What Is SEO and How Does It Work?

What is SEO and How Does It Work?

What Is SEO and How Does It Work?

In my earlier post, I wrote about How to Learn Digital Marketing Online – The Ultimate Guide. It was an extensive article. And because it was extensive, I could not cover each sub topic in details. As such, in this post, and other future posts, I will share more details about each sub topic. Starting with What Is SEO and How Does It Work?

As mentioned before in the article above, I am sharing all this knowledge to help anyone interested to know more about digital marketing. That person can be someone who is seeking a career in digital marketing, already a marketer and wish to learn more about digital marketing, or even an entrepreneur who wishes to find out more about digital marketing.

Before we dive into SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, let me share about what are search engines and how do they work?

What Are Search Engines?

Picture this. I am getting along the day as usual, doing my scheduled tasks. Then suddenly, I become aware of a need. It can be a product, service or information. So I whip out my smartphone, and I do a search on Google.

Sounds familiar? Have you done something similar? Maybe not on a phone but on a computer or tablet?

What are search engines?

Well, you have just experienced a search engine. It can be Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, or many others.

Today, many of us rely on these search engines to find lots of things. We use these search engines for research, reading product reviews, finding solutions, purchases, and many more uses.

And Google has the biggest number of people using it to do their searches. As you can see in the image below, currently, they have a whopping 93% share of the search engine market!

Search Engine Market Share
Search Engine Market Share: Google – 92.25% | Bing – 2.41% | Yahoo – 2.07% | Baidu – 1.01 % | Others – 1.11%  – statcounter GlobalStats

While the other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and the rest seem to have a small percentage share of the search volume, do not ignore them.

According to Internet World Stats, as of March 2019, there are 4.3 billion people actively using the Internet. Think about it. For example Bing has 2.41% of the search engine market share, which is around 92 million people. That is still substantial amount of traffic to capture, right?

Plus, Bing and Yahoo share the same algorithm. This means that when you rank on 1st Page of Bing, you also rank 1st Page on Yahoo. And this translates to the combined traffic potential from both search engines.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines exist to provide you, the person doing the search, the most accurate and relevant results. Also, results that provide quality information. But how do they work?

Well, first there are these things called spiders or search bots. They crawl the world wide web (hence, the term spider) in search of content.

When they identify content, for example your website, they find out what it is all about. Then they go back to the serach engine database and indexes this content.

How Search Engines Work?
How Search Engines Work?

This is similar to a librarian who receives a new book. The librarian then understands what the book is all about. The librarian then indexes the book, and stores it away in the library.

When someone does a search using a search engine, he or she would usually type in a word or a phrase. This is called keyword or keywords. I will talk about the importance of keywords in a future article.

The search engine takes the keywords and goes to the search engine database. Referring to the keywords, the program searches for quality content that is relevant. Based on search ranking factors, such as quality and relevance (there are plenty more factors), the program produces a list of search results.

This is what you see after you do a search on the search engine. The list is called the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). An SERP usually has only 10 listings with some advertisement listings.

When there are more than 10 listings for the search result, the rest will be listed on subsequent pages. And they will also be 10 search listings per page.

Why Should You Care?

In the above introduction paragraphs, I have mentioned that this article is for anyone interested to find out more about digital marketing. In this article, we are focusing on SEO. It is hoped that the knowledge shared here will help you learn more about SEO, and how to use it for your digital marketing work.

Now back to why you should care about how search engines work and about SEO?

Millions of companies are doing it. They are getting their business websites listed on SERPs. Many are even getting ranked on 1st Page of SERPs.

Some of these companies are your competitors. They are getting ranked. And they are getting traffic that generates revenue.

Here is a study by Chitika that shows how important it is to be on the 1st Page of SERPs.

Percentage of Google Traffic by Results Page - Chiitika. This shows how important it is to be on 1st Page of search results

As you can see from the above research, 91.5% of searchers will choose and click on a listing that is on the 1st Page of search results. This makes it very important for marketers to make sure that the business website is on the 1st Page and stays on the 1st Page.

When searchers click on a listing that is on the 1st Page, they visit the web page. As such, being on the 1st Page drives more traffic to a site. And when the searchers visit the site, it is an opportunity to convert them to customers.

