SES Toronto : Canada specific SEO & PPC Issues

Heather Dougherty from

Microsoft Bing beame the 9th most visited website in Canada Last week!  Last week they ranked 17 in the US.

52% of search queries contain 1-2 keywords.  Success rates of Search engines:

Yahoo! Canada: 76.59% Google US only 68%.  Search results have lots of potential improvement.

International competition is facing Canada right now.   It is difficult to find relevant canadian results.  When adding “canada” to can improve relevance drastically.  for example “credit cards” vs. “credit cards canada.”

Audit Search results from competition outside of Canada.  Sometimes companies don’t realize they compete here even though they can’t cated to Canadian Audience.

Ari Schomair From Henderson Bas : Canadian Search Engine Optimization

Why do we care about canadian SEO? Language and location are two key factors in SE relevancy rankings.

Some Facts: Canada has 2 official languages, Canadians regularly visits US websites, Not all Canadian sites are hosted in Canada, Many Canadian Companies have american offices.

Sample problems:  you don’t appear in Canadian SERPs, they appear in English but not french, a US parent company outranks Canadian  counterpart.

1. IP Location and Whois Location – whois is set at domain level but subdomains can be hosted separately.

2. Webmaster tools – You can set Geographic target, but obviously only works for Google, and is also at domain level.

3. Domain extention: .ca vs.  generic .com etc.

4. Canadian Centered link building

5. On page address listings – google has a patent for this particular function

Case Studies which improved results in Canada dramatically:

Mercedes Benz C-Class: in Canada was being outranked in US.  They moved content to 301 redirects, canadian focused Link building.

Nestle: They couldn’t move to, so they utilized a .ca domain to signal geography focus. didnt rank well in canada.  It was hosted in the US.  Solution: moved from .com to .ca utilizing deep 301 redirects, specified geographic focus in Webmaster tools.

Dual Language site: They split french and English into subdirectories, moved listed canadian mailiing address oon site, hosted site in Canada.

conclusion: think about geographic focus when creating website

2. use the 5 main tactics to rank in Canada (lusted above)

Marc Poirier From Acquisio: Canadian-Specific issues with PPC

What’s unique in PPC in Canada Vs US:

1. Size of the Market.  Way less volume in Canada  In US 21$ billion spent, in Canada it was 1.2$ Billion. Population 10x smaller and adspend is 20x smaller.

2. Two official languages 60% english 23% french and 17% other.  Bilingual campaign is good for bilingual companies.  Remember it is marketing, so you cannot do crappy translations.  Language targeting – use french ad copy for french keywords. Content network is great to experiment language targeting.

3. Currency issues.  In Canada 80% of Search traffic is driven by Google and they use Canadian Dollar, but Yahoo and Microsoft you have to fund with US dollars, so it becomes difficult to do accounting, understanding ROI, etc.

4. Victims of the giant next door: Canada is a source of arbitrage traffic to be resold in the US. Example “car insurance” comes up in, but if you dont enter a US zip code you cannot use site or service.

Conclusion: Harder in canada to do PPC: 2 currencies, 2 languages, we have a market that is 5% of US.

Guillaume Bouchard NVI (woot woot!): Quebec-Specific Issues

Quebec Demographics:  73.5% of quebec uses internet every day, however 80% uses debit cards so ecommerce is delayed because people want to use debit cards for transactions. 4 Million active Users, 70% French 30% users. Rural zones are more french.

The Quebec French Audiene is ahead of france in terms of search complexity (how many kw used in a query.  Since it is harder to find things in french, Quebequers have to use more complex search queries.

225-250 million seaqrches a month in Quebec from Google.  Content network quality in French is lower than US counterpart.

Bing needs to stop changing its name.  Peope in Quebec went through sympatico/MSN, Live, now bing.  Too many branding changes. did a lot of advertising on buses but forgot to put the URL in ads. Content network for is low quality.


BV! Media: Important display ad network. Low ROI on B2B, not a search engine, below average traffic. – doing a lot of new things, however if they are arbitraging Google ads, then it will be more expensive tha Google.   Some categories recieve a lot more traffic than others but cost the same.  Some verticals can be more advantageous than others.

Quebec Market Distribution:

PowerCorp, Transcontinental, Quebecor.  They are all based on vertical acquisitions.

Social: 2 of the top 30 users in Digg are Quebequers!!

Marketing properly in Quebec:  Have a real Francophone from Quebec for Marketing.  French in France is different. US results, and international have different results.  see previous post by Naoise Osborne of NVI.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *