If you’re just starting your venture into digital marketing or working on revamping your brand’s digital marketing efforts, it’s crucial to understand just how important it is to incorporate SEO best practices into your online efforts. If you aren’t all that familiar with SEO or SEO best practices, it may be wise to invest in an SEO marketing consultant’s help.
An SEO marketing consultant has an extensive history in SEO and knows how to utilize best practices to help your content and website succeed but knows how to review and analyze new information regarding SEO and implement it into your digital marketing strategy with ease.
However, before you start looking into any SEO marketing consultant to help you out, you must take the necessary time to understand what SEO is and what to expect from an SEO marketing consultant should you choose to hire one to help you improve your strategy.
To understand how SEO continuously puts in the work to keep your content ranking, it’s essential to understand that there are many types of SEO that need to be considered, implemented, and even avoided. Here are eight SEO terms that you’ll want to become familiar with:
One of the most common terms you’ll come across when learning and discussing SEO is on-page SEO. In short, on-page SEO refers to your SEO efforts that go into the actual content you are writing and the information that is discoverable by your readers and search engine crawlers.
For example, one of the most common on-page SEO practices is keyword optimization. This practice involves researching popular/trending keywords within your industry/niche and utilizing them throughout your content.
It’s crucial to understand that you must choose keywords that are trending and relevant to your target audience. After all, if someone is researching content creation tips, you don’t want to be discussing trending political news.
Other on-page SEO practices include:
Off-page SEO is another frequently encountered term that you’ll want to become familiar with. On-page SEO referred to everything on your website/webpage; off-page SEO refers to SEO best practices for brand information located off your website.
These practices involve optimizing your online presence on your social media pages, online business listings, and even building your backlinking strategy so that your brand is adequately attributed to other websites that mention your brand or products/services.
The goal of off-page SEO isn’t necessarily keyword optimization so that users can find your content; however, that will play a role in optimizing your business description. Instead, the goal of off-page SEO is to help you create a unified presence so that your target audience can find you no matter where they are searching.
Technical SEO is another term that is often utilized by SEO marketing consultants and throughout digital marketing.
While on-page and off-page are your two primaries “types” of search engine optimization, technical SEO often falls under on-page SEO because it pertains to the behind-the-scenes SEO optimization of your website.
Your technical SEO practices focus heavily on user experience and the crawlability of your website. Once a search engine has “found” your website or piece of content, it uses a crawler to index your site before ranking. If the crawler cannot easily maneuver through your page/site, or it encounters duplicate content or other site errors, then it will likely result in your page/site not being indexed and/or not ranking how you’d like it to.
Some of the most important elements that are covered by technical SEO include:
While your IT team may be able to help you with these sorts of errors, it’s often more cost-effective to invest in the help of an SEO marketing consultant because they know precisely what to look for and how to remedy it where your IT team may only have enough experience to do the initial setup and security checks.
Local SEO is a vital part of building your online presence while also helping you bolster your presence in your local community. This particular practice often falls under off-page SEO because the goal is to draw attention to your physical location, not necessarily your online content.
Of course, when done right, you’ll be able to accomplish both. How? Research shows that the vast majority of consumers begin their product/service search online, with approximately 63% of shopping occasions beginning online, and in the U.S., approximately 40% of consumers utilize local search terms such as “near me.”
That means for consumers looking for local brands to do business with; are still going to end up on a website long before they walk into your physical store. However, you need to optimize your online presence with your physical location and contact information for this local search to work. That means you need to include the following information on not only your website but your social media profiles and online business listings as well:
What if you don’t have a physical location or hours of operation? You still want to include them, even if it’s a P.O. Box for sending products back should they be faulty. These things are important because they not only make you searchable, but they prove to potential leads that you are a genuine entity and that you are reachable should they have questions, comments, or concerns.
While black hat SEO isn’t necessarily a type of SEO best practice, it’s a term that you will frequently come across when researching and analyzing search engine trends.
Black hat SEO is a term that refers to practices that attempt to abuse and/or trick search engines into favoring content or websites without actually putting in the necessary work. For example, one common black hat SEO practice that is frowned upon is keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is the act of inserting your chosen keyword into your content too frequently, or that simply doesn’t make sense to exploit search engine guidelines to help you boost your ranking.
Not only do these practices create minimal, if any, results for your site, but search engines are also cracking down to prevent misuse of the guidelines by focusing more on user experience and information relevancy, which is outlined in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
While black hat SEO refers to the poor practices utilized to exploit search engines, white hat SEO practices are those that are encouraged to help you rank. For example, proper keyword optimization helps tell search engines what your page/content is about while also making it searchable for those looking for specific topics.
In a nutshell, on-page, off-page, technical and local SEO are all considered white hat SEO practices.
One-time SEO isn’t a term you’ll come across all too often, considering that SEO best practices do change quite regularly and achieve or maintain SEO success; you need to stay on top of these changes.
An example of one-time SEO would be optimizing a piece of evergreen content with a single keyword that is performing well at the moment but then forgetting about it.
What makes ongoing SEO different is that you don’t simply set and forget any piece of content. Ongoing SEO is the practice of regularly updating your previous content to reflect the latest SEO best practices, ensuring that your content continues ranking and performing as you want it to.