Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of online marketing, and there are four types of SEO that you need to be aware of to succeed.
SEO is about increasing your website’s organic visibility for the keywords your target customers use to find solutions. This approach to digital marketing is an investment in the future of your website – it takes time to build visibility. Still, the visibility you develop will persist into the future, even if you pause your SEO efforts for a few months.
The key to developing organic visibility involves different types of SEO simultaneously.
In this article, you will discover the four essential types of SEO needed for your website to increase organic rankings and traffic.
The Different Types of SEO
SEO involves more than keyword research these days. Today, SEO involves local, on-page, off-page, and technical optimization. These are the four corners of successful modern SEO.
If you focus on one and ignore the other three, you will not achieve the best results for your website.
For the best results, it’s best to approach all four corners of SEO together. This ensures you’re making progress in all directions and don’t have to backtrack later. This is one of the most common reasons business owners trust a professional digital marketing team to handle their SEO campaign, as it requires ongoing time and attention.
SEO is more than just telling Google and Bing about yourself and why your website is better than the competition. It’s a little more complicated than that – search engines rely on hundreds of rankings factors to determine how to index your website. Search engines often make changes to their algorithm, which alters the weight of each ranking factor, to improve the quality of their index for the searcher. The key is to keep your finger on the pulse of these changes and adapt.
Let’s look at the four types of SEO you need to explore, develop, and maintain to develop your organic visibility.
1. Local SEO
Let’s start with local SEO because it’s the easiest to understand and explain. Search engines can determine a user’s location during a search and use that information to provide contextual results that might better apply to the user’s question.
For example, if you specifically search for “best restaurants,” Google is unlikely to try and offer results on the best restaurants in the world immediately. Instead, it will assume that you’re out on a night in town, looking for a place to eat. As such, the first result is a list of locations provided via Google Maps and Google Business, sorted by ratings and proximity to your location.
This cursory insight into how Google creates most brick-and-mortar local results gives us two major insights into improving your local SEO:
- You need to establish and optimize your Google Business Profile
- You need to establish your place of business on Google Maps, with a gallery of images, contact information, and opening and closing hours.
In addition to improving your presence on Google’s local results themselves, you can also improve your local SEO in other ways to increase the likelihood of showing up under top results for terms like “best shoe store Rotterdam” or “best sneaker shop near me” – use your website and content to clarify your location!
Optimizing your Google Business Profile can dramatically boost your brand’s visibility to local customers.
- Chris Rice, Senior SEO Specialist
It’s not enough to explain to customers that you’re a one-stop shop for their favorite brands at great prices. You’ll want them to know that you’re the one-stop shop in the city or region of your choice.
Search engines pick up on this information, even if it’s tangentially mentioned a few times on your landing page or About Us copy. Contact information and adding a footer with the company’s physical address help a lot.
2. On-Page SEO
We’ve briefly touched on it by mentioning the on-site copy, such as the About Us page or your landing pages, but on-site or on-page SEO is where the meat of the legwork is.
Google and other search engines use robots to crawl the web and collect information on the contents of different websites. This helps Google index new websites on the accessible World Wide Web and begin to display them in search results.
We mentioned that there are thousands of ranking factors. It’s unrealistic for any person or team to invest in every single one of them, so it helps to focus on what matters most. In general, this includes the following:
- Make sure your website is user-friendly.
- Make sure your website contains the proofread copy.
- Ensure you utilize key phrases relevant to your products or services in your content strategy.
- Make sure you are utilizing the right metadata to feed information to the web robots.
- Make sure your content is properly utilizing internal links.
- And so on.
On-page SEO refers to anything to do with the optimization of your web content, from the contact page to your product descriptions or blog section.
3. Off-Page SEO
On-page SEO is straightforward enough. But what about off-page SEO?
As the name implies, it’s everything else outside your web content. That means developing high-quality backlinks, exploring guest post opportunities, researching your competitor’s keyword tactics, working with journalists, and more.
Create content that others can use and link to as a resource for their audience.
- Eric Sachs, CEO
Where on-page SEO proves your website’s relevance and know-how, off-page SEO is all about improving your authority.
Remember, it’s not about how many backlinks point to your website; it’s about the quality of the backlinks that point to your website. This is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO, as it requires the collaboration of 3rd-party websites. Most people are busy and not interested in creating a backlink for free. This is why it’s important to utilize a seasoned team of SEO professionals who have relationships with bloggers, publications, and other 3rd-parties that might be able to create a link.
One backlink from a high-quality website in your niche will often outperform 100 backlinks from low-quality websites. It’s all about authority and relevance.
A single backlink from a high-quality website can help increase your organic rankings across the board, thus increasing traffic and even sales.
4. Technical SEO
Where on-page SEO is all about the quality and relevance of the content, technical SEO is about the experience, both behind the scenes and in the front end. In general, this means:
- Make sure your website is secure (SSL certification).
- Ensure your website loads quickly and has no hostile or annoying layout or design.
- Ensure your website is functional across all devices reasonably used to browse the modern web (i.e., desktops, mobile devices, and a suite of popular browsers).
- Layout optimization.
- Making sure your site structure and URLs are optimized for ranking and shareability.
- And so on.
Technical SEO is just as important as on-page SEO, even if it feels more or less invisible. It’s the kind of thing most people might not notice when it’s there but notice when it isn’t.
Nurturing the health of your technical SEO is just as important as keyword research, content development, and backlink development.
- Chris Rice, Senior SEO Strategist
Why Are All Four Important?
SEO as a whole is constantly synergistic. Your off-page SEO efforts are wasted if your on-page SEO efforts don’t match.
There’s no point in having great content if your website takes years to load or performs so severely that people click off in frustration after just a few seconds. And suppose your website is beautiful and a joy to navigate and use but offers no information about your products or services and doesn’t have anything worth backlinking to. In that case, you’ll have difficulty being referenced and found throughout the web.
A balanced approach to all four elements of SEO is necessary to make your SEO plans work.
Deploying SEO strategies and techniques to improve a website’s visibility and attract more organic traffic takes time and energy. For this reason, most companies opt to work with an SEO agency that offers tailored SEO services. While some agencies may offer on-page, off-page, technical, and local SEO services individually, combining all four is best. If you’re interested in working with a professional SEO service provider, be sure you have the answers to the following questions: what are SEO services, and what’s included?
Where Should You Start?
With an audit. If you have any existing online content and a website, your first option should be to work with a professional team to decide where your priorities should lay. Ideally, a total SEO overhaul is always a good idea – provided a unified plan in the overhaul, coordinating changes across all four types of SEO.
If you’re unsure where to start, it’s always a good idea to get help. We can assist you in developing a tailored SEO strategy for your niche and business and pull ahead of the competition.