What are the different types of SEO techniques?
We are often asked about what all goes into creating an SEO strategy and the answer is always the same, “it depends”. In order to put together a search engine optimization strategy that will actually garner results for a client we need to understand exactly what type of visibility they are looking to achieve and then decide what types of seo techniques we should the apply to their online assets.
It is important to state that paring SEO down to just “4 types of seo” is oversimplifying something that is rather complex. This being known, we are going to outline 4 major areas of focus as it relates to SEO and different approaches. While every client need is different, many of these overarching concepts apply to almost every client need, with a couple of exceptions that we will outline below.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Before we start to talk about SEO techniques it is important to ensure that we are all on the same page about what search engine optimization actually is. To keep it simple, SEO is simply a marketing strategy that is aimed at garnering traffic and visibility from digital assets, specifically search engines. The idea behind SEO is that if we gain more visibility for more search terms, in turn we will then accomplish more conversions on our website, whatever they may be.
Most SEO literature is aimed at optimizing a website's organic traffic, but there are other digital assets as well that can be optimized. Items like Youtube and Google Business Profiles can also be optimized in many circumstances and can help drive traffic and sales much like the website its self. The main reason this is important to mention is only to cover the concept that SEO techniques can be applied outside of a website as well.
Off Page SEO | Welcome to Link Land
Loosely defined, off page SEO is simply anything that happens outside of your website (or other digital assets) that can have a positive or negative impact on search visibility. It is important to note that activity here can have both positive and negative implications, which is why it is important to have an SEO expert working on these marketing channels for you, if you plan to make it a viable long term traffic and sales strategy.
Mostly off page SEO is referring to links from other websites pointing to your website. The reason this is important is simply because search engines like Google look for contextual clues as to what your website is “about”. We write content on the website to make sure that the readers know what we are all about, which we will get to in a minute, but Google oftentimes need more than just that content to solidify your web pages as an authority on specific topics.
For instance, if we wrote a blog article about elephants, Google may understand that this article is about elephants, but if we get a link to that page from an elephant rescue organization in Africa, now Google really understands. Outside of context Google now also feels like your blog article about elephants must be topically relevant, otherwise why would this other website about elephants link to your content for more information?
Link building is important to off page SEO, but we must come to an understanding that not all links are created equally. Different links have a different level of authority in the eyes of search engines and in turn they impact SEO in different ways. A very powerful website that links to your web page can have a high impacts on search engine optimization whereas a link from SPAM type websites can actually hurt as opposed to help. This is a big part of what we do as an SEO company. Link building is a skill set in and of its self and we have seen lots of link building gone wrong over the years. This is why we work for out clients to ensure that our off page seo strategy is above board and will help the client to garner long term search visibility as opposed to only short term gains. Some black hat seo techniques can really hurt your website, which is why quality seo focuses mostly on white hat seo techniques. This isn't to say there is no merit to some black hat seo techniques, but we have found that white hat seo techniques are usually the best for major search engines like Google. We refer to this as grey hat seo.
On Page SEO | Search Engines Can't Read!
The converse of off page SEO is on page SEO. These are the items within your website or other digital assets that have an impact on search engine visibility. There is a VERY long list of onpage SEO items, some of which we will list below.
The most important concept to understand about on page seo is that Google technically can't read. This is why content structure, meta titles, internal linking to other pages and quality keyword research can all have an major impact on search rankings and a website's visibility.
Some On Page SEO Items and Considerations (On Site SEO) | Not an exhaustive List!
Google Search Console – while this is not a specific area on your website, it is a treasure trove of information to inform your on page seo strategies. Reviewing this often will help you to understand how Google is indexing your content and what you may adapt to better achieve your search visibility goals.
Page Titles – every page should have a title. Using the auto fill options supplied by Yoast or other SEO tools is a bad idea. Page titles should be informed by keyword research to best cater them to search results you are looking to approach.
Meta Descriptions and Meta Tags – every page should have well thought out meta descriptions as well. While these may or may not be a true on page seo tool, they indeed help with click through rates.
Content and Blog Post Creation – whether it is a page or or post in WordPress or another CRM, a huge part of on page seo is all about written content. The more written content structure around specific topics that we can get indexed the more search traffic that we will be awarded within relevant search results.
Internal Links – much like off page SEO that we previously discussed, the pages of your website that link to one another can help Google's search results better understand your web page and website and “assign” it to relevant keywords and search results. Also ensuring there are not a ton of broken links on your website is important to ensure maximum visibly.
Technical SEO | The Boring Stuff
Outside of the on and off page SEO focuses that we have discussed, ensuring that your website's technical SEO is in tact is also very important to ensure easy crawling of google bots and other search engines. While in our lens this isn't the sexists stuff, without it your website is dead in the water.
This is the type of stuff that as a digital marketing company we focus a lot on, but clients don't always see the fruits of our labors. There is a lot that goes into technical seo, but mostly it is ensuring that your web design agency makes your website as crawlable as possible. This includes elements like page speed, page rendering, and ensuring that pages are actually indexed. The indexing issue is become more and more a problem and is not something that is always automatic. A periodic review of Google search console and Google analytics will help to inform if your technical SEO specs are up to muster.
Local SEO | The Local Marketing Powerhouse
For clients looking for visibility in local search results, Local SEO can be a real powerhouse. Generally speaking local SEO is a focus on creating localized content on your website and in many cases also working on the optimization of your Google Business Profile. The combination of working on both of these digital assets can create a very viable and predicable lead flow from search engines in local markets. For these clients often the Local SEO play is what garners them the most visibility of any other element within their digital marketing strategy.
The idea of local SEO as a digital marketing strategy is simple. Show up in more localized search queries. If you have a company that serves a local market mostly just using your keyword research and then adding localized elements can really help in the local search engine results pages.
Types of SEO in conclusion
There are more types of SEO than we could possibly cover in one short article, but these high level concepts are certainly some of the most important items you can look at when trying to please the search engine bots and search engine crawlers. These types of SEO are generally a great place to start whether you have a brick and mortar business or an ecommerce website. The reality is the SEO strategies are constantly evolving, much like the digital marketing landscape as a whole.