What are SEO Strategies?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a type of marketing that involves many moving parts and varies for different types of businesses.
As much as we wish there was just a single “one-size-fits-all” solution to driving traffic to your website, the reality is that there are many types of SEO strategies.
What is an SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy is a plan of action for a business to optimize their website and get it to rank high in the Google search results. It might involve creating amazing content, building backlinks, optimizing a website for mobile, all of the above,… or none of the above.
The point is that the SEO strategies you use might differ from those of other sites. But, there are four main categories that these fall under, and understanding these will help you find a strategy that will be most effective for your site.
Types of SEO Strategies
The four types of SEO strategies essentially depend on whether you are doing optimization on your website or outside of your website.
To give you some SEO strategies to consider, we are also including some of the common tactics used under each of these categories.
On-Page SEO Strategies
On-page SEO is any optimization effort that takes place on your actual website. So, if you’re tinkering around with your website in hopes of getting it to rank, this falls under on-page SEO.
There are many components of on-page SEO and they all play a role in a holistic SEO strategy.
Most websites need all of these elements in order to be optimized for users and for search engines:
- Title Tags: Page and post titles written to include the target keyword and describe what the content is about
- Meta descriptions: Short snippets that describe what the page is about and, preferably, include the target keyword
- URL structure: Intuitive URL structure that organizes your site content and includes a focus keyword for the page (best practice)
- Images: High-quality images suited for web and mobile, with descriptive alt-text
- Content: Valuable content written for your target audience and optimized with your focus and related keywords
- Internal linking: Links to other relevant pages and posts on your website to keep users on your site for longer
- Keyword usage: Use of target and related keywords throughout your site’s content to indicate to users and search engines what your website is about
- Mobile optimization: Optimizing your website for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets
- Technical SEO: Fixing crawl errors, broken links, and slow site speed to make sure search engine crawlers can crawl and index your website
Follow all of these on-page SEO strategies to have the best chance of ranking for your preferred keywords and driving organic traffic to your website.
Off-Page SEO Strategies
As the name implies, off-page SEO strategies have to do with SEO actions that take place off of your website. In utilizing off-page SEO, you can boost your website’s authority and generate more recognition of your brand across other platforms.
Most of these off-page SEO strategies have to do with link-building or brand mentions on social media or other websites.
Here is a breakdown of some strategies you might use to attract links and get your brand mentioned elsewhere online:
- Link-building: Attracting links from high-authority sites back to your website in order to boost your own site’s authority
- Guest posting: Submitting guest blog posts to other websites to earn a link back to your website
- Brand mentions: Getting your brand/business name mentioned in other publications, sometimes with a backlink (“linked mention”) or without a link (“unlinked mention”) to build brand awareness
- Social media: Filling out your brand’s social media profiles with accurate information, including hours, contact information, website URL, etc. to send traffic to your website
- PR: Using publicity and outreach to get your business mentioned in publications, increase the visibility of your brand, and drive referral traffic
- Directories: Submitting your business information to reputable online directories to earn a backlink and/or drive traffic
- Influencer marketing: Partnering with industry influencers to reach a wider audience and attract more visitors to your website
You can get very creative with off-page SEO strategies by considering different platforms, creating interesting content, getting featured in major publications, partnering with other brands, and more. All of these efforts will work to increase your site’s authority and drive more traffic.
Local SEO Strategies
Local SEO is interesting because not all websites need local SEO; if a website isn’t serving a particular geographical area, then it doesn’t need to be optimized for geo-specific keywords.
But for businesses that do serve a specific area (city, county, state, country), it’s a good idea to target geo-specific keywords that users in those areas are searching for.
Further, “local” businesses will want to invest in other local SEO strategies to get their sites found in the local search results. You might remember seeing businesses rank in Google Maps for keywords like “restaurants in Columbus” or “Seattle personal injury attorney.”
If you do have a “local” business, here are some local SEO strategies to consider:
- Google My Business: Fill out a complete Google My Business profile to get found in the local search results
- Directories: Submit your business information to geo-specific directories to drive referral traffic to your site
- Reviews: Ask customers and clients to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business profile, directory profiles, and social media pages
- Localized keywords: Use geo-specific keywords on your site to attract people searching in your service area (or for your service area)
- Localized content: Include references to your service area, plus an embedded map of where you business is, on your Contact page
The goal with local SEO is to attract users who are searching for businesses within your service area while deterring users that are outside of your service area. This way, you can attract more targeted leads and not waste time following up with people who can’t actually work with you.
Consider these strategies if you have a business that aims to reach people within a specific geographical area.
SEO Content Writing Strategies
SEO content writing could be put under the on-page SEO umbrella, but it is such an important component of SEO that it’s worth breaking down a bit more. There are a few key elements that go into creating great, SEO-friendly content:
- Audience research: Gaining an understanding of your target audience and their pain points/goals
- Keyword research: Identifying high-traffic, low-competition keywords that are relevant to your audience and the services you offer
- Content writing: Writing content that’s well-researched, speaks to your target audience, and entices them to take action
- Content optimization: Using your focus and related keywords throughout your content in a natural way to get picked up by search engines and increase your rankings
- Linkable assets: Adding PDFs, downloadables, ebooks, etc. that provide more value to your content, get users to opt-in and hand over their contact information, and attract backlinks
- Content marketing: Sharing your content across multiple platforms (email, social media, etc.) to get the most reach out of your content
SEO content isn’t just about increasing your keyword rankings or even driving traffic; it’s about engaging website visitors and getting them to convert into customers or clients. All of your SEO strategies pay off when you get a return on your investment in terms of new clients or money in the bank!
Applying SEO Strategies to Your Website
Even though search engine optimization can seem rather intimidating, if you break it down into individual strategies, it becomes way easier to check off the boxes and optimize your site over time. Not every site needs all of these components in order to rank, so it all comes down to finding the best combination for your site.
Not sure where to get started when it comes to SEO? Check out our blog for more in-depth guides!