The 3 types of SEO you need to maximize your online presence
The main way people look for information is through search engines.
As a business owner, you need a website that search engines can easily find and show your ideal customers. The more factors your web pages rank for, the better your chances of having them show up high in search engine results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that makes it possible for your web pages to climb search engine rankings. Different types of SEO impact the keywords, content, and digital marketing strategies you will use to rank your website and build your online presence.
This post will cover the three types of SEO you need to maximize your online success. It will also provide some easy SEO tips you can start using now to boost your digital marketing efforts.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a group of processes that help improve how your web pages rank in search engine results. The higher your web pages rank, the better the chances that your ideal client will click on them and learn about your services.
The goal of any search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing) is to show people the best answer to their search query. The more thorough, trustworthy, and updated your content is, the better your chances of getting on pages 1-3 of search engine results.
Your goal is to rank on pages 1-3 because at least 75% of people only look at the first page of search engine results. You also want to rank as high on that page as possible since approximately 70% of people only click on the top 5 results.
Do businesses even need SEO now? | @gurvi movement
Do businesses even need SEO now?
This is a common question since there are so many ways to find information online. Many businesses prefer social media. They can share information easily and see quick results. It also feels more tangible.
There are two key problems with relying too much on social media. First, you have to hope you show up in your ideal client’s newsfeed. Second, you’re completely dependent on these platforms’ rules. One change could end your online exposure.
Search engines are how we find information online. Over 90% of all online activity starts with someone entering a question or phrase into a search engine. As long as we use search engines to look for information, SEO is essential for potential clients and collaborators to find your website.
How does SEO work?
Before we dive into how SEO works, we have to understand what search engines are and the role they play in how we find information online. Search engines release special crawlers (i.e., bots or spiders) to find, and index every web page they can get to on the internet.
Search engine optimization focuses on making web pages easier to find and rank. When someone enters a phrase or question into a search engine and hits enter, billions of search engine crawlers look through all of the indexed pages and pull ones that are relevant. The search engine then uses different SEO factors to determine the order in which they show the pages.
You need to use different SEO techniques based on the factors you’re trying to impact. The more you optimize a web page using different types of SEO, the higher you’ll rank in search engines. The higher your site ranks, the better chance you have of potential clients finding you.
What are the types of SEO in digital marketing?
When most people hear the term SEO, they think of keywords, images, and content on websites. While using target keywords, catchy titles (i.e, H1 tag), and good content may have been enough in the past, the SEO industry has evolved significantly. This is especially true in the last five years.
Google has become better at understanding how we think, use language, and look for information. It uses this knowledge to create formulas and processes (i.e., algorithms) that impact your web page ranking and how easy it is to find. As a result, you have to constantly monitor and adjust factors that impact your overall SEO score.
For example, Google processes trillions of searches every year. However, every day, 15% of searches are brand new. This forces Google to adjust its formulas and methods to handle new information. Even this small change impacts SEO rules and leads to new types of search optimization.
Types of SEO to focus on
Every year, there are more search engine guidelines to consider and maximize if you want your web pages to keep climbing the rankings. There is generally a set of accepted SEO rules that are considered legitimate to use (i.e., white hat SEO techniques). If you don’t follow the rules, you risk dropping in search rankings.
These tactics can be divided into three types of SEO. In order to get the most out of SEO in your digital marketing efforts, you need to maximize factors from these three main types:
SEO Type 1: Technical SEO
Technical SEO deals with the mechanical parts and systems that make your website run. This part of SEO is also largely responsible for making it easier for search engines to find, crawl, and index your web pages.
If you do not work in web design or development, this is not the type of SEO you usually think of. However, it plays a significant role in whether search engines can find your web page. It also impacts a visitor’s experience on your site.
Important technical SEO factors include:
- How quickly your website loads.
- How easy it is to get from one webpage to another.
- Whether it is safe to be on your site and enter personal information.
- The length of time it takes between clicking a button or link and getting the result you want.
The growing importance of technical SEO
Technical SEO is becoming more important because people quickly leave websites that are slow and annoying. In the past, search engines and the public had lower expectations of websites. As long as the information was there, even partially, the website got a passing grade.
