Optimizing for Google: What Does Search Engine Optimization Do

two gentlemen looking at a computer at a desk

One thing we’ve found to be true for all of the clients we’ve had the privilege to work with at OTM is the need to maintain a relevant presence for their customers online. To this end, we begin conversations around our recommendations that certainly contain search engine optimization strategies. But what does search engine optimization do? 

You reading this blog after having asked your search engine about what search engine optimization, referred to as SEO moving forward, is one example of what SEO does. SEO gets your content in front of qualified leads by tailoring said content for the all-seeing eyes of the google algorithm.

In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of the various components of SEO, how they improve the visibility of your content, and, ultimately, how SEO is necessary for increasing conversions. First, let’s take a look at that omniscient google algorithm we mentioned.

Google. The holy one.

In a world where information is abundantly accessible from the computers in our pockets, we are all too familiar with Google. On average, Google processes 63,000 search queries every second, which amounts to about 5.6 billion searches each day. (HubSpot) For those billions of searches, Google pulls from its massive index of approximately 45 billion pages to offer relevant results. (WorldWideWebSize) But how?

The google algorithm, designed to instantly provide relevant information for its users’ searches, uses factors such as quality and relevance of content and the overall usability of the page to provide the best results. SEO is the effort marketers put into adhering to the google algorithm to ensure our content lands before qualified leads.

SEO Helps Your Website Adhere to the Laws of Google

Google holds about 92% of the search engine market according to HubSpot, you can google that, so it’s best to follow their rules. Using SEO, marketers can smooth out their online content, making it easy for Google to explore and understand. When content is easily “crawled,” the process of Google exploring online content, that content is more likely to be recommended for relevant searches.

There are three main components to SEO. Technical SEO deals with your website’s infrastructure. On-Page SEO deals with the content on your website. Off-Page SEO pertains to your website’s authority. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

What is Technical SEO?

Google aims to provide its users with quality, healthy content. Therefore, Google will omit your website from its SERP if it’s unstable and unhealthy. Technical SEO is the effort put into keeping your website healthy. Technical SEO tasks can, at times, feel tedious and burdensome, but that behind-the-scenes work pays off in the long run.

This sort of SEO deals with the “Oops” error codes you see with broken links. It makes sure your sitemap is clear of roadblocks and optimized for relevancy and usability. It assures your servers are running speedily and efficiently. And of increasing importance, 68%-of-all-online-traffic-importance, it makes sure your content is optimized for mobile.

What is On-Page SEO?

After you’ve ensured your website’s health is in good standing with Technical SEO, the focus turns to keyword optimization. This is the bread and butter of on-page SEO. Google uses what you type into that pill-shaped box and delivers content to your screen that most closely aligns with your search. 

On-page SEO is the process of taking those keywords, which are the short or long entries in the search bar, and creating content that matches. More than making sure the keyword is present in the content, marketers work to match the searcher’s intent to provide the most relevant information.

This keyword game can be surprisingly tricky. Long-tail keywords, which are the more unique and specific keywords (think, “should I be worried if my dog ate my son’s Halloween candy?”), make up 92% of all search queries. Working these long-tail keywords organically into content is as tough as it is necessary. Less and less Google is fooled by “keyword stuffing”, which is when marketers plop those keywords onto a page willy-nilly. It has to be relevant. Google is watching.

What is Off-Page SEO

When Google is responding to your search queries, its goal is to give you the very best and most accurate results. The main way Google does this, and the purpose of off-page SEO, is domain authority. This is how knowledgeable a website appears to be in the eyes of Google. The key to building domain authority is backlinks.

Every time a blog mentions the website it pulled its information from in the form of a link, is a backlink. This paints the referenced website as authoritative on the topic. More online conversation about a brand leads to more backlinks to its website which leads to greater domain authority. 

Again, it has to be authentic. Google doesn’t look highly on toxic backlinks, which are backlinks established through unethical practices in efforts to skirt the system. The ultimate example of this would be a donut shop’s website, hidden from the eyes of Google, that houses links to a carburetor company on each of its 500 pages. While this may have worked to increase domain authority in the past, Google has since grown wise to these schemes.

What Does Search Engine Optimization Do for Your Company?

As long as Google is improving at providing more relevant results to its users, it’s important to feed it those results. Qualified leads exist in abundance on the other end of those search queries, and SEO helps show them you have what they’re looking for. 


By putting in the SEO work, a company can lower the cost of customer acquisition by up to 87%.


Google reports that 53% of US consumers are researching products and services using search engines before they engage with the brand. Of the countless results Google has to pull from for those inquirers, 67% of all clicks come from the first five. By employing SEO practices for your company, you stand a better chance of landing in that SERP sweet spot. It’s all about proving to Google that you’re the best and most relevant result.


By using the three pillars of SEO strategy (technical, on-page, and off-page), you’re ensuring that your company will be seen by the customers and clients it exists to serve. At OTM, we work to capture your brand’s essence and display it with beautiful creativity before a host of qualified leads. Search engine optimization is an integral part of this process and helps reveal your brand as the guide your customers may not have known they needed.

Learn more about OTM’s unique process, and check out the work we’ve done for our amazing clients.