What is SEO: Content, On & Off-Page and Technical SEO
In this article, you will learn what SEO is and about the different types of SEO - On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and Technical SEO.
Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google, Edge, DuckDuckGo. There are no businesses that ever say, "I don't want to rank on Google, it's a waste of time."
"You need SEO! You need to do SEO! SEO this, SEO that!"
In this article, you will understand what SEO is and what it is comprised of. This way, you will know what to expect the next time you ask yourself whether you actually need it or not—most likely, you do.
If you have already decided that you need SEO, you can either do it yourself or consider working with us to work their magic for you.
What is SEO?
SEO consists of four main components:
- Content Creation
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
These four components are what makes SEO, SEO.
Moreover, SEO is like a chess game where you are ranked based on how well you execute those four pieces together.
Strategize and play those 4 pieces cohesively and you will drive the right targeted traffic to your website.
Hard Fact: SEO is an Investment
Ranking at the top is never free, because top rankings are often achieved through strong SEO or SEM campaigns.
Sponsored tags are placed for search results that utilize Google Ads to rank.
A great SEO campaign is built on amazing, helpful content, backlinks, and optimization. On the other hand, a great SEM campaign relies on budget and optimization.
There is no free traffic because regardless of SEO or SEM, you will always going to spend resources, whether in terms of time, effort, or money.
Like any other investment, there is no guarantee that SEO is the only solution for everything. SEO is just one method out of many other methods to earn traffic, like any other form of marketing.
Can I relax if I already ranked at the top?
Short answer: No.
Unless you are so lucky that your competitors never bothered with Google ranking or are completely asleep—you're literally fighting head to head with others to snatch their ranking placements.
You might rank today, but that can and will change if you let your guard down and slack on your SEO.
What Makes SEO so Attractive?
Because traffic is valuable and every businesses wants it.
You need to defend your ranking by constantly keeping your guard up through continuous link building, updates, and improvements to your content.
For example, if you wanted to place your website at the top with ads, you would need to pay around $5-6 per click (cost varies) for anyone searching "influencer marketing agency."
With CPC or CPM campaigns, impressions and clicks don't automatically equal customers.
Unless you're running a CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition) campaign, not all clicks convert into leads or customers even though you pay for each click.
The reason is that with complex sales funnels, it's hard to define completion goals upfront. So it's important that you optimize it until you nail your Paid Ads into a healthy ROAS (return on ad spend) ratio.
For example, Google may see a call booking as a completed acquisition and charge you. But the call could still fail to convert and you would have paid for nothing.
SEO has lesser spending risk, but the risk is always going to be there if you do it wrong like utilizing poor backlink acquisition strategies.
#1: Content Creation
The goal of SEO content is to satisfy both searchers and search engines.
Quality SEO content provides value to readers while using keywords with the correct intents and optimization best practices to help pages rank better in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Search Queries & Intent
Search intent refers to the motivation and purpose behind a search query. When someone searches for a keyword or phrase in a search engine, they have a specific need or intent they want to fulfill.
Search queries are basically what people type into search engines, such as:
- 'influencer marketing agency'
- 'personal trainer in new york'
- 'what is the worst way to lose money'
- 'bitcoin vs ethereum which to invest'
- 'monkey nft vs anime nft'
You need to know what keywords you actually want to rank for, not just random terms.
In order to do that, you would create content based on search queries/keywords that people are searching for and their intent. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or Semrush and Ahrefs are some of the tools that you can use for keyword research.
Let's say if you're running a Productivity SaaS business, you would want people who are searching search queries like 'productivity tool', 'best tool to save time', 'how to increase work output in shorter time', 'asana alternatives' or 'productivity hack' to ended up landing in one of your webpages—could be Homepages or Blogs.
There are four main types of search intent:
- Informational: The searcher wants to find information or learn more about something. For example, searching "how to bake a cake" or "symptoms of flu".
- Navigational: - The searcher is looking for a specific website or webpage they already have in mind. For example, searching for "amazon" to go directly to Amazon's website.
- Commercial: The user wants to investigate brands or services in more detail—for example, 'apple vs samsung' or 'rolex datejust vs omega aqua terra'
- Transactional: The searcher wants to make a purchase or acquire a product/service. For example, searching "buy iPhone 13".
