How to Structure a Website for SEO


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• The relationship between content and keywords, also types of content (not info-graphics)
• How a website looks to Google (internal linking and priority)
• How to use this knowledge to build a perfect website architecture (most time on this)

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How to Structure a Website for SEO

  1. 1. How to Structure a Website for SEO 2014/03/11
  2. 2. We’re in business because we believe that great brands need both voice and visibility in order to connect people with what matters. A boutique, full-service digital marketing agency in Toronto, Powered by Search is a PROFIT HOT 50-ranked agency that delivers search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, local search, social media marketing, and online reputation management services. Some of our clients... Featured in...
  3. 3. What We’re Talking About…
  4. 4. TODAY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT The Relationship Between Content & Keywords 1. Why does everyone talk about content? 2. How much content do I need to rank for a keyword? 3. What types of content do successful SEOs use? How a Website Looks to Google 1. What are the effects of site-wide links? 2. What is siloing and why should I use it? 3. Do I use blog content or static pages? Building the Perfect Website 1. Start with a segmented keyword strategy 2. Decide on a content strategy for each segment 3. Build your site architecture to reflect your goals
  5. 5. Content is King Getting Confusing The Relationship Between Content & Keywords
  6. 6. WHY DOES EVERYONE TALK ABOUT CONTENT? Most Content Isn’t Supposed to Be Sexy. But we sure do seem to love infographics as an industry.
  7. 7. WHY DOES EVERYONE TALK ABOUT CONTENT? Content is Supposed to be Useful This is a locations page. Locations pages let you rank for every variation of a local search for your term. Selling web design? Where do your customers go? Do you have pages for that? Why not?
  8. 8. WHY DOES EVERYONE TALK ABOUT CONTENT? How Easy is it to Rank for These Keywords? 1. Wordpress Design Toronto 2. Wordpress Design Scarborough 3. Wordpress Design Mississauga 4. Wordpress Design Etobicoke 5. Wordpress Design Ajax 6. Wordpress Design North York 7. Wordpress Design Brampton 8. Wordpress Design Vaughan 9. Wordpress Design Oshawa 10. Wordpress Design Ottawa? Montreal? 11. …Seattle?
  9. 9. HOW MUCH CONTENT DO I NEED TO RANK? 1 Keyword = 1 Piece of Content The simplest and best rule. If you want to rank for a keyword, create one piece of content targeted at it specifically. Only Related Content Build out the most relevant content first. Not sure what this might be? Spend more time thinking about a content strategy before you start creating it. Overkill Hustle isn’t gone from this industry. Make your content better quality than anything that ranks right now. Give it images. Work on the CTAs. Update your design. Write twice as much and as well. Do better research. Work with better partners. Promote it ten times more than you think you’d need to.
  10. 10. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Location Pages Unless you’re an eCommerce store then you can create location pages. • One for every physical location • One for every location in which you have a client • One for every location that you serve • One for every location with no real good reason Build it like a landing page, these get bottom of the funnel traffic. Give it more or less unique content (700+) and perfect headers.
  11. 11. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Location Pages You can have as many of these as you’d like. The only concern is how you display these internally. The traffic is going to flow from them to the rest of the site rather than the other way around.
  12. 12. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Service Pages Create a page for every type of service that you offer. Remember 1 Keyword 1 Piece of Content. Your home page should target your brand. Your service pages target your service keywords, even if you only offer one. Service pages should have a good amount of content (700+) and be unique.
  14. 14. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Location Specific Service Pages Offer multiple services? Here’s a fantastic structure to rank for everything. • Location • Service • Service • Service It’s good to make the content unique for every page, but start with the minimum of a unique title tag and primary heading.
  15. 15. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Location Specific Service Pages
  16. 16. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Knowledge Base Pages In SEO someone might ask, “What’s an LSI Keyword?” In Web Design it might be, “What’s a break point?” We could answer this with extremely light-weight blog posts, but why not separate these small pieces of content into a knowledge base with easily quoted definitions right at the top. Not only do you rank for informational queries, but you’ll also get cited as a source (and you can ask anyone who forgets to cite you for a link).
  17. 17. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Knowledge Base Pages If you have a small subset of knowledge base keywords you can use a flat architecture. Otherwise you may want to create a two-level structure with categories.
  18. 18. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Use Case Pages If your site is B2B, what industries do you work in? If they’re B2C, what generic personas (athletes, foodies, men, women, children) do their fall under? eCommerce for Retail? Great, that’s a keyword and we can group similar Use Case keywords into a section of the site.
  19. 19. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Use Case Pages These pages are both sales material and search friendly.
  20. 20. WHAT TYPES OF CONTENT SHOULD I USE? Summary Just keep in mind that there’s more to building a site than service pages and a blog!
  21. 21. How a Website Looks to Google
