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May 11, 2019 - No Comments!

What is an SEO Company? What Does an SEO Company Actually Do?

What do SEO companies actually do? Is working with an SEO agency necessary? What is SEO, anyway? These questions and more will be answered in this summary of why it’s time to start taking SEO seriously.

Last Updated: May 11th 2019

For many, even seasoned professionals, the term “SEO” seems like a new one. For others, like myself, understanding all things SEO has been a massive part of my career for a considerable amount of time. From the outside, digital marketing may seem to be in constant flux. Every platform’s shifting algorithm seems to transform the moment it’s figured out. Isn’t SEO just another passing trend?

Absolutely not.

In fact, in an industry filled with innovation, SEO services are only becoming more relevant. (Even if you’re not quite sure what an SEO company actually does). Besides, that’s what this article is for— to get you in the loop, whether you’re a small business owner or working for a more established enterprise.

I get a lot of people asking: “What is SEO, anyway?” “What do SEO companies do?” “Do I really need to hire an SEO professional?”

This article will answer these questions, clearly and distinctly.  I’m here to provide a comprehensive account, and, by sticking with me here, you’ll learn all about:

  • What “SEO” means
  • Why SEO matters
  • What our SEO company can do for you
  • The whole range of SEO services our company provides
  • What a standard contract entails
  • Whether hiring an SEO company is the right move for you and your project
  • How to determine which SEO company or professional is right for you
  • Everything you need to know about SEO before diving in

What do SEO agencies actually do?

As a relatively new field which continues to rise in prominence, many entrepreneurs are curious about what, precisely, it is that SEO companies do. You may have wondered why everybody in the digital marketing world won’t stop talking about SEO, as it has already been recognized as a matter of necessity by a notable percentile of professionals. Many professionals are intrigued, don’t quite know what an SEO agency is, and what kind of services are provided. So, what does an average SEO company do, you ask?

The answer to the question, to put it briefly: quite a bit.

Let me explain.

It seems prudent to start by actually defining what SEO means— as in, what the letters stand for, and why this is significant.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

If you’ve heard SEO referenced as “getting yourself to the front page of a Google search, you’re not wrong. However, there’s a lot more to it.

What we do, as a company, is work to increase the visibility of your web page. We engage with the appropriate keywords to your business and maximize the chance of getting yourself seen on engines like Google, increasing your placement among the mass of search rankings which inevitably arise.

Here’s the thing: this is a big deal. According to recent data analysis, over 90% of consumer experiences online are initiated by engaging with a search engine. The closer you are to the top of the search rankings, the higher the likelihood of a potential customer choosing your business. The chance of new consumers coming into contact with you and your business increases dramatically; in fact, almost 50% of people don’t look further than the third link on the Google page before clicking.

Are All SEO Companies Trustworthy?

Not quite. Like most good things, a lot of unsavory characters are looking to exploit this trend to make their quick buck. There are reputable SEO professionals with vast knowledge of the digital marketing landscape, and then there are… others.

Our company, for example, puts our nose to the grindstone and promises integrity in how we relate to our customers and data. Others, on the other hand, use cheap tricks which may seem to boost your search rankings in the short-term, but, from a ‘big picture’ perspective, will inevitably end up sabotaging your future.

Here, we make progress by analyzing hundreds of categories of information to ensure accuracy, quality, and integrity. We understand all the little details which go into elevating your online presence, and we’re committed to making it happen.

We make adjustments based on real factors to create significant results. Some guiding priorities incorporated in our analysis and action include:

  • The safety and security of your website
  • Website quality
  • Website content quality
  • The type of website code
  • Analysis of schema markup
  • Is it HTTPS or HTTP?
  • How mobile-friendly your current website is
  • The speed in which pages load on your site
  • Optimization of images
  • Social signals and quality of backlinks

Our methods and procedures allow us to optimize these elements effectively and consistently to better your results.

What kind of SEO Services Should a Business Owner Expect to be Provided by an SEO Company?

Great question.

We’ve laid out some of the areas in which we make an impact, but how and what we perform to achieve results is worth understanding. Our primary method of operation, and what any legitimate company should be offering in their standard services, features the following...


  • We analyze the structure of your website
  • We analyze the content of your website
  • We analyze your current conversion rate
  • We analyze all off-page online elements


  • We optimize your website structure
  • We optimize your website code
  • We optimize your on-site webpage content
  • We optimize all elements of your off-page online presence

Analyzing the Structure of Your Website

Website structure analysis is vital. Everyone agrees, to some extent, that designing your website explicitly to appease Google’s algorithm isn’t necessarily the best idea. Even Google encourages developers to focus on independent quality as such. Sure. However, designing without considering your relation to search engine rankings would be absurd given the current state of things. Proper SEO agencies, like ourselves— we’ve learned how to strike a balance.

What do we consider when analyzing the structure of your website?

Is it secure?

Many don’t know the significance of the potential added “s” in HTTPS. Without it, your website probably isn’t secure— and it at least is not as reliable as it could be. Secured sites aren’t just for taking payments, by the way.

Regardless of whether your site interacts with credit cards to do business, Google will always, always prefer a secured site to the alternative.

The results show this to be true.

Analytics Tracking

We carefully observe and study any current analytics data that has been, or can be, distilled. If you don’t have any pre-existing program set up, we can take care of that. This is very important, as it allows us to understand sales data and track potential leads.
This information is not something which we believe should be taken for granted.

Preventing Search Engine Crawlers

You don’t want ‘Robot.txt’ files making their presence felt on your page.

Basic Error Correction

Site errors constitute a significant sign to Google that your page doesn’t belong on its front page. Some basic errors, like 4XX errors, crawlers blocked, missing information, duplicated content, and more, can stand in the way of Google trusting your site. You want Google’s trust— trust us.

