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In the digital era, most product or service searches begin on search engines. Thus, Google is a starting point for 86% of users seeking information about something they need. What does this mean for businesses and brands? First, companies should ensure their online presence. Second, they should ensure their names and offers appear in the search results generated by users’ requests. 

The next question is this: how can you force search engines to include your brand in the results they generate? This is exactly when search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play.

SEO is a methodology that allows businesses to influence the rank that search engines assign them in their listings. If the ranking is high, the information about your brand will show up often, and your position will be close to the beginning of the result page.

Companies worldwide recognize the meaning of SEO in business. 61% of marketers admitted that this is their top marketing priority in 2021, which puts a particular focus on digital marketing services. Continue reading, and you’ll discover what SEO is and how it works, and in which ways you can influence the position of your website in search engine results.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization implies a range of efforts, including website content optimization, to attain a higher rank on search engines. In particular, SEO deals exclusively with non-paid searches also referred to as organic searches. Today, this is a crucial long-term marketing channel that delivers value in terms of lead generation, conversions, and brand reputation. 

How does SEO work? When ranking websites in search results, Google aims to enhance user experience, meaning that its algorithms work to present the most relevant and valuable information. 

Because Google cares for its searchers, it wants to present the best possible information available. Therefore, to excel in your SEO undertakings, you should focus on a SEO strategy to help search engines recognize your website content as most appropriate for a specific search request.

How Search Engines Work

The operation of search engines is based on complex algorithms which continually change and evolve. Google utilizes robots to inspect millions of webpages on the internet in order to identify the types and quality of their content. These robots scan code and analyze all the available information, including written text, pictures, videos, and more. Once they have collected sufficient data from each webpage, they evaluate the usefulness of this content to their searchers and add the pages to their index accordingly. The index encompasses all possible web results stored by a search engine for further presentation to a potential searcher.

When search engines receive a user query, they determine the best results based on both the search request and the other information existing online. Specifically, their algorithm correlates the searcher’s query to the corresponding information in their index and provides the most accurate answers to the query. 

The kinds of content that would appear in the results and their order depend on the hundreds of factors that search engines assess and analyze. Mastering these factors is the task of SEO experts. The ranking factors include but are not limited to:

  • Page load speed
  • Backlink profile (list of all of the links on other resources pointing to your website)
  • Keyword popularity
  • Mobile-friendliness

Overall, Google uses over 200 ranking factors to identify what content will appear on the first page of search engine results. Why is the first page so important? Because 75% of users never move beyond it when browsing their search results. 

Notably, Google does not reveal the details of how their algorithm works. Therefore, specific factors affecting indexing and ranking are unknown, meaning that website SEO isn’t a precise science. However, it has a set of proven tactics, methods, and approaches that lead to winning results if applied thoughtfully, patiently, and continually. 

What Does SEO Include?

Essentially, you can classify SEO tactics into three categories:

Alt: Chart illustrating the types of SEO
  • On-page SEO includes all efforts applied to your website, aiming to ensure that search engines:
    • Understand a page’s topic and keywords 
    • Can match it to relevant searches 

In simple words, on-page website SEO tells search engines how to link pages to user queries.

  • Off-page SEO encompasses techniques implemented outside of your website to improve ranking signals. An illustrative example of such a technique is a backlink placed on the alternative platform. 
  • Technical SEO is what happens on your website’s backend. These activities deal with the website’s code and affect such parameters as loading speed and mobile-friendliness.

The combination of these tactics helps to improve your search engine optimization by providing a better user experience, elevating value to searchers, and enhancing the overall credibility of your platform. Ultimately, search engines will recognize your site as friendly, practical, and relevant, which increases the chances of getting a high rank and directs organic traffic to your site.

What Does SEO Mean in Business?

Amplifying your website’s SEO goes hand-in-hand with raising conversions. Why? Because both stem from giving your customers what they need and expect.

Let’s discover how exactly SEO nourishes your business.

