Most people are aware of search engine optimization (SEO). What they don’t know is that this is not a single technique.
SEO has three different types. Each has a specific reason or goal. But all work together to help a website rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
1. Technical SEO
Technical SEO improves the website, so it appeals to search engine spiders. To understand this point, Marina Turea with Digital Authority Partners explains how the likes of Google index your website.
Indexing is the way search engines store and organize data. This way, users can retrieve them fast when doing a query. Search engines use algorithms to determine the pages relevant to the keyword.
The process of indexing starts with web crawlers. These are special programs that visit websites and collect information about their pages. They then send the collected data to the search engine’s servers.
The servers store the information. The search engine will retrieve the information and show it in the SERPs if someone searches for the data.
The problem is that not all websites are appropriately indexed. In some cases, web crawlers can’t even access them. As a result, this is where technical SEO comes in.
Strategies like the following help index your pages better and faster:
- Fix Broken Links – Broken links lead to pages that no longer exist. These are bad for SEO since they result in a poor user experience. The easiest way to correct a broken link is to redirect the old URL to the new one. You can use a 301 redirect within your site’s content management system (CMS).
- Create a Sitemap – A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. It provides web crawlers with an easy way to access all your website’s pages. You can create a sitemap using an XML sitemap generator.
- Perform Mobile Optimization – With mobile-first indexing, technical SEO now includes mobile optimization. Popular tactics include optimizing the website for different screen sizes and increasing site speed. It also involves using the correct format for images to load quickly on mobile devices.
2. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is optimizing the website’s elements to rank higher in search engines. Its main goal is to rank high in the SERPs for specific keywords.
Keywords play a huge role in search queries. When a user enters a keyword into a search engine, the engine scans its index of documents to find those that contain the keyword. The engine then ranks the pages according to relevancy. The most relevant results appear first.
Websites that appear on the first page receive the most clicks. In turn, they are the most likely to enjoy higher conversions. Therefore, you should choose the right keywords to ensure that your page ranks high in the SERPs. You can use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
The best SEO agencies can take keyword research further by looking into gaps and opportunities. A gap is a keyword that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not. An opportunity, meanwhile, is a keyword that you are ranking for but could rank higher.
Besides keyword research, these effective on-page SEO strategies can also help:
- Write Well-Structured, Valuable Content – This is the most important on-page SEO strategy. Write content relevant to your target keywords and valuable to your audience. Your content should be well-structured too. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up the text and make it easier to read.
- Optimize Your Images – Optimize your images by adding keywords to their file names and alt tags. Keyword-rich file names and alt tags tell search engines about the image topic. As a result, this helps them index the images correctly and show them in the SERPs.
- Use Internal Links – Use internal links to link to other pages on your website. It improves the website’s navigation and increases the chance of ranking for specific keywords.
- Optimize Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions – Title tags are the text that appears in the SERP as the title of your page. Meta descriptions provide details under each result. Include target keywords in both elements to improve your click-through rate (CTR).
3. Off-Page SEO Optimization
Off-page SEO is optimizing factors that are not on your website. Its main goal is to increase the visibility of your website and improve its authority. One of the best off-page SEO strategies is link building, a process of acquiring links from other websites.
Links are one of the essential ranking factors for search engines. As a result, links provide a vote of confidence in the quality of your content.
Search engines receive signals that communicate your content is relevant and valuable when linking to other pages. Links also help search engines to discover new pages on your website. As a result, pages with more links tend to rank higher in the SERPs.
Link building isn’t easy, but it will likely work with these tips:
- Use Different Marketing Channels – Many online channels can help promote your website, especially your links. These include social media, forums, and directories. Others are podcasts, webinars, content like e-books, and emails.
- Avoid Blackhat Techniques – Blackhat techniques are frowned upon by search engines and may result in a penalty. These include link buying, cloaking, and keyword stuffing.
- Do Outreach – Outreach contacts other website owners, usually to ask for a link. It’s a great way to build relationships and improve your link profile. Popular outreach tactics include guest posting and broken link building.
- Monitor Backlinks – Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. Not all are worth it, such as those from link farms. Know the quality of your backlinks and disavow bad ones using Google Search Console.
Which of the three SEO types should you utilize? It depends on your marketing goals, target audience, and budget.
For example, you should focus on off-page SEO when you’re ready to promote your website. But, first, take care of on-page SEO to increase traffic and engagement.
When you’re not sure, work with an SEO agency. They can assess your website and come up with an effective SEO plan.
Either way, you need to deal with all three if you want to achieve organic growth. Working on all three SEO types will create a well-rounded optimization campaign so you can achieve your desired results.