What is SEO and What are its Different Types?

What is SEO and What are its Different Types

 

How’ll anyone come to you if they cannot find you on the web?

Yes, my friend, to make your online visitors find you, you need to make a reputed presence online.

And for that, you need to optimize your site using multiple types of SEO.

In this article, you’ll learn different types of SEO and how they’re important to your overall marketing strategy to improve visibility and ranking in organic search listings amongst your competitors.

But first, let’s understand what SEO is, how search engines work, and how SEO works.

 

So, what is SEO?

 

As per Wikipedia,

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.

In other words,

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about improving the visibility of your website and gaining lots of organic traffic by improving its ranking in SERPs.

 

How do search engines work?

 

All the search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc., crawl the pages on the web using their bots to collect all the information about those pages and put them in an index.

Next, the search engines use a computer program called an algorithm to analyze the pages in the index.

This algorithm looks at hundreds of ranking factors to determine the order of ranking of those pages in the search results.

And this is how a search engine like Google gives you the most relevant result for your query you type into it.

 

How does SEO work?

 

All the search engines work with the same goal of showing the best, useful, and most relevant results for their users’ queries.

And SEO is optimizing your site to demonstrate to the search engines that your content is the best result for a user’s search.

How you optimize your site depends on what search engine you want to rank for – whether it’s Google, Bing, Yahoo!, YouTube, or DuckDuckGo.

Why?

Because search engines use their algorithms to determine the best results and the algorithms are different for different search engines.

Since Google has a market share of more than 92%, it’s always a great idea to understand the algorithm of Google and start optimizing your website to rank higher in Google’s search results.

Now that it’s clear to you what SEO is, how search engines work, and how SEO works, let’s get started with the different types of SEO.

SEO has many different types, but here, we will explain 9 different types of SEO and how they help you earn greater visibility and rank higher in organic search results.

9 Different types of SEO:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Mobile SEO
  • White hat SEO
  • Black hat SEO
  • Grey hat SEO
  • Negative SEO

 

#1. On-Page SEO

 

On-Page SEO is about the content on your website.

It simply refers to all the measures you take to optimize the single or multiple pages of your site to make it user as well as search engine-friendly.

On-Page SEO helps the users and search engines understand that your content is relevant and valuable.

Here are some of the important activities included in On-Page SEO:

  • Always go for long-form, informative, and engaging content. Use bold, italics, and CSS to beautify your content.
  • Include keywords in title, first paragraph, image file name, and Alt text. Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Create Meta Title and Meta Description.
  • Use internal and external links.

Use 2 to 4 older posts while inserting internal links and avoid overdoing it.

Also, use outbound links but always link to authority websites so that search engines could understand that your post has quality information.

  • Your site should be mobile-friendly or you may lose half of your potential traffic.
  • Optimize the page loading speed of your site. For this, you need to optimize the images, avoid using a large number of plugins, and switch to faster hosting.

If you want to learn more about On-Page SEO, you can check out my article:

 

#2. Off-Page SEO

 

While On-page SEO focuses more on content on your website, Off-Page SEO is all about promoting your website on the internet.

Off-Page SEO includes the strategies to increase the popularity and build the reputation and authority of your website.

This type of SEO refers to the activities you perform outside of your site to gain more and more exposure for your website and higher ranking in the SERPs.

The most important Off-Page SEO methods are link building and social media sharing.

  • Link building is the process of getting links from authoritative sites to your website or content. The technical term for getting such links from other websites is Backlink.

Backlinks from relevant and authoritative sites show Google that your site is a reliable and trusted source and it can be an ideal search result.

And hence Google will rank your website higher up in the search results.

Some of the strategies of getting backlinks include the following:

    • Writing guest posts
    • Sharing infographics
    • Broken link strategy

IMPORTANT! Focus on the quality rather than the number of backlinks. One good quality link pointing to your site from a trusted and authoritative site is better than 10 or, even 100 poor quality links.

Also, never go for buying backlinks. Though such links can work fast, they can get your site penalized by Google.

