Back to School - What is SEO? What are its types? Why is SEO important for your online business?
In the past businesses gave priority to offline marketing to generate leads. Ever seen those shouting hoardings on a highway advertising 2BHK apartments below 50 lacs? Or have you ever received a pamphlet while walking on the street. It’s all offline marketing and ways to attract potential buyers.
But today due to shift in operations and end goals, companies are prioritizing online marketing to generate business. Almost every online company is spending on paid and organic marketing to attract traffic due to the huge potential it holds.
In this post we will learn about SEO, what are its different types and how businesses can benefit from this online marketing technique. Let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a digital marketing technique to increase the flow of quality and quantity of traffic to your website via organic search results. It is a popular and organic method to gain relevancy on the search engines. One needs to produce high quality and useful content using relevant keywords and building backlinks to attract traffic on their portal.
In a nutshell, SEO is all about making your website search engine friendly, and improving your website’s ranking without spending money. Hence, optimizing your website is essential to stay on the top of SERP (Search Engine Page Results).
Now that you know what SEO is, let’s understand how it works.
How SEO Works?
In SEO you optimize your website for the search engines you want it to rank for - Google, Yahoo Bing, YouTube and/or Amazon. With optimization, we mean comprehensive optimization, including the title tags and meta descriptions that are both informative and of the right length. The search engine crawlers scan your website to establish how user-friendly it is. If your website fulfills all the criteria of search engines - research-based original content, organically placed keywords, ethical backlinking, you are rewarded with better ranking on SERP.
If you do SEO systematically, your business can benefit immensely. By producing the right content for the right audience you can multiply your website’s online visibility. This will also engage your customers in a more structured way.
Points to be noted:
- Search engine rewards website that:
- Producing engaging and useful content consistently.
- Create well-researched and targeted content.
- Develop content that addresses target audiences’ queries.
- Share and repurpose existing content.
Now that you are familiar with the way SEO works and provide results, let’s understand the types of SEO.
What are the different types of SEO?
When most people think about SEO, they usually think of a very cliched type of optimization - using keywords all over the web page. While using keywords is important, too much usage could lead to negative consequences. And SEO is more than just keywords. Here are 5 types of SEO you need to focus on:
On-page SEO: As the name suggests, it has everything to do with the activities that are carried out on an unpublished page. Anything that you put on the page like images, videos, text content, meta title and description, and URL are all ingredients of an on-page SEO. The most crucial element of on-page SEO is creating quality content that your target audience wants and search engines likes.
Off-page SEO: This technique includes activities that are performed on the page after the page goes live - typically your page promotion activities. Some of the popular off-page activities include link building, blog sharing and commenting, brand mentions, guest posting, influencer outreach, content marketing, social networking etc.
Mobile SEO: As the name implies, this type of SEO is primarily targeted towards mobile devices. As you may know, 60% of Google searches are performed on smartphones. If optimized correctly, imagine the amount of traffic it will bring to your website. Hence, it makes total sense for businesses to invest in mobile SEO.
Local SEO: This is best suitable for local businesses. If you own a local restaurant and want people to visit it, then you should optimize your website for local SEO. While optimizing ensure you have your business name, address, and contact information on all pages of your website. Do the following things:
Create a Google My Business Account.
- Register your business with reliable directories like Yahoo small business, Yelp Foursquare etc.
- Don’t miss out on promoting your website on local directories and local newspaper websites.
- Add the Local Business Schema on your homepage.
Technical SEO: It focuses on the technical elements that affect the visibility of a website on search engines. The idea is to ensure crawlers can crawl and index a website without any issues. Keep below guidelines in mind:
- Follow SEO-friendly web design.
- Optimize your site structure and URL structure.
- Develop a website that loads faster on both website and mobile.
- Add and verify your website with Google Search Console and specify your preferred domain.
What are the different SEO techniques?
SEO comprises three major techniques, if used correctly can reward your website with better ranking, but if misused can penalize your website.
White Hat SEO - This technique is used to improve your website online visibility, ranking and traffic ethically. In a nutshell, this method does not violate the search engine guidelines to get rankings. Though it takes time, the results derived from this technique are lasting. Some of the best examples of white hat SEO are creating high-quality and useful content, getting backlinks from high authority websites, organizing the content on your website as per SEO guidelines set by Google, promoting your content on social networking platforms, regularly updating your website with fresh and unique content that answer audience’s queries, producing exhaustive content pieces, creating different types of content - text, audio, video, images etc.
Black Hat SEO - This technique earns traffic for your website unethically, meaning they violate search engine guidelines to get instant rankings. Few of the examples of black hat SEO include: purchased backlinks, plagiarism, keyword stuffing, thin content, backlinks from irrelevant websites.
Gray Hat SEO - This is a technique that utilizes both black and white hat SEO methods to generate traffic and ranking. While they don’t use one complete technique, they generally use a mixture of both techniques, there are chances of your website getting hurt after an update.
Why does your business need SEO services?
We all know SEO is the only way to earn quality traffic and leads without spending anything. Therefore, it makes 100% sense to utilize this technique to increase the visibility of the site and improve your prominence among customers.
There are several reasons a business should think about investing in SEO:
- It builds trust and credibility - users are more likely to trust a brand that appears on the top of SERP when they search for a term. It helps build awareness about your brand. People trust Google. So, by doing white hat SEO you can earn traffic for your site and credibility with your audience.
- It has better ROI - SEO is one of the most cost-effective online marketing strategies because it targets customers who are actively looking for your products or services online. Also, SEO is cheaper, technically it costs nothing but your time to build permanent traffic on your website. SEO’s inbound nature helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling.
- Impacts buying cycle - Customers do their research before buying anything online. They prefer to gather more information before purchasing a product. That’s where you can step in and help them. Make your website information-rich with data, facts, and creatives. Write an in-depth and exhaustive post that will solve your customer’s queries and help them make a sound purchasing decision. If they like what they have read, they will surely trust your brand and buy from you. Achieving first ranking on SERP is essential for your business if you want customers who are actively searching out your products to be able to find you.
There are several other enticing reasons to invest in SEO. But before you decide to outsource your SEO requirements, make sure you hire a professional SEO agency in Houston, USA.
There are several factors that affect your SEO ranking, but the most important aspect is your content. Make sure the content you create is original, unique and helpful for your audience. The more quality content you produce frequently, the better it is for your website’s health.
While it takes months, and years to see SEO results, in the end, it is all worth it!