What is SEO? How To Do It In 2020! An Ultimate Guide!

Ahmad Ali
11 min readMar 4, 2020

There are lots of people asking questions regarding Search Engine Optimization. The most often asked question is what is SEO? How does it really work? And How to do it?

Therefore in this guide, I am going to explain the question of what is SEO? And how does it work?

Many beginners think about SEO as a complex process but believe me, it isn’t that difficult to do. If you get some understanding of the fundamentals of SEO then you are able to do SEO for your website.

In this guide of what is SEO? And how it works? We go through by defining and explaining the SEO and some fundamental techniques to do it.

What is SEO?

SEO is the short abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. It is the method used by companies and website owners to rank their personal and business websites in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Now, what the concept of search engine optimization is? So the answer to this question is simple.

Organizing, designing and formatting a website or webpage in such a way that it will show in the search engine. For example, if you make a web post on “How to do SEO for a website?” then you need to structure and optimize it in such a way that it will show up in the search engines when people search for that query. It’s that simple.

So in simple words, it’s all about keyword research, their use, and quality content, etc. We discuss in later chapters in this guide.

Now you got the idea of what is SEO? But it is important to understand how does it work? So keep reading on.

How does SEO work?

Search engine like Google is continuously working on providing relevant and useful information to their users who search for different phrases and queries.

Therefore search engine crawlers and bots (called spiders) search millions and billions of web pages for finding content and information. After finding the content and pages search engine store and organize them (called indexing). Now what happens is when any user searches for the desired keyword or phrase then the search engine will show up all the pages that contain relevant information.

For example, if you search for the term “making money online” then you see all the relevant web pages for that query. So it’s important to set and optimize your web posts in a search engine friendly way to be able to show up in search engines.

Why is SEO important?

The importance of SEO is invaluable for individual websites to large businesses like companies and big brands. In today’s virtual world the best and targeted audience is important for businesses to market their products and services. And SEO is the one pain killer for that purpose. There are a few reasons that make SEO invaluable, see here:

First of all search engine traffic is free you don’t need to pay for it. Google gets over 5.6 billion searches per day and more than 77 billion searches per month. So you can enjoy as much as traffic as you can for free (organically).

Secondly, search engine optimization is a long term strategy. Therefore when you established your site and it got mature then Google sees your site as an authority on the subject. And so you become able to enjoy the traffic as well as sales continuously.

Third and the most important reason is the targeted audience. Now what I mean is the visitors that your website gets from search engines are more interested in your topic. Therefore they have more chances to buy your products and services. Search engine traffic is much more profitable and targeted than social media traffic.

Fourth search engine traffic helps you in sharing your content on other social networks. But remember your content must be compelling and intended to provide value to the visitors.

Fifth and the most important is you can easily build a relationship and trust with your audience. You can do this by building a brand of yourself or your business on a particular subject. You can also do this by building email lists and memberships on your website.

What are the different SEO techniques?

There are two different search engine optimization techniques.

One of them is “Black Hat SEO” and one is “White Hat SEO”. both are used for the same purpose of ranking the websites in search engines mostly google.

So keep on reading about them below.

Black Hat SEO

“Black Hat SEO” is a short term strategy. What happens In this strategy is the individuals and organizations rank their webpages by breaking the search engine rules.

In this strategy, web pages are built for search engine ranking only not for the benefit of visitors. Here the website owners go for making quick money by ranking their pages fast.

So the google when notice them, it simply threw them out of the search index. So after that these pages no longer show up in the search engine results pages {SERP’s).

White Hat SEO

On the other hand, it is the “White Hat SEO”. Which is the long term sustainable and ethical way of ranking your web pages and content in search engines? Here what happens is the website owners follow the google rules and regulations for ranking their sites.

They include valuable content creation, backlinks, and other On-page and Off-page SEO techniques.

Don’t worry I am going to discuss them in later chapters.

This is the legitimate technique and here you are able to build a sustainable long term website that not only builds authority in the eyes of the search engine but also it helps you to earn profit for a longer period.

How to do SEO?

Now the real game begins here. The most important question people ask. But before you learn the different methods for doing SEO for your next website. You must have to understand the types of search engine optimization.

So there are two types of search engine optimization.

1. Onpage SEO

On-page SEO is related to your website inward portion. In short Onpage SEO is like publishing high-quality content, using keywords, sitemap, internal linking, and using different plugins that will help you in the ranking.

2. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is related to factors outside of your website that helps you achieve your ranking goal. It includes your social shares of content, backlinks from other authoritative sites and trust factor, etc.

So let’s dive right into the Onpage SEO techniques in more detail.

Onpage SEO

It is your first priority in doing SEO for your website. The reason is, your on-page SEO helps search engines in crawling your site content and understanding what information your site is providing.

So here are some of the important factors you need to consider to do it in the right way.

  1. Keyword selection

Keywords are the words and queries that people are searching for in the search engine. And therefore you need to choose them carefully for better SEO for your website.

Keywords use is the one important factor that helps search engines to understand your content. This means the information and solution your content is giving to the visitors.

There are two main types of keywords:

In the first type are the short-tail-keywords. These keywords are one-word or two-word phrases that you can use to rank for in the google search results. For example, SEO, SEO definition or SEO techniques, etc. But remember there is lots of competition of short keyword phrases and it is difficult to rank for them.

The second type is long-tail-keywords. These keywords consist of 3 to 4 or even more short-tail keywords. For example, what is SEO?, Why SEO is important?, How to do SEO for a WordPress site? etc. Long-tail keywords are usually questions. These keywords are more targeted and specific than short-tail keywords and therefore it is easy to rank for. They usually have low competition.