  • Social media is also a major Off-Page SEO technique. When your readers share your content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., Google considers it valuable and helps other people find it.

Sharing your content on social media is a great way of creating brand awareness and making your content popular.

Once your content is popular on social platforms, it will increase the likelihood of social media users visiting your website. And this can greatly help your SEO as well.

Besides link building and social media, Off-Page SEO also includes the following activities:

    • Directory submission
    • Blogging
    • Blog commenting
    • Forum marketing
    • Video marketing
    • Business reviews
    • Social bookmarking
    • Question and answer website

 

#3. Technical SEO

 

No matter how beautiful your site looks, if you don’t improve its technical aspects, it isn’t going to be easy for the search engines to crawl and index your website.

As the name suggests, Technical SEO is related to technical aspects of your site.

This SEO involves the strategies to optimize your site’s backend structure to help search engines understand, crawl, and index all the pages of your site without any problems.

Your website’s readability and user-experience improve. This is important for both the search engines and your readers. The search engines can now see that your site is high quality and overall traffic and engagement rates your site will improve.

And your site’s ranking will improve in the search results.

Technical SEO includes the following activities:

  • Improve site speed
  • Indexing
  • Make your site mobile-friendly
  • Create an XML sitemap
  • Identify and fix crawl errors
  • Remove broken links
  • Optimize site structure and URL structure
  • Structured data
  • Use canonical URLs to avoid instances of duplicate content
  • Use a secure HTTPS connection

 

#4. Local SEO

 

Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find information about nearby things/local business?

Also, according to HubSpot,

  • 88% of consumers who do a local search on their mobile visit or call a store within 24 hours, and
  • “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.

If your customers search for services/products your business offers and they are unable to find your business in their search results, you are going to lose such valuable customers.

There are many businesses that serve a local market such as restaurants, fitness centers, auto repair shops, plumbers, etc.

The strategy of such businesses must focus on local SEO.

You must mention your business name, address, and contact details on all the pages of your website. This makes it easy for the search engines to know where it is and show this information to your potential customers.

Here are some guidelines you can follow for your local SEO and get your business to appear in top spots in search results:

  • First of all, you should claim your Google My Business page. This will display all the useful information such as your name, address, phone number, opening hours, reviews, etc. in search results and on Google maps.
  • You can register your business with some trusted directories such as Yelp, Yahoo small business, Foursquare, and others.
  • It will also be helpful to add a region or city name to your page titles, description, and keywords so that your local leads can easily find your business.

 

#5. Mobile SEO

 

More than 60% of Google searches originate from mobile devices.

Also, more than 79% of consumers make a purchase online using their mobile devices.

And, this number will only go up from here as smart devices become more accessible.

That’s why Google created a mobile-first index and started determining a website’s search engine ranking using its mobile content.

So, my friend, if you aren’t having a solid mobile SEO strategy, you risk having your content poorly ranked.

So, how to optimize for mobile?

Here are some of the best strategies for effective mobile SEO:

  • Make your site mobile-friendly

Use Google’s Mobile Usability Test by logging into your Google Search Console account. This will help you find mobile usability issues if any.

Another tool you can use is Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

This tool also gives you a full report and lets you know if your site has any loading issues.

  • Make sure your site loads fast on mobile

The tool Google PageSpeed Insights provides you with information on how fast your website loads on mobile.

And it also gives recommendations on how to improve your site’s loading time on mobile.

  • Use a responsive web design

Your users may be using different devices. Some use smartphones, while others may be using tablets.

So, it’s crucial that your website should adapt to any device a user uses.

This is where responsive design comes in.

A responsibly-designed site serves the same content to a smartphone, tablet, or desktop users to automatically adapt to the size of a device’s screen.

With responsive design, your site will be easy for your audience to browse.

Now your site will attract more traffic and leads as they can easily access and read your information. They are more likely to spend more time on your site and thus decreasing the bounce rate of your site.

If you’re running a WordPress website, you can make it responsive just by installing the right theme.