Identifying and optimizing content for search intent is important for SEO content success. Understanding the search intent and creating content that satisfies that need results in higher click-through rates and conversions.
Just create content without the right SEO content practices and planning will guarantee no traffics to your site.
Plus, you need to know if your content will ended up playing the easy or hard game based on it's keyword difficulties—you can't just rank page one for anything.
In short, in SEO Content Creation, you need to know:
- Search queries
- Search intents
- Keyword volume & difficulty
- The structure of your content
- Content mapping
#2: On-Page SEO
Now that you already finished writing your content but is that enough?
Short answer: No.
After you completed your content, before you hit publish and even after you hit published, you want to make it as Google friendly as possible by conducting On-Page SEO on it.
Here's some On-Page SEO optimization tasks you would need to keep up:
- Keyword Research
- Title Tag Optimization
- URL Structure
- Local SEO
- Header Tags
- Internal Linking
- Meta Description Optimization
- Keyword Placement
- Content Optimization
- Image Optimization
- External Linking
There's tons of On-Page SEO tutorials on the internet, however, you don't need to do ALL of it.
We covered an in-depth On-Page SEO Checklist by Ranking, which also includes mini tutorials on how to complete them.
#3: Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO involves activities outside your website that can affect your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs). This mainly includes building quality backlinks, social shares, online citations, and reviews.
In order to rank, you need backlink. Here's a bullet proof evidence that shows why backlink from other website matters a lot:
Search engines largely understand the quality of content through what are commonly called “signals.” You can think of these as clues about the characteristics of a page that align with what humans might interpret as high quality or reliable. For example, the number of quality pages that link to a particular page is a signal that a page may be a trusted source of information on a topic.
This quote is quoted from: Search Quality Rater Guidelines: An Overview
However, if you're going to buy backlinks from Fiverr, you're going to waste money and even worst, make Google dislike your website.
'One of several factors we use to help determine this is understanding if other prominent websites link or refer to the content. This has often proven to be a good sign that the information is well trusted.'
Quote by Search Guideline: How results are automatically generated: Quality of Content
In this video above from Google Search Central, John mentioned that one high quality and relevant backlink is worth more than millions of poor quality backlinks combined.
#4: Technical SEO
Although, Technical and On-Page SEO sounds alike, but they're control on a different level.
On-Page SEO are usually managed on a page level while Technical SEO is managed on a domain's level. Plus, you're required to have a degree of understanding on how to navigate basic web-based programming like HTML.
Examples of Technical SEO are:
- Page Speed Optimization
- Analytics and Tracking Setup
- User Experience Optimization
- URL Inspection Tool
- URL Redirect
- Schema Markup
- Canonical Tags
- XML Sitemap
- Robots.txt File
- HTTPS Implemention
While on-page and off-page SEO focus on content and external signals, technical SEO involves optimizing your website's infrastructure. This includes site speed, mobile optimization, structured data markup, crawlability, and more.
SEO Best Practices
In the ever-evolving world of SEO, staying updated with the latest best practices is crucial. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always put your audience first: Always research your keywords and intents prior to creation. Make sure your content provides value to your readers and answers their questions.
- Build high-quality & relevant backlinks: Aim for backlinks from reputable, relevant websites.
- K.I.S.S: Keep it Simple with Speed, always keep your website clean, simple, fast and easy to navigate. A well-structured website or content without spams is easier for both users and search engines to navigate or digest.
- Regularly update your content & interlinks: Always update and fresh up your content! You're not only building more interlinks, you're always helping your readers to get updated information—which is more likely to rank higher in search results.
SEO: The Road Ahead
SEO is a long-term commitment and you need to be ready to spend on things like:
- Content copywriters
- Graphic or asset creations
- Building backlinks
The reward is:
- Evergreen traffic to your website
SEO requires constant monitoring, tweaking, and learning. However, the benefits of SEO make it worth the investment.
By following the best practices and staying updated with the latest trends, you can improve your website's visibility, attract more traffic, and increase your online success.
This comprehensive guide is just the beginning as this guide will be constantly updated throughout time.