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What Is SEO in Digital Marketing? How Does It Work?

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26th Aug, 2023
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What Is SEO in Digital Marketing? How Does It Work?

Marketing, one of the pillars of businesses, has changed distinctively in recent years. Gone are the days of promoting products on television, radio and newspaper. Websites have successfully replaced all three. But is it that easy to make your website visible to potential customers?

The answer is no. It takes a lot of effort. It is where search engine optimisation comes in. This blog will discuss “What is search engine optimisation?” and other aspects of SEO.

What Is SEO in Digital Marketing?

SEO, short for search engine optimisation, enhances the quality of a website to enjoy better website traffic. Upon searching on any search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others, you might have noticed that some results rank better in the search engine result pages or SERP. It is what SEO does.

You can think of SEO as an internet marketing strategy. It considers many types of data, such as search patterns, keywords used, and search engines used, and has a better understanding of the demand of the people.   

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Importance of SEO

SEO is important from the perspective of a business or a brand, irrespective of its size and sector of operation. Here is a brief overview of what SEO brings to your business.

  • Ranking in Search Engine

SEO optimises the search engine for your website to get a higher rank than it would have achieved without optimisation. A better ranking means more visibility because the pages ranked among the top are the ones most viewed.

  • Brand Value

The higher rankings in SERP mean that your website gains trust among users. 

Also, it means your Page Authority (PA) score will increase. A better PA score means your website has credibility. 

  • Website Traffic

Better ranking and visibility mean more attention. This results in increased website traffic as more people will visit your website.

  • Business Growth

With increased website traffic, you can expect more potential customers to visit your website. It will essentially lead to better profit margins.

  • User Experience

Customers can clearly understand your products and services when your website is well-optimised. Also, there will be a well-managed feed system. 

Learn more about SEO and other aspects of digital marketing with the Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management from MICA.

SEO and SEM: The Differences

The two questions that now arise are “What is Search Engine Marketing? And where it differs from SEO?”. Search engine marketing, or SEM, promotes a page through paid advertisements on the search engine result page. Let’s see where SEM differs from SEO.

FocusOrganic trafficPaid as well as organic traffic
TimeIt is a long-term procedure.It is relatively shorter.
CostBudget-friendly, ideal for both small and large companies.Have higher budgets. So, only ideal for larger companies.
Potential trafficUnlimitedDepends on the budget


SEO Factors Influencing Search Engines

There are multiple factors in SEO, such as optimisation of webpages and maintaining page speed, which affect how your webpage can rank in the search engine. The other key factors include-

Content quality

Putting high-quality content on your website is one way to boost your webpage. People, in most cases, want quality over quantity. With good-quality pages, you can attract more viewers and increase time on the page.

User interface

The user interface is one very significant factor in SEO. An attractive webpage will gain more viewers. Also, creating a website with HTTPS is a way to assure users of security. In addition, you can change your site architecture to rank higher.


A large percentage of users nowadays access various websites from their mobile devices. So, creating a mobile-friendly website can help you attract more website traffic.


Links are an indispensable way of boosting website traffic. Internal links on your website can help users as well as help manage the link flow simultaneously. Backlinks can drive traffic from other websites to yours.

Different Types of SEO

There are various types of SEO, each of which performs a different type of optimisation. Here, we will discuss the three most significant ones — On-page SEO, Off-page SEO and Technical SEO.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is the process where you optimise your website for better ranking. Keyword research is essential for this to succeed. You can make changes to your web page following the results of your research after that. Some of the elements that you can optimise are:

  • Text bodies of the web pages
  • Internal links
  • Meta descriptions
  • Page Titles
  • Headings
  • Images and Videos
  • And many more

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO concerns the actions taken outside of your webpage to boost its ranking. One of the key elements of off-page SEO is backlinks. Backlinks are where reputed websites relevant to your business put a link to your webpage on their site. Other elements of Off-page SEO are:

  • Content Marketing
  • Reviews
  • Increasing local visibility
  • Organising brand events

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO deals with how you can optimise your website for the search engines to crawl and index them. Several elements influence crawling and indexing. Some of these are:

  • Status of indexing
  • Coding
  • Crawling the website
  • Optimising page speed and load
  • Setting up analytics
  • And many more

SEO: The Process

Now that we have understood “What is SEO?”, let’s dive into “How does SEO work for a website to rank better?”. To be precise, making a website rank better among a thousand others is not easy. We can divide the entire process into a few stages.

Working principle of search engines

There are three key elements through which a search engine works. These are – crawling, indexing and ranking. 

1. Crawling

Crawling is the procedure that search engines use to find updated content not available in the search engine database. Search engines use bots or crawlers to find new content or web address. It then adds them to their index.

