The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Building the foundation for search engine optimization

Joe Kok - SEO Specialist

9 min read

I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

Of SEO I mean.

One of the major buzzwords of the internet generation, SEO today has emerged as an entire industry that’s dedicated to providing searchers with high-quality content.

It’s amazing to think how, even at the turn of the century, this branch of digital marketing was simply nonexistent.

Trouble is, even today, newbies to the digital marketing fold have a lot of misconceptions about what SEO is, and how it works.

And that’s understandable, given the wide scope and complicated terminology that this branch of digital marketing involves.

Thankfully, we are here to help you out!

In order to solve all your problems, I’ve decided to compile a series of guides on what SEO actually is, and how it works behind the scenes. (In the simplest understanding form)

I’m sure that after going through these resources, you’ll have a better idea of SEO and it’s nitty-gritty.

Let’s get to it then.

What is SEO?


First off, I’ve decided to begin by answering the most simple yet tough to answer the question of all.

what is SEO?

True, everyone knows it stands for search engine optimization, but what does it really mean to normal user?

Put simply, search engine optimization is a branch of digital marketing that deals with helping brands and businesses gain better rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

But that’s not the only purpose of SEO, as we shall soon see. SEO also deals with helping searchers arrive at more relevant search results.

At the same time, it ensures that your website gets the right amount and the right type of traffic it needs to succeed.

So, from the above, it’s clear that SEO is all about getting businesses or websites to rank better on SERPs.

But, why do you need SEO in the first place?

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore in the next section.

The Need for SEO in Malaysia Landscape

Just consider this for a moment: currently, there are close to two billion websites on the web.

Now, that’s a massive number by any standards, not considering the fact that thousands are being added every day.

In this veritable ocean of information, your website is simply a speck of data.

How, then, can visitors find your website, let alone visit it?

The answer, of course, lies in the hands of search engines. It’s the search engines such as Google and Bing which are responsible for finding, storing, and displaying web pages to users.

Trouble is, these search engines aren’t always able to reach every page of a website correctly.

In many cases, they may even end up showing information that’s not really relevant to the search terms that the user has typed in (better known as keywords).

And that’s where SEO comes in.

Its major purpose is to allow search engines to crawl, index, and rank web pages.

And our SEO services will only serve that purpose in bringing more visibility and exposure to your digital asset in the Malaysia landscape especially.

This way, it helps these algorithms deliver better results to the searchers.

At this point, it’s important to realize that though SEO deals with search engines, it’s mainly geared towards helping human users get better results via search.

Well, now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at some common advantages of incorporating SEO in your digital marketing strategy.

5 Advantages of SEO

1. SEO is free

That got your attention, didn’t it?

Well, SEO is, in a way, one of the few digital marketing avenues that can be used entirely free of cost.

Unlike Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which involves paid ads, SEO doesn’t involve your business paying any money to the search engine provider for visibility.

With a bit of learning and enthusiasm, you can do stellar SEO by yourself.

Utilize the Google free tools here to enhance and boost your seo effort.

And in case you don’t want to go through that trouble, you can always hire a professional at a reasonable costs to get the job done for you.

2. SEO drive traffic

I’ve already mentioned this before, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.

It doesn’t matter if you have the best website in the world. If searchers can’t find it on the SERPs then it’s actually of no use.

Without a steady stream of visitors to your website, your business can’t hope to succeed in the digital landscape of today.

And that’s exactly where SEO helps you.

Appropriately done SEO allows your website to appear at the top of the SERPs.

This ensures that searchers are able to find your website, visit it, and then take the required actions for conversion.

3. SEO improves user experience

Just think a bit: do you ever go to the second page of Google to look for relevant results?

It’s only very rarely that searchers take the trouble to scroll past the topmost results on the SERPs.

And if they have to sift through numerous pages before finding your site buried beneath a ton of other links, it surely doesn’t make for a great user experience.

Provide users the stellar search experiences that they deserved

With SEO, you stand to overcome this problem. When your site’s SEO is set uprightly, it will appear at the top of the SERPs (or at least on the first page).