  22. 22. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SITE-WIDE LINKS? Back to Basics A link passes link equity. If I link to a page internally, I’m telling Google that that page has my vote. The page with the most links wins. Now let’s assume I have 100 pages on my site. Page B and C are my service pages so I want them to have the most links going to them. So I add links to them from the content of my home page. A couple months later my landlord is knocking for rent again and I’m ignoring him as I struggle to figure out what’s going wrong with my wonderful website. I look at my Screaming Frog report and it’s telling me that every page on the site has 100 internal links going to it. What? But I only linked to those two pages... Except for my header and footer navigation. Which include drop downs. Which link to every page on the site. So what I’m actually doing is telling Google that every page on the site have the same value.
  23. 23. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SITE-WIDE LINKS? Compile Brand Pages A brand page is an “About Us,” “Our Company,” “Who We Are,” “Our History,” and a hundred other variations that people tend to use. Always keep Our Client or Portfolio pages though. Check Internal Links With Screaming Frog Screaming Frog is a free SEO tool that you need to learn how to use. Look for the Internal Link Count. Export it, sort by highest, and if the top pages aren’t the ones you want them to be then you’re screwing up. Silo All of the Things Siloing is the art of grouping similar pages. There are many ways to silo your pages, but the point is that only the highest level page in the group will get a sitewide link.
  24. 24. WHAT IS SILOING AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT? Siloing is the Art of Grouping Similar Pages Let’s say that we’re working with a web design website. It’s doing alright by itself because the owner of the site is A) a web designer and B) a prolific writer. But for some reason, the more pages she writes, the lower she ranks for her other keywords. Right now she’s linking to every page on the site from the home page with a confusing menu structure. So: 1. What’s good about this site? 2. What’s wrong with it? 3. What silos do you see?
  25. 25. WHAT IS SILOING AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT? Web Design Though… She’s got some decent content, but we need to structure it a bit. Let’s start with Web Design. I know that “Web Design” is a head term. A head term is the one that everyone in your industry is trying to rank for. Since this page is so hard to rank it needs the most juice, so we make it the sitewide link. Since everything below it is contextual to it, every page in this silo make more sense together.
  26. 26. WHAT IS SILOING AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT? Starting to Make More Sense We can do this for every other category that we can find to make a bit more sense of this site. Notice as we do that content opportunities come up naturally. Web Development, for example, needs more content. Search Engine Optimization as well.
  27. 27. WHAT IS SILOING AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT? Remember Content Types? But what about the location pages? That’s a whole new level of opportunity. I’ve siloed them into areas and chosen the other terms I want to focus on. If I want to I can expand these later. Green just so you can see the old pages.
  28. 28. WHAT IS SILOING AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT? Content Siloing is More than a URL Structure Just remember as you implement this that you have to structure your navigation this way as well. Include sitewide links only to the top of the individual silos.
  29. 29. DO I USE BLOG CONTENT OR STATIC PAGES? Don’t Always Use Blog Content Your blog is for link baiting, relationship building, time sensitive information and conversational content. It should rank for informational keywords. Don’t Always Use Static Pages Static pages are sales pages (service, location) or conversion pages (whitepapers etc.). They’re what drive you well converting traffic. They should rank for middle or bottom of funnel keywords. Use Both Work in this order: 1. Build out static pages to rank. 2. Use your blog to attract links and build relationships.
  30. 30. Building the Perfect Website
  31. 31. START WITH A SEGMENTED KEYWORD STRATEGY Products and Services Remember to SILO ALL OF THE THINGS. Locations Here you just need to check which of your services get enough searches in which areas to justify creating pages for them. Informational Segment your long tail keywords as well; a good set of groupings are the ones you’re already using for products and services, but there’s much more room here so keep them separate.
  32. 32. CONTENT STRATEGY PER SEGMENT Keep Content Strategy in Mind All of the Time When you’re doing keyword research you need to keep in mind how you’re going to create one page for every keyword that you want to rank for. Don’t know how or when you’re going to create a piece of content for that keyword? Don’t know where it’ll fit into your structure? Drop it.
  33. 33. CONTENT STRATEGY PER SEGMENT Products and Services These are going to be Static Pages. In fact, I’ll have my designer create a unique page template just for these since they need to convert pretty well. I’m thinking, GIANT CTA!!! Locations To start I want all major cities, because I can offer services anywhere. I’ll use duplicate content with a different page title and H1 until I have a chance to make them all unique. I might be able to use a similar template to P&S. Informational These are definitely going into the blog. Maybe I can use some of these topics as ego bait by interviewing people on the topics, getting guest posts or doing round ups of great related posts. I’ll do one a week and aim for links more than rankings.
  34. 34. CAT BREAK
  35. 35. SITE ARCHITECTURE How do I Link my Pages? Here are the pages I’m going to link sitewide. The Home Page doesn’t deserve a ton of internal links, but it’ll be designed to be the highest converting page • Home Page • S&P Silo Pages • Locations • Blog • About Us I’m going to have one T&C and Privacy page linked from all of my CTAs so that if I want to do PPC I’ll meet their requirements, but I don’t see a good reason to link it sitewide.
  36. 36. SITE ARCHITECTURE What’s the URL Structure? Keep the structure in your URLs. It’ll help you with analysis in the future, creates breadcrumbs in Google results automatically (which implies that Google understands the structure), and just keeps everything organized. • / • /seo/ • /seo/enterprise-seo/ • /locations/ • /locations/toronto/ • /locations/toronto/toronto-seo/ • /blog/ • /blog/google-analytics-content-groupings/
  37. 37. QUESTIONS?
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