What is SEO and how does it work?

What is SEO and how does it work? (Everything You Need To Know In 2020)


what is SEO?
What is SEO and how does it work?

“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change” – Jill Whalen

What is SEO and how does it work? It’s a question that is asked repeatedly by many of them.

It sounds REALLY important, but most people find themselves getting puzzled because they don’t know where to start getting their website optimized for search.

Generally, Search engine optimization consists of two processes. The first is getting a website configured so a search engine like Google can index it correctly, and the second is making sure your website is in the top search results when someone searches your products or brand names to get high organic traffic.

There is a lot more to discuss, but in this post, I am going to explain only about SEO and how does it work?

If you want to know the working of Search Engine where you will discover in-depth concepts like crawling, indexing, etc.

Also Read: How does Search Engine work?

(Recommended Post)

What is SEO?

What is SEO and how does it work?
What is SEO and how does it work?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing the website to get organic and unpaid traffic from search results.

You can also define SEO as “the practice of increasing the organic traffic and making exposure to your website (brand) through search engine results.”

SEO usually considers how search engines work, what people search for, what type of keywords are being used by the users in search engines, how many of them are interested in a particular niche (topic), etc.

Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer.

In general, the earlier and more frequently your site appears in the search results list, the more visitors visit your website which is said to be highly profitable.

So when a user searches anything in the search bar, the search engine usually gives the best relevant (searches) results by analysing those keywords. Search engine organises (ranks) the websites in an order according to those keywords. So, the ultimate aim of Search engines is to give the best experience to the user.

For example, look at the image below to understand well.

Ads displayed on top search results

Now you might have wondered how these search engines work? How do these search engines decide which website to rank first and how it arranges all the websites for a particular keyword?

These are all answers I will share in the next blog post (i.e How Search Engine works?).

Now, I’m going to explain about different types of SEOs to understand the working of it in a much better way.

Also Read: Affiliate Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide 2020 – (Recommended Post)

Types of SEO

There are 10 types of SEO. Those are,

1) White Hat SEO

2) Black Hat SEO

3) Grey Hat SEO

4) Negative SEO

5) On-Page SEO

6) Off-Page SEO

7) Technical SEO

8) Content SEO

9) Mobile SEO

10) E-Commerce SEO

What is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is a legal method/practice which is used to rank in the search results organically, where it doesn’t break the rules/guidelines set by the major search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

Usually, it takes more time to rank in Google, but it is said to be the best and risk – free method and mostly used by the content marketers, website owners, etc.

The legal methods which are used in SEO are,

1) Writing relevant and useful content that helps your search audience do what they need to do.

2) Organizing the content on your site to help people (and search engines) find what they’re looking for faster.

3) Promoting your content on social media so it earns exposure and links.

4) Soliciting the use of data aggregators to acquire local business citations.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is a method which is used to rank in Search Engine results illegally.

The methods are against the rules/guidelines of Search Engines like Google and may get banned (penalised). These tactics help you to rank quickly but it is very risky and not recommended at all.

The methods which are used in Black Hat SEO are,

1) Keyword stuffing or hiding (e.g. white text on white background).

2) Plagiarism (copying others content and pasting it in your blog or website).

3) Backlinks and citations that are purchased.

4) Doorway pages (lots of similar pages only slightly different content).

5) Cloaking (where different content is shown to human and search engine visitors).

6) Thin content (where there is not enough content on the page to be useful).

7) Private blog networks (where a group of website owners agree to cross-link to one another for the sole purpose of link building and boosting rankings).

What is Grey Hat SEO?

Grey Hat SEO is the method which is mostly used by the SEO Agencies for getting quick rankings in search results.

These methods/tactics fall between White Hat and Black Hat SEO in terms of approach. Although Google webmaster guidelines didn’t clearly say that it is prohibited but still it may fall under the category of illegal activities. So this is also not recommended to follow.

The methods which are used in Grey Hat SEO are,

1) Using clickbait (content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page while not delivering value).

2) Altered (reused and slightly altered) content.

3) Prolific link exchanges.

4) Adding excess (unwanted) links in a webpage.

5) Paying people for reviews.

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO

Negative SEO is by far different from the above three, because this method doesn’t affect the search engine’s guidelines but degrades the performance of the websites.

For example, a person can degrade your website performance by performing some actions to it.

Now, you might raise doubt on how my website/blog degrades by the competitor’s actions?

