What is SEO and How Does It Work?

If you want your content to increase traffic for your website, you need to optimize your site for search engines. That means improving your SEO on your site, but what does that really mean and how does it work.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engines are machines that serve to return the most relevant results based on the questions that people are searching.
Basically, search engines just go out and scour the web to find pages and index them in their catalog. Increasing the visibility of your website is important for relevant searches for generating better traffic and prospective to your site.
Optimization makes sure that meta descriptions and title tags are both of the right length and informative pointing to the pages you are looking for. There are several different search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. However, most of the searches are done on Google.

How do Search Engines work?

Search engines undergo into three processes: crawling, indexing and ranking(displaying results from most relevant to the least one).

To actually retain information, search engines use crawlers, also known as spiders which gather publicly available content from all over the web. The content can vary from webpages, videos, images to pdf files etc. The crawlers(spiders) start with a list of URLs, which they may have previously crawled or found in sitemaps. These are called seeds. Then they follow the hyperlinks on the pages from the seeds and then crawl those newly discovered pages. And this process goes on and on, allowing them to build a massive index of information. Then they take all of this data back to servers to be added to what they call, their “search index”. This “search index” is a huge database for all the content that they have discovered and served to the searchers. Their algorithms then work by taking things like keywords which may be products, services or other topics from your website to categorize queries so they can return the most relevant results to searchers in a fraction of a second.

Result Types

When a search engine finishes on returning the results, it gives two types: organic results and paid results.

Organic results

Organic results are the most relevant web page listings. When you do a search on Google you can notice that there are about ten organic results on one page and organic listing simply means these results aren’t paid at all. They show up on Google because they have done a good job of telling Google that this page is about the particular query. The top three organic results show on top of the page and they get over 70% of all the clicks. The first result usually gets the most of the clicks which is between 35% and 40%, the second result will get 15%-20% and then the third result will get around 10%. So, that’s why is so important to make sure that your website is first on Google.

Paid results are simply advertisements that are paid to get displayed for certain keywords so those listings show up when someone performs a search query containing these keywords. They are set apart from the organic results, displaying them to the right of or above the organic results. They also have a yellow box next to their link named “ad”. This method gets you the opportunity to display your link on the very moment someone is looking for the products or services without waiting for the SEO to build up.

Top 8 SEO measure for your sites

Using SEO measure is a process undergone through monitoring your website and determining what needs to be analyzed in order to track your website progress and gain valuable insights on how your website is performing. The list below shows 8 important metrics for tracking your website overall performance.

Organic traffic

Increasing organic traffic is one of the most important metrics to consider. If your organic traffic increases that means that the keywords in your content matches what the users are searching for and your website is moved to a higher ranking after the query result. As opposed to paid traffic, the audience from organic traffic will find the website more consistent and therefore will stay longer. The best way to check your Google traffic is by using Google Analytics.

Conversion Rate

Conversion is the action that a user takes on your website. That could be by singing up for creating account or even filling out a form, purchasing a product etc. As a result, this user is then transformed as your customer or buyer. So, to know the efficiency of your SEO activity, a conversion rate must be applied.
Calculating a conversation rate is defined by using the number of actions divided by the number of unique visits multiplied by 100.
For example: Assume that your website has been visited by 2000 visitors. 20 of them buy products. A conversion is the action when these visitors buy products. Therefore, the calculation is as follows: 20 products(actions) / 2000 unique visitors * 100 = 2.0 percent. The conversion rate would be 2.0%.


In the SEO world, clicks are the focal point. At the end of the day your ranking doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t generate sufficient traffic for your website. It’s a straightforward metric and is calculated by dividing the number of links with the impressions or views your link has received. You can check this out by going to your Google Search Console on the “Search Traffic Section” then go to “Select Search Analytics”. Afterwards, select the checkboxes on the impressions and their ranks. It is advisable to combine the CTR(click-through-rate) with conversion rate to see how many of those clicks were actually valuable.

Keyword Ranking

Choosing the most suitable keyword for your content is important as that will help ranking your website to a higher level on Google results. Therefore, you need to monitor the keywords even if it means on changing them so they do a good job on summarizing the content of your pages in order to reach out to relevant queries. After a while, this will help on ranking at a closer spot for that same keyword.

Backlink is a link created in order to link one website to another one. Search engines use backlinks for the ranking strategy because when two websites are crosslinked to each other then it is believed that the content is remarkable. Backlinking means that you have high authority and credibility which leads to a better ranking, so measuring them is equally important.

Bounce Rate

The lower the bounce rate the better for your SEO. This is explained because a high bounce rate is a problem that you need to fix asap. A high bounce rate means that users visit your link and immediately hit the back button and in SEO it is not a good thing. Having a high bounce rate could lead to some reasons like: people not finding the content on your page useful, your page load time is too high or maybe your page has a poor user experience. Regardless of the reasons, when users bounce from your page, it sends a bad signal to Google which ultimately takes a hit on your rankings. In Google Analytics you can even check “page-by-page” bounce rate.

Pages per Visit

One factor which you can check along with the bounce rate is pages per visit. It broadly measures how captivating searchers find your content and how intuitive the navigation is. If your goal is to increase traffic on a particular page (the reader finding the content helpful then heading out) then the low page per visit number is okay. However, to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, you’d want this number to be high. As a result, you make additional fixes that need to be changed in order for the page to be visited more.

Scroll Depth

Scroll Depth tells you how far searchers scroll down each of your pages. It measures based on percentage and sends the scroll points as events to Google Analytics. It is important if it is reaching the content of your business or not. If not, you can try to omit unnecessary content, use multimedia or contact forms to push the most important content higher up on your page.


Using Search Engine Optimization, you would ideally want the content to be shown at the top of a search engine results page with keywords relevant to your services or products that you offer.
SEO is about understanding what people are seeking online, the type of content they wish to use and what keywords they use for search. Therefore, knowing the audience intent on what they search and on the other hand delivering the best results will allow to connect people to your solutions that you offer. SEO takes a lot of time and effort to show the results. Therefore, by following the best practices you will get a well-managed SEO with great results.

Njomza Mehmeti

Junior Software Engineer

I love integrating server-side web application logic and am excited to solve problems while being part of a transparent, diverse, hardworking and supportive team. I have a great passion for developing beautiful and innovative applications.

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