same industry. This will have more value than links from random and unrelated sites.

How to Write an Article Optimized for SEO

How to Write an Article Optimized for SEO

Content creation is key to your business. It is crucial to regularly produce content or you will lose valuable traffic to a competitor.

Knowing how to write an article optimized for SEO that will rank on the first page of Google is critical if you want to drive traffic to your site. It is a waste of time to create content if your content does not appear among the first couple of results.

In this article, we will cover the 5 steps on how to write SEO articles:

Step 1: Select the Right Keywords

Selecting the right keywords is a big part of whether or not your content will rank. You can select the best keywords by writing a list of keywords that you are looking to target. Then go on Google Keyword Planner to see how competitive your keywords are and the average monthly searches for each keyword.

For example, if you’re a plumber specializing in basement waterproofing, you might be looking to target keywords such as basement waterproofing, wet basement, and a flooded basement. Or if you’re a financial advisor, you might be looking to target keywords such as financial advisor, financial planning, and financial management.

Step 2: Create a Lengthy Posts

The golden rule of white-hat SEO is to creating lengthy posts. When people spend more time on your site, it will lead to better rankings. Time on site is one of the most powerful metrics when it comes to SEO. Writing shorter is easier and quicker, but writing content in long-form will outperform short content.

You can write long posts by searching for a topic that you want to write about and condensing all of the information that the top 5-10 results present. Therefore, this will allow you to provide the most information out of all of your competitors so you can outrank them.

Step 3: Use Compelling Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

When you use compelling meta titles and meta descriptions, this will increase your click-through rate (CTR). CTR is an important factor that Google takes into consideration when ranking sites. When it comes to your meta descriptions, you have 160 characters to convey a general idea of your post. Make it count by leaving some cliffhanger at the end to make people inclined to read more.

For example, if you’re looking for condos for sale North York, would you be inclined to click on a site with the metal title “Condo 3 bedroom North York - Trovit?” Below is an example of a good and bad meta title and meta description.

Step 4: Structure Your SEO Article

You have to make sure you structure your SEO article using H tags to divide your content into sections. You can do this by using the H1 tag for the blog post title and H2, H3, H4 tags for your subheadings. You should also include images to make your content more engaging and use alt text on all your images.

Take a look at Marble Tradition’s site. They are using the H1 tag for cultured marble Kitchener and H2 tag for bathroom transformation as their subheading.

Step 5: Permalink Should Include Main Keywords

Your URL should include the main keyword that you’re looking to rank for that specific web page or blog post. You should try not to use stop words such as “a”, "to", "an", “the”, and “is” in your URL.

For example, in this article, my permalink is "write SEO articles" rather than "How to Write an Article Optimized for SEO."

Try these 5 steps on how to write SEO articles and let us know how your article did! You can comment on the article below or drop us a line at 

4 Effective Ways to Improve Click-Through-Rates (CTR) on Google Search Results

4 Effective Ways to Improve Click-Through-Rates (CTR) on Google Search Results

So, you have put in all of this hard work to get your blog posts or service pages on the first page of Google search results. Congratulations!

Getting to the first page of search results is the first step in getting users to land on your website through organic acquisition. The next thing you should focus on is having searchers actually click on your link in search results.

First, let’s explain what a click-through-rate (CTR) is. Mathematically, it is basically your search impressions divided by clicks. Search impressions are the number of times a search engine, like Google or Bing, show your intended post or page in a searcher's query.

To find your CTR, login to Google Search Console, click on Search Traffic, then click on Search Analytics. By default, the search console shows your top queries that had the highest volume of clicks over the last 28 days. You will need to now click on the checkboxes at the top to include “Impressions”, “CTR” and “Position” to get an idea of where your CTR rate is on search queries.

I included “Position” to be checked as this helps you determine if your issue is a click-through problem or a ranking position problem. If your average position is a high a number, it means you are showing up more often than not on the 2nd page or greater. If this is the case, you should work on optimizing your page before improving your CTR.

I’m not going to focus on what is considered a good CTR, but rather focus on ways to improve click-through-rates on Google search results. Now that you know what your average CTR is, let’s get to 4 ways to improve them:

1) Create Good SEO Titles That Encourage Searchers to Click

According to Search Engine Land, there are 4 elements that attract more clicks from your title: format, emotional hook, content type and your subject. You can read the full article here.

Review what your current SEO title is on the post or page you want to improve and ask yourself if the hook is enticing enough for someone to click on. Does it invoke emotion or have power words in it?

A good way to test it out is to boost a post on Facebook. The same enticing titles that draw clicks from social media will be the same enticing titles that will draw clicks from organic search results.

2) Fit Meta Titles and Descriptions Appropriately

Although you want to maximize your real estate on your meta titles and descriptions, you do want to avoid the dreaded dots (…) on your search results.


Search Result for Italian Restaurant Port Credit

Meta titles can be up to a maximum of 78 characters, but we recommend keeping it to 70 in order to avoid getting the dots on desktop. On mobile, you can add the other 8 characters but that really breaks down to the word, so best to keep it at 70 to satisfy both mobile and desktop.

For meta descriptions, the maximum amount is 320 characters. We find keeping your description under 310 characters will help you avoid getting the dots on both mobile and desktop.

On the flip side, if your meta descriptions end up being too short, Google will end up putting their own description in, generally taken from your content. 160 characters is the approximate minimum length to avoid Google applying their own description.

3) Make Your Posts Evergreen, and Make Them Stand Apart

Evergreen content refers to articles that are always relevant, regardless of when they were produced.

