People often ask if I can put them at the top in a search.  The answer is not simple.  The only way that you can be assured of being at the top of a search is to pay for a Google Ad. Paid Ads will always be at the top, but many people don't click on them because they know that they are only there because the client has paid for them. If you can get to the top of a search without paying for an ad, then you are there because your website deserves to be there. We will do our best to get you to rank as high as possible without paying for ads, but we make no promises.

There are many factors involved in getting to the top, mainly how good your competitors' websites are, and your location.  BEST WEBSITES will do all of the following items listed below to give you an advantage, but you will also need to be responsible for other aspects, which are listed in the second half of this article, AND, SEO is not a one time thing. You may be at the top of a search for a few months, but you may then drop down if you are not continually adding new content to the website.

Ranking factors change in order of priority all the time, but there are some constants that can help you rank higher in a search than your competitors.


Content is King

To have any chance at ranking, Google will have to consider your website to be an authority in your category. To be an authority requires lots of content. To this end, you will need to be an active participant. I can build any website and put sufficient content to make the site look good without any input from my client, but if you want your website to rank, you will need to provide content on which I can build.

Site Security

Since 2014 Google has used site security as a ranking factor.  If your website URL starts with HTTP it is NOT secure!  You MUST have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate installed on your website so that your website starts with HTTPS

Mobile First

As of 2023, over 60% of search engine activity on Google originates from phones, compared to about 40% on computer, and about 83% of all social media visits are from phones compared to about 15% on computers.  This means that it is essential that your website looks good on all devices, especially phone, that the text is large enough to read, and that there is enough space between items for clicking links.

Page Load Speed

If your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, the search engines will know, and you will not rank as high as a website that loads more quickly.  As part of our Search Engine Optimization, BEST WEBSITES takes many steps including hosting your website on a very fast (SSD) server, compressing image file sizes, minimizing code, and using a web-caching plugin.

Structured Data

Structured data, also known as Schema Markup, is a top SEO ranking factor because it clearly tells search engines (in search engine language) what is important about each page.  BEST WEBSITES uses Rank Math with rich snippets. 

Keywords and Description

Long Tail Keywords (keywords that are three or more words) are growing in popularity, especially now that more people are using voice search.  Titles and Descriptions should be within a certain number of characters – i.e. not too short or too long.  Images should be labelled with keywords, and much more.  BEST WEBSITES will do this SEO on all pages of your website.

Google Business Profile

I have seen one chart that shows a listing with Google Business Profile representing 25% of ranking factors.  BEST WEBSITES will get you listed on Google Business Profile and Google Maps.


Citations or NAP (Business Name, Address and Phone Number)

You will want to get your NAP listed with as many directories as possible.  This will give your website authority, credibility, and trustworthiness.  It is essential that the listings be identical.  i.e do not put Ontario on one listing, and ON on another.  Read more about Citations here.

Social Media

I can't stress the importance of Social Media enough. Regular posting (at least once a week) to Facebook and Instagram will help boost your rankings.

Make sure the option for accepting Reviews on Facebook is selected. You will need to go into Settings -> Privacy -> Page and Tagging -> Allow others to view and leave reviews on your Page?

Google Reviews is the third most important factor in ranking, but getting lots of reviews on Facebook is also VERY important.


Backlinks are often considered to be the second most important SEO ranking factor.  These are the links from other websites that go to yours, so contact others and ask them if they would be willing to have a reciprocal link.  You will link to them if they will link to you.  Both will benefit.


Reviews are the third most important ranking factor when people do a search, and this is something that you can control.   There is a significant boost in ranking AFTER you have a minimum of 10 Reviews. Read more about it here.

User Engagement

User Engagement is about how long a user stays on your website, how many pages they click on, if they download your content or share with others, or if they return.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR):  is the percentage of people who click on your website when it shows up in a search
  • Time On Site:  is the amount of time a person spends on the site after finding it via the search
  • Bounce Rate:  is the percentage of people who leave after only viewing one page on a site that they have found in a search

Content is one of the most important SEO ranking factors.  Fresh content attracts search engine crawlers and boosts visibility.

Domain Age

Older domains tend to rank higher than new domains so don't wait. Get your domain name NOW and get it listed with Google ASAP.

Hiring An SEO Company

To my knowledge, Best Websites does more SEO on our clients' websites than any other company, however, there is a limit to what we can do, and you may wish to also hire a company that specializes in SEO.

It has been my experience that most companies will charge you to do much of what I have already done, and many companies use unethical methods, so I reached out to Ryan Demarais of - a company for whom I have great respect, to ask if they could recommend anyone. I specifically asked for "decent, preferably one or two-person businesses, who do SEO WELL, and who would customize plans, taking into consideration the SEO that is already on their website, and who don't charge a fortune."

This is their response:

1) First Rank
Brett Knoll

2) Hyprr
Darrin Wong

First Rank is an excellent SEO company. I've been referring businesses to them for years now. They are about 15 people strong and work with businesses serious about their SEO approach. They specialize in Organic SEO and Google Ad Campaigns. Their service is not cheap (they usually start around $1000/month) but their results keep their customers coming back. I wouldn't recommend First Rank for low budget customers or low value services/products.

Hyprr is a one-man show out of Victoria BC. He offers a low cost SEO approach that has seen great results too. He specializes in Google My Business Maps Packs and Local SEO results. I'd recommend setting up a video call with Darrin, he's a very nice approachable guy and down-to-earth with their pricing and approach.

Teknokraft Canada Digital Marketings & SEO Services in Toronto has 46 Five Star Google Reviews,
so you might want to give them a try if you want to stay local.

If you wish to check further read 2023 Reviews of Top SEO Companies in Canada.
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