Types of SEO: What You Need to Know for 2024

types of seoSearch 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 different aspects of 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 they 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 of 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.

On-Page SEO FAQs

How does content quality impact on-page SEO?

The quality of your content will not go unnoticed by Google. Google takes into account how helpful content is for users, so it’s important to provide valuable information on your web pages! Google wants people to follow the E-E-A-T guidelines, which means Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

This means when you are writing content, you’ll want to spend time to make sure you’re following those guidelines. So be sure to be include FAQs, author bios to display your expertise at your company, links to other valuable resources that are trusted, and more. You need to prove that you’re a reliable resource for users and that the information you’re providing is relevant to the subject that people are searching.

What is the easiest way to do inner linking?

If you’re looking for ways to inner link on your website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pull up Google’s search bar
  2. Type in this exact structure: site:www.yourwebsite.com [space] keyword (keyword refers to whatever is most relevant to what you want to link to)
  3. Hit search and see results of your website pages with instances where the keyword is mentioned

This easy way allows you to find more opportunities for inner linking. You can find pages and add links to them to help build up your on-page SEO.

What are meta titles and meta descriptions?

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of optimizing metadata, such as meta titles and meta descriptions. For clarity, meta titles are the title of a web page in the HTML code. Meta descriptions are a tag in the code that informs the user with a short summary of the page. These are both indexed and shown in the search engine so it’s important to include relevant keywords in them. Here is an example:

metadata example

How often should you update your on-page SEO content? 

Writing content for your website is not a one-time task. It should be an ongoing process to ensure your content is regularly updated with fresh, helpful information, meeting the search engines requirements, and adapting to user behavior. Google values website that are consistently updating their content, so it’s important to refresh it when necessary. If you see drops in your keywords, a good thing to do is to manually search the queries yourself to see who is ranking above you, and what content they have on their ranking webpage, to gauge what types of things Google is rewarding.

2. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is pretty much everything you do to help your rankings 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 that will accept and publish posts you pitch to them. Make sure the site is relevant to your work and that you are able to link back to your company in some way. For example, manufacturers should target relevant publications in their niche to reach their target audience. Note, it important to know you should not accept or exchange money in order to gain links as it is against Google’s guidelines.
  • 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. Then, strategize on how to gain the link, sometimes this is as simple as adding yourself to a directory or claiming an existing profile! This guide can provide some pointers on how to start competitor research.
  • Helping reporters – There are a variety of online services, such as HARO, Featured, and Qwoted 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.

Overall, ensure your acquired links are earned, come from authoritative sources, bring qualified traffic, are “follow” links, and are from relevant sites!

Off-Page SEO FAQs

What is a backlink profile?

A backlink profile is essentially a portfolio of all the links pointing to your website from other domains. These are links that live on another website and link to yours. At a high level, a backlink profile as a whole includes looking at the quality and quantity of your acquired links.

A strong backlink profile has the following:

  • High-authority links that are relevant to the industry or company
  • No spammy links or anchor text
  • A variety of different kinds of links

What is the difference between a follow and no-follow link?

Do-follow links pass along the equity from one website to the next, which impact keyword positions and traffic to your website. No-follow links don’t pass along that equity, so it doesn’t influence the search engine rankings. This is why we focus on acquiring follow links!

Is social media part of off-page SEO?

Yes, social media is an important aspect of off-page SEO. Social media can help gain more exposure to your website and increase brand awareness. A lot of businesses will have their website’s link in their social media bios, which contributes to search engine rankings. It also can contribute to natural backlinks if people are sharing your company’s social media posts.

This makes it important to create a good social media presence and to be active so you can increase the chances of people discovering your website or mentioning you in other publications.

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 crawling and user experience (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 to be in proper formats (JPGs, PNGs, and WebP).
  • 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.
  • Schema markup – Adding structured data to your web pages can help search engines better understand your site’s pages and what you are presenting online. Adding schema can result in having rich snippets present in search results, which can increase your click through rates.

Technical SEO FAQs

What’s the best tool to use to monitor technical issues?

When trying to monitor any technical issues, Screaming Frog SEO Spider can be helpful to use, and is our preferred tool for combating technical SEO. This website crawler can analyze 500 URLs for free and it does the following on your website:

  • Find broken links
  • Analyze page titles
  • Identify redirect chain loops
  • Visualize site architecture
  • Crawls Javascript websites
  • Schedule audits
  • Compare multiple crawls
  • And much more!

Using this tool will help ensure that your website is running efficiently, up to date, and free from any kind of errors in the backend.

How can I make my website “mobile-friendly”?

A website that is mobile-friendly requires a responsive design that can automatically adjust the layout based on the device that it’s loaded on. This means that it is usable on desktop, mobile, and even tablet. You will also want to make sure text is readable, buttons and links are easily clickable, contact forms are clearly accessibly for inquiries and you can navigate the overall design with ease.

What is a sitemap and do I need one?

Yes! Sitemaps help Google understand the site’s architecture. It is a file where you provide information about pages, videos, and other files on your website and the relationships between them. It is best practice to have an XML site because it will help Google crawl your site more efficiently. And if you set up a Google Search Console account, you can submit your sitemap to Google can be automatically notified when you make changes to your website.

What is robots.txt and how do you use it?

Robots.txt is a file on your server that communicated with search engines and tells them which pages on your website not to crawl. It’s helpful to prevent bloating your website with pages that aren’t valuable. However, when not used carefully, it can be harmful, so be sure to avoid accidentally blocking important pages from being indexed.

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 Business Profile (GBP). 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.

Some examples of types of businesses that need local search engine optimization include dentists, gyms, restaurants, and landscaping companies. However, there are some types, such as colleges and universities, that would benefit from both local and national SEO given its hybrid nature!

The benefits of local SEO include:

  • It’s highly targeted
  • Many tactics are free to do
  • There is a greater opportunity to rank locally since only 44% of businesses claim their GBP 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.

Local SEO FAQs

Do reviews affect local SEO?

Yes, reviews can impact your local SEO. No matter if your reviews are positive or negative, reviews show Google and its users that you’re a legitimate company. Businesses that include reviews in their Google Business Profile tend to rank higher on search engine pages.

How do I get rid of spammy businesses on Google Maps?

Getting rid of spammy businesses on Google Maps can help you rank higher, and it helps people only see legitimate businesses. If you see a business using spammy keywords in their business name, have duplicate listings, not have a real location listed, or more, you can report these profiles to Google. Here are Google’s guidelines for how businesses should represent themselves.

There are two main ways you can report spam on Google:

  • Suggest an edit- you can send edits to Google that you believe would be the correct business name, if you think a business is closed, and for duplicates.
  • Redressal form- this is helpful for offices that may be virtual or whose address isn’t truly where the business is located.

How does proximity impact local SEO?

When focusing on your local SEO, it’s important to know that where exactly you are located has a huge impact on where you’ll appear in users search results.

For example, if your business is located a couple of miles outside of a city, it may have difficulty showing up in results for that city. Google is very specific with their search results and will only show businesses that are within that city.

This conveys that proximity does play a huge role in your local SEO because it determines which users will be finding you, and your competitors in the nearby area. This is important to keep in mind as you make specific decisions with your Google Business Profile, your website, locations, and more.

General SEO FAQs

How can I track my SEO efforts?

You can track your SEO efforts by connecting your website to Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows you to track different kinds of traffic such as organic traffic, direct traffic, paid traffic, traffic from emails, and more. This can help you see how different SEO changes affect your website’s traffic and overall conversion rates.

You can also use SeRanking to see how your keywords are performing, and where you rank for specific terms. SeRanking gives you the opportunity to see changes in rankings over a period of time, which can tell you if you need to make adjustments to your keywords or not.

What are other SEO terms I should know?

If you’re still learning the ropes of SEO, here are some important terms you should know.

  • Algorithm – An algorithm in terms of SEO is the playbook by a search engine that calculates the best results for users.
  • Click-through rate – The rate at which users click on a website, determined by dividing total users and clicks, and it can be either organic or paid search engine results.
  • Dead link – A link that leads to a page that is no longer available.
  • Outbound links – Outgoing links on your website that take you to a different website.
    404  – This is a site error that shows when a page no longer exists on a website’s server. Most times, they occur when a page has been deleted and not properly redirected.

For even more SEO terms, check out our ABCs of SEO.

How long does it take to see results from SEO?  

The time it takes to results from SEO campaigns and it varies from website to website. Typically, you will see initial impact to keyword positions. To see the full effect, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months to even a year. Since there are many different tactics that can boost SEO, some will move the needle quicker than others, so the key is to be patient.

What is a Google algorithm update, and how can it affect my site?

A Google algorithm update is a change made to Google’s search system to improve the relevance and quality of search results. Depending on the update, it can impact it positively or negatively which affects your site’s rankings and visibility. In most cases, websites that are abiding by Google’s “playbook” and are not doing black hat tactics will not be impacted. It’s important to stay on top of algorithm updates to ensure you can address any changes necessary.

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Steve DiMatteo

About the Author

Steve DiMatteo

Steve DiMatteo is our Senior SEO Strategist and Content Manager and has been working in marketing since 2010 on accounts ranging in legal, SaaS, and more. His past experience also includes writing for the Associated Press. Over the years, he has been featured in the Washington Post, Variety, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and numerous other publications.

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