SEO – 15 Easy Ways to Show Search Engines You’re Canadian

Some of the most commonly-used search terms among Canadian shoppers are Canadian, Canada, and/or the name of a province, such as “buy business supplies Alberta Canada”. This is also true of shoppers searching for local stores, restaurants, etc.

Search engines use keywords and other methods to determine the physical location of business websites, be that in your neighbourhood or nationally. These algorithms are used to provide results for searchers who specify a locality, and they’re also used in narrowing results automatically based on the searcher’s IP address or other identifying information.

Localized SEO for Canadian BusinessesInternet Business Canada

One of the reasons Canadians aren’t finding local or national establishments for online or offline shopping, is the lack of local, organic search engine optimization (SEO). Optimizing your website to grab these shoppers can give you a serious competitive advantage over US and other Canadian websites, as well as offline competitors.

Following are 15 ways to let search engines know what country, province or city your business is located in:

  1. Make a list of related keywords and add a location to them.  Use them in your content whenever you can do so without it making it sound awkward.   It’s important to remember the golden search rule of not overusing your keywords. Use them where they fit naturally with product information, company information, and shipping pages, as well as in blog posts.
  2. Your address can be included at the bottom of every page.
  3. Testimonials can be included on product pages with the customers’ name, city, province and country.
  4. Insert location keywords with helpful information, such as “Prices are in Canadian dollars” or “Made in Canada”.
  5. Use the Canadian spelling of words, such as catalogue, centre, or colour.
  6. Use your location keywords in the image file name, alt tag, title and description.
  7. Have a French version of your website.
  8. Purchase a .ca or provincial domain extension so engines can easily identify you as Canadian. You can find a list of website hosts offering .ca domain extensions and other Canadian-friendly options in our  Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business.
  9. The major search engines allow you to add your country manually if you prefer an international domain extension such as .com or .net. Go to Region for Search Results on the Settings page.
  10. Ensure that your website information is current in the Whois database.
  11. Manual submission to search engines.
    Submit your website to Canadian, provincial and city directories.
    Submit your website to large directories that accommodate localized search, such as the Bing Business Portal.
  12. The potential for working keywords into blog posts and post titles is virtually endless, and blogs offer a host of other SEO benefits.
  13. Submit guest posts to blogs in your area or national blogs, and include your website link in the author bio. Use our Canadian-Owned Blogs for Blogger Outreach and Guest Posts listing to get started.
  14. Join local online communities/forums and add a link to your signature if they allow it. Fill out the profile page and include your website link with keywords if possible.
  15. Add your location to social media accounts.

Bonus Tip: Sponsor local events and charities and give organizers your website URL (most events are shared online).

Have you found other ways to tell search engines to send Canadian shoppers to you? Please share your tips in the comments below.

Sources:
Jones, Ron. Keyword Intelligence: Keyword Research for Search, Social, and Beyond. 2012.

You may also be interested in reading:
Should you Register a .ca Domain for your Canadian Business?
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Maryellen

I need all of the help I can get since the latest Penguin Google update!!! Man that slammed some of my clients hard!!!

Vancouver Hoodfans

Great website. Thanks for posting!

Larry

Search engines change the rules so fast I’ve given up. I just write good stuff and hope they recognize it.

Collette

I’m doing a website that will have english and french version because we’re in Quebec. It’s twice as much work because I don’t trust auto translation but I hope it will help sales and traffic.

Danita

I like your originality based on the need of Canadian businesses and your knowledge of that niche is evident. Some of these tips are common knowledge to marketing experts but how to do it for Canada specifically isn’t. I’d like to try writing a guest post for the challenge and will send it to you when it’s finished.

Jeremy

Oh wow, I didn’t think of hardly any of these before. Thanks for sharing.

Alex Ross

I’m so happy to have found another skilled Canadian blogger for my business. I’ll use these tips and hope for the best.

Natalie

I just signed up with hostgator and as I begin writing my site up I’ll keep these strategies in mind. I appreciate the Canadian directories too and I hope you’ll write a post with a longer list.

Hazel

INsightful tips! General info will only help so much which makes your Canadian slant so useful. It’s obvious this writer is educated and CANADIAN. I don’t think I’ll go as far as having a french version of my website but people who are after the Quebec market might.

Jimmy's, New Brunswick

Extremely well written and informative article.

We’re slowly bringing our country store online but will remain local. These tips will be some handy when the time comes for content.