Do you know that a total of 93% of online experiences start with the search engine? Whether users are looking for a product/service to buy, or merely seeking insights on some topic, it all begins with a search engine. If your website doesn’t show up in the search results when the potential customer searches for a query, then it’s no use. You can learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and implement them on your site to get better visibility and ranking. But it helps when you start with the basics, that is, the types of SEO.
Before you want to optimize your website, you should know the different types of SEO out there. There are both good and bad techniques, and you must understand the difference between the two. It can help you create a campaign for your website that gets your business the best organic results. In this article, you can learn the main types of SEO. And additionally, you will also learn about SEO that can drive better results for your business.
Four main types of SEO
When you are developing an SEO campaign for your business, you should know the fundamental SEO types. So you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Below are the four main types of SEO that are available.
1 – White hat SEO
White hat SEO strategies offer the most reliable way to improve your search engine ranking over time. It’s indeed the best way to optimize your website because these are the techniques that Google recommends businesses to use. White hat SEO tactics comply with Google’s search engine guidelines.
These techniques help improve your site’s ranking, but it also drives organic and positive results most reliably. Not to mention, white hat SEO comes with very minimal risk, and results you get are long-lasting as compared to other types of SEO. All the reputable SEO and content marketing companies out there use nothing except white hat SEO.
Examples of white hat SEO are –
- Creating high-quality, informative and relevant content
- Cleaning up your websites code and keeping it clutter-free
- Incorporating social media tactics to get more traffic
- Running a user-friendly website in terms of design, navigation, and content
2 – Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO techniques abuses or exploits search algorithms to get higher ranking in far less time. Businesses and people who want to see immediate results by putting in the least efforts are the ones to use black hat SEO. Typically, it costs less as you are using shortcuts to get a better ranking by going against Google’s guidelines.
Many black hat SEO techniques have a special mention in Google’s guidelines under things you should not do. If you choose to go ahead with black hat SEO, then you will have to pay its price when Google’s lowers your ranking or bans your website altogether. Some examples of the black hat SEO tricks are –
- Copying content, aka plagiarism.
- Keyword stuffing or hiding it by using white text on white background
- Purchased or bartered backlinks and citations versus earned.
- Having numerous similar pages with slight tweaks in content, aka doorway pages.
- Cloaking, which refers to displaying different content to users and search engines.
- Thin content, showing the lack of effective or useful content.
3 – Grey hat SEO
Grey hat SEO falls somewhere between white hat and black hat SEO. These techniques are not good for you if your focus is on long-term sustainability and growth. However, Google doesn’t call out these techniques in its guidelines. But that doesn’t give you a free license to use these tactics. Be aware that you may have to pay penalties in the future for using grey hat SEO.
Google doesn’t prohibit the SEO techniques in grey hat SEO. Yet, these techniques don’t get considered as a valid way of getting leads. But, the single most reasons businesses use these tactics is that they are affordable. Keep in mind that gray hat techniques can help your site grow, but it leads to negative effects in the future, further deteriorating your business.
Some examples of grey hat SEO are –
- Using clickbait articles
- Spun content, reused content or using the same content with slight tweaks
- Paid reviews
- Link exchanges
4 – Negative SEO
Negative SEO refers to applying a grey hat and black tactics on the competitor’s website to hurt them. You can spot negative SEO between businesses and competitors who are trying to pull each other down. By harming your competitor, it allows you to climb up in search results. Some examples of negative SEO are –
- Creating unnatural links to the competitor’s website
- Posting deliberate negative reviews on a competitor’s product/service
- Hacking other websites and modifying their content for worse
What is up with the hats?
As Wikipedia provides, western cinema in the United States during the 1920s and 1940s had actors wearing hats. Typically, the protagonists (hero) in the movie used to wear white-colored hats. And the antagonists (villain) used to wear black colored hats. Those hats symbolized the contrast between good and evil.
The same logic applies to SEO; the white hat refers to the best SEO services that deliver long-lasting results. And black hat SEO is the opposite of white hat as it encircles all the prohibited SEO techniques.
When you’re shopping for SEO services in the market, you should carefully listen to the provider. If they mention anything about black or grey hat SEO services, you’re better off finding another SEO services company.
Three types of SEO that help your business grow
Now that you know the primary types of SEO and the difference between them, you must have realized that white hat SEO is best of all. Any business that wants to and retain its success in the long term should practice ethical SEO techniques. SEO comprises numerous strategies, but below are three of the most important ones.
1 – On-page SEO
On-page SEO is the most used technique by businesses to optimize their website. In simple words, on-page SEO tactics refer to changes you make to your website that improves its performance. On-page SEO involves a variety of techniques like keyword optimization, title tags, alt tags, content creation, internal linking, and so on.
Keyword optimization is the most fundamental process in SEO. When internet users perform searches, they use different keywords to produce a list of relevant results. To enable your potential clients to find your business, you have to perform keyword research. It helps you unveil the keyword phrases people use to look up your products or services.
Further, you can use those keywords on your site at prominent places like page titles, headings, and Meta descriptions, etc. Optimizing URL structures is another commonly used on-page SEO tactic. Custom URLs help optimize your site and also help leads to remember your webpage.
2 – Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO techniques refer to optimization to your site that doesn’t take place on your site. In other words, off-page SEO fosters the relationship and impact your website shares with other websites. The primary purpose of these techniques is to establish an excellent authority and reputation of your site.
High-quality backlinks are the most valued element in off-page SEO. When a large number of links point to your website from relevant and authoritative sites, search engines think that your site is valuable and trust-worthy. You can gain these trust points through guest posting and different link building techniques.
Social media sharing is another huge element in off-page SEO. When you share your site’s link on social media, other people can share it on their profile and attract more traffic to your site. When your page gets ample of relevant traffic, then your ranking gets better.
3 – Technical SEO
Technical SEO deals with the non-content part of your website. It comprises of methods to improve your website’s foundation and backend structure. These techniques lead to better readability of your site, improves user experience, which helps search engines register your site as a high-quality one.
Website loading speed, responsiveness, and indexing are popular elements of technical SEO. Improving the site’s architecture, structured data, and security are other significant factors that fall under technical SEO.
One of the biggest aspects of technical SEO is the loading speed of your website. When users click on your site’s URL, they wouldn’t want to wait too long before your website gets displayed on the screen. For the best results, you should make sure that your site loads up quickly. If your company lacks technical knowledge for SEO, you should consider hiring an agency that offers digital marketing services.
To put it shortly
There are four main types of SEO – white hat, black hat, grey hat, and negative SEO. You should be practicing white hat SEO techniques that adhere to Google’s search engine guidelines. You might not know, but the first five results alone on the first search result page accounts for 67.60% of all clicks. It shows how important it is for your site to have a higher ranking. On-page, off-page, and technical SEO tactics mentioned above can help you accomplish the same.