Having a website that is well-optimized for search engines can help you attract valuable leads, boost your sales, and increase your brand awareness. That's why the majority of marketers make SEO their priority.
But how do you get high rankings in the search engines? And what different forms of search engine optimizations exist that are suitable for different niches and businesses?
Having a solid understanding of these techniques will help you build a sturdy traffic acquisition strategy, even if you may not find the use for all of these seo types.
Table of Contents
What Are the 11 Types of SEO
Did you know that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine?
Google and other search engines help people find the information they need. Although Google has evolved significantly, users can still find content that ranks highly although it doesn’t fully correspond to their search intent and doesn’t provide value to them.
This means you need more than just one kind of search engine optimization if you want to get more leads for your business.
There are many different kinds of search engine optimizations, but the most effective strategies are often the most overlooked tactics.
The four main types are:
- White Hat
- Black Hat
- Gray Hat
The SEO efforts that can also be divided between two categories are:
And the other SEO types include:
But before delving into each type, let us first take a look at the definition of SEO.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using different website and content optimization techniques to make sure your website appears in search engines when someone searches for a specific keyword.
This can be done through things like:
- Building backlinks
- Using relevant keywords in your content
- Optimizing website speed and performance
- Creating a clear site structure and hierarchy
- Using meta descriptions, SEO titles and other metadata
- Optimizing image names and alt tags etc.
SEO is a critical component of digital marketing because it's one of the best ways to drive qualified traffic to your website and increase your site's visibility in search engines.
For businesses, SEO means creating content that's optimized for search engines so that when someone searches for your product or service name, they see your website first.
In other words: SEO means making sure that when someone Googles "dog training," they see your local dog trainer's website among the first results.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of how it works, let’s dive deeped into the 11 different types of SEO and how each tactic can help boost your online presence, beginning with the four main strategies: White Hat, Black Hat, Gray Hat, and Negative.
These are the most common search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that companies use to reach optimal success.
4 Main SEO Types
1. White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is the surest way to improve your SEO ranking over time and . It closely follows Google's search engine guidelines and improves your business' ranking over time by adhering to criteria that Google deems vital for good ranking.
We're not talking about the kind of “dirty tricks” that may give you short-term results but will hurt your site's performance in the lon run; but rather the kind that helps you get more leads.
Among many White Hat SEO principles, the most important ones are:
- Developing high-quality, search engine-friendly content to bring valuable leads to your page that are interested in your business.
- Cleaning up your site’s code will help your site perform better. This includes SEO best practices like cleaning up messy code, and reducing unnecessary text.
- Sharing on social media to help drive traffic to your site.
- Making your site’s navigation and content funnel user-friendly
- Submitting a site map to Google Webmaster Tools to facilitate website indexing and crawling
- Updating content regularly to reflect the current year and trends
- Conducting keyword research in order to improve content with relevant search terms etc.
White hat SEO techniques may take time to produce results, but they can be very effective as it involves doing things that are ethical, honest and transparent.
2. Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is a term that refers to “frowned upon” techniques used by companies or individuals to improve their rankings in search engines in a short period of time.
These techniques are often used because they can help drive results quickly, but they can backfire and hurt a company in the long run.
Black Hat SEO tactics include:
- Link spamming
- Hidden text/links
- Over optimizing HTML headings
- Using irrelevant, popular keywords
- Copying content
- Buying links
- Keyword stuffing
Although Black Hat tactics may yield results, but they're not sustainable and not worth it long-term. If you're not careful, you could end up getting penalized by Google by appearing very low in search results.
3. Gray Hat SEO
Gray hat SEO is the middle ground between white and black hat SEO.
As the name suggests, it combines the methods used be the two. Hence why this is a "gray" hat SEO tactic because it falls into a gray area.
Gray hat SEO techniques are risky, but marketed as an "affordable solution." Companies that offer gray SEO techniques reduce their costs because they are using questionable methods.
Here are some examples of gray SEO techniques:
- Clickbait articles
- Spun content
- Link exchanges
- Paid reviews
These SEO techniques aren't banned by Google, but they aren't considered an acceptable way to obtain leads.
4. Negative SEO
Negative SEO is a tricky situation for a lot of businesses. You don't want to be the victim of it, but it happens all the time.
When someone does Negative SEO on your site, they're trying to hurt your reputation and rankings in order to improve their own.
They do this by using gray or black hat techniques that can cause harm to your site's ranking.
There are a few strategies that companies use with Negative SEO:
- Posting negative comments or reviews about your business
- Hacking websites to edit, delete, or modify content
- Building unnatural links to a competitor’s page or site
Companies use gray and black hat techniques to cause harm to competitors’ businesses. They implement these techniques to decrease a business’s rank so they can improve their own.
Now, we’ll take a look at the next SEO categories that can be considered as stages: On-Page and Off-Page.
Additional SEO Categories
5. On-Page SEO
Have you ever wondered why some people get more traffic than others? It could be because they have on-page SEO that helps them put this content in front of the most qualified audiences and target customers.
On-Page SEO is a set of tactics that use various methods to enhance the content of a page on your website.
