On-page SEO vs technical SEO: what is the difference?

If you’ve dipped your toes into the waters of digital marketing, you probably will have seen the term ‘SEO’ floating around.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it’s the practice of improving your website so it appears higher in Google search results. It also covers anything you do outside your website to improve your brand’s visibility in search engines (for example, getting a Yellow Pages Online listing).

SEO is important for every business, because the easier it is for people to find you through a Google search, the likelier it is they’ll get to know your brand and even become a customer.

That said, if you’re not familiar with it, it can be tricky to wrap your head around the different elements of SEO and how they can help your business.

So today we’re covering one of the fundamentals – the differences between on-page SEO and technical SEO.

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO, also called on-site SEO, is the process of optimising the content on your website to improve both your ranking in Google (and other search engines) and your user experience.

At its core, on-page SEO involves making it easier for Google’s search engine algorithm, and humans, to understand what each page on your website is all about.

This includes things like:

Creating fresh, quality content.

Website content that is relevant, original and easy to understand is crucial for on-page SEO and helps establish your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) with Google.

Meta data optimisation.

Meta data is the information that appears on search engine result pages (SERPs) for a web page. It includes the title of the page and its meta description (the text below the title). Meta data should contain relevant keywords, be clear, concise and relevant, and compel the reader to find out more.

Keyword optimisation.

Your website’s content should naturally include a variety of keywords that are relevant to your business and to the content topic.

Heading tags.

Heading tags (H1, H2, H3 and so on) separate the sections of a web page and make it simpler for both humans and search engines to skim and understand.

Image optimisation.

Including images in your content helps boost visibility in Google Images as well as general SERPs. Image meta data (titles and alt tags) also gives you another opportunity to rank for specific keywords.

Structured data.

Structuring the content on your web pages in bullet points, ordered lists and tables makes it more digestible for visitors and search engine algorithms. It also increases the likelihood that a page will appear as a featured rich snippet.

RELATED: Does getting on the first page of Google really matter?

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is related to the behind-the-scenes structure of your website. Rather than focusing on the content of your web pages like on-page SEO, technical SEO is concerned with making sure your website is set up so that search engines can easily find, organise and display your web pages in search results. This is known as crawling and indexing.

As the name suggests, technical SEO requires a little more technical know-how as it generally involves activities in the back-end code of your website. This includes steps such as:

  • Creating an XML sitemap – telling search engines about the pages, images and videos on your website.
  • Optimising your site’s architecture – organising your site in a logical and neat manner
  • Optimising your URL structure – choosing a clear, logical naming convention for your webpages.
  • Adding a robots.txt file – telling search engines which pages to index and which not to.
  • Adding breadcrumbs – including a trail of links on each page that guides users back to the start of their journey on your website.
  • Adding 301 redirects – redirecting URLs to tell your visitors and Google when a page has moved to a new location on your site.
  • Conducting a content audit – updating or removing non-valuable or duplicated content on your site.
  • Optimising page speed – making sure all the elements on your website load quickly.
  • Optimising for mobile – making sure your site is easy to view and navigate on mobile devices.
  • Adding schema markup – including pieces of HTML code to give search engines more information about the content of your web pages.

On-page SEO vs technical SEO checklist.

(Click on the image to download.)

Best practices for on-page and technical SEO.

On-page SEO.

1. Improve user experience: Make sure your website is easy to navigate with a clear structure that helps users find the information they need quickly. A good user experience keeps visitors engaged and encourages them to stay longer on your site.

2. Optimise for mobile: Since most searches are done on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. Ensure your site looks good and works well on all devices.

3. Use keywords strategically: Use relevant keywords naturally in your content, titles, headings, and URLs. Avoid overloading your pages with keywords, and instead, aim for a natural integration that enhances readability and relevance.

2. Ensure content freshness: Regularly update your content to keep it relevant and interesting. Fresh content attracts more visitors and signals to search engines that your site is active.

Technical SEO.

1. Enhance site speed: Speed up your website by optimising images, using browser caching, minimising code and employing content delivery networks (CDNs). Fast-loading sites improve user experience and are favored by search engines.

2. Ensure mobile-friendliness: Make sure your website is responsive and performs well on all devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets. A mobile-friendly site is crucial for good search engine rankings.

3. Use structured data: Implement structured data (schema markup) to help search engines understand your content better. This can enhance your search results with rich snippets, which can increase click-through rates.

4. Maintain clean URL structures: Create clear, descriptive URLs that reflect the content of your page. Avoid using long, complex URLs. Clean URLs are easier for both search engines and users to understand.

5. Conduct regular technical SEO audits: Use tools like Google’s Search Console to regularly check for and fix issues related to crawling, mobile usability and security. Regular audits help keep your site healthy and performing well.

Stay updated on SEO trends: SEO is always evolving. Keep up with the latest trends and updates to search engine algorithms to ensure your website stays competitive and compliant.

By following these best practices, you can ensure your website meets the technical requirements of search engines and provide a solid foundation for your content to rank well. Combining both on-page and technical SEO strategies will help improve your site’s visibility, user engagement and overall performance.

How a Yellow Pages Online listing improves your SEO.

One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to improve your online presence and rank higher on Google is to list your business on Yellow Pages Online. In fact,Yellow Pages Online listings appear on the first page of search results for nearly 650,000 keywords Australia-wide.*

From a free listing to a content-rich paid ad, we have a plan to suit your business and your budget. Talk to us about a Yellow Pages Online listing and start growing your business today.

*Ahrefs, correct as of December 2023

Grow your business with a listing on Yellow Pages Online.

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