Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the backbone of any successful online presence. It’s a multifaceted approach to improving your website’s visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. To navigate the complex world of SEO, it’s essential to understand the four different types of SEO and the techniques associated with each. If you’re completely new to SEO, check out our Back to Basics blog which discusses all of the basics of SEO. When you’re done there, come back to learn more about the four main types of SEO and some of the strategies used.
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of individual web pages to improve their search engine ranking. It focuses on both the content and HTML source code of a page. Here are some techniques for effective on-page SEO:
Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is likely to use when searching for your content. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs can help you determine which keywords are worth putting your effort into based on the volume of searches and how difficult it is to rank for each keyword.
Create high-quality, engaging, and informative content that includes your selected keywords. Ensure that the content is well-structured, easy to read, and relevant to your business.
Header and Title Tags
Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content. This helps both users and search engines understand the hierarchy of information. Also, use descriptive and keyword-rich title tags that accurately reflect the content of the page. These are the titles that appear in search engine results.
Craft compelling meta descriptions that provide a concise summary of the page’s content that encourages users to click on your webpage. Continue to utilize relevant keywords in these descriptions.
Compress and optimize images to reduce loading times. Use descriptive file names and alt tags for images that include keywords you are looking to rank for.
Off-page SEO focuses on building authority and trust for your website through external factors. Backlinks (links from other websites to yours) are a key component of off-page SEO. Techniques for off-page SEO include:
Acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites. Backlinks are links on other websites that link back to a webpage from your website. Creating educational content in the form of blogs that other websites link back to in their own content is a great way to achieve backlinks. If your business is in the service industry, your backlinks will more likely come from review websites, local blogs, or best-of listicles.
Social Media Engagement
Engage with your audience on social media platforms to increase brand awareness and encourage social sharing. Social signals can influence search engine rankings. Having established social media channels also helps build trust with potential customers. Social media is an insight into your business and even if you aren’t posting pictures of employees or workplace happenings, these profiles still serve as an indication that your business is active and looking to connect with your customer base.
Online Reputation Management
Monitor and manage your online reputation. Write unique responses to reviews and comments, both positive and negative, to build trust. It’s important to not delete negative reviews. Prospective customers are less likely to trust businesses with 5.0 reviews out of fear that the business reviews are fake or purchased. Negative reviews help show that a business is real. While it’s important to leave negative reviews up, it’s also important to respond to negative reviews addressing whatever situation caused the review. This shows customers that you’re trustworthy and value your customers.
Local SEO is crucial for businesses targeting a local audience. This type of SEO is all about optimizing your online presence to attract customers in your geographical area. Here are some local SEO techniques:
Google My Business
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing with accurate business information, photos, and reviews. Having inaccurate information on your GMB profile can result in losing customers. If you’ve updated your hours and a potential customer shows up to your business expecting it to be open and finds it closed, they likely won’t trust your online presence and choose not to return. Alternatively, if you’re open but your profile says you’re closed, most customers will take that at face value and not visit your establishment.
Similar to general SEO, you are going to focus on your citations, content, and link building. When it comes to Local SEO, it’s helpful to focus on localizing these strategies. Ensure your business information is consistent across various online directories and listings. It’s important for brick-and-mortar businesses to ensure their information is correct so services like Yelp point customers to the correct location. It’s important to also create content that is relevant to your local geographical area. Post blogs about local events or news. In addition to local content, work on local link building. Build relationships with local businesses or local influencers/bloggers to earn backlinks from them.
Encourage and manage customer reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp. Most bigger businesses have a natural trust from customers because the businesses’ names are easily recognized. For smaller businesses, reviews are an important way of building trust and credibility in both the eyes of customers and Google. The same with general SEO, it’s important to leave up both positive and negative reviews. Make an effort to respond to every review and address any issues in negative reviews.
Technical SEO deals with the non-content elements of your website. It ensures that search engines can effectively crawl and index your site. Here are some essential techniques for technical SEO:
Site Speed Optimization
Improve loading times by optimizing images, using content delivery networks (CDNs), and minimizing unnecessary code. This helps with your search engine optimization as well as user experience and retention. If your website takes too long to load potential customers will leave before completing a transaction.
Ensure that your website is responsive and user-friendly on various devices, especially mobile phones. Approximately 55% of web traffic is from mobile devices, so it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for these users.
Site structure or site architecture is the way that pages are linked together within your website. Page linking should follow a logical hierarchy that makes it easier for crawlers to index your site and makes it easier for customers to navigate your site.
Create XML sitemaps to help search engines understand your site’s structure and content. Sitemaps let search engines know what pages you have and where to find them. If your site has poor site structure or a lot of pages, then a sitemap is incredibly important in helping search engines index your site.
Implement canonical tags to prevent duplicate content issues and consolidate link equity. If you have duplicated content across various pages of your website search engines might not know which site to index and show in search results.
Structured Data Markup
Add structured data markup to provide search engines with additional information about your content. Structured data helps search engines better understand your content and can help you win rich snippets that include additional content under your links. This content will include information that is appealing to potential customers.
Understanding and implementing these different types of SEO techniques can significantly boost your website’s visibility and traffic. Keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process, and staying updated with the latest trends and search engine algorithms is crucial for long-term success. Understandably, you may be thinking that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to implementing a strong SEO strategy while running your business, which is why Blackbear Marketing is here to help! We help businesses across the country with their SEO strategy. We also have package options for website maintenance, social media marketing, lead generation, and more! If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help you get your content in front of the right people while you focus on business, get in touch!