Home SEO The 4 SEO Pillars for Boosting Your Website’s Ranking

The 4 SEO Pillars for Boosting Your Website’s Ranking

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SEO might look extremely complicated at first glance with it’s sophisticated algorithms. But what if I told you that you can potentially understand a big percentage of the fundamentals in no more than ten minutes?

Good deal – You bet it is!

If you’re an aspiring SEO or business owner who wants to drive leads and revenue through organic search then this ultimate guide on SEO Pillars has you covered.

What is SEO?

Webmasters do SEO by taking a set of measures to improve a website’s positions for certain keywords in search engines like Google. The more significant the number of keywords a website ranks for, the more organic traffic it gets.

Search Engine Marketing has several features that make it a much more powerful marketing channel than other channels. To begin with, it’s completely free.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning when it comes to short-tail keywords it takes significant effort, time and human resources to get to rank for them. Examples of long tail keywords are “house”, “cars” and “software”.

The buyer intent for short-tail keywords is not defined to begin with so it’s more important to focus on long-tail keywords for any successful SEO Campaign.

Lastly, about 70% of the overall search demand is represented by long-tail keywords.

The reason why SEOs prefer focusing on long-tail keywords is users have a higher understanding of what they are looking for and are a lower portion of the marketing funnel.

Long tail keywords are 3 or more words and have relatively less keyword difficulty versus short tail keywords. Examples of long tail keywords are “online ordering system for restaurants”, “places to have pizza in New York” or “How much does a plumber earn in London”.

What are the 4 SEO Pillars?

SEO pillar #1: What is On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines. The focus of on-page SEO is to optimize your website and align it with search intent.

Furthermore, on-page optimization involves optimizing meta descriptions and title tags.

With so much information online there does exist the possibility that you might be confused about what On-Page SEO is all about and you’d like some clarity on what On-Page SEO is not about.

So I’ll begin with what On-Page is not about:

  • Stuffing exact match keywords. Previously it used to be a common practice to include the exact keyword you wanted to rank for in the title, URL and the body of content. For example, if you wanted to rank for “Marketing Agency San Diego” you’d stuff that keyword throughout your content despite it didn’t make sense dramatically speaking. Unfortunately, stuffing exact match keywords is still being used by many SEOs today which leads to poor user experience and readability.
  • Using your focus keyword a specific number of time in the content copy: Articles rank for multiple keywords normally but imagine if you were to incorporate 50 different related keywords 3 times each in the content copy. What kind of user experience would you create by going down the route? As an example below, for the search term “diet plan” you can see the top SERP result is ranking for 10,071 keywords. Clearly, if the article is well structured and meets the searcher’s intent search engines like Google reward web pages with higher rankings for multiple keywords.
  • Lastly, On-Page SEO is not about meeting a minimum word count either. Certain research studies have shown that content copies of a certain length rank better on Google SERPs. Based on this data many organic search and content teams have kept a minimum word count limit which they utilize to tackle any keyword regardless of what the searcher’s requirement and search intent is. This goes against the SEO Pillar of ensuring you provide content which is aligned with the searcher’s request for information.

What is On-Page Today in 2024?

On-Page today revolves heavily around optimizing pages for search intent.

  • The goal of your pages should always be to satisfy searchers intent.
  • Your content needs to address the things users expect to see.
  • You need to be spot on with items like titles, subheadings, internal linking and readability.

SEO pillar #2: What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website to help search engines in finding, understanding and indexing your web pages.

If search engines like Google and Bing can’t properly access, read, understand or index your pages, then you won’t rank or even be found.

Things you need to consider for beginners if you want to get technical SEO right:

  • Robots.txt is a file located on your root domain, accessible at yourdomain.com/robots.txt. It contains rules for search engine crawlers, indicating where they can and cannot go on your site. Note that a website can have multiple robots.txt files for subdomains. For instance, if you have a blog on domain.com, you’d have a robots.txt file for it. Similarly, an e-commerce store on store.domain.com would have its own robots.txt file. These files allow different sets of rules for crawlers based on the domain they’re accessing. The rules, created using “Directives,” include many options, but two are particularly important for indexing purposes.
  • Sitemaps are typically XML files that enumerate the crucial URLs on your website, including pages, images, videos, and other files. They assist search engines such as Google in crawling your site more effectively. Sitemaps do not require manual maintenance. If you’re utilizing a CMS like WordPress, plugins like Yoast and Rank Math can automatically create sitemaps for you. To aid search engines in locating your sitemaps, you can use the sitemap directive in your robots file and also submit them in Google Search Console.
  • Redirects are used to send visitors and bots from one URL to another, to consolidate signals. For instance, if you have two pages on your website about the best footballs, one old page at domain.com/best-footballs-2018 and another at domain.com/best-footballs, it would be logical to redirect the 2018 version to the current one since they are closely related. This consolidation instructs search engines to transfer signals from the redirected URL to the destination URL.
  • Canonical Tag – A canonical tag is a snippet of HTML code that looks like the following:

<link rel=”canonical” hrefs=”https://yourdomain/slug/>

Its purpose is to tell search engines that the preferred URL is for a page & this helps to solve duplicate content issues.

For example, let’s say your website is accessible at both https://yourdomain.com & HTTP:/yourdomain.com & for whatever reason you weren’t able to use a redirect.

These would be exact duplicates.

But by setting a canonical URL, you’re telling search engines that there’s a preferred version of the page.

As a result, they’ll pass signals such as links to the canonical URL so they’re not diluted across two different pages.

One important thing to consider is that Google may ignore your canonical tag.

Looking back at the previous example, if we set the canonical tag to the insecure HTTP Page.

Google would probably choose the secure HTTPS version instead.

