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  • Writer's pictureCIS Agency

6 Key Factors in SEO Ranking and How To Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Updated: May 16

A business website's #1 challenge is to get found online! It's not fun when you have little or no traffic to your website.

Search Engine Optimization

Of course, once found, that brings in a cascade of other challenges, from user-friendliness, functionality, and automation to branding and other website factors. Due to daily algorithm edits, ranking on search engines (specifically Google) is an ongoing challenge.

That's where you hear people discussing search engine optimization or better known by its acronym, SEO. As a web design agency with years of experience, we use the best practices for SEO to give your website the best chance of being discovered by web users looking for exactly what your business has to offer. Some ranking factors are linked directly with your website structure and backend, while others depend on the outside environment, like social media and marketing channels.

So, What is SEO again?

Search engine optimization is a set of actions that make your website easy to find through search engines like Google or Bing. Google searches can yield thousands, millions, or even billions of results, and most web users don't explore past the first two pages or even past page one; they will rephrase the wording on the search bar instead. That's why optimizing your website to appear higher in results from relevant searches is crucial to helping potential customers find you.

How does SEO work?

SEO is complex but essential for getting your business website in front of customers. Over the years, we've seen and adapted to changes in Google's SEO policies and kept up with best practices for each web era. At the Agency, we are guided through quality hosting, security, an expert checklist, SEO tools, and content developers to help you improve your overall ranking. We know SEO and can help your website get the best exposure with a wide range of strategies and services. Peek behind the scenes for a complete picture of how we build SEO into your website.

  1. On-Page SEO -- On-page SEO refers to the content and code on your website itself. Essentially, on-page SEO involves setting up and organizing your pages to be easily accessed and understood by human internet users and crawler bots (the robots that search engines use to discover and read websites). We constantly advise our clients to present their websites most naturally and organically as possible. We want to be authentic and genuine to your brand. We don't want to build the site to "improve SEO"; we want to develop it with your business objectives in mind, and based on that, an SEO expert will help you lay it out in the best way possible on your website. Some aspects of on-page SEO include site structure, title and header tags, meta descriptions, and alt text for images. It also involves making sure images load properly and quickly. A simple Google search of "on-page SEO" can provide more in-depth information.

  2. Off-Page SEO -- Off-page SEO happens outside the pages of your website. Off-page SEO strategies establish your brand's relevance, authority, and trustworthiness. You can achieve this through backlinks (other websites link to your website). Other people linking to and sharing your content show that they think it's practical and can be trusted. The more backlinks you have, the more Google will see your website as a valuable resource for your industry and the higher your ranking in search results. We can help you with off-page SEO strategies, including acquiring backlinks and social media marketing.

  3. Local SEO -- Local SEO is a powerful tool for small businesses with a physical address. The best part is it's FREE (for the most part)! Search engines like Google know that when users search for things like auto repair shops, restaurants, etc., they're looking for locations in their immediate area. So, in the results, Google looks at where the searcher is, maps nearby businesses, and offers their websites first. Local SEO strategies like managing Local Listings and setting up a Google My Business profile can help local customers find you when they're most likely to choose your services.

  4. Keyword and Phrase Research -- Keywords and phrases are what Google looks for to match your website content with search terms. The trick is choosing the right keywords to target and incorporating them in a way that feels natural and useful for visitors (no more "keyword stuffing"!). The best ones to go for are highly relevant to your business and have a high--but not too high--monthly search volume on Google. As part of our content writing services, we research to determine your best target keywords. Then we incorporate those target keywords seamlessly into your website.

  5. Content Writing or Content Marketing -- Your website's content (words, images, videos, etc.) is one of the most important on-page factors for SEO. Winning content is content that people on the internet want and need. The writing on your page should be unique, valuable for searchers, high quality, and shareable. Online tools help, like Google's Keyword Planner or Ubbersuggest. But you don't have to do all that yourself; our content writing team can create high-quality original content relevant to your industry and target the keywords you want to rank.

  6. Crawling, Indexing, and Bots -- Before a web page appears in search engine results, it must be indexed. Indexing is how search engines like Google or Bing organize data from websites to provide it to users. Bots called "crawlers" constantly scour the web for new content to index. We have strategically partnered with Wix, which means your website is quickly submitted to Google for indexing without waiting for crawler bots to discover it. Here is an article on Wix's quick index speed with Google. That means your site is ready to be found in searches almost immediately.

SEO Analytics
SEO Analytics

Tracking Results and Analytics--To complete your SEO strategy, you need a plan to measure your success. We can set you up with Google's new G4, or Wix has a great dashboard to track how many visitors come to your site, how long they stay, and other important and relevant metrics. If your business needs advanced metrics, we have different tools that can provide significant backend data to make critical decisions for your business. By keeping an eye on your website's success and any errors and issues, we'll be able to help you adjust your SEO strategies as needed.

Want to optimize your website and get it in front of customers that need your services? Start with an SEO audit, and we'll help you plan your next steps.

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