Organize your content
Next up we’re going to design your pages and overall site architecture. Organizing your site in a logical way will impact on your success in search engine results.
Your website’s pages will be dictated by your keywords. Organize your keyword-targeted content to maximize search traffic.
For an e-commerce site you’ll have a number of product pages, usually organized by category pages.
For a site with a physical location, your pages will display your services, as well as your physical location.
For a personal site, your pages will be divided by your subject matter. For example a film review site might have topic categories for each article such as Coming Soon, Science Fiction, and Blu-Ray Reviews.
We’ve discussed our primary and secondary keywords. Now’s the time to get them into some kind of order. The thinking behind "Information architecture" is to get users to where they want to be, in as few clicks as possible.
For example, for an e-commerce site, you might want to pay special attention to:
These subcategories should be available from the homepage, and the site navigation so the user can find information interesting to them, without having to dig around.
When approaching your site’s architecture, look at how the biggest companies in your industry have designed theirs. You might want to follow a similar route with modification, or take a different route completely. How can you improve on the navigational architecture? Think about what actions you can do to make sure your site is better for your visitors than theirs.
When website content is unorganized, it can be difficult for readers and search engines to understand what the pages are about, in turn making it harder to rank for target keywords. A popular method of organizing content is via a content silo.
Silos group related content together creating a topical hierarchy. By siloing your site, you are establishing its keyword-based topical areas or themes. This process will clarify the message you want to send to search engines which will make your content overall more understandable.
To go about ‘Siloing’ a film review site, it would make logical sense to have a subcategory beneath the homepage for for each film category keyword—from horror, to drama and everything between. Each review will be at the bottom of the hierarchical structure. This pyramid style structure lends itself to all types of websites:
Plumbing Services > Toilet Repair
Custom Jewelry > Bracelets > Friendship Bracelets
Film Reviews > Film Noir > The Third Man
Your URLs should reflect your site architecture. A good URL structure describes the page’s place within the overall site structure, and shows a clear navigational path within that.
Take the URL above for example.The structure shows a clear path from the homepage, through the category level pages (bracelets), onto the sub-category pages (friendship-bracelets) and the final product page. Both you as a user and the search engine crawlers can instantly understand where the web page is in the site’s organization.