Response to a Question

By Ava Naves, Principal



So, as it turned out, three days ago I received a question, submitted to me via my page on Cole Roberts, a very talented Vancouver photographer with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working, did the honours as the first “human” (meaning, not FormSpring’s own robot) visitor to ask me a question. Below is a copy, and my answer:

Q: How can I get my blog to be #1 on Google search for ‘Vancouver Photo Blog’

A: Hello, Cole – great to see you here, and thanks for being my first (human) visitor to pose a question.

So… how do you get your blog to be #1 on Google search for “Vancouver Photo Blog”?

As you know, this is not an SEO question that can be answered in a short paragraph, but let’s see what I can do to at least help you know a tad more today, than you did… say… 5 minutes ago.

First, the bad news: it looks as though you have your work cut out for you. A quick search on shows that there are 17,300,000 search listings for that same term.

The good news: I’ve been following what you’ve been doing on your blog, and you’re on the right track. That contest you ran last year (, which had the final draw broadcast on video, is an example of content that you can continue to do, to differentiate yourself from your competitors. One idea would be for you to keep on creating engaging, educational, informative, unique content on video, and post it to YouTube. According to data from October ’08 (eons ago), YouTube, at that time, had more than 65 million unique users.

It also happens that videos are displayed among search results on Google. So… if you continue to develop catchy videos, and optimize them for terms like “Vancouver Photo Blog”, etc, there’s a higher likelihood that your videos will turn up on search results for those same phrases.

That’s just one element you can implement. Another one, which is critical, is the development of optimized text content for your site, focusing on “Vancouver Photo Blog”. Don’t overdo on the Title Tags, though. I’ve seen some pages where you’re just trying too hard.

Now, when it comes to text, you want to be careful. You don’t want to spam the text in your site with “Vancouver Photo Blog” written a thousand times, in sequence. There’s an art to this. Carefully chosen keywords, in carefully chosen places on a page, are part of the answer.

Now, last but not least… the easiest way for you to rank #1 on Google search, for “Vancouver Photo Blog”, is to… invest in PPC ads (AdWords). That’ll be quicker and easier, but the effects to your search ranking won’t be perennial…

Hey… you didn’t say if it had to be #1 in organic (unsponsored) results! : )

And when I happen to need photos made, you’ll be top of mind!

Would you like to ask me a question? Go right to my page on and shoot it. Just to get your imagination going:

Q: “What’s your favourite city?” A: Berlin

Q: “Who was your favourite actor growing up”? A: James Dean

Q: “What is your biggest phobia?” A: Cockroaches. I can scare a bear away from my yard (which I’ve done while living in Whistler), but would run out of the house at the sight of a roach.

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Response to a Question”

  1. Ava says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for your contribution! You’re absolutely correct that YouTube is the #2 search engine at the moment. Your comment about having a YouTube channel if only for SEO reasons is also dead-on. As a matter of fact, it’s something that I strongly encourage my clients to consider!

  2. Ryan Dempsey says:

    Great advice! The number 2 search engine is actually Youtube. Even if someone prefers Viddler, Vimeo or any other video hosting service, it still pays to have a Youtube channel if only for SEO reasons.