Whistler, BC is the #1 ski and mountain biking destination in North America, and it’s where we call home. In our blog we couple our love of Whistler with marketing. Check out our blog for destination related marketing ideas and trending topics.

Google recently announced that at some point in 2018 they will be switching to mobile-first indexing. This huge change means that Google will now determine SEO rankings based on the quality of businesses mobile sites, rather than the desktop version. If you want your business to rank effectively for local searches, it’s important you start focusing your efforts on the mobile-friendliness of your site. We’ve outlined for you the difference between desktop and phone searches, and how you can adjust your mobile site to improve your local SEO ranking.

What’s the different between desktop and mobile?

Most laptop and computer searches have delayed search intent. This means that users may be searching for your business from home or work to see if you have what they need, but don’t plan to visit you straightaway.

This can also be true for mobile searches, as people usually grab the nearest device to them to look something up. However, most mobile searches come with immediate search intent, as people are already out and looking for places to visit in the area. Focusing on this immediacy, and having simple, readily available answers for mobile users, is crucial to optimizing your local SEO.

How do I optimize my local business for mobile?

 

  • Focus on Voice Searching

Phone users tend to avoid lengthy searches, as typing on a small device can be frustrating. Using audio is becoming the easiest and most popular way to search online, thanks to the rise of mobile chat bots and devices like Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple Homepod. This means searches have become much more conversational, as customers actually say what they are looking for. By optimizing your site for shorter keywords, and common spoken phrases like ‘near me’ or ‘where can I find’, you can tailor your site to provide an optimal mobile experience.

  • Increase your Speed

Rather surprisingly, people are typically more patient on mobile than on desktop. That being said, 19% of people will abandon a page if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. To create a frictionless experience, you should really attempt to improve your site speed. This can be done by tweaking your site to reduce the amount of redirects you include, and by grouping assets like JavaScript and CSS, so the browser has fewer files to load. You can also optimize and scale your images, and use browser caching.

  • Create a Mobile-friendly Design

Ultimately, if you design a mobile site with the user in mind, the results will speak for themselves. There are some great websites that can test how phone-friendly your site is, but you can first try clearing all the clutter and pop-ups from your site. Adjust your typography for a small screen, and make sure you leave enough room between clickable elements for fingers and thumbs. You can also try having a responsive design that can adapt to all screens: this means your site is all on one URL and will be easier for Google to index.

With mobile traffic now eclipsing desktop traffic, it’s important to improve your mobile site to keep up with these changes. If you need some help optimizing your site for mobile, our team at Cloud9 Marketing would be more than happy to help.

Whistler offers an amazing array of top-quality services and companies. While this is what makes us such an incredible community, it also means that there is a lot of competition for local businesses. Your website allows you to speak to the entire online world, but if you’re offering local services you need to be predominantly targeting potential customers in Whistler. Optimizing your website for your geographical area is essential for boosting your SEO, and for showing customers exactly where they can find you. Here are our top tips on how you can improve your local SEO and generate better traffic through location-based searching.

#1 Get on Google My Business

Registering your business with Google My Business is the first step to optimizing your local SEO. It’s completely free to do, and allows you to manage your online presence across Google’s search pages, including Maps. It asks you to fill in a mini summary of your business that gets displayed at the top of Google’s results pages. This means it is essentially the first impression potential clients will get of your business, before even clicking on your website. It’s also important to update this on a regular basis with new photos, information, hours, etc. As well, encourage your customers and clients to review your business on Google – even a few reviews looks good.

Local SEO Map Pack

What people see when they Google Cloud9 Marketing

#2 Keep your contact information consistent

It’s crucial that all your information is the same across online platforms. Not only does this make it easy for customers to find you, but also it shows you uphold a reliable business. NAP (your company’s name, address and phone number) is your digital thumbprint, and if this information fails to align across the different online profiles of your business, Google will recognise these inconsistent listings. The more times Google ‘sees’ your thumbprint on reputable websites, the more confident it becomes that it is displaying a trustworthy business in its search results.

#3 Build your online credibility

Even though this one takes time, having a solid catalogue of good reviews on your page is going to elevate your local credibility and improve your SEO ranking. A recent survey found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Don’t be afraid to sincerely ask customers for reviews, and make it easy for them to do so by offering a multitude of potential review sites to use, such as Google+, Facebook and Yelp.

#4 Connect with other local Whistler businesses

If the Internet didn’t exist, you’d probably have to promote your business through regular networking, or by joining a Whistler business group, right? The truth is, you should still be doing the equivalent of this online. Start liaising with other local businesses and linking them on your site, and this will hopefully encourage them to return the favour. By engaging with respected companies you will show search engines that you are a trusted, reliable source.

#5 Write great content

If you keep producing quality, locally orientated content, then results will naturally follow. Keep your customers interested and engaged to increase their affinity with your brand. This can be via content promotions, polls, or just some interesting posts about what’s going on in Whistler next weekend. Maintaining steady blog posts and social media posts demonstrates your involvement in the local community, and can be a super effective way to increase your SEO.

Check out our tips on blogging to improve your SEO!