Are you Indexed?

It’s better to be Indexed than Non-Indexed. To be Indexed, more or less, is a sort of vote-of-confidence or sign of quality that will improve your relevancy for searches. This is a great way to boost potential consumers and get some organic clicks.

Your XML sitemap

The XML sitemap refers to a directory of any page your website contains which you would like a search engine to account for. This may seem similar to robots.txt, but it is, in fact, the opposite— your XML sitemap communicates with which pages to index, robots.txt tells which ones you would NOT like to index.


Since the beginning of the accessible web, users have consistently desired one overarching improvement. Faster! Speed is a massive element of user experience, which search engines take into account. Users are predictable in their impatience. As such, speed does, in fact, play a role in your rankings.

Optimized Elements
You may not be aware of what a ‘meta element’ is, but trust us— it’s essential. Negative meta elements can often be found in descriptions, general site content, duplicate title tags, and other such details. Such factors will hinder your ranking. Accordingly, this is where we spend a lot of our optimization energy.

We examine any factor that might be negatively impacting your conversion rate. With our methods, it’s easy to identify content which might be shooting you in the foot and mismanaging your leads. To find what works best for your particular success, we’ll perform operations such as A:B tests which examine the results of alternate links, contact forms, and other such details.

As you can tell, a lot of this is quite technical. Whether you fully comprehend the previous passage or not, the next bit is likely more comprehensible.


Content Analysis. A huge part of any true SEO specialist’s domain. We examine your content in order with the following questions in mind:
Is your content voice search compatible?

  • How effective are currently targeted keywords?
  • Is content ranking sufficient?
  • Are there issues with duplicate content?
  • Is your web page missing pages?
  • Is your contact info accuracies and consistent?

In the end, absolutely nothing is as vital to your success as solid web content. Exceptional content is the best way to attract potential customers, and, accordingly, the best way to convert your leads into profit.

Examining your current content is such a crucial step for these reasons. Really, this is what acts as a foundation for the entire strategy which we will build together.

Using also utilize the findings from this investigation to enact a thorough keyword analysis. The information helps us discover existent opportunities, as well as opens new doors, in order to improve rankings and expand your reach.


So much of the most important SEO work actually occurs away from your website. Your influence is very much defined by how you relate to the web-at-large. Are you featured on industry blogs? Have customers been ranking your business on popular forums and directories? How are you doing on YELP? If you’ve already got some popularity, it’s all the better. They say there’s nothing better than word of mouth, and they’re right— even if this was never expected to be reflected in a Google algorithm! If you’re doing well in this regard, you’ll automatically relate in a better way to your preferred keywords. If you’re not, it’s tougher, but that’s what we’re here for. Whether you’re brand new and attempting to collect your first significant compilation of reviews, or whether you’re recovering from negative ones, there is a way out.

For example, we have positive methods of dealing with negative reviews, including tactics for peacemaking with disturbed customers from the past.
We move on from our website analysis by forming a realistic portrait of what people are saying about you off-site, and deciding how this can be utilized.

Our search is thorough. We cruise around the web looking for any mentions, and find a way to maximize the gains.
We know how to optimize your online presence. Years of experience has shown us the requisite tools for collaborating with a new company and customizing a plan of action.

Though every project has some particularities, we know that some principles always hold true. We’ll help by:

  • Increasing your organic traffic
  • Creating content specifically for your target audience, geographically or otherwise
  • Optimizing title tags and intentionally creating effective meta descriptions
  • NAP consistency
  • Cultivation of positive, legitimate reviews, impacted by schema
  • Creating the ideal UI for mobile devices— mobile responsiveness is key!
  • Finding ways to increase legitimacy, authenticity, and authority

Progress, in the big picture, comes from perfecting every minor detail. Improvement, in this sense, is inevitable. Perfection is possible, and it’s what we strive for in crafting a finely tuned web presence for you.


From time to time, we work with a page which is nearly perfect, and only requires a couple of adjustments. The vast majority of the time, though, we find much room for improvement. With the swift evolution which continually occurs in this field, we can always find some room for optimization. With structure and site code, we discover pure potentiality for progress. Our team of trusted engineers and specialists can’t wait to optimize your site in the following ways:

  • Organizing a site structure to improve navigation; make it as simple as possible to find what they’ve come for
  • Efficiency! People are impatient. We cut out any inefficiencies and grease the wheels!
  • Tidy up in errors which can be detected by Google
  • Optimize or introduce an XML sitemap for better interaction with Google
  • Add links! Internal links allow customers to move around your site with ease, specifically directed to where it’s best for them to get to from your perspective.


This much is worth reiterating: your content matters most. Even a perfectly designed site needs to consistently churn out top-notch content. The best landing page will still be hindered by flat content. Content creation is critical for attracting potential customers, and for closing the deal. A real dynamic is required here, and now a piece of material is ever done being optimized.

