A Primer on the Different Types of SEO - 1Digital® Agency
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Different types of SEO

You’ve heard of search engine optimization, AKA SEO, but did you know that there are different types of SEO?

If not, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. Here they are, not in any particular order.

“Regular” SEO 

This is the type of SEO that most people are talking about when they mention “SEO” in general. 

This is the type of SEO that deals specifically with organic visibility on search engines, namely Google.

The purpose of “regular” SEO is to improve a website by optimizing ranking signals to make that domain more attractive to a search engine’s algorithm. This requires targeting relevant keywords and results in increased organic rankings in the search engine results pages.

SEO is further broken down into on-page SEO (page titles, meta descriptions, internal links, and on-page copy), off-page SEO (backlinks/link building), technical SEO (structure, page speed, security, and other factors that can influence user experience) and content. 

SEO can also be broken down into content SEO, the purpose of which is to attract new readers/viewers to a page, and eCommerce SEO, the purpose of which is to attract new leads to grow revenue and sales.

Local SEO

Different types of SEO

One sub-facet of regular SEO is local SEO, which is the purpose of attracting qualified leads to a local business, which could be either a physical, brick and mortar business, or an online store that only serves a dedicated market. 

Much of what makes local SEO what it is has to do with keyword strategy. In local SEO the game is often to target location-specific keywords. Websites can also optimize for local SEO by making dedicated, location-specific pages to boost their online presence in a specific market.

But, that is not the only prong. Local SEO strategies also account for Google My Business Optimization, as well as optimized contact pages that list contact information, hours, and locations. 

Amazon SEO 

It has been reported that Amazon carries 12 million products, if not more. If you include books, media, and services, that number will grow closer to 350 million. While that isn’t Google-like in scope, you can understand how much goes into a search for something as simple as “shoes for men.” 

Amazon’s algorithm does not work in quite the same way as Google’s does, but rest assured, when you search for something in Amazon’s search bar, there’s a lot that goes into producing results. 

Basically, think of Amazon SEO as one of the different types of SEO, a collection of practices that result in an Amazon product listing showing up higher in the organic search results – or not.

Amazon uses an algorithm known as “A10,” the purpose of which is to as closely as possible match transactional searches with the products that users are looking for. 

It takes into account keywords (like Google’s algorithm) in addition to product images (there are very stringent requirements for images, such as file size and displaying the product on a white background). It also takes into account customer reviews, sales history, and conversion rates, when assigning rankings. 

For more information on Amazon SEO and Amazon SEO services, and how it all works, visit the previous page. 

Different types of SEO

Wayfair SEO

Like Amazon, Wayfair sells an enormous amount of different things, around 14 million, though unlike Amazon, most of them are domestic home goods. 

Wayfair is slightly different from Amazon and Google, though. One thing about Wayfair’s model is that merchants can sell directly through Wayfair or link their eCommerce platforms to it, or both. 

This gives merchants the ability to show up in Google’s organic search results (as a Wayfair page) as well as through Wayfair itself. 

Insomuch as it relates to Google, Wayfair SEO is the same as Google SEO. If you optimize your Wayfair product listings with keyword-rich copy, original images, and display reviews and user-generated content, you have a better chance of ranking in Google’s search results. 

According to what we know about how Wayfair SEO works internally, the effects are basically the same. 

Wayfair has also been fairly candid with users about how to optimize product listings. Some of their top suggestions (straight from their website) include to take high-resolution images, use videos if possible, upload user guides and digital swatches, and to write rich descriptions that are keyword optimized. 

Other best practices for Wayfair SEO include making sure all description and specification fields are as fully hashed-out as possible, and to include certifications where relevant. Making sure your products are properly tagged/categorized will also help with Wayfair SEO.

Etsy SEO 

Fortunately for us, Etsy SEO is apparently much less involved than Google, Amazon and Wayfair SEO. 