However, over time, search engines and website visitors have gotten used to better user experiences. Consumers remember how easy or frustrating it is to use a website. Their past experiences impact whether they will return to the site or not.
Search engines are not going to spend a lot of time or effort crawling websites that are difficult to navigate. As a result, user experience and page experience are becoming more important ranking factors.
Tips for Optimizing Technical SEO: Improve the User Experience | @kellysikkema
💡 Tips for optimizing technical SEO
When looking to improve technical SEO, think about the user experience of the web page.
Does it load quickly? How many times do you have to click on links to get the information you need? Are pop-ups and ads constantly blocking content? Is it safe to enter personal information?
Improving these factors may involve hiring a technical SEO specialist. However, there are steps you can take without having a lot of web development experience. For example:
#1 Improve page loading time:
Look for ways to make your web pages load quicker. This includes making picture files smaller and using website platforms that have a reputation for loading quickly.
In order to make picture files smaller, you can try out a free tool like TinyPNG. Upload pictures that are saved as JPG or PNG files. The tool can compress up to 20 pictures at a time. You would then upload the compressed picture into your website. Compressing photos only reduces picture quality by about 20%. However, it makes a large difference in file size.
Page load time is a key part of user experience and is becoming more of an SEO factor. There are several SEO tools to help you measure and improve load time. Free tools include GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools, and PageSpeed Insights.
Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO: Make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices
#2 Make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices:
Over 50% of online searches now happen on a mobile device. Starting in September 2020, Google switched to mobile-first indexing. This means it grades a web page on how well it does on a mobile device before looking at how well it functions on a desktop.
If your site does not look nice or work well on a mobile device, your SEO score will suffer.
Not all website companies and themes are optimized for mobile devices. The easiest way to test this is to bring up your site on a tablet and mobile phone. Look at the layout and how the site functions on each device. If something does not look right or work the way it should, your site is not mobile optimized.
If your site or theme are older and have not been updated in 2-3 years, run the same test. Although the site may have been mobile-optimized when you started using it, it may be outdated due to changes in technology and SEO standards.
If you are not sure about your site, call your website designer and/or the company that manages or hosts your site. They will be able to answer questions about your site.
#3 Ensure your website is safe:
Show your website visitors and search engines that you are protecting their personal information and devices from viruses and hackers. You know your site is secure if you look at your URL and see a closed lock next to it.
An easy way to secure your site is to have an SSL certificate. This is not an actual certificate. It is a collection of data that protects the signals from a user’s device to your website and vice versa.
#4 Improve accessibility:
Websites have typically been designed without considering the needs of people who have different levels or types of abilities.
Search engines and the public are paying more attention to whether a website has features that allow visitors with different needs to hear and see the content clearly as well as interact with it. There are many SEO techniques to help improve accessibility.
Contact your web company and/or designer if you need help adding these features.
SEO Type 2: On-Page SEO
On-page SEO has to do with the content on your site and how easy it is to find. Out of all the SEO types, this is the one we focus on the most. It’s usually easier to understand and adjust. It also plays a key role in how easy it is for Google bots to find and show our web pages to potential customers.
Start with an on-page SEO strategy
In order to get the most out of your on-page SEO efforts, come up with a strategy before creating your website.
👉 Plan out the look, feel, and structure so that the rest of the site is built on a strong, brand-consistent foundation.
👉 Make sure visitors can easily get from section to section and page to page.
👉 Think about what you want your site to be known for and the categories of content you need to create.
👉 Consider the type and level of language you use so that your message is clear and easy to understand. For example, a website for the general public needs to look and sound different than one created for a professional community.
On-page SEO factors
There are hundreds of on-page SEO factors to consider. However, some easier ones to focus on include:
- Using keywords that people are searching for.
- Producing and updating content that is fresh, relevant, and trustworthy.
- Combining images and other visual effects to make the page easy to look at.
- Creating a main title (i.e., H1 title tag) and description that make your web page stand out on search engine results pages. That way, people want to click on our page instead of a competitor’s.
Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO: Use keywords that people are searching for | @wocintechchat
💡 Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO
There are many do-it-yourself resources for improving on-page SEO. Many on-page SEO strategies do not require coding or a lot of technical experience. You can also hire an SEO consultant to help with any step of this process.
