SEO is a large industry, and within it, you’ll come across many different techniques and opinions on how to approach search engine optimization in the most effective way. In this article, we will look at what some of these SEO techniques and terms mean in the hopes of giving you a better understanding of how SEO is used and why it’s so important.

What Is SEO?

Just in case you are unfamiliar with SEO, to begin with, we’ll start with a basic explanation. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves improving your website using keywords in order to rank higher up on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing – so that more people will see it.

The keywords used will be based on words and phrases people most commonly type into search engines to look for a business or service. They will be inserted into the content of a business’s website so that when people type the phrases in, that business’s website is more likely to come up on top of the search results. 

The act of using search engine optimization is a free, also known as organic, way to attract traffic and customers to your website – as opposed to paid (aka non-organic) adverts.

SEO is usually a service performed by digital marketing professionals, who will have SEO experts analyze what keywords to use. They will then pass those keywords into content and copywriters who will fit those keywords within the written content on the website. 

For example, if you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that can improve SEO for your website, and you live in the Essex area, you might type in something like seo essex to find an agency local to you.

Types of SEO

There are a few different types of SEO techniques, each with its own specific name, they are as follows:

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO techniques are the best and safest way to improve your SEO ranking. These are the tactics that Google themselves recommends, and while SEO can be used for many search engines, Google is undeniably the most popular. White hat techniques follow Google’s search engine guidelines and will create positive results for your business’s website.

Methods for white hat SEO include creating high-quality and industry-relevant content that will attract the right people who will be interested in your business. This content includes blogs, videos, and infographics. You can then share this content via social media to help drive traffic to your site which also helps improve your search engine ranking.

Other more technical white hat methods include optimizing your website’s code and HTML, as well as making the website layout itself user-friendly. This means it’s easy to navigate and well designed using graphics, photos, and videos to engage your audience. 

It’s important to understand that white hat SEO techniques will produce results gradually, but these results will last and your site will continue to perform better in search results, making them worth it in the end.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO techniques get fast results but they exploit search algorithms and violate Google’s guidelines. Google and other search engines will catch on to users of black hat SEO and punish or even ban your website from showing up in relevant search results. As you can see, this unsafe technique is a risky shortcut and not worth it in the long run. 

Techniques that fall under black hat include keyword stuffing or using irrelevant but popular keywords, copying content, and buying or spamming links. 

Grey Hat SEO

Grey Hat SEO is so-called because the techniques used are a bit of a grey area. It isn’t as good for your site as white hat techniques, but it isn’t considered as bad as black hat methods. Whilst grey hat techniques aren’t outright banned by Google, they aren’t considered an acceptable way to gain customers. 

Examples of grey hat SEO techniques include the use of clickbait articles and paid reviews. Whilst these techniques can improve a site’s ranking in search results, they are still considered risky and can produce negative effects that hurt your business.

Knowledge is Key

Now that you understand the different SEO techniques used, you’ll be aware of what to watch out for if you’re thinking of employing a digital marketing agency to help your business.