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    An in-depth technical SEO audit is more complicated then you think

    The primary goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to add value to your website by improving your site’s rankings in search results. But beyond that, the purpose is to attract more traffic and convert those potential customers into leads. That’s why conducting a technical SEO audit is a major deal! The following blog offers a little insight into what Trek Marketing may do during your technical SEO audit, as well as some suggestions for those who’re experienced enough to orchestrate one themselves. 

    What’s a technical SEO audit? 

    This form of digital marketing analysis is the process in which all of the technical aspects of your website’s SEO are checked to determine which fixes and improvements will allow search engine bots to better find your pages and website. Since search algorithms and online technologies are frequently changing, it’s a good business practice to perform a technical SEO audit every four to five months to ensure that you aren’t losing traffic to your competitors. 

    When should a technical SEO audit be performed? 

    Ideally, businesses should perform two to three in-depth SEO audits a year, with mini-audits in between, to guarantee that they’re able to reap the benefits of their SEO strategy. So, since a technical SEO audit is important for your user’s experience and website rankings, it’s important that your website is functioning properly and sending positive signals to Google to attract traffic. 

    While there are several technical SEO elements that you can check on during your audit, the first thing you should do when performing this time-consuming task is to ask yourself the following questions: 

    1. What are my overall business objectives? 
    2. Who is my target audience?
    3. Do I/will I have any business partnerships?
    4. How often is my website being updated? Do I have a web development company working on this?
    5. Will I be working with an SEO consultant? Will I need the SEO work done for me?

    After the above questions are answered, you will have a better understanding of your business goals and will be able to hire a professional or dive into performing your own technical SEO audit.

    What’s included in Trek Marketing’s technical SEO audit service?

    Our SEO specialists work on both on-site and off-site to meet the SEO needs of our clients. This included page layout optimizations, finding and fixing broken links, public relations, and innovative content creation. That being said, a technical SEO audit must first be conducted before we’re able to determine where your paid hours would best be spent. 

    Audits are bucketed into three separate categories:

    • Technical aspects: Crawl errors, indexing, and hosting
    • Content: Keyword research, competitor analysis, content maps, and metadata
    • Links: Backlink profile analysis and growth tactics

    To complete the above process, the client must provide a list of passwords and vendors to allow the SEO specialist access to third-party analytics tools, webmaster tools, website backend access, social media accounts, and more. 

    Are you experience enough to perform a technical SEO audit or would you prefer the assistance of a professional? Drop your opinion below to start a conversation.

    How does social media help your online business?

    Regardless of whether you’re a new or seasoned e-commerce business owner, the realm of social media is constantly evolving. In Canada alone, there were approximately 25.3 million social networking users and that number is projected to grow to over 27 million by 2023. So, if you want to keep up with the competition in the coming years, you need to either learn to better use social networks or pass the torch to a social media marketing management team to handle the efforts for your business. 

    Social media creates brand awareness 

    While having a beautifully designed website is a great way to attract prospecting shoppers, one of the best ways to get your e-commerce business noticed is through web traffic. With an assortment of social media platforms at your fingertips, you’re able to start developing an advertising strategy that expands traditional word-of-mouth, and is amplified through shared content. Not only will visual content provide you with many engagement opportunities, but you’re also able to answer consumer questions, maintain growing relationships, and even find new leads through the use of social media. 

    Unsure of the media channels that would best benefit your business? Most established digital marketing agencies offer some form of social media marketing management service that will allow them to take the reins by strategizing ways to lead your presence online. 

    Social media builds relationships with new and recurring customers 

    Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing provides an innovative opportunity for two-way interactions to take place between business owners and consumers. This enables a means of building and nurturing relationships by sharing content that your audience values rather than just using the platform to promote services and products. Social media also invites conversation by allowing customers to comment and share your posts! However, if you want to do well, remember to listen to your audience and further refine your social media marketing strategies through professional management. 

