Search Engine Optimisation is not really one specific thing – any activity involving working to improve ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can be considered as SEO. It can, however, be broken down into broad topics (which often overlap). It is useful to think of SEO in these terms so you can focus your efforts when necessary.
Note: This is not a complete list – there are literally hundreds of ranking factors for search engines.
On-Page SEO refers to any SEO activity that is done to an individual webpage. This could include:
- Improving content – by writing the best page on a topic.
- Including images – having an image with a title, and alt-tag which relate to the topic of the page helps.
- Improving readability – a page that is understandable by an 11-year-old is ideal.
- Improving metadata – this means the title and description that appear in search engines.
- Including relevant headings and sub-headings – so that people know they are on the right page.
Off-Page SEO refers to any SEO activity that is done to improve the ranking of a webpage without editing the webpage itself. This could include:
- Linking to the page in social media posts – if people share your post, that can really boost your page’s SEO.
- Getting links from other sites to your webpage – this includes guest posting.
- Listing your webpage in directories – this is a simple form of link building.
- Branding activities – making people like your site, in general, will improve the chance people will choose your webpage in SERPs.
Technical SEO basically includes any SEO activity which isn’t to do with content. This could include:
- Improving the speed your pages load at – page speed is an increasingly important ranking factor.
- Setting up AMP pages – this is again to do with page speed, but for mobile devices.
- Not using sneaky tricks – Having invisible text, for example, would be a big no-no.
- Having a site structure that makes sense – linking pages on related topics helps search engines know which pages are important.
- Have a sitemap registered with Google – Use Google search console to do this.
Local SEO is different from other types of SEO in that it isn’t about a webpage – it’s about a business. If a business is based in a specific area, then Local SEO means making people in that area more aware of that business. This could include:
- Setting up profiles on mapping sites – all location-based businesses should control their listings on Google Business Profile, Bing Places, Apple Maps Connect, Facebook Maps, and Trip Advisor, as well as any other relevant services.
- Being listed in local directories – if there is a directory for just your area, that is exceptionally useful.
- Being mentioned in local newspaper stories – links from newspapers have great value anyway, and this is doubly effective.
- Listing your address and phone number on your site – everyone should know how to find you if they try.
Next: On-Page SEO