When it comes time to get your business online—whether it is a business with a street address or an e-commerce startup—there’s one thing we know for sure: Canadians like to support other Canadians. So how does a Canadian business stand out online?
While setting up your website might seem like a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to ensure it stands out to your Canadian customers. Here are three things a Canadian business website should have:
Search engines have gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years, all in the name of making them more convenient for users. People have important questions – like Where’s the best Thai food within 3km? – and they want immediate answers.
That being said, these search engines aren’t all-knowing, and don’t spit out these recommendations automatically. If you want your business to appear in the top results when someone performs a search for something local, there’s a few things you need to do.
Familiarize yourself with search engine optimization (SEO) and then write content for various pages of your site that follow those best practices. Moz is a great trusted source to learn more about local search marketing. Make sure your website states clearly what city or area of Canada your business is located, the street address and contact information. A potential customer should be able to tell right away that your business is in their area.
It’s also essential that you claim your Google My Business listing, which will show internet users (and potential customers!) information like your phone number, business hours, and URL.
The .CA Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name extension for your website says a lot about your business and sends important signals to both potential customers and search engines about your website. Choosing the perfect domain name is a big decision but don’t forget about what comes to the right of the dot as well (we call them TLDs or top-level domains).
If your business sells primarily or exclusively to Canadians, a .CA domain name is the best choice. Whether a business is your side-gig (performing magic shows, reviewing escape rooms, walking dogs, etc.) or your main focus, if your customers come primarily from the area directly around your business, a .CA domain name instantly lets them know your business is 100% Canadians. Since only those with a Canadian presence can get a .CA domain, .CA domains are a recognized symbol of Canada online. Bonus, a .CA can help with that ever-important SEO we just talked about.
Custom Canadian Stock Photos
Having real, original photos of your products, your employees, and your store (if you have a physical location) really go a long way. Anyone can purchase stock photo, but real photos add authenticity and character to your site. This is key for both standing out from the competition and building trust with potential customers.
That being said, sometimes stock photography is a necessity. Some pages on your site just need a picture of someone staring at an iPad (or a moose skateboarding). CIRA provides custom a Canadian Stock Photo library which is full of original, maple syrup-infused photography. The photos are free to use and will be sure to add a Canadian flair to your website!
Start Building Your Website Today
The .CA domain name is made for Canadians. It’s on sale for $9.99 (USD) for February 2020. Put your Canadian company, business, or personal website on the domain name that’s made for you.
Erin Hutchison – CIRA
Erin works as a marketing specialist at CIRA, Canada’s domain name registry, and specializes in writing content that helps Canadian businesses and individuals establish an online presence..