NetGain has been featured in an article of the latest edition of Huronia Business Times. We’ve provided it below for easy reading or you can visit it directly at:
By Michele Lawson
BARRIE – Since being acknowledged as a verb, the search-engine Google has become the go-to authority on the top products and services to quench virtually any thirst. But it’s not being taken for granted by businesses wanting to own top billing in those searches. “The scary part for a lot of businesses is that 90 per cent (of consumers) won’t go past the first page of results,” says Netgain SEO vice president and chief operating officer Drew Dekker. “So, if someone is searching a key word and their business doesn’t come up, their business is practically invisible these days.”
With a background in technical sales serving the film and television industries, Dekker had the chance to work around the world and, at one point, live in Ireland. By age 30, he’d had enough of the long hours and returned home to Barrie. Once here, he was asked to bump up the rankings for a couple of companies on a freelance basis, and saw the entrepreneurial potential. Netgain SEO was soon born – with SEO standing for search-engine optimization. It specializes in web and graphic design, and marketing services.
“Essentially, we incorporate techniques into the website that make it search-engine friendly, and make their site highly visible to search engines for what their product or service is,” explains Dekker, who started his company with two people two-and-a-half years ago. He now has 13 full-time staffers. Dekker’s team can create on-line pay-per-click advertising campaigns, but he acknowledges this strategy can be expensive and doesn’t necessary hit all targets since some searchers shy away from the paid links. The best bet then “is getting organic results,” he says. “The ones that aren’t the ads.”
This is done by first determining the best key words for a particular business and then incorporating them strategically into the website – in the copy, page titles, in the way the files are named and images are designed. “There’s probably at least 100 variables a search engine will look at in a site,” says Dekker, who uses a couple of software programs to determine the most popular key words for a particular product or service. Regularly adding articles, releases, blog postings, recent news, and social media updates (for example: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube) helps keep a site fresh and create links – both looked upon favourably by the search-engine powers that be.
Syndicated content (released through online news and article-release services) can also help point the way back home. “You’re really creating an overall web presence,” he adds, saying the next step is scheduling future updates and Internet participation. “And the more activity you have on the web linking to your site, the more likely you’re going to come up highly in a search.” “A lot of clients find it quite time-consuming,” says Dekker, who will do as much of the ongoing maintenance as required on behalf of the client. “We essentially become their voice.”
His company also becomes their specialized research team, keeping current on constantly changing technologies and search-engine parameters. Depending on the competitiveness of a particular keyword or phrase (“buy shoes” would be highly competitive, he suggests), it can take a couple of weeks or up to a year to become Google’s number one.
Continuing to grow, Netgain SEO expects to move into its newly expanded facility at 81 Rawson Avenue next spring. Already working with clients locally, across the U.S. and abroad, Dekker is looking to double his staffing complement in the near future, and search out niche markets that can use some help. “If your company is outranking you, it’s perceived they’re the biggest and best – and they might get the deal before you because they’re the first click on the page,” Dekker warns. “If you’re not focusing on SEO now, in five years, it could be too late.”
For more information, Dekker suggests calling Sales Manager Marco Reuter at 705-797-2455.