• Serena Trinh

What is Search Engine Optimisation: a Beginner's Guide in 2020

Updated: Jun 12

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t a new term in this information era and many businesses have been putting their efforts and budgets on optimising their online presence. However, for many people, Search Engine Optimisation is still a confusing concept.


Here is the explanation of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and what factors contribute to SEO success.


What is SEO?


SEO, according to Ahrefs, is the practice of optimising content to get organic traffic from search results.


Moz defined SEO as the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic though non-paid search engine results.


I would say, SEO is the series of actions to increase the presence on search engines (such as Google), which leads to the increasing website traffic.

How does SEO work?


Let’s take Google as an example. Whenever a user searches a term on Google, Google rummages billions of information and retrieves the most related information to the user. Because Google wants their users to be happy, they will come up with the most valuable information.


Simply talk, when we do SEO, we tell Google: “Hey, I am trying to provide quality content to our users, give me higher rankings”. When we are on the first page of search results, our information is rewarded as relatable and valuable.


Why is SEO important?


“There are many ways to drive traffic to my website, why do I need to spend more budget on SEO?” Have you ever heard this question? I heard a lot. Simply because people aren’t aware of the power of organic search.


While paid adwords, social media platforms and social media ads can drive traffic to your website, the majority of organic traffic is made up by search engines.


SEO, if doing correctly, is one of the most effective marketing strategies that can give you values over time. While other paid ads can give you a massive amount of traffic to your website, these traffic will stop when you stop spending money. By contrast, SEO can bring traffic to your website after 3 - 6 months after finishing an SEO campaign.


One consideration, SEO is free-of-charge (I’m not talking about money to hire an agency to work for you or money you spend on SEO tools. In fact, there are many alternative free tools you can use out there).


There is a chance to increase organic traffic in the long-term with free to small charges, why do you postpone this revolution?


What exactly SEO includes?


Keyword Research


The first step in an SEO campaign is to determine what terms you want to rank for (also known as ‘keyword’). There are three common factors when determining the keyword you want to target.


1/ Search Volume

Search Volume is how many people are searching for this keyword. The higher the volume is, the bigger pool of audience you can reach.


2/ Relevance

Relevance is how close a keyword or phase to the subject on the page. Make sure the keywords you’re trying to rank match the content on the page.


3/ Competition

Competition is how difficult it is to compete to get the rankings. You don’t want to go on a crowded road, but an empty road means this keyword isn't worth ranking.


In overall, when evaluating a keyword, keep balancing these factors. Of course, there are many factors involved in determining the value of the keywords, but these are the most important and a foundation for keyword research.



On-page SEO


On-page SEO is any practices you can do on your website to improve the ranking. This includes applying your keyword on textual elements, optimising site structure, and optimising non-textual elements.


1/ Optimising textual elements.


When you have done keyword research, it is the time to apply them into textual elements.


Applying keywords doesn't stop at adding them into heading and body text, there are more jobs that need to be done.

  • URL: make sure your keywords are included in your URL. An optimised URL needs to be concise and cover the topic of the page (with keywords, obviously).

  • Title: keep your title short and add just the right number of keywords. Your title needs to speak the same thing as content on the body, make them alignment!

  • Meta description: a short and concise paragraph that leads people to click on your site. Don’t forget to add keywords on this piece of text.

  • Body: add keywords throughout the body text in reasonable ways. Don’t repeat the keywords over and over since you think you will rank higher. In fact, search engines try to read the content as human. When writing the body, keep in mind that you write content for people, not search engines.

  • Media assets: image and video, for example, can be optimised by adding keywords on name, alt, and src attributes.

2/ Optimising site structure


A well structured website will help search engines navigate the entire website, understand and find your content easily.


The optimisation can be done by adding an internal link on your content to another content page of your site (with the same domain), in order to group relevant information. This practice helps visitors navigate your site easily. Keep in mind that when you do an internal link, use relevant anchor text (rather than ‘see more’, ‘link’, ect). The right anchor text is the one representing the content of the page you link to.


3/ Optimising non-textual elements - Technical SEO


After creating the content that is readable by humans, technical SEO will guide the search engines read your content.


These are many factors in technical SEO affect your SEO success.

  • Page load

  • Mobile friendly

  • User friendly

  • Sitemap file

  • Structure Data


These factors require you a bit knowledge about coding and website designing. However, you can hire an agency to do this hard task for you.



Link Building


Optimising content to be readable by humans or search engines doesn’t mean you’ll get a ticket to the first page. In fact, your page should have authority, which is acquired by earning links from authoritative websites. Simply talk, you need to increase your backlinks.


Backlinks (or external links) are the links that point from one page to your page. This practice increases your link popularity. The more quality link to your site, the more authoritative your site is seen by search engines. If you have no backlinks, it's hard to search engines to trust you.


What is perfect links

  • From relevant site or trusted site with high authority

  • No ‘nofollow’ attribute

  • Keyword on anchor text

  • On a indexed page

  • Link is on body content

  • Linking naturally



Local SEO


Local SEO is the process of optimising your online presence to get traffic from local search. There are 5 most important areas for local SEO:

  • High-quality Google My Business

  • Relevance on-page content

  • Name, phone number, and address are listed across the website

  • Collect great links

  • Reviews

SEO is a long journey and takes a lot of efforts to do. However, the results SEO brings to us is much more valuable than any marketing strategies. Contact Intelligence4start now to get free consultation on how to optimize your website?


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