Technical SEO vs Content SEO: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between technical SEO vs content SEO?

SEO is often associated with the technical aspects of search engine optimization, such as improving site loading speed and organizing pages with a specific structure. That’s technical SEO.

However, you also need to balance technical SEO with compelling content that attracts new and repeat visitors to your site. 🧑‍💻

In this article, we’ll take a look at these two SEO types and how you can apply both of them to optimize your website.

📚 Table of contents:

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to all the techniques you might use to optimize your website for search engines to ensure that it’s crawlable, user-friendly, fast, and indexable. Search engines constantly crawl websites and follow links from one page to the next. They index the pages they find and store information about their content, links, and keywords. When someone searches for a keyword, the search engine will return the pages most relevant to the query in the results.

When we talk about technical SEO vs content SEO, we’re mostly talking about code-based techniques that require a web developer to test and implement improvements. Content SEO has the same end goal, but you can write content that’s optimized for SEO without any coding skills.

Best practices in technical SEO

If you want to improve technical SEO, there are a few steps you can take:

Indexing 🗂️

Search engines discover, store, and organize web pages through indexing. Make sure that there aren’t any “noindex” tags on your pages that will cause search engines to skip your content. You can also improve indexing by submitting your sitemap to the Google Search Console, using relevant keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions, and fixing any technical errors on your site. These include things like broken links and 404 errors, which might prevent your site from being indexed.

Page speed and performance 🚀

The load time and speed of your pages are very important for SEO. Simply put, search engines will penalize you if your site is slow. Compress your files, optimize images for the web, limit redirects, and cache data to improve your site speed. You can also learn more about improving page speed here.

Crawling 🐛

You can prevent search engines from crawling certain pages on your site using the robots.txt instructions in your root directory, such as low-value or duplicate pages. By preventing crawlers from accessing content that isn’t useful or important, you can improve your ranking.

Structured data 👨‍💻

Make sure that you use a schema markup or other form of structured data to help search engines establish the context of your pages and render your content as featured snippets in the search results.

Web security 🔒️

Site security can also impact your SEO, especially using an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) that creates encryption between a server and a browser. Make sure that your SSL certificate is up to date.

Benefits of technical SEO

There are several additional benefits to improving technical SEO vs content SEO. Like content SEO, improving technical SEO will help your site rank higher in search results, which will bring more visitors to your website. But a well-optimized site will also load much faster and be more user-friendly. This can also increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate.

The benefits include:

  • Improves the mobile user experience: By making sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, technical SEO can lead to increased traffic and conversions from mobile users.
  • Helps to improve the accessibility of your website: This can make your website more inclusive to visitors with disabilities, thereby allowing you to reach a wider audience.
  • Resolves technical issues: Your website’s performance or ranking may be hindered by technical issues. If you fix them, you will likely see improved search engine visibility and traffic.
  • Web analytics: Technical SEO can help you to collect and analyze web analytics data. This data can be used to improve your website’s performance. It can also help you make better decisions about your SEO strategy.

What is content SEO?

Content SEO is primarily concerned with the creation and optimization of content in order to engage and inform your target audience. Its goal is to improve your website’s ranking and drive more visitors to your site.

Good quality, unique content that is relevant to keyword searches and search intent will rank higher than lower-quality content. This is why it’s important to research topics carefully.

Key components of content SEO

When comparing technical SEO vs content SEO, you’ll notice there are significant differences as well as a few commonalities:

Keyword research and optimization

Keyword research identifies specific words and phrases that your readers or customers might use to find your content online. Keywords help search engines understand the topic and relevance of your content. This is why it’s important to use the keywords associated with the content you want to rank for.

Keyword optimization involves inserting these keywords into your content in a natural and meaningful way. It’s important to strike a balance between using keywords enough to signal relevance to search engines without overloading your content, which could be seen as keyword stuffing.

