SEO 101: How it Works

How SEO works…the why and how to get more traffic.

SEO 101 graphic

We could write pages about Search Engine Optimization. It is a science practiced expertly by those who know the rules and how to play the game. Even when the rules change, which they often do. The good ones are pretty much rocket scientists. But that doesn’t mean you can’t impact your own organic results if you understand the basics of how SEO works. This article is SEO 101—the basics—to give you an understanding of how SEO works.

A website generating organic traffic and accounting for a substantial portion of your business is an asset that is extremely valuable. Unlike material assets, it does not depreciate.

The short story is that search engines like Google list sites with the most relevant content highest in the organic results This so gives users the best result for their search. That’s their job. But with billions of websites trying to rank, how do they know who is the best?

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein


The 3 crucial things that affect your rank:

  • Outstanding, relevant content containing the right keywords, in the right proportion to your text
  • Correctly crafted page titles, URLs and page descriptions
  • Inbound links from other bloggers, social sites and websites
This is a screen shot of our WordPrss dashboard showing the page title, description, etc. we used for this post. We like YOAST for this.


What helps a site gain a high organic rank is well-written, authoritative, relevant content, in text form. Google reads text, period. Your page titles, URLs and page descriptions need to be crafted with the right keywords.

Other sites linking to yours are “votes” for your site, and your site is rewarded greatly for this. Acquiring inbound links takes time and expertise, and is what an SEO Campaign involves. But, the WAY in which inbound links are acquired has changed many times over the last few years. It isn’t getting listings in mystery directories or phantom microsites. It now involves social media, blogging, and onsite content.

Knowing what keywords to use


Sounds simple? It is, but how do you know what people are really searching for? What keywords should you use? That’s where the SEO experts come in. We will give you an accurate, detailed keyword analysis that will show you what ones are being searched daily, the number of searches for each term, and how much competition there is for that keyword.

SEO GURU Tip: If you are thinking of building content for a search term, Google it and see what’s actually ranking for that term. See how you fit in. Think about what you can add to the conversation, how you can say something different.

Design a strategy to optimize your site pages with the right keywords in the right proportion to the copy. It’s a great foundation, and helps the search engines find your pages. The best time to do an analysis is at the start of your online marketing project. Your site copy can be written to be SEO compliant right from the start. If you are blogging, we will train you to optimize your own articles.

This builds authority for your website over time.

Tracking & Tweaking

Tracking the number of visitors, how many pages they viewed, how long they stayed and what they read will give you an accurate picture of how your site is doing. This can help you tweak your content, add new pages to build authority on a particular subject, or give people more info on what they are interested in. Google Analytics is free and available to all, so get it installed in your website when you launch.

Taking it further, you can engage in a campaign of Inbound Marketing, blogging, social networking, guest blogging, to drive relevant searchers to your site. Your time and budget will tell us how much you can do and how aggressive you can be.

We have seen a jump of 300-400% of visitors within 3-6 months of optimization, sometimes resulting in millions of dollars of new business.

This is just a beginning

This SEO 101 article is a good start to understanding how SEO works. If you want a deeper understanding, do some homework. Read. A lot. Follow influencers like Dev Patel.

Read this article from our own SEU Guru on ways to optimize your content

Search Engine Optimization is an integral part of your website’s success and can grow into a valuable asset.

If your website is not bringing in new business, it isn’t doing it’s job.