SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in Digital Marketing: How Does It Work?

What Is SEO in Digital Marketing

Right now, more than ever, digital marketing is the lifeblood of online businesses. And when we talk about digital marketing, SEO carries weight. Now, if you’re scratching your head wondering, what is SEO in digital marketing and how does it work? Well, let us break it down for you in a simple and beginner-friendly way.

Let’s start with the most obvious question: what is SEO? (we know the biggest question today is what is SEO in digital marketing? But let’s save that one for later and start with the basics.) It is a well-known fact that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial digital marketing strategy. But let’s be honest, even if you have a basic understanding of what it entails, fully grasping the intricacies of this multifaceted concept can be challenging.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, in its entirety, is a method of generating traffic to your site. It’s about scoring organic, free, and natural search results on search engines. Plainly speaking, SEO serves the purpose of boosting your website’s visibility. And, as you could have guessed, more visibility equals more visitors as well as a chance to turn curious passersby into paying customers.

Of course, you can always choose to pay for ads to improve visibility (again, more on this later in the article). But that route comes with some serious baggage. You have to be extra careful and constantly optimise those ads. Plus, it can drain your pockets faster than a leaky faucet if you don’t keep an eye on the return on investment (or ROI). Now you probably see why many people opt for SEO as a way to make their pages easily findable.

Relation of SEO with The Brand Marketing

Alright, now that you’ve got the gist of SEO, why not get into the finer details? You might have noticed earlier on, one of the words in SEO is ‘search engine’. But what is the purpose of this tool? Well, its function is pretty straightforward—to help people find what they’re after online. Whether researching a brand, hunting for a nearby supermarket, or booking a hotel, search engines are the most convenient starting point by far. For all owners of businesses, search engines offer a golden opportunity to steer relevant traffic straight to your website.

Clearly, search engines give props to pages that are well-tailored to users’ needs. These search engines endorse SEO efforts that improve both the user’s search experience and the page’s ranking, which can be done by serving up content that satisfies user queries. That means slapping on relevant keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and headlines (H1). Also, don’t forget about using those descriptive URLs with catchy keywords instead of boring number sequences. And schema markup is your secret weapon for specifying the meaning of your page’s content. These are just a few SEO best practices to keep in mind. At the end of the day, SEO is a delicate dance between understanding what your audience wants and the nitty-gritty technical stuff of configuring your website.

SEM, PPC, and SEO: What Are the Differences?

Don’t get stressed out over these acronyms. The thing is, we have included SEM and PPC in this article about SEO in digital marketing because they are two other interesting terms you’ll often come across in the SEO digital marketing community. But don’t you worry, learning and understanding them isn’t as complicated as you might think.


SEM, aka search engine marketing, is the most important part of search marketing. It’s basically the term used to describe digital marketing that combines both SEO and PPC activities. Think of it as an umbrella term that covers both organic and paid search strategies.

In what ways do SEO and SEM differ from each other? Now, don’t get confused: technically, they’re the same thing. SEO focuses on increasing organic traffic from search engines, while SEM encompasses both organic and paid traffic from search engines.

Here’s the part where it gets interesting. These days, the majority of people use the term SEM as a synonym for PPC (an explanation of this term is coming up next), leaving SEO feeling left out. But in reality, SEO is just as much a part of the marketing game as PPC. To wrap your head around SEO and SEM, think of SEM as your shiny coin. SEO is on one side, and PPC is on the other—they’re just a dynamic duo, working together to conquer the search engine world.


You may recall what we said earlier about paying for ads, and now it’s that time for the ultimate face-off: SEO versus PPC. 

The term PPC stands for pay-per-click, a type of digital marketing where advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their ads. Advertisers with large budgets will bid on specific keywords or phrases they want their ads to show up for in search engine results. So, when someone searches for those magical keywords or phrases, the advertiser’s ad appears first.

Let’s go back to that coin analogy we love. Think of search marketing, again, as a shiny coin. SEO represents the unpaid side, while PPC takes the paid side. 

