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Successful Information Architecture – A4U Expo London 2010

12 October 2010 BY

This is a post describing the presentation done by Richard Baxter at A4U Expo London 2010

What is Information Architecture?

This can be explained by the ability to ensure users and crawlers can traverse to the lowest tier of content on your website. This is important because it gives you the ability to flow authority down into your pages.

This is because often the lowest level of content gets starved of link juice/page rank which restricts its ability to rank for a range of keywords. AND since longer tail keyphrases are more liekly to convert it is very valuable to look at this.

Think about homepage:

Rules:

  • No more than 3 clicks, always no more than 4
  • Before think about SA think about how users are searching for products/service
  • Keyword research influences site architecture, heavily.
  • Identify need to create new content in order to design SA properly
  • Use data to find out what content you need

Start Keyword Mapping

There should be 3 distinct levels to the keyword mapping:

  • Generic
  • Destination
  • Route

PRO TIP:

The software Visio is useful to map out content types and to gain a better understandign of what content you want to go where. This automatically allows you to see distinct levels of categorisation.

Navigation and Cross Links

  • Use web developer tools to analyse source code and ensure links and navigation are search engine friendly
  • Turn off JavaScript and CSS and see what remains
  • Analyse important internal pages and then re-assign internal links
  • Additionally look at analytics and input internal links again to distribute traffic

Strategies for Cross Linking:

Generate words that will aid users on site:

  • Popular products
  • Best reviewed

On Page

There is and has been a huge issue surrounding duplicate content across websites.
One trick is to utilise UGC – site owners who have the ability to get users to work for you can help resolve these issues.

Tools to create unique content
-    Odesk
-    eLance

Tips to help Site Architecture

  • Getting breadcrumbs right
  • Appropriate Header tags
  • Utilise UGC in product pages – syndicate this content into category pages
  • Use navigational elements more effectively (most popular – have them for each category) (related searches) Use h review aggregate to do this
  • Review internal search engine – take data and display it on category pages to link through

Micro Formats

Presenting information properly you can provide rich snippets of content to search engines

UGC Review tips

Pull through review content to high level category pages or even homepages to aid internal linking but also the flow of traffic through your site

If you have key-phrases that expire (vouchers products offers ( keep the UGC for rainy day)

Technical Issues

  • Webmaster tools – informs you about duplicate meta descriptions and titles
  • IIS SEO Tool kit – Give you heads up on what is wrong with your site
  • Manage clicks from homepage to lowest content page
  • Click depth with both IIS and Xenu Link Sleuth
  • Pages with few links deep down would perform better with additional focus
  • Site speed is important for engagement metrics – It has a direct correlation with other key metrics such as page views
  • and time on site

PRO TIP:

Bing has shown on larger sites that there is an increase of the amount of sites that can be crawled if the server returns the correct status – 304 not modified response – although if you code this incorrectly it can take longer.

AUTHORED BY:
h

Sam Murray graduated from University with a BA (Hons) in Marketing in 2007 and wrote his 10,000 word dissertation on Search Marketing. Sam is a freelance search manager.