The 4 Types of SEO: Essentials You Need To Know

In this post, we cover...

If you’re running a business and have a website, you’ve probably heard the term SEO. It’s a big deal because it helps your website show up when people search for stuff online. We’re talking Google, Bing, Yahoo—the works.

Essentially, SEO is the magic that drives organic traffic to your website. But did you know there are actually 4 types of SEO? Yep, it’s not a one-size-fits-all game.

So, let’s get you clued up on the 4 types of SEO and how they can help your website rank better on search engine results pages.

What are the 4 types of SEO?

The four types of SEO are On-Page, Off-Page, Technical, and Local. Each has its own set of strategies and best practices to help improve your website’s search engine ranking. We’ll look at each of these 4 types in detail later in this blog post, but if you’re interested in learning more about the 4 types “at a glance”, this will help you out.

Type of SEOWhat It DoesWhy It’s Important
On-Page SEOFocuses on content and keywords on your websiteHelps search engines understand your site better
Off-Page SEODeals with links and social signals outside your websiteBuilds trust and authority
Technical SEOMakes sure your website works well and loads fastGives users a better experience
Local SEOHelps your business show up in local searchesDrives local customers to your business

Why Are There Different Types of SEO?

Great question! Each type of SEO serves a unique purpose. On-Page SEO is like the front door of your house. It’s the first thing people and search engines see. Off-Page SEO is like your reputation in the neighbourhood. It’s what people say about you when you’re not around. Technical SEO is the plumbing and wiring. It needs to work well for everything else to function. Finally, Local SEO is like a local ad in a shop window. It tells people nearby that you’re open for business. Each type has its own set of rules and benefits, making it vital to use all four for a well-rounded strategy.

How Different Types of SEO Impact Rankings

Each type of SEO has a unique impact on your website’s ranking.

On-Page SEO, with its focus on content and keywords, helps search engines know what your site is about. If you sell dog food, you want to show up when someone searches “best dog food,” right? Off-Page SEO builds trust. Think of it like online reviews. The more good stuff people say about you, the more search engines trust you. Technical SEO is about user experience. If your site is slow or hard to use, people will leave. Search engines notice that. Lastly, Local SEO helps you show up in local searches. So if someone nearby searches “dog food near me,” you want to be the top result.

On-Page SEO

Alright, first up is On-Page SEO. This is all the stuff you do directly on your website to make it shine in the eyes of search engines. We’re talking content, keywords, and even the way your site is set up. It’s like the face of your online business, so you want to make it as welcoming as possible.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO is all about the content on your website. This includes the words you write, the images you use, and even the meta tags that live behind the scenes. It’s everything that you can control directly on your site.

Why is On-Page SEO Important?

Imagine you’re a librarian, and your website is a book. You want to make it super easy for people to know what your book is about, right? That’s what On-Page SEO does. It helps search engines understand your site. The better they get it, the more likely they are to show your site when someone searches for topics you cover.

Strategies for On-Page SEO

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the backbone of On-Page SEO. It’s all about figuring out what words or phrases people are using to search for what you offer.

But it’s not just about the words; it’s about understanding the intent behind them. Are people looking to buy, or are they just gathering information? Knowing this can help you tailor your content.

You can also gain an edge by targeting low-competition keywords, which are easier to rank for. There are several keyword research tools to help you out here. Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Lowfruits, and Answer The Public are all solid choices for digging up useful keywords.

Quality Content

Quality content is your bread and butter. It’s not enough to just throw in a bunch of keywords; your content needs to be useful.

Go deep into the subject matter to provide a full, rich experience for your readers. Think about your target audience and what they want to know or what problems you can solve for them. And don’t forget the visuals! Images and videos can add a whole new layer to your content, making it more engaging and easier to understand.

Finally, link to other parts of your site within your content. This helps spread the love from one page to another, making your whole site more valuable.

Meta Titles & Descriptions

Meta titles and descriptions may be hidden in the code, but they’re crucial for On-Page SEO.

A meta title is what appears in the search engine results, acting as a headline for your page. It’s often the first thing people read, so make it catchy but clear.

A meta description is the short text that appears under the meta title in search results. Think of it as your elevator pitch to potential visitors. It should sum up your content in a way that makes people want to click through to your site.

Image Optimisation

Images can do more than make your site look good. Properly named and tagged images can also boost your SEO.

When you upload an image, give it a descriptive name that relates to your content. This helps search engines understand what the image is about. You should also add alt text to your images. This is a brief description that appears if the image can’t be displayed. It’s good for SEO and makes your site more accessible to people with vision problems.

The 4 Types of SEO: Off-Page SEO

Next on the list is Off-Page SEO. If On-Page SEO is all about what’s on your website, Off-Page SEO is about your website’s relationship with the rest of the internet. It’s like your online reputation. Just like in real life, who you hang out with and what people say about you matters—even to search engines.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO is everything that affects your website but happens outside of it. This includes links from other websites, social media activity, and other marketing efforts that you don’t directly control. It’s like the word-of-mouth of the digital world.

Why is Off-Page SEO Important?