    Social media allows you to provide better customer service

    Whether you have your personal smartphone hooked up to your business social accounts or you’re simply religious about posting, social media works as a great tool to handle any discrepancies, customer lashing, or simple questions that need answering before a purchase is carried out. Unhappy people often take to social media to vent their frustrations and if your business has an online presence, there’s great opportunity to rectify a bad experience or offer your perspective to an unruly customer that’s only bashing you in hopes of receiving something for free. 

    If you have trouble winning customers over through online services, a social media marketing management team member may be the perfect addition to your staff, enabling them to be available to listen to customer complaints and reply promptly to offer solutions. 

    Are you a small or medium-sized business that is struggling to create a social media presence? Drop a comment below to discuss strategies that haven’t been working thus far for your online business.

    How to shoot product photos for your online store

    Graphics are one of the most important elements of your e-commerce website and whether you choose to take the images of your merchandise yourself or hire a professional digital marketing agency to assist you with their product photography service, it’s by far one of the most important investments for your business. After all, since your shoppers are unable to touch, smell, and taste your products, why not offer them the best viewing experience? 

    What device should you use?

    The first step to snapping some high-quality photos is understanding the capabilities of the device you’re shooting with. Whether you’re relying on the first-rate features of a digital signal-lens reflex (DSLR) camera or the surprisingly impressive characteristics of your smartphone, professional-looking product shots can be achieved whichever direction you choose to go.  

    For those who have invested in a DSLR, you should strive to learn about your camera’s capacities and always attempt to capture your product images using the manual feature, as this will allow you to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO of your camera and find the perfect combination for your shoot setup. On the other hand, smartphone cameras are also a great choice for high-quality photos, allowing you to easily frame and crop the images as needed and make multiple adjustments during the production stage. Just remember to take advantage of the auto-focus feature and tap on the focal point of your image before snapping the shot.

    Keep your device steady

    It is easy to overlook this important element when you’re attempting to take sharp images for your e-commerce website, so keep in mind that a fool-proof method to capturing clear and crisp images is to use some sort of tripod or mount along with your device’s timer (this will allow the camera to stabilize). Many product photography services will offer the ability to perform more dynamic shots during a product shoot and steady the camera by keeping it tight up against the neck. They also utilize the centre of the tripod as a makeshift monopod, which can help to stabilize the camera while enabling some added flexibility for the photographer. 

    Use a white background

    Part of having a good setup requires you to use a white backdrop, which will reflect the light onto the product you’re shooting and prevent colour spills. This will also enable your camera’s white balance calibration to remain on point and create a seamless experience and final product image. 

    Take advantage of natural light and consider using a reflector 

    Both novice and experienced photographers are aware of how well natural light works to enhance a photo and will work to utilize spaces with multiple windows to get the best indirect vibrance. However, the colour and intensity of natural light can change throughout the day, and if you have a lot of products to photograph, you will need to be organized and work quickly to avoid inconsistency in the images. 

    Professional product photography services are beneficial because they possess the skills and tools needed to avoid harsh shadows and properly distribute the light. Also, they often use artificial light sources when natural light isn’t as available and even go as far as to use a reflector to ensure that the product is gleaming perfectly for when the photo is taken. 

    Do you know any other DIY techniques for product photography? Drop some samples below to start a conversation. 

    How to make the most of your SEO budget

    Search engine optimization is one of the most beneficial, cost-effective, digital marketing services available, and if you’ve been on the fence about what to do to boost your business online, this could be the move that gets your company noticed. After all, strategic online marketing is all about understanding your industry, and if you know what consumers are looking for, you’re able to provide them with a better service overall. 

    What’s SEO?

    Have you ever wondered how primary search content results — web pages, videos, images, and local listings — are determined on major search engines like Google or Bing? While the clickable options at the top are likely assured through paid advertisements, the other available ones are ranked based on their relevance to your searched terms and when these highly searched keywords are used adequately, it increases your chances of appearing on the first few pages. This means that filling your website with text exhibiting your industry’s popular terminology will also allow you to crawl up organically to a better ranking.

    But how do you know what to write and where to put it? Often business owners rely on a professional SEO audit service to handle their website’s visibility, as it’s cheaper than direct, paid advertising. Your consultant will inspect your website using specialized tools and their industry experience to come up with a plan to improve your content organically. The best part about search engine optimization is that as long as the work is done by a professional, even if the service is suspended you will still be able to reap the benefits of your improved ranking and continue servicing the consumers brought in through your increased traffic efforts.

