What Types of SEO Services Do I Need?

What Types of SEO Services Do I Need?

Want to “SEO” your website? You might have to get a little more specific. 

Despite being marketers’ top inbound priority, SEO remains a somewhat misunderstood discipline. With a lot of misinformation out there, it can be hard to know what to ask for when hiring an SEO agency

To give you a hand, we’re breaking down the various types of SEO you need to familiarise yourself with before choosing your SEO agency services.

SEO Auditing

The first stage of any decent SEO process after the agreement has been signed is a complete SEO audit of your site.

Every website is unique and comes with unique challenges and attributes that must be taken into account when putting together the SEO strategy. There could, for example, be a major technical issue or a Google penalty that is preventing your site from being indexed. Cracking on with a strategy without doing an audit can be a bit like building the house of your dreams, only to realise the land is cursed.  

The audit exists to not only identify major issues that might be preventing your site from performing on SERPs, but to decide which areas need improvement most. It is, therefore, one of the most important factors in determining which SEO services you should focus on. 

On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO

There are two main sub-areas of SEO, each with many branches of their own: on-page and off-page. Google and other search engines aren’t just interested in how well put-together your website is as an isolated entity, but what its relationship is to other sites. The world wide web, after all, is a network: interconnectedness is at its core. 

On-page SEO

As the name suggests, on-page SEO - sometimes known as on-site SEO - deals with everything on your pages or website. It’s all about getting your domain in ship-shape without involving any third parties. On-site SEO consists of different types of services, such as:

Keyword targeting: Keywords, like a lot of things in SEO, are highly misunderstood. Traditionally, keywords have been judged by two things: monthly search volume (the number of times search engine users are looking up that specific phrase) and difficulty (an estimation of how hard it would be to rank for that term based on how many other high-authority sites are attempting to do the same thing). 

However, as search engines become more sophisticated, it’s also important to judge keywords based on user intent, relevancy, semantics and topical authority across the site. The idea behind keyword targeting is to create pages - either landing pages or blogs - that answer this query and use it in the <title> tags, meta description and on-page copy.

Content optimisation: Content optimisation is the process of making sure all your on-site content is SEO-friendly. Search engines assess content based on how well it serves the interests of their users. Therefore your content should have high readability, be well-structured and answer the search query it’s targeting with a sufficient amount of easy-to-understand information. Content optimisation is carried out by highly-skilled SEO copywriters and content marketers who understand the exact linguistic techniques that search engines prefer. 

UX: Search engines are user-first machines. The user experience (UX) of your site, therefore, has a large role to play in on-page SEO services and your ability to rank for key terms. Sites should be structured around common sense and be easy to navigate. You can also optimise UX to guide users towards a certain goal, such as purchasing a certain product, signing up for a free trial or booking a discovery call. Improving UX is important across the board, but it often takes up the lion’s share of eCommerce or enterprise SEO projects or any website with a high number of pages. 

Technical SEO: Websites are complex machines. They need to be skillfully assembled in order to be optimised for search engines. Technical issues often crop up in SEO audits, particularly when the site wasn’t built by an SEO-savvy developer, and can often seriously impact its ability to rank or even be indexed. Technical SEO repairs and maintenance are an integral SEO service with any project and should only be carried out by someone who really knows what they’re doing. 

Internal Linking: Never underestimate the importance of your internal links. Search engine crawlers - the bots used to index and rank web content - navigate websites using the internal links from page to page. For instance, if one of your landing pages isn’t linked to from the homepage, menu or another page on the site, it is ‘orphan’, and the crawler won’t be able to find it. Like UX, internal linking can also be optimised to boost pages or establish authority over a certain topic relevant to your business.

Mobile SEO: Did you know that only a quarter of all searches are carried out using a desktop? The rest, 64% of all searches, are on a mobile device. We’ve reached a point where if your site isn’t optimised for mobile, it’s not optimised at all. Mobile SEO is a much younger area of search, so there are many agencies that are still catching up. It’s absolutely crucial that if you need mobile SEO services, you choose the right agency - one with proven expertise.  

Off-Page SEO 

A search engine’s index is one big spider's web. There is no site - no decent one, at least - that isn’t connected to others, and the more connected you are, the stronger your position is likely to be. Off-page SEO, the type of SEO that deals with other sites and your relationship to them, is a crucial SEO service that cannot be ignored.

