How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Works?

If you have ever considered hiring a digital marketer for your business or becoming a marketer yourself, you have probably come across the term SEO or “search engine optimization.”

SEO is one of the core building blocks of a digital marketing strategy, something you need to start working on if you haven’t already. Now, you may be wondering, what exactly is search engine optimization, and more importantly, how does it work? Well, we are here to explain just that!

What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization is a series of practices used to optimize your websites in a way that makes them rank higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. (Google being the most widely used one with over 80% of the total search engine market share).

When you search for a term or something on Google, it gives you a list of results. At the top, you will see a small section displaying paid results in the form of ads. Below are the organic search results that are displayed in order based on authority, credibility, and relevancy.

For your business to rank higher, you want to optimize your website, so you appear on the first page of Google’s organic search results pages (SERPs), as these pages get approximately 70% of clicks. But before that, you need to understand how search engines work.

How Do Search Engines Rank Webpages?

Search engines work to provide users with the best results possible when they enter a search query. In order to do that, they have a set of algorithms working in unison to rank web pages.

These algorithms work by employing spiders – technically bots – to collect information on your web page, your site speed, backlinks, tags, metadata, keywords, etc., to add you to Google’s massive index of public web pages.

Web spiders index pages either because the website owner requested the search (through Google’s Search Console) or by crawling webpages with hyperlinks to other URLs and discovering new web pages. In this way, the index is constantly updated with new web pages and with changes to existing ones.

To respond to the user query, the algorithm will bring up a list of results from its index on its search engine results page (SERP). These results are sorted, so the most relevant, authentic pages are shown at the top.

How Does SEO Work?

You know the technicality behind search engine rankings. Now you can optimize your websites so they can rank higher on search engines. Search engine optimization is a set of practices employed simultaneously to improve your on-page and off-page optimization.

But how do you rank higher? You use SEO!

on page seo optimization

On-Page SEO Optimization

Off-page SEO refers to activity outside of your webpage that still impacts your web rankings. The most effective practice in off-page SEO is link building. This is having other websites link to your website to boost your PageRank. The more verified backlinks to your website, the more authoritative your website will seem and the higher you’ll rank in SERPs.

Other off-page SEO tactics also include guest blogging, PR, and social media marketing. One thing to note here is that while you have full control over your on-page SEO, off-page SEO is more dependent on how others receive your content.

You can slowly build your off-page SEO by sharing relevant, valuable information with your audience so they may share your content; build your authenticity, so not only users but search engines trust you as well.