Information architecture has always played a key role in website performance. If users land on your site and can’t seem to find anything they need, they won’t come back – and you certainly won’t make any conversions. Unfortunately, many web designers overlook the importance of information architecture as Google’s search algorithms become more advanced. Google can now better interpret whether a site’s basic SEO and its overall user experience (UX) both serve users’ end needs, and it’s time for web designers and SEO experts to come together to close the loop.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your SEO strategy and your information architecture are aligned is by emphasizing topic-driven organization. This is an ideal approach because it leans heavily on traditional SEO research; just take your core keywords – those are your main topics, and then look at the long-tail keywords – those are your subtopics. Create content around those terms and you’re well on your way.
Indexing And Analysis
Of course, building a bunch of pages based around your core keywords is helpful, but it won’t guarantee that your site will gain traction. To do that, your page also needs to be competitive. Using topic-driven organization will help boost your rankings since Google is prioritizing pages with better UX, but what you say about those topics still matters more – and so does the quality of the competing content.
SEO specialists will index your site’s search terms and evaluate how your site is ranking for those terms. Your site needs to use the right keywords and provide a depth of content on those keywords to climb the search rankings.
Choose Backlinks Carefully
Part of closing the SEO-UX loop is being careful about who you work with when guest blogging and building backlinks – and that’s why every website can benefit from working with professionals during this process. By teaming up with a company that provides link building outreach service, you ensure that your backlink content goes to sites that also have high UX standards. You don’t want the sites supporting your backlinks to get bumped down in the rankings because their pages are packed with interstitials and other layout issues.
A Collaborative Process
Ultimately, succeeding under Google’s new algorithms means that your company’s different departments need to learn to work collaboratively. Your UX, SEO, and content teams can’t remain siloed. In fact, it was only by emphasizing the UX-content connection that Overstock.com overcame a major link penalty, a subsequent stock price decline, and other hardships to climb back to the top. With organic rankings up 97% year-over-year, Overstock is a testament to the importance of usability. Content’s dominance is no longer a sure thing – and it certainly can’t stand alone.
Most companies realize that UX plays a major role in their website’s success, even if they’re not cued in to how Google uses this metric – UX is hard to quantify, after all. Still, if anyone can master an obscure metric, it’s Google, and they’re paying attention to your infrastructure. With that in mind, be mindful of how your site is organized and the information hierarchy you present to users. They have to navigate your content to buy into your business. Don’t send them packing before they get to the heart of your work.