According to a 2021 report from CIRA, more than 50% of Canadian businesses with .ca domains use WordPress. Starting and growing a WordPress website in Canada begins with a domain name, WordPress themes and plugins, and web hosting.
Building a website is analogous to building a brick-and-mortar store. The domain name (name.ca) is like a street address. WordPress and the theme are the type of store you’re creating. The plugins are the final touches, e.g., furniture.
Choose Web Hosting
Your first step is choosing user-friendly web hosting for WordPress. Look for special offers, like a free domain name for the first year. This will save you money and trouble.
Now, you install the content system on your domain (name.ca). Delete any elements in the Directory field.
The name of your website is the domain without the .ca or .com. For example, you’re selling environmentally friendly heaters, so you could choose canadianheaters.ca.
You can begin with whatever theme WordPress sets by default and change it later. Then, go to the admin panel to customize your site at canadianheaters.ca/wp-admin.
Set up a Theme
There’s something of a learning curve that most users can manage, but it takes time. If you’d rather focus on growing your business, get a professional to set up your themes and plugins and walk you through WordPress. If not, learn how to do it, as you’ll know how to make any adjustments later.
Go to Feature Filter to narrow down your search by layout, features, or type of business:
- Food & Drink
Plugins and SEO
You can use plugins to add relevant functions to your website, such as ecommerce, editors, design tools, SEO, security, spam control, social media sharing, forms, display options, etc. Many sales are made after someone has typed a word or phrase into Google and clicked on a result.
Knowing the most common search terms used to find your or a competitor’s website makes it easier to attract visitors. Obviously, your product name or brand is specific to you. They can be features or benefits like “all-natural,” “eco-friendly,” or something else that makes you unique.
You can view the terms visitors might use to find you in Google Analytics to optimize your website content. Choose Canada or your specific province as the region in Google Analytics.
Leverage Your Content
Leverage the content of your website. Articles, reviews, and blog posts can help improve your search rankings and attract potential buyers.
Videos and images can also help improve your search engine ranking. Search engines are still much more apt at indexing phrases and words. Name your images using keywords.
Create quality, engaging content that may offer a solution or answer a question about a specific problem. Find out the pain points of Canadians in your area that are relevant to your offering.
Google’s algorithm will return local results, so make sure you take advantage of this. Local or regional search engine rankings will lead someone who’s looking for localized services in their region to you. For example, if you need to repair your heater and live in Toronto, you might type “heater repair in Toronto” in a search engine.
Get Quality Backlinks
Last but not least, consider getting quality backlinks to help you grow your WordPress website in Canada. Also known as inbound links, these links are on other sites and go back to a specific page on yours. There is a direct relationship between search engine ranking and backlinks. Backlinks tell Google that your site is popular and increase its authority. However, they must come from quality sites. If not, they’ll have the opposite effect.