If you’re like most people, search engine optimization (SEO) can be an overwhelming topic to fully understand. And if you’re a business owner focusing on managing and growing your business, then it’s easy to overlook the basics.
The goal of this article is to give you a useful, straightforward overview of the 4 fundamental areas of SEO.
1. On-page SEO:
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing visible elements on your page that visitors will see.
Factors that affect on-page SEO:
- Relevant & Useful Content
- Proper use of HTML elements (e.g. title tag, meta description, headers, etc)
- Good User Experience (UX)
- Internal Linking
These are the most visible, and sometimes the easiest for anyone starting out in SEO to address and correct.
2. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your site to be properly indexed and crawled by search engines.
Factors that affect technical SEO:
- Regularly updated content
- Crawlability of your site
- Speed / performance
- Mobile responsive & optimized for multiple platforms
- Free of response code errors (e.g. 404 Errors)
- Free of duplicate content / keyword cannibalization
3. Off-Page SEO (i.e. Backlinks)
Off page SEO is the process of building your sites’ authority through means outside of your website domain.
Backlinking is the process of referring traffic from another domain to your webpage through the use of a link.
In many cases, the number of backlinks that your page (or site) has is used as a signal by search engines like Google to determine whether your page provides relevant, high-quality content.
Factors that affect off-page SEO:
- Number of referring domains (How many other sites link to yours)
- Link authority (Credibility of the referring site)
- Anchor text (The actual words/text in a hyperlink)
- Relevance (Is the referral website related to your industry/content?)
- Traffic (The volume of traffic that the referring site receives)
4. Local SEO
Local SEO is the variety of SEO that shows your business based on location centered search queries. So, if instead of searching “carwash” you search “car wash near me” you will receive results based on geographical location.
Qualifying search terms can include:
- Near me
- Close to me
- Zip codes
- City, State
Local SEO is great for all businesses, but especially those with physical locations that deal directly with customers for sales (e.g. restaurants, cafes, car washes, etc)
Tools like Yelp or Google My Business are invaluable for improving local SEO and increasing your visibility.
Factors that affect local SEO:
- Content optimized for geographical location
- NAP consistency (name, address, phone number)
- Reviews & ratings
- Local citations (i.e. backlinks)
- Citations & local web directories
Time to put SEO to work for you!
It’s important to keep in mind that none of these areas of SEO are inherently better than the other. They all play a vital role in improving your page rank. Find a balance between them and you’ll be off to a great start for your website’s SEO.