There are different types of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for everything you publish online.
Most things in life are rarely straightforward.
SEO is sort of the same. It’s an area of marketing that has different aspects to it. You might want to find out about those aspects before booking someone for something you don’t know much or anything about.
I often get DMs that go something like this:
“I notice you do SEO. I really need someone to audit my website”
Just hold up there partner, you’ve misunderstood my occupation. Either I’m really bad at marketing my business, or you’re really bad at reading. I do offer a Website Review but it’s not the kind of thing you’re thinking of.
For those in doubt, I’m not a technical SEO. Nothing in my spiel says I tinker with the arse-end of websites. I’m an SEO content writer. In all honesty, this misunderstanding doesn’t happen often. Most of you lovely lot know what it is I do.
SEO is a broad church.
It has many denominations so if this is you:
“I want an SEO guy.”
I suggest you’ve not grasped what it means to want, an SEO guy. You’ve heard people making noises around the subject, so you think it’s something you should invest in.
And you should but you should know WHY first.
You want to be visible.
Sadly, there isn’t an ‘enable SEO’ button on your website. Nothing in life is that easy and if someone says it is (and they suggest all it takes is a plugin) run for the fucking hills. This is a long-winded way of saying, there isn’t just one thing to do.
So let’s av a look at some of the different types of SEO shall we.
This baby is so important it gets its own category.
When I’m not thinking of Michael Fassbender in that scene from Shame, content SEO is always on my mind – it’s my thang. Content is also pretty broad, and it literally refers to anything you dump on your site pages. So, video, images, and text. It’s all about optimising your content for some Uptown Top Ranking (thank you Anthea & Donna for that reference). And how do we do that? We create engaging, brilliant, compelling, on-brand content for your desired humans to consume.
Most of what you do to optimise your stuff will either be on-page (on your site) or off-page (off your site).
As a content writer, I have my fingers in a few SEO pies but my main pie is the on-page pie.
I do love pie, sadly I no longer eat red meat and offal. Oh, how I miss steak and kidney.
This area of search engine optimisation can deal with the code of individual pages along with site architecture (website structure). Meta titles and descriptions (page snippets that show up on a Google search) and page formatting are also part of on-page SEO. So things like headings and subheadings, internal and outbound links, and CTAs. These are all things that an on-page SEO person (so someone like me) will fiddle with.
Is your brain hurting yet?
When you promote your website or blog on social media you’re doing some off-page SEO.
Your purpose for doing that is to drive direct traffic back to your website or a specific page. We build backlinks for the same reason. A link building strategy will target high-traffic (non-spammy) websites that will include a link, back to your URL. There are many different methods to gaining backlinks, all of them take time and consistent effort. But that’s SEO for you!
Hearing that word strikes fear, doesn’t it?
Technical SEOs are so mysterious. Well, they’re not, they’re usually just geeks.
They like to tinker with the back-end of websites and optimising your site’s infrastructure. They play about with code, they check out how well your permalinks are geared for people searching for your content. Technical SEOs feel the need for speed in terms of how quick your pages load. General site health and performance are on their radar. They keep their beady eyes on algorithm changes. What you once ranked well on, might suddenly take a dive, and you need a techie in your corner before that happens.
Those data-driven SEOs love a graph!
This is pretty self-explanatory but I do love to over-explain. This aspect of SEO is measuring a website’s performance. Using monitoring and webmaster tools (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, Ahrefs) to assess and track how well a site is doing on the traffic front. Data is collected to see where improvements can be made.
Most users are looking at your website on a mobile device.
That’s why you need to consider, when you design your online home, how your site performs on these devices. Most themes and templates will, these days, accommodate mobile and tablet view. BUT don’t presume that’s the case. Ask yourself, how often are you accessing sites via your desktop? It’s probably not that often so make sure mobile SEO is at the top of your list with any new or existing build.
This is the kind of optimisation that focuses on a region or locality.
If you’re a shop that relies heavily on physical trade, local SEO is really key to figuring out what you need to be doing to attract that footfall. You can’t get your hair cut remotely (not yet anyway) so you need to understand how you pull in potential customers in your geographical area. That’s what local SEO is all about. Small shops and businesses likely won’t have an online store. And pubs, you have to actually visit them to buy what they’re offering because virtual beer is rubbish.
Brands like Amazon and eBay have huge eCommerce websites.
These organisations sell tons of online goods internationally. They will throw absolutely everything at making sure their listings show up on the SERPs (search engine results pages). Because of the massive buying potential, it stands to reason there’s an area of SEO dedicated to online shops. But it isn’t just for the big boys. If you sell stuff you offer, online, you should maybe consult an eCommerce specialist to get the best out of your website.
This is by no means a definitive list and the lines merge with SEOs dibbing in and out of different areas.
SEO is about being visible and you do that by being accessible (and hiring various different specialists). Your job is to create simple, easy-to-follow websites with pages full to the brim of targeted, high-quality content.
I really hope this helps you understand SEO in more detail, and maybe focuses your mind on what you need for your business. If it doesn’t, I’ve probably wasted a lot of time when I could have been watching the rest of season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy.
If you want to know more about how I can help, hit the button.