We will work to:

  • Ensure there is no duplicate content; we’ll either rewrite it or get rid of it
  • Ensure there are no wasted opportunities to link keywords in page titles; this is very important for getting Google’s attention and improving your rankings
  • Write new copy which is rich with keywords; this will improve landing page performance
  • Manufacture organic, fresh landing pages to attract potential customers
  • Contribute dynamic images
  • Properly format existing text
  • Refine the aesthetic of the page


As I previously mentioned, the way your brand appears off-site manages to make at least as much of an impact as your site itself. This reality encourages us to:

  • Engage with SEO principles based on your locality; if relevant to your business, this will raise your rankings in searches based on your own community
  • Discover all existing online directory listings of your enterprise: then, we verify and update them so that they are accurate, informative, and reflect the business in the best possible light
  • Look for new online resources to link with and contribute to
  • Craft and circulate writings, such as press releases, which detail your company’s progress and fresh offerings
  • Network! We’ll find influencers, blogs, and other resources in relevant fields and create mutually beneficial agreements to exchange links and support each other


We understand where the notion comes from that SEO professionals just add hot links to keywords, and that anyone can do it, but it’s simply untrue. Optimizing in this way goes so much deeper. We improve your website in every way, but we also provide continued data analysis. This allows us to track changes, see what’s working and what isn’t, and make the appropriate changes based on this. The ongoing process we share with you includes:

  • Relevant, closely monitored rankings, traffic numbers, and conversion rates which are updated and tracked on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis (and so on)
  • The knowledge to understand data and infer the best direction to move and best strategies to apply

But is Hiring an SEO Company Really Necessary?

Well, if you want more traffic, more calls, more sales, and more profits, engaging with an SEO company like ours is a great strategy.

Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to be sure that your website is maximizing its potential impact on your profit margins? Do you want to be discovered by potential customers using Google? Do you want to leave fellow businesses in the dust and excel beyond the standard? To set yourself apart from the rest? Do you want to get more leads? Convert more leads?  Make more sales?

Do you care about long-term sustainability in a rapidly digitalized age?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, an SEO company is a surefire way to meet and exceed your goals!

However, is this the best SEO service out there?

We wouldn’t be doing this if we weren’t striving to be the best. We’re not here to make a quick buck and leave. We are here to forge lasting partnerships based on trust and mutual growth. Choosing an SEO company is no small matter— not only do we want to maximize your success, but we want to continue doing it for as long as you plan to grow.
We set ourselves apart from the crowd by offering transparency, accountability, and firm commitment. We’re not just a quick-fix for a few weeks of better rankings, like many companies out there. Indeed, if you see any company saying that they can: double your traffic overnight, manifest instant leads and search engine submissions, guarantee a figure of backlinks, or offer specific ROI projections, you want to get out of there as fast as possible.
The results may seem too good to be true, and that’s because they are with these companies. Also, the damage lasts a lot longer than the success you’ve signed up for.


If a company is promising a guaranteed number of results within a specific range of time, you can bet that they are employing shady tactics. These are the scam artists who jeopardize the legitimacy granted to our field of work, and we feel strongly about disavowing these tactics at every turn.

Companies like this will:

  • Use your money to buy shady links on phony sites
  • Use programs to manipulate fake results through the creation of awful pages
  • Duplicate content in a way that does not serve your interests
  • Depend on spamming links and ensuring the long-term irrelevance of your project for their own immediate gains

Sometimes, the people behind this have a firm understanding of the Google algorithm, and the short-term results show this to be the case. However, Google cares deeply about adapting around such backward tactics, and proactively reform their algorithm to fend against methods that have been used to cheat the system. Moreover, if Google does find that you have used shady tactics, they will surely penalize your site in ways that cause long term problems. In this way, one step forward can mean ten steps backward for you, as well as wasted money that could have been more adequately invested.

Never deal with people who strike you as shady, or who make the promises we’ve warned you about. Don’t deal with companies that claim ownership via copyright on any of the data they say they’ll work with for you. Don’t sign yourself away like that, as it can lead to being legally disallowed to use the content you’ve rightfully paid for. When you collaborate with us, however, we create content that is yours forever.

How do I know a safe SEO company from a bad one?

Start by taking a look at their reviews. As you may expect, a lot of untrustworthy SEO companies have collected a slew of bad reviews from people they have improperly taken advantage of in the past. Don’t trust anyone who appears to be as such. Always ask for examples of reviews and maybe even portfolio pieces or case studies.

  • Don’t forget to clarify the contents of the contract. Have them explain to you in plain terms what they are proposing, and what your signature then entails.
  • How does cancellation work? There’s nothing worse than being locked in a contract with someone you’ve learned to distrust or just don't enjoy working with.
  • Make sure you know when the contract ends.
  • Clarify communication terms. Who writes who, and when? Make sure to decide on a standard so that each side can hold each other accountable.
  • Ask to retain access to your own site and analytics. They should not be afraid to help you in this way, as well as to provide information on who has access to FTP, CMS, AdWords, and Analytics.
  • Who owns the website? Some companies claim ownership of the project, especially if they’re building it from scratch. Make sure you know, because the stakes of canceling raise significantly if you’ll be left without a website for any given amount of time. It’s best to work with an SEO company who allows you to own the site.
  • Are there guarantees for figures? Watch out. Such an offer may be tempting, but a real, authentic, trustworthy SEO company won’t guarantee specific results, only clarify their goals and their means of attaining them.
  • Ask if the company has relevant experience with similar businesses to yours, or in the industry which you work within. Experience in your specific field can help, especially with the formalities of content creation.
  • What contract options are available? Don’t be upsold to the most expensive "just because." Some small businesses don’t need the same extensive work as a large business. Clarify this and demand honesty.
  • Clarify fees, payment options, and what precisely you’ll be paying for.

We believe that we’re your best option, as far as SEO companies built to serve your interests. We respect our competitors, which is why we learn what the leaders in the industry are doing best, preserve our own unique merits, and continuously live within this reciprocity in order to elevate and grow. We care about how you appear on the web. As a client of ours, your image reflects our image, and vice versa; our success is your success, is shared success.

If you have any questions about what we are offering, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you.

February 6, 2017 - No Comments!

