The SEO Secrets behind Information Architecture
I have put this post together to help people come up with a decent content structure to stick to when planning and making a new website. I will use an electronic gadget E-commerce site as my example...
Use the keywords as a guide as to the level of detail you should be aim for. (Use keyword research tools to identify good ones)
Information Architecture and Keyword Organisation
Stage 1 - Homepage
The best analogy of this structure is "the funnel". Imagine the homepage as the widest point of entry into the funnel. Keywords at this point should be fairly general and broad overview-ish in type.
Example keywords: Online gadget store, electrical gadgets, company name.
Stage 2 - Sector pages
The next stage aims to direct the user to the most suitable page (assuming they start from the homepage*). For a site like this, I would have the following sectors Digital Cameras, Mobile Phones, PDA's, MP3 Players. Each of these sector pages will be optimised for its sector. For the MP3 Players page I would use these -
Example keywords: MP3 Players, digital music players, portable music players.
Stage 3 - Brand pages
This is where you need to use specific keywords on pages dedicated to a certain product. The example page here would be the "Apple IPOD" page. So far the user has found the homepage and clicked through to the "MP3 Players" page and gone on to find the "Apple IPOD" page. This page will use keywords that are specific to the brand, so I have chosen the following: 30GB IPOD, 20GB IPOD, Video IPOD, Apple IPOD, IPOD Shuffle. These keywords should represent the products beneath them.
Stage 4 - Product pages
This page will be dedicated to a certain model of "Apple IPOD". This will be the "Video IPOD 60GB" page.
Note the use of brand and model names starts here. This is so when you search for an "IPOD 30GB" you find a page selling it, rather than a homepage dedicated to various electrical gadgets. (This is the very narrow part of the funnel structure analogy, the most specific page a user can get to)
This makes optimisation easier too, a page dedicated to "IPOD 30GB" can have great content and keywords covering the different variations and combinations of keywords without ever being spammy. This also keeps the content keyword density up. Although I do not design content to meet a certain density, I like to keep an eye on it.
This post is to help you visualise keyword distribution and the level of "detail" of a keyphrase. Breaking a site down in this way will help you to design pages that are naturally optimised for certain keywords and keyphrases. This will hopefully prevent you from using the same meta description, title and meta keywords across a site. Instead optimise each page for keywords in a certain area, and depending on the kind of page (homepage, product page) the level of "detail" of a keyword.
*Ideally you want your product pages to rank for the niche (long tail) key phrases so once they click through they get the product they searched for straight away. This increases the chance of a sale. (A user finding the homepage may not have the patience to search the site for the desired product)
Make sure keywords are not used more than once across the site, otherwise your pages will be competing against each other in the rankings!