  • Consider using AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), a Google-led open-source project, is also a great solution for making your site load faster on mobile devices.

 

#6. White hat SEO

 

As the name ‘White hat’ suggests, it is fully ethical in practice and the methods and tactics you use in this SEO abide by the guidelines of search engines.

Here, you as a marketer, adopt legal and legitimate practices to gain rankings organically in the search results.

Your site won’t be running any risk of getting banned or punished by the search engines if there’s a new algorithm change.

If you do it right, white hat SEO is a low-risk technique and will drive positive results for your business.

White hat SEO may take longer in producing results, but once produced, the results are going to be long-lasting and compounding over time.

Here are the most common techniques of White hat SEO:

  • Create high-quality and valuable content.
  • Optimizing HTML of your website.
  • Social media sharing.
  • Make your site user-friendly.
  • Earning links from high-authority sites, etc.

 

#7. Black hat SEO

 

As is clear from the name itself, Black hat SEO is the exact opposite of White hat SEO.

Some webmasters work outside of Google’s rules and guidelines using unethical tactics to get fast results. They take shortcuts to get to the top of the rankings.

And Black hat SEO takes less time and also costs less.

But the methods they use are high-risk and the results such methods deliver are short-lived.

Black hat SEO techniques carry the risk that the search engines may blacklist a website or drop its ranking in the search results.

And ultimately, such webmasters who take shortcuts to drive faster results, end up hurting their sites as well as businesses severely.

Some of the tactics that fall under Black hat SEO are:

  • Link spamming and paid link building methods.
  • Spamming blog comments.
  • Keyword stuffing.
  • Cloaking (showing different content to search engine bots/crawlers and humans.
  • Copying content.
  • Inserting hidden links/texts.

 

#8. Grey hat SEO

 

SEO agencies use Grey hat SEO when their clients put pressure on them to deliver quick results for their paid services.

Grey hat SEO falls somewhere between White hat SEO and Black hat SEO.

It’s called Grey hat SEO because it is neither good for your site nor Google’s guidelines prohibit using it.

Google hasn’t specifically mentioned about these tactics in its guidelines.

Examples of this type of SEO include:

  • Clickbait content
  • Excessive link exchanges between sites.
  • Spun content.
  • Paid reviews

Be cautious while using this type of SEO techniques.

If Google doesn’t ban these techniques, it never means that these are the best and acceptable ways to help your site grow and generate leads.

These tactics are risky and can lead to negative consequences.

 

#9. Negative SEO

 

In Negative SEO, you try to hurt your competitors by implementing Black and Grey hat SEO techniques on their websites.

Causing harm to your competitors using these techniques results in a decrease in their rankings.

And by decreasing their ranks, you make room for yourself to move up in the search results.

Negative SEO includes the following strategies:

  • Hacking a website
  • Posting negative feedback or reviews
  • Building a high number of spammy or low-quality links to someone’s site
  • Scraping a site’s content and copying it to other websites
  • Ruining competitors’ reputation online by creating fake social profiles
  • Removing best backlinks from competitors’ websites

Negative SEO has become a real threat and also hard to detect.

The best way to prevent your site from attack is by constantly monitoring your site using the right tools and right strategies.

To learn more about negative SEO and how to prevent your site from it, you can check out this video by Matt Cutt:

 

 

Conclusion

 

I hope that this article helped you understand what SEO is, how it works, how search engines work, and also the different types of SEO you should be using to boost your search rankings.

Here’s a quick recap of all the 9 types of SEO we covered in this post:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Mobile SEO
  • White hat SEO
  • Black hat SEO
  • Grey hat SEO
  • Negative SEO

To get yourself into the top rankings, you should at least be using the first three i.e., On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO. These are the most important types of SEO.

You should never be using the last three types i.e., Black hat, Grey hat, and Negative SEO. These are against Google’s guidelines. If you use these types, there are great chances that Google may penalize you by lowering your rankings or even banning your site.

 

 

 

 

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