Professional’s Guide to SEO

search-engine-optimization
Have you just launched your first website? Or maybe you are excited to hear about SEO and how it works so that it can be helpful for your business.
This article will help you with information about SEO, how it plays a critical role in your business growth and how Google is the key to success.
So, what did you do the first time you got an idea about your business?
Let us guess that you might have opened the Google search engine to do detailed market research. It has become a tradition that whenever we get a question in our mind, we first reach out to Google to find an answer.
On the other hand, Google does exactly what we expect. Google ensures to make every effort to provide accurate answers to our questions. Similarly, if you want your website to be an answer to your targeted audience, you need to SEO your website on Google.

According to Statista, Google controls more than 85% of the market for search engines currently. To succeed in the search engine market, you will have to follow Google’s rules.
Did you know that Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank a website and validates Backlinks?
You may learn more about how people are currently finding you through Google searches by using Google Search Console. You can use this tool for free, and make you see how Google sees your site.

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What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website’s technical configuration, content relevance, and link popularity to rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP) like Google.

Why does Search Engine Optimization matter?

There are currently more than 3.5 billion Google searches daily. And 33% of all search traffic for a specific query goes to content that ranks top on search engines. So, if your website isn’t visible to the audience, your business will lose customers.

SEO helps get more traffic through editorial, organic, unpaid, or natural search results in search engines. Keep in mind that more people will view a website if it is placed higher. Typically, the goal is to feature on the first page of Google results for keywords that are important to your target market. And if you are in the #1 position on the first page, what more can you expect?

SEO efforts include the use of relevant keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, and headlines (H1), the use of keyword-rich descriptive URLs rather than a list of numbers, and the use of schema markup to explain the meaning of the page’s content that meets user search needs.

People can find what they’re browsing online with the help of search engines. Search engines are a typical starting place when you require information, whether looking into a particular product, finding a restaurant, or making travel arrangements. They provide an excellent chance for business owners to send targeted visitors to their websites.

Understanding the types of SEO

The four following SEO strategies can help your website rank for the keywords you’re targeting. A clear understanding of how to boost your ranking on search engines is always a good thing, even though you probably won’t use all of them.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is a crucial component of everyday SEO. These elements have the power to make or ruin your SEO campaign. It helps improve a website’s search engine rankings as a result increases the probability of organic traffic. The process involves optimizing web pages, which is the optimization of headlines, links, images, HTML tags like titles, meta tags, and headers, as well as anchor text and more.

The top SEO agencies are aware that maintaining content placement on search engine results pages is a necessary step in on-page optimization. To ensure that the content is of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT), the website must continuously review and audit it.

E-A-T is one factor that Google uses when evaluating a web page’s overall quality. Search engines will promote your website to users if it is relevant to their search or intent. In line with this, the constant need for website on-page SEO upgrades is essential to meet the latest standards. Some of the examples are:

dards. Some of the examples are:

  • Core web vitals: These vitals are speed metrics, a component of Google’s Page Experience signals, which are used to evaluate user experience. The metrics assess interactivity with First Input Delay (FID), visual stability with Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and visual load with Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
  • Google Passage Ranking: It is an automatic feature that incorporates sections from pages—even those that cover unrelated subjects—into search engine results.
  • Optimize for Featured Snippets: These are the highlighted sections of text that are displayed in “Position 0” at the top of a Google search results page.

This apart, it needs to be mobile friendly, meet Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) principle in terms of content creation.

Let’s solve the math of On-Page SEO

It’s very straightforward. For users with the same need to discover your website organically, you want it to rank highly in search results. On-page SEO aids search engines to understand your website and its content, as a result, decide whether your website is relevant to the user’s query. If your website is relevant to the user’s search, search engines will recommend it to the users. The value of on-page SEO and the constant need for website on-page SEO updates is critical to meet the latest standards.

At the CROSS Digital Marketing Agency in Boston, we make sure that every page of your website is adequately optimized with the right metadata to boost performance on search engine ranking pages.

Got a Project? Let’s Connect.

Need a quote on a re-design or a new project? Give us details on your project and let us help you!

Technical SEO

The goal of technical SEO is to make a website crawl and index effectively to increase the organic traffic. Getting better organic website page ranks in search engines is the goal of technical SEO. The core principle of technical search engine optimization is making servers and websites quicker and easier to crawl. If your website and server are completely optimized, search engine spiders will effectively crawl and index your website on the search engine rankings page.

How Technical SEO can help your website?

Search engines like Google want to show users the most relevant results possible. To do so, Google uses its robots that help websites to crawl on the search engine rankings. The robot evaluates the web pages based on some technical aspects, including the page’s performance in terms of speed, its subject, etc. The website may receive higher ranks if this task is performed successfully.

What traits define a website that is technically optimized?