Here are some easy ways to maximize your website so that Google can find it and potential clients will want to visit it:
#1 Use the language your audience uses:
We tend to write more formally than we speak. When we write for work, this shows up even more. Use the words, phrases, and questions that your potential clients are using to look for you and your services.
We resonate and connect with language that sounds like the way we think and talk. Using target keywords and questions will also make it easier for your site to rank well on voice search (e.g., Siri, Alexa).
Language is becoming more of a ranking factor
Google has been paying more attention to how humans use language and what they mean when they use search functions. In 2019, Google released the BERT Algorithm. This led to a greater emphasis on what people mean when they searched for certain words and the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Google uses NLP to understand the words before and after the keywords. The goal is to make sure the information that website visitors get fits their needs, not just the keywords they used. Therefore, the quality and language used to have to be better and resonate with your target audience’s needs if you want your pages to rank better.
Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO: Use keywords that people are searching for | @KariShea
#2 Use tools to find keywords:
A good keyword strategy is essential if you want search engines to find and show your web page in search results. Keyword tools are built to help you find the types of keywords you need to use. There are also systems and guidelines for figuring out which search terms to use on different occasions.
For example, you want to use target keywords that a lot of people are searching for (i.e., high search volume). Once you find your main keyword and related phrases, use them throughout your web page content. Always include your main keyword in the primary page title (i.e., H1 tag). That’s the first factor that search engines and site visitors use to figure out what the page is about.
Keyword tools at different levels and prices
- Google search results pages (SERPS): These are a great free resource. Type in the term you’re interested in and hit enter. Look at two sections on the page for keywords that people are using to find information on the topic you are researching:
- People Also Ask in the middle of the page.
- Related Searches at the bottom of the page.
- Ubersuggest: This tool was created by Neil Patel, SEO, and digital marketing expert. It allows you to find keywords, research competitors, and even run a free SEO audit on your website. You get a small number of free searches every 24 hours. Monthly memberships allow for unlimited searches.
- Ahrefs: Tools like Ahrefs are top of the line SEO tools. You can run SEO audits, research competitors, and identify gaps in your content, and keep lists of keywords. They can help you make even more informed keyword choices by giving you more factors that impact when and how people use these words.
Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO: Use your main keyword and related phrases throughout your web page content | @gurvi movement
#4 Create interesting and relevant content:
Unless you are a celebrity, most people visit your website for information, products, or services. If your content is thorough, up-to-date, relevant, and helpful, visitors are more likely to stay on your site and make a purchase.
These activities send signals to search engines that your web page is trustworthy and worth showing. The number and types of signals that search engines get from website visitors play a key role in how your web page is ranked.
#5 Create content clusters:
In addition to posting quality information on your site, using content clusters helps boost your expertise, authoritativeness, and trust (E-A-T) with Google. Content clusters build off of search engines’ goal to show people the most relevant and up-to-date information available.
Content clusters are an SEO strategy that emphasizes creating expert-level content on a select few topics on your website. The goal is to go deep on a subject, be perceived as an expert by search engines, and rank higher for those topics.
One way to create a content cluster is to:
- Start by writing a long, in-depth post on a specific topic.
- Then, write shorter posts related to the topic of the main post. Link the shorter posts to the main post and to each other. This makes it easier for your website visitors to learn a lot about a topic they are interested in. As a result, it increases your credibility and authority on the topic.
- These clusters also make it easier for Google to scan your site and understand that you are a subject matter expert. This helps build your credibility, trust, and authoritativeness (E-A-T) on this topic.
- As a result, Google is more likely to show your content in response to relevant questions.
Tips for Optimizing On-Page SEO: Create relevant content and organize it in content clusters | @gurvi movement
#6 Make your site easy to skim:
Although we read books and magazines, we skim web pages. When we see a block of text, our brain gets overwhelmed and we click out. Make it easy for a visitor to read your page titles and calls to action (i.e., CTA) so they know what to do next. A confused visitor is less likely to stay on the site and make a purchase. Additionally, break up text with white space, bullet points, and images to avoid text blocks.
