What is SEO and How does it Work?

Are you looking into running an SEO campaign but you don’t know how it works?

Do you want to boost your organic search traffic on your website?

Relax you have come to the right place.

Before I teach you how SEO works, let’s first go over the meaning behind it;

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization which refers to the process of improving rankings in Google’s organic search,

SEO is by far the best inbound marketing channel because of the user intent.

There is a big difference between SEO and paid advertising in terms of conversion rates and the fact that one of them involves payments to appear on the first page of a google search.

SEO involves ranking organically, meaning that there is no payment to be in that place to get more eyeballs on your post.

This is achieved through optimization of the content for search engines like google to show it towards the top of the page when someone searches for something.

Paid advertising involves buying an ad space for search terms on google to appear towards the top of the page.

To understand how you can rank higher on google you need to first understand how search engine optimization works.

How to do SEO for Your Content.

In broader aspects of SEO, there are two equally important paths that all aim at improving the organic search ranking.

The two types are;

a)     On-Page SEO.

This incorporates all the activities within your content website structure that aims at pleasing the search engine.

It comes down to the incorporation of the following;

  • Use keywords in your content and pages.
  • Writing high-quality content regularly.
  • Make sure your meta-tags, headings, image descriptions, URLs, and titles are keyword-rich.
  • Website architecture elements such as Site Maps, inter-linking, Loading Speed, Website Security, and Mobile Friendly.

b)     Off-Page SEO.

The popularity and reputation of a website are what bring about a relationship with SEO.

The more your site builds a reputation of having quality and relevant content, the more backlinks and reach it will get.

Off-Page SEO is often achieved by creating content that people want to share.

The following are some of the aspects of Off-Page SEO;

  • Quality Backlinks.
  • Trustworthiness or important authority aspects like Domain authority, Bounce rate, Domain age, Page Authority, and Domain age.
  • Geographical location.
  • Establishing a solid social media presence.

What is SEO Marketing?

SEO marketing is a type of digital marketing involving the optimization of websites and web content for major search engines like Google.

Since we are in a modern world, technology has become an essential part of life and search engine plays an important role in making it a reality.

Thousands of users perform search engine queries on a daily basis.

This makes SEO marketing an exceptionally powerful tool for tapping into that market.

The following are some of the pillars that must be incorporated in any SEO marketing campaign to achieve maximum success.

4 Pillars of SEO Marketing Campaign.

The proven SEO process can be broken down into four pillars.

1.     Keywords.

Keywords are the foundation of any successful SEO campaign.

They are what searchers use to find solutions and answers to their problems.

The goal here is for your website to show up for keywords that your ideal customers are searching for.

This is achieved by finding keyword opportunities.

It is often dependent on whether your website has existing organic search traffic or not.

  • Here is how to find out;

Open Semrush and enter your domain name into the search bar.


Go to organic research and look under keywords.

If you have an existing keyword, then that is where you want to start because it indicates that you are doing something right.

In this case, you should indicate the keywords ranking from position 2 to 15.

While in Semrush click on the positions tab then in the dropdown, enter the numbers 2 and 15 into the custom range.

This will show you all the keywords that you need to prioritize and then combined with simple optimization and backlinks, 

Such a combination will drive more organic search traffic to your website thus pushing your rankings up the list.

  • If your website is brand new and has no organic keywords here is what to do;

Go to the SEO section in the Semrush tool and click on Keyword Gap.

Enter your domain and enter a few of your top organic search competitors’ domains.

Click on the position dropdown, then click competitors and select top 10.

Scroll down and look under all keyword details for.

You can then select keywords based on different criteria and the two you are most interested in are missing and untapped.

This means that one of your competitor is ranking for these keywords but you are not.

Now that you know how to find keyword opportunities, the magic happens when you know how to filter through all of them and select which ones are worth targeting.

Remember the user intent and the level of competition are what you should always keep in mind when trying to find keyword opportunities.

Prioritize keywords with high-transactional intent and low competition first.

2.     Technical.

You might have found awesome keywords but your site won’t rank without optimizing for technical performance

The technical side of things is the foundation though it will not help you achieve first ranking but it is a requirement to help you get there.

To do a quick SEO audit on your site, go to Semrush and look under On Page & Tech SEO and click Site Audit 

Then click add new project, then enter your domain and project name.

Now before you change the site audit settings, open search in the new tab and enter, site: yourdomain.com

There are roughly 50,000 pages indexed so go ahead and select a limit of 100,000 from the checked pages dropdown.

You can keep all the other settings the same and click start site audit.

Once the audit is complete, the amount of data can be overwhelming but it also points out areas where there are different opportunities for your site to grow.

In a perfect world, you can choose to fix everything but you can just prioritize fixing the ones that have a bigger impact on performance.

On a higher level, you need to optimize 3 core categories to achieve optimal technical SEO performance.

  • Make sure your site is crawlable and indexable.
  • Optimize for user experience (UX).
  • Optimize site architecture (internal Linking).

3.     Content.

When you have your keyword and technical part all set, content optimization is the next crucial thing.

Here is a simple process to follow during content optimization;

  • Is there keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization refers to a situation where two or more pages are targeting the same exact keyword phrase.

This is detrimental to your SEO performance because it forces google to decide which page is best for that keyword.

You don’t want google to make such decisions, that should be your job.

  • Does the page need to be upgraded?

Your SEO-driven pages should be different and better than what exists.

  • Is the page optimized well?

On the basic level, your primary keyword should be on your URL, title, H1 tag, first sentence, and last sentence.

To be sure of this, use the Semrush on-page SEO checker.

  • Does the page have enough internal link coverage?

Go back to the audit and see if your target page is getting enough internal link coverage

  • Does the page need more topical authority?

You need to create more keyword-driven content to support that primary asset.

4.     Backlinks.

Backlinks are definitely the number #1 ranking factor on google.

The more backlinks a domain has the higher the ranking on the google search engine.

Before you go ahead and try to acquire new backlinks, first you need to audit your existing ones.

Semrush backlink audit tool on the link building section is the best for this job.

It shows you the level of toxicity of the domains linking to your site.

Any attempt to decrease the number of backlinks will have an effect on your ranking.

So it is best to work on acquiring quality backlinks to offset the bad ones.

Therefore, aim to acquire backlinks from websites that have the following 3 characteristics;

  • Relevance to your website.
  • Real website with real organic traffic.
  • Authoritative and the backlinks are quality.

In conclusion, search engines represent a large market of potential customers for marketing purposes.

Most SEO marketing strategies have higher conversion rates than traditional advertising.

The best way to reap the benefits of SEO marketing is to create high-quality digital content that establishes a reputation of trustworthiness in the long run.

High-quality content will never fail to rank on google search even if algorithms get changed from time to time.