Back in the day, search engine optimization services were much simpler. SEO agencies could do an incredible job by implementing a few basic strategies, such as keyword stuffing or using link farms. However, as time went by and algorithms became more complex, so did the industry.
Nowadays, we can classify SEO into numerous subcategories. In fact, with each new technological improvement, it seems we have access to new optimization strategies and processes. In this article, we’ll talk about the main types of SEO and everything you need to know about each one of them.
What are the different types of SEO?
Depending on who you ask, search engine optimization can be classified into three subcategories. The most basic SEO types include:
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
However, if you wish to go a bit further, each one of these categories can be further split into smaller groups, such as:
- Local SEO
- Content SEO
- Mobile SEO
- International SEO
- eCommerce SEO
According to some authors, you can also add black hat SEO and white hat SEO to this list. Keep in mind there’s a lot of mixing and mashing between these types. You rarely perform just one type of optimization. Instead, you have to implement processes from each category to get maximum results.
For the purpose of simplicity, we’ll first go through 3 main categories, and then we’ll revise 5 subtypes. We’ll also explain the relations between them and how each one can help your overall digital marketing efforts.
8 Types of SEO
Without further ado, here are 8 main classes of search engine optimization:
1. Technical SEO
When an SEO agency takes on a new project, it’s customary to perform an SEO audit. As the name suggests, this is a process during which marketers check the technical aspects of a site. In many ways, it’s the precursor for all other on-site and off-site actions, ensuring that your website can appear in search results in the first place.
Technical SEO ensures everything runs smoothly and that search engine crawlers can access the pages. During the process, an agency also checks for other major errors such as duplicate content, low website speed, lack of mobile optimization, and so on. Here are some of the main things that a marketer has to do:
- Create an XML sitemap and immediately submit it to all search engines.
- Optimize the architecture of the site, simplifying search engine crawl.
- Improve URLs of the existing pages.
- Increase the page loading speed.
- Make pages optimized for mobile devices.
- Work on your robots.txt file, telling crawlers which pages to access and which ones to avoid.
- Add your website to all major tools and directories, including Google My Business, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.
- Address potential crawler errors.
- Make sure that your web design is well-optimized for all major search engines.
2. On-page SEO
Once you perform general improvements, it’s time to address individual pages on the site. On-page or on-site SEO is a process that mainly focuses on page titles, page headings, keyword research, and a few other things.
On-page optimization increases the likelihood that your articles will appear at the top of search engine results pages. Not only is this process vital for Google’s algorithms, but it also improves the website visitors’ experience. The main goal is to make your pages more engaging, easier to read and to provide relevant information.
Here are all the things you need to do during the process:
Elite SEO companies make a difference through incredible keyword research. They can find phrases that are easy to rank and have enough volume to justify the effort. Keyword research is the basis of the entire process, and depending on how well you perform the task, you could significantly increase website visibility.
Together with keyword research, creating high-quality content is crucial for driving lots of search engine traffic to your site. Not only should you provide unique information, but you also need to package them in a way that it’s suitable for readers. In other words, you need to rely on excellent visual solutions, good article structure, and a writing style that attracts attention.
Page and heading titles
An intriguing page title is the main ingredient for boosting your click-through rate. Sassy headings are the reason why people even click on a link in the first place. Headings on the web page are also important as they help keep readers engaged and allow for faster skimming through content.
To round everything up, you’ll need to use the right tags. Meta descriptions are short excerpts of text which you see in the Google search engine. Similarly, the title tag tells you what the post is all about and, as such, is an integral part of your SEO strategy.
Keep in mind that while the Google search engine analyzes your website as a whole, it assigns rankings on a page level. In other words, despite all the positives you’ve done during the technical SEO phase, it doesn’t ensure you’ll get high rankings if individual articles are unoptimized. In other words, you need to improve your site both on a macro and micro level.
3. Off-page SEO
For the most part, off-page SEO refers to the company’s link-building practices. As you probably know, links are one of the most important ranking factors for Google and other search engines, helping determine the quality of a page.
Search engines understand every link as a referral sent from other web pages. Depending on the strength of the website that the link is coming from, it can transfer more or less link juice. Getting one from a powerful website in your niche can completely change the outlook of your website but also your brand.
Here are a few best methods to do off-page optimization:
Given that most sites are unwilling to link out to a new site, you often have to pay for guest posting. Basically, you provide them with a great piece of content, and they introduce a backlink to your site within the text. It’s a surefire method for doing off-page SEO, as it involves monetary compensation.
Although some people might argue that the technique is against Google’s search engine guidelines, guest posting remains one of the most popular SEO services.
Unlike guest posting, which is sometimes dubious in nature, organic link outreach is one of the popular white hat SEO techniques. Basically, you create an awesome piece of content and share it with other influencers. The piece should be so good that they’re naturally inclined to link back to it. Unfortunately, this method is often hard to execute.
HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is another technique that takes time and nerves. When doing it, you’re pitching news reporters with a story that can be linked back to your site. Of course, like most other entries on the list, it works much better if you have existing connections.
Broken link building
This strategy works through reverse link engineering. First, you find a post that has received a lot of links over time but was removed at one point. All people who linked to it now have a link error on their pages. Now, you create a similar piece on the topic and offer it as a potential link replacement for the previous one.
Social media shares
Although Google denies the importance of social media shares, it seems they can provide several tangible benefits for your brand. While they might not provide the same link juice as website links, they’re fantastic for building awareness and generating indirect traffic. So, aside from traditional SEO, you might consider adding social media marketing to your processes.
Online reviews are also a form of off-page SEO, but they’re most commonly associated with local optimization. While the technique might not be as lucrative for global Google optimization, it still increases your brand awareness. Aside from that, online reviews are crucial for local businesses that want to carve a place in the local market.