SEO Type 3: Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the toughest to describe and measure. As a result, it is also the easiest to neglect. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is over-optimizing their website but not working enough on their online presence. In the past, using tips and tricks to maximize your website would help you rank high in search results.
Google would take care of the rest. It would show your optimized site to people searching for you or your services. As a result, SEO became a race to optimize websites.
Unfortunately, this resulted in negative SEO practices (i.e., black hat SEO) that allowed poor quality sites to rank well.
To protect the public and its reputation, Google started introducing algorithms that placed a greater emphasis on how a person and/or brand show up online. Other search engines adopted these standards too. That is how off-page SEO became more important. Off-page SEO factors are directly related to how trustworthy and credible you and your website are.
Both Google and the public expect experts to show up in different places online and get good reviews. This adds to trust and credibility. People want to hire experts. Search engines want to show the public brands that are credible and well respected.
Off-page SEO is significantly impacted by how many other websites feature you and link back to your website. Each one of these links is called a backlink. They act as a reference and Google takes them very seriously.
This does not mean that you have to be on every platform. Being on every platform is also something that most small businesses cannot maintain. It requires too much time, effort, and money.
Instead, a good off-page SEO strategy will help you be planful and deliberate. Think about how you want people to talk about you and your business. This will help you decide which opportunities are worth pursuing.
Tips for Optimizing Off-Page SEO: become a guest blogger | @christinhumephoto
💡 Tips for Optimizing Off-Page SEO
We cannot control everything that is said or shared about us online. However, we should take every chance to help shape these conversations. Here are a few ways your can impact your online presence and reputation:
#1 Be a guest on other platforms:
This can include guest blogging, being a guest on podcasts and/or YouTube channels, and presenting at professionally relevant events. Every time you are a guest on a platform, that site creates a backlink to your site. Link building is essential for building credibility with search engines.
#2 Get listed on relevant directories:
There are hundreds of directories you could list your website on. However, not all directories are relevant to your business. Google scans links from directories to see how relevant they are to your industry and services. When it spots poor-quality links, it lowers your SEO score.
While getting on as many directories as possible used to be a common SEO strategy, it is now frowned upon by search engines. List your business with relevant directories and organizations. Otherwise do not purchase links.
Tips for Optimizing Off-Page SEO: be present on social media | @Nathan Dumlao
#3 Be present on social media:
Whether we like it or not, social media plays a significant role in how people find experts, services, and products. When people are interested in your products or services, they will look beyond your website to learn about you. This includes checking out your social media presence.
Social media marketing does not mean you have to be on every platform. Pick one platform and post at least two to three times per week. Combine posts about information that’s relevant to your audience with posts that link back to your website. Social media can be a great way to direct people back to your website and content.
Additionally, how people engage with your posts on social media is now also a ranking factor and impacts your SEO score.
Next steps for using the 3 types of SEO to maximize your website
How we look for information online will continue to change. As a result, search engines like Google are going to continue adding and changing algorithms that impact how web pages rank.
On-page SEO and maximizing your website used to be enough to rank well, but that is no longer the case. You have to consistently address technical, on-page, and off-page SEO if you want your web pages to climb the search engine rankings.
When you think about maximizing the benefits of SEO for your website, make sure that you are taking a three-pronged approach:
- First, optimize the factors that will make it easier for Google to find and index your site. If search engines, especially Google, cannot find you, they cannot show your pages to potential customers.
- Second, maximize factors that make it easy, enjoyable, and useful to visit your site.
- Third, look for opportunities to be visible in different places online. Websites that feature or recommend you generate a backlink to your site which further boosts your credibility and SEO score.
You do not have to do everything at once or do all of it yourself. Develop a plan for each type of SEO and then decide what you will do versus what you will outsource.
With some careful planning and good guidance from an SEO specialist, you can turn your website into your best salesperson and make the most of your digital marketing efforts.
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My name is Ronit (Ro-neet) and I’m a clinical psychologist, private practice director, and SEO consultant. I help therapists, coaches, wellness experts, and health businesses build the success they want and deserve by boosting their online ranking, reputation, and impact. To learn more about me, please check out Simple SEO Systems.