What is SEO: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimisation

by | Search Engine Optimisation

Did you know that Google processes, on average, more than 40,000 searches every second. That’s more than 3.5 billion searches a day! At least 81% of these searches relate to the discovery of products and services consumers are interested in.

I won’t beat around the bush here.

If you want to capture even a tiny amount of these searches for your business, you need to leverage search engine optimisation strategies by understanding what SEO is.


It’s no secret that positioning your business in front of interested prospects is a core tactic of successful marketing. When it comes to online marketing, your business’s hottest leads will come from search engines like Google.

Every day, there are dozens of people searching for your specific service in your area. It’s up to you to put yourself right in their path so they discover your business first. To put another spin on it, SEO is the secret sauce your competitors are already using to capture most of the online foot traffic in your market.

Imagine what it would mean for your business to have more people viewing your core products and services. All it takes is getting your website to show up in the top 3 results for searches related to your product or service and you’d have the opportunity to capture up to 62% of people who were searching.

The secret to achieve this comes down to answering the question ‘what is SEO’. And that’s why we’re here to help.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing tactic focused on improving your website’s rankings in search engines.

Over recent decades, top marketers have discovered a winning formula for matching people interested in a specific product or service with businesses that offer exactly what they are searching for.

It all comes down to ranking highly on search engines like Google. To achieve this, direct and indirect changes to your website are made with the aim of ‘optimising’ it so that search engines can rank it higher.

The overall improvement of your website lies at the basis of any effective SEO strategy. When you work with an SEO expert, they’ll review your website as it is and see how it stacks up against over 200 factors known to improve rankings. You can also do it yourself if you know how.

Either way, as search engines are constantly changing, it requires ongoing effort in order to keep producing ongoing results.

What’s a search engine?

There are so many search engines we use on a daily basis. A web search engine works like an online library. You enter a search term and it will provide you the best information available on the internet to match what you’re looking for.

In terms of market share worldwide, the biggest search engine is Google. Yahoo, Bing and Ask are other examples of web search engines as well.

SEO services generally relate to being found on these platforms, and in most cases, these services specifically target Google search results. The other engines are used more in different countries and it may make sense to consider them in your SEO efforts as well.

The difference between these engines and directories maintained by real people is the use of automated technology. Search engines are becoming more powerful each day through implementing technology that automatically scours the internet and produces the most relevant results to the specific person that’s searching.

They use algorithms which instruct their technology on how to prioritise the web pages that appear in a search result. No one knows exactly how the Google algorithm really works except for Google itself. However, SEO experts have discovered over 200 factors on a website that will influence its ability to rank highly.

We discuss the most important of these further down. Let’s first look at the difference between rankings you pay for and rankings you don’t pay for.

What is an ‘organic’ search result?

While ‘organic’ in this context has nothing to do with the way plants are grown, some comparisons can be made if we look at what’s natural in each context.

When it comes to traffic generated from search results, organic traffic comes to you through natural, genuine search results. These are unpaid rankings and are the opposite to paid search rankings.

Article Written & Reviewed By:

Ryan Chilton

Ryan is a passionate and award-winning SEO & Digital Marketing Specialist here at Digital Surfer. He helps businesses to Level Up their online presence with comprehensive digital marketing strategies. Ryan is also the mastermind behind our educational training program EEATs Friday.Ryan's passion for digital marketing makes him an excellent author, sharing his knowledge and insights through both written & video content.
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