What Is SEO? (Plus How To Use It In Marketing Campaigns)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 August 2022

Published 28 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

SEO or search engine optimisation is an important strategy to include in a digital marketing plan while building an online presence. You can use different SEO methods to target your audience, optimise your web pages and appear on the search engine results page for relevant queries. Learning about SEO can help you improve quality traffic to your website or online store, generate leads and increase conversions. In this article, we discuss what is SEO, understand how it works, explore its different types and share how to include SEO in marketing campaigns.

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What Is SEO?

Understanding the answer to 'What is SEO?' can help you understand how to use it in a marketing strategy. SEO is the process of optimising websites to improve their visibility and ranking in organic search results. It is an effective method of increasing organic traffic to a website or online store. SEO includes following a set of practices to improve the appearance of websites, content relevance and technical configurations. Since most people use search engines to find answers to their questions, people can discover businesses that rank higher.

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Types Of SEO

While there are several types of SEO, the four main types are as follows:

On-page SEO

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, refers to the strategy of optimising individual web pages to improve their visibility. It also helps improve the overall discoverability of the entire website. On-page SEO includes optimising the content on web pages and optimising the HTML source code of the pages. Along with writing good quality content for visitors, it involves targeting web pages for specific keywords while following certain formatting guidelines. The next step is improving factors like headings, title tags, images and meta descriptions.

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Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO, also known as off-site SEO, refers to all optimisation practices that take place outside the website. This includes link building and other activities for brand promotion, such as social media marketing, influencer marketing and brand mentions. When other websites link to your website and promote your content, it helps increase the quality and trustworthiness of your site on the search engine. Websites with many high-value backlinks rank higher than websites with fewer backlinks. It is essential to mention your brand name or link to your website to drive traffic effectively from such campaigns during promotions.

Local SEO

Local SEO refers to the optimisation practices that improve a website's visibility in local search results. This type of SEO is vital for businesses that operate from physical locations, such as a shop, a restaurant or an agency. It helps businesses appear in search results when someone searches for similar companies in the area. Local SEO includes researching keywords, listing your business in the local business directories, updating operational timings and verifying the ownership of the listing and its authenticity. You can optimise the listing further by adding other details such as services, pricing and photographs.

Related: What Is Keyword Research? And How To Do It For Best Results

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to optimising the technical aspects of a website, such as its webserver, as it affects the performance and ranking on search engines. It helps website crawlers effectively crawl the web pages and index them correctly so that they are visible for relevant searches. Optimising the webserver can influence the page loading speed and user experience. Technical SEO also includes optimising the website's architecture, ensuring interlinking of pages and organising the menu options to ensure smooth navigation and a positive user experience.

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How Does SEO Work?

Search engines regularly send out crawlers, also known as spiders, to crawl new websites and index them in the search engine library. They do this by following internal links to different pages within the website. This makes it essential to link all web pages internally, or they can get left out by the crawlers. You can use certain commands to secure the sensitive information on your pages from being crawled. These crawlers also periodically crawl the pages they have already indexed to update any changes in content. Only the websites with unique and valuable content get crawled.

The most important step comes after indexing, where the search engine ranks the pages and the websites. These companies follow different criteria to verify if pages have implemented technical optimisation, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The search engine platform checks each page for quality content, keyword optimisation, website authority, keyword relevance and other factors. They use different algorithms, machine learning tools and artificial intelligence technologies to connect search queries with the most relevant, high-quality search results. The website or page with the most relevant content that also follows optimisation strategies ranks higher on the search engine results page.

How To Use SEO For Marketing Campaigns?

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can use to implement SEO techniques for marketing campaigns:

1. Identify your target audience

Knowing your target audience can help you create content that is most relevant for them. Research and find out the information they look for through search queries. Create a user persona by defining the characteristics of your audience, such as their online behaviour, age, gender and other information like the type of mobile devices they commonly use. Make sure that the target audience for your website aligns with the primary objective of your marketing campaign.

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2. Perform keyword research

Keywords are short phrases or queries that people input in a search engine to seek answers. Optimising your page or blog for specific keywords can help it rank higher for relevant search queries. They tell the search engine what your page is about and when to show it for search results.

Once you have identified your target audience, determine the terms they may use to look for your company's services. You can then use an online keyword research tool to discover the keyword search volume, keyword difficulty and other relevant keywords. It is important to ensure that you use keywords strategically and in moderation as search engines penalise websites with keyword stuffing by negatively influencing the ranking.

3. Create a content plan

Good content plays a vital role in improving the ranking of websites. Create a content plan by determining what you want to discuss on the website, choose the format of content and decide the frequency of publishing it. Study the search engine results pages for similar queries and notice the type of content that appears for them. Use keyword research tools to understand what people look for when using similar keywords. Before creating content, create a list of topics to include and ensure they are relevant and related.

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4. Create a link building plan

The next step is to link your pages internally and establish high-quality links from external websites to increase your domain authority. According to your content plan, link the topics that are related to each other internally so that crawlers can crawl your entire website. If you have products on your website, you can also create links to products within other content.

In the beginning, an effective way to generate some backlinks to your pages is through press releases, blogs and placements in magazines or newsletters. It can also be a good idea to promote your website on your social media channels as it can help you generate some backlinks and organic traffic. If other publications and online magazines mention your business, you can request them to link back to your page.

5. Optimise the technical aspects

Once you implement the on-page and off-page SEO strategies, it is also important to focus on the technical aspects of SEO that influence the user experience on your page and website. Ensure that the servers that host your website can handle the traffic that your site receives. Test your website from different devices and optimise its page loading speed. A fast loading website can ensure that your bounce rates remain low. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate, and you secure all sensitive details like login credentials and payment information from crawling.

6. Monitor results

Once you implement SEO in your marketing campaigns, it is crucial to monitor the results to understand which techniques are effective. You can use several online analytical tools that track conversions, leads, traffic, sources of traffic, user behaviour on pages and other valuable information. By monitoring these metrics, you can identify the areas that require further optimisation and improve your website ranking.

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