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Information Architecture for SEOs - Matching intent to pages & internal linking principles

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Links are part of the puzzle, but if your site makes no sense and doesn’t do a good job of matching up intents to templates and pages, all the links in the world aren’t going to help. I want to take people through the process of matching intents to templates first.

Don't worry we'll still get to links, but we'll start with the more under-used part.

The process is roughly: building your keyword area, gathering all the SERP data, grouping those keywords into intents, analysing those the SERP groupings for those keywords, turning the output into page and keyword targeting and then evaluating how the process went, because crucially this is a process. You probably won’t nail it first time.

For the links part we'll evaluate 5 main principles for building an information architecture.

- Aim for a shallow pyramid
- Don't have dead end pages
- Use anchor text
- Link topics together
- Don't link to non-indexable URLs

Published in: Marketing
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Information Architecture for SEOs - Matching intent to pages & internal linking principles

  1. 1. Getting your house in order
  2. 2. What is Information Architecture?
  3. 3. We don’t really agree
  4. 4. And no-one uses less than 2000 words and at least 3 acronyms.
  5. 5. “Deciding how something will be organized” abbytheia.com
  6. 6. “Deciding how something will be organized” - (DHSWBO) abbytheia.com
  7. 7. What do SEOs think it means?
  8. 8. LIINNNKKKS
  9. 9. (INTERNAL) LIINNNKKKS
  10. 10. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  11. 11. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship Matching up intents to templates & pages
  12. 12. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship Matching up intents to templates & pages
  13. 13. 4
  14. 14. 2000
  15. 15. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship Matching up intents to templates & pages
  16. 16. Your customers will see the right pages at the right points in their journey.
  17. 17. Don’t worry we’ll still look at links
  18. 18. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship Matching up intents to templates & pages
  19. 19. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  20. 20. How about some real life
  21. 21. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  22. 22. I re-targeted the guide and redirected the advert.
  23. 23. Bounce Rate Pages / Session Before 56.23% 1.53 After 31.47% 4.70
  24. 24. Nah we’re good. CHANGE ONE MONTH FIVE MONTHS
  25. 25. Keeping this tangible
  26. 26. Lucky Images / Shutterstock
  27. 27. Lucky Images / Shutterstock
  28. 28. Lucky Images / Shutterstock
  29. 29. Lucky Images / Shutterstock
  30. 30. Example: Buying a car Lucky Images / Shutterstock
  31. 31. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  32. 32. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  33. 33. GIANT SPOILERS
  34. 34. Matching up intents to templates & pages
  35. 35. Who buys your product?
  36. 36. Who buys your product? Dave ● Looking to upgrade on old car Alice ● Moved out, now, getting first car
  37. 37. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying?
  38. 38. What are the steps to buying? Building requirements Compare competitors Looking around List of cars Looking for deals 1 2 3 4 5
  39. 39. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step?
  40. 40. How can you reach people in each step? Building requirements Compare competitors Discovery List of cars Looking for deals 1 2 3 4 5 Offline Social Organic Search Organic Search PPC EmailOrganic Search
  41. 41. How can you reach people in each step? Building requirements Compare competitors Discovery List of cars Looking for deals 1 2 3 4 5 Offline Social Organic Search Organic Search PPC EmailOrganic Search
  42. 42. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step? Build customer profilesWhere search is the answer, get keywords
  43. 43. Where search is the answer, get keywords Building requirements - vw golf vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf tdi mileage vw golf length vw golf interior dimensions vw golf trunk space vw golf tire size 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length
  44. 44. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step? Build customer profilesWhere search is the answer, get keywords Build customer profilesHow to split those keywords into pages?
  45. 45. How to split those keywords into pages? vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf tdi mileage vw golf length vw golf interior dimensions vw golf trunk space vw golf tire size 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length
  46. 46. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step? Build customer profilesWhere search is the answer, get keywords Build customer profilesHow to split those keywords into pages?
  47. 47. Turning keywords into pages