  1. Page Loading Speed: As per statistics, 53% of the users can leave a web page if it doesn’t load faster. A technically optimized website helps in accelerating page load times.
  2. Search Engine Crawlers: They are also called spiders, bots, and robots. These are the web page browsing scripts that operate automatically and methodically. When a crawler arrives at a page, it opens the site’s robots.txt file. Code from these files instructs browsers on how and what to display on your website. These technical settings are to be done very carefully. A small mistake could have a significant effect on your website. Top SEO companies with their expert knowledge help brands like yours elevate so let them handle it.
  3. Use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): Imagine, when a web page loads slowly, visitors leave. However, what could be more annoying than arriving at a page that doesn’t exist at all and displaying a 404 error page? With the help of Technical SEO, we can avoid unwanted dead links by deleting or redirecting the page to a relevant page.
  4. No Duplicate Content: Do not confuse your visitors with the same content on multiple pages. However, this problem has a technical fix. You can specify the URL of the original page, or the page you want to appear higher in search results, using the so-called canonical link element.
  5. Secure WebsiteA secure website has been technically optimized. Adopting HTTPS is one of the most important steps that need to be taken to safeguard a WordPress website.
  6. XML Sitemap: A website’s pages are listed in an XML sitemap. Search engines act as a route map.
  7. Structured Data Markup: Structured data markup, a type of HTML coding, is used to improve how well search engines understand the content of a website.
  8. Register with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools: These are the free tools provided by Google and Microsoft respectively, to submit a website for indexing and fixing errors in a website.
Off-Page SEO

Off-page refers to SEO strategies used outside of the website. The search engines and user perceptions of a website must be improved to optimize for off-page ranking factors. In other words, a website needs to generate topical and valuable content that other online resources like pages, sites, individuals, etc., can promote on their website. In some ways, this is how Instagram content operates. Users will repost or share your content on their stories if they find it valuable. Likewise, if your website content is valuable, it can be promoted on other online resources.

Why is Off-Page SEO important? 

A great SEO plan must include off-page SEO as one of its core components. A successful off-page SEO strategy helps increase a website’s ranking on the search engine results page (SERPs) as well as gives great exposure.

With constant modifications to search algorithms and ranking factors, the majority of SEO professionals believe that certain key search engine criteria determine how well a website will rank. As per the criteria, a website needs to be popular, trustworthy, authorized, and of course relevant. Numerous off-page SEO strategies help meet the criteria such as:

  • Brand building
  • Backlink Building
  • Citation building
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social media
  • Guest Posting
  • Content marketing
  • Content Syndication
  • Local SEO (GMB and Citations)
  • PR
  • Forums
  • Reviews
Local SEO

Today, people are more into online than offline even if it is just literally a few doors away. Local SEO is an excellent tactic in this situation to concentrate on your local area and expand your business.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is an online marketing technique that increases the visibility of a website in Google’s local search results. In other words, Local SEO is the technique of tailoring your website to a specific region. When there is a need to promote your brand in a particular geographical location, Local SEO helps rank higher in that local area. If a map pack with three entries appears beneath any relevant search results for your company on Google, local SEO can help you grow your business.

Businesses like a restaurant or store or an agency would want their web pages to appear high in local users’ search results. The objective of website optimization for local businesses is to ensure that clients can locate the business both online and offline.

How does it work?

When optimizing for local searches, it’s crucial to notify Google where the targeted business is located so that local customers may find it. Having a valid address in a region or city makes optimization by far the easiest. You may create local landing pages and use your website’s store locator to bring customers to your company.

One of the most important ways in letting Google know that you are a local business and what area(s) you serve is the Local Business Schema markup on your website. Similarly, NAP (name, address, phone) consistency is an essential factor for businesses who want to rank well organically in a local search. These details about your business need to be listed across the web including your website, social media, directory listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, etc. Hence, maintaining your company’s NAP consistency is the first step you need to do if you want to appear in the search results for relevant terms in your local area.

Google My Business is an important tool to leverage in order to improve your business’s search engine optimization efforts. It allows your business to control your online presence and choose how they appear in Maps and other organic search results. Google My Business listing includes all the important details which help customers decide whether to make a purchase such as company name, description, website, photos, business hours, location, reviews, etc.

The Process How SEO Works?

Since people use search engines to find an answer to their queries, your website needs to be a solution provider with exactly matching content. Accordingly, the first step is updating the content on your website using proper keywords to comply with SEO standards.

The search engine crawlers then gather this information from your website and review the pages. Your website is indexed once the review is complete and it meets all the requirements for search engine rankings. The better the website is optimized, the higher your website would rank in search engines. If your website responds to the user’s query, search engines like Google will emphasize your website as a potential solution.

How Google Ranks Content?

A web page can rank for one position at a time, with rankings starting at position zero and continuing until the last number of search engine results for the query. A website’s ranking may change over time as a result of age, competition in the search engine results pages, or algorithm updates by the search engine itself. This is how search engines choose where to display a specific web page in the SERP.

If a domain isn’t accessible for many relevant search queries, it has lower search visibility, when it has higher search visibility, the website is reachable to relevant search queries.

How long does it take to rank?

Only Google is aware of the precise functioning of its algorithm and how much time a website takes to rank on SERP. It releases updates as per the various ranking factors. To rank on the search engine results page, might take weeks or even months, based on your SEO strategy. You might fall from the top of the SERPs if someone performs something even a little bit better.

How to build an SEO strategy?

Both on-page methods, which apply intent-based keywords, and off-page methods, which generate inbound links from other pages, are essential to building a successful SEO strategy. Here are the three key ranking factors which are necessary for website optimization.

  1. Technical configuration

Let’s understand what all events need to take place for your website to rank on the search engine results page. Firstly, the search engine will detect your content on the website. Secondly, it will scan them to determine their keywords and grasp their topics. And lastly, it will include the pages in its index so that its algorithm will take your website into account when providing results for relevant inquiries.

A technical setup makes sure that Google can easily scan and index your website and its pages. So what search engines do is, crawl the web pages and use links to gather other content for analysis. Keep in mind that images are not visible to these crawlers, as a result, make the links and navigation text-only. At the same, always avoid identical content as search engines will find them and won’t appreciate it at all. Your website could be penalized.

Ensure that the URL structure is short and simple. Page loading time is quick, which can be analyzed using Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool. Also that there are no dead or broken links that mislead a visitor, as a result, disappoint them. And the most important thing for technical setup is to create a sitemap and robots.txt file to accelerate the indexing and crawling of your content. Sitemap helps search engines decide which pages to crawl and index and a robots.txt file instructs search engines on what content not to index.

  1. Content optimization

 Content is a relationship between a page and a person’s search query. When a visitor uses a search engine for information, the visitor looks for the content which is a written text that comes in a variety of formats like a web page or blog post, video, infographic, business listing, etc. Search engine crawlers identify a page’s topic and evaluate its quality by looking at aspects like page length or structure. With this data, search engines match a user’s query with the pages they believe to be the most related to it.

Content optimization will help your website to ensure all the factors are addressed. It begins with keyword research. Keywords are the terms that people search in search engines to solve their queries. If your content is optimized according to the keywords that search for, it is easier for crawlers to show your content to the audience first. Usually, the procedure entails determining the keywords and topics that are pertinent to your business and creating initial keywords using them. Finally, you should undertake in-depth research to find terms your target audience would use that are related. Make sure Google is aware of the terms you want this page to rank for first and use the main keyword in the title, URL, H1 tag, first 100 words of the first paragraph, meta title and meta description tags, image file name, and ALT tags.

As you also know now that on-page SEO plays a major role in content optimization as mentioned in the “types of SEO” section. Links to other pertinent pages, internal links, the length of the content, and multimedia elements like images and videos for readers to stay on a page for a longer period, all support the legitimacy and authority of a page.

  1. Setting up backlinks

Backlinks are the links that other legitimate websites have to your content. By doing this, you can influence Google to recognize your website as legitimate and trustworthy. However, you must take into account link quality factors including topic relevance, publishing in reliable domains, and popularity of linked sites. In any other case, Google will assume that you have purposefully linked your website to rank, which will have an impact on your website ranking. Therefore, avoid building any links but aim to strive to generate references of the best standard.

However, if you want to focus on link building, you can work on strategic thinking and creativity, and most importantly patience to get it published. Because it might take time to get qualified. A few strategies include editorial, guest posting, competitive analysis, profile links, or creating informative content to share with websites that would like to post your content, and in turn you can ask them to backlink.

How to measure SEO?

While the proper technical configuration, content optimization, and backlinks would help your website to rank higher in the search engines, it is important to monitor and measure the progress in furthering the development of the SEO strategies. Monitoring traffic, interaction, and link data is necessary to gauge the performance of SEO campaigns. Here are some of the key KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to implement these measures:

  • Organic traffic growth
  • Conversions from organic traffic
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Keyword rankings
  • Number of indexed pages
  • Links growth

Final words:

There is no turning back after the SEO procedure is complete, which is a huge task of course. Everything is made simpler with SEO practices, which helps to increase traffic and business growth. But keep in mind that SEO is a never-ending process to keep abreast, which is one of the most crucial things to do to rank higher, even after your strategy has been fully implemented. As we previously stated, you must continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your present SEO efforts. If something is not working, replace it with a more effective one. Don’t worry if you don’t have a team to work on SEO or have a low budget.

If you need assistance with your online marketing but should be budget-friendly, CROSS Digital Marketing Agency in Boston is here and can quickly get your website onto the first page of Google’s search results. Would you like to get more specifics about SEO strategies for your website? Contact us at 888 863 1150 or send us an email at digital@crossdma.com. Know more about SEO services at CROSS Digital.

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