So you need to use the appropriate keywords in an appropriate way for your content. Because this is what your site is going to rank for. There are lots of things you need to consider while selecting your keywords that can not be fully covered in a single post. Therefore see the sources mentioned.

2. Content

The second and most important factor is your content. In today’s online world so so important as said by Bill Gates in 1996 “content is king”. Your content is the most important determiner of your website’s successful ranking in search engines.

The search engine determines how much useful and informative your content is. And obviously, search engines rank quality content high in SERPs.

There are some ingredients that make your content SEO friendly.


Your content piece must be informative and answer the questions that your targeted audience is searching for. This means the content must be problem-solving and provide relevant information to your readers. It must be engaging, interesting and provide in-depth information on the subject.

-Keyword Research

You must have to do some keyword research before writing your content. Those keywords for which you are going to rank in search engines. Your content must contain the main keyword in its title, meta description and in introduction paragraphs.

While on the other hand there must be some targeted keyword phrases that you use throughout the body of the content. But remember don’t do keyword stuffing and keep it sound natural as much as possible. Because Google penalizes those websites very soon who do keyword stuffing. Because it makes your content difficult to understand by your readers.

-Internal linking

Internal linking means you provide links in your content to the other relevant posts on your website. Because it helps your readers to get more information on the subject and help retain your readers for a longer time on your website. As a result bounce rate can be minimized because google didn’t like higher BR.

Internal linking creates a network of related posts on your website. Along with that internal linking helps search engines to crawl all the related posts on the subject.

For example, if you have a blog post on “how to make money online” then you must link it up to other related posts on your website like “how to make money using Facebook ads”.


The structure of content means how the content is written. Like if you see the structure of this post you are reading now. what you analyze is, there is an introduction, body, and conclusion. So this is called the structure of the content. I do not mean here that every content piece has the same structure, it can vary depending on the writer.

So remember to make it easy for readers to understand your content. Don’t put long paragraphs and long sentences that make your content difficult to read and understand.

Use headings and subheadings in your content piece. Because today’s readers don’t read each word and they simply crawl through for finding an answer to their query.

-Link to other sources

Link up to those data, facts, and statistics that you pick up from other authoritative sources. Because it is important to make your content piece looking trustworthy and informational. It represents that the writer had done the effort and acquire enough knowledge for explaining the subject.

But remember that link to those sources that are relevant and similar. Don’t link to unrelated sources because search engines dislike it may penalize your website. Because when you link to irrelevant resources then it looks spammy and no reason to justify that.

-Media and infographics

Use relevant media and infographics throughout your posts like images, videos, and sketches, etc. attractive and high-quality images and videos make it easy for your readers to understand what you are conveying.

Images are very useful and they make your content more attractive and engaging. Use relevant videos that provide important information on the subject you’re explaining to your readers. And they are also important for getting better ranking in search engines.

-Easy language

Use easy to understand language. Don’t use technical words and jargon that make your content difficult to understand by your visitors. You can use them if you’re targeting audiences who are professionals and experts in any field. Otherwise, keep it simple. Use the tone as you use for explaining anything to a layman.

3. Loading time

Your website loading time is very important. Websites that load faster are ranked higher in the search engine results pages. For this purpose don’t put unnecessary stuff on your website that makes its pages havier and difficult to load. Your site loading time must be less than 5 seconds. Because the average human attention span is about 8 seconds.

4. URL

Url is the address of your site and posts also. Your URL is an important factor that contributes to your ranking. So what you do is use the main keyword in your post URLs for every post you publish. Because it helps the search engines to understand the web page and as well as to your readers. Don’t use default URLs if you are using WordPress. Optimize them for search engines.

After on-page SEO the off-page SEO comes into play.

Off-page SEO

The second most important type is Off-Page SEO. It is what you do outside of your website. It includes factors like social shares, backlinks, and trust. Here I am going to discuss some of the important points that you need to act on for better SEO.

  1. Social shares

Nowadays Google is also examining how much social shares a particular post is getting. These social shares can be from sites like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram, etc.

These social shares help you get more ranking in the eyes of search engines.

So you must put social share buttons on your website. This makes it easier for your visitors to share your content and attracting social media audiences. You must also share your content personally on your social profiles and pages.

2. Backlinks

Backlinks are the links that your website gets from other websites. This means other websites put links to your site in there content as a reference or for the sake of giving their readers more information.

The more natural backlinks you have the more authority your website gets. Because the backlinks provide link juice which enhances your ranking. These backlinks strategy helps in a significant increase in your website traffic. But remember don’t get backlinks from websites that are not related to your niche or industry. But if that kind of thing happens then stop it before your website suffers the results.

3. Trust

Your website trust factor builds with its age and authority. As your website gets older and older the search engines see it as an authority and more credible. As a result, Google gives it more preference over other less authoritative websites in the SERPs.

Therefore for building trust that kind of trust, go long term and produce high-quality content.

There are two main types of authorities.

-The domain authority (like www.junaidjumshed.com)

-The second is page authority

For learning more about domain and page authority, here are the resources.

Some Valuable Resources

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2020

WHAT IS SEO? It’s Simpler Than You Think!

ON-PAGE SEO: The Definitive Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Off-Page SEO


Search Engine Optimization is an excellent way to get free targeted traffic to your website.

It is not rocket science but you need to understand the basics of SEO first. And don’t worry with the passage of time, you become able to implement new advanced tactics.

So take action today and implement these techniques on your website. Remember your website may take some time to rank in search engines. Normally up to one year. So patience and hard work is necessary.

Do you’ve any strategy regarding SEO that I missed out in this article?



Ahmad Ali

A writer & dreamer. I write about business, finance, and marketing. @AhmadAl82230443