5 Stupid Easy Ways to Real Estate Marketing

Now that you’ve gotten your real estate license, it’s time to get down to business! You go get your headshot at $75 a pop, get your tech savvy friend to design a website and good to go right? So, why are you getting any leads?

Chances are, when you received your license, so did a dozen of others in your class. Multiply that by a couple classes per semester and bam--hundreds of realtors are churned out every year.

Now don’t quote me on these alternative facts but I think you get the gist of it: the real estate market is highly competitive and it is crucial to be able to stand out.

Sure, you have your website and your Facebook page but how do you take it one step further? Try these tips to optimize your real estate marketing so you can stay on top of the competition.

1. Be your own brand.

The key to real estate marketing is building your own brand. Assuming you already have an “About Me” section on your webpage, make sure it’s tailored so that visitors are able to get a strong sense of your personality and qualifications. Your audience should be able to go through your site and feel like they just went on a good first date with you.

If you have the budget, get some of your own swag. Studies show that recipients of promotional products have a more positive perception of the business and a higher likelihood of recommending the business. Once you have determined that this is feasible for your business, get your photo, name and contact info printed on useful items such as notepads, pens, calendars, umbrellas, etc.

These promotional products should add value to the client’s life in some way--don’t give out random useless stuff like magnets (sorry, but magnets suck).  Alternatively, you may choose not to use your photo if you feel that if may create a negative experience for potential clients. Just kidding. Having a photo printed is great because it enhances top of mind awareness and helps people put a face to the name. Maybe you could even try out phone cases like Kim:


2. Optimize your webpage

You know what grinds my gears? Webpages that aren’t optimized for mobile devices. It just absolutely kills me when the page loads and it’s the desktop version of the site, meaning I have to zoom in and out to read the content and half the time it doesn’t even load properly.

Hopefully your tech savvy friend already did this for you when developing your website, but you can easily find out by going to your site using a mobile device. If you realize that it’s NOT optimized, there are a few options:

  • Switch to a responsive template/theme for your website (consult your other tech savvy friend, Google)
  • Optimize it yourself (difficulty level: 9000+ if you’re not a developer)
  • Hire someone to optimize it (I hear Indexsy is really good for this)

Once your webpage is ready to be viewed on any platform, add enhancements to make it stand out from others.

Start with an interesting video on the homepage. Time-lapse videos are always cool (at least to me any way) and relatively easy to make. You can try using the Hyperlapse available for iOS or other time-lapse video making software for Androids. Alternatively, put in virtual tours of your top listings. The bottom line is, I’ve seen some pretty vomit-inducing sites so make sure yours isn’t one of them.

3. Make the most out of your social media

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you have already set up some social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. You already know the basics: post regularly, make sure your posts are relevant, interact with your followers, blah blah blah. However, try to make the most out of social media by going above and beyond, such as through Facebook Ads.

Even though it may seem intimidating, advertising on Facebook is actually pretty easy. Facebook has a great guide for beginners, which is actually all I used to get started. For me, the hardest part was defining my target audience. Try different demographic sets until find the one that gives you the highest conversion rate.

For example, females aged 18-30, living in North America, interested in products like Starbucks and UGG boots, enjoys movies like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. You can set a budget so that you’re not spending beyond your means and track the performance of your ad in real-time. Go ahead and give it a try! Start off with a $10 budget to test out the waters.

While I won’t get into what makes an effective Facebook Ad, take a look at this great one from Google as an example:

A simple image, an eye-catching color palette, concise copy, a clear CTA, and they even threw in a financial incentive--sign me up for a Google Cloud Platform!

4. Nurture your clients

Think of your clients like plants--water them regularly, but too much and the plant will die, too little and it will wilt. Keep in touch with your clients by sending follow up emails after a showing, check out Contactually, a real estate CRM. Especially if they didn’t seem particularly interested--send them some other listings of homes that you think may interest them. I’ve read online that you should follow up daily--however, use your discretion. The last thing you want to do is scare a potential client away because you sounded like a clingy boyfriend with an anarchy bomber.

Set up your landing page of your website so that visitors can subscribe to your newsletters. A lot of retailers do this offering a discount to subscribers--you can do something similar by offering a free eBook, homebuyer’s guide, etc. These emails are very valuable as you can then send monthly newsletters to keep your clients connected. MailChimp is my favourite email marketing platform because it’s so easy to use AND it’s free.

For clients that you’ve closed the deal with, it’s a no-brainer to send a thoughtful gift after the sale. Follow-up with these buyers a month and a year after the purchase to maintain long-lasting relationships and even get referrals.

Since real estate marketing also relies heavily on word of mouth, try to implement a referral system with your clients. Chances are, if the client had a positive experience with you, like are likely to recommend you to someone else in their network.

5. Keep your friends close.. And your enemies even closer..

Enemies probably isn’t the right word to refer to your competition (at least for most people), but it goes without saying that the closer you monitor your competition, the more you can learn from them. There are a variety of tools you can use to check up on your competition online, such as Alexa (paid), and Quick Sprout (free).

"Compare how your sites perform in terms of SEO and SEM strategies and their social media presence. "


It doesn’t have to be all online--realtors will advertise using different mediums as well: ads at the bus stop, on the radio, etc. Take a look at this gem:

If you are able to implement these 5 tips into your real estate marketing strategy, you will be seeing leads in no time. Once you have the basics, it’ll be easy to add in more advanced and innovative strategies to grow your clientele. Until then, trial and error baby, trial and error.

December 16, 2016 - No Comments!

Our Xmas Ugly List: Vancouver’s Top 5 Ugliest Sites

Have you ever come across a website that was so ugly, you just had to cringe?

Well, before researching this article, I hadn’t. Because chances are, if your website is butt-ugly, I probably won’t be wasting my time on it.

