In this guide you will learn about the 7 different types of seo and how they can be used to boost your organic search traffic.
What is SEO ?
Having worked in digital marketing for over 15 years I assumed most others knew what SEO was; how wrong was I.
Bottom line; SEO is a strategy or tactic with the ultimate goal of driving more search engine visitors.
Now let me guide you through these different seo strategies and tactics.
Search engines need content from websites like yours that contain the results and answers users are looking for.
So content is without doubt a major seo strategy.
The starting point in the content creation process is to use keyword research to identify what users are searching for.
Or you could be like 90% of indexed web pages that earn no search visitors and guess what people are searching for.
I’d go deeper; research and identify not only what the search volume of a query is but what the estimated clicks to the top pages is.
It is reassuring to know the content you are going to create actually has the potential to attract visitors.
Keyword and topic strategy
In this day and age you don’t just pick keywords to target, you pick topics before creating a piece of content.
For example, I have a guide about local advertising.
It ranks for :
- how to promote your business locally
- local business advertising
- advertise locally
- and another 1000 similar queries
It makes no sense to create a new post for every search phrase.
Instead, write about the topic; local advertising.
Target the long-tail keywords of a parent topic
In this particular example, I targeted the long tail keyword, how to advertise locally, and wrote content that addressed that question.
Over time I eventually ranked for the head term or parent; local advertising.
Other types of content; written and visual
The written word isn’t the only type of content.
An image or video may be a more useful result for the user.
If I search for black jeans or my favourite black converse trainers I don’t want to see a written answer.
I want to see what those jeans or shoes look like.
I want to know what they look like on a person, are they in stock and do they have my size.
If I’m searching to improve my golf swing, perhaps a YouTube result appearing in the search results is a better answer.
If I’m looking for some statistics on the number of businesses in the UK then a graphic summarising the number of large, medium and small businesses is a better answer.
On Page Optimisation
On page optimisation is adding and editing elements on your page to improve your rankings and traffic.
So these elements include :
- Title Tag
- First sentence
- Image tags
- Internal links
- Words and phrases
You can read my on page seo checklist here along with some illustrated examples.
Making basic changes to your title or description will have very little positive impact on your rankings.
This study shows off page factors are around 10 times more powerful than on page factors.
You need a complete on page improvement system.
Use Google Search Console or Google Analytics to improve your page rankings and visits
- 1. Go into Google Analytics and write down your goals; pick a new, higher goal eg: x leads, y transactions
- Find pages that already rank, say in position 10 to 20
- Check the page has addressed user intent – eg: person searching “freelance seo expert” wants to hire, not have a guide to becoming an expert.
- Make sure your page has the correct format eg: it’s tough to rank a single product when Google show product category pages
- Place the main query at start of your page title
- Don’t bother writing a meta description; Google will write them for you
- Check the user experience – can read title, header, first sentence and a benefit on a page before scrolling below the fold on a mobile device
- Information gain – make sure your page offers something extra that the top pages don’t offer
- Use sub headings because people skim read and Google is going to rank relevant passages of content from pages.
- Republish your updated page content on existing url
- Add internal links tells the search crawlers you place importance upon the page
- Check your page loads fast
Off Page Optimisation
Where on page SEO is the work done on your web pages, off page seo is the work done outside your website.
Earning links or backlinks from relevant, authoritative websites is widely regarded as the number one ranking factor.
This study from Ahrefs shows the relationship between the number of unique referring domains and organic traffic.
Now imagine you are a search engine.
There are 3 million web pages about one subject.
You need a way to determine the most relevant and most page results.
If you look at most of the top pages for a search query you will typically see a well known brand ranking on page 1.
Google trusts those companies and ranks them.
But other companies with many links to their page may rank on page 1.
Off Page SEO Techniques include :
- Data Studies
- Industry Studies such as salary guides
- Statistics and quotes
- Visual elements such as graphs, charts, infographics
- Guest Posting tactics
But off page SEO is more than just link building.
I was on a zoom chat with the marketing director of software I used.
He interviewed me, wrote up a case study on his website and included a link back to my website.
I got a great mention about my brand and the link was a bonus.
Other off page activity I do.
I post on my Twitter account (that contains my website address) screenshots and occasional links to my articles.
I post on LinkedIn and Facebook (both contain my website address in my profile).
And on the odd occasion upload something I’ve filmed to my YouTube account (that contains my website address in my profile).
Does this off page activity impact my search rankings ?
I’ve honestly no idea but it can’t help to remain visible and relevant in front of followers.
Black Hat Techniques
I’m not going to give black hat tactics any attention because I don’t pursue these tactics and you don’t want your website penalised or deindexed..
Paying for links and using personal blog networks are a couple of risky strategies.
Technical SEO is the stuff your developer or web host does to ensure your pages can be crawled and found quickly.
As Google now uses the mobile version of your page content for indexing and ranking purposes these pages need to be fast loading, relevant and a good experience for users.
Technical SEO starts at the web server level.
If the server your website is hosted on is slow to respond to requests that will impact your rankings.
If your page is loaded with large images this will slow your page down.
If you design and structure your mobile pages and the user can’t read the title of the page upon arrival and a benefit before scrolling you’re going to lose the visitor quickly.
If you’re not using schema markup that tells crawlers what’s on your page you are going to make it difficult for search engine crawlers to understand what your page is about.
Local SEO is an interesting type of SEO.
Whilst statistics will inform you that 46% of all searches are seeking local information, the reality is different.
Every client that I’ve dealt with who serves a local market struggles to grow organically.
Now I don’t live in a large country; Scotland has a population of around 5.4 million.
The city of Houston in Texas is around 2.3 million.
Local to me is my county with a population of 366,000 so I have to target nationally and globally in order to reach my prospects.
So “local” can mean different things to different businesses.
And local is still extremely competitive.
I have a laundry client who has very little competition.
Whereas I have some accountancy clients and they operate in much more competitive markets.
However with local seo you still need to get the fundamentals correct in order to give your company the best ranking opportunities.
Name, Address Postcode (NAP)
Ensure you submit your company name, address and postcode information to citational sources that Google trust.
Ensure you register your business with GMB and proactively use this tool to communicate information such as your type of business, opening hours, reviews, photographs, offers and business updates.
Embed a location map of your business on your contact page.
Form relationships with other local businesses, write about them, sponsor them, get links from then.
Research said that by 2021 about 82% of all consumer traffic will be video.
That’s not surprising when you see the growth of videos posted on social media channels.
However I’m more interested in earning visibility from channels such as YouTube.
And did you know that 35% of search results in the UK contain a YouTube video ?
I am crap at YouTube so what I occasionally do is film my blog post and upload it to YouTube.
That way I give myself the chance of ranking an article and a video when prospects search.
YouTube optimisation bears a resemblance to optimising a web page.
- Target a keyphrase
- Say that phrase in the first 15 seconds of the video
- Use the PPP technique – start with a preview of what the video is about, give proof, preview again.
- Write a compelling page title and use brackets or parenthesis
- Use thumbnails that stand out
- Use a description that’s an extension of your title.
- Use related tags
- Use engagement signals such as adding a comment
- Use a tool like VidIQ to help with research and optimisation.
So that’s the 7 types of seo you should be aware of; but just use 6 of them to boost your visibility in search engine rankings and traffic.