What is SEO and How Does it Work?

What is SEO?

SEO is the technique of increasing the quantity and quality of search engine traffic to a website or web page. Specifically, it targets organic traffic by incorporating essential keywords in prominent positioning on the page, boosting the website ranking online through search engine trawling algorithms. 

But, what does SEO stand for? SEO is an acronym for search-engine optimization, and a good SEO keyword strategy can transform your business’s online ranking. Using these words strategically is essential, as an overuse of keywords causes your page to be penalized, actually reducing its ranking despite boosting the keyword count. 

But, the SEO meaning goes beyond words alone, as technical elements play a part in scoring your webpage too. Things like crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture impact your site’s success, as do off-page factors like your social media presence and link building.

What Is the Benefit of Optimizing Your Website for SEO?

Keyword Rankings and Traffic

Not all keywords are made equal, but what is SEO actually doing for your webpage? The clickthrough rate (or CTR) of each keyword is the most effective way of judging the success of a keyword. Essentially, this means that the higher your CTR, the more relevant people find your content. Position number one for a keyword SEO ranking gets around 30% of the click volume, but this number falls drastically, and quickly. The fifth-ranking keyword will only receive around 3-5% CTR visibility.

Earning Non-Brand Clicks

Ranking as the number one for your brand is easy, as the person searching for it already knows exactly who you are. To widen your net of new online visitors, targeting generic keywords is much more effective. Don’t focus on fine-tuning your branded clicks, but work to develop your new-client clicks.

ROI in Perpetuity

Investing in SEO services almost always pays for itself, fast. This is due to its unmatched ROI, as you don’t have to keep spending money to remain in a high-ranking position. Unlike paid or sponsored searches – where ranking dwindles when payment ceases – when you reach a top SEO position, you continue to reap the rewards.

How is SEO Performance Measured?

What is SEO performance? It is the success of each keyword, and it is relatively easy to calculate. The most commonly cited KPIs are keyword rank, traffic, and revenue, and they provide you with a clear-cut view of your strategy’s success. As SEO produces quantifiable SEO analytics and data, these results are incredibly beneficial, allowing you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Our Favorite SEO Tools

The good news is that there are plenty of online resources to help you gain a clearer overview of how your website is doing in terms of SEO. Most SEO tools have a free option for searching several keywords per day, but to really dig deep, you will usually need to pay for an account. These are our top four picks for SEO keyword research.


What Are the 4 Types of SEO?

Content Marketing

Bring your brand to life while integrating keyword optimization into your content marketing. Content marketing aims to create and deliver consistent and valuable material to a target audience. This draws in new clients while keeping the attention of an intended target audience, which ultimately encourages profitable consumer action. To begin, start answering the most common and important questions your customers are likely to ask in the build-up to a sale — rigorous customer research will allow you to create a robust content marketing strategy.

Digital PR 

Digital PR is a potent tactic used to improve a business’s online exposure and presence while raising brand recognition. In the world of Google, the quality and quantity of each link are essential in helping the algorithm understand which websites are legitimate and to be trusted. Here at Bend Marketing, we think of external backlinks as votes of confidence to Google and other search engines that this web page and web domain can be trusted.  Digital PR works like traditional PR, just without the physical limitations, and can reach anyone, anywhere, at any time.


Where you place your keywords on a page impacts their visibility, as does internal linking. For example, keywords used in headings and subheadings hold more weight than words lost in a paragraph, and including alt text for images brings them to life in search engine scans. OnPage SEO is the most accessible form of SEO that even novices can start to implement.

Technical SEO 

Technical SEO refers to the procedures used to design and optimize a website so that search engines can quickly scan the page and make an assessment. For example, including keyword clusters rather than hyper-focusing on one element shows search engines that you know what you are talking about. If you fully cover a topic cluster, it shows Google that you are an expert in said topic.  A user-friendly site with URL structure and site hierarchy is also essential for technical SEO.

Is SEO Easy to Learn? 

SEO may be highly technical, but the internet is full of helpful resources teaching the ins and outs of how it works. Udemy offers competitively priced SEO courses, Ahrefs blog is highly informative, and the Backlinko SEO email subscription list is a favorite too. Get on SEO twitter and follow John Mu, Barry Swartz, and Lily Ray for more tips and guidance.

Search Engine Optimization: Bottom Line for Marketers

Nowadays, SEO is an essential practice for any business or organization with an online presence. If you are not investing in the keyword ranking success of your website, you are missing out. The right SEO will bring your dream customers to you the organic way, saving you money on sponsored ad spots. Ranking high for SEO provides endless benefits, as high-ranking keywords will continue to boost your page long after you have adjusted your strategy. SEO means attracting the website traffic that your business needs by making your page findable by consumers and search engine algorithms.


While much of what people typically associate with SEO is related to on-page positioning and relevant keywords, technical and off-page SEO are crucial too. For those who want to enjoy the benefits of solid SEO without re-educating themselves, hiring an expert SEO agency or consultant is a must.

Elevate your online presence and scale your business with the help of an SEO agency to guide you through the process. Combine this with SEO-focused website development to blend your marketing strategies with technical off-page search engine optimization for a well-rounded SEO strategy that focuses on every element.

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