Search Engine Optimization, SEO Basics. Many of us are aware of SEO but many in most organizations are not aware of how important it is or how sophisticated the search engines have become in deciding what information is relevant to the searcher. It is important that everyone in the organization have an overview of SEO and how it affects your companies online business development. Today everyone in the organization needs to be marketing. From the receptionist answering the phone to anyone that interacts with your potential leads and  customers. Every call is critical and every customer is helping to pay our salaries and bonuses. Search Engine Optimization is key to your business succeeding in today’s market. 

Here are some basic guidelines about SEO and how it works. 

What is SEO?

Basically, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a broad term used for all of the techniques and methods utilized to ensure the visibility of your website and its content on the search engines results page or SERP. 

This is not the same as on page techniques where we modify the back end of your code to perfect how you are viewed by the search engines. On page SEO differs from Off page SEO which are all of the techniques that you can utilize off of your own website page to help you build relevancy to the search engines in favor of your keywords or phrases. These include social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, etc. but also include link building, press releases, article writing and more. 

Here we will primarily focus about being found online by the search engines. How to help you rank higher and be found in the organic results of the search engines or SERPs. We are only focused on the organic results. The organic results differ from Paid results. Most searchers give organic results more weight and feel that they are more trustworthy that paid results. 

Active Development is an expert in online business development and helping companies rank online. The suggestions below are just a few very important items that the search engines look for. By utilizing best practices the below can help you succeed online and dominate your space. If you would like additional information on how you can attract new leads, customers, sales and dominate your space online. Feel free to contact us. 


search engine optimization

Anatomy of a Search

Organic = Trust

on page seo

For the purposes of this article we are focused on Organic listings. The organic part of the search results holds more weight to the shopper, provides more credibility and helps close a buyer faster than paid results.


Exact position seo cta

A 2014 article by conductor suggested that sixty four (64%) of all of the webs traffic originates from the organic search, when you compare this to only two (2%) from social, only six percent 6% from the paid search, 12% direct traffic to your webiste (clients typing your web address directly) and 15% originates from other referral sources.

More recently we saw that Google accounted for over 77% of searches on the web.

 Wow, that is incredible. Number 2 on the list was Big with a 7% market share. 

This is telling you which basket should account for most of your eggs. The placement for your website on the first page of Google is important as well. As you climb page one of Google, your website traffic will increase exponentially. For example a company listed in position 10 may only account for 3% of the clicks from that search term. If you rank in the top 5 results you will achieve over 60% of the traffic from those searching.That is a huge amount of traffic.

It’s therefore easy to understand that every increase in a page one position will dramatically affect your business.

In order to achieve this, most of us should turn to an expert. It is still very important to understand the basics. 

What are search engines looking for?

1) How Relevant is Your Content

Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query, whether it’s a simple answer to the question “how old is Ryan Seacrest?” (of which the answer may just pop up in  Google  without having to leave the first SERP results page) to more complicated queries such as “what is the best Thai food near me or where can i find a company that can conduct a robotic bridge inspection ?”

How search engines provide these results is down to their own internal algorithms, which we have spent years tracking to be able to have your companies information perfectly aligned with the items that will have you succeed. There are factors that you can be certain will influence the search engine results and they’re all based around relevancy… For instance: a searcher’s location, their search history, time of day/year, etc.

Today, the more relevant the content, the more likely you will gain top position on the search engines. The days of gaming the system are gone. You need good content and placement in relevant places to have those interested in your business and content able to find you first.


2) How is the quality of your content

Do you regularly publish helpful, useful articles, videos or other types of media that are popular and well produced? Do you write for actual human beings rather than the search engine itself? Well, you should. Latest research on ranking factors indicates that Google is moving further towards longer-form content that understands a visitor’s intention as a whole, instead of using just keywords based on popular search queries to create content. focus on the users experience 

Why do you need SEO?

Why do you need customers? or a website? Almost everyone today is shopping or at least comparison shopping online. By building a website with a strong and organized architecture that has a good site map and easy navigation, the search engines will be able to index your website quickly. In addition, done right visitors to your site will have a pleasant experience which typically leads to repeat visitors, more customers and growth for you. to Google it is becoming more and more about the user experience. 

when it comes to driving traffic there is no better way to drive traffic to your website than SEO. There is also no less expensive cost of acquiring a lead or customer than the web. How important is SEO?  Your business may depend on it. Your competitors success is driven by it. 


digital marketing

3) How is Your Site Visitors Experience

There are many SEO benefits for providing the best possible user experience. You need an easily navigable, clearly searchable site with relevant internal linking and related content. All the stuff that keeps visitors on your webpage and hungry to explore further.