4. Local SEO
To piggyback on the previous section, local SEO has become a powerful tool for small businesses with limited reach. It works best for hospitality brands but also handymen, small mom-and-pop shops, and a few other types of organizations.
Although local rankings depend on similar factors as global SEO (having quality sites, quality backlinks, and such), it also uses a unique set of factors. Most notably, you need to have a steady influx of online reviews and to also have high-quality reviews.
Here’s what the optimization process looks like:
- First, you’ll need a Local Business schema for your website. You have to add it to the site’s homepage.
- After that, you should create Google My Business Account. Add relevant data about your company, such as location, email, phone number, working hours, and other data. This helps the search engine establish that you’re a legitimate business.
- Additionally, we suggest you add the site to other major directories, such as Yahoo!, Yelp, and Foursquare. This can further corroborate the legitimacy of your business but can also help you accrue online reviews from other sources besides Google.
- Lastly, you should start promoting your organization among consumers. Ideally, you should get reviews from people who actually visit your place of business and purchase products and services. Google can track this via geolocation on your phone.
Brands highly rated in certain areas of the city have a chance of appearing in the notorious Three Pack. This is a special snippet that Google only uses for local search queries. Aside from providing basic information about selected businesses, it also shows their location on the map with a pin.
This small feature makes it worthwhile to pursue local rankings.
5. Content SEO
Content SEO is a part of on-page optimization. In the previous section, we’ve already mentioned most things about this approach. For example, you have to create engaging content with a nice structure making your pieces easy to read. You also need to add visual solutions, such as videos and images, to entice people to stay.
Although these are the traditional methods of doing content optimization, the methodology has slightly changed in the last few years. To be more specific, companies nowadays use AI tools to make their articles better for Google’s algorithms.
These programs tell you what’s the optimal word count and what keywords you need to include. They can also assist you by finding the right headings while also showing the highest-ranking pages in Google.
Many of these tools provide a new and exciting feature in AI content creation. Through machine learning, these platforms can copycat human writing styles and make pieces similar to those you would write. While this is a fantastic way of saving time, we’re uncertain how Google ranks AI-generated pieces.
6. Mobile SEO
Mobile SEO is a type of optimization that you do during the technical stages. Given how many people nowadays use mobile devices to browse the web, it’s an invaluable part of optimization.
Basically, this category ensures that your web pages open properly on all phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The users shouldn’t have to deal with broken designs or any other mobile-specific problems. Optimization is rather straightforward, but it can make a major impact on the potential traffic.
Here is everything you need to do to ensure things run smoothly:
- Start by performing a mobile-friendly test to see how your pages open on mobile devices.
- Make sure that your pages don’t have too many heavy elements, and prioritize page speed.
- Check some of the most important pages that generate the highest number of leads. See if they open properly and if there’s something you’d like to change.
- Remove all pop-ups, banners, web chat, and anything else that might interfere with mobile browsing.
All in all, you’re looking to simplify the pages so there isn’t any interference.
7. International SEO
International optimization is one of the hardest, most arduous forms of SEO. During this process, you’re trying to “tell” Google that your articles are acceptable for certain locations and languages. Among others, your site should allow transactions in specific currencies and apply regional dates and times.
Like other forms of search engine optimization, international SEO is meant to improve the browsing experience of people in a specific country. This is especially important for large brands that wish to position themselves in a local market. So, international SEO helps rank pages in a country while sending clear signals to search engines.
Unfortunately, to execute this strategy properly, you’ll need several versions of the same site, which can be expensive to maintain. Furthermore, you’ll have to keep in mind that each regional site has unique domain authority, which will weaken your overall SEO efforts.
8. eCommerce SEO
eCommerce shops are the most competitive types of websites but also the most complex ones. Unlike regular sites, where the blog section is the largest part of the site, web shops have to focus on hundreds upon hundreds of product pages.
Given the enormous number of pages that some shops have, doing optimization can be extremely painful. In an ideal world, you would manage to get some rankings for most product categories. But as this usually doesn’t happen, you should look for ways to reroute traffic from less converting to more converting areas of the site.
Here are a few things you need to consider during eCommerce SEO:
- For most eCommerce shos, the homepage is a vital part of the site. As long as you can drive high traffic to it, you might be able to make nice sales.
- After your homepage, you need to prioritize category pages. Only after you do should you consider investing time and money in individual product pages.
- You should closely follow keyword research when optimizing product pages.
- Make sure to have incredible images that show the product from all perspectives. Adding videos is also nice, as they can demonstrate how the products work. Make sure to add alt text for your images so they rank in image search.
- Use various promotions, such as discounts and coupons, to make people link to and share your product pages.
- Add various schemas.
- Use your blog to drive additional traffic. Then, reroute blog visitors toward the pages with associated products.
Other types of SEO
Some authors consider white hat, gray hat, and black hat SEO as types of optimization. However, we’re more inclined to say these are methodologies that you use for technical SEO, on-page SEO, and other approaches. In other words, these are techniques you use to perform specific types of optimization.
As the name implies, white hat SEO is a set of procedures that is according to Google’s guidelines. Black hat strategies are sinister and focus on various schemes and destroying competition. Gray hat is somewhere between the two methods.
When designing your SEO strategy, the MiroMind team always suggests that you go with white hat SEO. This is the safest way to build your brand and the most ethical one. Furthermore, using this methodology will ensure all your stakeholders respect your brand.
No matter what kind of SEO service you need, make sure to contact MiroMind today! We’re well-versed in all previously mentioned approaches, helping companies increase their online presence for more than 10 years.