SEO is a unique marketing solution in that it offers a way to optimize content and your total online presence at once, allowing you to get so much more than you expect out of a single tool. Of course, there are a few different types of SEO that you can use, and knowing each one can give you that much more marketing power.
If you are trying to grasp the world of SEO, understanding the different types is an important lesson. After all, even a quick Google search reveals that there is some confusion surrounding SEO types, with content discussing the four, five, or even seven types of SEO you need.
This guide will help you better understand the SEO process, including how it works and what it can do for your business. We will discuss what SEO is, why it is still relevant, and the different types of SEO that will be essential to include in your marketing strategy if you want to be successful.
Today’s consumer wants more than just a business that can sell them a product. They also want to be able to find that business online.
If you don’t capitalize on all of the types of SEO that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy, you could be missing out on being found at all. In today’s highly competitive online marketplace, that will cost you dearly.
You need SEO and you need to develop a well-rounded SEO strategy if you are going to capitalize on your marketing efforts. Of course, you can’t do any of that if you don’t know the basics of SEO and its types. From on-page and off-page optimization to technical SEO and more, there’s a lot that you need to learn before you dive in.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a critical marketing tool for any business that wants to improve its online presence and get better search rankings. It’s a process and a strategy, not just a single tool or one-off project, though, which is where a lot of people get caught up or confused.
Search engine optimization simply refers to the process of optimizing the content on your website and in your off-page listings so that they are easily discovered by both search engines and the consumer.
This is done by researching and incorporating various keywords into the content, optimizing all of the technical SEO aspects, and creating a well-rounded SEO strategy that addresses all of your marketing goals, including the results that you expect to see in regards to getting that first page SERP listing (SERP- Search Engine Results Page).
Why Do I Need SEO?
SEO is the most effective and most commonly used marketing strategy that is being used right now. It’s also the only way to get discovered online. Much like building a traditional business, you can’t just assume that people will know you exist and wait for them to show up.
You have to go out and find them. Using SEO is a very effective way to do that. Not only does it allow you to use keywords and other optimization techniques to make the search engines find your brand, but it allows you to optimize your content so that new and existing customers can find you, as well.
“Everyone else is doing it!”
If nothing else, you need SEO because it’s what everyone else is using to build their online presence. It’s the marketing “tool” to beat and even though it’s more strategy than a single-use tool, it’s one of the most important elements in your marketing toolbox. This is one time in your life that you really do want to capitalize on something specifically because everyone else is doing it.
If you don’t optimize your website and off-page content properly, your business won’t be found. Your brand won’t get the visibility that it deserves and your competitors that are effectively using SEO will take all of the good business.
You need SEO because it’s 2020 and this is how businesses are marketing themselves. If you’re not on board, you’re getting left behind.
On-Page and Off-Page SEO
When embarking on the SEO journey, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with all of the different types of SEO and the process involved in optimizing all of your online content. You can’t just optimize your website and hope for the best.
The two biggest “types” or parts of SEO that you need to focus on are your on-page and off-page efforts.
On-page SEO refers to your website optimization. This includes any and all content on your website, from the service pages to the blog and even your navigational elements. Keywords are just one part of SEO. We’ll get into the technical aspects a little more later on, but the point is that you have to optimize all of the aspects of your website to ensure that they are in the best condition for SEO success.
Some of the ways that you use onsite or on-page SEO include:
- updating and adding keywords to page content
- adding or updating a blog
- optimizing navigation elements
- page titles
- image tags
- a sitemap that is functional, indexable, and designed to be easy for both users and search engine bots to follow.
Of course, the on-page SEO is easy for most. It’s the off-page content and optimization that keeps most people from succeeding with SEO on their own.
Off-page SEO refers to any presence that your brand has outside of the website. This could be your social media pages, listings on business directories, backlinks and guest blogs, and even your presence in online industry forums and other spaces.
Think of it like this– your on-page SEO is important because it establishes your brand and your authority as a business. However, your off-page optimization also matters because it allows other websites or businesses to bolster your presence and back up your brand.