Link-Building: Backlinks are the foundation of Google. No, seriously. Google became the biggest search engine in the world by treating links from one site to another as digital word-of-mouth, helping it identify the very best content based on how often it was linked to or, in this analogy, ‘recommended’. Link-building - placing links to your website on other sites to grow your backlink profile - is therefore hugely important for SEO. Nowdays, there is no shortage of link building agencies ready to help you earn quality links to your website.

Outreach: SEO outreach is the art of identifying targets for your link-building strategy and pitching content to them in order to obtain a link from their website to yours. A proper SEO outreach specialist won’t be cold-emailing every site under the sun willy-nilly, but selecting high-authority websites that publish content in your niche and pitching original, high-value pieces to them. This ensures that the resulting backlink is natural and relevant - two things Google just loves. 

Digital PR: Digital PR involves brainstorming an original campaign idea, compiling the necessary data and pitching it to publications - often online newspapers and magazines - with a catchy headline or angle for them to write a news story on. To us, digital PR is the gold standard of link-building strategies. It requires a high level of creativity and earns the best links that grow your backlink profile and brand visibility. These days there is no question, hiring a respected digital PR company is going to help your businesses SEO performance.

Competitor Analysis: With an infinite number of pages being indexed and ranked by search engine crawlers every day, it’s important to know what your competition is doing. Competitor analysis is done both as part of the auditing process, but also on an ongoing basis. It can help you set realistic expectations, understand what search engines find so appealing about the top-ranking results and identify content gaps (keywords that your competitors are ranking for that you’re not). 

White, Grey and Black Hat SEO 

Beyond individual services, SEO can also be roughly broken down into different types of approaches: the good, the debatable and the ugly. These are all defined in relation to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines - the scripture of search engines, if you will. The Webmaster Guidelines clearly outline SEO techniques that are and aren’t allowed. 

However, some SEOs claim that violating these guidelines can lead to greater rewards than abiding by them. Just to be clear, we absolutely do not take this view. Search engines are highly sophisticated machines that cannot be outsmarted by trickery, at least for long. Black hat techniques - those that violate the Webmaster Guidelines - often reap short-term rewards but have dire long-term consequences. 

In this case, there are two possible outcomes: either your black-hat provider sticks around and is constantly employing risky tactics in a game of cat-and-mouse with the search engine, or they have disappeared with your money and left you to fix the problem they created. Working with a black hat SEO agency is a huge gamble that rarely pays off. 

SEO isn’t about outsmarting search engines; it’s about serving users. The Webmaster Guidelines don’t exist to screw over websites, they exist to optimise content for people looking for it, which should be what you are concentrating on. 

White Hat SEO: White hat SEO services abide by the recommendations and restrictions in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They are, therefore, unlikely to result in penalties and negative repercussions. 

Black Hat SEO: Black hat SEO techniques explicitly defy or subvert the Webmaster Guidelines in order to gain a supposed advantage over sites playing by the rules.

Grey Hat SEO: Grey hat SEO is, unsurprisingly, a bit of a grey area. It’s riskier than white hat, but not as risky as black hat. It is, however, still considered ‘illegal’ by Google. 

How Do I Choose SEO Services? 

Choosing the right SEO services for your business is more about choosing the right SEO agency than anything else. After all, they’re the experts. Generally speaking, most SEO projects include aspects of:

  • Technical SEO

  • UX optimisation

  • Keyword research

  • Content production

  • Link-building

A quality provider will be able to take a cursory look at your website and come up with a couple of suggestions, but the only way to know for sure where your domain is lacking is with a complete SEO audit, which will identify technical, on-page and off-page issues. 

The audit may, for example, show that you have a strong backlink profile but a less-than-optimal UX. Or perhaps you have an amazing website, but a lingering technical issue is preventing some of your pages from getting indexed.

Of course, it’s not always that simple. You’d be right to be wary of SEO firms trying to upsell you services you don’t need, as this does, unfortunately, happen a fair bit. There are many ways to detect a poor-quality provider before signing on the dotted line. Our top tips would be to ask your agency the right questions during the discovery call, avoid package SEO pricing and black-hat providers and know what a good SEO agency process looks like. 

Hire Reboot Online

Reboot Online Marketing is an industry-leading SEO company and digital PR agency. We have a team of 60+ multilingual specialists in different SEO services - from keyword research to technical repairs, link-building, content marketing and more. 

We’re well known across the digital marketing world for our original in-house SEO experiments and highly successful digital PR campaigns, which routinely earn links for our clients in publications like the Daily Star, the Mirror and OK! Magazine.
For more information, check out our case studies or get in touch with us today.