Understanding the 3 Pillars of SEO can make or break the success of your SEO campaign. I want to explain to you the pillars of SEO. I want to explain the main pillars of SEO.
Some people say there’s three, and some say there’s four, so on and so forth. However, we’re going to learn about three main pillars of SEO today and a fourth bonus one.
3 Pillars of SEO | On-Page SEO
The first pillar of SEO is your on-page SEO. Now, as you can imagine from the name, this is everything that’s on the page. There’s a lot that goes into on-page SEO, but we’ll break it down into three parts.
Now that’s not to say that these are the three most essential parts of on-page SEO; we’re just using these as examples. And the first part of on-page SEO is to have authoritative content. Now, this is everything that’s on the page itself, and this can either be for a webpage or a blog post, or whatever type of content you’re creating.
The reason that it needs to be authoritative is that Google is intelligent. Just like a human, when you see a particular brand in a store, you already have a likeness or a trust with that specific brand. Google has that with websites, believe it or not.
So to have authoritative content that Google knows people are going to like is extremely important. We’ll also learn how some of these pillars can connect and how the different subsections of these pillars connect and help each other.
Authoritative content is a vital part of that. We’ll learn about that as we move on to off-page SEO, but having a content target moves us nicely into the second part that we learned about on-page SEO. And that’s to have relevant keywords.
Google is smart enough these days that they’re not just looking at a particular keyword on a page to see if you have mentioned it in your headings and have you mentioned it in your alt tags and whatever it may be. Google can understand all of the wording on a page, how they connect, and how they give relevance and context to the page itself.
The best place to find relevant keywords for your content is using Surfer. Now, it’s essential to use relevant keywords in your content because you’ll start ranking for relevant keywords within Google searches for the same piece of content. And, the more different keywords you rank for, the more opportunity you have to show up in a Google search result.
This is important because every search term that Google has different bits of data on, even if it’s pretty much the same in the eyes of a human, it’s different from Google. For example, you might search ‘accounting software, but somebody else might search ‘software for accountants.’
3 Pillars of SEO | On-Page SEO Image Optimization
So if you have a page all about accounting software, make sure that you’ve used the term ‘software for accountants’ somewhere in that content. And the last point in regards to your on-page SEO is your images because they are on the page that you’re going to be optimizing. Now there’s a lot that goes into on-page image optimization.
The first is to make sure that your images are compressed before uploading them to your website. Now basically, what this means is if you have a photographer come into your studio, let’s say, or your place of work, wherever it may be. And you want to have professional pictures on your website as you should.
When that photographer hands you over images, they will be extremely high quality and have extensive photos. You don’t want to go ahead and upload seven megabytes, eight-megabyte pictures to your website because they’ll take forever to load. Before you upload them, you should compress those images so that they don’t lose quality.
The image file size is much smaller, meaning it can load much faster on your website. There are a few different tools that you can use for this.
There are a few different free tools. But one that we prefer is a WordPress plugin called ShortPixel; ShortPixel does an incredible job of compressing your image sizes and compressing the actual length that it’s supposed to fit into a particular object on your page.
Now, what I mean by this is when you upload an image, it might be highly stretched to be 1,000 by 500 pixels. However, if you’ve only taken up a small section on your particular page, you’ve used that image for it.
ShortPixel will compress it correctly so that it doesn’t lose any of its proportions when it’s sized down. This also means that the image will load faster as well. Now, if that particular image is at a lower point on the page and doesn’t appear above the fold before somebody needs to scroll essentially, you should also turn on what’s known as lazy-loading.
This will mean that the image will only begin to load as somebody starts to scroll through your page so that it doesn’t mean the image is loading, taking up resources before someone’s even scrolled on the page, which means your page will load faster.
And the last thing to mention about your images before we move on is to make sure that you’ve named them something correctly with the file name before you’ve uploaded them to your website.
What I mean by this is don’t just leave it as IMG_451236987.jpeg rename it something before it’s uploaded that includes the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Also, make sure to include keywords in the alt tags of that image once it is uploaded to your website.
3 Pillars of SEO | Off-Page SEO
We’ll move on to the next pillar of SEO, which is your off-page SEO, which is pretty much the opposite of your on-page SEO. And as you can guess from the name as well, it’s everything that’s off the page.
Your off-page SEO is everything that happens and improves your SEO from other domains, anywhere on the internet. Now, just like we did with on-page SEO, for off-page SEO, we’ll give three different examples of how these things can relate to your off-page SEO and then how they can even relate further to the other pillars in SEO.
The first thing I want to mention about off-page SEO and how to increase your off-page SEO is creating content that people like. Now, you might think that that’s relatively obvious, but so many people, when they’re trying to optimize their website to get more clicks from Google, will throw any sort of content that is absolutely stuffed with keywords that they think Google wants to see.
That is not what Google wants to see. It’s not what a human wants to see. It would be best if you spent time creating content that people want to go through.
So why is this important for off-page SEO? If you’ve created content that people like, they will start to share that link. And if they share that link, that means that your website’s earning more backlinks.
Essentially what all off-page SEO is, is backlinks. So the more content that you have that people like the more they’ll want to share, meaning the more backlinks your website will earn.
As I mentioned, we’ll learn how the different pillars can relate to each other. So in this particular example, we’re talking about creating content people want to share.
That can relate to the first point we made when discussing on-page SEO, which is creating authoritative content.