Well here is the answer: Negative SEO is done to make the competitor suffer in the search results and take advantage to rank higher than your competitor.

The activities which are included in Negative SEO are,

1) Hacking into competitor’s website and adding or spamming through the unwanted links.

2) Posting negative reviews in forms, post comments, etc.

So, Negative SEO is all about destroying the competitor’s websites and ranking above them which is highly risky and not recommended at all.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO (also called On-Site SEO) is a method used to rank higher in search results organically in Search Engines by optimising the webpage content like title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, headings, paragraphs, images, URLs, and internal as well as outgoing links.

The primary thing to consider on On-Page SEO is to provide relevant and useful content to Google and the user.

So when you are writing a blog post, make sure you add relevant keywords in which people usually search in Search Engines. Also, make sure you modify your website/blog according to the keyword to have better chances of ranking.

 What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO is the method of ranking higher in search results organically by creating a good number of backlinks. Traffic can also be increased by sharing website content through Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

This type of method mainly focuses on sharing out the content and making more viewers and making them engage with your website.

By the way, if you don’t know what backlink is, I will try to explain shortly. A Backlink is created when another website refers to your website (with the help of URL- which is called as Hyperlink) in their post, page or any other else.

So when other websites refer to your website, then it will create a positive impression on Google. In this way, there will be a chance to rank higher than other websites who have less or no backlinks. But always remember that Google prefers quality backlinks but not quantity.

Quality Backlink means a well-reputed website referring to your website. But if you have bad & spamming websites referring you or if you share your website URL in that, it will create a negative impression on Google and it may result in penalising, banning or non-indexing in Search Engine.

So for example, if you have a quality backlink then you will be ranking higher than those websites who have a lot of unwanted/bad backlinks.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is to help Google bots successfully crawl, interpret and index all the pages of your site for future use. You will have to create an XML sitemap, making your site mobile-friendly, adding structured data to help web crawlers sort and categorize your pages based on the type of content. By doing this you will help Google identify your Website and discover the content you have in it.

So, Technical SEO sounds a little bit technical in terms of optimising your website.

What is Content SEO?

Content SEO is a method used to rank higher in search results by adding content to your website like having many good quality posts. If the content is good, then your website will rank higher in results. So in this SEO, Keyword Research plays an important role.

Make sure that your website is well designed, easy to navigate and readers friendly.

Don’t copy others’ content and paste it on your website/blog. Because this may lead to the copyright content and it’s not in favour of Google. This will harm your website and ranking goes down.

What is Mobile SEO?

What is mobile SEO?
Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO is a process of optimizing the website to be compatible with mobile devices to rank higher in search results. So this SEO is all about concentrating on mobile devices. Many website designs look good on monitors, but when it comes to mobile devices it is inaccessible or cannot be able to use or navigate properly.

This makes the user quit forcefully even if they need to visit the website and this may lead to losing a lot of traffic from all over the sources and may end up lowering the ranks because Google doesn’t encourage such types of websites.  

So make sure your website theme supports (Responsive) mobile devices and run without any trouble.

According to Google, mobile websites run on any of these different configurations.

1) Responsive Web Design

2) Dynamic Serving

3) Separate URLs

It can understand your website’s mobile setup and these three configurations.

What is E-Commerce SEO?

E-Commerce SEO is required when you are running an e-commerce business and want to rank higher in search results. This type of SEO is the same as content SEO where you need to do Keyword research and optimize website design so that it can also run mobile devices.

One of the best examples of an eCommerce website is Amazon, where you can see the different layouts which are available both in PC and mobile devices. Even Know Internet Marketing is designed to be responsive and have better user experience 🙂 

Also Read: Internet Marketing – The Complete Beginner’s Guide 2020

How Does it work?


To explain this concept well, I am going to include 4 steps which explains everything about the working of SEO. Those 4 steps are:

1) Keyword Research.

2) Content Creation and On-Page SEO.

3) Off-Page SEO and promotion.

4) User experience & Conversion Rate Optimization.

Keyword Research

If you want to rank your website in the first place for a particular keyword, you need to decide which keyword you want to use.

This whole process of researching keywords is known as “Keyword Research”.

Keywords are usually words or phrases (a group of keywords) that are searched in the Search Engines.

You need to research on Google on which keyword has more demand, what is the competition of that keyword, monthly searches, related keywords and CPC (optional – can be used for paid advertising) so that you can get targeted audience.

For example, let us consider a keyword like “What is SEO?”

