Technically you can group SEO into two categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
But if you’re just learning your way around SEO, I think it makes more sense to group SEO into four parts;
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Local SEO
Dissecting the 4 Parts of SEO
1) On-Page SEO
Normally, on-page SEO would refer to every aspect that involves optimizing the actual web pages for search.
When tackling non-technical on-page SEO, you want to consider:
- Keyword Selection
- Keyword Placement
Go through each of the pages on your website and ask yourself what the value of that page is for potential customers? Does the content and design stand out?
In any page that you create, you want to have content that’s thoroughly thought out, is unique and visitors would agree that it’s actually valuable, and it should be aesthetically pleasing. You want to choose keywords based on opportunity and not solely basing selection on the volume of searches.
When I say opportunity, I mean that the keywords were chosen because of the opportunity that you have to rank and secure traffic from them. Using keywords that have a lot of opportunities will better serve your business.
Overall, when you’re working on on-page SEO, there is a considerable amount of strategy involved. A strategy that is as important as almost any other part of your business.
2) Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to optimizing your website so that search engines can more easily crawl your website.
When you first start creating a new website, many businesses don’t even consider SEO. But that’s where it all starts. You want a structure that makes sense from a search standpoint but is also easily navigable. It’s vital to consider all parts of your website and how they correlate with SEO.
For instance, if your website has a long load speed or a million 301 redirects, your website might be losing significant traffic. Having a knowledge of the areas that make up technical SEO can prevent any surgeries you need to perform on your website.
The following areas help make up technical SEO:
- Website Structure
- Link Structure
- Meta Tags
- Usability & Friendliness
- Image Optimization
- Site Speed
3) Off-Page SEO
Generally speaking, off-page SEO is just as simple to understand as on-page SEO. The names give it away. Off-page SEO has to do with using techniques to improve your website’s rank that is done off of your website.
This involves link building, but link building just refers to the practice of securing high-quality and relevant backlinks to your website. There are numerous tactics you can use that help with link building;
- Social Bookmarking
- Blog & Forum Commenting
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Link Outreach
- Guest Posts
Building links is fundamental to improving the ranking of a page or even your website overall. But why?
If you’re building high-quality and relevant backlinks, it indicates to search engines that your content is valuable and you’re a reliable source for that topic.
You can increase traffic to your website, increase your domain and page authority, increase the visibility of your brand, increase your company’s industry relevance, and become a more trustworthy source of information.
4) Local SEO
Search rankings differ based on location. As a result, you have to optimize your website so that you can gain more local search rankings.
Think about what kind of searches you use when trying to find a local business. You combine your search with geo-targeted keywords that reference things like: “in (city name)”, “near me”, and “around.”
To make your business visible locally, it’s necessary to implement local search strategies. Most often, businesses think of local SEO as getting listed on a number of different search directories.
While that’s important, it’s not the only part of local SEO, nor is it what you should aim for.
You only want to be listed on high-quality search directories, and when you create a profile you want to make sure it’s fully optimized with correct NAP data. There are a number of mistakes that businesses every time they add their business to a new directory.