Hi, my name is Martin Dejnicki and I have been working in the SEO and Enterprise Search space for many years. I am confident that this post will convince you that I am one of the best SEO consultants in Toronto.
My digital search journey began when I started using Google as a search engine of choice when it launched back in 1998. I got hooked on it immediately.
I quickly noticed it returned significantly better web search results than its larger competitors at the time, like Yahoo, Lycos and Excite.
Over the past 20 years, I have been:
• Executing SEO for companies both small and large complex organizations
• Designing elegant enterprise search experiences for large organizations
• Building and optimizing websites down at the code level
• Identifying big SEO opportunities for clients and executing quickly and flawlessly
1. I wrote this article to help decision makers like yourself, understand some of the more important criteria when looking to hire an SEO expert for a full-time role, contract position or even when deciding which SEO agency to partner with.
2. I also wrote this article to generate some fresh SEO leads and be very selective in choosing which interesting projects to work on next.
Without further a due, here are the 25 reasons (in no particular order) why I passionately believe that I am one of the top innovative SEO consultants in Toronto.
The average cost per click for non-branded keywords is often $8 or more via Google Adwords, across many industries. Now to generate approximately 120,000 annual non-branded clicks, using the Adwords approach will cost a company about $1 million annually. That’s $10 million over the course of 10 years.
The same number of non-branded annual clicks via SEO and content marketing could be achieved for a small fraction of the Adwords investment.
Depending on the competitive nature of the industry and overall SEO strategy, the one-time investment of the organic campaign could range between $150 to $500k. The results often exceed expectations, thereby further increase the ROI.
This is one of main reasons why I have been passionate about SEO for two decades. I get excited thinking about how an intelligent investment in SEO could transform entire businesses and grow revenue significantly.
The very first thing I do with clients is take the time to understand their business objectives. It’s shocking how a large percentage of the workforce do not clearly understand their company’s business objectives and the plan going forward.
Understanding my clients business objectives allows me to tailor a custom SEO & content marketing strategy that will lead to success and hit those objectives.
The strategies that I craft exist as living documents, which I update when additional ideas (i.e. growth hacks) are explored and approved by the client.
When executing SEO, a professional has the option to work on 1001 different tasks. This is because there are hundreds of variables that ultimately impact search rankings.
What I do is identify a shortlist of the most important factors for any given client and focus 95% of my energy on these variables. Typically, the top three. Factors outside my top three get very little attention and are deprioritized.
In-depth SEO analysis is required to identify these top three most important SEO initiatives for a particular client.
The way I identify something as low priority is quite simple. I just ask myself the following two questions:
• Will current rankings and/or organic traffic fall if we do nothing and deprioritize the initiative?
• Will current rankings and/or organic traffic increase significantly if we execute the initiative?
If the answer is ‘NO’ to both questions, then the SEO recommendation is not considered as a potential top three.
I find that most SEO ‘gurus’ generate a long list of recommendations using an automated tool and rank them by impact and degree of effort to execute. Most of the recommendations are universal in the SEO industry, but rarely go behind the hood deep enough to offer eureka type game-changing recommendations.
Here's an example of a potential top three:
1) Author in-depth guides to address content gaps/opportunities for a specific sector
2) Plan and execute strategic natural link building initiatives (for local SEO specifically)
3) Restructure layouts for certain category pages to address usability issues, which are important modern ranking factors and address duplicate content/tagging issues on those same pages
The takeaway here is that I ‘hyper-focus’ on only a select few of the most important SEO initiatives for a given client following comprehensive analysis. This guarantees the greatest impact and ROI for my clients.
To this very day, I still see the vast majority of SEO professionals focus most of their energy on reporting and ‘low-hanging fruit’ to move the needle gradually for their clients. It almost seems like they are afraid to roll-up their sleeves and work on difficult, high impact initiatives.
With marginal results over time, these professionals often spend half their time trying to convince their clients why they still deserve their business and why it’s the ‘search engines’ fault.
Well, I’m different.
I don’t blame search engines.
I’m not interested in low-hanging fruit. I passionately believe in – “Going Big or Going Home!”.
When I swing my SEO bat, I go for the homerun every single time.
An example of a homerun opportunity that I’m currently working on for an existing client includes: creating an in-depth (8000 word) buying guide for one of their primary LOBs. Once the guide is completed we will drive natural high quality links to this great resource. The non-branded organic visits will go through the roof.
I have a true passion for mining Search data. Whether it’s SEO ranking reports, crawl error insights or site search analytics data; useful data excites me.
Here are a few reasons why using the right search data to extract useful insights brings me joy:
• Search data may be used to discover opportunities, such as content gaps, which may lead to a significant increase in organic search traffic.
• Search data may be used to identify technical issues that are currently harming your SEO rankings, which may lead to further declines as the Google search engine evolves.
