How Does SEO Actually Work?

by Apr 27, 2020Blog, Search, SEO


SEO is one of the most commonly-used terms in the digital marketing world. Anyone who has worked with a digital agency can tell you that you need SEO. But, many times they won’t be able to tell you why. We’re here to provide a glimpse into the world of Search Engine Optimization.


Anatomy of a SERP

First, it’s important to look at what SEO actually does and where to see it in action. The best way to look at SEO in action is to dissect the different aspects of the traditional Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. 

Because Google has the ability to display different formats of results depending on the specific search, there are some cases where  SERPs won’t look exactly the same. However, a majority of location-based searches end up looking like this search page below. 

In most cases, the top section of a SERP will be reserved for ads. Although they follow similar principles to SEO, Ads are not influenced by SEO efforts. The next section is referred to as the “Local Pack.” This will have a select few results for physical locations related to the search (you’ll notice ads here as well). This is the first section on the SERP that is affected by SEO efforts.

Moving down, we hit the main search results. When people think of working with SEO, this section typically comes to mind. It’s important to keep in mind that each section of the SERP affected by SEO has different requirements in order to rank well.  For instance, reviews and star ratings touch the local pack results more significantly than they do the main search results. In fact, not only do star ratings display in the same spot at the local pack, they also directly impact how often and how high a website appears in a search. More interesting still, reviews and star ratings also have a demonstrable impact on the main search results, which don’t directly include any mention of reviews. It’s the same story with almost all the aspects of the SEO world, from content to social media to backlinks and more.

How Does Google Work

Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Understanding how Google finds websites and ranks them during a search is the next major step to becoming fluent in SEO. Although Google and other search engines are incredibly complex in their machinations, the basic function can be simplified to three main steps.

  1. Google uses crawler robots that scrape the pages of websites for content and code.
  2. Google indexes pages for when users make a search query.
  3. Google displays what it thinks are the most relevant pages for the query on the SERP. 

These steps are the reason why content and copy are so valuable for websites and for SEO. The more content (copy, images, videos, etc) on a website, the more Google has to crawl. 

So, how does Google decide to rank websites? No one truly knows. Google and other major search engines keep their algorithms used for ranking confidential.

However, digital marketers can determine how different factors are weighed, through A/B testing and based on what Google does release about their algorithm.

All of these different elements influence website rankings in Google. At 30 Lines, we use these tactics in conjunction with our clients’ marketing tech stacks to determine the most effective SEO strategy for them. Additionally, we look at what tactics we are able to implement on the different website platforms in the multifamily industry.

How 30 Lines Does SEO

30 Lines prides ourselves on keeping up to date with how Google works so that we can provide the best value for our clients when it comes to SEO products.  Below you can see how SEO fits in with the multifamily marketing funnel, and how we tie our whole toolbox into optimizing websites for Google. 

Learn more about 30 Lines SEO

To learn more about how we do SEO, visit our website, and stay tuned to the blog. You can check out our past posts that cover everything from content refreshing and reputation to tools that automatically build pages that help boost SEO. Since Google is ever-changing, SEO is also ever-changing. Tactics and strategies that made website rank a year ago may or may not be effective today. Staying on the cutting edge of the world’s biggest search engine never really ends.

Have questions? Drop us a line– We’re here to help.