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QotD – Canadian Best In Class SEOs?

A One Degree reader wrote me the other day asking:

Could you provide me a couple of best in class of SEO firms in Canada that you could recommend?

I had a short list I could provide them with but it was VERY short – TOO short.  So I’m opening it up to you folks. If you have a company you would suggest, feel free to add contact information in the details. Rules of Engagement – No, you can’t recommend yourself.  Yes, the company HAS to be operating in Canada.


  1. Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot
    Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot December 11, 2006

    In my experience, the best SEO companies are the ones which look at the whole picture – how SEO fits into overall online marketing strategy.
    (vs. narrowly looking at some technicalities of URL rewrites, meta-tags, keyword density etc.)
    Best SEO is also about balancing how content works for the user – vs. how it works for search engine (so conversion issues are given top priority)
    Also, I prefer SEO companies that do not have just one silver bullet tactic (text links or whatever).
    Finally, great SEO companies follow the right process:
    – starting with a marketing strategy and targets
    – defining the right SEO activities/mix
    – developing personas
    – developing key questions/concerns/conversion funnels
    – THEN researching keywords
    – writing content
    – deploying new optimized pages
    – Rinse and repeat!
    I have searched very hard and found Agito ( to be one of the best Canadian SEO companies (and Keith Holloway running it is extremely knowledgeable – and contributor on this blog). We are working with them ourselves and I can vouch for them.
    Dmitry @ Wild Apricot

  2. Jeff Ginsberg
    Jeff Ginsberg December 11, 2006

    That’s too funny Ken.
    I just had a client call and as the same thing. I could not even come up with one name.
    Shame…all that business…no one to service it. Sounds like an opportunity to me :o)

  3. David Dougherty
    David Dougherty December 11, 2006

    For political reasons 🙂 I can’t make a recommendation…
    However, I can say that if you are looking, be sure to select a company that understands the importance of incorporating SEO into your overall online marketing strategy. More specifically – developing a “holistic SEM” approach. SEO and PPC have traditionally been considered separate activities, often championed by different companies all together. In my opinion this is a misguided strategy.
    Your goal should be to establish a synergy between SEO and PPC – an SEM (not just SEO) practitioner must understand both sides of the coin. Today’s marketers need to start paying more attention to both the organic and paid components of the search engine results pages and how to leverage the advantages of each. Without getting into too much detail – each side has its own advantages, but when used together, they are very complimentary. PPC fills in gaps that SEO can’t and vice versa. An integrated approach allows you to capitalize on the benefits that each medium offers and alleviates the concerns associated with choosing one over the other.
    Brief example: use PPC to build targeted site traffic during the first few months while the SEO campaign is ramping up. PPC serves to drive instant traffic and provide metrics that can be used for the rest of the campaign. As SEO produces results, reduce spending on PPC in certain areas, restricting paid search advertisements to terms/phrases that SEO can’t reach – generally phrases targeted at searchers who are deeper in the buying cycle. It is all a balancing act.
    In my opinion it is unwise to choose one over the other. So…the best “SEO” campany would be one that is able to see SEO as the component part of a greater whole. In addition to this, SEM is also just a component of your overall online strategy – it is more about your online position and strength among your web community than it is about one specific component part. So, a good SEO company will be able to fit their services in to your specific online strategy as a whole and not try to sell you on SEO being the “end all catch all” to your online business needs.

  4. Keith Holloway
    Keith Holloway December 12, 2006

    I agree with you David. Having two companies managing what can be conflicting campaigns can be a recipe for problems.
    I also suggest that there is another good reason to precede an SEO campaign with PPC. It allows you to measure the conversion and the value of each conversion on various terms using the quick results of PPC, and then using that information to target your SEO campaign.
    You will also want to review your log files during the PPC campaign to see which terms are actually being searched before clicking on your PPC ads.
    Therefore, even if you have no intention of running a PPC campaign in the long term, this is something you may want to consider as a strategy for your SEO campaign.

  5. Bob
    Bob February 8, 2007

    Can’t believe you boys don’t have the collective gumption to cite even a few sources of half decent SEO practitioners. Is it false modesty that is standing in the way — or is it political correctness? Sheesh!

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