Chart illustrating the benefits of SEO for business

Brings Extra Value to Your Target Audience

Google search engine optimization pursues the following fundamental goals:

  • Deliver the most relevant and highest quality content to users
  • Shape a delightful user experience
  • Focus on the most valuable content 

When you optimize your website for search engines, you bring in the most actual keywords associated with the search intent, develop content visitors enjoy, and create accurate meta information to help Google understand the copy.

When you optimize your site for conversions, you focus on encouraging users to complete a specific action, from subscribing to your newsletter to buying your product. This is likewise attained through valuable and engaging content and a convenient interface.

Therefore, both types of optimization embrace one big goal: to give your audience exactly what they want.

Increases Organic Traffic to Your Website

Do you know what is one of the most appealing features of attracting organic traffic through search engine optimization for businesses? It’s free! You pay only for content development and an SEO specialist’s services while all the magic happens without your direct involvement. 

The efficiency of the tool, however, is impressive—organic search brings about 15% of your website visitors, while paid ads account for only 2%. Organic traffic brings the part of your audience that is already interested in your product and likely to convert.

Therefore, SEO’s role in business is significant, and it’s worth investing your time and resources in this powerful marketing technique.

Elevates User Engagement

Attracting website visitors is only the beginning of the conversion path. To encourage a user to move further throughout the sales funnel, you should ensure that the content is clear and engaging, the navigation is easy, incentives are convincing, and the overall user experience is delightful. 

Your website may offer various further steps for prospects to keep fueling their interest. Visitors can sign up for your newsletter, follow your brand on social networks, use a special offer, and more. Your major task here is guiding users thoughtfully throughout the stages and touchpoints they choose, keeping them engaged, and delivering value until they decide to make a purchase.

In any case, SEO delivers you the interested audience to work with and ultimately capitalize on.

Enhances Conversion Rates

This opportunity derives directly from the previous one. First, you get greater organic traffic; second, you wisely lead those prospects toward the bottom of the sales funnel; finally, you get more conversions. 

However, this situation is only possible if your clientele finds what they want on your web page and feels enough motivation to continue interacting with your brand. Both of these factors lie in the SEO area of influence. 

How to Perform Search Engine Optimization

As we have clarified earlier, SEO techniques lie in three fundamental categories: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. Let’s take a closer look at website SEO at each level.

On-page Website SEO

Picture illustrating on-page SEO

This part includes the practices that deal with your webpage content. The ultimate goal of on-page SEO is to make the information on your site clear to search engines. Some specific techniques that help attain this purpose include:

  • Content
  • Headlines and headers
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Images
  • Structured data.

So, how should you apply these techniques to optimize your content? Here are several primary steps:

Keywords and Meta Tags

A keyword is an indicator of the main topic of your article, and it helps search engines match a user’s request with your webpage content. 

Simply put, keywords are what people type in when searching. Therefore, when researching keywords, you should make sure they match not only the topic of your article but also your users’ search intent.

Keywords are crucial in Google search engine optimization. You should research your keywords and use relevant terms.

Use Short and Long Phrases as Keywords

It can be a short keyword like “Website SEO” or a long-tail phrase like “What is search engine optimization and how does it work?”

While shorter keywords usually have higher search volumes—meaning that people are interested in this specific topic—longer phrases are more authentic and allow for better targeting. Therefore, the optimal choice would be to combine both keyword types reasonably to generate organic traffic.

Use Keywords Wisely and Include Them in Meta Tags

There are critical elements on your web pages, including meta tags, that communicate the information of a page to search engines. They include HTML elements, such as the title tag and description tag, contained in your website code. Google heavily relies on these meta tags when indexing websites, so you should understand where your keywords must necessarily be present.

The recommendations for optimal keyword location are as follows:

  • In the title and description of the article
  • In the page URL
  • In the first and last paragraphs of the article
  • Organically throughout the article
  • In the tags of images used 


In a nutshell, the higher the quality of your content, the better your Google search engine optimization. 

