Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Above the Fold - Part 2 - Content and Structure

Search engines and structure

Now that we have gone through Part 1, our Keyword Analysis, I will now share the next step in  my methodology:  A Focus on Content and Structure.


Read any tome on SEO and Rankings, and you will no doubt read about the importance of content, and see the phrase, "Content is King".  Let's take the concept a step further.  We have gone through an analysis in Part I, built our keywords and phrases, and defined how we want to be found on the web.  A key theme here will be Content = Keywords in Context.  Have you ever gone to a site and scratched your head and said "What?". I see it quite often, especially in the tech industry: Content in the wrong context.  Keywords gone bad.  This usually occurs when organizations either have non-industry third parties write their content, just for content's sake, or have a junior individual new to the organization take on the content chore.  Obviously, it is paramount to include keywords and phrases within site content to drive rankings and traffic, but sites that lack a context for the key terms will usually have high bounce rates and low conversions.  

Structure and Dimensions

In Part 1, a key component to the step was to examine the top-ranked sites for desired keywords and phrases. If you go back to the exercise, and dig a little deeper, you will find that keywords are not only embedded within the content, but also core to the site structure: url paths, folders, file names and destination pages. Creating a site structure either through folders or categories ( in your CMS) can pay great dividends in driving traffic.  This creates another dimension within the site in which words and phrases can be expressed.  Along with structure, it is imperative to includes keywords and phrases within every "dimension" of the site:
  • File names, folders, categories, etc.
  • Meta tags: keywords, description, etc.
  • HTML titles
  • Alt tags
  • Image names
  • PDF brochure names
  • And anything else I missed
Creating keyword focused structural dimensions adds to your search engine pow.

Taking one or the other above is easy, a decent amount of work, but not rocket science.  The real challenge is to tie the two together, and create a flow and a meaningful user experience.

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