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Fitzwilliam Institute - Website Architecture, Red Cardinal, Dec 10 2008
 

Fitzwilliam Institute - Website Architecture, Red Cardinal, Dec 10 2008

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Slides from lecture given at Fitzwilliam Institute, Dublin Ireland, on Dec 10 2008 by Richard Hearne, Red Cardinal Ltd.

Slides from lecture given at Fitzwilliam Institute, Dublin Ireland, on Dec 10 2008 by Richard Hearne, Red Cardinal Ltd.

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    Fitzwilliam Institute - Website Architecture, Red Cardinal, Dec 10 2008 Fitzwilliam Institute - Website Architecture, Red Cardinal, Dec 10 2008 Presentation Transcript

    • Website Architecture How To Build A Website For Search Engines & Visitors Richard Hearne :: www.redcardinal.ie December 10 2008 Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • i. Introduction Who? Richard Hearne Red Cardinal Ltd – www.redcardinal.ie What? Search Engine Optimisation Website Usability Conversion Optimisation Web Strategy Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • ii. What We’ll Cover This Evening Site Architecture Introduction – what is it, and why should I care? SEO – 101 Primer Site Architecture for Usability Site Architecture for SEO Website Audit - Diagnostic Tools & Tests Review Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 1.1 Site Architecture – what is it? Site Architecture: ...an approach to the design and planning of websites which, like architecture itself involves technical, aesthetic and functional criteria. As in traditional architecture, the focus is properly on the user and on user requirements. This requires particular attention to web content, a business plan, usability, interaction design, information architecture and web design. For effective Search Engine Optimisation it is necessary to have an appreciation of how a single website relates to the World Wide Web. Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2. SEO 101 Primer SEO: The manipulation of on-site and off-site factors to deliver the highest organic search engine visibility for keyword-searches likely to benefit your business‟ bottom-line. Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.1 SEO 101 – Some Stats To Get You Thinking 65% 90% Probably more than 65% of Likely number of searchers searchers never leave who click on Organic Page 1 listings. More commercial searches may get 25-30% clicks on Paid! Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.2 SEO 101 – SEO Vs. PPC ORGANIC SPONSORED Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.3 SEO 101 – Click Through Rates 42% 12% 8% #10 gets About 2% of clicks Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.4 SEO 101 – Ranking Algos Relevance Authority • Search Phrase in title? • Age of site • Search Phrase on page? • Domain trust • Search Phrase in inbound • Backlink profile anchors? • Inbound links? • Domain theme? WARNING: Google likely uses 200+ signals in its ranking algorithm Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.5 SEO 101 – EXERCISE 1 1. Go to www.google.ie 2. Enter a non-branded search term related to your business or service (e.g. „plumber in dublin‟, „flights to spain‟) 3. Check the top 10 results – how many include the search term in the displayed result title? Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6 SEO 101 – 10 Rules For SEO Success 1. Good Site Architecture 2. Unique Relevant Page Titles 3. High Quality Page Copy – Include Keywords 4. Internal Linking 5. Help The Bots 6. Reach Out – Build Quality Links 7. Avoid Flash and JavaScript (for content) 8. Set Up Your Server to Kill Duplicate Content 9. Use Tools from Search Engines 10. Don‟t Gamble Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.1 SEO 101 – Good Site Architecture We’ll talk more about site architecture a little later  For now let‟s try another exercise: 1. Go to www.google.com 2. Search for the name of your business (e.g. „fitzwilliam institute‟) 3. If your business name is quite unique you should expect your site to return at #1 Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.2 SEO 101 – Unique Relevant Page Titles Page Titles Are One of the Strongest SEO Signals http://www.google.ie/search?q=skoda+oil+cooler What Makes a Good Page Title? • Includes Targeted Keyword • Relevant to page • Unique • Less than 70 characters • Is Human-Readable We‟ll return to page titles when we check out Tools! Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.3 SEO 101 – High Quality Page Copy Search Engines primarily index text Quality copy attracts quality links Visitors more likely to „act‟ Builds authority Include relevant keywords on-page – title, description, header, content, link anchors Fresh content may be a „signal‟ to search engines Beware „Thin Content‟ – ROT: Min 200 Words p.p. Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.3.1 SEO 101 – EXCERCISE 2: Keywords How can I find out what keywords to use? Adwords is a goldmine : 1. Login to http://adwords.google.com 2. Go to Reports -> Create Report -> Click Search Query Performance, Level of Detail = “Account”, View = “summary” -> Create Report Other Tools: 1. http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ 2. http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html 3. