What are the 4 Types of SEO and their Methodologies

folder_openSearch Engine Optimization

We won’t sugarcoat it. SEO is a complex beast, and optimizing your site for search engines can be daunting. With so much industry jargon, it’s easy to get confused. There are good techniques, outdated techniques, and then there are techniques that are plain old bad and will get your site penalized on some of the major search engines like Google.

In this article, we will show you the different kinds of seo, as well as the different types of SEO and how they relate to your website. Knowing the different kinds of SEO tactics and understanding your website needs will help grow your business online.

Different Approaches to SEO and their methods.

There are 4 main approaches, or methodologies, to SEO. Those that are white hat, black hat, grey hat and negative SEO. These are different methodologies of SEO that should be carefully examined as they will impact your efforts down the line.

White-Hat SEO

White-hat SEO is about as good as it gets when it comes to ethical, long-lasting SEO efforts. White-Hat SEO is the best way to perform SEO and works within the guidelines and best practices of search engines. In specific, the Google Search Quality Guidelines. A white-hat SEO professional follows all the rules, is as ethical as possible and promotes a business without any form of negativity or negative connotations attached to their business.

White-Hat SEOs:

  • Work within the best practices of Google and Bing to ensure the best user experience possible.
  • Create high-quality content: Creating high-quality and relevant content that the users resonate with is the best way to create a good message that matches your company. The goal here is to create content that answers what the user is searching for. The content should also be answering what Google is serving as results to the users, and the content should be right to the point so that it answers the users’ questions as quickly as possible.
  • Ensure a website is a positive user experience: Ensuring a positive user experience makes users want to return to a website. It shows trust and professionalism in a business.
    • Some things that ensure a positive user experience are:
      • A clean and fast-loading interface
      • Easy to navigate site structure.
  • Clean and optimized HTML code: Optimising your HTML makes a website’s structure easier to read for search engine crawlers and can affect your page load speed or rendered across browsers. When optimizing your code ensure it follows the W3 guidelines.

White-hat SEO often provides the best results that can weather future algorithm updates. Results from white-hat SEO may be a bit slower than other methods but as time goes on it packs the biggest punch in terms of getting results.

Black-Hat SEO:

image of tiles saying black hat seo

Black-hat SEO is like taking a gamble on your website. It’s working against the best practices to get the fastest results possible without long-term gains.

Black Hat SEOs:

  • Utilize Link Spamming: This means looking for spammy, low-quality links to rank a website on link velocity alone. Some links to watch out for include: social bookmarking, irrelevant directory building, blog comments, and forum links. These links correlate directly with Google’s Link Spam Policies.
  • Practice Keyword Stuffing: This is the practice of adding your target keywords over and over to a website. In turn, the search crawlers pick up these as ranking signals and quickly rank a website.
  • Over Optimise HTML Headings: This is similar to keyword stuffing but includes the target keywords over and over in the HTML headings.
  • Add hidden text/ links: This is the practice of hiding text on a page in hopes of the page to rank. An example of this would be white text on a white background.
  • Copy or steal content: This is where a black hat SEO would steal or scrape content from one website and place it on another – often claiming it as their own.
  • Using AI-Generated Content: This is using tools like ChatGPT and Jasper to create content that’s written by an AI.
  • Buying False Reviews: When done at scale, this can penalize your website or get your Google Business Profile removed from Google. This can also be deemed as a fraudulent business practice.
  • Cloaking: This is the practice of showing different content to search engines than what is shown to users. This can be used to trick search engines into ranking a website higher than it should be.

Black-hat SEO can get results relatively quickly and work the system in favour of the website being worked on. Still, it can often lead to negative impacts such as a loss of traffic through drinking or a manual penalty which completely removes a website from Google.

These methods, in the long term, will consume more money in the long run as you’re always playing catch up on the next algorithm update. It’s best to stay away from black hat SEO practices.

Grey-Hat SEO:

If you have yet to guess, grey-hat SEO is a mix of white-hat and black-hat tactics. These practices aren’t inherently bad for your website, but they aren’t also the best. Most SEOs are in the grey-hat area of SEO.

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

Grey-Hat SEOs:

  • Utilize Spun Content: This is rewriting content on the web to make it appear original, even though it’s not.
  • Exchanging links at scale: Google realizes there may be some link exchanges that are entirely natural, but link exchanges at scale can be a no-no in Google’s eyes.
  • Buying Links: This is paying a publisher to add your link to their website. In its documentation, Google does realize that buying links is a part of the typical ecosystem.
  • Creating Clickbait Articles: This is the practice of writing sensationalized or misleading headlines to attract clicks on a piece of content.