If you tell people you’re great, they’re going to need a lot more than a statement. If third parties show off how great your brand is, however, people will take that and run with it.
Think about how you shop for professional services or choose businesses that you buy from as a consumer– you can’t just take someone’s word on the fact that they are a reputable business, let alone that they are the right business for you. You can, however, take that word from third parties and outside sources.
Your off-page optimization should focus on building credibility and giving people more than your word that you’re the best for the job. Brands can tell you that they’re the best, but it’s much easier to believe when you hear it from someone else.
One aspect of SEO that a lot of people don’t know is the technical SEO involved in the process. Technical SEO just refers to the optimization efforts that are focused more on the back end of your online existence.
Technical SEO is part of on-page optimization and includes things like:
- Search engine crawling and indexing
- Website rendering and performance
- Architecture and navigation
Besides researching and adding the appropriate keywords to your content, you will also need to focus on enhancing these elements. After all, part of presenting yourself as an authority on the subject includes showing that you know how to create a fully-developed SEO campaign that includes technical optimization.
If you build a basic website and don’t utilize SEO tactics to create the best online presence, search engines and consumers alike are going to notice. A big part of that is making sure that your website and off-page elements perform well, are easy to find and navigate, and that you can be found on any platform or device.
Speaking of being found, mobile optimization is also part of the technical SEO process, and it’s an important part because more than 75% of search engine users are performing their searches from their mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re not going to be found.
Are you starting to see the trend? It’s all about your presence, and without SEO, you don’t really have one to speak of in the eyes of the search engines.
Different Types of SEO
This is a debatable topic that sparks conversation among many in the industry, including professional marketers and those who are just getting into SEO. Within the realm of on-page and off-page optimization, there are different types of SEO that you can employ to get the job done.
The most important thing to know, for the sake of your online reputation, is the difference between white hat (reputable) and black hat (less-than-reputable) marketing tactics.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO refers to all of the reputable optimization processes and efforts. These tactics are the marketing strategies that you want to use, and that you can use, to reach your audience. This is mostly an industry term, but you’re going to see it a lot so it helps to understand what it means.
White hat SEO includes things like:
- Keyword research and optimization
- Curating optimized content for your blog
- Integrating SEO tactics based on the human audience
Ultimately, this type of SEO is the type that is on the up-and-up, and is the one that you want to be using to build your online visibility and brand authority.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO isn’t a term that we hear much anymore, but it’s something to think about and pay attention to. After all, even if it’s accidental, using the wrong kind of SEO strategies or tools can have a serious (negative) impact on your website.
When search engines are crawling your content, they’re not going to stop and ask if your use of black hat tactics was deliberate or accidental. They’re just going to see that you’re doing things you shouldn’t, and count that against you.
Black hat SEO basically means that you are breaking rules to get higher search engine rankings, and doing so by only focusing on what the search engines want.
Some examples of black hat SEO include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Content spamming
- Link farming
- Hidden links and text
Basically, the search engines look at it like this: are you optimizing with the best interests of your customer in mind? Are you building a reputable, professional online image with your SEO? Are you optimizing for success or trying to cheat the system?
That’s where the line is drawn between white hat and black hat SEO.
How Many Types of SEO are There?
Depending on who you ask, there are dozens of different elements that could be considered “types” of SEO. For example, in addition to off-page and on-page optimization and technical SEO, which are the general areas everyone needs to cover, there are other types of SEO that may or may not be needed by everyone.
Local SEO, for example, is a critical part of optimization for local businesses. However, for strictly-online brands, it isn’t going to matter. eCommerce SEO is the same way– this practice is designed specifically for eCommerce stores. If you are a service business, you won’t need this tool.
Mobile SEO, on the other hand, is something that everyone can benefit from. Mobile search is dominating and mobile access rates are higher than ever. In fact, so few people are using desktop computers that most SEO agencies will focus on a “mobile-first” website design.
