Leveraging both Google and Bing to increase your site’s traffic

Leveraging both Google and Bing to increase your site’s traffic

Increase organic site visits

According to Google, more than half of people are now browsing the internet using their mobile devices. People are spending more and more time on their tablets and smartphones. This means how people access their information is changing and how search engines are ranking sites is also changing. A mobile friendly site is critical for any small business who wants to increase their online presence. Recent changes to google’s algorithm have increased the ranking penalty for site’s that are not mobile friendly. Having said that, “content is still king” on the internet which means ensuring each page and post on your site is well written, engaging and optimizes the use ofrelevant keywords and phrases will go a long way to increasing organic search site visits.

In addition to Google, the Bing Network is a good opportunity for many business owners to reach their target audience. This is particularly true when the target demographic is older, less technically inclined and more likely to use a desktop.

Getting to the good stuff

This post will examine the numbers supporting the increasingly mobile trend, as well as introduce some basic SEO concepts that small business owners should use while writing their content to increase organic site visits.

Background Research

  • Google owns about 65% of the market share of US searches;
  • Bing owns about 14%, but is now the same company as Yahoo which owns 16%, so collectively they make up about 30%of searches in the US;
  • About 14% of searches in Canada are done on Bing;
  • About 80% of searches in Canada are done on Google.

Arborg.com states that the Bing Network represents 30% of desktop traffic in North America, is mainly used by Americans over the age of 35 and has less competition among advertisers.

Working with Bing will allow businesses to stand out from their competition more easily than on Google. And by focussing efforts on both Google and Bing business owners will cover roughly 95% of all searches conducted by both Desktop and Mobile devices in Canada.

Global Desktop Market Share

global market share desktop

Global Mobile Market Share

global market share mobile

How to increase your organic site visits using both Google and Bing?

There are many factors that influence your site’s ability to improve your site’s search engine rank and ultimately your Organic site visits, but for today we are going to focus on the two which will have the most impact and are the easiest to fix. Page titles and title tags, as well as meta name = “description” tags are the two easiest page attributes to fix. Both tags can be found in the page header and are easily changed in most page editors. In WordPress, you can use a plugin like Yoast or others which will allow you manage the title and descriptions for each and every page on your site.

Page titles and Title tags

According to Webceo.com,

“Title Tags are the most important location to place your page’s chosen keywords. These are the keywords that literally tell the search engines what your page is about. For users, the title tag is the text that shows up in a browser window header when users open your page and the Title is used in the line that serves as the main descriptor which is bolded as a link on the search results pages. They can also see this text in their Bookmarks/Favorites menu after they save your page to bookmarks.”

It is suggested that title tags should be between 40 and 55 characters in length and use as many relevant high volume content keywords as possible to generate help impressions.

Page descriptions and <Meta name=”description”> tags

Page descriptions and Meta description tags are an important part of the SEO mix. Although not directly related to establishing a sites Organic Search Engine ranking, the <meta name = “description”> tag is used by Google, Facebook and other search engines to deliver your page’s description in their search results. As such, using accurate, well-written < meta name =”description”> tags that are between 80 & 155 characters do have a significant impact on a site’s CTR.

When the meta name “description” tags are left blank, search engines will automatically generate one using your site’s content. The challenge with using automatically generated descriptions is that they aren’t optimized for a higher CTR. Ideally each page should have its own custom description that correlates to the page title, considers the page content, provides useful information for the user and has a call to action so that the user is encouraged to learn more and visit the site.

What are my next steps?

This post has identified using both Google and Bing to increase your site’s visibility. It has also explained two important first steps in increasing your page rank. Obviously SEO is very competitive and your competitors will be constantly taking steps to improve their sites Search engine rank too! In future posts, we will explore some of the other tips and tricks to help keep your edge.

A Review of Different Online Store Development Platforms

A Review of Different Online Store Development Platforms

A review of Different Online Store Development Platforms

Prior to working on a client’s e-commerce site migration. I did some research to determine which platform would work the best for their business. In this post, I am going to review some of the most commonly used platforms for building a new e-commerce site or web shop.

The truth is that each e-commerce platform has some strengths and weaknesses. All of the platforms offer hosting packages and are very customizable. Depending on which hosting package you choose, they will also allow you to build and maintain your own blog. All of the platforms come with plenty of mobile friendly themes, Social media integration, etc.

Here are the highlights:


Shopify is considered by many developers to be the GOLD standard for creating an online store. This is what they do and they do it well. Shopify boasts integration capabilities with more payment processing compatibility options than both WIX and Volusion combined. They have a robust app store and flexible monthly packages that will allow you to customize your shop in almost any way you want.

Without getting too technical, Shopify will allow web designers to “Drop in” bits of custom HTML code at almost any point on your site. This can allow for flexibility when attempting to develop your site’s appearance.

There is also great documentation and support for Shopify, so much that most questions can be answered through navigating the online manual.
There are plenty of developers working on Apps and themes for Shopify. This allows for more themes and apps being available.