    How does the conversion funnel work to your advantage? 

    After your SEO audit service is completed the specialist will go to work establishing the following on-page and off-site SEO practices to allow your e-commerce website to be truly successful! 

    Here’s what is included in Trek Marketing’s SEO service

    • SEO audit service
    • Page layout optimization
    • Page speed optimization
    • Finding and fixing of broken links
    • Ensuring use of headers, URLs and meta tags
    • Basic and advanced schema markup
    • Optimizations for voice search
    • Original and engaging content creation
    • Content creation for backlinking
    • Guest posting

    To find out more about our SEO audit service, speak to a representative who will make it their mission to boost your online business.

    Still have questions about SEO and how it works? Drop a comment below to collaborate with our other readers. 

    How small businesses are keeping up with the revolution of digital marketing

    Digital marketing, like many technology-based fields, is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with the times, and as business owners, it’s paramount that you understand your reaching potential if you wish to stay ahead of the curve of your industry. While reading about various online strategies is a great start to grasp some understanding of digital marketing affairs, dipping your toes in efforts like search engine optimization, blogging, and social media are better ways to connect yourself with the outside world and increase your web traffic and conversions. 

    Adopting keywords in their website text 

    Whether business owners decide to take a stab at writing their own page content or they hire a professional digital marketing agency to handle the cultivation of some vibrant wording, it’s through the use of keywords that they’re able to compete with some more prominent names in the business. 

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique that uses determined keywords, in an increased quantity, to improve organic results for searches on a variety of online engines. This means that the more you use a popular word, phrase, or expression, the more likely your content will be able to crawl up search rankings and increase its visibility to potential customers. 

    Take some time to find out which words work well for your business by making a list and each time you write, use a few keywords and supplement them organically within the text. Keep in mind that while you want to use them as much as possible, it’s important to not make your content too wordy by overusing phrases to the point that the context doesn’t make sense, and therefore defeating the purpose of marketing altogether.

    Actively blogging helpful, informative content

    The more purposeful content you possess on your website, the easier it will be to establish your credibility and assert a certain degree of expertise within your industry. Just like we mentioned above, establishing keywords will allow you to achieve a more prominent search result position and when those keywords are sprinkled throughout informational content, it shows that you’re willing to share some knowledge without asking your customers for anything in return. This gives the impression that your brand is more than a store, but instead, a business that focuses on loyalty to achieve higher conversion rates. 

    While a blog is a space to let your creative juices flow, it’s also the area where you can engage with website visitors, while also giving them content that is promotional and shareable. Use it to tell a story that will draw in your target audience by evoking emotions, keep it mid-length, and ensure that the writing is quality and not just a juggled mix of in-depth how-tos! 

    Using the power of social media 

    Social media plays an important role in the life of most businesses and most people’s personal lives, which means that you should be utilizing its power to expand your reach. While providing you with a fantastic customer service tool, managing your social media channels is an easy, relatively inexpensive way for you to meet your potential customers on their level and start life-long relationships by becoming the go-to source for their individualistic needs. However, the key to social media is consistency, and when you don’t have the time because of your other business ventures, your audience is left out to hang, becoming disinterested by your lack of content. So, ensure that you’re always in the loop by sharing informational and helpful subject matter that’s mixed with some occasional advertising and promotions. Not only will this increase your organic growth, but it will build up your relationships with your community and establish a network that will payout in the future. Thus, if your life as a business owner has proved to be busy, consider hiring a professional digital marketing agency to handle your social media affairs by managing your channels and answering customer questions.

    Do you own a small business? How are you keeping up with your industry competition? 

    Build your online community using alternative social channels like Snapchat and Pinterest

    While Facebook and Instagram are already well-established among retailers worldwide, consumers are starting to branch off and immerse their social attention within alternative platforms that have something else to offer. This means that the social media landscape is on the move and if you want your business to continue progressing forward, you may want to consider using Snapchat or Pinterest to advertise to younger demographics. 

