Who knew there are different types of SEO?
SEO (the art of optimizing for organic traffic) is an important part of almost every website. When searching online for, say a plumber or a place to eat, how often do you scroll to the second or third page of listings? Not often, right? The businesses that appear on the first page of results get the most clicks, so your goal should be to appear as high on the list as possible. Focusing on SEO can help you increase your authority and float to the top of search results.
Following is an overview of four of the most common types of SEO and a few tips on how to increase them for your business.
On-page SEO encompasses tools used to build your website. These tools include:
Simply put, on-page SEO includes all the ingredients that make up your website.
Off-page SEO includes everything you do to put your website under people’s noses. These tools include:
- Paid advertising
- Increasing your presence on social media
- Building a QR code that leads to your website and include that on your business card (remember business cards?) and printed materials
Establishing yourself as an expert is off-page SEO; so is podcasting and being interviewed. Essentially, anything that supports your website and drives traffic to it is off-page SEO.
Technical SEO focuses on helping search engines understand your site. You can tailor what a search engine sees when it crawls and indexes your site, and if you organize your content well you will rise in ranking.
A few tools you can use to improve your technical SEO are:
- Using outbound links that point to reliable, related content on other websites
- Including internal links that point to related content on your own website
- Keeping your website updated
- Properly formatting headings for page readers and search engines
- Sizing and formatting images and optimizing them for SEO
- Adding alt descriptions to images for better accessibility
- Encrypting your site with SSL to thwart hackers
Local SEO works by making sure that people in your geographical location know that you’re nearby and open for business. This is important for small business because the world-wide web is a vast, vast space, and its easy to get lost out there. Letting search engines know where you are physically can help them boost your site in your area, (hopefully) bringing more customers to your doorstep.
This aspect of SEO is particularly important for service area businesses, as customers often prefer professionals who are located close to them, whether it’s a doctor, massage therapist, or handyman. Similarly, if you run a business which focuses on tourists, you want them to find you with a quick search when they arrive in town.
Local SEO can be on-page of off-page.
Some on-page methods include:
- Listing your physical location on your website
- Adding your physical location to your about me page
- Blogging about local events
Some off-page methods include:
- Advertising in a local publication
- Setting up a Google profile for your business which includes hours and address
- Sponsoring an event like a 5k run in your city
- Joining a networking group
Developing any of these aspects of SEO will help your website’s ranking, but they’re all easy to plan and implement, and are soooo worth the time it takes.