Before we dive into the various types of SEO out there, it’s important to understand what SEO is itself. Standing for Search Engine Optimization, this is the process of increasing the number of visitors on your site by ranking better on Google SERPs for relevant keywords or search phrases within your domain.
In this post, we will look at 7 different types of SEO and how they can impact your strategy to rank higher in organic search listings among your competitors.
1. White-Hat SEO
White-hat SEO refers to all the optimization techniques that abide by Google’s search engine guidelines. Although one needs to be patient to see results, they are sustainable and create genuine goodwill around your brand. Besides, there is no risk of your site getting banned or bumped down in the search results if there is a new algorithm change. All in all, white-hat SEO is low-risk and high rewards if you do it right. Examples of white-hat SEO techniques include authoring useful and relevant content after doing extensive keyword research, earning links from high-authority sites based on the merit of your on-page content, etc.
2. Black-Hat SEO
Black-hat SEO is the exact opposite of white-hat SEO in that it finds and takes advantage of any loopholes or weaknesses in Google’s search algorithm to rank better on its SERPs. It does not stick to the search engine’s list of guidelines, resorting instead to spammy or paid link building methods, keyword stuffing, showing different content to bots/crawlers and humans (called cloaking), among other tactics to get ahead. It goes without saying that black-hat SEO can get your site blacklisted or ranked low, so it is best avoided. Besides, these high-risk SEO techniques give you only short-lived results.
3. Grey-Hat SEO
Grey-hat SEO tactics are sometimes used by budget SEO agencies due to pressure to see quick results, and fall in between white and black hat SEO in terms of approach. Although Google’s webmaster guidelines do not explicitly say that such methods are prohibited, they are still frowned upon and can lead to undesired search outcomes. Examples of this type of SEO include clickbait content that is sensational yet mediocre and of no value to the user, excessive and suspicious link exchange between sites, paid reviews, etc. Again, it is best to stay far away from such underhanded SEO tactics.
4. Negative SEO
Among the different types of SEO, this is by far the most unethical. Negative SEO is done with the intention of making your competitor’s search rankings suffer so that you yourself can take their place or benefit from it. Negative SEO methods include hacking into someone’s site and building a suspiciously high number of low-quality links to it, posting negative feedback or reviews about them in various online forums, etc. Needless to say, negative SEO can even lead to legal battles if the one practicing it is caught. It’s important to be aware of these practices so you can defend yourself in the event that you’re on the receiving end of an attack.
5. On-Page SEO
All the measures you take to make your web page rank higher on search engines falls under this umbrella. On-Page SEO includes authoring high-quality content with the sole purpose of it proving helpful to your website visitors, adding meta tags to help Google bots better understand your content, using HTML tags to highlight headings and other content elements and ensuring there are no broken links or duplicate content/pages. Cleaning up the URL structure and having an ordered naming system for various similar pages that fall under one category, choosing images that are not too big while writing descriptive file names, etc. are just a few other on-page SEO techniques.
6. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is largely to help Google bots successfully crawl, interpret and index all the pages of your site for future use. Creating a thorough XML sitemap, making your site mobile-friendly, adding structured data to help web crawlers sort and categorize your pages based on the type of content they carry are just some of the techniques used.
7. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to everything you do outside of your site to fare better and feature higher up in Google’s SERPs. It includes working on external ranking factors like building links from trusted sites in the same domain as you, successful social media marketing, having customers give you a positive review on various online forums, etc.
This was just an overview of the different types of SEO that you should be aware of as you look to improve your online visibility. Of course, there are more detailed techniques that will be covered in future articles. Nonetheless, we hope this primer has given you something to think about. Should you require further advice, please do not hesitate to contact the experts at Linkeo Ltd today!