So you’re looking to find out how SEO (search engine optimisation) works? Maybe you’re here to find out how search engines themselves work? Maybe you have a new job in SEO or would just like to optimise your blog a little better? Whatever your reason for visiting, we created this simple step-by–step starter guide on how search engines work and how to get them working for you.
What is SEO?
What is a search engine and how does it work?
- Crawling: This is when a search engine uses robots (known as spiders or crawlers) to look through the internet via URLs. It then scans the content and code to get a better understanding of what the page is about.
- Indexing: The next step is storing and organising the content found during the crawl. Indexed pages have the potential to be returned when relevant queries are searched for. Pages that are marked as non-indexable by the author or pages that contain poor quality content (determined by the search engine) will be non-indexable (therefore not visible to users searching for it).
- Ranking: Finally, the ranking stage is all the indexable pages being displayed in the order of significance, based on what a search engine considers to be the best content, and what is most relevant to the query searched.
The Basic Steps of SEO
- Keyword Rankings: Google Search Console reports on the average ranking of your keywords over time, or you can set up custom rank tracking for more granular analysis, and also to monitor competitors’ rankings.
- Search Traffic: This is how many people visited your page (or website) over a specified period, through search engine results.
- Click Through Rate: Click through rate (CTR) is the amount of people who visit your page as a percentage of the total number of people that see it (impressions) on a search results page.
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate, measured as a percentage, is the proportion of people who enter your website but leave again without going through to another page (make sure your content is easy to find and engaging to improve this metric).
- Conversion Rate: This one is more specific to a certain onsite action. Say if you were an e-commerce site, the conversion rate would be the proportion of sales you get compared to the number of visitors on a certain page. If we’re talking about a blog post, the conversion rate could be the percentage of visitors that signed up to an email newsletter.