Optimize the four pillars of SEO
As it is probably clear by now, SEO is no longer just about adding a few keywords or writing good text. To make a website more findable, there are four pillars within search engine optimization to which you must devote time and attention:
- The technology of your website.
- The content on your website.
- The authority of your website.
- The UX of your website.
Below, we like to explain more about these four pillars, so you know what they mean and how to capitalize on them.
1) Technical SEO
Website technology is complex, especially if it is not your area of expertise. Search engines like Google value technically optimized websites. Visitors should not encounter 404 errors or have to wait endlessly for your website to load. As you can imagine, this causes irritation and a poor user experience for visitors. You want to avoid this, also because search engines, just like users, like relevant and user-friendly websites.
A technically optimized website increases usability for visitors and ensures that search engines visit and index all pages. Moreover, loading speed has a great influence on the conversion rate of a website . A fast website without errors and mistakes is therefore important for findability.
Below we have listed several examples of technical SEO points that apply to all websites:
- The SSL certificate
- The use of caching
- A responsive website (so your website can also be properly visited on mobile devices)
- The loading time of your website
- SEO friendly URL structure
- The XML Sitemap (overview of all pages for search engines)
- The robots.txt file
- Implementation and use of canonical tags
Technical SEO is one of the trickiest aspects of search engine optimization. The specialists at SmartRanking are happy to help you optimize the technique of your website.
2) Content optimization (on-page SEO)
Content is the second pillar of search engine optimization. The purpose of the content you place on your website is to inform your visitors. By providing relevant and valuable content that matches the search query or question, you ensure better findability on the right search terms. Once visitors find you, relevant content ensures that these visitors convert.
Content is not just about posting new content. On-page SEO, in our view, also includes improving existing pages and building out your website to help your user from a to z. Consider improving existing pages, including HTML headings, and adding a good about us page.
It’s important to note that Google knows well how long visitors stay on your website. In turn, Google uses these user signals to determine the relevance of your website and thus your rankings. The idea behind this is that visitors who find the answer to their question on your site will stay longer on your website. This immediately highlights the importance of good content. Content should match the search query of visitors, so always focus on your visitors when writing content.
To understand content properly, search engines have developed different algorithms. Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP), search engines know what your website is about, whether your content is correct and which search terms you should be shown on in search results.
Again, to avoid misunderstandings: content is more than just text. Also consider videos and images that are on your website and the structure of your texts. Parts you pay attention to in on-page SEO are:
- Using the right keywords in your texts
- The HTML headings on your page (such as the H1, H2 and H3)
- Uniquely written and easy to read content
- Good and scannable pages
- Avoiding duplicate content
- Use of optimized images3)
3) Authority (link building)
When it comes to authority within SEO, it is usually about link building. There are two types of authority within SEO: topical authority  and authority in the form of link building. Link building works, still, using the PageRank algorithm. Today, however, the PageRank algorithm is more complex and sophisticated than it was in 1996 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin introduced it .
So in this case, authority is about link building. The goal of link building is to increase the authority of your website so that Google considers you an authority within your field. To achieve this, you need to receive valuable inbound backlinks from external websites. Relevance and authority are two decisive aspects within link building. The better you do this, the more Google will see you as an authority. This sounds easy, but a wrong way of link building can be black hat SEO. This is automatically penalized by the algorithm , which has negative consequences for your findability.
Want to get busy with link building? We have a wide network to build an authoritative and relevant backlink profile for you. We do this naturally and manually, without violating Google’s guidelines. Link building is always part of a complete SEO strategy and we prioritize it based on the expected impact versus effort. Moreover, different optimizations within SEO affect each other. Therefore, in our opinion, it is not advisable to view link building separately from other SEO work.
4) UX and usability
Finally, UX and the usability of your website is becoming increasingly important. In addition to good technology, quality content and relevant backlinks, it is imperative that your website is user-friendly and matches what a visitor expects. As Google E-E-A-T and YMYL become increasingly important, so does UX .
UX and usability include:
- The design of your website.
- A good and logical navigation.
- An accessible website, also for people with (visual) impairments.
- Clear call to actions.
- Well-constructed pages that match your user’s expectations.
Should you outsource SEO or do it yourself?
Search engine optimization can be done yourself; you don’t need expensive tools or a senior consultant for this right away. Keep in mind that SEO is a time-consuming job and requires a lot of trial and error on your part. Especially with limited knowledge about this field. There are about 200 different factors that determine how your website ranks in search results. All those factors all have a different weighting, with what works for one website not guaranteeing success for another.
In addition to all these factors, SEO is known as an “endurance sport. Performing an optimization on your website today does not mean you will have risen in search results tomorrow. The results of search engine optimizations take longer to show, often taking between 6 and 12 months to see results .
The combination of many factors and longer-term results makes SEO tricky. A solid SEO strategy and a structured and planned implementation are therefore indispensable. It is up to you to decide whether you do this yourself or prefer to outsource. Do you choose to do SEO yourself? Then it is important to pierce through the myths and look up the right sources of information, there is still a lot of information being spread about “old school” SEO.
The difference between B2B and B2C SEO
Search engine optimization can be used for almost any website, regardless of the market you operate in. However, the strategy and approach will differ based on your target audience and their needs. It is important to take your target audience into account in a search engine optimization process, with the biggest distinction present between B2B SEO and B2C SEO. Among other things, this has to do with the decision stages and the decision process.