    How do online businesses utilize Snapchat?

    Snapchat is the ultimate multimedia messaging app, where users can share videos and images to their stories or a specific friend from their contact list. There’s even a “Discover” section where brands can pay to show off their ad-based content. How does it work? Well, the user simply “snaps” a video or photo by holding the circular, centred button on the app screen. Once taken, they can choose to send it as is or add some characteristics such as text, GIFs, location tags, and stickers. This is likely why Snapchat’s rise in demand is thriving among Gen Z users, as many other demographics are not fleeting to the demands of this social platform. 

    That being said, if your company’s products or services cater to young adults, then your social media marketing business strategy should include this intuitive platform. In fact, we advise that you use this channel purely as a mode of entertainment, pushing towards a fun, engaging content approach rather than overtly selling. Remember to be playful, creative, and authentic when creating posts that are meant to advertise and engage with your brand. 

    How do online businesses utilize Pinterest?

    This social media marketing business channel has been around for the past decade, consisting of images of products, inspirational quotes pictures, and other general visuals. When users are on the hunt for ideas, Pinterest allows them to search their visual mood-boards and “pin” the perceptible information into custom, categorized boards for review later on. This means that whether the user wants to start a new workout routine or they’re looking to begin their wedding planning, their interests can be easily browsed on Pinterest, allowing them to find inspiration based on a variety of searched themes. 

    Now, you’re probably wondering how your products and services as a business owner will generate buzz on Pinterest. Well, when users “pin” images, they’re clicking on pictures that take them back to the source website of the image. This means that your business has the opportunity to create these new interactions with users by driving them to click on your unique contributed “pins”. If the virtual, vision board you’ve created contains your item or service in it, users that click will automatically find their way onto your brand website, which will encourage purchases without being overtly sales-oriented in the advertising approach. After all, Pinterest users love the ease of e-commerce photography and by investing in this extension of your online shop you’re able to attract new consumers that see exactly how your product fits into their search model. 

    Have you ever considered the above social channels for your business? Drop a comment below to start a conversation. 

    3 SEO techniques that should be avoided altogether

    The ultimate goal of search engine optimization is to increase an e-commerce site’s usability so that it can start bringing in the right people through popular search engines. While site owners should be investing their efforts into optimization to create a high ranking for a particular key term or phrase relevant to the industry, if they’re looking to create impactful raw traffic, they will also want to accommodate a variety of SEO techniques to drive clicks and make their business more noticeable online. That being said, since there are so many resources out there that tell you what you need to do, it’s also important to know which efforts should you be avoiding altogether. 

    Don’t blame performance drops on algorithm updates

    While sometimes a performance drop happens suddenly because of how frequently these updates occur, you shouldn’t resort to blaming Google for your low rankings or drop in organic traffic. In fact, performance drops can occur for a variety of different reasons. 

    Some common reasons for organic performance drops include: 

    • Newly discovered technical issues on the e-commerce site
    • Significant content changes to the e-commerce site
    • Seasonality (higher traffic October to December)
    • Competitor changes 
    • Manual actions

    Keeping the above possibilities in mind is important as you don’t want to always blame performance errors on algorithm updates. 

    What to do instead?

    Several SEO techniques allow you to bounce back from organic performance drops, however, here are some quick tips that you should investigate to allow your site to start hitting the algorithm

    • Check your coverage report in Google Search Console.
    • Run a site crawl to check for structural changes.
    • Run an automated audit on your SEO tool of choice to check for any hidden errors. 
    • Check robots.txt for any new disallow directives. 
    • Run a fetch and render to see how Google is rendering your site.
    • Have a look at your changes tool in the Wayback Machine.
    • Install an activity log plugin to track your site changes.
    • Investigate your Google Analytics and start analyzing pages. 

    Don’t duplicate location page copy 

    If you’re in charge of developing location page copy for a large-scale company that possesses many locations, it’s important to create unique copy for each location, even though it can be time-consuming. While it may be easy enough to just duplicate the copy and change a few things here and there, we highly advise against this. One of the best SEO techniques that you can utilize for better local ranking performance is to write some text that’s unique so that you increase your chances of getting noticed. So, don’t be lazy, simply find some inspiration for your writing so the task isn’t as tedious as it seems.  

