SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.

How does SEO Work?

Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages, and putting them in an index. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query.

Search ranking factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience. Our Periodic Table of SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights each based on its overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors of content optimization, and crawlability and mobile-friendliness are important sites architecture factors.

The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.

Why is SEO important for Marketing?

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.

However, the search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.

SEO Perodic Table

seo periodic table
SEO Periodic Table

Different Types of SEO

There are 4 main broad categories of SEO (On-Page, Off-Page, Technical, and Local) which essentially cover all SEO work.

However, there are many more subcategories of SEO, as well SEO strategies, tactics, specialisms, and discrete blocks of SEO work. I think this is the most complete list of the types of SEO online:


Using AMP to improve ranking in search results. Using AMP can make pages load faster as they are a stripped-down (lighter) version of web pages.

App Store SEO

Working to get more downloads for an App in App Stores.


Focuses on maximizing SERP real estate and the importance of being on comparison websites like Capterra, etc. Also, rankings on the category pages within those sites.

Black Hat SEO

SEO techniques that are against the terms and conditions set by search engines.

Brand SEO

Any branding activities online. Being mentioned on other sites (with a link or not) can improve your ranking.

Content SEO

A form of SEO that focuses solely on content (e.g blogging, guest posting etc).

Competitor SEO

A focus on searches that include the word “vs” or “alternative” as they are so common. Example: McDonalds might write an article titled “Big Mac vs Whopper” so that when people search for that term, their article is found. By doing this McDonalds can influence how people view the two products.

eCommerce SEO

SEO specifically used for increasing the likelihood of purchases online. This is different from regular SEO as there many unique factors on eCommerce sites (such as product descriptions and reviews).

Digital PR

Getting links in the press or on news sites, as well as reputation management.

Enterprise SEO

SEO for very large websites. Large sites have different problems and resources than smaller sites and so SEO work is very different than when working on smaller sites.

Grey Hat SEO

SEO techniques that are not against the rules but which are still obviously dodgy (and likely to be made against the rules in the future).

White Hat SEO

SEO techniques that aim to follow terms and conditions set by search engines.

Image SEO

Optimising images to appear higher in image search results, and bring searchers to your webpage.

Internal SEO

Focussing on internal linking, site structure, and internal search results.

International SEO

SEO for sites that operate in multiple countries. This can mean localization of content, links etc, and creating multiple versions of a page in different languages.

JavaScript SEO

Optimising sites built using JavaScript. Search Engines generally find JavaScript more difficult to read, so extra care is needed to ensure they are indexed properly.

Local SEO

SEO for a business that operates in a specific location (such as a shop, or local delivery service). This is different to other types of SEO in that it is about a business, rather than a webpage. Local SEO is about making sure all mapping sites know about the business (as well as any sites which talk about that location).

Mobile SEO

A focus on mobile related SEO issues (such as mobile usability).

National SEO

Optimising for searches within one country (or with the country of operation in mind). National SEO is similar to Local SEO but has a focus on branding.

Negative SEO

An attack on a site in an attempt to decrease the ranking of that site in search. This generally involves using Black Hat techniques aimed at your site with the hope of being caught.

Non-Competitive SEO

Where your SEO efforts are focussed on helping your sector or an ecosystem of businesses.* Example: You sell a product but don’t repair it. You create content to boost your business, but actively avoid any keywords related to repairing the product so that repair businesses can rank higher for them. Having a product that is easily repaired makes it easier to sell your product.

Off-Page SEO

Any SEO activity you do without editing the page you are working on (such as link building).

On-Page SEO

Any SEO activity you do on a webpage (such as improving content structure).

Parasite SEO

Exploit the high domain authority of sites that allow you to create pages on them (Think BuzzFeed, Wikipedia, Medium, YouTube etc) and utilize this authority to both rank and use links lower authority sites wouldn’t succeed with. First coined in the early 2000s by Eli from Blue Hat SEO.

Programmatic SEO

A method that addresses the growing amount of search traffic by publishing landing pages on a large scale. As an example, Tripadvisor has a page for almost everything travel-related. Yelp has a page for all business searches.


A set of optimization considerations for software as a service websites. Common SaaS SEO strategies include creating key landing pages, rich content integration, and finding blog opportunities. The most common challenges in SaaS SEO include competition from aggregator sites and limited search volume.

Semantic SEO

SEO for real-world objects or entities made up of people, places, and things (such as ideas and concepts).

SERP Feature SEO

The process of mining rich snippets and PAA (People Also Asked) for opportunities to enhance your current pages display on SERP results themselves (e.g. FAQ markup, product schema, etc).

Social SEO

Using Social Media to affect search rankings. While social signals may not affect search ranking directly, posts from some social networks do appear in search results, as do profiles. Social media can also be used to generate 2nd order links.

Technical SEO

SEO efforts that don’t revolve around content (such as improving page speed and information architecture).

Video SEO

Optimising videos and related Meta details to gain more (and better) traffic from video hosting platforms.

Voice SEO

Optimising pages for voice search. Voice search is generally more question and answer based than text search and requires a specific technical markup.

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4 thoughts on “SEO”

  1. This is a very useful website. I learned a lot from this. Thank you very much. I hope for something new.


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