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
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.
Any branding activities online. Being mentioned on other sites (with a link or not) can improve your ranking.
A form of SEO that focuses solely on content (e.g blogging, guest posting etc).
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.
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).
Getting links in the press or on news sites, as well as reputation management.
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.
Optimising images to appear higher in image search results, and bring searchers to your webpage.
Focussing on internal linking, site structure, and internal search results.
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.
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).
A focus on mobile related SEO issues (such as mobile usability).
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.
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.
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.
Any SEO activity you do without editing the page you are working on (such as link building).
Any SEO activity you do on a webpage (such as improving content structure).
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.
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.
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).
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.
SEO efforts that don’t revolve around content (such as improving page speed and information architecture).
Optimising videos and related Meta details to gain more (and better) traffic from video hosting platforms.
Optimising pages for voice search. Voice search is generally more question and answer based than text search and requires a specific technical markup.Follow me on Social Media