4) How Fast is Your Site

How quickly your webpages load is increasingly becoming a differentiator for search engines. Google has already started targeting slower sites that don’t load quickly. A poor visitor experience is not favorable to those that are searching with Google.Speaking of which, another item Google is becoming obsessed with…

5) Is your Website Cross-device compatible

Is your website and its content equally optimized for any given screen size or device? Bear in mind that Google has stated that responsive design is its preferred method of mobile optimization and will start to boost sites that are cross device compatible. This means that your rankings could get hurt if you are not.

6) Does you site utilize Internal linking

We’ve talked about the many benefits of being sure that your site has clear and easy-to-use navigation, but there are also practices and techniques that editors and writers can carry out when writing and publishing articles that will help push traffic around the site and that may lead to higher trust signals for Google: internal linking. (That is an internal link.)

Internal linking has many advantages:

  • Helps provide your websites visitors with additional reading options. As long as the content you are utilizing is relevant and you offer concise anchor text (the hyperlinked, highlighted words that link to a page on your website). This technique can also help lower your bounce rates.
  • Helps to increase your search engine ranking for keywords. If we want this article to rank for the term ’SEO techniques’ then we can start linking to it from other posts using different variations of anchor text. This tells Google that this post is relevant to people searching for ‘SEO techniques’. Many experience in SEO recommend that you vary your anchor text and not allow it to point to similar pages as Google may view too many links going to the same page as trying to game the system and penalize you. 
  • Helps Google crawl and index your site. Those Google bots that are constantly looking for new information on your site and across the web have a better handle on how trustworthy your content is by viewing the internal links. This technique helps increase your site being viewed as an authority or an expert in the subject matter being presented. 

7) Are You Seen As an Authority

Is your site trusted by its visitors. Are you seen as an expert in your industry by others? Do you pursue authority links to your website. The more links you have from sites of authority, the more of an authority you will be viewed as. Additionally, the higher the content that you produce yourself, the more of an authority you will be seen as.

8) The Meta descriptions and title tags debate

There is a debate raging that meta descriptions and title tags are dead and have no relevance for SEO. I say nonsense. Meta descriptions and title tags helps your chances of a relevant party searching for your content finding you. Without being found, you have no relevance.

9) Using Schema Markup in your code

Speak to your website professional about using Schema markup in the HTML or your pages. Doing so can turn the returned results by the search engines into a media rich relevant and engaging experience adding images, customer ratings and other helpful bits of information.

schema markup for recipe

10) Are your Images Properly Tagged

Don’t forget to include the alt attribute when you upload an image. This is easily overlooked but should be reviewed on all of our websites. Without alt attributes the search engines cannot see the images on your website. Think of what those searching may be looking for when you name your pictures for the search engines. 

alt-text example in wordpress

11) Utilize Evergreen & Longer Content

Lately search engines are looking for more helpful, relevant information for their viewers. Evergreen content that will remain relevant and articles and information pages that now exceed 1000 words will help drive traffic and can help your rankings with the search engines.

12) Its All In Your Domain name

Your domain name is your online brand, use it. Try to create additional pages instead of sub domains. Typically you can use categories but try to utilize your domain in the tightest manner. is better than

Interestingly enough the SERPS do not like hyphenated urls ( and try to stick with .com vs others like .net or .us. The .com still has the most authority and trust.

Take a look at your sites security as well. Do you have an ssl certificate installed. Sites that are not secure can be penalized? Many browsers today will not support certain functions of sites that are not secure.


13) Headlines H1 Tags and permalinks

Try to keep your headlines short and concise. Try to be sure the content matches the headline and always look at the headline from the person that may be searching’s point of view. This is not about you and your url, headline or company. For the search engine to award you authority, you need to deliver. 

Your permalink. or url can be changed in your cms or wordpress. You can use keywords in yoru url so long as not too many. Utilize the most important keywords first. Try to avoid cryptic permalinks or random numbers and be careful that you review the url. Many times the developer just lets the system default to the title name or may just assign a number with makes no sense to the search engines or those that may read your headline. 

14) Other




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