If content is king, what does that make technical SEO?
It’s been said that if you own a website today, you need to invest in SEO. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential field of digital marketing. It involves optimizing a website’s content, structure and design to improve its visibility and ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Generally, the higher you rank the more your website will be seen and the more conversions it will help create.
Modern SEO activities can be broadly broken down into two main categories: content SEO and technical SEO. Both have their places in a holistic strategy, and both have their own benefits and drawbacks. Which, then, should you choose and what should be your primary focus? Read on as we cover all this and more.
Why do I even need SEO?
A fair question, with all the daunting complexity of modern SEO you may be left wondering if it’s even worth it. That being said, it’s the unfortunate reality that unless you already own a huge brand, your website simply won’t be found organically without at least some SEO. This means a huge loss in potential conversions – and even if you’re not doing SEO, chances are your competition is.
Technical SEO – The “ugly step sister” of the SEO world
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website’s structure to help search engine crawlers find, index, crawl and understand your site more effectively – ultimately with the goal of increasing rankings.
Technical SEO generally focuses on the backend of the website and involves optimizing performance factors (such as site speed and mobile responsiveness), crawlability factors (such as site architecture and index health) and on-page SEO (such as page titles, meta descriptions and image alt texts).
The goal of technical SEO is to ensure that the website is fast, user-friendly, and accessible to both users and search engines. It’s mostly search engine crawler-facing, with a lot of its goals skewed towards making the site understandable, accessible and discoverable to search engines.
Content SEO – The ‘king’ of organic search
As you may have heard, in modern SEO content is ‘king’.. Content SEO refers to the process of creating, maintaining and optimizing the content of a website to improve its ranking on search engines.
Content SEO primarily focuses on creating high-quality content that is optimized for specific keywords or phrases that potential customers may search for on search engines. The goal is always to find a balance between writing for people and search engines – skewing heavily towards what people want to read because they are the end users.
Some of the key activities of content SEO are keyword research, on-page optimization, and content creation. The goal is to ensure content on the website is relevant, informative, and engaging to the target audience while covering the breadth of keywords associated with topics your business wants to rank for.
So, should you focus on technical SEO or content SEO?
The real answer is, unfortunately, both. Technical SEO and content SEO work best as part of a holistic SEO strategy that incorporates both elements. This is because a website with bad technical SEO but great content will struggle to get discovered and rank, and vice versa a website with great technical health but poor content won’t rank for any relevant keywords.
Think of technical SEO as the ‘hygiene factors’ that allow your site to rank, and of content as the real driver of organic growth for most businesses. There are, of course, exceptions (most notably e-commerce stores) but as a general rule, focus on both content and technical SEO simultaneously. Get your technical health to an acceptable point, then start pushing content. Afterwards, focus on both in equal measure, paying attention to the latest search engine updates and what area of SEO they are pushing.
Forming a holistic SEO strategy
Both technical and content SEO are crucial components of search engine optimization. Both components should be implemented together to achieve the best website performance on the search engine results page.