Understanding the 4 Types of SEO & SEO Tools To Use

4 Different types of SEO

Getting your website to rank on Google or any other search engine can be a hulking task, especially when you don’t have a complete grasp of the different types of SEO and when to use each one. SEO is best served complete—in all its glory.

This article will show you the different types of SEO, what it takes to develop each type, which types of SEO you should ignore right now, which one to pay more attention to, and which one to invest the most in.

Knowing all the different types of SEO is one thing; understanding when to apply each one to your SEO campaign is another—very crucial—aspect.

Different methods and approaches to SEO

A common confusion among SEO newbies as well as some old-timers is the classification of SEO methods/approaches and types together. These are two different terms.

Before we move on to what the different types of SEO are, it is important to first clarify that there may be different ways to perform search engine optimization but that doesn’t translate to the different types of SEO.

Below are the three most common approaches to search engine optimization:

White hat SEO

White hat SEO

It doesn’t take too much to know that white hat SEO is the best—and inarguably, the tightest—way to conduct SEO. The technique has to do with everything that helps your website rank without getting in trouble with search engines.

White hat SEO techniques are Google’s recommended approach to ranking any web page or website. By doing this, you’re getting on Google’s good books, helping you to better promote your business online without any form of negativity.

Some white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Publishing the highest-quality text content on your website: Google pays a lot of attention to which web pages or websites are solving searchers’ problems the best. Is the searcher satisfied with the content they saw on your page? Your content should not only solve the problem. It should also be easy and fun to read to make it easier for the users to grasp.
  • Creating a user-friendly interface: again, the users are the most important to Google and their satisfaction must be met. You must ensure that your website is navigable and easy to access.
  • Sharing your page link on social media: any strategy that helps your site gain traffic must be employed and link sharing are one of them.
  • Optimizing HTML: optimizing HTML simply means that you constantly check your site’s codes to see if there’s anything that could potentially make it lag.

White hat SEO is, no doubts, the best SEO method/practice to follow. It is time-consuming but it will help Google to consider your website as one that follows all the stated guidelines and rules.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO

Black hat SEO is a much faster way to get results as much as it is a faster way to get your site deleted from Google’s server. Black hat SEO techniques are all about manipulation and exploitation of Google’s algorithms.

You will rank faster but only for a shorter period as Google begins to notice that your page may not really be serving the purpose that it is meant for but gets the bulk of the clicks.

Some of these black hat techniques include:

  • Link spamming
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Over-optimized HTML tags and headings
  • Using way too many pictures
  • Hidden texts/links
  • Buying backlinks
  • Publishing copied text, and more.

All these activities will only lead to low-quality content because the business owner is not concerned about creating content that satisfies the users. They just want their rankings.

One major downside to black hat SEO is users will bounce off your website after realizing that you don’t have the information they came for. These techniques will consume as much money as white hat SEO—or even more.

Grey Hat SEO

Grey hat SEO

Grey hat SEO is a little mix of the two approaches to SEO already mentioned above. As the name implies, it simply means being in that little grey area where it seems they’re doing what’s right and at the same time looking for Google’s trouble.

Google may never ban your page for using this technique but they will paint a bad image of your business or even prevent Google from ranking your site after a while.

Some grey hat tactics include:

  • Publishing spun content written by inefficient bots
  • Paying for false reviews
  • Exchanging links
  • Publishing articles with clickbait headlines

Some businesses use this along with more effort and attention on the white hat approach and it seems to work pretty well for them. Where grey hat SEO goes wrong is when you begin to rely completely on it.

The Four (4) Different Types of SEO

The four different types of SEO

Having cleared up the approaches to search engine optimization, we can now go through what the different types of SEO are.

1. On-page SEO (on-site SEO)

On-page SEO

As the name suggests, on-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO is an SEO activity that is carried out directly on the page or site. It involves the optimization of on-site ranking factors like meta descriptions, keywords, meta titles, images, headers, and others.

What does it take to carry out a successful on-page SEO?:

1.1. SEO Keyword Research

After creating a user-friendly website, the next most important thing to consider doing for your business and website would be intensive research for key phrases and words. Keyword research is to a website what market research is to marketing.

Researching keywords helps you to know exactly what your customers and potential customers are searching for on Google.

