What is SEO and How does SEO Work? (A Complete Guide)

What is SEO & How it Works

What is SEO

SEO is the activity of getting your web pages to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). These SERPs are where people go to find websites that match the keywords they enter into a search engine.

If you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, then SEO is one of the best ways to do it. However, if you don’t know what SEO is, you’re probably wondering how to start. And surprisingly, it’s easier than you think.

To rank high on search results, website owners typically spend money on advertising services (such as pay-per-click ad campaigns) or hire a search engine optimization firm to help manage the process.

In simple words, this means that the more people will see your website or web page when they type a specific word into a search bar, the more chance you will have of emerging on the first page of the search engine result.

For instance, if you type the word “best selling books” into a search engine, you will probably find the Amazon.com website. It is a major website, and it is among the top 5 sites in the world, according to Alexa.com. How did Amazon.com get that ranking? They did something called SEO.

How does SEO work?

A website is a collection of information about a particular topic. This information is stored in an electronic format on a computer server. This means that your website exists in cyberspace and it is accessible online.

When people enter keywords related to the topic you have covered in your blog post into a search engine such as Google, they will be directed to your website. Search engine algorithms look for websites that match the words that people enter.

This whole process is completed in three steps:

Step # 01 Crawling:

All search engines use bot crawling to explore all new and old web pages, images or files. They read their content and keep checking whether something has been

updated or not. These algorithms rank your web pages depending upon several factors, such as keyword research or Meta titles.

Web crawlers or web spiders crawl on each website through links. Suppose, in your article, you added a link to your previous blog or home page or put any outbound or inbound links. They will crawl to each blog and each web page with the help of these links.

Step # 02 Indexing:

The next important step is indexing. In this step search engine algorithm sift the content and web pages on the basis of different factors and store them in the index to retrieve them later.

Unique and wholesome content which seems valuable is stored in cyberspace, whereas a spammy piece of content or plagiarized blog post is blocked from entering the giant index.

Step # 03 Ranking:

It is the most crucial step after indexing. Many ranking factors help a search engine to optimize your content, such as keywords, backlinks, headlines, etc.

What is the difference between Organic search and Paid search?

It’s important to note that in search engines, there are two main ways of finding web pages.

The first one is Organic Search. When you type a word or phrase into a search bar, the search engine shows the results that are related to your query. This is called Organic Search. Search engine organizes the search results using algorithms entirely unrelated to paid search.

The second one is called Paid Search. This is similar to the Organic search method, except that the search engine lets advertisers pay for certain keywords or sponsored links.

Types of SEO:

You probably have heard about it that SEO offers two strategies: white hat strategy and black hat strategy.

White Hat SEO:

The white hat strategy includes all the possible ways and tricks which are approved and give you long-term benefits. It may be the use of keywords in a natural way in your blog post or posting valuable plagiarized free content. Using this strategy will give you organic traffic and rank your website.

Black Hat SEO:

The black hat strategy involves all tips and tricks that are discouraged and disapproved but give immediate results. It includes spammy content, stuffing your article with many keywords, unnaturally adding keywords or buying backlinks to support the ranking of your websites.

Applying black hat tactics will make your website blocked by the Google index

Gray Hat SEO

Grey hat SEO strategies are a bit tricky and unsafe because these tactics are not agreeable to Google’s algorithm and services but can provide you with immediate results. They do not contravene Google’s instruction list; However, your website might get penalized if you do not operate carefully. You have to keep yourself updated about grey hat SEO because it keeps changing periodically into the white hat or black hat. It encompasses techniques such as getting paid links and reviews, using expired domains, keyword stuffing, and spinning content.

What are the Pillars of SEO?

There is always a tussle going on among websites to get ranked on the first page. SEO keeps changing in different ways, but its main principles remain the same.

There are three poles on which the hub of SEO stands.

On-Page SEO:

On-page SEO refers to the tricks you use to optimize your site for search engines like Google. For example, you can ensure that your page titles and page content are relevant and written in simple plain language so that it is easy to read. Off-page SEO refers to your methods to optimize your site for visitors.

On-Page SEO Checklist

  1. URL / Permalink should be short and clean
  2. Keyword in slug
  3. Put your keyword in the (Intro) first 50-100 words 
  4. Put your Main keyword in heading tags
  5. Keyword should be in Meta tags
  6. IMAGE alt tags
  7. Check Mobile responsiveness
  8. Website speed – page speed optimization
  9. SSL should be enabled
  10. Content structure: clean, clear, easy approachable for a visitor
  11. Synonym rich content
  12. Freshness of the content
  13. Spelling and grammar needs to be carefully checked before posting
  14. LSI Keywords must be included in the content
  15. Schema: technical SEO

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is another type of SEO that you can do on your own. It involves using backlinks to help you to rank higher in search results. The goal of this is to bring more traffic to your site.

Off-Page SEO Techniques

  1. Directory Submission
  2. Comment Backlinks
  3. Profile Backlinks
  4. Image Sharing
  5. Social Bookmarking
  6. PPT Sharing Backlinks
  7. PDF sharing Backlinks
  8. Web 2.O Backlinks
  9. Article Sharing Backlinks
  10. Guest Posting
  11. Niche Edits

Technical SEO Optimization:

Technical SEO is when you optimize your website on various technical aspects. This involves using different techniques to help search engines better understand your website.

For example, it can involve ensuring that your website is well-coded and set up correctly to work on all devices. This goal is to ensure that your site is accessible to everyone.

Local SEO

If you are running a local business serving a specific region and want to get ranked in Google’s top search results, applying local SEO tactics will be the most appropriate strategy to opt for. People are in search of different products and services available near them, so by marketing your services through local SEO, you will make it visible to clients, which in turn increases your traffic and boosts your business. It is equally important to online and brick-and-mortar businesses because 46% of all Google searches incorporate local searches and nearby locations.

How SEO work for you?

We have categorized some elements which are building blocks of SEO. Every marketer and web content developer, either for a small business or for a large company, take a start by working on these factors:

Keyword Research:

Keyword research is the most basic step in SEO. It would help if you found out what keywords people are typing into search engines to find your website. This way, you can create content that will appeal to those keywords. You can use a free Google Adwords tool to find the most popular keywords. There are many SEO tools, some are paid, and some are free. You can use any of them to find suitable keywords.


It is the most important part of any website. It is what people will see and read when they search for something on Google. It is what will attract people to your website and keep them there. If you want to have a booming website, you need to ensure that your content is relevant, helpful, interesting, and informative.

Header tags:

Header tags are used to give a page a unique title. These are like the headers that appear on the top of the page. They are very important because they help search engines to find your page. When you have a unique title, the search engines can tell what your page is about.

Mobile Friendliness:

When you’re striving to rank higher on Google, you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. This means that your website is optimized for mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you will have difficulty getting traffic. Mobile users are the future.

Link building:

Backlinks from different high-quality web pages help in trust-building for your website. They give a clue to Google that it contains high-quality authorized content. The more you get backlinks, the more chances your website will get to rank.

Page speed optimization:

Page speed is an important element of SEO, and it can have a huge impact on your search engine rankings. Page speed is so important because most users today will prefer to spend less time loading your site and more time browsing it.


Hard work and patience are pre-requisite for SEO. It is a crucial as well as the most fundamental aspect of any business that wants to grow. It helps in improving your site’s rankings in search engine results. It is a long-term process that requires great planning and research. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a process that takes time to implement and get results.


Asad Rana

Asad Rana

Digital Marketing Specialist