Truth be told, both technical SEO and on page SEO are equally important. It may not be an exact 50-50 split in terms of how important one is over the other, but you can’t have a successful site if one of the two is ignored.
Though they are both important, there is only so much one person can do when you are solely responsible for getting your site off of the ground. While you need to do both, one of them deserves more of your effort than the other one.
The technical aspect of SEO is sort of like the foundation of a building. To properly build on top of it, it needs to be solid and stable. The on-page SEO is the rest of the building. It is what makes one building prettier than another, but the structure of either is essentially the same.
Which is more important, then? In this article, we will take a closer look at each so you can see which one is the better option for you to devote your energy.
What is technical SEO?
The backend of your website is essentially what constitutes technical SEO. when you put in a bit of code that helps your site to load faster, then this is something that is going to help your SEO and is done with some expertise in a technical aspect.
Everything that gets done behind the scenes is essentially technical SEO. If you build your site on WordPress and use a theme that is very lean and not bogged down in too much superfluous code, then this helps your site rank as much as using the right combination of keywords.
All of these improvements are what will help your metrics that will allow Google to trust your site and want to help it rank. An example is if the site is too slow, then people will click back to the SERPs right away and this sends a signal to Google that your site shouldn’t rank.
What is on page SEO?
The content of your site is very important as it is what will make people want to spend time on your site. The more time they spend on the site, then the more likely Google will be to rank all of your content.
Everything you do with regards to the content is what is considered on page SEO. For instance, you need to structure each article in a way that now only allows a reader to get the information they seek, but also to help Google understand what the post is about.
Having the target keyword in the H1 tag, plus secondary or supporting keywords in the H2 tags will help Google to understand the topic of the article and also allow a reader to skim to get the information that they are looking for.
Interlinking related articles and also linking out to other sites that explain a concept in greater detail are all important aspects of on page SEO.
Where to focus
In a perfect world, you’re able to do both technical and on page SEO perfectly and your site is lacking nothing when it comes to ranking on Google. However, when you are doing everything yourself you have to devote your energy to the parts of the equation that will get the most results.
While you should be doing both, you can focus more effort on one over the other based on a couple of criteria.
The first is where your talents lie. If you have a knack for coding and thrive on the building of a website, then you should indeed focus more on the technical aspects as this is where your talent will have the biggest impact. More creative types that thrive on the writing or focusing on the content will see better results from making their focus the actual meat of the site.
The second thing is to evaluate the competition and go with what they seem to be lacking. When your competitor for your target keywords has great content, but the site loads slowly or is not mobile friendly, then you can beat it by focusing on the technical side of things.
Or, vice versa, the content is terrible and doesn’t really satisfy the user intent on the search term so you can create better content that helps the visitor more and will be rewarded by Google.
It’s a delicate balance, but once you understand what your site needs to be successful you can concentrate on those aspects and take your site to the next level.