Types of SEO: Everything you need to know

Ever wondered what the types of SEO are?

Well, wonder no more!

In this article I’m covering every type of SEO you may have heard of, plus the ones you may know nothing about. I’ll give a brief breakdown of what they all are so you can get a basic understanding of the types of SEO and hopefully find out where to begin with your on website.

What is SEO?

If you aren’t sure what SEO is, the rest of this article might seem like gibberish, so we’ll start at the beginning. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is an umbrella term for any kind of work you might do to move your website up the ranks on a search engines result list (most of us focus on Google, but any SEO work you do for Google should impact well in other search engines too). When you type in any query into Google, the websites who appear at the top of that list have more than likely been doing a lot of SEO work in order to feature there.

Why do you need to know the types of SEO?

Whether you’re looking to do some DIY SEO, or you’d like to hire a professional to sort it for you, knowing the types of SEO that are available to you helps put you in good stead when trying to prioritise work and ensure the types of work being performed are in line with your future goals (and won’t damage your website long term). This article will give you a great insight to get started, especially if you’re trying to understand what your SEO marketer is telling you!

So without further ado, here they all are – all the types of SEO:

White Hat, Black Hat and Grey Hat SEO

black white hat seo types

All three of these types of SEO include all kinds of different work that I’ll feature below. The difference between these terms are the intentions.

White Hat SEO is the type of SEO Google encourages; it’s all legitimate, nothing is hidden and everything is done according to Google’s guidelines. White Hat SEO often takes longer to work and see results, but will never damage your website’s reputation. If you’re looking for an SEO company, make sure to check they only use White Hat SEO techniques.

White Hat SEO includes:

Optimising content

Improving your site speed

Writing content that attracts backlinks pointing to your site

Black Hat SEO is a type of SEO that Google will punish you for. It’s where you use techniques to attempt to fool or trick Google into giving you a higher rank and goes against their guidelines. In the past, many of these techniques worked – and they worked well. But in the last 10 years Google has grown smarter and most, if not all, Black Hat SEO not only doesn’t work anymore, but could land your website in permanent trouble with Google – meaning even if you try and undo the trickery later, it’s an uphill battle to get back to where you started.

Black Hat SEO includes:

Spamming links in comments sections of other websites

Writing on page text in the same colour as your background so people can’t read it

Keyword stuffing

Grey Hat SEO, as the name suggests, lies somewhere in the middle. It’s the term used for techniques that might not be seen as ‘whiter than white’ but aren’t directly against the guidelines either.

Grey Hat SEO includes:

Paying for reviews

Buying old domains and linking to your website

Redesigning your website frequently

On-site SEO

on-site seo types

The beginning of any good SEO plan should address your on-site SEO. Think of it as the base of your SEO work; without good on-site SEO you’re not likely to get anywhere with the other SEO types.

On-site SEO, as the name suggests, is all of the work you might do to improve your rankings on your own website. And believe me, there’s a lot that can be done!

Text

One of the major types of on-site SEO is improving your text content. This will likely mean reviewing your current content and either tweaking it to optimise it for search engines or possible rewriting it all together. The important thing to remember is to write for your customers, and edit your writing for search engines. This editing might include adding or removing keywords (search terms you want to appear highly for), adding properly tagged headings, adding links where needed and ensuring the text is long enough (thin text, usually less than 300 words, doesn’t usually do well in search).

Get a complete guide on on-site SEO here.

Images

Your images aren’t just important for your website visitors – they’re important for your SEO too. Optimising your images will usually include reducing their file size (not necessarily their visual size on the screen) and adding appropriate title text to the image. This is the kind of data that usually only Google will read, much like metadata.

Metadata

Your metadata is the information Google will display in search results, like this:

metadata onsite seo types

It’s important that it’s optimised for both search engines (so they know what your page is about) and for people (so they are attracted to click on your link over others).

Off-site SEO

types of seo off-site seo

A decent SEO plan will also include off-site SEO. In general, off-site SEO is any work you do outwith your website that helps improve your search rankings. Of all of the types of SEO, off-site SEO is the one that is most focussed on a single goal – backlinks.

