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 referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. This includes your 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 research on which keywords have high relevance and search volume, but less competition. Once you’ve determined the right keywords, then optimize your landing page content and headers for those terms.
- Optimize metadata – Metadata tells Google 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.
- Begin 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:
- Guest posting – Many blogs and online publications will accept and publish your posts. Make sure the site is relevant to your work and include a link back to your company.
- 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.
- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – Help a Reporter Out is an online service 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. 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 Google crawling your website, your technical SEO efforts must be efficient.
Technical SEO efforts to be addressed should include:
- Website speed – A faster website speed is always better. Be sure to make your template simple, limit redirects, and optimize your visuals.
- Mobile friendliness – Many users are moving from desktop to mobile. 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, and consistent internal links.
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