Search Engine Optimization

When you type in any search phrase or search term, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done on your website in order for it to get found by the search engines. SEO helps search engines understand what your website is about. At the same time, SEO is not a one-and-done task.

ATC Web Solutions would love to help you with the SEO on your website.

SEO Services We Offer

  • Industry-specific keyword analysis and research
  • Overall optimization of your website – called on-page SEO
    • Keyword optimization on your website
    • Reviewing your image alt tags
    • Reviewing image sizes
    • Reviewing title tags and meta description tags
  • Google My Business listing
  • Schema Markup

Optimizing Your Website for Search

ATC Web Solutions is familiar with many of the online SEO tools and knows that it takes dedicated time and effort to help websites get found. In our experience, SEO is not only a science but also an art – and some luck. There are NO guarantees with SEO; you simply have to do the correct and smart things and then wait (especially if your website is new). Patience is a virtue when it comes to SEO – along with many other factors (View the graphic on the right and also see below) that are required to optimize your website for search.

Picture graphic showing how SEO works

When Implementing SEO On Your Website, There Are Many Factors to Consider

  • How much competition do you have? Are you in the insurance industry where you are competing against State Farm and Farmers? Or are you in a niche market?
  • What keywords (phrases) are you targeting?
  • Do you continually update your website?
  • When did you publish your website (Young websites have a tougher time than older ones)?
  • Do you maintain a presence on social media?
  • Is your website properly maintained (back-end up-to-date, no broken links or images)?
  • Is your content high-quality? Or do you have less than 300 words on your web pages?
  • Do you have a SSL (Secure Socket Layer – https://)?
  • Do you work on your internal linking?

Google (and other search engines) literally take hundreds of factors into account when determining which pages rank high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). View the list of Google’s extensive list of ranking requirements for websites.

Suffice it to say, we all need to care about what Google wants us to do. Google cares about search quality and has, for years, had an algorithm that they change and update CONSTANTLY to rank the search quality of websites. View the General Guidelines, Quality Guidelines and Basic Principles for Webmasters from Google.

Important SEO Quality Tips - What Google Measures and Puts into Their Rankings

  1. Secure site – Is it https:// or http://?
  2. Websites that are mobile-friendly – Websites need to be responsive design. You can test your website with Google on their Mobile-Friendly Test site.
  3. Schema Markup – Schema markup is code that is used on your website to help the search engines easily find key information.
  4. Web page content quality – Websites need to have original content, lots of keywords that focus on what you have to offer, be factually accurate, clearly written and comprehensive. Google prioritizes fresher content because people are more likely to visit a site that has new or content that has been recently updated. Google also likes seeing that your website, as a whole, is associated with a specific topic. If you are an auto mechanic, don’t try to add that you are now selling umbrellas. Additionally, Google evaluates your website based on E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Having web pages focused on high quality content will help your website rank higher than publishing a large volume of low quality content every week or month. To help your ranking, therefore, content should be deep, have comprehensive coverage and it should be focused on the keywords you want to rank for.
  5. Web page content length – Websites with less than 300 words on a page are deemed to have thin content (as defined by Google SEO standards). Adding optimal-length content to your website helps the user understand what is offered and it helps the site SEO. The optimal amount of content is about 600-800 words per page. With that said, refer to what is mentioned above in the Web page content quality section. Content quality is important no matter how many words it takes to say it.
  6. Page speed – Google is able to measure how fast a website appears for the reader. Many things can affect page speed – your Internet connection, the hosting company of the website, how the website is built, what platform it’s built on, the amount of traffic on the Internet, the size of images, etc. Test your website speed.
  7. Update your content – Every time a website is updated, the search engines take notice and rearrange your site’s ranking. If you want to increase the chances of your website getting a higher ranking, update the content frequently so that a search engine will reassess your position on its index. The more frequently you update your website with articles, information and add new web pages, the more frequently search engines will stop by and visit your website. Plus it keeps your audience informed and updated.
  8. Social signals – The degree of the importance of social signals is debated among SEO professionals. Direct impact to your website can come from people who like your company page on Facebook, the number of shares on Facebook, the number of Twitter followers and other social signals. The indirect impact can come from increased inbound links from improved visibility and brand awareness, positive reviews on Google and Yelp and decreased bounced rates, people coming to your site and staying for longer times and more repeat visitors.
  9. Quality backlinks – A backlink is a link that comes in from a website to your website without you paying for it (paying for links is illegal in the eyes of Google). Websites with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.
  10. Photos, Images, Videos and Visual Search – To get on board with visual search, image SEO is key. Descriptive file names and writing alt text for every image is essential.
    • Photos and Images – Google likes images on pages… and so do people. You can “read” an image faster than reading the words on a web page. Google also prioritizes sites where the image is central and higher on the page and wants Webmasters to display licensing information for images.
    • Videos – Online videos account for much of today’s content since there is a high demand for them which is increasing all of the time. If you can, it’s good to grow your YouTube channel.
    • More and more people are using visual search. If you haven’t used it yet, test it out using Google Lens.
    • Video Featured Snippets are becoming more popular. Featured snippets are search results that are featured at the top of Google’s organic results with a video added.
      Image of Featured Snippet on Google
  11. Domain age – Google looks at how long since they first indexed the domain – the longer the domain has been in existence with a website, the better the signal to Google. Older domains compete for rankings a bit better. In addition, it is extremely challenging to rank well amongst competition in those first few months with a new domain and a new website.
  12. User experience (UX) – How the user experiences a website has been incorporated into SEO best practices and is a part of the signals that Google looks for. Some examples of a positive User experience are:
    • The user easily navigates the site
    • They can easily find answers to their questions (check how people used the search on your site to see what they are searching for)
    • Pages are no more than 3 clicks away from the home page
    • Link to useful pages – even if they aren’t on your own site. Link to other web pages if the information on the same topic will be helpful to your reader.
  13. Voice Search – Voice search has grown in popularity. Just look at how the sales of devices that use Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have increased. If you want to have your content rank high in voice search results, then they need to rank high in regular search. Lots of people ask questions, so data structured as a question and answer format might help you get found faster.