    Don’t pay for links

    In the field of search engine optimization, link building is a set of two words that are used to describe an action aimed at increasing the number and the quality of inbound links to a website, intending to increase that page’s SEO ranking. So, while link building is incredibly beneficial for an e-commerce company that’s looking to get noticed, quality and relevance are even more essential, which is why you should never pay for your influence in the industry. It’s easy to pay and guarantee your place among a series of backlinks but link building is more favorable if it’s within well-known publications and written by people who admire its importance. We recommend investing in a partnership rather than appearing in paid features because noteworthy publications have a greater chance of organically growing a backlink profile.

    Are there any other SEO techniques that are often used but shouldn’t be? Drop a comment below to share your expertise with our readers.

    What are the best PPC strategies for your e-commerce website?

    If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your digital marketing strategy while keeping the costs down, we recommend driving shoppers to your website by using pay per click advertising. This form of online exhibition only charges business owners once prospective customers find the ad using various search engines and click upon it. This means that payment is processed after traffic is achieved, as opposed to using other organic, digital marketing methods such as SEO. It’s 2020 and about time that you increased your business conversion rates using the power and effectiveness of pay per click advertising! 

    Carefully choose your advertisement platform  

    Just like traditional advertising, part of orchestrating successful pay per click advertising lies with carefully selecting the right platforms to distribute your announcements. There are plenty of ad placement options such as Google Shopping, Bing, Amazon Advertising and Facebook. Thus, ensure that you understand the trends of your ever-growing, dynamic industry before allocating a budget to any of the above platforms. Keep in mind that Google and Facebook shared 58.5% of the total US digital ad spend in 2019

    Review and utilize industry keywords

    If boosting the awareness of your e-commerce business is a huge part of your PPC strategy, then it’s important to research, review, and utilize previously generated search queries that are relevant to consumer purchases from your business. Through this PPC optimization process, you’re able to profile them into high converting search queries and terms, which can later be merged and used among your branded terms, model names, part numbers, and even SKU codes. Also, when time permits, you must next make a list of negative keywords in your pay per click advertising campaigns. This is because when you bid high on PLAs (product listing ad), it exposes your products to a wider range of searches instead of just improving Google rankings. As a result, you get to bid higher while also averting a lot of unwanted search traffic.  

    Expand your PPC spend 

    It can be difficult for business owners to manage personalized user experiences, which is why when they’re navigating the hard terrain of pay per click advertising, they often seek help from industry experts. In terms of communication, every consumer responds to something different, so it can be challenging to grow and build your brand loyalty and create new, meaningful relationships with your customers. That being said, be sure to look for a super-flexible and responsive ad platform that will allow you to showcase your products and services using an easy-to-navigate layout. 

    Quality content is the key 

    A good way to get your customers excited about what your business has to offer is by providing them with high-quality, well-written content. Since creating some flashy PPC ad copy won’t be enough to get yourself noticed, you’ll need to compliment your intuitive text using enticing colours, engaging videos, graphics, seamless navigation, and descriptive product information.

    Do you have any other feedback for pay per click advertising? Drop a comment below to share.

    Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

    If your business still isn’t using digital media for marketing, 2020 is the year to get started. While online marketing efforts have an assortment of benefits that allow your company to grow, don’t give up on the traditional marketing efforts that are already working well for your business. The key to advertising success lies with well thought out strategies and a coordinated budget that can juggle both online and offline opportunities. So, here’s how digital and traditional media differ and what exposure they need to be successful. 

    Digital marketing outline

    A simplistic definition of digital marketing is the promotion of a brand’s products or services through electronic media. An example of this would include developing a digital marketing strategy and using advertising mediums to promote business efforts through the internet by way of social media, mobile phones, and electronic billboards. And while this inventive business proclamation is relatively new, about 70% of consumers prefer it over traditional ad methods! 