SEO is a long term opportunity. More and more people are getting online. The mobile phone has made it much more easier to access the Internet, and find stuff. As such, more and more people are spending more time online and searching for what they need.

According to internetlivestats.com, Google gets over 3.5 billion searches PER DAY! That is traffic that has potential customers for you.

More Stats About SEO You Should Know

When your website is listed on 1st page of SERPs, your web traffic increases 9-fold. There is sales potential with increase of up to 42% in the 1st month. And 100% increase in sales in the 2nd month. (‘problem solved’, BtoB 92, no. 15, November 12, 2007, p21)

With such potential for sales and revenue, as a marketer, it is your job to see that your company’s website gets listed on search results. Preferably on the 1st Page of SERPs.

So, What’s Next?

Next, as a marketer, you need to understand about On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. I will be writing about these two important topics next. Stay tuned. Better still, sign up for my newsletter to get updates.

Can’t Wait?

Eager to find out more about digital marketing? And you would like the full and complete knowledge Now? Here is a link to the platform where I learned digital marketing, and stay updated on the latest trends.

Learn Digital Marketing Online

Join the Free Starter Package with just your email. No credit card needed for this Free Starter Package.

The Bonus!

When you sign up, add a comment below to let me know. The bonus is that you get me as your mentor. Who am I? I have over 20 years of digital marketing experience, and I can help you succeed as a digital marketer or in your online business. If you would like to know more about me, go to this page About Me.

If you have ANY questions or comments about this article, ANY at all, please submit them as comments below. I will be happy to help out.

May everything you do succeed & prosper!


How To Learn Digital Marketing Online? – The Ultimate Guide

How To Learn Digital Marketing Online - The Ultimate Guide - featured image

How To Learn Digital Marketing Online? – The Ultimate Guide

Many times, I have had people come up to me, and said that they would love to learn digital marketing. It happened at networking events, after I introduced what I do. At seminars, after I delivered a talk about digital marketing. And it can even happen during a casual lunch session. Seeing this common need, I decided to write this article about How to Learn Digital Marketing Online? – The Ultimate Guide.

Why do so many people want to learn digital marketing?

I have thought about this in length. And I came to this notion that these people fall into the following categories. Some would be fresh graduates who were seeking jobs in the digital marketing field. And every interview they attended asked them if they knew digital marketing. Some would be working, and their job required them to have in depth knowledge of digital marketing, or they already knew a bit, and needed to be better at their job.

My fellow lecturers and teachers were also interested to learn more about online marketing. The textbooks could only teach so much. And many of the textbooks were already far behind by the time they were printed. Educators wanted to learn more than what these textbooks taught.

What Is An Online Business?

Of course, there would be the entrepreneurs. This group wanted to learn so that they could apply digital marketing strategies to build and grow their businesses.

Within this group, there were business people who yearn to learn simply so that they know what their vendors or staff were doing. All businesses need to be savvy at digital marketing, and be able to leverage on the digital marketing channels.

There is no denying that digital marketing skills are in demand.

With all the above in mind, let us talk about how you can learn digital marketing online. But before all else, you need to understand what is digital marketing. I thought about what to share with you, and here is a list of topics that I will cover in this post.


What is Digital Marketing?

You would be surprised to know that there are still people who do not truly grasp what digital marketing is all about. In the classes where I delivered lectures, in rooms where I facilitated courses, and even over a casual conversation, I would ask the simple question – What is Digital Marketing?

Online Marketing also known as Digital Marketing

The answers that came back would always be vague. And I totally get it. There is a lot of misinformation out there. So, it can be quite confusing.

Fortunately, I found a short video that gives a quick overview of what digital marketing is all about. Even if you already know, I find it is always good to revise the basics. So, for those who are unsure and those who already are certain, here is the video:

I hope you enjoyed watching the video? And found it helpful. I know I did when I first saw it. As I mentioned, whether you are already an expert or not, it is always good to see what others are sharing. You never know when you might learn something new.

What is Online Visibility?

Now that you have a clearer idea of what is digital marketing, let us talk about online visibility. Before that, here are a few things you need to be aware of.

First, the number of people on the Internet is growing year by year. Check out this table below.