Search intent optimization

Search intent refers to the underlying purpose or motivation behind a user’s search query. The four main types are informational (seeking information), navigational (looking for a specific website), transactional (ready to make a purchase), and commercial investigation (comparing options before buying).

Search intent optimization means creating content that aligns with the searcher’s intent. This helps improve the user experience and increases the likelihood of your content ranking well when it accurately addresses what the searcher is looking for.

Off-page and on-page optimization

On-page optimization takes care of the elements directly on your website’s pages. It works by using relevant keywords in titles, headers, and body text, applying proper meta descriptions and alt tags for images, ensuring proper URL structures, and maintaining a clear and organized content layout. On-page optimization aims to make your content more readable for both users and search engines. It enhances the overall user experience.

Off-page optimization involves factors external to your website that influence its visibility and authority. One of the key components of off-page optimization is link building, e.g., obtaining high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites.

High-quality and relevant content

High-quality content is well-researched, accurate, informative, and engaging. It provides value to users and keeps them on your website longer, which can positively impact your search rankings. It’s important to create content that addresses your target audience’s common questions, interests, or problems. You can learn more about writing relevant SEO content in our useful guide.

The benefits of content SEO

Just like technical SEO, content SEO comes with a host of additional benefits:

  • Increases organic traffic: When you create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, it will be more likely to rank well in search engines and bring in new visitors.
  • Improves user experience: If your content is well-written and informative, it will keep users engaged and coming back for more, improving the overall user experience.
  • Helps you attract targeted traffic to your website: When you optimize your content for specific keywords, you will be more likely to attract people who are already interested in what you have to offer.
  • Offers a cost-effective way to market your business: Once you have created high-quality content, it can continue to attract traffic to your website for years to come without having to invest in paid advertising.

What are the differences between technical SEO vs content SEO?

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, it’s time to take a closer look at the differences between technical SEO vs content SEO:

Main focus and goals 💡

Technical SEO is mainly concerned with back-end optimization. This includes repairing broken links, using structured data, and improving loading speeds and site performance.

Content SEO uses keyword-targeted content (like blog posts and articles) that respond to search intent.

Elements ⚙️

Technical SEO involves improving search engine indexing and crawling, optimizing the site for mobile browsing, maintaining an SSL certificate, and other elements.

Content SEO involves creating and regularly updating content – in line with search intent and keyword research.

Google ranking factors 📊

Technical SEO focuses on Google ranking factors like having the correct tags used to classify the page’s content, the right meta title tags, using a schema markup content structure, maintaining an SSL certificate, and improving site speed.

Content SEO focuses on consistently publishing high-quality content that engages visitors and piques their interest. It also makes sure that the content matches the intent of the person doing the search.

Required skills and expertise 👨‍💻

You’ll need coding skills and advanced SEO knowledge to execute a technical SEO strategy. However, anyone with good copywriting skills and some knowledge of SEO fundamentals can produce SEO content.

Useful tools 🧰

If you want to implement a technical SEO strategy, you’ll use tools including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or SEMRush.

Content SEO will probably require some keyword research tools (SEMRush, Ahrefs) or SEO writing tools like Surfer SEO and Clearscope.

WordPress plugins like Yoast can assist you with both technical and content SEO.

Team members and collaboration 🙋‍♀️

To implement your technical SEO strategy, you’ll need to lean on an SEO strategist and web developer. If you want to focus on content SEO, you’ll need a writer, editor, SEO strategist, and graphic designer to execute your strategy. You may also want to use a campaign manager to promote your content and maximize your investment.

Last word on technical SEO vs content SEO 🧐

Technical and content SEO are equally important if you want your site to rank well. However, you need technical expertise if you want to implement a technical SEO strategy; anyone with basic copywriting and research skills can apply a solid content SEO strategy and enjoy the benefits.

👉 For more tips and tricks to improve SEO on your WordPress site, check out our useful article on WordPress SEO.

If you have any questions on technical SEO vs content SEO (plus how it relates to WordPress), let us know in the comments below.

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