Imagine you’re looking for a good place to eat. You’d trust a friend’s recommendation over a random ad, right? That’s how Off-Page SEO works. When other websites link to you or people share your content, it’s like a vote of confidence. Search engines see that and think, “Hey, this site must be good!”

Strategies for Off-Page SEO

Building Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are the gold standard of Off-Page SEO. These are links from other websites that point to your site. But not all backlinks are created equal. You want links from reputable sites that are related to your content. It’s like getting a thumbs-up from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

To build quality backlinks, you can reach out to other site owners or create amazing content that people naturally want to link to.

Social Media and Online Engagement

Don’t underestimate the power of social media. When people share your content, it gets more eyes on it, which can lead to more links and better rankings. Being active on social media can also make your brand more visible and get people talking about your brand.

Guest Posting and Content Collaboration

Another way to build your online reputation is through guest posting. This is where you write content for another website, usually with a link back to your own site. It’s a win-win: they get great content, and you get a backlink. You can also collaborate with other content creators to reach a wider audience and gain more credibility.

The 4 Types of SEO: Technical SEO

Technical SEO is like the engine room of your website. It’s all the behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps your site running smoothly and helps search engines understand it better.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is all about the performance and framework of your website. It’s not about the content but how your website is built. It’s not about the content you see but how the website is built and performs. This includes how fast it loads, how it looks on mobile, and even the quality of the code.

Why is Technical SEO Important?

Think of your website like a shop. If it’s messy, slow, or hard to get around, people will leave. And search engines take note of that. Good Technical SEO keeps both your visitors and search engines happy.

Strategies for Technical SEO

Site Speed and Performance

One of the first things you should look at is how fast your website loads. Slow load times can make visitors leave before they even see what you have to offer. You can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see where you can improve the user experience of your website. For a lot of websites, compressing images and using browser caching can make a big difference here.


More people are using mobile devices to browse the web than computers nowadays. So, your website needs to look and work well on phones and tablets, not just desktops. Google even uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. You can check how your site performs on mobile with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Clean and Efficient Code

The way your website is coded can also affect your SEO. Clean, efficient code helps search engines read your website more easily. This can be a bit technical, but there are plenty of tools and experts out there who can help. The key is to keep your code as simple and straightforward as possible.

Structured Data

Structured data helps search engines understand the content on your site. It’s like giving them a cheat sheet. Schema markup is a type of structured data that you can add to your website’s code. It helps search engines provide more informative results for users. For example, if you have a recipe site, schema markup can show ratings and cooking times right in the search results.

The 4 Types of SEO: Local SEO

Last but not least, let’s talk about Local SEO. If your business serves a specific area or you have a physical shop, this one’s for you. Local SEO helps you show up in local search results, so people nearby can find your business easily online.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about making your business visible to people in a specific location. It’s like putting a big sign on the high street, but the high street is Google, and the sign is your website.

Google typically tailors their search results to the location of the user, so by focusing on local SEO, you can ensure your website is sending all the right signals to show your website in those local search results. Most of the time, it’s easier to rank locally than nationally or globally, as there’s less competition.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Imagine you’re in a new town and you’re looking for a place to eat. You’ll probably search “restaurants near me,” right? Local SEO helps your business show up in searches like that. It’s a way to get in front of local customers who are ready to buy.

Strategies for Local SEO

Google My Business

If you want to show up in Google Maps, the most important step in Local SEO is setting up your Google My Business account. This is a free tool that lets you manage how your business shows up in Google Search and Maps. You can add your business name, location, hours, photos, events and products or services. You should add all of these and anything else you can think of to “flesh out” your profile with as much information as possible. And make sure you update it regularly!

Target Local Keywords

Just like “regular” on-page SEO, keywords are key. But for Local SEO, you’ll want to focus on local keywords. These are phrases that people in your area are likely to search for related to what you offer. Think “best pizza in [your town]” or “[your city] dentist”.


Reviews are the word-of-mouth of the internet and send positive trust signals to Google about your business.

Good reviews can make your business stand out in local search results and give potential customers more confidence to choose you. So, don’t be shy about this. Ask your happy customers to leave reviews on Google and other review sites regularly!

Local Listings

Local listings are places where your business info appears outside of your website. This could be online directories or local business groups on platforms like Facebook. Make sure your business information is consistent across all listings. Any mismatch in details like your address or phone number can confuse search engines and customers.

Can One Type of SEO Do the Job?

Short answer: No.

On-Page SEO might get you noticed, but without Off-Page SEO, you won’t build trust. And even if you nail those two, poor Technical SEO could make your site a pain to use. Plus, if you’re a local business, ignoring Local SEO means missing out on customers right on your doorstep.

While each type of SEO can improve your ranking to some extent, the most effective approach is to use a mix of all four. They complement each other and provide a well-rounded SEO strategy.

If this all sounds like a lot of work, but you’re keen to improve your website’s visibility on Google, that’s where Webhive Digital comes in! Our monthly SEO packages are designed to take all 4 types of SEO off your hands and just deliver the results you’re looking for. Sounds good, right?

Written by Kate Smoothy

Kate Smoothy is an SEO specialist and web designer based in Essex, England. When she’s not working with SEO and website design clients, Kate shares SEO tips and guides on TikTok and LinkedIn.

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