SEO Basics: Types of SEO

SEO Basics: Types of SEO

Few internet tools and techniques hold longevity quite like SEO. While specific methods have evolved over the years in keeping with algorithm changes, the tactic itself remains a top option for producing website traffic, and, more importantly, conversions.

Over time, the scope of SEO has expanded to include a wide variety of techniques intended to better target search engine users, and hopefully, produce a better ROI. To the uninitiated, however, this can feel overwhelming.

In the interest of easing the burden, we’ve clarified a few of the most important types of SEO—and provided a general definition to make the concept more accessible.

What Is SEO?

Far too many of those who claim to use SEO struggle to actually define it. Many others hold surface-level knowledge but remain unsure as to how SEO basics apply to their unique situation. This lack of understanding can compromise optimization efforts.

An effective SEO strategy will optimize website performance within search engines. Essentially, this process aims to drive traffic based on the algorithms employed by search engines such as Google or Bing. Ideally, optimization efforts will lead to high rankings for specific keyword searches.

Success in SEO relies on a combination of quantity and quality. Effective SEO campaigns push websites to the top of search engine ranking pages (SERPs), where they are far more visible and more likely to receive much-needed clicks. Traffic quality arguably matters even more, however. All the traffic in the world will accomplish little if websites fail to meet user expectations established via search results.

Types of SEO

Now that you understand SEO basics, it’s time to delve into the various forms of optimization, as highlighted below:

On-Page SEO

When most people think of SEO, they picture on-page content. Sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, this consists of individual webpages and the text, images, videos, and other media found there.

To reach the most search engine users, on-page content must provide value for website visitors. More importantly, the on-page content must contain content that visitors are searching for. Pages can be optimized through careful keyword placement and linking strategies, but it’s far more important for content to inform, entertain, or otherwise serve users. Present search engine algorithms prioritize on-page quality above most other factors.

Keywords may no longer be the chief determinant of on-page SEO success, but they remain important for promoting relevant content. Rather than focusing on keyword repetition, on-page efforts should seek to determine user intent—and deliver content that meets these demands.

Off-Page SEO

While on-page SEO refers to optimization strategies evident when viewing a specific site, off-page encompasses the myriad of techniques that aren’t immediately visible to users. Although not as easy to spot, these efforts are just as important as those seen within carefully curated website content.

Traditionally, most people have associated on-page SEO with keyword content and off-page with inbound links. The role of keywords has changed over time, but link building remains at the heart of off-page efforts.

Search engines continue to look to backlinks as chief indicators of website quality. When a variety of natural, unsolicited links lead to a particular page on your site, search engines will regard your site as a respected authority—and reward it with higher rankings. The more search engine authority the referring site has, the more authority SERPs will give to your site.

Technical SEO

The elements that keep your website running smoothly can be referred to as technical SEO, which encompasses architecture, security, and features that make sites as mobile-friendly as possible. Although not immediately evident to visitors, these backend functions make pages far easier for search engines to crawl.

Website best practices for improving technical SEO include:

  • Optimizing the speed of the site so it loads quickly.
  • Install Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates to keep the site secure
  • Developing the site to be mobile-friendly and adaptable to multiple device sizes.
  • Making sure the site contains an XML sitemap, is indexable/crawlable by search engines, and has the ability to track traffic.

Local SEO

While some organizations operate almost exclusively online, many still retain some type of physical presence. Local SEO combines this physical element with digital efforts to deliver in-person clients and customers.

Rather than seeking global website viewership, this approach emphasizes visitors from a specific geographic region. Effective local SEO strategies incorporate regional landing pages, optimized Google My Business pages, and, if relevant, website-based store locators.

A Note About Digital Marketing

SEO and digital marketing are not exactly the same thing. SEO is one part of a digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing aims to drive traffic to your site. While ranking high in search engines might be part of your digital marketing strategy, other strategies may also be used such as purchasing pay-per-click ads, creating blog content, and leveraging social media influencers.

The Takeaway

Each of the SEO varieties highlighted above can play a significant role in your website’s performance and customer conversions. These elements may seem separate, but in reality, they overlap extensively to form an all-inclusive SEO strategy. For example, local SEO is more effective if it draws on properly targeted keywords (on-site SEO), natural links from regional authorities (off-site SEO), and crawlability for the contact page (technical SEO). A comprehensive approach will ultimately deliver the quantity and quality of traffic needed to achieve an exceptional ROI.

Juggling multiple types of SEO is far from easy. Why go it alone? At Alt Creative, we can help you with your On-Page and Technical SEO and we can refer you to experts in Local SEO and Off-Site SEO. Contact us to get started with a website audit.

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