• Search data may be used to access the ROI of prospective and current projects. Over the years, I have noticed that companies could save millions of dollars each year if they only used their search data more effectively in making business decisions.
I strongly believe that we should all embrace the act of ‘thinking outside the box’ in our daily working and personal lives.
I do it all the time when crafting SEO solutions for my clients. For example, I’m always thinking of how to increase the link graph for my clients by integrating with offline campaigns.
This could include donating a product or time to a local charity and reaching out to the media to feature the story, which will follow several principles from the STEPPS method created by Jonah Burger.
Many individuals are afraid to think outside-the-box. They think it’s too risky since it often leads to unchartered territory. In this time and age, I believe that both individuals and companies must embrace outside-the-box thinking, otherwise they risk being left behind (i.e. disrupted by their competitors).
I’m a strong believer that honesty and integrity must be at the core of any business relationship. Everything I do and the way I go about my life is rooted in these principles.
In the past, there have been situations where I have declined to work with potential clients because they lacked certain values that are very important to me.
Sometimes, the truth is hard to swallow. I believe honesty is necessary. Some clients may not want to hear it or try to convince themselves otherwise. But I tell them how it is, since the truth is critical in the pursuit of business success.
My professional interests and passions go far beyond the art of search engine optimization. This makes me a well-rounded digital professional, who is able to bring value across many digital disciplines.
Here is a short list of some of my other skills and interests:
Enterprise search – this includes on-site search on public facing web properties such as Amazon and site search within company intranets that are accessible only by employees.
In this niche, I enjoy performing audits for large corporations to understand the full lifecycle of the data they index and use to deliver on-site search experiences for their customers. I also enjoy diving deep into their site search analytics data to discover customer search patterns. This reveals their intent and information seeking needs.
Most companies do not realize their profit margins are impacted because both their customers and employees cannot find the right information on their website.
Analytics & Tools – I use various tools and methodologies to isolate the data that I need and extract insights from it. For example, I may seek specific site search analytics data with Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst and search logs accessible on a server or in the cloud. In one use case the desired data may be leveraged to influence a clients enterprise search business requirements.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – One of my other digital search interests is search marketing or SEM consulting and campaign management. The vast majority of mid to large organizations invest in paid search. More specifically, Adwords. Over the years, I have noticed that many of these companies have less than optimal paid search setups. My in-depth SEM audits reveal all the issues and opportunities. This usually makes large over paid agencies look really bad, as they are the ones who manage these campaigns and regularly drop the ball.
But Wait – There’s More… I also have experience in building websites, managing servers and hosting environments, UX Design, web copywriting and blockchain technologies.
Some SEO experts and agencies will tell you that they have a secret SEO sauce and its proprietary information. But you can pay to play.
The truth is – there is no secret sauce. With the right skills and experience it boils down to hard work and creativity. If you want amazing SEO results now and in the long-term for your organization here’s what you need (simplified version):
• A modernized web property (responsive, fast, UX-friendly)
• A search engine accessible web property (marked up properly) and accessible to persons with disabilities (i.e. visually impaired)
• Content that is unique and useful to your target audience
• Quality editorial inbound links from relevant 3rd party websites back to your homepage and inner pages
Creating amazing content and building natural links is very time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Especially when implemented properly. If you want to win in search, you and your organization need to embrace these challenges and integrate them within your culture and digital operations.
As an SEO expert in the wonderful city of Toronto, I prefer to swim upstream and focus on the more challenging activities like content creation and natural link building. The results speak for themselves.
In all the years that I have been implementing SEO strategies and solutions for both client web properties and my own, the work has never felt like a real job.
Even when exhausted after those long busy days, SEO has always felt like play to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I have learned a tremendous amount and I still do each day. I have met wonderful people and dear friends, while helping their businesses succeed online.
I craft a custom SEO roadmap for each of my clients. First, I assess their current overall digital landscape and business objectives. Then I take a deep dive to benchmark their current SEO state. Finally, I identify and prioritize all the SEO initiatives for the next two years. As other opportunities are identified throughout the year, the Roadmap may change in an effort to remain nimble and maximize business success.
For example, one time I identified a significant content gap opportunity about a month after completion of the initial roadmap document. We ended up pursuing the initiative by prioritizing it as the most important SEO initiative. The results were amazing my client couldn’t have been happier.
It’s important to stay on top of the latest search engine algorithm advancements and updates. For the most part Google provides plenty of advanced notice on factors that will be more prevalent in the future, like mobile usability and adoption of https secure protocol. While voice search is taking off and will represent a large percentage of the overall search pie by 2020.
Marking up your website with semantic markup is also another important factor as Google continuously aims to offer more answers to search queries right on search results pages. Mobile indexing is just around the corner, which will impact the overall link graph across billions of websites indexed by Google. How this will change rankings will be fully appreciated months after the fact after in-depth analysis by thousands of experts.