Global digital population 2019 Statistic by Statista
Global digital population 2019 Statistic by Statista

According to Statista, the number of active Internet users are over 4 billion as of April 2019. As you can see, the potential target audience is massive. Of course, most of you and most of the businesses will not target everyone. What is important to takeaway from this is that there are plenty of people now on the Internet. And if you want to reach out to your target audience, you have to do digital marketing.

And your business must have an online presence. It must have online assets like a website, a social media account or a few social media accounts, plus many more assets. These online assets help your business to have online visibility.

Online visibility is essential for a brand to create brand exposure, increase brand awareness, and build brand equity.

What Skills Does a Digital Marketer Need To Have?

How To Learn Digital Marketing Online - The Ultimate Guide

Today, a marketer needs to know the roles and responsibilities of a marketing role as well as have practical knowledge and skills, especially with digital marketing.

I have so many students who tell me that every job that they apply for requires them to have digital marketing experience. The problem is – how can someone acquire digital marketing experience if they have not worked at a job before?

Also, I have marketers who attend my lessons because they need to learn more about each digital marketing strategy as well as have some hands on experience, too. Their jobs simply requires them to have these skills.

With everyone whom I spoke with, I shared with them about the platform where I learned digital marketing from. After years of research, and having a hard time learning from some not so good resources and burned from some really bad ones, I finally found an excellent resource.

It is a platform that I can see will benefit those new to digital marketing, and those who are experience and need to continue to learn more. Just like it benefited me. I will share more about this platform further down this article.

In the meantime, I would like to show you the essential skills a digital marketer must have today. Here they are:

  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Keyword Research
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Metrics and Analytics

Again, before I share about how and where to learn digital marketing, let us discuss about each these digital marketing strategies, and why it is important for a digital marketer to know them well.

What is SEM (Search Engine Marketing)?

As you know very well, search engines are very useful and important tool for everyone in the world wide web. When people have a need, it triggers an online search for something to fulfill that need. The need can be for a product, service or information.

Search on search engines like Google

This makes search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, and many others very important for marketers. The reason is because when people do a search, a page is displayed with a list of websites that offer solutions.

It is very important that  marketers make sure that their brand, product or service appears on this search engine results page (SERPs).

Remember we discussed earlier about online visibility? This is what I am talking about. Brands, products and services need to appear on search results.

And how can it be done? Well, this is where Search Engine Marketing (SEM) comes in. SEM includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and Paid Search. SEO is when a website is optimized in such a way that it has the chance to appear on SERPs. I will explain more about this further down.

Paid Search is where people or organizations pay search engines for their advertisements (also known as PPC ads) to appear on the SERPs. This is also called PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising. I will elaborate further about this in the next section of this article.

What is PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising?

When you do a search for a brand, product, service or information on a search engine, you get a list of search results on a SERP. On that SERP, you will notice that at the top of the page, usually, there are up to four paid ads listings.

These listings can be identified as paid search ads. There is the word – Ad – somewhere in the listing. Usually, next to the URL in the ad. Here is an example of a paid search listing on Google.

Example of a Paid Search Ad on Google, indicated by the letters 'AD'
Example of a Paid Search Ad on Google, indicated by the letters ‘Ad’

Paid search ads are PPC Advertisements created by individuals or organizations to promote their brand, product or service. Depending on the bid amount, the ad has a chance at appearing on the first page of search results. Being on the first page increases the chances of driving traffic to the business’ website, and increasing sales.

As a marketer, you will need to learn more about Paid Search Ads, and how to do them effectively.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

The other digital marketing strategy that marketers need to learn is SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. In contrast to Paid Search Ads, SEO is about getting ranked on search engines by optimizing the website. This is often called organic ranking.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

When you optimize your website with SEO tactics, you are doing something called On Page SEO. The tactics would include title tag, meta description, image alt tag, and many more.

There is also Off Page SEO. This refers to SEO efforts that are done outside of your website. These tactics would include backlinks, social media mentions, submissions to directories, and many more.

As a marketer, you need to learn all there is to know about SEO. This will help your organization to rank high on search results. Preferably on the 1st page of SERPs where you can drive traffic to the website and have the opportunity to convert visitors to customers.

What is Keyword Research?

