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

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

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.

what is Search Engine Optimization

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 SEO includes

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.


SEO 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.