Holistic SEO: Improve every aspect of your website

At Yoast, we try to combat the notion that SEO is just a trick. While tricks might get you ranked quickly, they usually don’t work in the long run, and they might even backfire. Permanently ranking well in Google demands an extensive SEO strategy focused on every aspect of your website; the technical stuff, the user experience, the content on your website and the security of your website all need to be in order. So, to keep ranking well in Google, you should develop a holistic SEO approach. Let me explain what that is, here.

What is holistic SEO?

Holistic SEO (search engine optimization) refers to improving all important aspects of a website to make it rank higher in the search engines. The ultimate goal is to make a website fulfill its users’ needs on all levels. Not only by providing the right information at the right time, but also by being easy and safe to use. To reach this goal, website owners should, at least, focus on the following aspects of their site:

Why a holistic SEO approach?

Google’s mission is to build the perfect search engine that helps people find what they are looking for, whether that’s the answer to “Where is Wijchen?”, a recipe for apple pie or the best toaster. Making your website and your marketing strategy fit this goal is the way to go. (Which doesn’t mean that if Google says jump, you ask, how high?).

While Google has changed its algorithm numerous times, most of our advice has remained the same ever since we started. This advice is simple (which doesn’t mean it’s easy though!): you have to make sure your site is exceptionally good. Having a website with high-quality content, offering a great user experience and up to date security will not instantly improve your ranking. In the long run, though, it will definitely have a positive effect on your SEO!

Did you know? A holistic SEO approach is also better for the environment! Find out more in Ari’s post about sustainable website growth and the role of SEO.

Great websites tend to get more links from other websites and will also receive more social media attention. On top of that, people behave differently on a website which they like, compared to a website they don’t understand. Google uses these kinds of user signals to find out how people experience your site.

Awesome websites will also result in higher conversions. If your audience likes and understands your website, the chance of them buying your products or returning to your website is, of course, much higher.

Read more: Everyday website optimization: 6 tasks for your daily SEO routine »

Learn SEO, the holistic way

Sure, you say, but where to start? We understand you might feel overwhelmed by this advice. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your knowledge about the above-mentioned topics.

For starters, we offer a free SEO for beginners course, a great starting point to learn how SEO works. If you really want to put this knowledge to practice, consider trying our All-around SEO training, you’ll get lots of hands-on tips to start improving many aspects of your own site. Just want to read? Check out these beginners’ guides to help you get started!

Keep reading: Link building from a holistic SEO perspective »

Coming up next!

4 Responses to Holistic SEO: Improve every aspect of your website

  1. BrodNeil
    BrodNeil  • 2 years ago

    Thank you for this post on Holistic SEO. You mentioned about “a great user experience;” I agree with it. I’m glad site speed falls under this category.

    Sadly, site speed is either often neglected by many SEO’s and webmasters; or simply they are stuck with it. Something which an average WP administrator would find it really hard to achieve. This may entail a “real” WP expert or more resources.

    I do hope Yoast can have more on this topic since a lot of WP sites are converting to static generated sites simply because of the WP page speed. (In case i have missed it this post, please direct me to it.)

    Again, all the best to Yoast and its team. You’ve been my number 1 source of information for many years when it comes to WordPress SEO.

  2. Anil Agarwal
    Anil Agarwal  • 3 years ago

    That’s for sure. Holistic approach is the best way to get desired results on Google search in the long run.

    If users are liking our website content, everything else will get better automatically. By everything, I mean Google rankings, conversions, social shares and engagement metrics.


    • Willemien Hallebeek

      Hi Anil, Thanks for your comment. We’re definitely on the same page!