I introduced Infrastructure Architecture (IA) in an earlier post; now I am going to show you a little bit on how to apply IA and fit it in with your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
The first thing you need to figure out is if you even need a IA person. The larger your site, the more necessary it is to have someone analyze your architecture and make structural improvements. Sure, you can task your graphics or web design person; you can even pile it on your SEO expert, but whoever gets tagged with it, should immerse themselves in the basics, even if it’s only for your web project.
If you get somebody to do it for you, it’s ideal that they know or have at least a passing familiarity with your business offerings, particularly if you’re offering technical services or products, or your industry has a complete language of its’ own.
For example, if you are a forensic accounting firm, you wouldn’t want to hire an IA person who doesn’t know accounting. If you’re an aircraft parts manufacturer, someone with knowledge of aviation manufacturing and regulatory knowledge and experience is going to be more helpful than a guy who has only done e-commerce sites.
And finally, he or she should really be familiar and comfortable with this:
Figure 1. Three circles of IA (Image from Information Architecture For the World Wide Web)
These three areas can’t be separated out. Your business goals are going to drive what content is on your site. The audience type is going to determine how usable your site is, and what information they need the most and quickest. The content types you host on your site depends upon your business goals and audience…and on and on…
How does SEO play into all this?
Your SEO strategy depends upon the content types – is all the content indexable or not?
- What is the target audience’s search behavior and patterns?
- Are they seasonal searchers?
- Do they use highly jargonistic language?
- What is the business goal for the website?
- Selling from the site or getting leads?
Your SEO strategy always starts with keywords.
So, the keywords your target audience and industry uses shapes your keyword strategy, which is going to drive the content. If your site is going to have too many pages to enable fast browsing vs. searching, applying the best known keyword phrases to your site search will be critical for not only a great user experience, but for pulling up the most relevant results the first time.
And of course, you’re going to optimize the web page content, images and videos, so they’re part of your IA plan.
This is a quick overview of how you can apply IA and SEO together. Stay tuned, because there’s more to come about using IA and SEO together to make a butt kicking website that satisfies your web visitors and turns them into clients.
While I talk about IA and SEO, Search Engine Academy offers you in-depth courses on gaining search engine optimization knowledge and skills. Contact us to learn more!
In the meantime…eyeball your site and start thinking about its’ architecture, if you haven’t already.