This post was updated by on September 17, 2021.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your website to increase your rankings on Google for key terms related to your business. SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics you can invest your time into, and there are a variety of ways you can take advantage of the practice.
Here are four key types of SEO that you can get started on.
1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO, also sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. This can include your body copy, keywords, headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, images, and more.
Some tips for on-page SEO include:
- Research your keywords – Determine the terms and phrases that you want to rank for on search engines. Do some keyword research on which terms have high relevance and search volume, but also consider choosing terms with less competition. Once you’ve determined the right keywords, be sure you let your writing team know to optimize the page content to include them as them write.
- Optimize metadata – Metadata tells Google, and searchers, about the content of a page. Make sure your meta titles and meta descriptions include relevant content and your keyword phrases so you have a better chance at ranking higher. It’s important to note that Google also sometimes rewrites our metadata with other copy on the page, which makes it important to ensure your whole page is optimized.
- Perform internal linking – Internal links are URLs that link to other pages on your website. Often, you will attach these to anchored text. Insert links on targeted keywords in your copy and link to high-authority pages to better help Google read your site, and to make it more user friendly.
Incorporating on-page SEO into your marketing efforts is helpful for search engines to understand the content on your site. And once Google understands your website, it can reward you by displaying your site for search queries it deems relevant.
2. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is pretty much everything that does not happen on your website. Off-page SEO is all about creating exposure and trust for your company, which ultimately can result in more visitors and sales.
Most off-page SEO work is focused on link building. If you’re unaware, link building is the practice of getting other reputable websites to link back to your site.
Some quality link building tactics include:
- Pitching articles – There are many blogs and online publications will accept and publish posts you pitch to them. Make sure the site is relevant to your work and include a link back to your company, but also make sure that you do accept or exchange money in order to do so.
- Competitor research – Check out the backlink profile of your largest competitors. Find out where they are acquiring links and which sites will allow a hyperlink. This guide can provide some pointers on how to start competitor research.
- Helping reporters – There are a variety of online services, such as HARO, where journalists request insights from certain industry experts. This is where you come in! Offer up a quote or information on your area of expertise and they will most likely link back to your website in the article.
Make sure that your acquired links are earned, come from authoritative sources, bring qualified traffic, are “follow” links, and are from relevant sites!
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to the actions performed to help search engines crawl your website and enhance user experience (UX). As search engines and their algorithms become more complex, these requirements change which means that this type of SEO is always evolving.
In order to make sure there are not any problems with crawability and UX, your technical SEO efforts must be efficient.
Technical SEO efforts to be addressed should include:
- Website speed – A faster website speed is always better, and recently, Google has further included a variety of load time variables to be ranking factors. Be sure to make your template simple, limit redirects, and optimize your visuals.
- Mobile friendliness – Many users are moving from desktop to mobile to perform an array of searches for products and services. Check your site on a mobile device to ensure that it’s easy to navigate for any visitors coming via mobile.
- Site structure – Use the HTTPS hypertext, a user-friendly and consistent URL structure, a clean navigation hierarchy, and consistent internal links to help make your site structure concise.
4. Local SEO
Local SEO is a variation of SEO that focuses on a specific area, rather than a national focus. It’s all about increasing your online presence in your community and promoting your products or services to local customers.
Often, how well you rank on Google depends on your Google My Business profile. This is where you include your address, business hours, description, reviews and photos. The search engine results pages will look at proximity, relevance, and prominence based on the user’s search query, and select your business if you meet various requirements.
The benefits of local SEO include:
- It’s highly targeted
- It’s free
- There is a greater opportunity to rank locally since only 44% of businesses claim their GMB listing
Some ways you can improve your local SEO include writing tailored local landing pages, optimizing your local profiles, submitting spam on Google Maps, building local links, and more.
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