But, it’s the holidays and heyat Indexsy, we like to give. So we’re going to throw in a free website redesign for any of the companies that are featured on our “ugly” list this year.

And by ugly, I don’t mean ugly-Christmas-sweater-that’s-so-ugly-it’s-cute ugly. I mean hey-your-website-is-so-awful-it-deters-customers ugly.

You’ll see what I mean. I mean, for Pete's sake, use a website builder, or hire a developer will ya?


vancouver's top 5 ugliest sites



  1. 3WGroup



Let’s start off the list with what may be the most boring thing you will see today.

First of all, those stock photos look like they were from the 90’s, when computers were the size of small cars.

Second, the landing page is seriously lacking in engaging content. Or any content, to be honest.

There’s no clear call-to-action, no value proposition, literally nothing that makes the audience want to purchase their services. 

In fact, with the current design (or lackthereof), I’d be surprised if anyone were to even stay on the page for longer than 3 seconds.



  1. NazI Jew Creative Anarchy



Now, even though I’m considered Millennial, which means we get offended by anything and everything, I consider myself pretty laidback. I mean, I love dank memes and I wrote a whole blog post featuring my favourite meme: Pepe.

However, I was slightly disturbed by this site.

At first, I thought I had accidentally landed on the homepage of some anarchist cult, due to the company’s rather creative name.

Then I realized, OK, it’s design company that’s trying a little too hard to stand out.

The sci-fi theme is cool and all, but the design of the website itself is a little distracting.

I’m no grammar-Nazi (pun intended), but when there’s a glaring grammatical error in the headline, I’m not sure if I can take anything else seriously:


Kind of reminds me of this awesome tattoo:


We all make mistakes, which is why proofreading is pretty important, especially when it comes to your website’s headline.

As well, the arrows below suggest that the audience should read the content in one direction, but it brings you in a full circle, which forces readers to scroll back up.


That’s confusing-should you scroll back down to continue browsing? Or is that the extent of what the company wants you to read?

Although the website definitely stands out, it didn’t blow my mind.

Which means it looks like their art director may have to cut off his genitals, as promised:




  1. Echelon Media Group



Just when I thought I could go about and life the live I love, another ugly website catches my attention.

Similar to our first offender, this site has no clear CTA, and no real value proposition.

For one thing, their video player is outdated and hard to navigate. The navigation bar also disappears when you click on a video sample:


For an company that deals with media content, their website is seriously lacking interactive media that’s engaging and appealing.

P.S. Do people still watch DVDs??



  1. BSI Biodegradable Solutions



The first thing that struck me was that the landing page looked purely one dimensional.

The links don’t stand out (you can’t tell which text is a link and which is static). It’s not until you hover over specific text that you realize it’s actually a link in disguise.

The background image looks like it was taken with a potato, with the resolution equal to that of a VHS tape.

The image colors and the text also clash, with the white text on bright yellow background, which is distracting and causes the audience to skip to more readable text.

Again, no CTA, unless they really just want us to follow them on Twitter.

Overall, I think they have the right idea but just need to work on the site’s aesthetic and design.



  1. INC Business Lawyers



I get it, if you’re looking to incorporate your company, you don’t really care if your lawyer has a fancy-schmancy website. You just want a solid, reputable attorney that you can rely on to do the job.

But that doesn’t mean that law firms can skimp out on their website. Any website that is easy on the eye and simple to navigate will always win over ones that are ugly and overwhelming.

Unfortunately, this site falls into the latter category.

When I first clicked into the site, I paused to wait for the CSS to load.

It never did.

That’s because the site literally has no CSS (or design) elements to it.

The links are the standard “link-coloured”-blue, there are no images (other the ugly ad at the top of the page), and all you see are walls of text.

The font is generic and rather small, there’s an overwhelming amount of information on each page, and let’s be honest-it’s just plain ugly.

Oh and if you take a look at the blog, it’s probably the most unappealing thing ever. The whole purpose of a blog is to engage readers to read the content, which is hard when it looks like this:


I mean, do you want to “Read more”?

Not really.

In terms of textual content, this site is off the hook. Just add some images, some interactive, engaging content, maybe use a colour other than blue and black, add a background, change the landing page… basically change the entire website, and we’re good to go.



And that’s all I have for now, the 5 ugliest local websites that made our Ugly List this year.

Stay tuned.

If you liked this post, or have other ugly sites you want to be featured, comment below or email us.

Or, read my post on the Ultimate Instagram Strategy Guide (yep, it's a mouthful) HERE.

If you’re offended by this post, relax. We’re just offering our opinion and our expertise to help other companies succeed.

At the end of the day, at least your website doesn’t look like this:



Happy Holidays!


January 23, 2018 - 4 comments

The Ultimate Instagram Strategy: 0 to 9k Followers in 6 Weeks

Today, I'm going to show you the ultimate Instagram strategy that resulted in:

An increase of over 8000 followers.

Featured on Ask.com and local news.

Over 50 leads and 5 sales.

Boosted traffic by 750%.

Oh, and did I mentioned it all happened in just under 6 weeks?

Before we dive in (incoming shameless advertising), if you, or your company needs help with digital marketing, feel free to contact us here.


Instagram Marketing:

A Social Media Strategy That Works




  1. Pick a Theme.

follow me to


Ideally, you want to post things that interest you, but that doesn't always have to be the case. The most successful accounts on Instagram have an overarching theme to their posts, such as comedy, lifestyle, fashion, etc. People are more likely to search for accounts with themes that relate to their own personal interests and having a theme to your posts will make your account more reliable, leading to more followers! 

