This AI generated image shows a human pyramid with three people wearing blue shirts on the bottom layer and three people wearing red shirts making up the 2nd and the top layer. It was created for a blog post titled "What are the 4 pillars of SEO?".
This entry is part 40 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

The lead post in this series is Mastering Topical Authority: A Comprehensive Guide to Boost Your SEO.

How did a post about the 4 pillars of SEO wind up in a series of posts about topical authority? Because the topical mapping tool AlsoAsked identified the question of blog post title as being related to the idea of topical authority.

But since this topic, and each of the four subtopics below, is discussed extensively on thousands of other websites, this post gives a fairly short description of each.

As you can easily find details elsewhere, the purpose of this post is to give a concise overview.


This is both the tie in to the idea of topical authority (a little more on that below), and the main pillar of SEO, as without good content the others are meaningless.

In a very real sense, the other pillars hold this one up.

Topical authority is best thought of as a framework to help you generate better quality content. Content that answers questions people ask.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is all the things needed for a website to be easy to for search engine spiders to crawl and index.

It includes:

  • Site architecture
  • Site/page speed
  • Mobile optimization
  • The robots.txt file
  • XML sitemaps
  • Schema markup

To learn more about all of the above, click the link above to read an excellent article on technical SEO on the ahrefs website.

On site/page SEO

The focus here is to optimize individual pages. On page SEO is about the HTML code on the page in question.

Important aspects of the page HTML are:

  • Site navigation (menus, breadcrumbs, etc)
  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Use of H2, H3, H4, etc section header tags
  • Image alt tags
  • Schema markup
  • Internal link structure

Off site SEO

Off page SEO is about what others think of you.

What is considered most important is backlinks.

An SEO consultant I met once said “Links show you’re known by the right people” and I find that perspective to be very healthy.

But it also conveys that links can show you’re known by the wrong people, which is also true.

But off site SEO does not stop by links. It also include brand mentions and content engagement, both on your website and on social media sites.

In closing

The four pillars of SEO are:

  • Content
  • Technical SEO
  • On site/page factors
  • Off site/page factors
Series Navigation<< What is a good SEO Authority score?How do I find my Domain Authority? >>

Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see.

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