SEO Blog Image Woman Typing On Laptop
1 August 2023

What is SEO marketing?

SEO Blog Image Woman Typing On Laptop

Understand SEO and how it helps a website perform

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is an often talked about component of digital marketing. But while many of us have heard of it and know it’s important, we don’t really understand what SEO marketing is or how it works.

SEO Marketing is the things you do to improve the positioning of a website (or webpages) in search results. While in most cases this is a Google search, it also relates to other search engines too.

You’ll soon find there are different terms you’ll come across regularly when talking about SEO. Let’s get clear about these before we delve a little deeper into what SEO marketing means and how it improves the performance of a website.

Organic and paid search

The terms organic search and paid search will come up fairly quickly when talking about SEO. It’s important to understand the difference:

Organic search – also known as natural search, refers to unpaid search results. When a user enters a query in a search engine, the search engine generates results based on your site’s relevancy to a user’s search query. What they see are the organic search results.

Paid search – Also referred to as pay-per-click advertising. Website owners can pay to ensure their page is found for keywords they want to be visible for. Paid search appears at the top of the results page and can be recognised by the word Ad.

Search engine optimisation v search engine marketing

Search engine optimisation is all about increasing organic visitation to a website. Listings on a search engine results page (SERP) appear because of their relevance to the search term and because the page has been optimised for the search term.

Search Engine Marketing aims to increase a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid search advertising. That usually means Google Ads.

The term SEO Marketing is often used interchangeably with SEO. Plus it’s often used to refer to both organic and paid searches.

But let’s be clear about the difference. SEO Marketing specifically means marketing that is targeted at organic search.

What is website SEO?

Website SEO is the process of helping a website to get found online.

When someone does a search on Google (or another browser) the words they use are known as “keywords”. People enter keywords into

Google for whatever it is they’re looking for. Google responds by displaying a number of websites that are relevant to the keywords they have entered for their search.

The higher a website ranks in the search results, the more likely it is that a potential customer will find and click through to the website.

What can you do to help a website rank on page one of the search engine results page?

There are a few things you can do to help your website rank. Learning what to do, and the techniques of optimising a website will give you skills many businesses are looking for.

But you don’t want them to rank for keywords that aren’t relevant. It just wastes the potential customers’ time as well as for the business.

You want a website to rank for keywords that are relevant. That take into account the user intent. That gives the user the information they’re looking for.

Because ranking for irrelevant search terms means they’ll leave a page quickly. And they’ll probably be a bit annoyed too.

Why is SEO marketing important?

Everyone wants as many people as possible to find their website, even if they haven’t heard of them. It’s generally accepted that higher-ranking websites are more trustworthy and informative. SEO is key to making this happen for your business’ online presence.

There are two parts to SEO. On-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.

On-page SEO refers to the content that is visible on a website’s pages.

Off-page SEO refers to the technical aspects of your site that the search algorithms think are important.

Successful SEO involves continued efforts of both of these components. If you want a website to be found without paying for advertising, success relies on an SEO Strategy that covers all aspects.

How does SEO work?

When a user enters a query into the search box, the search engine uses complex algorithms to “find” what it believes to be the most accurate and useful list of results for that query.

These organic results can include web pages with copy, news articles, images, videos and local business listings.

There are many factors that search engines take into account. Google has previously hinted that its algorithm assesses around 200 variables when determining a website ranking.

Some of the basic ways for a website to appeal to both users and search engines include:

  • having fresh, relevant and current information on your website
  • using relevant, descriptive keywords in some crucial positions on each web page
  • creating content that other people want to share and link back to

This helps to build a link network to your site.

Main elements of SEO

There are three major components of SEO. All three areas need to work together to optimise ranking in search engines.


Keywords are phrases that best match what customers are entering in a search engine to find a business. Each website page should be optimised for a different keyword based on what the main message of the page is and what users are searching for.

You don’t want to go after just any keyword. Rather focusing on keywords that show a specific user “intent” will give better results. In SEO, there are four types of intent.

  • Informational – the user is looking to learn more and is in the discovery phase.
  • Navigational – users know the brand they are looking for but need help finding a specific page.
  • Commercial – a mix between information and transactional. Users want to make a purchase but want information to help them decide.
  • Transactional – users are ready to buy or perform an action.

While there are a raft of factors that make up the Google algorithm there are a few key areas where you can look to use your chosen keyword for a given page on your website or in a blog post or article online. The list below gives a brief idea on where to include your keywords or synonyms of your keywords.

  • Title Tag (this shows in the Google search results)
  • Page Header (H1)
  • First 100 words on the page
  • Sub Headers where possible (H2)
  • URL name
  • Image File Name
  • Image Alt
  • Meta Description (this isn’t a ranking factor but a strong description is your 2 line sales pitch to get people to choose you over your competitors. So make it great.)

Technical aspects

Technical considerations include ensuring the speed, crawlability and responsiveness of a website is optimised. Good web designers and SEO specialists should know how to achieve this.

Google now indexes websites with a mobile-first approach. What this means is that the Google Bot is scanning the mobile version of a website instead of the desktop version like it used to. The issue with this for a lot of websites is that their site has been designed to work really well on desktop but don’t work so well on mobile. So you want to ensure a website loads in around 3 seconds or less.

You can check a few SEO tools yourself for free to see how any website is performing. Our favourites are Pingdom and GT Metrix.


Backlinks are links from other sites to your site. They help increase the page rank or domain authority. two measures of how “trustworthy” your site is. A website with a higher authority helps it to rank above its competitors. When keyword choices are considered it’s best to also think about the authority of websites it will be competing with.

Some of the common ways you can look to build up links include:

  • Giving out testimonials.
  • Reviewing competitor links and looking for each opportunity.
  • Creating a list of dream guest blog sites.
  • Focusing on driving links to subpages, not just the home page.

How do you become an SEO Marketer?

SEO Marketing like any digital marketing is a dynamic industry. Choosing the right course will give you the foundations you need to find a job. Or if you’re already working in marketing, finding the right course will help you specialise in SEO marketing.

Digital Academy courses give you the skills that employers are looking for. With a range of digital marketing certifications and short courses to help you start your career as an SEO marketing specialist.

Backed by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), Digital Academy courses are recognised across the globe. With supported learning, self-paced online delivery, and relevant course content, their courses give you the best chance of securing a great job when you finish studying.

Chat to a Digital Academy Course Consultant about the best course option for you. With headquarters in Australia and operations solely in the Asia Pacific region, you’ll be supported and mentored all the way from the start to graduation.

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