Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a form of digital marketing which helps websites to rank higher on search engine results pages, similar to paid search. However unlike PPC, SEO marketing requires time to yield results, and it is ‘earned’ rather than ‘paid,’ making SEO cost effective over time. (check out our blog on paid search)
What are the different types of SEO
There are dozens of SEO strategies and tactics, however, SEO can generally be categorised into 3 groups:
- Technical SEO
- On page SEO
- Off page SEO
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website to increase its ranking.
Technical SEO can include making your website’s loading speed faster and making it easier for search engines such as Google or Bing to crawl and index.
Technical SEO also includes the use of XML sitemaps, utilising SSL certificates, ensuring your websites accessibility and responsiveness, regularly checking that you have no dead links or duplicate content, making sure your copy is readable and makes sense, as well as regulating your sites security and integrity.
What is On Page SEO?
On page SEO refers to all the actions you can take directly on the page of your website to improve their individual ranking (as well as your website’s performance as a whole) on search engine rankings – After all, each service or product you offer should have its own page, keywords and content.
Keywords are especially important and should be checked and updated regularly. Don’t be afraid to explore long tail keywords, they are often easier to rank for, and get a surprising amount of traffic.
Additionally, on page SEO can be improved through ensuring the overall quality and structure of your website’s content, the optimisation of things like title tags (h1, h2 etc), the use of alt tags for images and videos, personalised meta descriptions, URL structures and more internal page links.
Domain authority is also a big factor in your on page SEO. Domain authority (DA) is measured on a scale from 1-100, and is given to you by search engines in order to determine the strength of your website. Think of it like being in school. Your website is your assignment, Google is your teacher and the DA is your grade. The higher your domain authority, the better your website performs in search results.
Domain authority is determined by several factors, including how long you’ve had your domain name, the history of the domain name, the number and quality of your backlinks (we will get to these later) and the number of 404 pages you have (those dead links or pages).
Ultimately the longer you have had your domain name/the longer its history, the more authority it will have.
What is Off Page SEO?
Off page SEO refers to ranking factors that occur off your website, commonly referred to as backlinks.
Think of a backlink as a link back to your site from another site. The way to do this by linking back to your website form things like your social media channels, relevant third party sites or online directories, especially those with strong root domains and good site authority.
Other ways to build your back link portfolio is blogging/guest blogging, answering Q&A’s online, writing articles on third party platforms like Linkedin or medium, ensuring that you always link back to your website. Back linking will will help your site rank more on search engines by raising your DA.
Back-linking on online directories will also help your website appear against unbranded searches, helping your SERP (search engine results page). Think of a search engines results as prime real estate, and the whole page is up for grabs, as seen in the example below.
As mentioned, getting listed on online directories and other third party sites can be great for your SEO, helping to increase your backlink portfolio. But it’s also good for helping your website rank against unbranded searches.
For example, let’s assume you own a beauty salon. A branded search might be “Company name + beauty salon” whereas an unbranded search might be “best beauty salon.” Both will yield different results depending on a variety of factors (location, exact phrase typed in, etc).
Off page SEO also includes your promotion methods, such as blog likes or shares, social media mentions or PPC traffic.
- Search engine optimization is earned traffic through organic search engine rankings. There are many forms of search engine marketing and SEO.
- Generally, SEO can be categorised into 3 groups; Technical SEO, On Page SEO and Off page SEO.
- For a good SEO strategy, you should be trying to incorporate all 3.