  48. 48. bit.ly/page-to- keyword
  49. 49. We start with our keywords vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf mileage vw golf length vw golf interior dimensions vw golf trunk space vw golf tire size 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length
  50. 50. Go and scrape the top 10 - 20 for our keywords The URLs that rank 1 to 20 Rich snippet information
  51. 51. Your favourite rank tracking tool.
  52. 52. Get title & meta for the top 10 - 20
  53. 53. Export with rank, or just crawl them.
  54. 54. Get domain strength
  55. 55. APIs or URL Profiler
  56. 56. Go and get all the existing pages and templates
  57. 57. Enough data gathering.
  58. 58. Review vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior Specs vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf mileage vw golf length vw golf tire size vw golf trunk space vw golf interior dimensions 2012 Review 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 Specs 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length Take a punt at grouping the keywords semantically
  59. 59. TERM
  60. 60. TERM LANGUAGE APIS
  61. 61. TERM BY HANDLANGUAGE APIS
  62. 62. Review vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior Specs vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf mileage vw golf length vw golf tire size vw golf trunk space vw golf interior dimensions 2012 Review 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 Specs 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length
  63. 63. Match up the groups we made to pages
  64. 64. SpecsReview SpecsSpecs 2012 Review 2012 Specs Retarget Create
  65. 65. What pages is Google showing for your grouping? vw golf interior dimensions specific specific specific specific
  66. 66. What pages is Google showing for your grouping? vw golf reliability specific specific general specific specific specific
  67. 67. What pages is Google showing for your grouping? 2012 vw golf reliability general general general general general
  68. 68. Specs vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf mileage vw golf length vw golf tire size vw golf trunk space vw golf interior dimensions What actually ranks? What ranked General specs page General specs page General specs page General specs page Specific dimension page Specific dimension page Specific dimension page Specific dimension page
  69. 69. We’re going to look for occurrence of terms in the URL, title & meta
  70. 70. You’ll average across all the keywords for a page
  71. 71. You’re stronger than competitors You’re weaker than competitors SERP is specific pages SERP is general pages
  72. 72. You’re stronger than competitors You’re weaker than competitors SERP is specific pages SERP is general pages Specific pages Few specific pages
  73. 73. You’re stronger than competitors You’re weaker than competitors SERP is specific pages SERP is general pages General or specific pages Specific pages Few specific pages
  74. 74. You’re stronger than competitors You’re weaker than competitors SERP is specific pages SERP is general pages General or specific pages Specific pages Few specific pages Deprioritize
  75. 75. Is this group genuinely new? (i.e. no-one has covered them)
  76. 76. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  77. 77. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  78. 78. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  79. 79. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  80. 80. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  81. 81. Source: https://www.instagram.com/avocadotoast/?hl=en
  82. 82. You’re stronger than competitors You’re weaker than competitors SERP is specific pages SERP is general pages General or specific pages Specific pages Specific Pages Few specific pages
  83. 83. Review vw golf review vw golf reliability vw golf exterior Specs vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf mileage vw golf length vw golf tire size vw golf trunk space vw golf interior dimensions 2012 Review 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 Specs 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length Original keyword grouping
  84. 84. Review vw golf review vw golf exterior Specs vw golf specs vw golf mpg vw golf r horsepower vw golf tdi mileage vw golf tire size 2012 Review 2012 vw golf review 2012 vw golf interior 2012 vw golf mpg 2012 vw golf specs 2012 vw golf reliability 2012 vw golf length With updated keyword grouping, re- target and create pages Dimensions vw golf interior dimensions vw golf length vw golf trunk space Reliability vw golf reliability
  85. 85. SpecsReview SpecsSpecs Dimensions 2012 Review Reliabilit y
  86. 86. We wait.
  87. 87. Rinse & Repeat
  88. 88. Go to search console. Pull down data.
  89. 89. Look for how well assignment worked and ping-ponging Suspicious SERP Flux: bit.ly/2wMES8M
  90. 90. Re-work keyword targeting New keywords that need assigning vw golf trunk space vw golf boot dimensions vw golf fuel consumption Existing keywords that are changing pages vw golf tire size vw golf mileage
