What You Need to Know About SEO 2023

Improve your website traffic by implementing these easy Search Engine Optimization best practices, tips and tricks.

What is SEO?

“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. We all want our businesses to show up at the top of these search lists, known as SERP or Search Engine Results Page. 

There are over 8 Billion searches on Google alone every day. If your website is not optimized for search engines to find easily, you will be missing out on thousands of sales opportunities.

SEO can be overwhelming. Search engines are constantly updating and changing the rules. There are certain simple guidelines you can follow, though, that will help you achieve a higher search ranking over time so you don’t miss out on all of that potential traffic.


How Search Engines Work

For search engines to find information and present it to people who are searching, they use a process called indexing. A special program called a “bot” or “crawler” follows links and visits websites, recording the information it finds in a giant database.

When someone performs a search, the program accesses that information and presents it to the searcher. If your website hasn’t been indexed in this way, it can’t be found by the program.


How Can You Help the Bots Find Your Website?

These crawlers are looking at the content and the links on your website. They scan all of the content on your site to determine its relevance. Here are some of the main factors Google uses in determining the relevance of your website content:

  • The actual text on the page

  • The website’s structure and internal links

  • The searcher’s geographical location

  • Whether the site is mobile-friendly

  • Page loading times

  • Server accessibility

  • Social signals (links from social media or blogs)

Business Team


How to Get Higher Ranking

Search engines look at these four things when they are deciding where to put you in the search list:

Your rank refers to how relevant, or how much authority, the search engine thinks your website has for a particular search query. When you search for a particular keyword related to your business, where does your business show up in the list? You should check this periodically to see if your efforts are improving your position.

Search engines look at the type and quality of links from other websites to yours to determine your authority. You want these links to be from valid, dependable sources - not spammy websites - to improve your authority.

Search engines examine the text content and the underlying structure to determine if your site is relevant to a particular search. Using relevant keywords in your text and helpful formatting, such as bold fonts for important content, increases the relevance of your website.

Technical Issues 
Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used by search engines to help them think more like humans. The smarter search engines become, the more important it is for your content to be coherent and aimed toward your target visitor.

Producing the highest quality of content that you can and making it unique to your business will help you stand out in search results.


Google Search

Choosing the Right Keywords

It seems like it would be best to use high-traffic keywords in your website content, but this may not produce the results you want. Using long-tail keywords, which are phrases containing specific information, will work better. Long-tail keywords are aimed at people who want to do a specific thing, are in a specific location, or who are looking for specific information.

For example, if you have a bakery, a long-tail keyword you could use is “bakery that sells wedding cakes.” This would target those specific people wanting a wedding cake and will work better to help them find you than the word “bakery” by itself. Adding your location can make the phrase even more specific - “bakery that sells wedding cakes in Amarillo”.


Quality Content

The relevance and the quality of your website content are very important to search engines. Include as much useful information about your product or service as you think your potential customer will want to know.

Focus on a one specific item per page. Putting the same information on multiple pages is a waste of time because search engines are smart enough to know what you are doing.

Your Home page is where you can communicate your high-level marketing messages. Optimize for generic keywords here.

Create a separate page for each product or service that you offer and use your long-tail phrases on these pages, focusing on one main keyword phrase per page.


The Blogging Advantage

Adding a blog to your website is a great way to add fresh, new content on a regular basis. Each new blog post is seen as a new web page by search engines and posting regularly is a good way to rank high by search engines. Try to make the content of your posts as unique as you can and cover the subject as completely as you can. Don’t forget to include photos, graphics or videos to help illustrate your topic.


High five group


Developing an SEO Strategy that Works

As you work to improve your website’s search ranking, there are two parts of SEO strategy to consider: on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is what you can do to your website to help search engines find it. Off-page SEO includes elements outside of your website that can increase high-quality inbound links to your website.


On-page SEO

As the name suggests, this type of SEO covers modifications you can make to the website itself. Below are some of the most important elements that will help search engines index your content.



Your website must be indexable for search engines to find it. Make sure your website’s top-level directory contains a file called “robots.txt.” The simplest form of a robots.txt file looks like this: User-agent: * This file contains instructions telling bots which areas of your website they may crawl.

Another element you can use to manage web page indexing is the XML sitemap. This is a list of your website’s important URLs. You can use a free Google tool called Google Search Console to create this list.


URL Structure

So-called “speaking URLs” can help search engines understand your website content more thoroughly. Speaking URLs include the name of your website and sometimes the name of the page or the type of page content. Here is an example: https://www.candbmarketing.com/marketing-strategy
URLs that contain a lot of numbers or abbreviated words are less meaningful and less relevant for search engines.



Images are used to add interest and break up blocks of text to make it easier to read. But images can also communicate with search engines. You should name your images with a descriptive name, rather than a number or abbreviation since search engines scan your web page code. 