This will help improve user experience by a long shot, and ensure that visitors don’t get frustrated while trying to find your site.

And we are talking about branded keyword such as your business name if the user searching for it. More on this branded and non-branded keyword in Chapter 3.

4. SEO builds trust

How is that?

Look back on all the searches that you’ve made to date…weren’t you more inclined to trust the links that featured at the top of the SERPs?

That’s common user behavior. And if your links can occupy that position, then your business stands to build trust among the user community.

5. SEO is long term

Ask any SEO expert, and they’ll tell you that it takes anywhere between six months to a year for SEO to show results.

Now, that’s a long term process.

While this might appear to be a disadvantage, it actually is the opposite.

Despite the fact that SEO doesn’t give you sudden boosts in rankings, once you do achieve a top rank, it can be very hard to dethrone you.

This allows your business to build a solid search presence that doesn’t fade with time.

How We Look Into The Types of SEO

Now that you know about the many advantages of SEO (there are more), let’s take a look at the different types of SEO work that you can apply to your website.

I had divided them into 3 main chapters so we all can have a better grasp on the general concept of how SEO work.

1. On Page Optimization

This form of SEO deals with optimizing the content of individual pages on your website for getting better ranks.

On-Page SEO involves techniques such as keyword research and optimization, appropriate content creation, meta- optimization, and similar tactics.

2. Technical SEO Fixes

Technical SEO deals with the non-content, technical aspects of website optimization. It includes methods to improve overall site structure, navigation, and page-load speeds.

Technical SEO also aims to improve the site architecture, security, and even works to ensure that the pages are properly crawled and indexed.

3. Off Page Optimization

This branch of SEO involves tactics that aren’t really happening on your website.

Rather, it focuses on strengthening the connections your website has with other sites on the internet.

This off page optimization involves methods such as link building, guest blogging, and competitive analysis.

Now, you might be wondering which branch of SEO you should be using.

And the correct answer is all of them! If you ask me, SEO needs to be a comprehensive effort, one that ensures that all aspects of your search performance are taken care of.

In order to do just that, you’ll have to incorporate all the above SEO types in your strategy.

A Black & White SEO World


At this point, I’d like to mention two other SEO tactics that you’ll encounter in your SEO journey.

These are Black-Hat and White-Hat SEO, and you need to be careful regarding which branch of SEO you use.

White-Hat SEO is the use of methods, tools, and techniques for improving search rankings that don’t compromise with the search engine guidelines laid down by the search providers.

Using White-Hat techniques, it takes time to gain a proper SEO presence, and all these methods are entirely legit and don’t violate any search rules.

In short, White-Hat SEO doesn’t seek to fool the search engines.

Here are some of the basic principles from Google which I think it draws a clear line of good SEO practices.

That’s exactly the opposite of what Black-Hat SEO aims to do.

Using underhanded techniques such as unethical site-hacking to inject backlinks, keyword stuffing, and other similar methods, Black-Hat SEO seeks to fool search engines and get fast rankings.

While this might appear to be the fast-track to SEO success, it isn’t.

Although Black-Hat techniques promise faster results, these are usually short-lived.

Google tend to release 350-400 updates per year but we suspect the figure was much higher. That was more than one update everyday.

Good luck to you if you think you can get away with your sketchy SEO effort.

Once the search engines discover your ruse, your website can get penalized.

This can lead to a dropping of ranks, de-indexing, and even blacklisting of your website.

Now, you surely don’t want to risk that, do you?

Final Words

Well, I hope from the above, you’ve got a clear idea of what SEO is, how it works to your benefit, and what the different types of SEO are.

You’ve also learned how to enable SEO in an entirely legit fashion, and which are the techniques to avoid.

With the above 3 chapters that focus on each different section of the SEO scope, I hope you to gain a better handle on how to use SEO for your website.

JustRank will be adding more informative and actionable SEO tips and update from time to time. This SEO checklist might be something that you are looking for to get started if you’re a small business owner that need to kick start your local SEO effort.

Make sure you don’t miss them out!

Can’t wait to get started straight away.

Get your coffee ready and let’s dive deep into our very first chapter: On Page Optimization.

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