What Is Search Engine Optimization: The Complete Guide To SEO

The way firms promote their products and offer their services has changed dramatically over the last several decades. Because of the internet and its billions of users, brands have moved away from traditional marketing, and the attraction to digital marketing has never been stronger – presenting new job roles and career opportunities. Every facet, from content marketing to PPC, social media marketing to SEO, is equally vital. SEO, on the other hand, has many facets ranging from on-page to off-page and backlinking to interlinking. Let’s start with the fundamentals.

You’ve probably heard the word before, but you may not have wondered, “What is SEO?” We’ll do our best to respond regardless.

What is SEO?

SEO is the practice of increasing organic traffic on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It is sometimes referred to as organic search or listings. If you want to rank first for all keywords, you must use SEO to boost your ranking.

Assume you launched an ice cream recipe blog, but your website does not rank high in organic search results. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Your competitors’ content is superior.
  • You employ ineffective keywords.
  • You employ weak link-building techniques.
  • Your website’s load time is too long.
  • Your website provides a poor user experience.
  • Your website has been de-indexed inadvertently.

To score high on search engine results pages, you must first grasp how search engines work. This post will teach you how Google ranks websites, the various forms of SEO, and the various SEO tactics you can use to increase your rating.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO refers to practices that violate the terms of service of search engines. It will most certainly raise a page’s rating in a search engine result page (SERP) for a short period of time, but it may result in a ban from search engines or affiliate sites because it violates the search engine’s terms of service. Some examples of black hat SEO strategies or practices are:

  • Stuffing Keywords
  • Manipulating Links
  • Duplicate content in articles, pages, or site landing pages

A word of caution: You may achieve short-term success. Although traffic to your site may increase swiftly, Google penalties are becoming more smart with each passing day and can have devastating aftereffects on both traffic and ranking.

What is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO often refers to SEO strategies that are in accordance with the search engines’ terms and conditions. And, as the term implies, white hat SEO is the polar opposite of black hat SEO. A white hat SEO practice such as:

  • Creating unique, high-quality content and services
  • Website that is mobile-friendly
  • Meta tags that are clear and keyword-rich should be used.

It will boost your SERP rankings while also preserving the integrity of your website.

Types of SEO

If you want to rank on Google for a specific keyword, you must use SEO. There are two approaches to this:

  • On-page SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Off-page SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s

On-page SEO

The process of optimizing website elements is known as on-page SEO. When you do this, there are a few things you should keep in mind. As an end-user, you have control over all of these elements. On-page SEO includes the following elements:

Keyword Research

Before you do anything with your website, you must first determine the keywords you want to rank for. You will need to conduct keyword research in order to accomplish this. In this step, you select the primary and secondary keywords for which you will create meta tags and content.

The following are the primary components of keyword research:

  • The number of searches
  • Competition
  • Relevancy

You may also search for keywords using keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner. Once you’ve decided on your keywords, you can begin optimizing your pages for them.

Title Tag

On the search engine results page, the title tag is a header title element that displays a summary of your website’s content. It also has an impact on click-through rates and is the most significant aspect of on-page SEO. The first 50–60 characters of the title tag are displayed by search engines.

Meta Description

A meta description is a concise description that summarizes a webpage’s content. They are also included on search engine results pages. A meta description, as opposed to a title tag, provides consumers with a better sense of what your website is about. The meta description also has an impact on click-through rates.

URL Structure

URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. The ideal approach is to utilize SEO-friendly URLs, which aid in understanding what the page is about. Poor URL structure is a major issue in SEO, and it may result in your website ranking lower.

Header Tags

Header tags aid in the identification of your content’s headers and subheadings. The header tag hierarchy ranges from H1 through H6. The H1 tag is the page’s primary heading, the H2 tag is a subsection of H1, and so on. These tags aid search engines in reading and comprehending the material.

