written by
Liam Carnahan

Three Essential Types of SEO You Need to Know

Search Engine Optimization 5 min read

Millions of content pieces are published every day, so how can you ensure your or your client's content reaches the right people? That’s where SEO comes in. But before you get started with optimizing your content for search engines, let’s first look at the different types of SEO.

When you learn how to harness the power of SEO in all its facets, you’ll be able to get your content in front of the right people at the right time and grow your (client’s) audience over time.

Why is SEO important in marketing?

In 2021, 61% of marketers listed SEO as their top priority for inbound marketing. There’s a reason search engine optimization is so popular—when it comes to internet traffic, search engines are the starting point for most users.

Here are some mindblowing stats about search engines 🤯

  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page
  • 7 billion Google searches are performed every day
  • 60% of all web traffic happened on Google
seo fundamentals free course

With numbers like these, it’s no wonder so many marketers are eager to use search engine optimization to capture a wider audience and bring in organic traffic.

You can reach massive audiences by applying a well-designed SEO strategy. Once you rank, your website will receive constant traffic from people expressing an interest in your product, brand, or niche.

What are the 3 types of SEO?

You know what SEO is, but are you familiar with the different types of SEO you should take into account when optimizing your site’s traffic and visibility? Let’s take a look at the three main categories: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.

http://infographic showing the 3 types of seo: on-page seo, off-page seo and technical seo
3 types of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical.

1. On-Page SEO: Where writers reign supreme

On-page SEO involves optimizing the content of your website, such as the titles, headings, images, and meta tags. This is where writers and content creators can have a major impact on the overall SEO of a site.

Any time you are creating content that is visible to the public (and therefore visible to search engines), you have an opportunity to optimize it for SEO.

What impacts on-page SEO?

  • ✅ Landing page text
  • ✅ Blog articles
  • ✅ Alt text on images, graphics, PDFs, and videos
  • ✅ Meta descriptions
  • ✅ Page titles
  • ✅ Search intent
  • ❌ Text in PDFs
  • ❌ Text within an image or video
  • ❌ Text hidden behind a paywall

Tip: You can configure all the metadata in StoryChief and publish without having to go into your CMS.

Quality is the most important element of on-page SEO. Google wants you to put quality over all else, which means you should write in a clear, digestible way, and never sacrifice the quality of your writing just to fit in a keyword. Avoid unnecessary jargon, keep the grammar neat and tidy, and write in a conversational way to achieve SEO success.

Tip: Watch this video from our free SEO training to learn more about the 3 types of SEO.

2. Technical SEO: All about core web vitals

Technical SEO is all about your website’s performance, user experience, and structure. The ranking factors in this category relate to how user-friendly your website is, and how easy it is for Google to understand the layout of your site.

Google uses the term core web vitals to describe ranking factors that have to do with how quickly and smoothly a website loads.

core web vitals infographic
Source: Backlinko

Users are fast to close out a website that is too slow. Google knows this, so if your website is really slow, or clunky, it’s going to be very difficult to get SEO off the ground.

In addition to speed, technical SEO is also concerned with site structure. Google likes websites that are well organized in terms of hierarchy. This is an example of how most websites are laid out:

example of a site map or website hierarchy
Source: EdrawMind

A solid, organized structure like this is easy for Google and users to understand. But if your website isn’t laid out logically, or if you have lots of broken pages or pages that aren’t linked together, Google will be less likely to recommend your site in searches.

Now you may be wondering how you can find out if you have any technical SEO issues on your site.

Google's PageSpeed Insights rates the technical SEO of your website on a 100-point scale. Oftentimes, you’ll see issues relating to the size of images on your site, any Javascript you’re using, and other problems that are holding back your SEO.

google spagespeed insights

3. Off-Page SEO: The power of backlinks

The last of the different types of SEO is Off-page SEO. This type of SEO refers to backlinks—links that point to your website from another website.

Google sees backlinks as evidence that your website is trusted. The more powerful backlinks you have pointing to your website, the higher your domain authority. The higher your domain authority, the easier your SEO work will be.

But not all backlinks are created equal. So, what makes a good backlink?

You’ll get better results with backlinks that…

  • ✅ Come from a reputable, authoritative website
  • ✅ Come from a website that’s closely related to your website (in the same industry, or talking about the same topics)
  • ❌ Sites that are spammy
  • ❌ Sites that only exist to provide links

Getting backlinks is notoriously one of the most challenging parts of SEO. You can leverage partnerships and do direct outreach, or you can put all your resources into creating top-notch content.

High-quality, informative content naturally brings in links—so the more content you publish and promote, the more likely you are to earn valuable backlinks. Experiment with different types of content (infographics, white papers, webinars, podcasting, guest blogging).

Tip: To get the most out of your content, try repurposing it. Check out our complete guide on content repurposing and 12 examples of repurposed content for social media.

Wrapping up: SEO best practices for content creation

Though you can optimize any of the content types mentioned above, there are certain types of content that perform better for SEO.

Studies show that content pieces ranking on the first page average around 1,400 words. This is why blogging is such a popular activity for people focused on SEO. However, you should never add unnecessary words to a content piece just because you want it to rank—this would reduce its quality, and therefore weaken its SEO power.

It’s also important to make sure you are creating diverse content—adding videos, graphic design, animation, reports, quizzes, etc. to your content strategy can improve your SEO and help you connect with broader audiences.

PS. We listed 9 SEO best practices to make your blog content show up higher and increase traffic.

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