So you’re probably aware of the 3 SEO pillars, right?
You have on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation and technical optimisation.
What do each of these pillars entail, and how do they differ from each other? Let’s delve into them!
Let’s start with on-page SEO.
So, typically, when we talk about on-page optimisation, we’re particularly focused on content, and how the content is designed and shaped on a website, and seen by search engines – and of course, users.
On-page SEO tends to require an SEO working with Copywriters, or, in essence, the Creative team.
This may include Copy, Designers, even Web Editors.
Any, and everyone, involved with the creation of content for the site, an SEO will work closely with them, for on-page optimisation.
A tech SEO person looks at a site from a technical point of view, ensuring the site is crawlable.
This is the foundation of technical SEO – to ensure a site can be crawled, and crawled easily, by search engines.
Tech SEOs tend to predominantly work closely with Web Developers – both front end and back end, and even midware Developers.
Off-Page SEOs work to improve the visibility of a site, outside of the domain.
You can think of this area of SEO as the promotion of a site, from an SEO point of view.
And from an SEO point of view, this is for the purpose of attaining interactivity of a site, on other sites.
All of this is a long winded way of saying link building, or link earning – however you want to call it.
Off-page SEOs rub shoulders, or should I say, bump heads, with PR, who also get coverage, or exposure, of a site.
Bloggers, or website owners, are people Off-page SEOs also work with, as part of the goal to attain links – backlinks, in a strategic manner, for the sake of SEO.
Now, each one of these 3 pillars are important to SEO.
And some would argue that the best SEO is when you have all 3 of these pillars working concurrently.
There are, of course, crossovers between the pillars.
For example, the site structure of a site can fall within on-page SEO, as part of this remit.
Or, it can be considered a technical area and should be tackled when optimising the site, technically.
Either, or, is fine.
The important thing with a piece of work that crosses over between the pillars is to ensure there is an agreement on where the work sits, and to communicate this agreement so it’s clear to all involved.
Now, when hiring an SEO, whether the hire be in-house, a contractor, or an agency, what type of background would you expect to see from an SEO who works within these pillars?
Well, an On-page SEO tends to have a Copywriting or Editing background – a background where they’re very sound with the full process of creating content intended to drive traffic.
And by full process, I’m including the research, or ideation phase, as well as the auditing and analysis phase of content production. An On-page SEO person should be familiar with this.
A tech SEO can have a Developer background, or even a Web Editor background where they’re familiar with how CMSs function.
And, of course, an Off-page SEO can have a Blogger, or indeed, a PR background where they’ve worked with site owners and are outgoing and enjoy socialising, meeting people, event planning, etc, etc.
Now, it’s not uncommon to have SEOs who only focus on one pillar of SEO.
In fact, there are some companies, especially agencies who structure their departments that way.
You’ll have a Tech SEO, an On-page SEO and an Off-page SEO looking after their respective area, with a Head of SEO that they all report to.
Other SEOs cover all pillars of SEO, and is more adaptable based on the state of one’s website, and the status of the company’s SEO journey.
So you may be wondering…
Are these the only areas of SEO – these 3 pillars?
Well, not quite!
These are the main pillars, yes. However, there are other areas of SEO that doesn’t necessarily fit into these 3 pillars.
Companies continue to invest in upskilling non-SEOs about SEO.
The need to evangelise SEO in a business is such a big requirement, it’s branching into its own area.
This is where you get the idea of workshops and seminars for a variety of departments.
The idea of optimisation in this area is less so on what is done on a website, and more on what is done for the people who influence the website – i.e. the internal team behind a website.
This is an area of SEO I see expanding in the years to come, and the more it expands, the more it’ll form into its own established pillar of SEO.
For now, evangelism tends to be led by the Head of SEO.
This, SEO evangelism, covers each of the 3 pillars of SEO, depending on who the audience is, and what the needs are.
Something else you may be wondering is around the world of data.
Where does SEO Analytics fit in?
Well, the analysis of a site is carried out within the pillar the analysis is needed in.
Analysis is a core piece within each pillar of SEO.
So, the tech SEO would use data as part of the tech audit of a site.
An Off-page SEO would use data that’s for their activities, and an On-page would do the same for their requirements.
It’s the same thing with SEO reporting. This falls within the area being reported on.
SEO is wide and complex!
I dare say, it’s the vastest, and most complex Digital Marketing channel.
These pillars help contain the channel in a structure that’s manageable.
The pillars are there to give structure to operational work.
It allows you to strategize with the channel, almost as its own business plan, which is worked on to get you results.
It allows you to streamline your approach so you’re optimising with a business agenda, rather than SEOing for the sake of SEO.