  91. 91. Consolidate pages you don’t need Specs Old blog post on VW golf specs
  92. 92. If you’ve sorted out the targeting. If it all makes sense...
  93. 93. LIIIIINNKKKKS SpecsReview SpecsSpecs Dimensions 2012 Review Reliability
  94. 94. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship Matching up intents to templates & pages
  95. 95. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship
  96. 96. Roughly work from first principles And be ready to compromise.
  97. 97. In the beginning there was page rank
  98. 98. Google has added a lot more
  99. 99. 1. Theoretically important. Important aspects of links
  100. 100. How important are links now?
  101. 101. 1. Theoretically important. 2. Anecdotally but not consistently important. Important aspects of links
  102. 102. It’s hard to isolate and measure CONTROL VARIANT
  103. 103. 1. Theoretically important. 2. Anecdotally but not consistently important. 3. Really hard to measure. Important aspects of links
  104. 104. ~60% had the wrong intuition dis.tl/2OK99hz
  105. 105. 1. Theoretically important. 2. Anecdotally but not consistently important. 3. Really hard to measure. 4. Complex to use and be technically correct Important aspects of links
  106. 106. Roughly work from first principles And be ready to compromise.
  107. 107. 3 more users bounced when you added more links.
  108. 108. Those links are hard to pull in. It’ll add an additional 3 days of dev.
  109. 109. How you link & relate those pages so search engines understand the relationship
  110. 110. Aim for a shallow pyramid
  111. 111. Shop Blog
  112. 112. What do you mean I can’t put all my category links on the homepage?
  113. 113. Doorway pages
  114. 114. Relative navs Car Hire in LondonHotels in London
  115. 115. Why not map every page?
  116. 116. Only the first path is shown
  117. 117. A different story
  118. 118. Finally. Insight.
  119. 119. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages
  120. 120. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages Use useful anchor text
  121. 121. Anchor text. Use it.
  122. 122. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages Use useful anchor text Link topics together
  123. 123. Review VW Golf
  124. 124. Review Reliability VW Golf
  125. 125. Review Reliability Specifications VW Golf
  126. 126. Review Reliability Specifications 2012 Review VW Golf
  127. 127. Review Reliability Specifications 2012 Review History VW Golf
  128. 128. Dimensions Review Reliability Specifications 2012 Review History VW Golf
  129. 129. Dimensions Review Reliability Specifications 2012 Review History VW Golf Dimensions Review Reliability Specifications 2012 Review History BMW
  130. 130. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages Use useful anchor text Link topics together Don’t link to non-indexable URLs
  131. 131. All indexable pages should be unique landing pages
  132. 132. Let’s get sculpting
  133. 133. 50% 0% (We’re ignoring the damping factor here) 10 5
  134. 134. Redirects Blocked URLS Non-canonical URLs No-indexed URLs Things we want to avoid
  135. 135. Altering links
  136. 136. example.com/url1
  137. 137. example.com/url1?tracking=nav example.com/url2?tracking=nav
  138. 138. # Methods to pass data across page requests
  139. 139. Removing links
  140. 140. What looks like a link but isn’t a link...
  141. 141. <a href=”/blog/”>Blog</a>
  142. 142. <a href=”/blog/”>Blog</a> <a onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a>
  143. 143. <a href=”/blog/”>Blog</a> <a onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a> <span onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a>
  144. 144. <a href=”/blog/”>Blog</a> <a onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a> <span onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a> <span data-href=”/blog/”>Blog</a>
  145. 145. <a href=”/blog/”>Blog</a> <a onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a> <span onclick="window.location.href=/blog">Blog</a> <span data-link=”/blog/”>Blog</a> <span data-href=”/blog/”>Blog</a>
  146. 146. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages Use useful anchor text Link topics together Don’t link to non-indexable URLs
  147. 147. This is not a 1 month win
  148. 148. Next week
  149. 149. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step? Build customer profilesWhere search is the answer, get keywords Build customer profilesHow to split those keywords into pages?
  150. 150. Who buys your product? Build customer profilesWhat are the steps to buying? Build customer profilesHow can you reach people in each step? Build customer profilesWhere search is the answer, get keywords Build customer profilesHow to split those keywords into pages?
  151. 151. Aim for a shallow pyramid Don’t have dead end pages Use useful anchor text Link topics together Don’t link to non-indexable URLs
  152. 152. Get your house in order
  153. 153. @dom_woodman bit.ly/page-to-keyword

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