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.4 SEO 101 – Internal Linking Navigation Boiler-Plate Contextual Linking – WikiPedia 100 Links per page! Always use strong anchor text - ”Click Here” Signal current location, e.g. Breadcrumb, active state http://developer.yahoo.com/ ypatterns/index.php Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.5 SEO 101 – Help The Bots Search Engines “bots” crawl the web They discover content via “links” Sometimes bots cant access pages due to weak architecture Sometimes you want to block bots “Canonicalisation” Robots.txt XML Sitemaps Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.5.1 SEO 101 – EXCERCISE 3: Helping the Bots How can I check for robots.txt? 1. In your browser enter http://www.mysite.com/robots.txt What use is an XML Sitemap? 1. Tells search engines about your pages 2. May assist in search engine discovery of your content 3. Try http://www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml What is “Canonicalisation”? 1. Generally when your server serves content on both www and non- www URLs 2. Try http://www.mysite.com and then http://mysite.com 3. If content on both then you‟re not helping the bots Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.6 SEO 101 – Reach Out, Build Links Hyperlinks one of the most important „signals‟ Anchor text used is all important Reach out to your partners and immediate network and ask (beg) for links Reach out to sites that link inappropriately and request changes See who links to your competition - replicate All POCs – PRs, Emails, Newsletter, RSS etc. Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.7 SEO 101 – Avoid Flash and JavaScript (for content) Flash & JavaScript: Media  Functionality  Copy  Navigation  Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.8 SEO 101 – Set Up Your Server to Kill Dupe Content Back to Canonicalisation and duplicate URLs Let‟s introduce Google‟s “site:” operator: 1. Go to www.google.com 2. Enter site:www.mysite.com This tells you how many pages Google has indexed from your site 3. Go to the last page – do you see “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the [xxx] already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”? Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.9 SEO 101 – Use Tools from Search Engines We’ll talk a lot more about tools shortly  For now let‟s try another exercise: 1. Go to www.google.com 2. Search for the name of your business (e.g. „fitzwilliam institute‟) 3. If your business name is quite unique you should expect your site to return at #1 Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.6.10 SEO 101 – Don‟t Gamble SEO can often be “Rocket Science” If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Make sure you know and understand what your SEO is doing at all times. A ban is a nasty thing to have to explain. Cheating is not a long-term sustainable SEO strategy. Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 2.7 SEO 101 – Review You should now be able to: 1. See how many pages Google has indexed from your site 2. See if Google has crawled and indexed duplicate content on your site 3. Conduct some basic keyword research 4. Find robots.txt and sitemap.xml on your site 5. See if your site suffers from canonical URLs 6. Understand the basics of SEO  Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3 Website Architecture 1. Public-facing HTML pages, images and folders NB - We‟re not worried about back-end architecture 2. Architecture includes navigation structures 3. Determines how visitors and users access our content, and directly contributes to User eXperience (“UX”) 4. Determines how Search Engines access our content 5. May determine the overall success of your site! Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.1 Site Architecture – why should I care? Good Architecture Bad Architecture Usability Quickly to-the- Clumsy & point bouncing out Navigation I know where I‟m Where am I? Get going me out of here SEO Pages found, Poor search indexed & ranked visibility Conversions Improve goal Increased drop- success out Maintenance Intuitive patterns Hello 404 Page & structures Not Found Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.2 Site Architecture – Basic Types Basic Architectural Types: Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.3 Website Architecture – Most important pages From an IA perspective pages near the top of the pyramid are generally more important From an website architecture point of view click-paths determine importance Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.3.1 Website Architecture – EXERCISE 1: Click-Paths Home T1P1 T1P2 T2P1 T2P2 T3P1 T3P2 T3P3 T3P4 T3P5 Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.4 Website Architecture – The Filing Cabinet Analogy Cabinet = Domain Drawer = Primary Site Category Folder = Secondary Site Category File = Tertiary Site Category Document = Product Item Page Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.4.1 Website Architecture – EXERCISE 2: Find a spare bulb! 1. Go to http://www.micksgarage.ie 2. Find a spare headlight for your make and model of car Category = “Bulbs” Drawer = “Alfa Romeo” Folder = “date range” File = “Bulb Type” Document = “More Details” Did you find the bulb for your car? Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.5 Website Architecture Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.5.1 Website Architecture – EXERCISE 3: Map MicksGarage.ie Home Buy or My Your Feedb Depts News Sell accou Baske Faq Info Blog ack Cars nt t Car Make Part Finder Downl Model oads Engin About Year e Us Speci Produ als cts Sitem Produ ap ct Conta ct Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.6 Site Architecture – Which Is Best For smaller sites, say <25 pages, I generally advise go flat with 1-2 tiers: For medium-to-medium sized sites, I’d build around my users: Keep the clickpath to a minimum – make it as quick and painless for me to drill down to the content that matters Build around a taxonomy that makes sense to users not to the business Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.7 Website Architecture – Large Site Usability 1. Generally sites with > 100-200 pages require site search. Research shows that 10-20% of site users will avail of search, the remainder using navigational links. 2. Larger sites can also benefit from a BreadCrumb Did anyone notice that the breadcrumb on MicksGarage.ie was broken? Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.8 Website Architecture – Death by Pagination 1. Pagination is the use of multiple pages to display large numbers of entries. Most commonly found in large ecommerce sites 2. Would you page through all 88 pages? 3. Pagination also causes SEO issues 4. The best sites generally avoid using pagination devices Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.9 Website Architecture – Qualitative data Analytics are your friend – stats are a fantastic weapon when justification is needed to make changes and take risks But analytics only tell you what – QUANTITATIVE Qualitative data is the holy grail – use online surveys to gather qualitative data from your users http://4q.iperceptions.com – free qualitative data! Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.10 Website Architecture – Thoughts on Conversion What is the ultimate goal of your site? What do you want visitors to do? Do you make it easy for them to act? Have you used clear cues to prompt users? Have you tested? Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 3.11 Website Architecture – Review & Recap 2 Main factors that should determine your architecture: 1. Your content 2. Your users Always build taxonomies around usability, don‟t ever take your own word for it! Consider conversion paths, and use strong calls-to-action For smaller sites keep your structure flat, larger sites can go deep but try to remain within 4 tiers Use site search, breadcrumbs, and design best principles Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4 Website Architecture for SEO What We‟ll (try to) cover: 1. How Search Engines value pages 2. The difference between internal and external links 3. What a click-path is and why it matters 4. How we can use free tools to find and diagnose site problems Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4.1 Website Architecture for SEO – Quick Overview 1. Search Engines value pages based on links pointing at those pages 2. Links can be internal (from within your site), or external (from other websites) 3. The number of clicks from your homepage sends a signal to search engines of the general importance of the deep page 4. Search Engines give you so much „equity‟ – the more crap they find the more equity you lose 5. For larger sites getting architecture right can lead to serious bottom-line improvements Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4.2 Website Architecture for SEO – Click-Paths Home T1P1 T1P2 T2P1 T2P2 T3P1 T3P2 T3P3 T3P4 T3P5 In this case T1P1, T2P2 and T3P5 all have equal click-paths from Homepage Copyright © 2007 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4.3 Site Architecture for SEO – Flat Types Flat architectures can benefit SEO: But be aware of another SEO RUT: Try to keep the number of links on any page under 100! Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4.4 Site Architecture for SEO – Duplicate Content What happens when search engines find duplicate content? Home www.micksgarage.ie/ www.micksgarage.ie/ CarSpec.aspx?mode Skoda_Oil+Coolers =drilldown&DeptID=2 46&Make=Skoda Page Page Page 1 2 Canonicalisation (discussed earlier) is another form of duplicate content Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 4.5 Site Architecture for SEO – Time for a change  Let’s find out how we can get Google to tell us about our site problems! https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • 5. Website Audit 1. Check that your site is indexed by Google - Query “site:www.mysite.com” (without the quotes) on google.com 2. Check for Canonicalisation - Does your site resolve on both www and non-www? 3. Check for duplicate content - Using the same site operator from (1) above go to the last result page, check for “In order to show you the most...” - Then take any string of text from your page, enter it into Google surrounded by double-quotes, and search 4. Check for duplicate page titles and Meta Descriptions - Using Google Webmaster Tools – Diagnostics -> Content Analysis 5. Are all your key pages within one or two clicks of homepage? - Do you know what your key pages are? 6. Are you using robots.txt or an XML sitemap? - Do you know what your key pages are? 7. Have you conducted research to benchmark your site? - Using both quantitative and qualitative research? Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.
    • If you have any questions about the lecture send me a mail – richard@redcardinal.ie Start the subject line with “Fitzwilliam Institute” and I‟ll be less likely to miss it  You can also find me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/2/828/341 Richard Hearne, Red Cardinal Ltd. www.RedCardinal.ie Copyright © 2008 Red Cardinal Ltd.