Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is arguably one of the most important factors to successfully build a website and brand. At our most recent SEO Brunch on November 30, 2020, MacMillan Search Consulting performed a 10-minute SEO audit on Digital Nova Scotia member Virtually Connected Solutions. Here are the results of the audit for both organic and paid traffic!
Organic Suggestions

Set up Google Search Console (GSC) – Although there are other search engines, Google is currently driving the majority of search traffic so we suggest focusing on them. Google Search Console gives you insight into:

Install the Yoast plugin – Yoast is my go-to for WordPress SEO plugin. I was an “All in One SEO” advocate for years but it was when we managed the SEO direction specifically for clients. I have found Yoast to have an easier learning curve for the teams involved and/or the client.

Improve your branded search results – If you search your brand name your current results look like

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 12.16.42 PM.png
 
and what you have defined is
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Luckily Google is smart enough to collect information from your website and can make up their own details for the search results. This is valuable real estate where you have the opportunity to sell yourself and have some control over what Google shows. Based on your current site content we suggest.
Title Suggestion: Virtual Assistant Canada | Virtually Connected Solutions
In our experience, Google will swap these around for branded search terms to be: “Virtually Connected Solutions: Virtual Assistant Canada” but in queries like “Virtual Assistant Canada” (700 monthly searches in Canada and med. competition) will keep it the way it’s set up. Plus have the keyword you are going after closer to the front of the title is a strong signal to google.
Currently Google is pulling the first text on the site:
I’m Kate Sullivan, Owner & CEO of Virtually Connected Solutions, a virtual assistant business situated on the beautiful east coast of Canada in Halifax, Nova
Your third paragraph actually frames what you offer a lot better and we would start there.
Meta Description Suggestion: We help business owners, entrepreneurs, & executives manage administrative services & day-to-day operations remotely. Free up time to grow your business!
Your search result will look like:
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Bonus: We estimate your home page will need backlinks from 22 domains to rank in the top 10 for the term “Virtual Assistant Canada”. You currently have 8 domains of which 6 are of decent quality.
The decent backlinks are:
In our experience using a paid tool like Brightlocal to trigger a local lists blast could easily close this gap and position you as a contender for the first page for these types of results. The tool is roughly $30/month and there would be a one-time fee of $100 for the citation blast. Less then a $300 dollar investment and some time on your part to set up the tool and citation blast could really help improve traffic.
Paid Suggestions:
Install Google Tag Manager – Google Tag Manager will help you add new tags, tracking pixels etc to your site as your business grows. It will also allow you to add more advanced Google Analytics event tracking such as form tracking, scroll depth tracking, and button click tracking (your ‘Let’s chat!’ CTA). Installation should be quite simple. Since you’re on WordPress, you can simply install a popular GTM plugin from the plugin library. Once that’s done, you can simply paste in your GTM container ID and you’re ready to get started!
Always use UTM codes in your URLs – No matter where you’re placing a link to your site, you should always be using UTM codes. As your business grows, knowing exactly what’s driving your traffic will be invaluable data for where you want to invest your time and dollars in marketing. HubSpot has a great blog post about UTMs here. When building UTMs, it’s important to have a schema that you always stick to over time. That way, you can easily organize your data in the future. It may also be worth exploring using a branded URL shortener like bit.ly to clean up those long URLs in social posts or emails.
Get started with Google Search Ads – Google Search will likely be a great source of prospects for your business as you grow. Often, the best place to start when it comes to search ads is with your own brand. This will help ensure you capture the top spot for your brand, your name, and common variations. It will also allow you to test out different calls to action, landing pages for lead capture etc. I like to recommend that clients start with branded search to get the hang of the platform and capture the low hanging fruit before they move on to more competitive terms such as ‘virtual assistant’. I’ve linked an older blog post from WordStream whose advice is still valid seven years on.
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