Creating content without researching the relevant keywords will only help you create a trial and error strategy that is negatively impacting your website and business. This is because you’ll be creating content that users may never need.

So, how do you conduct relevant research on keywords? It’s not very simple. However, a basic strategy is to search for a simple word or phrase relevant to your industry and see what Google comes up with.

More advanced strategies will have you using tools that tell you specifically which keywords will bring in more traffic to your website, which ones are very often searched for, and which ones you have the potential to rank for.

1.2. Quality SEO Content

The need to create relevant content cannot be overemphasized. Not only will it help you appear on rankings but you also have to consider the user of the information you’re dishing out. Are they really satisfied with your answer to their question?

After researching keywords, you now know what your potential reader wants to learn on your website. Now, how do you teach that to them in a way that they enjoy it and hopefully want to keep reading more things on your site?

One thing that most website owners and businesses fail to understand is that the more users want to stay on your site, the higher your chances of ranking. This is because Google automatically considers your site as one that meets the expectations of the users.

1.3. Internal Linking For SEO

Internal linking has a role to play and a benefit to offer to your site. They have the power to keep users glued to your website for hours, reading several articles on several pages and giving Google the impression that you’re dishing out quality results to the Google search query.

But first, what are internal links?

Internal links are URLs that lead to another or several other pages on your website. What a URL does is suggest to the visitor that there are other pages on this same website that offer more grounded details about this topic.

The visitor may decide to follow the link and come back to the original page or just continue to read the content on the first page.

Internal linking can also be links to high-authority pages in your industry. At first thought, it may seem like you’re driving a chunk of your traffic directly to another website. However, this is where expertise comes in. You don’t direct a link to businesses of your competitors. Only to websites that serve a neutral purpose.

1.4. Metadata SEO Optimization

Metadata is what informs Google of what your website or page contains. To be clearer, your metadata is a huge determinant of what keywords you’re ranking for.

If you were to publish an article on, “Best wholesale cabinets for small kitchens,” your metadata will contain the key phrases, “Wholesale cabinets.” When a Google search is conducted with these terms, your website will pop up somewhere on Google’s search results pages.

Your metadata can be divided into two and they are meta descriptions and meta titles or page titles. The meta title is the clickable text that appears in blue, serving as the heading or title of the article you’re about to read. The meta description is the short sentence you’ll see right below the meta title on the search results page.

To boost your page rankings, ensure to add the keywords in the metadata to help Google properly index your page and understand exactly what you intend to rank for.

1.5. Image SEO Optimization

No matter what type of SEO you want to conduct, you must add some media files to your content to boost your ranking chance.

Images help your content appear more attractive to readers and helps them understand your stance without using too many words. Descriptions are made easier with images.

When a search is carried out on Google images, your optimized images will appear on the list and the searcher can click on it to direct them to your website.

To optimize your images means to add the necessary key phrases or words to them. images also make it easier for people with visual disabilities to understand what the page is all about.

2. Off-page SEO (off-site SEO)

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is the exact opposite of on-page. off-page SEO focuses on all your SEO activities outside your website. However, whether we’re talking about off-page SEO, on-page SEO, local SEO, or even technical SEO, one thing remains constant—rankings.

What do you do outside your website—that is not black hat SEO—that can improve your rankings across several search engines? We’ve listed a few steps to take in that direction:

2.1. Guest blogging

Guest blogging is a system of content marketing and link building that is done outside any platform that you own. Guest blogging is aimed at allowing you to drive referral traffic from a website of higher authority than yours. Does it sound complicated? Wait.

Assuming that you run a business where you sell household appliances and want to write a guest blog for a website with high authority in that niche that isn’t your direct competitor? You would choose a site such as “The Spruce.”

Now, the idea is that you will add a few links to the content you wrote for the site, leading readers to your site. If those links are properly placed, readers will find your site.

Now, this sounds like a good way to get organic traffic but you don’t even need to get the traffic from the high authority site. Google automatically assumes that your website is great since one of the biggest sites in their server is linking back to you for information.

2.2. H.A.R.O

HARO simply means Help A Reporter Out. Journalists often request help from experts on certain topics in the industry. When you offer the information they need with some amount of expertise, they’ll link back to your website in their publication.

