What is SEO – And How Does it Work? [Intro for Beginners]

There are around 1.8 billion webpages on the internet now.

How do you make sure people see your site when they use Google, Yahoo, Baidu, or Bing to search?

Your website must be reliable, provide content that addresses the user’s question, and be well-designed.

In the world of SEO, everything is covered (Search Engine Optimization).

Don’t worry if you’re new to SEO.

In this piece, I’ll go over the fundamentals of SEO (including its definition) and provide you a step-by-step method to doing SEO on your own (for free).

What does SEO mean?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it outlines the reasoning that determines how websites are ranked when you use a search engine (such as Google).

In a nutshell, SEO is a digital marketing technique for increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website.

The optimization portion of SEO entails a number of measures that may be taken to improve your Google ranking and generate free organic traffic.

You’ll notice that I said steps, which means that if you follow each one (and are patient), you’ll see tremendous results.

Although it may appear to be tiresome and difficult at first, SEO may actually be enjoyable and simple to apply.

Breaking down the concept of SEO is the best approach to comprehend it nowadays. In this way, SEO is:

  1. Understanding SEO – is critical to all of your marketing activities since it allows you to increase traffic to your website while also generating leads and conversions. You must not just write Google-friendly content, but also content that will resonate with your target audience.
  2. A technical task – if you want to compete for traffic, you’ll need to know the best techniques for optimising your content and site. People that understand the ins and outs of search engine optimization are in high demand because of the high return on investment they provide.
  3. An exciting field – I don’t know about you, but creating great content and generating leads for free is incredible to me. I also enjoy the ever-changing nature of SEO and the fact that it forces marketers like myself to keep up with new algorithm adjustments and other developments.

How does SEO work?

When a user types a phrase into a search engine like Google, the results are a list of websites that are related to the query and have a high domain authority (among other factors described below).

When you search for “chocolate cake ideas,” for example, the top results are those that Google considers to be using the finest SEO methods.

This is due to the fact that search engines employ advanced crawlers that collect information from every website, as well as any other content they can uncover on the Internet.

This generates an index for each website, which is compared to Google’s algorithm for the best SEO approach.

Which factors affect SEO?

There are a set of on-site and off-site factors that Google and other search engines favour when rating every site, whether you’re wanting to learn more about SEO or want genuine ranking tactics on how to increase your website’s SEO.

Despite the fact that the Google algorithm has over 200 parameters that influence how your site ranks, the good news is that anyone can enhance their website by focusing on only a few of them.

The 8 most important SEO factors to rank high in 2020:

1. Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that measures the amount of trust your domain has earned over time based on backlinks and age.

Similarly, the higher your domain authority, the older it is.

Another crucial element, in my opinion, is the domain name’s relevancy to the main keywords you’re pursuing. For “seo” related queries, for example, is more likely to rank higher than

Finally, according to a couple of my SEO expert pals, shorter domains perform better than longer domains.

Building backlinks to your site might also help you increase your domain authority.

You can also boost your domain authority by building backlinks to your site.

2. Keywords

Picking the correct keywords (which you can easily find using Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs) is the first step in SEO.

With a brand new site, my plan is to start with medium to low competition keywords and gradually increase the length of my posts to target more competitive terms.

If you want to rank, LSI keywords should definitely be included (keywords that are synonyms to your target terms).

For example, a website discussing “portable chargers” might also include terms like “power banks,” “portable batteries for phones,” and so on. For excellent on-page optimization, make sure to include the keywords you want to rank for in the title and sub-headings.

3. Relevancy and Context

Search engines have never been smarter.

They can tell the difference between a relevant page and one that has been copied.

They can also tell whether a website is dedicated to oranges or protein bars. When it comes to constructing a website, I advocate adhering to a niche and creating material that is tailored to that audience.

My area of expertise is web marketing and SEO.

4. Number of Inbound and Outbound links

The higher your SEO score is, the more relevant links your website contains.

Inbound links, on the other hand, are really favoured, especially if they come from reputable, relevant, and well-known sites.

Backlinks can be obtained by, for example, being highlighted on major news websites.

5. Site Speed

Google is very concerned with the speed with which your website loads. You may use caching plugins like W3 Total Cache to speed up your site, or you can use a CDN to distribute your content more quickly.

6. Clean and responsive design

Clean, functional, and responsive to devices of all shapes and sizes are the best-optimized websites nowadays. In fact, Google prefers websites that are mobile-friendly over those that are not.