Staying on top of the latest search engine advancements is a passion of mine that I translate to the SEO services that I offer my clients.
Every SEO expert understands the importance of integrating SEO tools with projects and day-to-day operations. I have used most of the most popular and useful SEO tools. Some of my favourite SEO tools today include:
• Semrush – includes a full suite of SEO tools (rank tracker, keyword research, competitive research, etc.)
• Moz – another great SEO suite of tools with the largest community and content repository. Their link explorer has recently received a significant update.
• Deepcrawl – the best cloud-based SEO crawler
• Ahref – one of the best backlink analysis and discovery tools
• Brightedge – one of the top enterprise grade SEO suites
• Brightlocal – fantastic local SEO suite of tools
• Google Search Console / Google Search Planner / Google Trends – some of the most popular free tools offered by Google
Now here are some of my favourite analytics tools:
• Adobe SiteCatalyst (Omniture) – this enterprise grade analytics application is customizable to the nth degree, which allows users to extract deep insights across channels and user behaviors.
• Google Analytics – this is the most popular analytics tool used by millions world-wide. It’s easy to use and integrates well with Google Search Console and Google Adwords.
• Heap Analytics – tracks the entire customer journey automatically (I love this analytics tool)
During my lengthy SEO journey, I have always been engaged in building websites. Some of the web properties were niche content sites that I built for myself which I later sold, some were hobby sites and the rest were websites built for clients.
Building websites from scratch and configuring their hosting environments has given me a unique SEO perspective. I have spent countless hours identifying and personally fixing technical SEO issues down at the code level.
I love to innovate. Whether it’s unique enterprise search typeahead solutions or full products, innovation is in my DNA.
In the early days of SEO (late 1990s and early 2000s), I have tuned my initial SEO skillset by building niche content websites that I ended up monetizing via ads, affiliates links and selling outright.
The process of building these sites has always been truly exciting. Even to this day, I thoroughly enjoy performing advanced keyword research and leverage analytics data to craft intuitive information architectures for these web properties.
I routinely collaborate with the very best digital gurus in the world. Whether they’re full-stack developers, web designers, UX or analytics ninjas. I gravitate towards naturally curious and passionate digital professionals who continuously seek to hone their respective crafts.
Surrounding myself with these gurus, is not only an amazing learning experience, but it also inspires me to push my SEO skillset beyond any artificially imposed limits.
I pride myself around my ability in being resourceful, which leads to the lean execution of SEO initiatives and tasks. I have developed relationships with many different types of freelancers over the years. For example, if I need to build an html5 based content guide for one of my clients, I have many copywriters, designers and developers from my network at my disposal.
Without proper execution, SEO is nothing more than a pile of words on a piece of paper. Poor execution of SEO can even end up hurting your brand.
My SEO methodology is extremely biased towards flawless execution. Since I have executed SEO campaigns for many years, I’m at the point in my career where anything less than perfection is not acceptable.
Even though I have a huge passion for SEO analysis, I still favor timely SEO execution. This means that I will do just enough analysis initially for a client to understand which direction we should be heading. This is always followed by prompt execution and delivery of results. This process gives clients faith in my SEO process and they always end up asking for more.
Local SEO is an entire beast on its own. The purpose here is to rank your web property in Google’s 3-pack map listings and your various local pages in the organic listings below. All of this will help your local business attain more leads.
I have extensive experience with local SEO, from cleaning up and building citations, optimizing Google My Business listings to targeted local SEO linking campaigns.
I think it’s absolutely traffic that our outdated education system shuns mistakes. When I young child makes a mistake, she receives a red X on her paper. Our children develop a fear for making mistakes and this follows them into adulthood as they enter the big corporate driven world economy.
I’m a huge evangelist of making mistakes. Making mistakes allows us to learn, which leads to growth and innovation.
From a very young age, reading has been a very important part of my life. It has helped evolve my curiosity and creativity. These days I enjoy reading books about behavioral economics, advancements in brain chemistry and anything that challenges the status quo.
We all need downtime in our everyday lives. In my younger days I would work at least 14 hours a day and burn the midnight candle. I don’t do that anymore. I believe in work life balance. That’s why I rarely respond to emails past 5 pm (unless a website is down, that’s different, and quite rare).
I often unwind with a nice bottle of red wine that I share with my wonderful wife, Anita.
Sleep is critical for our well-being. I aim for 10pm on most nights.
In my biased opinion, I think that I’m very easy to work with. I’m a 38 year old, humble, family man. I treat everyone with respect and expect the same in return. I also like to joke around and not take life so seriously.
Whichever company I’m doing SEO work for, I always go in with an open mind, be helpful and treat everyone as equals.
I take the SEO work that I do for clients very personally. I treat every engagement as if I had a share in their business. Seeing my clients win brings me a lot of joy.
If you’re interested in growing your revenue and dominating in organic search, let’s chat!