2. Indexing

Indexing creates a database out of all the websites a search engine has crawled. Only the indexed websites show up on the SERP.

3. Ranking

Search engine ranking is the position acquired by a website on the Search Engine Result Page. 

Research: The most crucial part

Researching is the first thing to do on your side. Researching is necessary as it will help you make significant decisions. Here are a few factors that you should research on.

1. Keyword

One of the prime factors to research is keywords. It concerns which keywords to use and where to use them for better visibility.

2. Visitors

You can research who your target audience is. It will help in shaping the content structure.

3. Competitors

You can research your competitors to understand their strategies.

4. Search Engine Result Page

Having an understanding of what people are searching for and why will help you in structuring your content.

5. Webpage

Researching your web pages and comparing them with other successful websites can give you insights on where to improve.

Plan of action

Once the research is complete, form a plan of action. You will require a long-term plan for SEO. It should include every factor that you need to work on. Some of these are:

  • Choosing the goals and objectives of your plan
  • Selecting the appropriate budget
  • Deciding on the process of implementation
  • Hiring capable workforce
  • And many others

Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition.

Implementing the strategy

After formulating your plan, it is time to implement them and wait for the results. There are multiple ways you can use to improve your rankings. 

1. Fresh content

Fresh content using researched keywords and keeping the target audience in mind is always a good way to bring website traffic.

2. Improving old content

You can improve some content or webpages on a website with minimum changes. It improves your website’s overall visibility.

3. Removing content

You will find some of the contents on the website that are beyond any improvement. It is best to remove them completely.


You must constantly monitor the web pages’ performance to ensure they work properly. You might face issues like

  • Slow or unresponsive page
  • Broken links
  • Website being down
  • And others


Evaluate your SEO to have all the data necessary for making changes in the future. You can analyse your website and use various tools to track your SEO performance.

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5 Interesting Facts About SEO

To understand SEO better, you need to know a few interesting facts and truths about it.

  • You can not think about getting a result from your strategy right away. You might need at least a month for it to work.
  • Stick to the basics of SEO, and you will succeed. Do not go looking for any tricks or hacks.
  • SEO is a continuous process. You must keep up with ever-changing keywords, audiences, trends and other factors.
  • If your product or service is not up to the mark, no amount of SEO can save your business. So, focus on making your product or service worthy enough.
  • It’s always to have a better knowledge of your target audience. 

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Defining E-E-A-T

The E-E-A-T are major factors of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. These are not traditionally part of the factors for SEO. Rather, these are a set of principles which Google uses to evaluate search engine results. The factors are:


It is the latest addition to these principles. Google puts trust in content based on the first-hand experience of the writer. If a writer with first-hand experience writes the content, it offers authentic insights.


The second principle is expertise. Expertise is always held in high regard for search engine results. Due to this, Google prefers people with various degrees or practical experiences.


Authoritativeness is the third principle. It refers to the reputation earned in a particular industry or subject. If a food critic writes a review on a restaurant, it will have a certain impact on people viewing it. 


The fourth principle is trustworthiness. It deals with multiple factors like

  • How secure is a particular website? 
  • How good is its user interface?
  • Does it have a proper user feedback system?
  • And many others

  Google often prioritises trustworthiness among the four factors of E-E-A-T the most. 

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Having discussed all the aspects of “What is SEO and how it works?”, it is safe to say that SEO is an indispensable tool in today’s world. It helps your business or product reach more people by placing your website better.

If you are interested in the various aspects of SEO, you can look for a career in digital marketing. The Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication from MICA can be the perfect place to start. It offers in-depth knowledge, including tutorials on using ChatGPT in digital marketing.




Blog Author
Meet Sriram, an SEO executive and blog content marketing whiz. He has a knack for crafting compelling content that not only engages readers but also boosts website traffic and conversions. When he's not busy optimizing websites or brainstorming blog ideas, you can find him lost in fictional books that transport him to magical worlds full of dragons, wizards, and aliens.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is SEO, in simple words?

To answer ‘what is SEO in digital marketing’ simply, it is an optimisation process to improve a website by increasing its visibility in SERPs.

2What are the primary elements of SEO that influence website rankings?

Content quality, user experience, mobile-friendly websites and use of external and internal links are the primary SEO elements influencing website ranking.

3What are some common SEO tools used in digital marketing?

Some common SEO tools used in digital marketing are - SEO PowerSuite, Google Analytics, Yoast and KWFinder. There are multiple other tools that you can use for your SEO.

4What are some best practices for on-page SEO optimisation?

For better on-page SEO, you can improve the content on your webpage, put the right keywords in meta descriptions, H1 and H2s and use internal links.

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