Etsy SEO focuses (largely) on just one ranking signal: keywords. So, in a sense, think of Etsy SEO as early-2010’s SEO (minus the spam links).

If you sell on Etsy and want your products to rank, the most important thing you can do is put your target keywords (an exact match, even if it’s a little cumbersome) in the page title, headers, and product descriptions. 

Creative copy is only good for UX in this arena, but not for SEO (unlike Google, which apparently has a more advanced algorithm which is [sometimes] able to read between the lines).

So it’s really about keywords. Use a keyword research tool to check for volume (remembering that these figures are for Google and not internal to Etsy) and then pick a bunch you want to optimize your Etsy products for. 

Update your page titles, headers, and description copy, and you’re pretty much good to go.

eBay SEO 

Different types of SEO

Get ready for a humbling statistic. Amazon may have like 350 million entries, but eBay has closer to 1.7 billion. So if you sell on eBay, SEO is a must if you want to bring in organic leads and sales.

The platform itself (like like Wayfair) has disclosed what you need to do to get products to rank in eBay’s organic search results, and fortunately, most of these tips are validated by experience. 

In a nutshell, eBay admonishes its users to optimize their listings with the right keywords by inserting them into page titles, headers and copy. Don’t stuff them in and don’t just add them separated by commas. Incorporate them naturally into your product descriptions. 

Beyond that, eBay suggests its users take high-quality, high-resolution images, along with videos if possible. Enrich these with alternative tags, which is good for both accessibility and SEO. 

Make sure your items are categorized properly. The platform may suggest a category automatically but that doesn’t mean it will be the right one. Also, make sure you specify unique identifiers like Manufacturer Part Numbers or Universal Product Codes (where applicable) as this will help users who are looking for these unique qualifiers to find your product listings. 

That’s the bulk of what constitutes eBay SEO, and these suggestions alone can help merchants substantially improve their product listings.

Black Hat SEO 

I will close with one of the different “types” of SEO that is only worth knowing about so you can avoid its effects.

It’s called black hat SEO, and it consists of a collection of practices that either will work in the short term, or used to work but now invoke penalties.

Basically, black hat SEO is any “optimization tactic” that is intended to disingenuously improve rankings by deceiving Google’s algorithms, so that listings appear higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

It is, collectively, a group of practices that subvert Google’s algorithms and attempt to fast-track organic ranking increases. 

That’s all well and good, but we need to take a closer look at what some black hat practices actually are. These are some common ones: 

  • Keyword stuffing: Adding keywords into copy where it doesn’t make sense, forcing keywords, adding strings of keywords separated by dashes or commas.
  • Automatically generated copy/duplicate copy: Never use the same copy as another website or take copy from a manufacturer or distributor. This includes AI-generated copy, which should never be used for website copy (unless it is heavily edited).
  • Hidden copy: Some SEO “experts” have attempted to circumvent the penalties of black hat keyword stuffing by hiding a lot of copy on their website. If Google can crawl the hidden pages a website may experience ranking increases but realistically the website will be penalized and this practice is demonstrated not to work in the long run.
  • Buying links: It can be tempting to buy links as an easy way to increase domain authority and referral traffic, but most bought links come from low-DA websites with high spam scores. 

These are just some of the most common black hat SEO tactics. There are several others.

In the short term, black hat SEO can improve rankings, but as Google’s algorithm gets better and keener, it’s rooting out websites that use these tactics and penalizing them. 

The worst part is, once you get flagged for black hat SEO, it can be extremely difficult for your website to recover – harder than if you were just starting out from scratch, and if you can recover at all, it will take a long time. 

So, avoid black hat practices at all costs. 

And, if you have specific questions about what these practices are (beyond what I’ve covered here) contact us at 888-982-8269 and we’ll set the record straight.

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Michael Esposito

Mike Esposito is a professional SEO copywriter spurned by a love of language and creativity. When he's not at the keyboard, you may be able to catch a rare glimpse of him enjoying the outdoors or sipping fine literature.

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