These involve the following efforts:
- Keyword research
- URL structure
- Internal linkage
- Meta-descriptions etc.
6. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is related to optimizations that happen outside of your website.
There are many off-page SEO factors — one being social media sharing.
Social media platforms allow you to share your site’s content through posting on various sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
You don't have any control over what people do with the link when they view it in their feed which makes this an external ranking factor that could potentially help improve your website's rank.
While these signals cannot increase your rank directly, they can instead lead people who engage with the shared post back to your profile (or other sources) where they may click around and discover other valuable content from there which would then eventually end up helping boost your rank.
Another aspect of this point is driving traffic; bringing relevant visitors to visit and stay on your site will ultimately help boost its rank due to increased engagement metrics such as time spent browsing or number of pages visited per visit for example.
More SEO Types
7. Local SEO
If you're a local business, the best way to get your name out there in front of prospects and customers in your area is to make sure you are visible in local searches. In fact, 46% of searches on Google have a local search intent.
The internet has made it easier than ever for consumers to find businesses near them, making one of the essential types of SEO the one for local businesses.
Searches with the keywords "near me" or the name of the service followed by a specific location have increased by over 500% in the past several years. Here are the best ways businesses can support local SEO efforts:
- Use Google Maps' "place" functionality to add a point of interest at specific geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) within the desired area
- Add photos of your business, as well as information such as working hours and contact info directly into Google My Business .Nurture reviews from your audience on third-party websites (such as Yelp or Trip Advisor)
8. eCommerce SEO
eCommerce SEO is an online marketing strategy that helps you to increase the traffic and ranking of your online store.
eCommerce SEO benefits you in increasing traffic and ranking of your eStore. Millions of queries are answered every day by search engines, many of which are related to -eCommerce.
With this strategy, you can attract customers who are interested in buying products from your store.
The process involves creating an online storethat offers more relevant content than other websites on the same topic and supports your products
Creating well-optimized content around your products so that customers will be able to find them easily when they search for them online and also find more valuable insights that can support their purchasing decision. This can be a regularly updated blog section on your website that would use the same keywords and names of your store products and interlink to them in order to boose their SEO score
Some of other SEO techniques typical for eCommerce sites include:
- Optimizing image products with names that accurately reflect the products/models
- Using bold and prominent CTAs that drive the prospects down the conversion funnel
- Having descriptive text ladden with keywords to improve you on-page SEO for each product page
- Implementing SSL encryption for secure transactions – which is another SEO signal
- Making navigation simple as possible by categorizing items clearly and logically etc.
9. Technical SEO
If you want your site to rank well on Google, you need to make sure it loads quickly and ticks other boxes of usability and healthy website architecture.
And that is where technical SEO comes in.
The easiest way to explain technical SEO is by using an analogy: think of your site like a car. In order for it to run properly and get where it needs to go, you need to take care of all the elements in the backend or the engine.
It's not enough to put on nice rims and paint job—you also need to make sure the engine is running well and the brakes work smoothly.
If one part is out of sync, then everything else has to deal with it too—and if something goes wrong with your engine or brakes, then your car won't be able to drive anywhere fast or safely.
Technical optimization involves fixing SEO aspects like page speed, for instance, as well as:
- Using structured data
- Removing duplicate content
- Improving URL structure as well as site structure etc.
10. International SEO
International SEO is all about targeting your audience, and making sure they have a positive experience on your website.
This is the process of optimizing your website for organic traffic from multiple regions and languages, and it's one of the most important parts of an overall SEO company strategy.
You should allow your target audience to make purchases in their currencies and their language, and you should address them appropriately in their cultural context to do international SEO well.
If they have any concerns or questions about your site, talk to them in their native tongue.
The goal is to provide your international customers with a positive experience.
11. Mobile SEO
Have you ever thought about how easy it is to lose a potential customer if they don't have great mobile experience with your brand?
Mobile search engine optimization is a process of optimizing your website for search engines while ensuring that it is viewable flawlessly on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Mobile SEO primarily focuses on three areas:
- Design: It’s important that your website has a clean and appealing appearance that works well across all devices.
- Crawlability: The pages of your site should be optimized so they load quickly without any delay or interruption during page load time.
- Page Speed: Page speed matters when it comes to user experience because slow loading pages can cause frustration for users who have limited data plans or those who simply want their sites optimized for speed over other metrics like ranking in search engines (which can take time).
It's all about making sure your website looks and feels great on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
It's not uncommon for customers to have a negative experience with a brand when they're using their phone—and that can turn them off completely.
Types of SEO: Final Thoughts
When determining which SEO tactics best suit your website, focus on the keywords that help bolster your business goals. Additionally, analyze your competition and consider using the same tactics they do.
The purpose of this guide is to show you the different types of SEO methods so that you can choose which one is going to help your business grow. Applying to an agency that outsources IT services may be a way to go.
Once you have submitted your website to search engines, whether you want exposure in the local area or you want to focus on driving traffic from all over the world, there is a certain type of SEO that will help your business immensely.