Not to mention, when the posts are consistent with your theme or topic, it adds to the aesthetic of your Instagram page and makes it more appealing to potential followers. You can have multiple accounts for multiple themes-I've had about 5-6 different Instagram accounts running at the same time at one point-go big or go home right?

  1. Create a Profile.

Believe me, this is the hardest part. In fact, I put off this whole Instagram business for months just because I couldn't come up with a good username. If you are able to land a catchy username with no numbers or symbols, congratulations, you're already halfway there!

Once you have created an account, make sure to add a short but witty bio to your profile with a relevant user photo. You could also add a custom hashtag for your account so that anyone interested can immediately see what you've posted.


  1. Socialize.

Luckily, this is rarely as painful as socializing with real people in real life. Socializing on Instagram is probably the easiest way to gain followers. Like the photos of your friends (or even randoms on your explore feed) because that's a quick and easy way to gain awareness for your account. Go into the hashtags to find accounts and posts similar to yours and like a whole bunch of posts.

Make sure you follow lots of relevant accounts too. For example, for RSLW, I went to the page Artforthesick since they post similar images and followed them.

This will automatically influence the posts in your Explore feed (due to Instagram's algorithms) and make it easier to find similar accounts to you. And guess what? By mass following the followers of that account, you have already built up a list of users that are interested in the theme (or similar theme) to your account.


Finally, find hashtags like #L4L #like4like #follow4follow, etc, and start the reciprocal process. Most users will like and follow your account too. Remember to also comment on other people's posts to get your account noticed.

I'm not going to lie, it's hard to come up with a unique comment every time you want to interact with someone new. For me, I actually just copy and pasted the same two comments when I first started out-no one suspected a thing.

You can even comment with just an Emoji:




  1. Sometimes You Have to Cheat (Sort Of).



I mean, sometimes, even your hardest efforts don't seem to bring in enough followers and engagement on your account. If you're feeling lucky, try sliding into the DM's (Instagram lingo for "messaging") of an Instagram "celebrity" by asking for a shoutout. A shoutout is a quick way to gain followers by having another account mention yours in their post. It's not cheating really, it's strategy.

Once you have gained a sizable following on Instagram, you'll find that other users may ask you (or even pay you) for shoutouts too. Some of the most successful accounts on Instagram today only got there by doing shoutouts for others and receiving shoutouts in return.



  1. How Many Is Too Many?

It's hard to say really. Random posting schedules do not attract as many followers because people want their social media posts to be reliable. They want to be able to find new Instagram posts on a regular basis and not have to look at old information. I mean, no one likes that feeling of scrolling through their Instagram feed and running into old posts. People are constantly searching for new information and fresh content.

Your account is only really as good as how often you post. Aim for 3-5 posts per day. Too many and you risk flooding the feeds of your followers. Too few and your account could easily become insignificant.

You can use apps like Latergramme to schedule and manage your posts:




  1. Prime Time on Social Media?

It depends on your followers' demographic, but the best time to post may be in the morning and in the evening. You can use apps like Iconosquare to find out what the prime posting schedules are according to the times of the day when your account has the most traffic or activity.

For me, I found that most of my followers were active in the morning (between 8 AM and 11 AM) and then in the evening (anywhere from 5 PM to 10 PM). Here's an example:

posting schedule



  1. All About That #Hashtag Life:



There’s a fine line between looking desperate and making sure your posts get the attention of possible followers. We all know that one basic friend who bombs their posts with a paragraph of (often irrelevant) hashtags. A good Instagram strategy is to try and mix it up with a couple of regularly trending tags (try this site) and unique hashtags that might not have as many posts in them.

Be sure to remember that the tags should be on topic. Pictures with unrelated hashtags just look like spam, like this:

hashtag spam



  1. Spend Time on Your Content:



This one might be obvious, but no one is going to pay attention to the thousandth coffee cup post on their feed. Cultivating a creative and unique spin on even the most tired subject will end up bringing your Instagram account needed attention and follows. The key here is to make sure the posts are relatable, inspirational, funny, or all of the above.

Good content should be able to stimulate some sort of emotion from the audience. Often, to find this content, you may have to spend a lot of time scrolling through feeds. But don't fret, many successful Instagram accounts with so-called "original content" actually just repost it from sites like Tumblr and Pinterest.



  1. Interact with your Followers:



Once you’ve worked on what you’re posting each day you should respond to comments. People are more likely to keep following someone who they feel they know, even if it's all business for you. If there’s a follower who constantly likes or comments, arranging a mutual shoutout is definitely the way to go. Keep working the angle of personal interaction for attracting and maintaining followers!

Hopefully some of these tips will help you grow the amount of likes and followers on your Instagram account exponentially. Soon you’ll be busy liking photos, talking with your growing list of followers, and taking more photos for your account. Hell, it might even become a full-time job! Have fun implementing this Instagram growth hack!




December 2, 2015 - No Comments!

6 Email Marketing Strategies That Will Increase Your Clicks

…Sound familiar?

You’re frustrated because your emails seem to be getting through to no one.  Read on to find out how to Get YOUR Emails Read!

1.      Subject Lines Need To Be HEADLINES (yes, in capital letters)

I want to close your eyes right now. Now, imagine that the target of your emails is a young, social-media savvy office worker. She opens her inbox and sees 100 unread emails. Yours is a part of that long list.

Her fingers scroll down to your email. But…what’s this? Her eyes move right past the subject line of your email, and instead, she clicks on the email below yours that reads:

50% SALE – last chance @ Aritzia!!

Oh snap!