Don’t let the title get into your head, though. You should never think of it as a battle between ‘SEO vs. PPC’ and who to root for. It’s actually all about embracing both strategies (well, only if your budget allows it). So, double the power, double the impact.

A Search Result's Anatomy

We’re getting closer to answering the burning question of what is SEO in digital marketing. But before we dive into that, for now, let’s learn more about how SERP works. 

SERP or Search Engine Result Page is made up of two main components: organic search results and paid search results. Organic results, while as significant as paid ads, are like freebies that don’t contribute in any way to Google’s revenue. 

Here’s the quick rundown. Google works in three steps: crawling (i.e. discovering), indexing (i.e. filing), and ranking (the stage when the information is retrieved). The search engines then deliver organic results based on how well a website meets their criteria for relevance and quality. But that’s not all. Depending on the type of search query you throw at Google, they might add some extra elements to the SERP by throwing in some maps, images, or videos. 

Now, let’s put this into two scenarios to make it easier to understand:

Scenario 1:

Imagine you search for a keyword like ‘sneakers’. You’ll likely come face to face with a bunch of ads hogging the top spots. In fact, you might have to scroll down (not to the bottom though, usually right after the three paid results) to find the first organic result. Why the ad frenzy? You might ask. Well, chances are the searcher is on the hunt to buy sneakers online, and there’s no shortage of sneaker companies ready to splash the cash for a prime spot in those AdWords results.

Scenario 2:

It’s time to switch gears and search for something else. Try looking up ‘New York Knicks’. Your results will take a different turn this time. Since this search query is mostly associated with the NBA team by that name, you’ll see top results catering to that. Think news stories, a knowledge graph, and their official homepage. These three types of results at the top show that Google isn’t exactly sure what you’re after, but they’re offering you quick pathways to learn about the team, catch up on the latest news, or hop onto their website. However, since this query does not imply any purchase intention, advertisers aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to bid for that keyword. So, you won’t find any AdWords results popping up. 

But here’s the thing, if you tweak your query to something like ‘New York Knicks hat’, which, basically, screams ‘I’m in the mood to shop’, the SERP will drastically shift, featuring more sponsored results.

And there you have it—the anatomy of a search result.

What Is SEO in Digital Marketing, and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

We have finally reached the part you have all been waiting for, which is SEO in digital marketing. How can it benefit your business? Buckle up, because things are about to get intense.

When it comes to digital marketing, SEO is a crucial strategy, a secret sauce that can help your business grow exponentially. Here’s how it can work wonders for your business:

Increase Online Visibility

First off, let’s talk about online visibility. When you implement a killer SEO strategy, your website gets a sweet boost in search results. Consequently, more of your target audience stumble upon your business on the internet, making it much easier and faster for them to find out what you have to offer.

Boost Website Organic Traffic

SEO in digital marketing also helps you boost website traffic. When your rankings climb higher in the SERPs, more visitors flock to your website. They devour your awesome content, explore your products and services, and that can only mean more sales and revenue for your business. Chaching!

Stands Out From Competitors

Last but not least, SEO in digital marketing allows you to stand out from your competitors. What if you outrank your biggest rivals in search results? Suddenly, you’re the shining star, the go-to expert in your field. That’s some serious credibility boost. And that, dear readers, attracts new customers like bees to honey.

Types of SEO in digital marketing

Big congrats to all you SEO marketing prodigies, you have made it to the final part of this article. Now, before you begin working on that killer SEO strategy for your biz, we have to lay down some concrete foundations first. Let’s learn a bit more about four types of SEO.

On-page SEO

What is on-page SEO? On-page SEO in digital marketing is the tweaks you make directly to your website to really boost your SEO. The goal here is to make your site user-friendly, provide valuable information, and solve user concerns. So, what are some things you can do better with on-page SEO? Let’s get involved!

Let’s start with keywords. These magic words are crucial for search engines to understand the purpose of your website. Choose the right keywords and sprinkle them strategically throughout your content, without going overboard; Then, we have URLs. Keep them clean, concise, and relevant to the page’s content. Messy URLs are a big turn-off, so keep it tidy. Moving on to title tags. Think of them as the headlines of your web pages. Craft captivating titles that incorporate targeted keywords and entice users to click; And of course, we can’t neglect header tags. They serve as organisational signposts, breaking up your content into easily digestible sections. Use them wisely to enhance the overall structure and readability of your content;  Lastly, meta descriptions. These brief summaries give users a glimpse of what they can expect from your page. Make them engaging and informative to entice users to click through. 

