Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Raise your profile in an ever-changing landscape.

Moving targetSearch Engine Optimization is a moving target. As Google crawls and indexes most web content every week or so, its changing formulas will shuffle the results slightly as it re-evaluates what it finds. SEO requires patience and persistence, and is best applied in small doses so that when we see results, we have a pretty good idea of what caused them.

On every new WordPress project we apply a baseline of optimization, using what we learn from your business goals and what we can find out about the competition for your ideal search terms and phrases. The following are several important areas that we focus on while building your site and adding content:

Keyword Research

Finding your optimum keywords and phrases is the best place to start your optimization process. We should consider everything from one-word general terms to a full question asked in a voice search. The sweet spot will be keywords related to your business that are neither too popular nor too specific.

We use software to suggest many combinations of your obvious keywords, then to tell us how popular they might be in searches, as well as how difficult it may be to rank well for them. We also analyze the websites that rank well for those keywords to see how we can improve your ranking position.

keyboard key with "keywords" label
Determine your ideal keywords

Mobile-Responsiveness

Google announced in 2016 that searches on mobile devices had exceeded those on desktop. For this reason, Google is moving toward a mobile-first index, which means that they are now indexing and ranking the mobile versions of websites instead of desktop versions. If you’re behind the curve with a non-mobile website, it’s more important than ever that your website loads properly on phones and tablets.

Try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see how your website performs.

We’ve been building responsive websites since 2011. We can help ».

Four screen sizes: desktop to phone
Fully adaptable to all screen sizes

Website Audit

A periodic audit gives you a snapshot of many important factors in the visibility and ranking of your website. View your site as a complete system, then focus on each individual page to see where tweaks and improvements can be made.

We can find and fix many problems with links, page loading, HTML code, page titles, domain factors, sitemaps, robots.txt files, content, and keyword density. We can compare your website’s results to the top ten sites in your niche, then help reveal their optimization strategies.

SEO audit results
SEO audit results from 'Screaming Frog'

On-Page Factors

This topic includes most of the visible elements of each page. These are important for both the visitor and search engines.

Starting at the top, we analyze the URL (unique web address), page title, heading structure, use of bold and italics for emphasis, page description, consistent content style, grammar, spelling, ease of navigation, page loading time, and more.

HTML code editor screen
HTML code behind the web page

Technical Factors

Here we focus more on the structure, function, and accessibility of a website and all of its content, for both visitors and search engines.

A clean and logical link system, sitemap, robots.txt files will help both visitor and crawler find and access all of your content. We also check for duplicate content and optimization of images and video, which can greatly increase page speed.

MOZ SEO element checklist
MOZ SEO element checklist

Content

Well-written, relevant content is becoming more important as a ranking factor with Google, whose main goal is to deliver the most useful possible results to a searcher.

Each page of your site can be optimized for its own topic. After determining the ideal keywords to target, we can help you write high-quality content around them. It is very important to write for the visitor in a clean, concise style with added visual appeal using subheadings, images, bold and italic text, and bullet points.

Hands typing web content on keyboard
Write and edit content

Links

External: In the past, the number and quality of backlinks, or links coming to your website from another domain, was one of the most important Google ranking factors. Much value is still given to backlinks that are relevant, trustworthy, and from popular websites.

Internal: These links within your website can be the main or secondary navigation, as well as text links anywhere in your content. They are the means by which visitors and search engines are able to access all of your pages.

Web links diagram
External and internal website links

Site Speed

Also called page speed, it is the time it takes a web page to display all of its content to the viewer. Google is now favoring fast-loading websites because they have much lower “bounce rates” and searchers tend to stay longer. The general rule is: the faster your website, the more money it brings in.

Our methods include compressing all images, using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to serve media files from a separate nearby server, and using a caching plugin to create static versions of your WordPress pages when possible.

We can evaluate which methods might work best for your website.

Screenshot of GTMetrix page speed analysis
Screenshot of GTMetrix analysis

Rank Tracking

SEO is a never-ending job, and requires monitoring results on a weekly or monthly basis to track your progress as compared to your competitors.

We can set up software to automate this process. It will check and report your rank for many keywords, and display results on a timeline along with up to ten of your closest competitors. This can reveal weak pages that may need a few tweaks.

Rank tracking report screenshot
Search results rank tracking report

Local Factors

Some businesses depend primarily on local traffic, and many searchers these days are looking for local businesses. With more mobile searches than desktopGoogle likely knows where you are when searching.

“Proximity to Searcher” is rapidly becoming the most important signal in displaying local search results. After making sure your site is mobile-friendly and fast-loading, Make use of Google’s free tool: Google My Business to publish your locations, hours, directions, and reviews.

Your marker on a Google map
Publish your locations, hours, & directions to rank locally.

Social Media

“Social SEO” is the process of improving your business website search rank by taking advantage of various social media.

It is becoming more important these days to have a presence on at least the most popular social websites such as FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. They receive huge amounts of traffic, and in many cases are where people are doing more of their searching.

8 social media icons
Social media are ever more important in search.

Accessibility

About 15% of the world’s population (more than a billion people) have some type of disability, ranging from physical, cognitive, visual, or hearing. We work toward making our websites accessible to all of these users by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Many principles are easy to apply, such as text/background contrast, text size, image tags, and logical page organization.

Although Google may not currently be using accessibility for ranking purposes, they probably will in the near future.

Various accessibility icons
Work toward accessibility of all content.
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We can help improve your position in search results.

Get in touch… We’re here to help!