If you’re looking to get your Whistler business out there and feature on local search results, we can help. Cloud9 Marketing offers free SEO audits at no obligation.

handshake

As a marketing agency in Whistler, BC we are commonly asked how we manage competing clients in an unbiased and equitable way. Although we represent clients from around the world, the bread and butter of our clients are local businesses here in Whistler. Due to the resort town nature of the community, the main industries that require digital marketing support are tourism and hospitality, retail and real estate. As you can imagine, because of the limited number of industries in Whistler that require marketing support, many of our clients compete, either directly or indirectly with one another. Here we hope to address the issue of representing competing clients, and how we ensure integrity and professionalism when doing so.

Individualized Strategy

As I’m sure you can appreciate, no two businesses are the same. Even a real estate agent operating in a competitive marketplace targeting the same clients has unique selling points and competitive advantages that differ from their competition. Our job as a marketing agency is to focus on these distinct competitive advantages and create an online marketing strategy that is in alignment with your business’ goals and objectives. In short, no matter how similar two businesses may be, each online marketing strategy is comprised of a different marketing mix and each business differs from its competition giving us the marketing juice needed to create a customized strategy and online presence.

Your success = Our success

As a marketing agency our business thrives on creating happy clients. This is intensified due to the size of the community, the nature of online marketing and our competitive business space. Whistler is a small tight-knit community and this makes it absolutely essential to keep clients happy. In small communities there is no anonymity; people talk and a business’s reputation is everything. Ensuring our clients are kept happy by implementing results driven digital marketing strategies is crucial to Cloud9’s success.

As a digital marketing agency our space is online. This means our work is out there on the internet for anyone to see, interpret and critique. Being exposed in this way is another reason why it is in our best interest to ensure our clients succeed. Your successful presence online is a testament to our capability as online marketers. Having clients with thriving online marketing strategies is simply good business for us.

The competitive nature of our industry is another reason we need to do everything we can for our client’s success. Since we don’t lock our clients into contracts, we need to continuously deliver on our promises or face losing clients. We are not only competing with marketing agencies in Whistler but with hundreds of thousands of agencies around the world. It is our priority to ensure our clients see the benefits in choosing us right away to keep long term clients.

Industry Experts

An advance of representing clients in the same industry is our knowledge and expertise in that industry which ultimately benefits clients. Due to the homogeneity of Whistler’s main industries we have become resident experts in the local tourism, hospitality and real estate industry. We are constantly staying on the pulse of trends, events, statistics and news allowing us to stay relevant and informative to your target market. Although the message you communicate to your audience may be different from your competition, the core industry trends and information is likely the same, and our understanding of your industry is an important asset.

Ethics and Best Practices

Finally good old fashioned ethics and best practices are flag posts that ensure we always have your best interest at heart. Delivering an honest, authentic and transparent service are values we stand by and our values drive what we do every day. Striving for your success is our number one priority. We want to make you happy, we want your business to succeed and we want to create a long-term and rewarding relationship with you – these are the things that get us out of bed in the morning!

If you’ve ever been concerned about how agencies deal with competing clients hopefully your fears have now been abated. Although we can’t speak for all digital marketing agencies, the words published above are our truth and are part of the reason why we’re a growing and thriving marketing agency in Whistler, with a base of long term loyal clients whose businesses we are strongly passionate about.

altitube whistler weekly show

Launching December 2, 2013

AltiTube is the answer to weekly video content on your Whistler business website. AltiTube dishes on local events, festivals, activities, weather, mountain conditions and anything else happening that week in Whistler. Each week we produce a 1-2 minute high definition video shot in Whistler. The videos can be embedded on any Whistler business website and are updated automatically each week – creating fresh, engaging content with no maintenance. Hosted by Liz Hammond and Adam Kaye.

Learn more about AltiTube and the subscription packages at www.altitube.ca or contact us directly for more information.

Watch our intro video below:

whistler local social media marketing

5 Reasons why you should use a Whistler based Social Media Marketer if your a Whistler business:

1. Local Knowledge: A Whistler based social media marketer knows the unique local insider tips and info that is valuable to visitors. Secret powder stashes, advice on cheap food, and local’s hangouts. Want to convey a reason why someone should come up for that shoulder season weekend? Maybe there’s an awesome deal on at a restaurant or a great discount on activity that only a local would know about.

2. Timely, Relevant Posts: Social media and blog posts with relevant information is key, and can really only be accomplished while in-resort. A good example: a picture of the first snowfall or a pic accompanied with the “Run of the Day” tweet. That’s a lot more powerful than a link to the weather report!

3. Local Event Coverage: Having your social media presence at the events is so much better than simply posting that it is happening! Provide your followers with up-to-the-minute photos and updates. Plus, in-resort marketers know every little thing that is happening in Whistler, not just the big signature events. “Find unique #Whistler souvenir at the Made in Whistler Artisan Market – Every Saturday!”

4. Location Tagging: It appears a lot more genuine when your social media posts are tagged with a Whistler location. Especially if your posting about mountain or weather conditions!

5. Community: Posts are more engaging within the community, tagging local businesses through developed relationships is a great way for Whistler to help support each other. Plus, social media folks in town know each other, and they constantly share content – spreading the word.

Of course this applies to any resort or business who relies on tourism to drive business. Social media needs to be genuine in order for it to work – and a company outside of the business area isn’t going to be able to deliver a genuine local voice.

Contact us here at Cloud9 Marketing to learn more about our local Whistler Social Media Management services.