Negative SEO:

Although this could also be deemed black hat SEO, this should be its own article section. Negative SEO is often used between a website and its competitors. It’s the practice of using black-hat SEO to derank a website. When you see a business using negative SEO, they are trying to hurt their competitors’ reputations.

Negative SEO could also be considered a denial of service attack (DDOS) and could land the practitioner in hot water.

Negative SEOs:

  • Building unnatural links to a competitor’s site: This includes over-optimizing a site’s anchor text profile.
  • Posting negative reviews: A Business profile with many negative reviews can show lower in the search engine ranking pages, thereby denying the site clicks.
  • Hacking websites to modify the content or adding malware: Google thinks websites that have been hacked or have a large amount of malware as spam. This practice will derank a website.

Google’s algorithms are getting good at knowing which links are spam and which are not. It will naturally devalue the links it deems as spam. However some instances, some links will get by.

When running an SEO campaign, it’s always important to monitor your website for negative SEO practices a competitor might be running against you.

4 Types of SEO to Grow Your Business

Now that we’ve identified 4 primary SEO methodologies let’s look at the 4 types of SEO we can do to enhance your web presence.

1.On-Page SEO:

keyword targetting on wooden titles in blue

Usually, when people think of SEO, they think of on-page SEO. On-page SEO, also called on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. This can include your body copy, keywords, headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, images, and more.

Let’s break down On-page SEO even further.

Keyword Research:

When planning our website, we want to be strategic in our approach. We want to determine the right keywords or phrases for our business when doing keyword research. With some research, we can find keywords that users are searching for to find your product or service online.

Once you have picked the right keywords, share your findings with your copywriting team. Let the writing team know what keywords are relevant and high priority, so they know to include them in the website’s page content.

Relevant Content:

These days any content could be deemed quality content, so we want to go one further and include relevant content on our website. Content should match what the searcher is looking for and what they intend to find. This is called the searcher’s intent.

Relevant content can include blog posts, articles, videos, and other types of content that provide value to users and help them find the answers they are looking for. By creating engaging, informative and relevant content, a website can attract more visitors and rank higher in search engine results, leading to increased traffic and potential customers.

When creating relevant content, look at what is being served to users for your target keywords. Is it a blog post, or is it a product page? And then replicate what’s being done while adding your personality to the content.

Internal Linking:

Internal linking plays a crucial role and is also an advantage to bring to your website. They can keep visitors on your website for hours, browsing through a myriad of articles on several pages, and give Google an impression of providing top-quality results to search engines.

First, what are internal links?

Internal Links refer to URLs that provide a link to other pages of your website. In most cases, you’ll add them to text that is anchored. Incorporate links to specific keywords within your content and hyperlink to pages with high authority to help Google read your website and improve the user experience

The visitor can decide whether to go through the hyperlink to return to the main page or read the information on the original page.

Internal linking may also include links to authoritative pages within your field. At first glance, it might appear that you’re driving some of your visitors directly to a different website. But this is where your expertise comes into play. Don’t send a link to companies of your competition. Only websites that have an objective purpose.

Metadata Optimization:

Metadata informs Google and other searchers about the content on pages. Be sure that your meta titles and meta descriptions contain relevant information and keyword phrases to increase your chance of ranking higher. It is important to remember that Google often alters the metadata using other text on the page, making it essential to ensure that the page’s overall optimization is well done.

Bonus Tip: As a best practice, ensure that your page title and H1 tags are as similar as possible to help prevent your meta tags from being rewritten.

2. Off-Page SEO

Most people would stop at on-page SEO and then wonder why their website could rank better. The truth is that Off-page SEO is an essential ranking factor for your website, yet it’s often the most misunderstood. Off-page SEO focuses on all the aspects outside your website or “off the page.” This looks at the greater web presence of your website. Think of it as a “sphere of influence” around your website.

What are you doing outside your site–that’s not white hat SEO, but it can help improve your ranking on various search engines? Here are a few steps to consider in this direction:

Competitor Research and Analysis:

Researching your competitors is an essential aspect of SEO. Through researching your competition and analyzing their websites, you will gain insights into the tactics and strategies they employ to be highly ranked on search engine results and utilize this knowledge to improve your SEO strategies. This includes analyzing the structure of their websites, content, keywords, and links. If you know what your competitors are doing, you will be able to discover ways to distinguish your website and increase your rankings on search engines. This will allow you to attract new customers and traffic to your site.

Guest Blogging / Blogger Outreach:

Guest blogging or blogger outreach is when a writer writes posts for a blog that isn’t their own. The writer, also known as a guest blogger, typically writes about an issue relevant to the blog’s readership and agrees to have their blog post published on the host’s blog in exchange for an external link to their site or some other type of publicity.

