There are more than 2 million .ca websites registered on the web right now. So, how do you build one that stands above all of that noise?
Building a website in Canada presents it’s own unique challenges that will require uniquely Canadian strategies.
Today, we will explore how to set your .ca site up to succeed from the very start and ensure ongoing traffic and SEO success.
1. Choose a local hosting company
If you choose a cheap overseas host, you are immediately putting a hard cap on your website’s potential speed and overall performance.
Where your hosting company is geographically located matters more than you may think and Google has confirmed this on a number of occasions. So, you’re most likely better off working with an award winning Canadian web hosting company instead of going with an overseas host.
2. Perform Canada-specific keyword research
Too many Canadian businesses will build their site with no real keyword strategy in place. This is a major mistake. Or, a Canadian business may build their keyword strategy using US-based keyword results. This is another massive mistake.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using Google Keyword Planner, ahrefs, or SEMRush to do your keyword research; always make sure you’re working with Canadian data.
In an extreme example, the American search data for tires is going to be dramatically different than snow-tire-needing Canadians. Your business’ keyword data may not be that different than US, but you should never assume that. Look at both sets of data and plan your keyword strategy accordingly.
3. Plan Mobile-First
Google’s mobile-first indexing is now 100% the norm. This means smart marketers are shifting to mobile-first planning. Even if you don’t think your target market will really look at your mobile site, Google still will when indexing and crawling.
You need to make sure that your mobile site and your mobile experience is as good or better than your desktop experience, even if you’re mainly building it for Google’s bots.
4. Avoid Free Website Builders
Avoid the lure and perceived value of a free website building tool like Wix. You may be tempted to try one based on their advertised ease-of-use and cost. However, going to cheap route can limit your future success in the same way that going with a cheap hosting company can hurt you.
First of all, these site-builders haven’t really embraced mobile-first planning yet. You will most likely build your desktop site, and then preview what each given page will look like on a would-be mobile device. That’s not giving the mobile experience the thought it deserves.
Second of all, these sites are notoriously difficult to both optimize and monetize, both of which are likely high on the list of things you want to do with this site. And finally, these sites are very templated, which means they often come with excess coding that you don’t need and this will slow your site down.
Of course, we could write 1,000 blogs on how to properly build a .ca site, but those are the most common pitfalls and mistakes. Always make sure you’re using a Canadian host and Canadian keyword data, while keeping your mobile experience front and centre.
Set your site up to succeed, from the planning stage to the publishing stage!