How Does SEO Really Work and Why it's


May 26, 2022

Online marketing methods are numerous – from remarketing to SEO, it’s hard to know what’s what (not to mention where to invest to help your prospective customers find you). Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the foundations of online marketing. It’s critical to understand what it is and how it works if you plan to sell your products or services online. SEO is often thought of as the unreachable mark or a constantly changing goal. It doesn’t have to be that difficult, though.

What Is SEO?

SEO is a type of online marketing method. It’s not a way to trick the search engines. In fact, if you try to abuse SEO strategies, it may backfire and cause a de-listing of your site. It also doesn’t help. The goal of SEO is to encourage search engines, like Google, to bring people to your website who are looking for products and services that you offer. These are the people that are most likely to buy from you. Done well, SEO is a long-term plan for getting qualified and interested buyers or leads to your website.

Our goal here is to break down how SEO works by using open and honest methods. Doing so can be an excellent way to invest in the success of your website. It should be a strong component of your web design, too.

Understanding How SEO Works

The first step is to understand how SEO works. It applies to all types of search engines, though Google is used by far the most. Google is like any other business. It wants to provide an exceptional service to its customers – those who are typing words into a search box to find a product or service, some type of information, or anything else. To ensure that it satisfies the results of that person, the search engines have to be able to know where to find the information. To do that, they scan websites for keywords or words that help the search engine to know what the website is all about.

Google uses complex algorithms to determine which websites out there are best suited for each person who is typing something into a search box. The goal of SEO, then, is to optimize the website to ensure search engines are picking up on the right terms so that the ideal customer – or searcher – is brought to each website.

That sounds simple enough, but there are many factors that complicate it. For example, a person in Texas looking for a plumber isn’t going to be helped if the search engine shows them a website for a plumber in New York. That’s why there are intimate details to SEO that must be mastered to ensure the best possible outcome.

Do You Need SEO?

It’s a fair question. Many companies who create an online presence or website may still be relying heavily on the customers who walk in their door for their sales. Yet, the majority of people looking for a product or service, especially for the first time, use the search engines to help them as a first step. If you do not rank well in the search engines, your competition does. There are several key benefits to investing in good SEO practices.

  • It helps you get more people to your website.
  • It may help increase the number of people coming to your site who take action, such as fill out a form, make a purchase, or otherwise interact with you.
  • It may help with building brand recognition for your company.
  • SEO is a long-lasting investment. That is, the changes made now may help to continue to help you over the long term.
  • It’s critical to being able to compete with your competitors.

SEO doesn’t have to be a worrisome investment. It can be well within reach for many people. The key is to know what to do and what to expect.

How Do You Optimize a Website for SEO?

In order to help the search engines to rank a website properly, web designers can optimize the site. That simply means that the web designers will learn as much as possible about the company and its most likely customers or leads. Using this and some detailed research, it is possible to determine the most common phrases and terms a person looking for the services you offer will type into the search engines.

It’s not as simple as it seems. Take into consideration how many other companies offer the same services and products you do across the world. If everyone is ranking for “plumber” for example, there’s a lot of competition to get on the first page of the search results (the ideal place to be so people can click on your link and visit your site). This, and other factors, require careful planning to ensure the best outcome.

One key thing to know about SEO is that it’s based on many small parts that come together to help Google and other search engines to know how valuable your website is. Keywords are just one component of this. Other components may include:

  • Linking on your site
  • Engagement
  • Brand metrics
  • Social metrics
  • Keyword usage

In your web design, you’ll see SEO built into every page and every component, including your meta descriptions, image tags, and much more. The key is that, when done well, your reader is still getting exceptional information and doesn’t “see” that you are optimizing the content itself.

What Happens When You Get Help with SEO?

Though every company is a bit different, at the heart of the process is learning what your website is doing well and where there is room for improvement. SEO involves a great deal of focus on many factors, which is why the first step is a comprehensive breakdown and understanding of your current site.

Sometimes, the best starting place is with a new web design. That may allow for your website to be developed from the ground up, implementing solid SEO along the way. Even if not, the goal is always going to be the same – to implement recognized, honest, and effective SEO strategies into your website.

What Can You Expect Once You’ve Invested in SEO?

One of the reasons people become frustrated with SEO is that it takes time. It’s also an ongoing process. The search engines are always changing how they operate so that they can constantly provide the best possible quality to their readers. Realistically, it can take a few weeks or longer to see substantial results from SEO efforts.

What can you do to speed it up?

SEO results take time, but if you put in place some practical strategies now, they will begin working for you right away, in many cases. Here are some examples that may help you to do just that.

  1. Do some keyword research. Various tools exist to help. What’s most important here is to really understand what your customers or clients are looking for when they seek out what you offer online. The better you can research and develop both primary and secondary keywords, the sooner results become evident.
  2. Start working on content.  Content is the information on your website. It needs to incorporate those keywords in such a way as your readers can understand the value of the website, but the search engines can also rank it properly.
  3. Incorporate keywords into your meta titles and all titles. You want to make sure that these titles have the appropriate keywords for your site.
  4. Check out your site navigation results. When people land on your website, where are they going? Most importantly, where are they on the site when they leave your page? That’s often a good area to start working on. Could it be that there are problems with the navigation or content here causing them to leave?
  5. Work on getting links. Links from other sources help to give your website more credibility with the search engines. Building up a solid linking strategy can help you to see a boost to your traffic from those sites, too.
  6. Test different strategies. Just because you’ve made some changes doesn’t mean you’ve made the right ones for the best results. Testing various SEO strategies is a bit part of successful web design.
  7. Use “people also ask” content. If you type in a term into Google, you’ll see a section on most pages called “people also ask.” These are like FAQs that provide fast information. Incorporate those that relate to your product or service onto your pages to help Google find you more effectively.

Don’t Go It Alone

Search engine optimization is never a simple step-by-step process. It takes a good deal of time and planning to get just right. More so, it goes on for some time. You’ll always need to update and modernize keywords and continue to add quality content to your website to bring people in.

That’s why it’s best to have a team of professionals to help you along the way.