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What is a strong and sturdy structure without those supporting pillars? In this particular case, the structure we’re referring to is your SEO strategy, and there are 4 pillars that you need to be across if it’s going to deliver the results your business needs.

At 427, we have expertise in the main 4 areas of SEO, so it’s our pleasure to introduce them to you, and how they each bring something to your search success.

What are the 4 pillars of SEO?

As an overview, these are the 4 pillars of SEO to work through, so that you’re getting on the good side of Google with every base covered:


This is page and blog content that informs your user, answering any questions they may have.

Technical SEO

This primes your website ready for successful crawling and indexing by search engines.

On-site SEO

This optimisation of the content and the HTML on your site gives it an appeal to search engines.

Off-site SEO

These are the activities that come together independent of your website to build trust and authority in your brand.

Let’s look at these in a little more detail.

Pillar 1 - Content

What would your website be without its content?! At a basic level, the content held by your website’s design should tell users what your business does, where you do it, who you do it for, and why they should invest their money in your products or services. This can take the form of page content, or blog articles.

However, going beyond the basics, good content should help users get to their end goal, by fostering their trust in you as an industry expert, and answering their questions before they even think to ask them.

While content might seem like a vast part of SEO to tackle at first, we’d strongly recommend creating each piece with E-E-A-T in mind - this makes it easier, we promise! These are handy guidelines set out by Google themselves, and they detail what Google’s Quality Raters look for in content that will genuinely be useful to users.

Helpful content gets rewarded by Google with higher rankings, and E-E-A-T keeps you on the straight and narrow. So too does self-assessing your content using Google’s own content criteria.

Pillar 2 - Technical SEO

Technical SEO isn’t as scary as it sounds - well, we don’t think so anyway. Think of technical SEO as the part that helps Google ‘crawl’ your pages; they do this to understand what your site’s about, and how to rank it accordingly.

Chances are that your website CMS (Content Management System) already has a good way to handle technical SEO - and it’s nothing that a good SEO agency can’t manage. However, if you want to be across it yourself, these are the areas to focus on:

· Crawling: Is your site able to be crawled by a Google bot? 

· The mobile experience: Is your site suited to all mobile devices? 

· Hierarchy: Is each page organised sensibly, so that categorisation is easy?

· Site speed: Do your web pages load quickly, preventing frustration and lost traffic?

· Technology: Is your website available to search engines?

· Indexing: Can a search engine tell what pages there are to index? 

It makes sense that the bigger your site, the more technical SEO becomes something to spend a lot of time on. To keep on top of your technical SEO, use the resources available on your CMS, the expertise of your developer, and guidance from an SEO specialist if necessary.

Pillar 3 - On-site SEO

On-site SEO refers to the optimisation of your web pages, from the front end of the site (the bit you see) more than the back end (which is covered by technical SEO).

On-site SEO is the umbrella under which you structure your site - this means that the menu should make sense, with main pages forming the top level, followed by sub pages. This is for Google to understand your site as well as for your users to easily navigate around it to what they need.

Once you’ve got your site structure down, you can turn your attention to the individual pages. Here’s what to look as as part of your on-site SEO efforts:

Well researched keywords

If you’re not using the words and terms that are being searched for by your audience, how will they find you? There are so many tools out there that help you gain an understanding of what is actually being searched for in your industry, so using these can help you weave these keywords and phrases naturally through your page content.

Page titles

Following on from keyword research, your page titles should be inclusive of the relevant key words and phrases that you found.

Meta descriptions

These are the descriptions a searcher sees on the results page under the main link - it can make all the difference in whether they click or not! Don’t waste this opportunity.


Your URLs shouldn’t be overcomplicated, and they should be a true reflection of the page.

Calls to action

Once a user has read your content, what should they do next? Make the user journey easy by clearly suggesting the next step via a Call To Action (also known as a CTA).


This includes the natural use of keywords, as well as helpful content that is genuinely valuable to the user.

User experience

The user experience (or UX for short) hinges on your site being easy to navigate, and straightforward to understand. This is everything from menu and button placement, to headings and images.

Structured data markup

Structured data, which is also referred to as schema markup, is code that helps search engines understand what’s on the page; it’s a language that Google understands, basically. By using it, you’re telling Google exactly what a web page contains in a way that it can easily show searchers. Understanding how to use schema markup data is important if you want to rise through the rankings.

On-site SEO is an ongoing process, and should be regularly reviewed to keep your pages optimised, and therefore give them a good chance of ranking well.

Pillar 4 - Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO is all about building your authority, leveraging external sources to point favourably at your website. Authority is the ‘A’ in E-E-A-T, so it’s something Google looks for before it ranks a site well.

The main part of off-site SEO is link building; the process of earning backlinks from authoritative websites. For example, if BBC News links to your site in one of their articles, it shows Google that a well known, trusted domain has chosen to trust your content, which signals to them that it’s something other users may also find helpful: up go your rankings!

Of course, link building is nuanced, and we could talk about it at length (and we have), but the main crux of it is that you should continue to produce helpful content in line with E-E-A-T guidelines. It’s all about providing value!

Ready to tackle the 4 pillars?

A successful SEO strategy hinges on all of the above, but you don’t have to go it alone. SEO is a full time job, and as it happens to be ours, we help busy business owners earn good positions in the SERPs without a huge time commitment.

The 427 team brings specialities that cover all 4 pillars, so we take a well-rounded approach to the success of your site. If that sounds like help you could use, there’s no better time to get involved; get in touch with us today and let us help 2024 be the year your site soars.

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About Chris Simmons

Chris is our onpage SEO Specialist at 427 Marketing, having joined the team in early 2023. He works with our content team to cover the 4 pillars of SEO; content, onpage SEO, technical SEO and offpage SEO. Prior to joining the 427 Marketing team, Chris spent almost 10 years applying his SEO and content skills across several different industries in marketing agency and inhouse roles including tool hire, auctioneering, health care within the NHS and high end luxury retail in both B2B and B2C capacities. His passion for writing, content, UX, technical and on page SEO has expanded our content offerings, helping provide reliable advice about all things SEO to 427 Marketing.

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