The Three Pillars Of Search Engine Optimization Success
The world of SEO isn’t exactly an easy one. It involves some rather complex concepts, depends heavily on Google’s 200-plus ranking factors (which aren’t always crystal clear) and requires a constant effort on your part that can last for years and years.
I get it —this makes SEO sound a bit unappealing. It explains why many companies don’t know which steps they should take in order to improve their positions on the SERPs, and why they often end up giving up on what is nowadays one of the most essential areas of digital marketing.
If you are almost at this point of frustration with SEO, I ask you to stop and take a breath. SEO has three main pillars as its foundation. Every single SEO task falls into one of these pillars, so if you take some time to understand them, you’ll see that optimizing your digital presence doesn’t have to be all that difficult.
Pillar One: Link Building, Referring Domains And Digital PR
Link building refers to the marketing efforts that earn one-way hyperlinks from other websites to your website. Referring domains are the domains where your backlinks are coming from. Digital PR is a strategy that aims to improve a brand’s online visibility by creating and fostering relationships with online content creators and journalists.
All three of these components of SEO have become extremely important and for a business owner, it’s imperative to work toward getting high-quality links from authoritative and relevant websites, as well as referring domains and backlinks to your website.
Notice that I’ve used the words “authoritative,” “high-quality” and “relevant” when speaking about the links you should strive for. This is because unusual or seemingly spammy link building can lead to a penalty by Google, which is something you should always keep in mind.
Having said that, improving your link building, referring domains and digital PR is mainly about two things: showing value and working toward becoming a thought leader in your industry, and developing link-worthy content and web tools that anyone in your industry would find useful.
Both of these strategies will help people trust you and what you have to say, which will, in turn, increase the chances of them linking to your content on their websites.
Pillar Two: Content Development And Content Marketing
I mentioned content in the previous pillar, and the truth is that content has become such a big part of the internet that it deserves a pillar of its own.
Your main goal here is to build authority, or topical authority, by sharing your expertise with your audience and proving that you’re not just in the industry to make money, but you actually know what you’re talking about, and you’re passionate about it.
However, content development and marketing isn’t all about quality. Quantity also plays an important role. In fact, having a big website full of content that is relevant to your topic of choice or to the keyword you’re trying to rank for will help Google see you as an expert in the industry, which will do wonders for your ranking.
So, when it comes to the second SEO pillar, make sure you put out relevant, well-written content on a regular basis.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a blog within your website and create a content calendar with topics you want to cover each week or month. If you don’t have time to keep up with the calendar, don’t worry; this is the type of task you can easily outsource. Whether you choose to hire a digital marketing agency or a solo freelancer, you won’t have a hard time finding a content creator to support you with this responsibility.
Pillar Three: Technical SEO
Last but not least, we have technical SEO, which revolves around Google’s ability to properly crawl and understand your website.
This aspect of SEO includes some basic tasks that you might have heard about and handled yourself when creating your website, such as optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions with the right SEO keywords.
However, technical SEO goes much further than that, as it includes aspects like website structure, internal linking and proper rendering and indexability (which explains why it’s called technical SEO). In short, technical SEO is what will help you ensure your website has everything to rank well on Google, besides the content itself.
This becomes even more important if you have a large website. Think about it: If your website has hundreds or even thousands of pages, how can you guarantee that Google is crawling each and every one of them? Plus, when you add a new section to your website, how can you make sure that Google indexes it quickly?
According to Google, “If a site has fewer than a few thousand URLs, most of the time it will be crawled efficiently.” That means one thing for businesses with large websites, such as e-commerce stores or social media platforms: You need to work extra hard on your technical SEO.
Using The Three Pillars Of SEO Success To Your Advantage
Every SEO campaign and decision you make (as well as every challenge you encounter) will fall into these three categories, so when you’re trying to improve your strategy and figure out which direction you should take, simply go back to the pillars and remember what your main goal is with each of them.
Whether you want to earn more relevant links, work on your brand image and reputation, or take your technical SEO efforts to a new level, having a good foundation of knowledge means you’ll have a much easier time deciding which step to take next. Soon you’ll see that SEO is much simpler than it looks at first sight.