If you’re running a simple WordPress site, it will handle a lot of these issues.

SEO pillar #3: Content

Content is just information and whatever you want to write about, the chances are you won’t be the first.

Demand for content is surging & with information accessible literally at the top of our fingers, there is an excess supply making it more challenging to get noticed and produce profitable results.

So to do that, you need a system that will lead to predictable results so that your content can stand out from the rest.

If you’re a blogger, freelance writer, or do any type of content writing, keep watching because I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step framework to engage your audience and search engines and, as a result, drive consistent traffic and hopefully revenue.

Content as an SEO Pillar only works when the content engages your audience satisfies search engines & drives consistent traffic and revenue.

To create content that aids your SEO Strategy, you need to:

  • Do Keyword Research: After pinpointing the specific words and phrases that your target audience uses when searching online, you can develop content that incorporates these keywords. This approach enhances your online visibility, making it easier for your content to appear in search engine results when users search for those terms.
  • Make sure your content stands out: To rank well in search engines, your content must be original and offer value to your audience. When visitors spend more time on your page because your content addresses their needs, it signals to Google that your content is valuable and can improve your search rankings.
  • Ensure your content aligns with user intent: Before crafting new content, analyze what your target audience is searching for and the issues they aim to resolve. By doing so, you can develop content that directly addresses user search intent, thereby improving your search engine rankings.

SEO pillar #4: Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO encompasses strategies implemented outside of your website to enhance its search engine rankings. This includes acquiring links from other sites, gaining shares on social media, and receiving mentions across the web.

The significance of off-page SEO lies in its ability to influence your site’s perceived authority by search engines, which is a critical factor in determining your rankings. A high authority level can position your business as a leading expert in your niche, as seen by both search engines and users.

Earning backlinks from other sites is a key component, as it indicates to Google that your content is valuable and worthy of citation.

To increase your website’s backlinks and social media shares, consider the following approaches:

  • Produce high-quality, unique, accurate, and valuable content
  • Actively share your content on social media channels
  • Engage with other websites or bloggers for guest posting opportunities
  • Collaborate with influencers to enhance your brand’s visibility and credibility

Building a website that others want to link to is paramount for elevating your authority. A user-friendly site that provides essential information, answers questions and enhances the user experience will naturally enhance your online presence.

Summary

Simplifying SEO into four main pillars makes it more approachable.

  • Technical SEO is crucial for allowing search engines to effectively crawl and index your website.
  • On-page optimization gives search engines clear signals about your site’s relevance and structure.
  • Dedicating effort to creating valuable content that addresses your customers’ inquiries and demonstrates your knowledge forms a solid foundation for your rankings.
  • A genuine and strategic method of building external authority reinforces your website’s reputation as a reliable source on pertinent subjects.
  • It’s important to set precise SEO objectives and monitor your key performance indicators to consistently enhance these four pillars.

FAQs

What are SEO Content Pillars?

Content pillars are the primary subjects around which a business consistently creates and shares content on its website, social media, and other platforms. By focusing on these core themes, businesses can establish expertise in specific topics and effectively engage their target audiences.

Some marketers use the term “content pillars” to describe pillar pages, which are comprehensive web pages that delve deeply into core topics. These pillar pages should be linked to and from cluster pages, which cover related subtopics. Together, the pillar page and its cluster pages form a topic cluster.

For example, if a digital marketing agency decides that SEO is one of its content pillars, it might create an SEO topic cluster. This cluster could include a pillar page titled “The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing” and several cluster pages focusing on various aspects of SEO.

What is SEO Authority?

Authority plays a crucial role in determining your SEO performance, with three main levels to consider:

  1. Domain Authority: This refers to the overall authority of your entire website domain. It is influenced by factors like the age of your domain, its popularity, and the number of inbound links it receives from other reputable sites.
  2. Page Authority: Page authority focuses on the authority of individual pages on your website. Factors such as the quality and relevance of content, the number of inbound links, and the overall user experience of the page contribute to its authority.
  3. Links Authority: This refers to the authority passed from one website to another through backlinks. When reputable websites link to your content, it can significantly boost your own site’s authority.

Focusing on improving these authority levels can enhance your overall SEO performance and help your website rank higher in search engine results.

What are the main SEO Points?

Sure, here’s an elaboration on each of these aspects of SEO:

  1. Crawlability and Indexability: Crawlability refers to the ability of search engine bots to access and crawl through your website’s pages. Indexability refers to whether these pages are deemed suitable for inclusion in the search engine’s index. Ensuring your site is easily crawlable and indexable is fundamental for SEO success.
  2. Content Quality: High-quality content is crucial for SEO. It should be relevant, informative, and engaging for your target audience. Search engines prioritize content that provides value to users, so focusing on quality can improve your rankings.
  3. Keyword Usage: Keywords are the terms and phrases users type into search engines. Using relevant keywords in your content helps search engines understand what your content is about and can improve your visibility in search results. However, overuse of keywords (keyword stuffing) can have a negative impact on your rankings.
  4. Search Intent: Understanding search intent is key to creating relevant content. Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s search query. Content that aligns with the user’s intent is more likely to rank well. There are four main types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation.
  5. E-A-T: E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s a concept Google uses to evaluate the quality of a website and its content. Websites that demonstrate expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are more likely to rank well in search results.
  6. Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. They are an important ranking factor, as they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. However, not all backlinks are created equal; quality backlinks from authoritative sites are more valuable than low-quality ones.
  7. Social Signals: Social signals refer to the impact of social media activity on your website’s search engine rankings. While the direct impact of social signals on SEO is debated, strong social media presence can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts by increasing brand visibility, driving traffic to your site, and attracting potential backlinks.