By optimising these top elements, you give search engines and users a clear idea of what your website is about. This helps boost your rankings and makes users happy to click through to your site. So go ahead, give your website a proper on-page SEO makeover.

Off-page SEO

Now let’s venture into off-page SEO. This is where you focus on building authority beyond the digital walls of your website. Not just what happens on your website, but how others see it. Off-page SEO is all about raising the profile of your website and getting it noticed by other websites, social media platforms and influencers. You want to create valuable content that people can’t wait to go back to and share with the world.

So, what can you do for off-page SEO in digital marketing? Start by creating high quality products that people can’t resist. Share that information on social media platforms to extend your reach. Connect with influencers who can help you spread the word about your business. And hey, why not visit other websites and offer to write something amazing for them?

Building your website’s authority helps search engines and users view your work as a trusted expert in your industry. In a way, it’s like gaining street cred in the digital world. And if you have higher authority, your search ranking will increase.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO focuses on making your website a smooth ride for search engine crawlers and users alike. These crawlers are like the busy bees that hover around indexing web pages for search engines to use later on.

To ace technical SEO, you need to optimise the back-end of your website. Think page loading speed – nobody today has the patience to wait for a website to respond slowly. Also, make sure your site is mobile-friendly because, like it or not, everyone’s glued to their phones these days. And don’t forget about navigation – make it a breeze for users to find what they’re looking for.

When you nail technical SEO in digital marketing, your website becomes a user-friendly haven. This will be appreciated not only by your users. When it’s lightning fast, touchscreen-compatible, and easy to navigate, search engines favour it. And in return, it will reward you with higher rankings in the SERPs. Now that’s a technical triumph.


Quality content is the key to a successful website, an opinion shared by many. Content is many things but an insignificant tool. It feeds both users and search engines with crucial information about your business, from what you do to the products and services you offer. 

When you create content, you can strategically insert those high-value keywords to boost your chances of ranking higher in search results. There’s a whole range of content types you can create, like blog posts, informative articles, detailed guides, videos, infographics, and more. The beauty of it is that your content works hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy, joining forces to promote your offerings and attract more users online. It’s a recipe for success, driving increased sales and revenue for your business. That’s why many business owners today try to whip up amazing content in the hope that it will make an impact and stand out on the world wide web.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, what is SEO in digital marketing? Basically, the goal of it is to boost your ranking in those organic search results, the ones that pop up when you search for something on Google. SEO uses a bunch of techniques to optimise different types of search results like AdWords, shopping, and local listings. Even with all the other stuff on those search engine result pages (SERPs) trying to steal the spotlight, SEO still packs a powerful punch and brings in the cash.

Google deals with a crazy number of search queries every day. And organic search results snatch up a big chunk of that action. Getting and keeping a high organic ranking takes some effort, but here’s the sweet deal: every click that brings people to your website doesn’t cost you a dime. Yeah, you heard me right. SEO lets you tap into a massive audience and drive traffic to your site without shelling out cash for each click. It’s like getting free money in the digital marketing world.

This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. There’s a whole lot more to explore. If you want to dig deeper, you can check out important stuff like analysing how your website’s SEO is doing, planning your killer content, optimising that fancy HTML code, and building a solid site architecture. By diving into these topics and expanding your SEO know-how, you’ll gain valuable insights and strategies to make your website shine bright and achieve your digital marketing goals. So get ready to take your SEO journey to the next level.

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Jessica is passionate about exploring and sharing the latest advancements, trends, and innovations in the ever-evolving world of technology. With a keen interest in cutting-edge gadgets, software, and digital solutions, she thrives on unravelling complex technical concepts and translating them into accessible and engaging content for readers. Equipped with a deep understanding of the tech industry, Jessica has a finger on the pulse of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT).