SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business. To better understand “What is SEO?” Please Read Carefully.
Lots and lots of people search for things. That traffic can be extremely powerful for a business not only because there is a lot of traffic, but because there is a lot of very specific, high-intent traffic.
Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages, and putting them in an index. Think of the index as a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.
Our success factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience. It’s how search bots estimate exactly how well a website or web page can give the searcher what they’re searching for.
Unlike paid search ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means experts have to put in the work. That’s where we come in.
The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that detract from best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to guarantee a high ranking back in the day when the engines’ methods were much less sophisticated. And, they might even work for a short time now — at least until you’re caught.
The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.
Importance Of SEO
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.
However, the search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.
Also note, that features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in the search results can increase visibility and provide users more information about your company directly in the results.
In sum, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can then implement that knowledge across your campaigns (paid and organic), your website, your social media properties, and more.
Types Of SEO
There are a total of 12 types of SEO. A brief description and advantages of each are mentioned below.
1. White-Hat Search Engine Optimization
When you hear someone say white-hat SEO, that means that is in line with the terms and conditions of the major search engines, including Google. White-hat SEO improves your search engine ranking on the SERPs while regulating the integrity of your website with the search engine’s terms of service.
White-hat SEO practices are the best way to create a successful website. Here are a few white-SEO practices that you must follow strictly:
- Use keyword-rich, descriptive meta-tags
- Provide quality services and content to the website’s visitors
- Make your website easy to navigate
2. Black-Hat Search Engine Optimization
Black-hat SEO exploits weaknesses in Google’s search algorithm to rank higher in its search results. Spammy or paid link-building strategies, keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc., are used to get ahead in search engine results. These practices give instant results, but they can impact your website negatively if detected by Google. Hence, it is advised to avoid black hat SEO.
3. Gray-Hat Search Engine Optimization
It’s an SEO practice that’s riskier than white-hat SEO. That’s because the gray-hat SEO practices belong neither to the white-hat nor black-hat category as the terms and conditions regarding the issue are unclear. However, using gray-hat SEO practices will not result in a site ban from search engines. In simpler terms, the material or content that you publish in accordance with the gray-hat SEO remains ill-defined. Knowing the gray-hat practices can save your website from losing traffic as you will be well aware of the negative consequences, which will help you adopt fair practices.
4. On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On-Page SEO is the process of optimizing web pages’ title tags, internal links, HTML code, URL, images, and many other on-page elements to improve rankings and user experience. Search engine optimization for on-page factors includes
- Writing informative, relevant, and engaging content for your website’s users while optimizing for Google bots,
- Utilizing HTML tags to emphasize important sections of your material, and
- Checking for broken links or content duplication.
- Reducing the file size of photos.
- Structuring the URL for numerous pages to ensure they are clear and to the point.
5. Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
You can think of off-page SEO as everything you do outside of your website to help it rank higher in Google’s search results. It includes getting good social media advertising, getting clients to give you good reviews on online forums, and getting links from credible websites in the same field as you.
6. Technical Search Engine Optimization
The primary goal of technical SEO is to assist Google’s bots in successfully crawling, interpreting, and indexing your website’s pages. For example, creating an extensive XML sitemap and making your site mobile-friendly are only some tactics used to help web spiders filter and categorize your pages based on their content. For more information, see our post on technical SEO.
7. International Search Engine Optimization
International SEO improves your website’s organic traffic from different areas and languages. If you want to succeed at international SEO, you must cater to your target market’s cultural context and allow them to make transactions in their currency and language. Use the right format for dates and times based on the place they are listed. If they have any worries, converse in their native tongue. International SEO aims to create a good online experience for your target audience.
8. Local Search Engine Optimization
Local SEO strategy for local businesses is one of the most important types of SEO as it helps the business become more visible in local search results on Google. SEO helps businesses reach the local audience by analyzing their behavior through trillions of searches. If you use local SEO practices, then your local business has the opportunity to rank higher in the search results and the local map pack at the same time. This, in turn, helps grow your business and increase traffic to your website.
9. Ecommerce Search Engine Optimization
Ecommerce SEO is one of the best ways to get traffic by paid search, but the SEO costs are much less. It helps create your online store website to rank higher whenever someone searches for a product or service.
It’s important to have your website appear in the SERPs; else, you’ll lose critical access to potential and qualified e-commerce customers. If the competitors’ research, focus on homepage SEO, and website architecture is done right, then e-commerce can optimize your website to bring traffic and increase search volumes.
10. Content Search Engine Optimization
Another name in the list of types of SEO is Content SEO. It refers to creating unique content, be it writing, graphics, or videos, to structure your website, ranking it higher in SERPs. Three things must be considered while working with content SEOs – copywriting, site structure, and keyword strategy. It’s very important to balance all three, as, without quality content, your website cannot stand in the search results.
Moreover, it’s equally important to check the content after publishing as that before publishing. Keep track of how your content is performing. Make necessary changes, add new products, and apply several strategies to broaden the reach of your website.
11. Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO is a term used to describe optimizing a site for search engines while simultaneously ensuring that it is viewable properly on devices like mobiles and tablets. If a customer has a bad experience with a brand on their mobile phone, they may never return. If you want your clients to have the best possible experience, you need to apply this type of search engine optimization. It’s important to ensure that your site’s style, structure, and page speed don’t make mobile users change their minds.
12. Negative SEO
Negative is an abhorrent and unethical sort of SEO practiced today. The goal of negative SEO is to lower your competitors’ search rankings so that you can overtake them or gain an advantage over them. Bad SEO techniques include breaking into someone’s site and creating a suspiciously large number of low-quality links to it and publishing negative feedback or reviews about them on numerous internet forums and discussion boards, etc. A person caught doing bad SEO can lead to a variety of legal issues.
What is SEO in Nutshell
Traditionally, the way SEOs approach a website (note, traditionally), is via a three-pronged attack:
1) Technical optimization – where we make sure that the titles and meta are there, that robots.txt and XML sitemaps are in place, that all redirections are kosher etc. This is what we do to ensure that the search engines can index the site and its pages properly. Indexing means that the page can be searched for.
2) Semantic (or keyword) optimization – where we partake in an endless tug-of-war between the popularity of a keyword versus its competition. Keywords are search queries that your preferred customers use. If you own a website that sells skis, you want the site to be found by people who are looking for winter sports equipment and not hammocks. This is achieved by priming your content to make use of these keywords as inconspicuously as possible.
3) External (or link profile or inbound marketing) optimization – where we try to build the hype around the site because we know that parts (1) and (2) are simply not enough to lure people in. You see, it matters where you appear on the search engine results page (or SERP). It’s crazy, but apparently, if you’re not in the top 10, you’re screwed. And you get there by increasing your site’s popularity. And what is a better sign of popularity than people linking to your site?