New to SEO? Kick start your journey on digital marketing by learning what is SEO and its types. When it comes to talk about SEO, most of the people think about Google. More than 2.2 million searches are made online on this giant search engine. Therefore, appearing on the Google first page can be a deciding factor for the company’s success and growth. And, there comes the need for SEO.
But, the question is what does SEO mean? Is it just a tactic, a simple concept, a design, or a process? Is it paid or free to use? How does SEO help your business grow? How you can use it? And many more similar questions might be rising in your mind. There is no need to worry because all of them will be answered in this post.
Let’s start with the definition of SEO in the beginning.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of improving website visibility on the search engine result pages (SERPs) and getting natural, organic, free, or editorial traffic. It consists of all the activities that improve the website visibility and ranking on the search results to gain lots of online traffic that converts into potential customers. If you are a website owner, you must know what is SEO and how it improves sales and business value. Most importantly, don’t forget that SEO is an art that you have to work in a systematic order to become search engine friendly and avoid negative consequences.
Just like a coin that has two different sides, SEO also has many different types. What are these and what they mean? Let’s find out.
Three Basic Types Of SEO
There are 3 main types of search engine optimization, all used to get improved visibility in the SERPs and online traffic. The techniques and approaches of working vary for all of these kinds of SEO, but it is advised to stay away from dark-colored types. Want to go in deep of these types of SEO, give a glimpse at the points described below –
1- Black Hat SEO – Indirect And Short-Term Ways To Trick Google
Google’s guidelines and algorithms keep on changing with more than 500 updates in a year. Keeping a regular eye on these updates and working accordingly seem challenging for some webmaster or website owner. That’s why they wear a black hat and work outside of Google’s guidelines to quickly position their sites.
Black hat SEO tactics are unethical and manipulate the search results by breaking the rules and Google’s Webmaster guidelines. Professionals practicing this type of SEO are just creating SPAM – Site Positioned Above Mine. It usually involves hidden text (making the certain text match the site background), copied content, link farm (numbers of sites linking to each other), and paid links.
As black hat techniques work outside of Google’s rules, they can give your site a penalty from the search engine. Even though it is not a crime because it also plays a vital role in getting the ranking, but Google would not like it.
2- White Hat SEO – Golden Ticket To Google’s Search Result
White hat search engine optimization is the opposite of black hat SEO as it is fully ethical in practice. It uses methods and tactics that improve search engine ranking without breaking search engine guidelines. White hat SEO techniques mainly include website HTML optimization and restructuring, high-quality and customer-centric content creation, targeted keywords optimization, adding new content, obtaining natural backlinks, and others, which are accepted by all search engines.
Professionals, who do this type of SEO, focus on both search engines and human audience to generate a sustainable business. If you are wondering which long-term plan will withstand the latest search engine updates, then work on white hat SEO standards to top Google SERPs while following Google’s guidelines and algorithm updates.
3- Gray Hat SEO – A Blend Of White And Black Hat SEO
So, you have learned about black and white hat SEO. Let’s find out what is gray hat SEO. It is a strategy that neither falls completely in the white hat SEO zone nor black hat search engine optimization aspect. For example, paid or 3rd party link building in which site A links to website B, which links to site C, which eventually links to website A.
Be careful while using this type of SEO tactic because strategies you are using may not be labeled as unethical, but it may result in some negative consequences as it comprises the form of black hat SEO as well.
Black Hat, White Hat, Gray Hat SEO Strategies
In this table, you’ll find some examples of the techniques used while practicing different colored of SEO to obtain a higher ranking.
|Black Hat SEO Strategies||White Hat SEO Strategies||Gray Hat SEO Strategies|
|Invisible or Hidden Text||Regular Content Creation & Frequent Updates||Unnatural High Keyword Density In Content|
|Link Farming||Keyword Research & Analysis||3-Way Linking or Paid Links|
|Cloaking||Natural Backlinks||Poor or Low Authority Links|
|Doorways||Natural Keyword Optimization in Headings, Alt Tags, Page Titles, Anchor Text, and All Content||Cloaking|
|Spamming Forums and Social Media Sites Links||Site Maps||Irrelevant Link Building|
|Keyword Stuffing||SEO Coding Structures||Duplicate Content|
All in all, the white hat is the safest and reliable form of SEO that is completely risk-free and acceptable in all the circumstances. Practicing one way link building strategies, right site structure, quality content, mobile site optimization, and other white hat SEO techniques assure what you’re doing would not impact negatively by search engine algorithm updates. Although results may take a longer time to show, you are not cheating with search engines.
On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO
The major types of SEO that digital marketers and website owners are using these days to rule over the internet include On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO. These can employ any of the SEO types we have discussed above – white, black, and/or gray hat search engine optimization techniques.
It simply refers to the activities used to optimize single or multiple pages of a site to improve its visibility on the SERPs. On-page includes optimizing web page content as well as its technical aspects. Step by step on-page SEO practices such as page titles, Meta tags, Meta descriptions, body tags, URL structure, image SEO, keyword density, internal linking, external links, headings, content formatting, and mobile-friendliness quickly boost your SEO.
On-page search engine optimization is the best factor for achieving high local results and gaining long-term SEO value with no heavy investment of time and money. Techniques used for on-page optimization such as Meta title and description results in improved CTR (click through rate) and better user experience. Thereby, providing you an upper-hand while locking horns with your strong rivals.
It is just opposite to on-page, meaning it refers to activities that are performed directly off a site to gain higher search engine ranking. This type of SEO helps strengthen the connectivity and influence of your site with other websites to create a trustworthy reputation and authority. Besides this, professional off-page SEO benefits in many more ways including increased SERP ranking, improved PageRank, and more website exposure.
Top off-page search engine optimization techniques include social networking sites, forum marketing, blogging, social bookmarking, search engine submission, directory submission, video marketing, business reviews, article submission, and answer questions just to name a few.
SEO has changed a lot over the last decade with the succession of algorithmic evolutions. It requires innovative skills and advanced approaches to effectively succeed in the competitive world. Among all the updates, one thing that remains completely unchanged is technical SEO – the foundation of all other strategies. It is not just an option, but a necessity that looks at the relevant technical features of a site and server configuration.
Technical SEO includes strategies that focus on improving the foundation and backend structure of a site to improve its readability and UX (user experience). It relates to indexing, site speed, structured data, mobile-friendliness, security, crawlability, canonical page references, and site structure. Depending on the present technical health of your site, you can use various technical SEO strategies. The primary techniques you can start working on right away include SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protection, reduced site load time for mobile and desktop platforms, removal of broken links, removing mixed content issues, creating an XML sitemap just to name a few.
There is no doubt that SEO is a necessity that every business should pay close attention to if running a website online. Obviously, no one will come to you if they cannot find you on the web. Thus, to make a reputed presence online and get found by online visitors, it is important to optimize and improve on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Use a well-rounded white hat search engine optimization plan that better up your overall marketing strategy.
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