SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the process of optimizing your webpages to rank higher in the search results on Google and other search engines. SEO is commonly referred to as a “free” way to gain website traffic.

Every major search engine, such as Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, is comprised of search results, where pages, videos, and local listings are displayed. These assets are ranked based on an algorithm, and what the search engine considers to be relevant to the users’ search intent.

Read these related tips: Google has over 200 ranking factors

SEO has four major categories when it comes to optimizing your webpage; these are:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Local SEO

On-Page SEO

To realize the importance of on-page SEO, let’s dig deeper and find out how search engines work. Search engines use programs called web crawlers or spiders to find new web pages on the internet.

They use databases known as indexes to store these web pages. Whenever a user enters a search query, the web crawlers search the indexes to determine which web pages are relevant.

The main advantage of on-page SEO is that it lets you convey important information about your website to the search engines. Common on-page factors are:

  • Descriptive Title Tags
  • Descriptive URLs
  • Proper use of H tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
  • Internal Linking

Tips View our full list of on-page SEO factors

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO focuses on improving your website’s inbound link profile by attractive authentic, relevant, and high-authority backlinks. On the other hand, on-page SEO stresses the importance of the content and HTML source code of individual web pages. Common off-page factors are:

  • Link building
  • Creating Shareable content

Tips 5+ easy ways to get backlinks

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website and server to help search engines properly crawl and index your site more effectively.

If Google or other search engines are unable to crawl and index your website correctly, you will have a difficult time ranking in the search engines. Standard technical SEO optimizations are:

  • Using HTTPs
  • Improving Site Speed
  • Removing redirect chains
  • Correctly setting up 301 redirects
  • Eliminating duplicate content
  • Proper use of the Robots.txt file and optimizing your crawl budget

Tips Here’s our 16-step SEO Audit Checklist

Local SEO

Whenever we want to go to a restaurant, call a technician, or even go to a supermarket, we usually check out the first few results on Google. Many of these top local businesses have invested in local SEO to ensure that they reach the top of the SERPs for their localities. Standard Local SEO optimizations are:

  • Creating a Google Business Profile
  • Having your name, address and phone number the same on your social pages and Google Business Profile
  • Creating local citations (Yelp, Foursquare, etc.)

Tips Here’s our 9-step guide for Local SEO

SEO Resources

SEO can be very complicated, and it’s continuously evolving. Keeping up with the industry is very important if you plan on using SEO as a long-term marketing strategy. Here are some of the best SEO resources:

SpyFu SEO Resources