Backlinks

Backlinks are vital to your SEO efforts. A backlink is simply any link pointed to your website from another. Every backlink you gain is an indication to Google of a number of things, including content type and trustworthiness. As such, not all links are created equally – a hundred links from untrustworthy websites could more likely damage your website rankings than do any good, whereas just a couple of links for very reputable sources could hugely improve it.

Find out more about backlinking techniques here.

Content Promotion

Promoting your content, especially things like blog articles on your own site, is a great way to improve your SEO. Content on its own is unlikely to get very far; promoting it on social media channels, forums and other places will not only help gain traffic from those sources but should also help Google to notice your content faster and rank it faster too.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, in terms of SEO, is an off-site tactic. However, SEO-wise, I would mainly only use this to promote articles to your leads. Of course, other online marketing can be effective using social media, such as advertising and running offers, but in terms of search engine optimisation, the main benefit of social media marketing is the promotion of your search optimised articles.

Find out more about social media marketing here.

Technical SEO

technical seo types

Technical SEO is usually performed on your website, but is a step harder than the normal content optimisation work. It includes a wide variety of types of SEO, so I’ve listed a few of the most common below.

User Experience

User experience contributes to your ranking on Google. This includes things like the speed at which your website loads and whether people find your content interesting enough to stay on your website for a long time.

It can be technically challenging to make improvements to your site speed and you may need to get a developer on board to help – find out more here on what you can do to improve your site speed.

Internal Linking

The way you link to different pages and articles on your website indicates to Google how important that page is. It’s very important to not only get links from other websites to your website, but also to ensure your pages are well linked to on your own website.

Sitemaps

Sitemaps are crucial for Google to be able to ‘crawl’ your website properly. Google sends out what are known as ‘spiders’ to literally read through all of your pages (hence why onsite SEO is so crucial). It uses this information to figure out what each page and website is about and decide what searches that website might be relevant for. Creating and uploading a proper ‘sitemap’ makes it easier for the spiders to see your page hierarchy and to crawl those pages faster – especially if you upload your sitemap to Google Search Console.

Technical Errors

You can also be faulted by having errors on your website; such as duplicate pages and content or missing pages (404 errors) where there used to be content. Moving and redirecting pages properly and ensuring each of your pages has unique information should help avoid SEO penalties.

How to start improving your website’s SEO

All the types of SEO are important – but I hope this article gave you a good understanding of where you might need to begin with your own website.

If you’re looking to get started on improving your website’s SEO today, start with downloading the free pop content website marketing guide here. It’s packed with all the information you need to get your on-site SEO right and start getting your first backlinks. And if you’d like to get a professional to do it all for you, why not get in touch with POP Content today?

The BIGGEST B2B Content Marketing Mistakes (& How To Fix Them)

Content marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves creating interesting and helpful content (like blog posts, videos and podcasts) that attract clients to your business, gains you more website traffic and helps build a good foundation for a future relationship. B2B content marketing is exactly the same – except that your focus isn’t always to attract the end ‘consumer’, but rather, whoever is making the decisions on employing your services or products within a company.

There are some HUGE pitfalls I see companys fall into all the time – rendering their content marketing efforts completely useless.

Because I really want to stop cringing at the worst offenders, in this article I’ve highlighted the top mistakes AND the best ways to get it right.

Basic B2B Content Marketing Mistakes

b2b content marketing mistakes

Not selling to people

I’ve seen this time and time again and I can’t tell you how badly it holds businesses back. Yes, if you’re selling B2B, it can be seriously different to B2C. BUT – basic marketing principles don’t get thrown out of the window!

I’ve frequently seen content full of generic, beige material, that doesn’t target any individuals needs, and looks much like it was written to be just dull enough to be signed off by a committee of nervous-to-get-it-wrong people.

By not targetting a particular person, and speaking directly to them, you end up targetting nobody

And yes, this results in content that will produce exactly ZERO results.

At the end of the day, it will be real human beings deciding on whether to buy from your business – not a robot or one imaginary generic person.

Think about those decision makers that you’re selling to; what do they most want? A promotion? Bigger profits? Maybe they just want a professional to take it off their to do list?

Whatever it is, focus on the benefits that those real human beings want.