The term comes as a reference to evergreen trees which are known to be long-lasting and sustainable.

If you are competing for a similar evergreen topic in search results and every result has similar titles and descriptions, how do you make yours stand out?

Get rid of the date.


Search Result for How to Choose the Right Optometrist

So how will this improve CTR? When a user does a search query and all SEO titles are somewhat similar, users tend to click on either the most recently dated article or one without a date. Shout me loud did a case study on what happens when you take the date off of older posts. Their findings support my point, not having dates vs showing dates had a significant impact on CTR.

4) Add Review Ratings to Your Pages

Having confidence that the company you’re dealing with is credible and trusted can make the difference in deciding to do business with them or not.

Adding your Google Reviews to appear on your search results helps expedite that confidence which in turn will help improve your CTR.


Search Result for Sewer Back up Protection

If you are once again in a situation where your service page is competing in search results with similar companies with similar services, adding your Google Review rating (pending it is good), will make your search result stand apart from the competition and give you the click over them.

Why is SEO Important for Small Businesses?

Why is SEO Important for Small Businesses?

SEO is Important for Small Businesses

Having an online presence for your business is a component that is often overlooked by small businesses. But did you know, SEO is more important than ever, especially in today’s competitive market?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website from “organic” or “non-paid” search engine results to maximizing organic traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Whether you are a local or an online small business that sells a product or provides a service, having an online presence is an important factor for your success as a modern-day regular business. Having a good SEO makes it easier for search engines to find your business based on a user’s search query so you’re not missing out on any opportunities of getting traffic driven to your business.

Related Article: Quick SEO Guide for Small Businesses

Did you know Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day? Many people use search engines to find small businesses that sell a product or provide a service. In Canada, 75% of consumers do online research before visiting a physical store or making a purchase decision. Therefore, it is crucial for small businesses to invest in SEO because your business needs to appear on search engine results as high as possible when people are searching for your products or services.

Small businesses are overlooking methods of Digital Marketing like SEO despite its importance to their business. Did you know only 17% of small businesses are investing in SEO? SEO is important to your business because it is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to build your online presence!

Why SEO is Important for Small Businesses?

If you have a small business, SEO can help your business grow and meet the business objectives. When people are searching for your products or services, you want to appear as high as possible in search engine rankings. A majority of search engine users are more likely to pick one of the top 5 suggestions on the results page, so appearing high in the search engine rankings is good for business visibility and branding.

Here are 5 reasons why SEO is important for your small business:

1. SEO is important for user experience

SEO is ultimately about provided search engine users with the fastest, friendliest, and best experience possible. Since search engine rank websites and local listings according to its relevance to the public, having a good SEO makes it easier for search engines to understand your content for an improved experience. When search engines can do that, both parties with being happy, and a happy visitor will become a returning visitor.

2. SEO is important for reach

Search engine users “unconsciously” trust search engine results. A recent study by Forrester Research showed a breakdown of how much consumers trust different information sources. Search engines came in third place only behind email from friends and consumer reviews. This research is a great validation to the importance of having a Digital Marketing strategy with people placing so much trust in search engines.

For example, say I searched “Italian restaurant Port Credit” If Google places Ombretta Cucina + Vino high in the search engine rankings, then it must be a good Italian restaurant in Port Credit. So, I share with all of my friends on Facebook that I’m going to Ombretta and leave the link of the restaurant for them to click as well. Before you know it, some of my friends show up to Ombretta because the search engine matched everything perfectly and it all pointed to Ombretta.

3. SEO is important for conversion

SEO attracts people who are already looking for your product or service. These people are already convinced of their need which is why they went searching in the first place. So it is important for your business to rank as high as possible in the search engine rankings. Having a good SEO for your small business provides your business credibility as your ranking is a vote of confidence in the minds of consumers. Staying ahead of your competitors in search engine rankings gives you a better chance of gaining a new customer.

4. SEO is important for exposure

Remember when we mentioned how search engine users “unconsciously” trust search engine results? With the example of Ombretta Cucina + Vino being place high by Google in search engine rankings for “Italian restaurant Port Credit?” Not everyone is going to visit Ombretta as soon as I share the link of the restaurant for my friends to click on Facebook. They might check their website a couple of times, read what is available on the menu, and look at the gallery to see pictures of their food before deciding to eat at the restaurant.

The same goes for search engine users. When they search for “Italian restaurant Port Credit,” they might have seen and checked out other restaurants before making a final decision. But, if Ombretta came up high in the search engine rankings, 8 out of the 10 times they searched, chances are they have clicked through to your website.

5. SEO is important for insight into your customers

Google Analytics can track valuable information about your visitors. Analytics can find out what browser they use, what keywords they typed into a search engine, how much time they spent on your website, and many more. This information is valuable in helping you discover your target market and hone your content to better attract and convert your potential customers. So, the better you know your customers, the better product or service you can provide to them which will likely result in a higher return on investment (ROI).

If you are a small business looking to be found on search engines, then optimizing your site and brand online is crucial. There is no short cut, no quick way to get ranked on search engines. Doing SEO takes time, dedication, and consistency.

Therefore, it is important to leave SEO to experts rather than doing it by yourself. Did you know 71% of small businesses do their own digital marketing instead of leaving it to experts?

Let experts like Retailors Group assess your business and help develop an SEO strategy that will get you to the 1st page of search engines on keywords that will drive more traffic and leads to your business. We are your number 1 SEO Toronto company!