Google SEO Guide to Search Engine Optimization 2023


Google SEO Guide 2023

If you are a small business owner and you are looking for a great Google SEO guide for improving your SEO rankings and visibility in 2023, than you have come to the right place! Our London, Ontario digital marketing agency has about 10 years SEO client experience doing SEO for over a dozen businesses throughout North America. Read on to learn more about SEO and how it can help generate more organic Google leads for your business. 


What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization-Google SEO Guide 2023

Before getting to the meat and potatoes of SEO in our Google SEO Guide 2023, we will first talk about the basics of SEO, such as what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of websites on the main search engines, such as Google and Bing in order to drive more organic traffic and leads to your business website. 

Why Is SEO Important For My Business?

SEO is critical for most businesses in today’s hyper digital world, so they can rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (i.e. SERP’s). 

For instance, if someone wants to find your business and you are a dentist where do you think they are going to look first? If it was 1997 it might be the Yellow Pages, which they used to give out to all Canadian households until about 10 years ago. 

More recently it has become commonplace to just use Google or Google Maps to find local businesses, such as dentists, lawyers, hair salons, or your favourite local pizza joint. 

In fact, 46% of 8.5 billion global searches every day on Google involve local searches, which amounts to 2.8 billion searches per day! 


Four Main Types of SEO

There are four main types of SEO, which are explained in-depth in our Google SEO Guide, including: local SEO, technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. 

Local SEO

Google SEO Guide 2023-Local-SEO

Local SEO has become all the rage in the last five years in the search engine marketing world. This is not purely by chance, but because 46% of searches on Google are for small local businesses or services. 

This is primarily due to the ever increasing rate of smartphone adoption, and replacement of laptops with smartphones or iPads. For instance, in 2022 there were 32.6 million Canadian smartphone users V.S. about 30 million in 2018. The number of smartphone users are expected to reach 33 million by the end of 2023, which represents 83% of our total population of 40 million. 

It has become increasingly important that SEO experts and local small businesses adopt the latest local SEO techniques and strategies to rank higher on Google, such as optimizing their Google Business Profile and ranking for local search keywords, such as “mortgage broker london ontario”, rather than just “mortgage broker”, which is much more competitive, since it does not target a particular location.

Local SEO has become even more important in recent years, due to some of Google’s latest algorithm changes, such as their Mobile First Index update in March, 2021, which prioritized mobile search results, rather than desktop and mobile search results being thrown together.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO-Google SEO Guide 2023

Technical SEO is also very important today in order to improve SEO rankings for businesses. For instance, due to Google’s Core Web Vitals Update which began in May 2020 and latest changes in the Fall of 2022, all websites who want to rank higher on Google need to make sure that their website load time and User Experience (UX) passes their Google PageSpeed Insights Test or their webpage rankings will likely suffer, and in worst case scenarios, if your site is scoring low on the mobile version of the Performance component of the Google PageSpeed Insights test, than it may not even be indexed on Google at all! 
Although we will not go into detail about Google’s Web Core Vitals, one of the main Web Core Vitals metrics is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures how long it takes the largest content element on a website to be visible in the user’s viewport, meaning what is readable by the user.
Here’s some of the most important technical SEO issues to keep in mind when doing an SEO audit of your website:

  1. Schema Markup. Make sure that Schema Markup is being used on your website to rank for Google snippets where appropriate, such as review snippets or FAQ’s snippets.
  2. Webpage Re-Directs. Need to make sure that the proper types of re-directs are being used on your website, and that there aren’t too many re-directs being used.
  3. Broken Links. Need to make sure that broken links are fixed, and when you change a URL on your website that the page is redirected to the new URL.
  4. Missing Meta-data, such as missing meta-titles or meta-descriptions. If you are missing meta titles or meta descriptions you need to get this fixed by getting a professional SEO audit. 
  5. Duplicate content or meta-data. Avoiding having too much duplicate content is very important for improving SEO rankings on Google, since Google ranks authoritative, unique content much higher than duplicate content, which could just be plagiarized from another website.

On-Page SEO

Google SEO Guide 2023-On-Page-SEO
On-Page SEO, such as optimization of on-page SEO content and meta-data is also crucial to improving SEO rankings, since content is still king when it comes to SEO. 

Some On-Page SEO Tips include:

  1. Meta-Tags: Make sure that your meta-titles are no longer than 60 characters and meta-descriptions are no longer than 160 characters, so that all of them show up on Google in the search results. Otherwise Google might re-write your meta-title so that the end of your meta-title shows up first or truncate (i.e. cut off) any characters after 155-160 characters in your meta-description.
  2. At least 50% of your website’s main headings, such as H1’s and H2’s should include your main keywords or variations of your keywords in order to properly rank on Google.
  3. Image Optimization. Make sure that your keywords are distributed throughout your Image ALT tags for your images on each web page.
  4. Internal Links. Make sure that at least a few relevant internal links are included on each page, this way your page will get a higher Page Authority Score. For instance, you could link from your homepage to your services page or blog article to one of your services page and contact page.
  5. External Links. Need to include external links on web pages to increase page and domain authority. 

Off-Page SEO

Google SEO Guide 2023-Off-Page-SEO

Off-Page SEO involves the following types of Off-Page SEO activities, which are also very important to improving SEO rankings and driving more organic leads and traffic to websites.

  • Backlinking. This involves linking your website to other authoritative websites in your business industry or niche. For instance, say you are a local plumber, than you likely want to list your website on the most relevant local business directories, such as Yelp, Angi/HomeStars, and HomeAdvisor; as well as Google Business. Besides listing your business on local, regional, and national business directories.  
  • There’s also the following ethical (i.e. White Hat) methods of generating backlinks for your business website:
  • Guest-Blogging. This involves writing a guest blog on a popular blog within your business niche or related niche in exchange for a backlink to your website.
  • Digital PR. This involves hiring a digital PR company to digitally distribute your Press Release to hundreds of online news sites and blogs, such as ABC News, CNN, Fox News, etc. for a certain cost.
  • Email Outreach. This involves writing emails to relevant high authority blog owners and newspaper editors who you can write a guest blog for or exchange links with them.

Why SEO is Crucial For Small Businesses

Google SEO Guide 2023-1

SEO is crucial for small businesses, including the following four key reasons:

1. Allows You To Establish Greater Online Authority.

Since 68% of web activity begins with a search engine and 55% of organic website traffic comes from SEOSEO is absolutely paramount to businesses and business leaders trying to establish a greater online presence in their business industry.

2. Generates More Qualified Leads For Your Business.

Did you know that according to a 2018 HubSpot study organic SEO has a 14.6% close rate?

In addition, 60% of marketers say that inbound leads, such as organic SEO and blog traffic provides the most valuable source of leads.

3. SEO Drives 1000% more traffic than organic Social Media.

For instance, according to a 2019 HubSpot Channel Report SEO drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media.

4. SEO is Much Cheaper than Google Ads.

One of the greatest things about SEO is that it is free or quite affordable! Besides paying for the odd website directory link or if you are paying for an SEO agency to manage your SEO.

However, even the cost of hiring an SEO agency for say $600/month. is cheap compared to running Google Ads on a daily basis, which can easily cost double that amount!

We hope you have enjoyed reading our Google SEO Guide 2023, and found some helpful SEO tips, techniques, or strategies for your small business, which you might have never known or thought of before! 

Ready to Scale Your Small Business to the Moon?

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