You can even be as direct as you like and use phrases like “Want to really impress your CEO at the next board meeting? Show him these stats”, or if you’re targetting further up possibly, “Want to bump your next quarter up by 30%? Here’s how.”.

Focus on what your target customer really wants from your company – what is that end goal they are looking for? What pain point are you addressing?

Tactics such as running deals with limited time availability, using messages that provoke an emotional response and tailoring messaging to suit your target market are all great ways to promote your business – and these don’t get thrown out simply because you’re B2B.

Using too many industry terms to try to sound smart

Eurgh. I hate this one.

We’re all guilty of it though – sometimes we get too wrapped up in the latest and greatest research in our industry and feel the need to share it with all of our clients. Or we simply use jargon forgetting that new leads will have no idea what we’re talking about, or worse, we think that it will make us sound more convincing – and smarter – than our competitors.

The truth is – that’s nonsense.

When you’re using B2B content marketing to promote your business, you should be trying your hardest to help your potential customers. And it doesn’t help to be bombarded with terms you don’t understand – in fact, it just confuses/bores people, making it more likely for a potential customer to go to another website that they CAN understand.

Afterall, are you really going to buy something that you have no understanding of? It’s unlikely.

Your job is to try and educate your clients with content marketing; not confuse them. Clients who feel informed will be able to make educated decisions and feel more reassured when working with you too.

Don’t confuse people with fancy terminology; impress them with helpful content and gain trust by being transparent about what you do. People buy from businesses they trust after all.

Not providing enough real information

Have you ever come across articles that claim to answer a question but when you read them – they don’t?

I have – and they’re a huge disappointment.

It’s not a great move if you’re hoping to gain clients from your content marketing efforts to write exciting headlines but not follow through.

And guess what?

Your article won’t appear on Google either.

Google favours useful information, using signals like the average time a person spent on your website as well as judging the overall content and links pointing to that page. If your content isn’t useful, it won’t gain links (because – who wants to point to a rubbish article?) and no one will spend much time reading it.

Moral of the story? Don’t waste your time writing rubbish articles.

Avoiding giving away your secrets

Content marketing is ultimately about helping your leads before they become customers. Part of helping those people, can be giving away some of your trade secrets.

Scary, I know.

It might seem counterintuitive to tell people how you do things – but honestly – if someone wants to do something themselves for free, they’ll find the information online somewhere whether you publish it or not.

However, for those who are looking to see if they can do it themselves – but then realise once reading about it that it’s rather more complex than they first thought – those are people you want on your website. Those are the people you can easily convince to become your next customer.

Not promoting your content

Great content on its own doesn’t often get picked up by Google and instantly placed in the top spot; yet there seems to be plenty of businesses out there who will simply post an article – and not do much else.

This is a HUGE waste of your time and effort.

It takes a lot of work to promote that content, get it in front of the right people and gain an initial reputation online. Writing and posting a high-quality article gets you about 20% of the way there – the next 80% of your effort should be in the promotion.

Whether you’re reaching out on email, promoting through social channels or posting on forums – promotion is one of the biggest things left out of day to day B2B content marketing that will let you down.

How to do B2B Content Marketing Well

b2b content marketing tips

Focus on pleasing your target market – no one else

As opposed to trying to please everyone with your content, which usually results in it being so neutral and boring that no one can face reading it, focus on talking directly to your target market. After all, if someone that isn’t from your target market is on your website, they’re not looking to buy from you anyway; so there’s no point in trying to please them.

A great way to speak well through your content to your target market is to imagine real-life conversations you’ve had with new leads and customers; what did they ask? What reassured them most? What really made their ears prick up? Being conversational and focussing on what those real-life customers liked is a powerful tool when it comes to writing your content.

If you have a sales department – this is the perfect time to call them in and find out exactly what their leads loved to hear (and what they hated too!).

Answer common client queries

Search engines are all about answering questions. So the best way to attract new leads?

Answer your leads’ most frequently asked questions.

Stop focussing on what you want them to know about your company and instead focus on simply answering the questions that they want to know about any company in your field (after all, they’re likely comparing your website to many competing companies!). It’s a great reason to be bold and do things like show your pricing, case studies and of course, use your blog to help answer questions that your leads struggle with.

Not only will that encourage leads to trust you and enquire on your website, but if you’ve written a well-constructed answer, it should encourage more leads to come to your website too.