So you can see how these start to connect and how the pillars of SEO all start to work together. And the next thing I want to talk about regarding off-page SEO is the following Google’s guidelines.
I want to bring it up here for the same reason, with the example we gave a moment ago where people will “optimize” their website, and they’ll put together all sorts of nonsense, that keyword-stuffed that they think Google wants to see.
They’re not ranking for those particular pages that they’ve created and “optimized.” Well, then what they’ll do is they’ll start to build links to those specific pages then; however, these links aren’t the kind of links that Google wants to see.
It’s crucial to follow Google’s guidelines. There are particular guidelines. And these are public by the way that Google wants you to follow when building links to your website.
And to finish off talking about off-page SEO, you might be wondering then, well, how do I get these links, or who should I be. Building links, whoever? Or how does it work?
An excellent way to check this is to look at the people already ranking on the page on position. Your competitors, more than likely, and look at who’s linking to them.
There are free ways of doing this. I believe that ahrefs have a free backlink checker, and they’ll let you check the backlinks of the people who are ranking in the first three positions.
However, suppose you do have a paid ahrefs account. In that case, you can check the backlinks for people who are ranking page, or positions one to ten, and so on.
By studying these people and specifically the people who are ranking page one, positions one to ten, you’ll be able to see who’s linking to them. And if they’re the kind of people, you’d also be able to get a link.
3 Pillars of SEO | Technical SEO
let’s now move on to your technical SEO. That’s the next pillar of SEO. And it’s quite an important one, but it’s pretty neglected as well.
Because people are often scared off by the term technical SEO, now, the first thing I want to talk about in regards to technical SEO is your site speed.
This is important because Google is looking at the speed at which your website loads to particular users, not only on desktops but also on mobiles.
Now you can check this for free using one of Google’s incredible free tools, which is called their PageSpeed Insights.
PageSpeed Insights will give you a score from zero to 100 for mobile and desktop how Google thinks your website loads, Now Going back to how the pillars of SEO all relate to each other.
Currently, we’re learning about site speed. And if you remember, when we were talking about your on-page SEO, we mentioned images, and we said compressing them so that they load faster. Well, that affects the loading speed of the pages on your website.
So you can see again, even with on-page SEO, as the pillar we were talking about there, we were talking about images. We were talking about compressing them so they load faster. And now we’re talking about the pillar of technical SEO.
And the first thing we talk about is site speed. So again, you can see how they all start to relate to each other.
And the next thing I want to talk about in regards to your technical SEO is internal linking. Now we’ve mentioned this again previously, but we’ll learn about it again because it’s a big part of technical SEO.
It’s such a simple part of SEO to optimize for because you, of course, have access to your website, and you can build whatever internal links that you want; however, for whatever reason, people still don’t do this.
They don’t take advantage of this, but Google and other search engines love to see internal links. As we mentioned a few moments ago with the image optimization, we’ll be making a new article all about that soon. We’ve got plans to make an extensive article about internal linking and how that helps your Search Engine Optimation and what you can do to help your internal links and help your SEO.
So if you want to read that extensive article, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.
Internal links are one of the more manageable parts of technical SEO. Because as I mentioned, you have access to change these.
Now, an internal link means you’ve highlighted a piece of text on one page of your website, which links to another page of your website.
You’re not linking to somebody else’s website. They’re not linking to you. These are all links that happen on your website, from your pages to your other pages.
3 Pillars of SEO | Schema Markup
And the last thing we will learn about technical SEO is to use Schema Markup.
Now I’ll be honest; this is one of the reasons people can be a bit more afraid of technical SEO because this one does involve a bit of coding and involves a few changes with different things behind the scenes in the code of your website.
However, some fantastic free tools out there will help you with schema. So, for example, one of the best things that we see with schema is you use FAQ Schema Markup.
Now, if you’ve ever seen, when you search something on Google, you see ‘People Also Ask,’ and it can expand.
You may also see that there are a couple of websites as well, that not only does their website appear and their meta title and meta description, but underneath that, there’s a couple of questions. Thanks to FAQ Schema Markup that those people have implemented on their website.
You need to follow a few rules if you’re using FAQ schema; for example, there are lots and lots of different Schema Markup out there, but for FAQ schemas specifically, there are specific a couple of rules you need to follow.
First of all, you don’t want to go crazy and answer hundreds of different questions. Still, you want to answer particular questions about the topic you’ve written about on that specific page of your website.
A great place to find what kind of questions people are asking about the topic that you’re writing about is just to Google that topic. Because you will start to see the people also ask section; if you click one of those questions, you’ll see that Google will automatically expand.
And they’ll go from, let’s say, for example, four particular questions, to six questions, to eight questions, so on and so forth. You can get that data for free from a very, very quick Google search of what exact things people are searching for and what things you will be able to answer on your website.
Also, that will give you more real estate space to take up in the Google search results by implementing FAQ Schema Markup. Schema Markup is excellent because it helps search engines better understand your website.
It helps them break down exactly what the website is about, who you are, and what kind of content you’re offering to people. It just really helps them connect the dots. And that’s something searching wants to see because the better they can understand your website, the more they’ll be able to push your website to people in the search results.
So leveraging this sort of thing, even if it might seem scary to start understanding it, can help you rank with your website. So now we’ve learned about on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO, and a few different ways of how they can actually connect and work together.
Until here the Pillars of SEO, some people say that one pillar is missing: the Local Seo pillar. I will publish this article soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive new updates