Internal Link

Internal links are connections that connect web pages on your website. They enable users to browse the website. They are also beneficial for disseminating link equity (value passed from one website to another site).

Keyword Usage

Natural Language Processing is used by a search engine to crawl a page (NLP). NLP assists search engines in their search for material and keywords.

For example, if your website is about digital marketing and you simply used the keyword “digital marketing” throughout it, your chances of ranking high for this phrase are slim. It is critical to include related keywords such as sorts of digital marketing, digital marketing abilities, and so on.


A sitemap is a method of arranging a website that helps both users and search engines comprehend its structure. Sitemaps are classified into two types:

  • HTML sitemaps: Created with humans in mind
  • Crawlers will benefit from XML sitemaps.

Now that you understand on-page SEO, let us move on to the off-page SEO component of the ‘What is SEO? ‘ article

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is another method of increasing your ranking in search engine results pages. It also contributes to your website’s reputation by instilling a sense of domain authority and trustworthiness. Off-page SEO also increases traffic, page rank, and brand exposure.

Link Building

Off-page SEO is usually related with link building. The process of obtaining hyperlinks from other websites to your site is known as link building. This is also known as external link building. The key to link building is always content. From an on-page SEO standpoint, providing quality content allows you to optimize it for relevant keywords and rank. High-quality content allows other sites to link back to your site as part of an off-page SEO strategy.

Here are some link-building tactics:

  • High-quality content development – Other sites will link back to yours if your content is unique, well-structured, and easy to read.
  • Off-site involvement entails spending a significant amount of time on websites that are similar to yours. You might look for other sites with relevant material. You can share your content with them, and they can share their stuff with you. You can also generate off-site engagement by using social media and engaging with bloggers.

When understanding ‘What is SEO,’ there are several dos and don’ts that you should be aware of. It is covered in the next section.


Before we continue with our ‘What is SEO? ‘ post, it’s important clarifying something that many people are puzzled about: the distinction between SEO and SEM. Both are essential components of any effective digital marketing effort, and SEO is a subset of SEM. The fundamental difference, which we go into much more detail here, is that SEM uses paid search engine advertising to target certain demographics.

How Does Google Rank Websites?

Websites are rated mostly based on the rivalry between your web pages and other web pages for a specific keyword. Web pages that adhere to best practices outrank every other web page in the competition and rank first for those keywords.

To rank a webpage, search engines like Google use three basic procedures. They are:

  1. Crawling

Spiders or bots are used by search engines to scan a website, copy the full website’s content, and store it in the search engine’s index.

  1. Indexing

Indexing is the process of incorporating web pages into Google search results. No one will be able to find your website if it is not included in a search engine’s index.

  1. Ranking

When you enter a search term into Google, the most relevant websites (from the index) will appear in the search results. These outcomes are influenced by a variety of factors such as user location, language, experience, and so on.

The ranking is determined by a variety of criteria, one of which is relevancy. For example, if you type, the websites will appear naturally since they are relevant to that phrase. However, you must also ensure that the page loads quickly for the end-user. Google also considers additional indicators such as the length of time a user spends on a website and the bounce rate (leaving the site after viewing only one page).

Language and location are other important factors in ranking. For example, if you search, the results will be different from those in the United States. This is because Google has different bots crawling different pages at different times, and Google’s index is constantly being updated. However, it does not sync in real-time.

To illustrate, if you search “cafes” in San Francisco, you will get various results. Now, if you search for “cafes” in Mumbai, you’ll get different results.

To summarise, the most essential Google ranking elements are relevance, user experience, language, and geography.


To ensure that your website stands out among millions of others, skip the what is SEO stage and get started on your SEO strategy. From day one, Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) course will help you become an industry-ready SEO specialist. You will be able to master the many facets of SEO, such as the process of organically driving traffic to your websites through keyword management and research, on-page and off-page optimization, link building, URL building, SEO analytics, and more, and you will gain extensive project management experience to prepare you for managing inbound marketing initiatives.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.