2.3. Competitor Research and Analysis

Run quick research on your competitors to understand their backlink profiles and what websites are linking back to them. This will help you understand which authority websites are in your industry that you may not know.

2.4. Internet ads

Aside from SEO, there’s another kind of marketing known as search engine marketing. Although search engine marketing—also often called SEO marketing—will not get you organic traffic, it will help you put your page content on Google’s first page.

Internet ads can also refer to Facebook and Instagram ads that help you target your customers more effectively.

2.5. Press Distribution

Businesses often ignore the need for a press release. You will not get all your website traffic from search queries. Sometimes, a simple publication about your business in a local newspaper can help boost your website SEO.

Although it doesn’t look like any type of SEO effort, it helps you get more traffic to your site, which in turn helps search engines consider your site as an authority in the field.

3. Technical SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO has nothing to do with your page content. However, it can improve your appearance on organic search results. Most digital marketing newbies mistake tech SEO for black hat SEO. Whereas technical SEO aims at improving user experience by optimizing the website, black hat SEO reduces it.

Technical SEO refers to all the SEO activities that help to improve your site and make it easier for visitors to navigate. Below are a few things to consider:

3.1. Site Load Time

Visitors no longer have the patience to wait for pages to load. They want the information and they want it right now. If your web pages take an eternity to load, visitors will abandon your article and move on to the next website offering a similar post. Guess what! The other sites have immensely optimized their load time.

The average attention span of individuals is 8 seconds. If you grab your visitor’s attention with your metadata, you have less than 8 seconds to prove to them that your web page contains the information they need. Your site load time should take more than 2 seconds of that time.

3.2. Mobile-Friendliness

Businesses often assume that their visitors are only checking them out from their computers. That’s hardly ever the case. Some factors influence a greater need for users to check your website or business from a mobile phone.

Several studies have proven that the more mobile-friendly a site is, the more likely it is for their blog or article to be read.

3.3. Crawl Error Identification

Sometimes, a tiny error in your code could make your website completely invisible to Google’s or other search engines bots. Aside from codes, your page may have some other issues including missing H1 and H2 tags and duplicate metadata.

3.4. Keyword Cannibalization Audit

One thing you want to avoid in your SEO journey is confusing the search engines. Search engines will naturally read your website and determine which page serves the visitor better and if there happen to be two posts on your website with the same seed key words, the search engine has to decide which of those two posts the visitors will see.

Now imagine a situation where the search engine bots constantly alternate between two of those posts. It simply means that you’ll be getting less traffic and eventually, lower rankings.

One solution to use in this situation is to combine both articles into one comprehensive blog post.

3.5. Duplicate Content Audit

Run a comprehensive audit of your entire site to see which blog post has similar content with another one. Once you find it, scrape the content or edit it and publish it again.

4. Local SEO

Local SEO

Local SEO is one of the types of SEO that is more location-specific than the others. Local SEO deals with rankings in a specific state, city, or town. The main idea is to increase the online presence of a company within its state.

Asides from being a great way to get customers online to locate your land-based store, it can also be a superb source for link building and organic search. This is because, local searches such as, “Cabinet sellers near me” will deliver search results that are specific to the searcher’s locale.

Local SEO rankings are ultimately tied to how well you optimize your “Google My Business” profile. Google has specific guidelines and rules that should guide you when optimizing the profile because your services will only be suggested based on proximity, reviews, business hours, services rendered, and a few more.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a task that requires full attention because it is the single most crucial and cherished way to get your potential customers to your website post by post.

However, the process and tactics required can be a little tricky for beginners, which is why it is highly recommended that you hire a digital marketing company to help your company grow online and achieve a reasonable online presence.


Search engine optimization is an integral part of digital marketing and content marketing and must be given the attention it deserves no matter what your digital marketing tactics are.

If you have read through this article and want some help with your online marketing, Milia Marketing is here to deliver your website right into the first page of Google’s search results in a matter of time.

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia is an author of Marketing Magnifier, marketing consultant, and owner of Milia Marketing, an award-winning Marketing firm located in Cleveland, OH. Anthony helps Small and Medium-sized businesses get the best ROI for their marketing dollars by shedding light on their sales and marketing challenges.