Technical SEO vs. Content Marketing SEO: Which One Benefits You? – Built In

Technical SEO vs. Content Marketing SEO: Which One Benefits You? – Built In

SEO is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Like many marketing channels, there are different forms of SEO. Both technical SEO and content SEO will help you garner more organic traffic, but that does not necessarily mean you need to invest in both at this moment. Depending where your brand is, how many resources you have and what your goals are, one SEO pillar is likely more lucrative than the other.
Fortunately, there are some easy answers that can help you determine if technical SEO or content marketing SEO will provide a bigger bang for your buck. Here’s how.
What’s good for the user is good for SEO. If you keep this in mind as you produce XML / News . Digital Journal is not responsible for the content across your site, you’ll be fine.
More specifically, content SEO primarily focuses on content both the user and Googlebot see. It’s the content Google uses to help rank your pages over your competitors. Of course, there is likely a lot of content on your site, so which content applies to content marketing? The answer is all of it!
Nonetheless, SEO content writing usually revolves around a few key elements, all of which Google uses to determine your ranking. Those are:
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Technical SEO is made up of website and server practices that are intended to maximize site usability, search crawling and indexing. In other words, technical SEO helps Googlebot discover and understand your pages. Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes work that ensures a website is functioning correctly and that Google can actually take the content and show it on its search engine results pages (SERP).
There are hundreds of technical SEO projects — many of which fall within our 2021 SEO trends — but some of the most common are:
Now that you know the basics of both content marketing SEO and technical SEO, you have to decide which to invest in. Of course, the first answer is both. Any website that is serious about SEO needs to dedicate resources to each pillar. Sadly, most of us don’t have an endless marketing budget and many brands have to decide one or the other. If you fall into this bucket, the following analysis will help you determine which SEO pillar will provide a better ROI:
Anyone in marketing should be able to look at a similar webpage and tell which content is more effective. Whether it’s a superior design, more creative writing, more informed research or better internal linking, it’s usually clear which page will do better in the long term. This is where you should start.
Gather your top five competitors and then choose your 10 most important pages on your site. Chances are, you competitors will have similar pages. Go through each one by one and see how your pages stack up. Who has more content? Who answers more questions your users will have? Which pages offer a better conversion path? Which pages provide easy access to similar content? If the answers to all these questions are not you, then you need to invest in SEO content.
Next, look at your Google rankings compared to your competitors’. Most likely, the answers to your analysis above will be the same, but you should also check your official rankings. You can do this via GSC or rankings tools such as SEMRush, Moz and a swarm of others. If you’re newer to SEO, I highly recommend SEMrush. It’s a very easy tool to grasp and can help you immensely with content planning.
As you compare yourself to your competitors, go back to your answer above. If your content is better than your competitors’, but your rankings are lower, I would invest in technical SEO, as something beyond the content may be at play. However, if your content is worse and your rankings are lower, I would first invest in content SEO. After that is settled (which is never-ending, really), you should move into technical SEO as well.
GSC is Google’s way of messaging you directly about your website. It has a host of stats ranging from traffic, click-through rate, Core Web Vitals (speed), sitemaps and much more. However, a key report is the coverage section. This report tells you which pages Google is indexing or not indexing. In this section, GSC highlights four fields:
The names are pretty self-explanatory, but you should focus on your “Excluded” section. These are the pages Google can not or is choosing to not index for various reasons. Over the four fields, if more than 20 percent of your total sites’ URLs are “Excluded,” I highly recommend investing in technical SEO. While some of the excluded reasons may be due to thin content or duplicate content, the majority of the issues usually fall within the technical SEO arena. If less than 20 percent of your total URLs are in the “Excluded” or “Errors” fields, stay focused on content SEO.
Site performance will be an official ranking factor in 2021 (even though I think it already is). Google gave webmasters ample time to get their sites in tip-top shape, and that usually means this ranking change will be a big deal. As such, make sure your site is as fast as possible.
To analyze your site speed, first look at the Core Web Vitals report in GSC. Google will tell you which pages are poor, which ones need improvement and which ones are in good shape. Focus on the “Poor” URLs and get those pages in the “Good” condition. As you audit your Core Web Vitals, you’ll have to focus on these three metrics:
Beyond this report, you can also use Google PageSpeed Insights to look at URLs at an individual level and get a bit more data than GSC. It’s a bit more manual, but if you’re doing a whole website audit, I highly recommend you look at both tools.
If you have any speed issues (e.g. GSC URLs are poor or Google PageSpeed scores under 60), focus on technical SEO and immediately move site performance up your SEO roadmap.
Log files tell you where bots crawl your site. Earlier, I mentioned robots.txt and XML sitemaps. While you can tell Google where to go on your site, that does not mean it will visit those URLs as often as you wish. To confirm how often, you need to check your log files.
Log files are likely under lock and key by your CTO or other developers. Their formatting can be a bit technical, so you’ll likely need assistance. Once you get it, determine how often Google is crawling every section of your website. If it’s crawling nearly as often as the content is updated, you’re good. If not, there is likely a technical SEO issue, but there could also be an internal linking issue. Therefore, if you find a problem with your log files, I would first invest in technical SEO. If that does not fix the issue, go back and concentrate on internal linking.
After you’ve done all above, sit back and evaluate the resources at your company. How many developers are at your disposal? What is their bandwidth like? Where does SEO sit in the pecking order? How is the company doing right now? What major projects or issues are the tech teams focusing on?
All these questions will help you determine whether or not you can invest in technical SEO. A successful technical SEO roadmap requires careful prioritization, but if no one can work on even your most important tasks, what’s the point of wasting your time? Yes, it’s always worth bringing up major concerns (such as robots.txt issues, a large drop in traffic, lots of pages excluded, etc.) — but if the development team can’t get to a majority of your asks, focus on the areas you can update on your own like content SEO.
On the other hand, if the company is providing more resources to SEO, marketing and growth, don’t let it go to waste. Get your technical SEO work completed!
Hopefully, this exercise has made it clear which SEO pillar will be more lucrative for your specific business. If not…
Once you’ve decided which pillar to target, get to work! Before you know it, your content and technical SEO issues will vanish and your competitors will be chasing you up the Google ranks.
Read More Expert SEO Advice From Jacob Hurwith2021 SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore
Built In’s expert contributor network publishes thoughtful, solutions-oriented stories written by innovative tech professionals. It is the tech industry’s definitive destination for sharing compelling, first-person accounts of problem-solving on the road to innovation.


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