    Digital marketing does well in contemporary society because so many people are spending their time online, whether it be on their way to and from work, on their breaks or simply while on the toilet. So, businesses need to connect to their target demographic by utilizing the power of social media, blogging, and emails. These advertising methods increase your online exposure and expand your overall visibility in a world where most business owners are experiencing cut-throat competition. However, while professional digital marketing is relatively easy and inexpensive, paying an agency to handle your affairs can give your business the perfect kind of traction it needs.  

    Traditional marketing outline 

    An effortless way to define traditional marketing is a kind of promotion or advertisement that companies use during the early period of a particular product or service. This would include print advertisements, billboards, flyers, pamphlets, TV advertisements, newsletters articles, and radio commercials. In addition, traditional marketing also covers direct mail postcards, brochures, and flyers that are sent through postal mail. On a positive note, 79% of households admit that they read or scan direct mail advertising! 

    Traditional marketing has become a costly advertising source, providing very little direct communication with your consumer audience. However, it does allow you to broadcast your message in a particular publication to cater to those who have an interest in your industry. Although, the main throwback to traditional is that it’s more of a one-and-done strategy that more times than not, has shoppers reading it and tossing it out afterward. 

    What are the favored tools for each outlet?

    Professional digital marketing relies on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to get the word out. They may also rely on WordPress as a blogging platform and e-commerce foundation. Video and high graphic images work well on all the following digital marketing channels and have a strong ability to influence consumer decisions. 

    When it comes to traditional marketing, newspaper ads, direct mail, postcards, magazine ads, and even exerts in the phone book as the time-honored ways businesses once got customer attention, however, while this type of classic marketing adheres to a high degree of trust in older demographics, it’s missing out on the growing opportunity to progress with modern marketing technologies. 

    When do you think traditional marketing outweigh digital marketing? Drop a comment below to share. 

    Strategies to better understand social media marketing

    In an age where social media holds such importance in the lives of everyday consumers, it would be silly for business owners to not be utilizing its power. After all, social media marketing is one of the few forms of digital advertising that can bridge the gap between brand and target audience, which in turn connects businesses to an assortment of shoppers that already possess similar beliefs and values. That being said, below are a few ways that you can strategize your social media marketing strategy to strengthen your efforts through popular social platforms. 

    Set yourself achievable goals 

    Like anything, your social media marketing strategy should contain a list of objectives and goals that you hope to achieve as a business owner. However, the most important thing that you can do to set yourself up for success is to formulate some short-term and long-term goals that are attainable. This will give you the confidence you need to overcome difficult business hurdles down the road as well as the tenacity to make critical decisions about your brand. 

    When it comes to social media marketing it’s essential to set yourself some objectives that include the following targets — driving traffic, increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty, and generating more sales. The following goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound so that you’re able to track your progress as a business owner. 

    Know your target audience

    If you’re hoping to crush some of your professional goals it’s worth gearing your social media marketing strategy to reflect the values and interests of a target audience. Consumers that live a lifestyle that could benefit from your product or services are the ones that should be focused on when you’re formulating your promotions, content or advertisements. After all, appealing to as many people as possible is exhausting, so why not start by generating content based on the location of your audience, a particular demographic (age or even gender) or psychographics such as aspirations and attitudes?

    Study your competition

    If you’re wanting to better understand how to reach your targeted consumers through the use of social media marketing, it’s worth taking the time to analyze the successes of your competitors. Now, we’re not encouraging you to directly copy or steal their ideas, however, before you sit down to build a content strategy for your brand, take a look at the tactics that have already proven to be effective in your industry. Start by following other brands on social media, keeping an eye on their post’s performances and crafting your social media marketing strategy to reflect on valued insights that are currently working and modifying them to better suit your brand and audience. 

    Utilize visual content

    While carefully crafted textual content is a definitive must-have for your social media marketing strategy, putting some extra attention to detail on the visuals — such as high-quality images, infographics or videos — has the power to grab the attention of consumers that are aimlessly scrolling through their social feeds. It’s one of the best ways for you to add engagement to your already thought-provoking content. 

    What other ways can you coordinate your social media marketing strategy? Drop a comment below to share with our readers.