Having said that, the fact that Shopify is the leader in online stores has led to them providing most of your store’s functionality themselves. This does have some advantages. Primarily you can be assured that when you purchase additional functionality from Shopify, it will integrate with your site hassle-free.
The challenge with this is that all your functionality is monetized by Shopify. As an example, if you want to redeem gift cards on Shopify, you will need to enroll in the $79 / month plan. Whereas if you use Wix, you are able to start with a lower monthly hosting plan and integrate a 3rd party for $5 /month.


Wix is a great platform for DIY website builders or designers who hate code. It boasts that it powers over 63 million websites worldwide. Many of these are small businesses and others are blogs, there are also many Online Shops.

The primary advantage to using WIX is that there is literally no coding at all. Everything is done via point and click. The load times on the server are very fast and most themes are mobile friendly with many storefront options to choose from.
The main drawback in using WIX for your shop would be a lack of flexibility in terms of customizing your design. Essentially you will be limited to what Appstore will allow you to add or buy or drop in with the Wix editor.

Another consideration with WIX is that it uses a lot AJAX based in page coding to serve its pages. This isn’t a problem per say as it is what allows designers to use click and drag features in the editor. In the past, there were some SEO concerns, but Wix has gone to great lengths to satisfy them.
The only real concern you might have is the individual URLs end up a bit funky. (lot’s of hashtags and question marks.)


Volusion tends to be the most expensive of the bunch, the mini-package at $15 / month is well priced, but there are some restrictions
Another major drawback for Volusion is the price of their templates. Volusion is a lot more expensive. For example, the most expensive Shopify template (or theme) retails at $130. All of the platforms we will discuss offer support, but phone support is only available with Volusion starting at $35 per month. Moreover, the Shopify offers 24 /7 support on all of their packages.

How does it measure up?

Transaction fees are pretty standard across the board, Wix, Shopify and Volusion all have no additional transaction fees beyond the standard 2- 3% for processing through a 3rd party gateway, aka PayPal, etc.
Volusion tends to encourage customers to use their in-house merchant software. This will require application and approval. The advantage would be a more streamlined process for your customers to complete transactions online.

The downside is that you may be limited to what Volusion has to offer. One nice thing I did like about Volusion is the ability to integrate with Amazon & Ebay. This could potentially add to your site’s visibility, and increase traffic though honestly, it needs more exploring.

CSE integration seems to be a strong point of emphasis for Volusion though there is little documentation on their site for this and many of their other features. The recurring theme with Volusion is that they want you to call them rather than engage their resources to provide support.

The AppStore for Volusion is full of many helpful premium apps, most of which cost $10 – $30 / month to use.  In total there are only 13 free apps on Volusion; comparatively, Wix has over 100 “free apps” and Shopify has almost 500. In addition, the premium app pricing is significantly lower on both WIX and Shopify ranging from $2 – $30 /month.


One platform that we have yet to mention is WordPress. WordPress is still the preferred platform for many developers and has countless free and premium themes to choose from. The leading E-commerce solution on WordPress is Woocommerce, which has several plugins and is a viable alternative to Shopify and Volusion.

Another benefit to WordPress is that many of the add-ons are free or have an annual or one-time fee attached to them rather than a recurring monthly charge. This helps lower your monthly site maintenance fees.

The main drawback with WordPress is that many themes aren’t perfect “out of the box” and it is sometimes more difficult to find a theme that does everything you need and looks great. This often means using “shortcodes” or “hackarounds” and the integration of many third party apps which can sometimes lead to compatibility issues.

Summary and additional considerations for the Online Store Development Platforms

In summary, all of these platforms have advantages and disadvantages. Shopify clearly is the industry leader and will provide the most functionality and highest level of compatibility across different apps.
Building a New Online Store with Shopify should be easy, but you will pay a premium to host it if you want to take advantage of their enhanced features.

The alternatives

WIX is by far the best solution for the Do-it-yourself business owner or designer who does not know any code. Their platform is reliable and they offer several in-house solutions at a reasonable price to allow your online shop to have full functionality.
The primary drawback with Wix is your inability to fully customize your site beyond what is available either in the AppStore or in the Wix site editor.
Volusion appears to be ideal for larger scale merchants with limited Development experience. These are business owners who are looking to outsource the build of their online shop. Accordingly, most of their pricing is incomplete.
Personally, I believe that building a site on their platform will get expensive really quickly. The end product will be reliable, high quality and very customizable, but you do not have the developer base or availability of 3rd party apps.

What we used

In our client’s case, we chose to move ahead with a WordPress and the results were stunning. Keeping that in mind,  Wordpress may or may not be a solution depending on your client’s needs.  Although WordPress is highly customizable, has a large developer base,  and many compatible payment gateways.
However, there are always challenges. WordPress is not always “plug and play” friendly. This means the development process can sometimes take a bit longer in order to ensure that all aspects of the site work properly.
In the end, each development platform has something unique to offer. Each platform is scalable and each platform can be adapted to fit most situations depending on your budget.