Now that you understand a little more about SEM and SEO, you need to make sure that the digital marketing courses you learn from includes this important part of digital marketing. And that is Keyword Research.

How You Can Make Money from Internet

When we use search engines to find what we need, we type in words relevant to the search. For example, if we are searching for pet products from a pet store in Singapore, we may type the keywords – pet store in Singapore.

When you do Paid Search Ads or SEO, you need to find out what keywords people are using to search for products and services similar to your business. You will also need to know how many people are using that search term and how competitive the keyword is. For Paid Search Ads, knowing how much your competitors are bidding to appear on the search results first page is very important too.

Google Adwords - Keyword Planner

You will need a Keyword Tool to find all that out. There are many keyword tools available. The most popular is Google Keyword Planner, which is free when you have an AdWords account.

For me, while the Google Keyword Planner is great, I prefer another keyword tool. The reason is because Google Keyword Planner shows rough estimates of the number of people using a particular keyword. To get a more accurate number, I use Jaaxy. It is truly awesome, and has helped me to get many of my web pages ranked on 1st Page of Google and other search engines.

With keyword research, you find the keywords that you would like to use for your Paid Search Ads. Or you can use it for SEO to rank your website, web page or blog post on the 1st page of search results.

What is Social Media Marketing?

I am sure you know what is social media. And the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. Today, social media has proven to be a powerful channel for marketing.

Social Media Marketing

This is because people are getting on social media daily. Businesses have realized that to reach to their target audience, they need to get on social media, and do social media marketing.

Back in 2014, Forbes commented that social media is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. And this is a comment to businesses to take social media seriously.

Social media marketing is about businesses having social media accounts, and posting updates about their brands, products and services. It is a platform for them to connect and engage with their target market.

Most social media networks also have advertising options. This is also a form of PPC Advertising. For example, Facebook Advertising can be used by businesses to promote their brand, product or service on the social media platform.

As a digital marketer, you must learn and use social media marketing, and also make use of the various advertising methods to reach out to your target audience.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is still relevant today. In fact, it is known to be one of the most powerful ways of promoting your brand, product or service to your target market.

Email Marketing

Today, because of the mobile phones and the Internet, people can check their emails from anywhere at anytime. As such, email marketing has risen in prominence again. Businesses use email marketing to connect with subscribers, and build a relationship with them.

There are email providers who offer assistance to businesses in managing their email broadcasts to their subscribers. These email providers include MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, and many others.

Digital marketers are now scrambling to learn how to use email marketing effectively to acquire new customers, and grow loyal customers, too. They constantly attend courses to get the latest tips and tactics on email marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content is King. I am sure you heard of this phrase. If you have not, then now you have.

What this means is that content is a powerful and effective way to drive traffic to your website. The content must be of good quality and relevant to what the visitor needs to find out about a certain brand, product or service.

The content can be in the form of a blog post, a review, press release, an interesting photo or even a video with a strong story. Check out the video below.

This video has engaged more than 300 million people. On Facebook, the video received over 27 million views, and over 7 million views on YouTube. There were 268 million people who read about this campaign from nearly 100 news reports. On top of all this, 280,000 people visited the microsites of this campaign in Hong Kong Vietnam and Malaysia.

This is the power of content. And when you do content marketing well, you will succeed in achieving very good ROI (Return on Investment).

What is Video Marketing?

I have said it for years, and I will continue to say this – Video is the Future.

Videos are known to be easy to consume. The visuals and music plus superb storytelling can tug at our heartstrings. Videos are also able to bring across a message very quickly and efficiently within a short time. A great example is the MetLife advertisement video shown above.

Online Passive Income Opportunities - Be A YouTube Star and make millions of dollars!

Today, videos are outperforming other forms of content. They have higher engagement rates. I believe this is because people today prefer to watch a video than read about a brand, product or service. Of course, when they like to find out more, they will be open to reading.

I highly recommend that you also learn about video marketing and advertising on video platforms like YouTube.

What are Metrics and Analytics?

Due to the advent of the Internet, marketing efforts can now be tracked. This can be in the form of data. It is because of the data that business owners now demand a more accurate form of reporting on Return on Investment (ROI).

Metrics and Analytics

Digital platforms can now produce data on web metrics such as hits, unique visitors, page views, etc. Campaign metrics like click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion, and many more are ROIs that top management requires to know.