After searching it on Google we will get these results.

Google Search Results - What is SEO?

These websites are ranking higher with this keyword. So, let us understand how Keyword research is done.

To do any keyword Research we need to have a tool for analysis.

There are some paid and free Tools. I will list them below.

Best popular Paid Tools

1) Ahrefs

2) SEMrush (Recommended for more high-end features)

Best popular Free Tool

1) Ubersuggest by Neil Patel (Recommended free tool)

2) Google Keyword Planner

So, for now, I am considering Ubersuggest. When we type “what is SEO” in this keyword tool, then we get these results.

Keywords Ideas

From the above picture we can analyse that the first keyword has more search volume (i.e 18,100 searches per month) and SD is less (<30 means you have more chance of getting ranked in top 10 search results).

The third keyword (what is seo youtube) can be ranked more easily when compared to other keywords and also has good search volume.

So these kinds of keywords helps you to rank higher and include these in your content.

Content Creation and On-Page SEO

Content Optimization
Content and On Page SEO

The second most important step is to create content to rank for that particular keyword.

When you are going to create content, then make sure you search google and discover the top contents ranking for that particular keyword.

Do research, take notes and write better quality content to attract more visitors and to rank higher for that particular keyword.

You also have to optimise your content by including some keywords in it.

Title and meta description

Title tag and meta description is very important because this tells Google about your webpage. So include those keywords in the meta tags and description.

Also include those keywords in your actual webpage at least once.

Off-Page SEO and promotion

What is Of-Page SEO?
Off – Page SEO

After the content creation and optimization process, you need to do another important task which is called a promotion or link building.

This method involves sharing the content and links of your website (as I said before). This is a very important step because it will make it easier for people to find your webpage.

Tip: Search Engines use one of the most important factors to determine a website quality by measuring the number of inbound links (backlinks) of that webpage or website.

How many of them are referring to your website plays an important role to rank according to search results.

Not only the number of links but also measures the quality of the backlinks. For example, if your website is referred by another big authority website and your competitor is referred by many normal (or spam) websites, then your website will rank higher for sure.

Always remember that one strong backlink can defeat other websites with 100 backlinks. So make sure you create quality backlink with trustworthy websites.

Tip: If you are a beginner or just started a new blog/website, then I recommend you share your content through social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

User experience & Conversion Rate Optimization

Search Engines also measure your website quality by considering the user’s experience. It will calculate the following factors like,

1) The number of visitors visiting your website per impression.

2) Number of Sessions (A session is measured in terms of both an entry and exit of your website, not a webpage) – A person visiting how many times? (Once or many)

3) Time spent by the user on a webpage.

4) Bounce rate, etc.

Note down these measurements and improve it to maintain better user experience. You can measure all these by using Google Analytics which is provided by Google for free.

If the user’s experience is having issues with your website like slow loading, bad design, spam links, full of ads and popups, etc. then this leads to lower rankings in Search Engines. So be careful with that.

Why is SEO important?

why is seo important?

SEO is important because there are millions of internet users per day looking for an answer to their questions. When you have the solution and want to offer, then your website needs to be optimized to rank and show it to the user.

As I said earlier, Search Engines give the best experience to the user by guiding relevant websites to those keywords. So, to get traffic from search results you need to do SEO. The other advantage you get from SEO is Brand awareness.

Many of them don’t know your website and what you offer. But with the help of search engines, you will be able to invite new customers to your website which is the best way to increase your profits.

If you are having an online store, then you can increase your sales and revenue and make a huge profit!

Even though you drive traffic from paid advertising, social media and other online platforms, always remember that major online traffic is driven by the search engines (as far I know).

So make sure that you optimize your website to outrank your competitors and rank very well in Search Engines.

Don’t forget to update your old content and always remember that Search Engines (especially Google) update their algorithms regularly.


What is SEO and how does it work?
What is SEO and how does it work?

From the above information, I can conclude that SEO plays a major role in getting online traffic to your website. Because many of them search their queries in the Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc.

Search Engines considers more than 200 factors to rank all the websites.

We will have to optimise our website regularly because SEO is a never-ending process.

Sometimes Search Engines will modify their algorithm (by adding or removing the factors) which will result in some changes in the search results.

I hope you understood this article well – what is SEO and how does it work? Please do share this post if you liked it, your support makes me feel motivated 🙂

If you have any doubts, suggestions or queries, you can ask me in the comments below (No Promotions Please!) 🙂

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