The number of guides on how to create stellar content is overwhelming. Therefore, it’s impossible to cover everything in one post. However, several essentials might help you improve the readability of your text and raise your Google rankings. 

Users consume tons of information every day. In order to grab their attention, your post should be engaging, valuable, and easy to read.

How can you simplify the reader’s job?

  • Subdivide your text into sections with subheadings
  • Include checklists and bulleted sections
  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs
  • Enrich your text with pictures and videos

How can you increase value for your readers?

  • Include data as evidence: research, numbers, and examples. Reasonable proof is more appealing than a range of vague statements.
  • Maintain relevance: make sure that your articles are factual and up-to-date. 
  • Pack your text with valuable information: publish exciting and helpful content. When creating an article, ask yourself: How will it help my audience? Does it bring them something they didn’t know before? Which issues can it help them address?

Technical SEO 

Picture illustrating technical SEO

To rank your website and start displaying it for relevant queries, search engines need to take the following three steps:

  • Find your webpages on the internet
  • Scan them to identify their topics and keywords
  • Add them to the search engine’s index—a database that contains all information existing on the web

How does Google handle the job?

  • Search engines can see only text and links. Google cannot assess the beauty of your page design or understand what the pictures are about. 
  • There are a number of elements on your page and in the code that a search engine can recognize and evaluate. Your task is to arrange these elements appropriately.

At this point, we are approaching the website’s technical setup. This aims to allow Google to scan and index your website and all containing pages smoothly. The vital components of technical SEO include:

Website Navigation and Links


A permalink is a webpage’s URL. These links help identify the structure of your website to both a user and a search engine bot. Permalinks should clearly describe what the page is about. Therefore, you should use meaningful words in your permalinks and ensure they represent the website’s hierarchy. 

For instance, you have a software development agency. The examples of permalinks could look like this:

Internal Links to Existing Content

Hyperlinks to other pages on your website can help Google find, assess, and index them. Furthermore, they can help your pages rank higher on search engine results page (SERP). Link the related content on your website and you will not only fulfill your SEO purposes but also enhance user experience. Thus, your reader will navigate your website easier and fully discover the point of interest. 

Page Load Speed

One of the tremendously important parameters for both search engine ranking and user experience is how fast your page loads. Visitors may choose to abandon your website if this takes too long. Conversely, a fast-loading page encourages users to continue exploring your content. 

Dead links or Broken Redirects

A dead link is a connection to a page that doesn’t exist, while a broken redirect points to an unavailable resource. Both can confuse a visitor and impede the indexing of your page by a search engine. Therefore, such occurrences should be avoided. 

Sitemap and Robots.txt Files

These files are some of the main destinations for search engines. The first one lists all URLs on your website. The second one contains directions for search bots on what pages they should not index if you don’t want certain content to appear in search results. Both files should be created carefully and accurately to streamline the indexing of your content. 

Duplicate Content

Eliminating duplicate pages is another task of technical SEO. Pages with quite similar content confuse the bots crawling your site. They can lead to a failure to index and/or display any pages at all. Search engines can even penalize your platform for duplicate pages. Therefore, you should avoid this negative factor in your website SEO.

Mobile Version

More and more people worldwide choose smartphones to access the internet. Moreover, experts forecast that by 2025, 72% of all internet users will access the web only through mobile devices. If your website is hard to browse from a smartphone, your bounce rates will inevitably increase. Therefore, it makes sense to optimize your site for smart devices.

Notably, Google is planning to add weight to this factor when indexing web pages.

Off-page SEO

Picture illustrating off-page SEO

This category of search engine optimization techniques embraces all efforts taking place beyond your site.

What makes off-page SEO important?

Search engines assess the credibility and value of your website’s content according to the references from other resources. Thus, search bots consider backlinks a crucial factor in determining a website’s authority. 