Adding “alt attributes” to all of your images helps search engines, too. This is metadata consisting of a short piece of text displayed in the browser as an alternative if the graphic cannot be displayed for some reason. Using descriptive text that relates to your content will improve your SEO.


Title and Meta tags

The snippet of text that appears in the top left-hand corner of your web browser tab is called the Title Tag. This is also the text that shows as a blue link when your website is listed in a SERP.



Title Tag Tips animation


The “Meta Description” is a piece of text describing what a page is about. Meta descriptions are usually displayed below the blue links in search engine results. If you don’t have a meta description for a page, the search engine will display a random piece of text from the page.


Meta Tag tips

Since the title and description are often the first information about your business a visitor sees, optimizing the title and the description can influence whether they click on your website link.


Headline tags

Optimizing your headline tags makes it easier for visitors and crawlers to understand your page content. Use only one h1 tag per web page and put your central keyword in that h1 text. Use the other h tags in chronological order: h2, then h3, then h4 and so on.


Internal Links

Linking to content within specific pages on your website is referred to as “internal linking.” Use an anchor text link within your blog text that is relevant to the page you are linking to. Using the same keyword for links to a certain page tells search engines that this page is extremely relevant to a particular subject.



The technical aspects of your website can affect how search engines rank your site. This includes how fast your site loads and how accessible your server is. 



Performance tips


Mobile Optimization

Google has been using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor since 2015. According to Statisica54.8% of site visits were from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2021. That means mobile optimization is essential. All of your content should be easily used on a smartphone. 

“Responsive” web design means your web pages adjust in size to fit the display viewing them. Make sure this important feature is a part of your website. Large images can slow mobile loading time, so use them sparingly. Buttons should be large enough for fingers to activate them - at least 46 x 46 pixels - and not too close together.



46 x 46 pixels button size


Off-Page SEO


What are backlinks?

Backlinks happen when another website or blog links to your content. Google ranks higher when you have backlinks from high-quality, relevant sites. You will rank lower if you have low-quality links from spammy websites, so eliminate those when you can. 

Quality links will happen over time if you have quality content on your site, so focus on making your blog or website the best it can be.


Social Media

Having a brand presence on social networks can benefit SEO, as well as increase business. Search engines rank higher for traffic generated by links from social networks. 

Ensure your website content can be easily shared on social outlets by putting social buttons on your website and blog pages. Keep in mind that these social networks need to be active and current, so post new content on them regularly.


Distribution of your website content to your email marketing list is a good way to increase your website backlinks and improve Google ranking. Keep emails simple and interesting to encourage your subscribers to share the information and post it on social media. 

Guest Articles

Posting articles to outside publications is a great way to generate high-quality backlinks, as well as improving your branding. Look for publications that would be a good fit for your content and reinforce your status as an expert in your field.


Posting regularly to your blog creates additional opportunities for gaining backlinks and improving SEO. Create high-quality content that adds value for your website visitors and customers. Then promote that content on your social networks and in email newsletters to generate additional traffic.



Finding Keywords That Improve SEO


Long-tail keywords

Using long-tail keywords on your website and blog is an important ingredient for successful search engine optimization. These keyword phrases may get less traffic but will result in better-qualified traffic. Long-tail keywords should be very specific and relevant to your brand and services.

For example, instead of using “sprinkler systems”, try “lawn sprinkler system repair and installation amarillo tx”. The long-tail version will result in more visitors in your region that are looking for your specific products or services – and search engines love that!

Analytics and Keyword Tools


Google Analytics capture


Using website analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you identify which organic keywords are already driving traffic to your website. Checking these analytics on a regular basis will tell you what is working and what is not. Checking your click-through and bounce rates will tell you where you need to make adjustments. 

Another good way to do research is to study search engine results. You can use this method to see where you rank compared to your competition and to test keywords to see who ranks best for a particular word or phrase. Try typing in a word and see what words Google suggests and what other search terms are recommended. Don’t forget to try on your smartphone, too. Sometimes different or more detailed information will show up there.

There are many keyword tools out there to help you find the best performing keywords and phrases for your website. Google’s Keyword Planner, Wordtracker and Ubersuggest are all free and allow you to put in your competitor’s URL to see what keywords they are using. You can find more keyword tools here. 


SEO is a Process

Developing an SEO strategy can be overwhelming, but there are many resources available online to help you out. Remember, SEO is a continuous process, so be sure to check and see how you’re doing every few months. If you break down the process into the steps outlined here and track the results on a regular basis, your website will be ranking higher in no time at all.

Does your website need an SEO checkup? C&B can help you find out where your website needs some help being found by search engines. Using our 20-Point Audit, we will inspect the contact points between your website and search engine crawlers and identify the areas of improvement necessary for your website to rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

If you need help developing or implementing an SEO strategy, C&B Marketing is here to help! We will work with you to develop an SEO plan that can save you time and improve your website’s search rankings. Call us today to schedule a free SEO consultation at 806-374-6262.






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Posted on Nov 17, 2022