Now, don’t fret. It’s not the end of the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of things you could use in your emails to improve their click-rate:

  • How to: How to Double Your Revenue with one Little Known Email Marketing Technique
  • Humor: Forget Black Friday – Enjoy Wine Weekend
  • Shocking: How I lost 48 pounds in ONE WEEK
  • Testimonial: “MarketBeat made me $12,384.32 in one trade”
  • Time Sensitive: Tonight’s Deadline (Last Chance!)
  • Warning: Don’t Miss Out!

Symbols, free stuff, CAPITAL LETTERS – all of these help to make your email stand out!



2.      Your Readers Need to Know YOU

Communication is never one-sided – it is an interactive process involving someone on either side of the line! Just as you should know your audience, it helps to let them know YOU as well.

“Why do they care who I am?” you ask.

Well, would YOU rather read an email with personality or an email that looks like it’s been generated by a bot?

How do you prove you’re not a bot?

For starters, how about changing your email name from do-not-reply@abc.com (best way to PREVENT engagement with your readers, btw) to first.lastname@abc.com?


In addition, if humor aligns with your brand - USE IT!

Imagine having to go through hundreds of emails a day…what are you more likely to read? An email with a creative title or an email without?

What are you more likely to remember – an email that made you laugh or an email that only “spoke business”?

Depending on your business image, it may be okay to embed totally irrelevant – but hilarious – content in your emails, just to give your clients a laugh! Hey, happy clients are more likely to buy-in, right?

Let me give you an example from Bonobos. If you purchased from their website, you receive a confirmation email that includes a cute cat video. Make your customers happy, and you’ll be happy too!  

Although it had nothing to do with their brand, but you can be sure with little gems like that in their emails, Bonobos readers will be 10x more likely to open emails from them.

3.      Optimize for Mobile

We live in a mobile world where people are always on the go. Increasingly more people are viewing their emails on their cellphones instead of their computers. Those of us who don’t have gigantic Samsung notes, are not going to read your email if we have to keep zooming to see all of it!

Keep in mind that although a pretty layout with lots of columns and images look nifty on a desktop, it’s not so sharp when it’s been resized to a mobile-sized screen.

Instead, consider using responsive templates which will optimize your content for the screen it is displayed on (i.e. wider for desktop, shrunk for cellphones). Learn all about responsive templates here.

Also, they say that images speak louder than words.

…But not if I can only see a corner of it on my phone!

According to a research by Fractl, Buzzstream, and Hubspot, an ideal size for images is between 600-800 pixels. The same principle applies to fonts – the bigger, the better!

4.      Cash Out on Capital Real Estate

A.K.A the preheader text. What’s the preheader text, you ask?

Preheader text refers to the few lines that show up in the email preview:


Most people neglect to capitalize on these few lines. Instead, they waste valuable real estate on lines such as “having trouble viewing this email?” (Doh!)

I know you’re probably starting to sweat, thinking “Shoot, does my preheader text say that?”

Don’t sweat. Find out how to make your preheader text reads exactly what you want it to here.

5. Don’t Trap Your Readers  

Make the unsubscribe button clearly visible and easy to click. Some people think that if they hide the “unsubscribe” button really well, their readers will be forced to read their emails. Nuh-uh.

If readers are disengaged by your content, and are unable to easily unsubscribe…guess what? They’re just going to send you to their “blocked senders” list or worse, report you as spam!

You can make it easy for your readers to unsubscribe, yet still encourage them to stay on your subscription list by giving them the option of selecting which types of email to opt-out from (rather than an all-or-nothing approach).

Remember, your readers will LOVE personalized content!

6.      Give More Than You Take

Do you send out an email with free resources for your readers once in a while? One freebie per two emails selling your services? How about reversing that order?

Try sending your reader two emails that GIVE value for every one that TAKES from them.

  •         Emails that give value: provide free resources, tips, training videos (stuff they can use)
  •         Emails that take from them: asking them to buy something or provide you feedback

You may be protesting “Hey, this isn’t a charity organization!” but doing good is never a bad thing. Maybe your readers will want to buy-in to your products or services simply out of sheer gratitude for all you’ve provided to them!

Do YOU have any other tips for email marketing? Let us know what’s worked for you, and what you’ve struggled with!


October 25, 2015 - 2 comments

4 Ways We Screwed Up A Lead (aka I Just Watched My Boss Get Ripped a New One)

Picture this:

Four people, sitting in a boardroom, three pairs of eyes on one person:


pepe spectating


That person-he’s talking, no, babbling, really, on and on while trying to maintain his composure. 

But look at his hands-they’re gesturing wildly-almost as if grasping for the few remaining traces of control he has before it completely slips from his fingertips.

Beads of perspiration form on his temples, glistening in the afternoon light that lazily makes its way in from the window.

He realizes he has no idea what he’s talking about anymore, but it’s too late-he’s too far gone. Inside, he was all but ready for this:


pepe in the outlet


Meanwhile, his beautiful, perfectly-poised assistant for the day (me), watches, already brainstorming the title of the blog post that would perfectly capture this moment...




4 Ways We Screwed Up With a Lead

(And What We Learned):

 lost lead


1. Preparation was largely overlooked on our part.

And it's not really uncommon. I mean, if you had an exam, and you knew the course content like the back of your hand, would you study?

For us, it was the same idea: we know our service, we know our industry, we researched our lead, we're charismatic, and we're passionate about what we do, what could possibly go wrong?


what could go wrong?


Well, everything and then some.

See, once a question catches you off-guard, it may often take the entire meeting for you to recover (unless you're naturally amazing at thinking on your feet; in that case, you, sir, are a wizard).

For us, this was when we were asked how much we charge as an hourly rate. Now, with all our past and existing clients, we have always charged a flat or monthly rate.

Call it a rookie mistake, but we hadn't anticipated being asked this right off the bat.