Perform basic on-site SEO

Getting back to basics may seem boring, but without the foundations of good SEO, advanced tactics aren’t going to get you anywhere fast.

First thing’s first – if you take nothing else away from this article, take this away – edit your articles for SEO.

You can do this really easily by installing the Yoast plugin for free if you have a WordPress website; or you can sign up to the POP Content email list and get a completely free guide to help you if you don’t.

The important thing is to write your articles focussing them completely on helping your lead and answering their questions, followed by editing for a search engine, rather than writing for search engines to begin with.

Write for people. Edit for Google.

Do your research

Good B2B content marketing begins with a good plan.

Before you start writing up blog posts, it’s a good idea to research whether or not people will actually want to read them. Topic research is a hugely important factor here; and you can use more than Google Adwords Keyword Planner  to find out what your target market really want to know about.

Apart from researching online forums, drawing on previous sales meetings and the other free strategies you can use here, you can also use handy quick tools such as ‘Answer The Public‘. It’s an incredibly easy to use tool that works like a search engine to give you questions people commonly ask around the topic you enter in. Give it a go – it’s completely free so you’ve nothing to lose!

Follow up

Last, but certainly not least, is to follow up your content by keeping up to date with what’s going on. If people leave a comment or ask a question – answer it. Treat it like answering an enquiry – the faster you reply, the more likely you are to get the job.

Being reactive as well as proactive on your own blog, as well as social media, encourages people to interact with your brand and build a real relationship with it; which is incredibly important if you want to make more sales. Too many B2B companies forget this; but being personal and replying to emails, replying to comments and reacting is vital for your content marketing and your online brand in general.

Businesses want to work with providers who answer queries quickly and clearly; not silent providers who never respond to emails or calls. Your online reputation in comments and on social media is important, and people are watching!

Looking for more help with your B2B content marketing?

I’m Amy and I’m a content marketing consultant, well versed in SEO, blogging and website conversion. If you think you’d like some help with your B2B content marketing, simply get in touch and fire away with your questions. I’ll help in any way I can (no question is too small, so don’t be afraid to ask – I’m surprisingly approachable).

If you know of any other B2B content marketing tips, tricks (or mistakes) that you want to add, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it!

Website Analysis: How To Do It Yourself & 5 Free Analysis Tools

Website analysis is seriously important if you want to have any success online. Whether you’re looking get your website higher in Google’s search results, or you want to find out which of your marketing efforts are worth investing more into, website analysis will help you save money, find better opportunities and most importantly – help you figure out what works (and what doesn’t) for your business.

You can read a million different articles on the best length in email subject lines, the best type of content to write on your blog, whether video is right for your business, how to use Twitter to draw in leads etc – but the truth is, although these will all be a helpful starter guide, unless you measure your results – you’ll never know if your tactics are working for your business.

After all – what works for one business, may not necessarily work for another.

So how do you find out what’s working for you?

Website Analysis Basics: What does it all mean?

website analysis terminology

Before we get into the free tools you can use to analyse your website, I thought we should go over some basics so you can make sure you get the most from your statistics.

Basic website statistics

Firstly, there’s some terminology you might come across when you’re performing your website analysis – and I’d love to let you know some basics of what they all mean.

Visits VS Unique Visitors

A common measurement you might see is the number of visits to your website. While it might seem that increasing your visits is key, each visit simply means every time anyone hits your website. So, for example, if the same person visits your website 5 times in one day, this counts as 5 visits. And if you don’t have your own I.P. address filtered, that means every time you visit your website you are skewing the statistics.

While monitoring visits can be interesting data, to see how useful or interested people may be in your content, often what’s more important is the number of unique visitors coming to your website. This simply indicates the number of individual computers (or devices) accessing your website, so is a much clearer indicator of the number of different people who are visiting your website.

Bounce Rate

Your “bounce rate” is simply the number of times people went to your website and clicked away without looking into another page.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; for example, if someone came to your website and called to make a booking rather than browsing, that ‘bounce’ was actually a lead becoming a customer. What’s important to note though, is if you have a high bounce rate, search engines can frown upon it, thinking your website isn’t as useful as others because people didn’t stick around.