Your digital marketing role will require you to be able to get the data metrics, analyse them, and produce reports for the top management. All this can be done with the help of tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc.

The reports can help the business to understand how weak or strong are their digital marketing efforts. As such, you can improve on your digital marketing strategy, which we will discuss next.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing Strategy

Whichever business you do digital marketing work for, it is important for you to have a digital marketing strategy. Such a strategy can give you a clear direction and goal for your marketing efforts.

The strategy should include knowing your online audience, and where they hang out. It should also device a way to compete and capture the market share for the business. Most strategies are best when they approach with integrated marketing. This will help to make sure that there is a seamless brand message across all media.

When you sign up for a digital marketing course, make sure they help you to create and refine a digital marketing strategy.

What are the Different Ways to Learn Digital Marketing?

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There are many different ways to learn digital marketing. One of the most obvious ways is to enroll in courses. It can be a degree course at a university, an executive development course at an institute or even a short course at a training centre.

Another alternative is to learn from influencers or industry experts. Some offer one-to-one coaching but it can be very costly. Some have online courses that you can sign up for.

Speaking of online courses, there are many out there. Some are even free. Over the years, I did lots of research, and I finally found a very good training provider where they offer you a Free Starter Package.

Would you like to learn more about this awesome training platform? Read the next section where I share this resource.

Where to Learn Digital Marketing Online?

Would you like to gain access to all the training that lecturers like me have? To gain in depth knowledge with regards to digital marketing? Training that not only teach you theory but also have you practice so that you have the actual digital marketing skills?

Here is a secret about me, and where I learn to become the digital marketing expert that I am today. I started in the digital marketing field more than 20 years ago. Since then, I have attended courses and learned on the job many digital marketing skills and knowledge.

All the while, I had searched for a training resource that can teach the basics to advanced levels as well as provide continuous updates. The reason I would like the training platform to teach the basics is because I always believe in revision. Also, as the digital world changes, you never know when you can learn something new, even with the basic courses.

At the same time, I needed the training resource to be able to offer knowledge at the intermediate and advanced levels. Plus, this resource must be able to continue to upgrade my knowledge. The resource must constantly update their courses or have new training that can help me stay at the top of the digital marketing game.

After years of research, I found an awesome resource. For the past many years, this is the resource I go to to revise and to get updates and be trained on the latest online marketing trends.

As mentioned earlier, you can try some of the training with the Free Starter Package. Just click on the image below. All you need to give is your email address. No credit card info or payment required at this point of time. So, it is really Free to try.

Learn Digital Marketing Online
Don’t miss this opportunity to try this awesome digital marketing training. Click on the above image now.

The best part about joining the platform above is that I will be your mentor on your journey to learn digital marketing. Yes, you read this right.

After you join, you will be part of my network. This means I will be your guide and mentor. Any time you have a question about digital marketing or how to progress with the training, you can message me on that platform. And I will come running to help you.

There are many other perks about this platform. If you like to learn more before you join, you can read my review about it. Click this link to my #1 Recommendation.

How to Keep Up with Digital Marketing Updates?

All said, we have come to the end of this article. As mentioned many times above, the digital landscape is always changing. So, it is very important not only to learn all the various digital marketing strategies, but also to stay updated on the latest trends and tactics.

How you can keep updated is by constantly reading online articles. Another way is to attend update courses, workshops and seminars. On the platform that I highly recommend, they do a great job at keeping everyone updated. They would host regular weekly webinars to share advanced levels of digital marketing skills and the latest updates on the digital marketing.

Again, I highly recommend this training platform. Once again, the link to your  Free Starter Package is shown below. Experience the power of the training with the free courses. Click the image below now!

Learn Digital Marketing Online
Don’t miss this opportunity to try this awesome digital marketing training. Click on the above image now.

After you have joined the training platform, I will connect with you, and send a welcome message to you. Whenever you have any question or need help with learning digital marketing, feel free to send a message to me.

Also, after you have joined the platform, please do add a comment to this post and let me know. This is so that I can keep a look out for you on that training platform.

If you have ANY questions or comments about this article, ANY at all, please submit them as comments below. I will be happy to help out.

May everything you do succeed & prosper!