So we sat there, staring back at them, mouths opening and closing as we struggled to form coherent sentences.


businessfrog pepe crying


Feels pretty bad, man.

What I learned: There is absolutely no such thing as being over-prepared.

Try to get an outsider's view on your business: it helps if you get a friend to take a look at what you do and then throw random questions at you in preparation for the meeting.

Oh, and if you ever get asked something like an hourly rate, it's better to make it up, and contemplate later, than to sit in awkward silence for a full minute and come up with nothing!



2. We kept emphasizing how busy we were without realizing the impression it gave off.

It started with a simple "We've been pretty busy with projects lately", when asked to introduce ourselves.

Once that seed was planted, Jacky found he couldn't stop using the "B-word", B as in "busy". He then proceeded to ramble for a good ten minutes on just exactly how "busy" we were, and how completely SWAMPED we will be for the next while.

Meanwhile I'm like:



And yes, this meeting was supposed to be a sales pitch.

It wasn't that we were trying to be cocky, or that we wanted to give off the impression that we had a solid client base, but that we were being brutally honest about the amount of work we were grinding through every day.

Unfortunately, Jacky had been too transparent, and ended up sounding like we didn't want their business. Which of course, is completely the opposite.


what has pepe done?


What I learned: There are some things better left unsaid.

Now take this with a grain of salt. Transparency is crucial in business but does your potential client really need to know that you were so busy working you couldn't even make it to your date last Saturday night?


pepe stank eye


Unless you're the Steve Jobs of your industry and can afford to turn away clients, I'd avoid talking about your struggles with time-management.

Your client wants to know (or at least be under the impression) that they will be your first priority while you are working together. Treat them like you would treat your needy girlfriend: with love and respect. Keep any sidechicks on the down-low.



3. We didn't bring any samples?????????????????we went empty handed??????



No excuses for this one. Should be a given for any meeting, nevermind a lead!!



We started to become discouraged.

As soon as we realized things had taken an entirely different direction to what we were expecting, we became extremely flustered.

To be honest, it went south the moment we couldn't come up with a quote for the hourly rate. As such, the potential lead actually began to dominate the meeting as we realized we were no longer in control.

Like I mentioned before, once you slip, you don't stop falling until you hit the bottom.


uh oh pepe


We weren't able to regain momentum and redirect the topics of discussion to safer waters, topics we had actually prepared for. As such, the rest of the meeting was spent listening to the potential lead other guys give us feedback on how we can improve our approach in the future.

Basically, a good 15-20 minutes of Jacky and I sitting in uncomfortable silence, contemplating our life choices.


pepe's reasons to live: 0
What I learned: Don't give up!

Even as you see the situation spiraling out of control, attempt to steer it back to what you're comfortable with.

Have you already pitched your product/service? Talk about it even more. In fact, just keep talking about how useful and beneficial it is until you get yourself in check.

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback after, especially if you're new/a start-up. People love giving feedback, trust me, and feedback can always be used constructively. Just don't take it personally though.



The bottom line:

We may have bombed this lead but now we know how to approach future leads and clients-especially what NOT to do. In the meantime, we have some work to do.


top of the morning pepe



Disclaimer: I am not by any means an expert on this topic; these are just my two cents. All Pepe images are also not owned by me.

June 5, 2015 - 4 comments

How to Stop Email Spam(and Profit from Them)

Everyone gets email spam, your contact info is plastered all over the web.

No, I don't usually reply the emails written in terrible English and offering to destroy my SEO with combined Fiverr gigs.

Today I thought, 'fuck this, I'm going to do something about it'.

Here's what I did:

1. Take your average email spam offering SEO and/or web design services

Hi Dear,

I am Vanessa,

Manager Online Marketing

To introduce, we are an ISO 9001:2008 certified Indian Web Design and Development firm and have over 10 years of experience. We have been partnering various digital agencies all over US, UK, Australia and Europe.

As you offer Web Design and Development Services to your clients may I propose an association between the two firms. In these tough times, where it is hard to maintain the top line, we can help boost the bottom-line for you.

We can execute the Web Design or SEO projects on a white label basis for you at a much lower cost than what it might be in house - No compromise on quality!

Our Primary Services includes:

Web Design and Development



Web application development

HTML5 Development

Mobile web development

Do let me know if you are interested and we would be happy to connect with you and discuss more in detail about your project requirement.

I look forward to your positive responses mail.

Kinds Regards,

Vanessa Freed

Marketing Manager

Email id: Vanessa@xxxxxxxxx.org

2. Reply with Interest

Talk to them, pretend like you're actually interested in their terrible white label SEO services.

The key is to build some trust here, I doubt you'll have any problems here.

Ask them about what they offer in their packages, types of backlinks, onsite SEO and all that good stuff.

Hi Vanessa,

Do you offer review copies for your SEO services?
Send me your package info.

3. Bonus: Their Package

email-seoI won't go into detail about how terrible every is. Someone once covered that a lot of SEO services can be made by combining 4 or 5 Fiverr services, wrapping it up and selling it for x amount of money.

4. Ask for their Portfolio

It is completely normal to ask for their portfolio for validation. What did they give me?

A list of 10 clients and the keywords their ranking for.

5. Profit

Here comes the most crucial part:

Contact each one of the site owners after some brief analysis and inform them of the terrible SEO issues with their site(they will definitely have some).

Work your relationship building skills here:

email-marketingSo out of the 10 people I contacted, 4 of them replied and I actually closed a deal with one of them.

No need to stop email spam, use it!

So as you can clearly see, this was the easiest way to build a sales funnel. Remember, the next time you see someone from India emailing you, see it as an opportunity!