In general, the amount and quality of backlinks witness how trustworthy your resource is. If you have backlinks from high-authority sites, your own website’s authority also rises for search engines. Correspondingly, receive higher rankings.

The process of obtaining links is referred to as link building. Although it can take time and resources, you shouldn’t fall under the temptation to put quantity above quality. Spammy links will not increase your reputation but rather inflict Google penalties, which will drive your rankings down.

Therefore, you should approach your link-building competently or even partner with a reliable vendor to enhance the results.

How to Measure SEO Results

Although SEO’s role in business is hard to overestimate, this marketing tool does not bring immediate results. In most cases, it may take up to several months to attain visible gains from your SEO efforts. 

However, your investments will pay off. The process works similarly to personal reputation: the first six months, you work for it; the rest of the time, it works for you. You’ll enjoy excellent achievements in the long term; this is why the SEO industry is on the rise and promises to reach about $77.6 billion by 2023. 

Which metrics should you use to assess the efficiency of your search engine optimization?

Actually, businesses should establish their own criteria, but the most common ones include:

  • Increase in organic traffic—the number of visitors to your website who clicked on your webpages on the search engine results page.
  • Keyword ranking—your website’s rank for specific keywords.
  • SERP visibility—the number of people that see your site in the search results.
  • Click-through rate—the percentage of people who clicked on your web address from the SERP.
  • Bounce rate—the percentage of people who visit your website but leave it without further interaction.
  • Backlinks—track your backlinks, including those you didn’t build yourself, as well as lost links.

There is also a range of intangible factors that SEO is able to affect. These include the quality of customer communication, brand reputation, and overall customer satisfaction. Although they don’t directly drive sales, these factors help your brand stand out, raise audience loyalty, and enhance your brand value in the long run. 


In this article, we have outlined the basics of what is SEO and how SEO works. Refined and optimized content, carefully established keywords, technical adjustments, and backlinks are the pillars of an outstanding SEO strategy.

Mastering it yourself to reap the full potential of SEO can be complicated. Therefore, a competent partner can help you on your way. NIX United provides comprehensive digital marketing services intended to spur your business growth. We consult on strategic and tactical aspects, conduct marketing analysis, suggest appropriate software solutions, and implement advanced strategies that include all digital marketing tools. We’ll help you harness SEO methodology to achieve your business goals and retain a competitive edge in your industry. 


How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?

The specifics of search engine optimization are that it does not work instantly. This differentiates the tool from the other popular marketing channels. SEO strategies vary, and so do timelines. The general time it takes to see benefits from SEO ranges from 2 to 12 months. On average, it is reasonable to expect the first meaningful results in about 6 months. Although time-consuming, the strategy is extremely effective in the long run, and it continues working for you even after you stop any website SEO.

What is the Most Important Factor in SEO Marketing?

The success of any marketing tool, including SEO, depends on the strategy. Where does an appropriate SEO strategy start? With learning your audience and its needs, desires, and pain points. It also includes analyzing the market and competitors. Based on this information, you should formulate your goals for SEO and research your keywords. Keywords stem from your users’ intent and tell you specifically what your target customer is looking for.

Can I Rank a Website Without SEO?

Without any SEO strategies in place, you’ll gradually lose your organic traffic, and your website will become less visible in a highly competitive environment. Search engines will prioritize other platforms that would provide higher value according to their ranking criteria. Therefore, if you don’t want your rankings to decline, you should continually implement SEO strategies.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

The cost of search engine optimization depends on the scope of work and the provider’s payment model. However, the average price range looks the following:

  • Monthly fee: $750 – $2000
  • Hourly fee: $80 to $200
  • Fee for the complete project: $5000 to $30,000

Can I do SEO on My Own?

The short answer is yes. You can compose the optimized content, study technical aspects, and arrange link-building. However, many companies find it more efficient to entrust SEO practices to professionals. Thus, an expert digital marketing agency, such as NIX United, can handle the entire strategy and tactics of the optimization process and ensure an uninterrupted flow of organic traffic to your website.


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