Mobile-first simply means that your website is optimized for mobile and then necessary compatible desktop elements are added later. It’s really the only way to go these days.
Basically, the only “types” of search engine optimization that you need to know are the ones that are relevant and going to be useful to your SEO strategy.
Do You Still Need SEO?
Anytime we discuss SEO, one of the biggest questions people have is always the same:
“Do I really need SEO?”
The short answer is yes. Everyone needs SEO. it’s the way to get found online today and if you aren’t getting on board, you’re getting left behind.
Of all of the marketing tools and methods that have been developed over the years, search engine optimization is one tactic in online marketing that has evolved, stood the test of time, and come out on top as the industry standard for branding and building online visibility.
You absolutely still need SEO– in fact, you need it now more than ever. Understanding how it works and what it offers is half the battle, but we’re getting there.
Is SEO Still Relevant in 2020?
93% of all online interactions start with a search engine.
After a statistic like that, you might not even need more information about whether SEO is still relevant. After all, this statistic clearly shows that it is indeed more relevant now than ever before.
Whether you are genuinely interested in whether there is relevance and use in SEO or you are just using these questions to balk at the practice, you’re going to get the same answer.
SEO is relevant. It is reliable, reputable, and it is the only way to increase your search engine rankings organically while also building your online image and creating a sense of authority about your brand.
People use search engines for everything. They’re integrated on smartphones and tablets, available from a simple voice command, and give people the entire world at their fingertips to find any product, service, or piece of information that they could imagine.
If you don’t have a solid SEO strategy in place, you’re not part of that world.
In case you’re still not entirely sold, here are a few more things to consider:
- 52% of all global online traffic is mobile
- 70% of marketers say that SEO is more effective than PPC
- The first search engine results page (SERP) gets more than 75% of all clicks, with most going to the first five results on the page
- 51% of all website traffic originates from search engines
Will SEO Work for Your Market/Niche?
One of the most common questions that we see from potential clients and even those who are just inquiring about SEO services is the age-old inquiry of “but will it work for me?”.
Some people assume that based on their market or niche, SEO might not be a relevant marketing tool or provide the solution that they need.
That’s absolutely incorrect.
No matter what industry or market you are in, SEO matters and it works as long as you do it well. The nature of online business requires optimization for your brand to be visible, let alone to stand out among the competition.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling business cards, bowling accessories, or even new cars, because you need to capitalize on the most effective and relevant marketing tools to get your message and your brand name out there. Right now, SEO is the tool to beat, and as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.
SEO can work for every business and market. It’s a process that focuses on getting found and building up your sense of authority and reputation in the industry as well as in the online world.
So, will SEO work for your niche? If your “niche” is getting on the first page of search results and improving your online visibility, then yes, SEO will work. SEO will work for anyone who incorporates it effectively, properly, and with the best practices in mind.
Professional SEO Solutions Handle it All
Perhaps after reading this guide, you feel like you have a better idea of how to use the different types of SEO and what they can do to benefit your business. That is the goal, of course, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be an expert by any means.
After all, with so many types of SEO to consider and include in your marketing strategies, it may be hard to figure out where to start.
The one thing that you can do is to enlist the help of professional SEO experts. Agencies and firms are well-versed in SEO best practices and how to follow the guidelines while still getting results. They understand the different types of SEO, how things work, and how to create a strategy for your brand that gets results.
Just as you are an expert on your products and services, agencies and pros in marketing are experts on everything to do with SEO. Having that kind of power on your side can improve your marketing efforts in no time.
At Ranq, we’ve been working with all types of SEO solutions and providing people with customized SEO services for years. We know what it takes to keep up with the best practices of the search engines while still delivering for your human audience.
We know the power of proper (and improper) SEO techniques, and how to help your brand implement a solid SEO strategy that embraces the best types and tools every time.
If you want to make the most of SEO for your online marketing, you really need to rely on the assistance of professionals that understand the process. Contact us to discuss your needs and get started.