Click Through Rate

Click through rate (aka CTR) is the number of times people clicked a particular link or advert vs how often people have saw that link or ad. For example, if 10 people saw your website appear in Google search results, and 2 of those people clicked on your link, you would have a click through rate of 20%.

Impressions

The number of “impressions” is the number of times people have seen your advert or link appear. It’s a good indicator of how often your website is showing up in search results, and can also help diagnose bad metadata if no one is clicking through although you have a high number of impressions (see Click Through Rate).

Basic tracking tips

basic tips website analysis

To begin with, I’d encourage you to install some basic tracking to your website (see the tools below) but once you’ve done that, you might like to dig a little deeper and make sure your website data is showing you the true results you’re looking to find out.

Sources

A really interesting way to look into your data is to view your traffic by it’s ‘source’. The traffic source is simply where the person who visited your website clicked on your link from – it could be direct, where they’ve typed in your link into their address bar, or anything else from organic search results to a Facebook link. Whether it’s in real-time, or you’re looking at where your customers are coming from last month, looking by source can give you a good idea of which of your marketing efforts are paying off best.

Filtering

It’s really important to filter your data – if you don’t, your results can be very skewed. Filtering is where you ‘filter out’ the data that is coming from sources you don’t want to track, usually such as your own computer, phone and possibly even other service providers, such as website developers. This is simply so you know the data you’re looking at is showing trends that your customers and website visitors are showing, rather than including all the data from you being on your own website.

Goals

Setting up goal tracking is an excellent way to track how well your website is performing and where it needs improvement. You can set up a ‘goal’ as a page or event on your website, for example, the ‘thank you’ page after someone has sent you an enquiry is an excellent goal to track. If you track goals over a period of time, you can later look at the data and clearly see which of your marketing efforts is paying off the most.

5 Free Website Analysis Tools

free tools for website analysis

Below I’ve picked out my favourite website analysis tools – and it gets even better. They’re all free!

Google Analytics

Google analytics is a great – and completely free – way to track a whole bunch of interesting data on your website. It includes things like the number of people visiting your website, bounce rate, goals and much, much more. You can easily install it by adding a short piece of code to your website once you sign up to the service. Check it out here.

If you’re working on getting higher in Google, you can also sync it up with Google Search Console, and find out some seriously interesting data, like which keywords you are showing up for and your average position in search.

Google Search Console

Google’s search console  (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is also completely free and can give you some amazing search data, as mentioned above. Not only this, but it can even tell you where there are ‘crawl errors’ on your website that it might be good to fix, and you can easily submit a sitemap there to improve your chances of being indexed on Google quickly.

Openlink Profiler

Another really important factor for SEO (search engine optimisation) is gaining good quality links (more on that here). A great way to track your progress, and even check out where competitors are getting their links, is to use Openlink Profiler. It will give you some pretty accurate data on the links pointing to your website and even how good those links are – because not all links are created equally!

Google PageSpeed Insights

Another way you can improve your website quite quickly, is to improve its usability and speed (also both strong factors affecting your SEO). A really quick way to test out your website is to simply enter in your url to the PageSpeed Insights tool, and it will not only give you a rating out of 100 for your website speed on mobile and desktop, but it will also tell you what you can do to improve it (such as reducing image sizes). More info on improving your page speed here.

Mozbar

When you’re trying to track your website for improvement’s in SEO, a great way to tell how you’re doing is to track the Domain Authority (which is basically the quality of your domain). Google ranks website’s with higher domain authorities more highly than others – it’s basically an indicator of how trustworthy and authoritative that website is in its industry.

A quick way you can tell how you’re doing, and how well your competitors are doing, is to install the Mozbar plugin. Again, it’s completely free, and it can quickly show you in search results who you’re up against.

Conclusion

Website analysis is incredibly important if you want succeed with any marketing campaigns that relate to your website – whether they start offline or on. Proper analysis can help you track what is working, what isn’t and help you improve your efforts so you can spend less and gain more customers from your efforts.

I hope you now feel prepared to take on a lot of website analysis yourself – and at very least, be able to see the true results of any marketing investments, tools or companies you employ.

Are there any website analysis tools you would have loved to see here too? Or any burning questions you still have? Simply leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help!