Global spending on digital marketing was close to $100 billion in 2017.
An increasingly larger chunk of digital marketing budgets goes to SEO. But how much you allocate to that part of the budget has a lot to do with the type of SEO you engage with.
For example, whereas black hat SEO costs less than white hat SEO, it’s riskier and less effective over time. It’s these kinds of differences that you need to understand before you hire an SEO company.
Keep reading to learn about the 4 main types of SEO as well as their benefits and potential risks.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It involves a number of techniques that make a website easier to understand from the perspective of search engines and users. By making your website friendly to search engines and users, you can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The ultimate goal of SEO is to bring more organic traffic to your website by having it appear higher on the SERPs. The higher you appear on the SERPs, the likelier you are to attract organic traffic. And with more traffic, you should see more conversions.
The 4 Different Types of SEO
There are 4 types of SEO. While they all share the goal of increasing traffic, the way in which they do so differs.
White hat SEO is the best type of SEO for improving your SERP ranking. These are the techniques that are recommended by Google. They include:
- writing useful content
- promoting that content in a way that earns links
- organizing your content in a way that search engines and users find useful
SEO is the costliest type of SEO and it takes longer to see the results. However, those results are long-lasting and don’t come with any risk.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO tactics are those that Google specifically tells you not to use. These are tactics that exploit algorithms with the goal of ranking higher. They include:
- keyword stuffing
- purchasing or bartering for backlinks rather than earning them
Black hat SEO comes at a lower cost but with a higher risk. Although they may help you rank faster, if Google notices your tactics, you’ll be penalized.
Grey Hat SEO
Grey hat SEO falls somewhere between black and white hat SEO. These are tactics that aren’t specifically banned by Google, but they aren’t exactly accepted practices, either. They include:
- paying for reviews
- using slightly altered or spun content
- using clickbait
These techniques may not be as risky as black hat techniques, but they still carry risk. There’s always a possibility that you’re penalized for using them.
Negative SEO is the practice of using black or grey hat tactics on a competitor’s website. It might involve building unnatural links or posting fake negative reviews. Some people might even hack websites in order to change the content.
This is an extremely unethical SEO technique. It’s used to decrease the ranking of competitors so that others may take their place.
White SEO Help
The 4 types of SEO all have the same goal: to increase traffic to your site. But the tactics they implement differ as does the length of time they take to work and their cost.
Of course, white SEO is the most effective SEO strategy of all. And if you’re looking for the best results for the best price, we can help. Contact us today to get started.