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What is SEO and how does it work?

Makin - Ecommerce advice

Have you ever wondered how Google decides which websites to show on the first page of search results? 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) optimises your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). But how does SEO work?

SEO is a complex process that involves various techniques and strategies to optimise your website. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of SEO and how they work together to improve your website’s ranking on search engines.

Whether you are a business owner, a marketer, or an SEO specialist, understanding how SEO works can help you develop effective strategies to improve your website’s visibility and drive more traffic.

Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

Before diving into the different SEO aspects, it’s important to understand how search engines work. Search engines like Google use automated software called crawlers or spiders to scan the internet and collect information about websites. These crawlers follow links from one page to another, collecting data and building a database of web pages called an index.

When someone types a query into a search engine, the search engine uses its algorithm to search through the index and find the most relevant results for the query. The algorithm considers various factors, including the relevance and quality of the content, the website’s authority, and the user’s location and search history, to determine which websites to show on the first page of SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

So, how can you ensure that your website is included in the search engine’s index and ranked higher in SERPs? This is where SEO comes into play.

Keyword Research

One of the first steps in SEO is keyword research. Keywords are the words and phrases people use to search for something online. By researching keywords related to your business or industry, you can identify the terms people are searching for and optimise your website’s content to match those queries.

Keyword research involves using various tools to identify and analyse keywords, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. Once you have identified the keywords you want to target, you can optimise your website’s content, including headlines, meta descriptions, and body text, to include those keywords.

However, it’s important to avoid keyword stuffing, which is the practice of overusing keywords to manipulate search engine rankings. Instead, focus on creating high-quality, informative content that provides value to your audience.

On-Page Optimisation

On-page optimisation refers to the various techniques to optimise your website’s content and structure. This includes optimising your website’s titles, meta descriptions, header tags, and content to make it more relevant and user-friendly.

One important aspect of on-page optimisation is optimising your website’s URLs. A clean, organised URL structure can help search engines understand the content of your website and improve your rankings. For example, a URL like “” is more descriptive and user-friendly than “”.

Other on-page optimisation techniques include:

  • Optimising images.
  • Using internal links to connect related pages.
  • Optimising your website’s load speed.

Off-Page Optimisation

Off-page optimisation refers to the various techniques used to improve your website’s authority and reputation outside of your website, including building backlinks and links from other websites that point to your website.

Backlinks are an important ranking factor for search engines because they indicate that other websites consider your content valuable and relevant. However, not all backlinks are created equal. High-quality backlinks from authoritative websites are more valuable than low-quality backlinks from spammy websites.

Other off-page optimisation techniques include social media marketing, influencer outreach, and guest blogging.

Link Building

Link building is a crucial aspect of off-page optimisation. It involves creating high-quality, valuable content that other websites want to link to. This can include blog posts, infographics, and videos.

When other websites link to your content, it improves your website’s authority and reputation and drives more traffic to your site. However, it’s essential to avoid buying links or using other black hat SEO techniques, which can result in penalties from search engines. Instead, focus on creating valuable, shareable content that people will want to link to and share on social media.

Content Creation

Content creation is a critical aspect of SEO. Creating high-quality, informative content can attract more visitors to your website and improve your search engine rankings.

However, creating content isn’t just about writing blog posts. It can also involve creating videos, infographics, podcasts, and other forms of media that provide value to your audience.

When creating content, it’s important to focus on providing value to your audience and addressing their needs and interests. By creating content people want to read and share, you can improve your website’s visibility and drive more traffic.

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting are critical aspects of SEO. By tracking your website’s performance and analysing data, you can identify areas for improvement and develop effective strategies to improve your rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

Tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush provide valuable insights into your website’s traffic, engagement, and conversions. By analysing this data, you can identify which pages and keywords drive the most traffic to your site and which areas need improvement.

Reporting is also important for communicating the results of your SEO efforts to stakeholders and clients. By providing regular reports and updates, you can demonstrate the value of your SEO strategies and justify your investment in SEO.

Algorithm Updates

Finally, keeping up with the latest algorithm updates from search engines like Google is essential. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow.

By staying up-to-date with the latest algorithm updates, you can ensure your website is optimised for the latest ranking factors and avoid penalties from search engines.

However, it’s important to avoid chasing after every algorithm update and instead focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that provides value to your audience.

We Can Help

SEO is a complex process that requires expertise and experience. 

At Makin, we have over 20 years of experience developing effective SEO strategies for businesses of all sizes. Whether you need help with keyword research, on-page optimisation, link building, or content creation, we help you improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services and how we can help you achieve your online marketing goals.

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