Search Engine Optimisation used to be a relatively easy task, chuck a load of Keywords into your website’s content, comment on a few other blog posts or join a PBN (Private Blog Network) and watch the magic happen.
In this day and age doing the above is likely not going to get you anywhere or worse, may lead to your website incurring a penalty.
As a business, you have many options on how you wish to tackle SEO be it handling this in-house, outsourcing the task or a mixture of both. So understanding what’s involved in SEO, your options and what is right for your business is an essential first step when it comes to improving your websites SEO.
In this post, we’ll cover what goes into SEO with the aim being to give you an understanding of the different types of SEO and what work is involved in each. We won’t be going into all the nitty gritty detail, the goal is to give you a general understanding of what is involved so that you’re not totally in the dark when exploring the topic.
Types of SEO: On page, Off page & Technical Search Engine Optimisation
Before delving into any SEO project, it’s good to know what’s involved. Broadly speaking, SEO can be broken down into 3 key branches, Technical, on-page and off-page SEO. Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
Technical SEO is the process of ensuring your website is functioning correctly under the hood. It involves tasks such as ensuring the correct URL structures are in place, optimising your sites load time, ensuring a suitable robots.txt file is in order, the list goes on.
It’s important to note that Technical SEO isn’t a one time deal. When taking on a new website there is usually a large “to-do” list identified on the audit (more on that later) and once those issues are rectified, Technical SEO is something which then needs to be monitored going forward..
On page SEO is refers to all the work which can be done on your website and its content. Tasks such as ensuring a good user experience, ensuring your articles are targeting the correct keywords and to some extent – Conversion Rate Optimisation.
There are a number of tools which can help with this process, you may have come across Yoast or Rankmath, these being the biggest SEO plugins on WordPress. Other tools like Google Keyword planner are also great for keeping you on track and ensuring you’re targeting the correct keywords.
In a nutshell, Technical SEO coupled with On page SEO is ensuring everything ON YOUR WEBSITE is as optimised for search engines as it can be.
This aspect of SEO, as the name suggests, is focused on elements not on your website – this can come in the form of social media (promoting posts) or backlinks.
In the real world, every business has a reputation within the community but in the digital world, this isn’t always the case. How do search engines like google know you’re a legitimate business? The answer here lies in backlinks. Attaining backlinks from high authority, relevant websites builds trust with search engines like google, another website linking back to yours is essentially a vote of confidence.
We could be here all day talking about backlinks and how to attain them however the key points you need to know is that there are different types of them, each holding different values.
Gaining these backlinks can be achieved by something simple and cheap like submitting your website on different directories but can also be more time consuming & expensive ie press releases, manual outreach etc.
Tying the 3 pillars of SEO together: A holistic approach
All three of these elements go hand in hand with one another. If you find yourself focusing on one area and neglecting another, you will likely not be seeing the Full benefits of SEO. Having great off page and technical SEO for instance, won’t matter much if your on page SEO isn’t all that great.
A good way to look at this is a bit like sailing a boat. To elaborate, your Technical and on-page SEO is your sail/boat and your off page being the breeze or the wind. You need to make sure that your boat is able to stay afloat to start and that your sail isn’t full of holes before you use the thing. Failure to do so will mean you won’t be harnessing the full affect of the wind. Likewise, if there is no wind (in this case, off page SEO) you’re going to have a hard time moving anywhere regardless of how “non holey” your sail is.
Setting things off with an SEO audit
Understanding where to start on SEO will depend on a number of factors. Factors such as;
- Expertise – Can you handle some of the tasks “in-house”?
- Time – Do you have the time to spend either implementing or learning and then implementing SEO best practices?
- Budget – Would it make sense to outsource some, if not all, of the task?
Depending on the resources you have available, you may want to handle SEO entirely in house, outsource the task completely or a mixture of both.
Like most things, before getting started, it is a good idea to have a clear picture of what needs fixing – to achieve this, a Technical SEO audit is a good place to start.
As mentioned earlier, the outcome of an audit is essentially a to-do list. This gives whoever is working on the website a good understanding of any issues that need rectifying.
Following the audit of your website, the errors identified will need to be fixed – you can then make the decision of how you would like to go about resolving the issues.
As mentioned earlier, Technical SEO is something which needs to be maintained moving forward.
As explained in our website maintenance post, websites are constantly changing and needing to be updated. If you have a large number of pages like an eCommerce store this is even more prudent as changes tend to be made on a more regular basis.
On top of this, search engines are constantly trying to improve and so are updating things on their end to.
Again, maintaining your efforts thus far will be something you will need to decide on. Will you monitor & fix any issues that crop up yourself or outsource the task?
By now you should have a better understanding of whats involved with SEO.
SEO is a very broad topic and a lot goes into it. If you need help with your website, an audit is a good place to start, feel free to reach out if or leave a question in the comments.