Guest blogging is an effective method for writers to boost their visibility, increase their online profile, as well as helping bloggers add new content to their websites. It is also an effective way for companies to connect with new audiences and establish relationships with other bloggers and websites within their field.


HARO (pronounced as the acronym for Help A Reporter Out) helps journalists connect with the sources they need for their stories. Suppose you’re an expert in your particular area and interested in joining HARO. In that case, you can receive regular emails from HARO that contain requests from journalists seeking sources in various areas. If you come across a request for help, you could help by responding to the journalist by stating your knowledge. If they choose to incorporate your info in their piece, they’ll include an url to your site or social media profiles. This is a fantastic method to gain valuable backlinks to your site and boost your standing to be a specialist in your area of expertise.

Press Release and Syndication

Content syndication and press releases can improve a website’s SEO or search engine optimization. Content syndication involves publishing a piece of content on multiple websites or platforms, such as an article or blog post. This can increase the visibility of the content and drive more traffic to the website it was originally published on.

On the other hand, press releases are official announcements that a company or organization makes to the media. By including keywords and links to the website in a press release, a company can improve its search engine rankings and drive more traffic to its website.

3. Technical SEO

Technical SEO includes optimizing the backend of your website to make it more efficient and boost your site’s rankings. These are the elements in the back end of your website. You may have a gorgeous design, but it will be a problem when your website’s technical elements must be optimized appropriately.

Site Load Speed

One of the most critical technical SEO factors is the speed of your page. Visitors who visit your site want to see it load immediately. After all, when was the last time you waited over 5 seconds for a website to load? Most people will click off and find a new website to visit. If you wish to get the most beneficial results from your website, you must ensure that it loads quickly.

You can check your page’s speed by using Google PageSpeed Insights. If you choose this tool, you must change your site yourself. If you are a business owner who needs the technical know-how, you can engage a digital marketing firm and utilize their page speed tools.

Crawl Budget Optimization:

When a search engine crawler bot comes to your website, it only has a few seconds to crawl and index your website correctly. This is called a crawl budget. We want to ensure that the vital time these crawler bots spend on our website is utilized correctly

This could include adding schema to our website. Schema is a snippet of code that robots look for to determine what your website is about.

The crawler bots also get insights about your website from the XML sitemap. This is an XML file with a list of your website’s pages. By properly loading this, we can ensure the crawler bot has a map of your site to crawl it as efficiently as possible.

Crawl errors may arise from time to time and can be found in your Google Search Console. These will give important insights into your website and help you better optimize your website’s crawl budget.

Mobile Friendliness:

It is often assumed that users from computers only visit a business’s website, but this is rarely the case. Many factors influence the need for users to access a website or business from a mobile phone. Several studies have shown that the more mobile-friendly a website is, the more likely its content will be read. This highlights the importance of ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile devices.

4. Local SEO

The term “local SEO” refers to a form of search engine optimization that concentrates on improving a site’s visibility for people looking for products or services within a particular geographical location. It can involve optimizing a website’s search engine rankings for keywords related to a specific city, region, or country, and ensuring the site’s name, address, address, and phone number (NAP) are constant and current across the internet. Local SEO is crucial for companies that provide customers in a specific geographic region, like retail or restaurant. By optimizing their local search, businesses can increase their visibility in results from search engines and draw larger numbers of local clients.

Honourable Mentions

In addition to On-Page, Off-Page, Technical and Local SEO there are a few other types of SEO we’d like to mention.

Enterprise SEO:

Enterprise SEO is designed for businesses with a large online presence and many competitors. It involves using advanced techniques to improve the website’s visibility and compete for competitive keywords.

Voice-Search SEO:

Voice search SEO is a type of optimization that is designed to improve a website’s visibility for users conducting searches using voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. This is becoming an increasingly important aspect of SEO as the use of voice search continues to grow.

eCommerce SEO: 

Ecommerce SEO is a type of SEO that is focused on helping ecommerce businesses improve their online presence and reach potential customers. This can include optimizing the website for keywords related to the products or services the business offers, as well as implementing strategies to drive traffic and conversions.


In conclusion, SEO, or search engine optimization services  is a critical tool for businesses and organizations looking to improve their online visibility and attract more customers. There are many different types of SEO, including on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO, each of which focuses on different aspects of a website. By understanding the various types of SEO and implementing the appropriate strategies and tactics, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and drive more traffic to their website. This can lead to increased visibility, customer engagement, and ultimately, higher sales and revenue.

Tags: Local SEO, off page seo, on page seo, seo basics, seo beginners guide, Video Learning

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