If you use WordPress, you can use the AMP plugin to make your site load even faster. If your website does not use WordPress, you should learn about Google’s accelerated mobile sites effort.

7. URL structure

The easier it is for humans and search engines to understand what your piece is about, the better.

The shorter the url, the better, according to several research. Nonetheless, you should make sure your top keyword is included in the slug for further SEO benefit.

8. Length of your content

You want to go into as much detail as possible when creating a blog post that you want to rank. Long-form content has been rewarded by search engines, and you won’t rank in 2018 unless you publish at least 1500-2000 words per piece.

“The quality and length of material on a particular page can substantially effect ranking performance,” says David Pagotto, SIXGUN’s Founder and Managing Director. Especially when the content touches on all facets of EAT – expertise, authority, and reliability.”

When you publish long form content, you give yourself the opportunity to delve further into a topic, which improves the amount of time a visitor stays on your site and tells Google that your content is fantastic.

If you have a new site, how would you start with SEO?

“If I had to start all over with a fresh new domain, how would I do it?” a lot of my readers ask.

With my new site, The Insurance Nerd, I’ve just began that experiment.

As you may expect from the name, the site focuses on insurance and health care. I chose this topic because 1) it is difficult and 2) it pays nicely with Adsense.

I chose a difficult area to see if the SEO strategies I teach are effective, and they are.

So, what method do I employ?

I covered the step-by-step plan here, but it can be summarized as:

  1. Find medium-tail keywords that have decent volume
  2. Create long content that is 1500+ words (btw, I can write it for you!)
  3. Build backlinks by guest posting

That’s it. There’s not much more to it.

Which tools can you use for SEO?

There are numerous useful tools available. (They’re all free!) Here are some of my favourites:

  1. Ahrefs or SEMRush to analyze each url and see who’s linking to them and what keywords they rank for (free version, although I suggest getting the paid one).
  2. Keywords Everywhere to understand the volume and competition of my queries
  3. Google Search Console to see how my site is performing over time.

For 97 percent of what I do, I use those tools. Read my whole list of SEO tools to learn about the other 3%, such as backlink building tools and others.

Why should you do SEO?

Great question.

SEO has the potential to generate a large number of high-quality leads for your website for no cost.

Aren’t you more inclined to become a client of whoever appears first on Google when you search for “top SEO consultant”?

This is where search engine optimization comes into play.

It generates warm leads to whom you can later deliver advertisements or sell things.

Alternatives to SEO: Is SEO better than PPC?

Because you don’t have to spend money on adverts to increase traffic to your site, SEO is far superior to PPC (pay per click).

When you use pay-per-click advertising, your traffic will halt as soon as you stop paying for adverts. SEO has a far longer-term impact.

On the other hand, if you have a well-converting sales page, you can immediately increase your sales from day one without having to wait months for all of your SEO work to pay off.

SEM is a lot more predictable than SEO, but SEO will pay off for a lot longer.

What are SEO backlinks?

Backlinks are links from another website to your own. When I link to this SEO firm in Los Angeles, for example, I am establishing a backlink for them. The greater the authority and rank of your site, the more high-quality backlinks you receive.

As a result, if you want to reach page one, creating backlinks is a crucial SEO chore.

Are these tips just for Google SEO?

With about 80% of all global queries, Google dominates the search engine space. Yahoo and Bing each have around 9% of the market. Although the tactics we’ve been covering are specific to Google SEO, they’re applicable to other search engines.

Are there any other alternatives to SEO?

Given that SEO’s primary goal is to increase traffic to your site, you can also increase traffic by using ads (such as Google Adwords or Facebook ads), affiliate links, and being mentioned in articles on popular websites.

How can you learn SEO?

Finally, the greatest method to understand SEO is to practise it. The better outcomes you should expect from your responsive website, the more organic, natural, and unique content you publish.

However, SEO, like any other digital marketing strategy, takes time to implement (at least a few months), so be patient and don’t get frustrated. It took at least a year for my site to start receiving continuous traffic.

The main conclusion is that SEO is a long-term commitment. Every website should focus on this strategy on a regular basis.

It may take some time, but if you are ready to study, it will pay off in the end.

Check out my best SEO posts and consider subscribing to my email if you’re serious about mastering SEO.

A final word

Getting organic traffic is just the beginning; don’t forget that you can also get traffic by being featured on large websites, driving a lot of traffic from social media, and cultivating a dedicated fan following who will continue to buy from you and refer their friends.

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.