Hello to all of you SEO professionals who do more than just on-page and off-page search engine optimization work! Search Engine Academy shares SEO and other search engine-related topics and information with you, so that you can do the best job possible to build, optimize and update a website that people love to come back to.

Now, on Wednesdays, we talk about Information Architecture (IA) and search engine optimization (SEO). So, here we go on this Wednesday with our discussions on applying IA to websites that boost your SEO efforts.

We’re going to talk about your website visitors, or users today. What’s the point of building a site that repels the web user as easily as garbage on the street? None whatsoever! I know none of us wake up in the morning, stretch our backs out, pull back the shades and declare to the beautiful sunny morning at large, “I think I’ll build me a website that totally sucks for the web visitor, bwahahahaha!”

For IA, we need to figure out what’s the best way for our user to use our website. We are not going to please every single person, so we need to go for the majority population here. Doing multiple usability tests is ideal, but not all of us have unlimited budgets to do test after test. Be that as it may, ANY testing is better than NO testing, even if it comes down to you bribing ten of your closest friends and associates with craft beer to just go try the darned thing out.

Where to begin? Well, how about with your analytics, such as Google’s? It’s an excellent place to begin our journey to see how we can make a usable website.

We certainly want to look at our old standby metrics like:

  • Time on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Depth of visit
  • Return vs. new visitors

However, we also want to consider visitors flow. Which pages are they landing on, and which pages are they navigating to while spending time on our site? Is it also valuable to you to see which countries and regions are sending you the most traffic, to help you make your site user-friendly?

Information Architecture & SEO - Usability and Visitor Flow

And let’s not forget the keywords that send traffic to our sites. If you see phrases that you’re not using on your site, take a hint and incorporate those, since they are the language your target user is comfortable with, when she’s looking for your business solution.

If you’ve really got your Google Analytics set up right, and you’re tracking events and social media, as well as your Google Adwords, these are gold mines that can help you fix site problems and boost your site search function. All the answers you require are there; you simply need to really see them and act on them.

Do you have a customer service support center, or technical support? Gather the queries, complaints and other feedback they get and see how you can leverage that knowledge to make a butt-kickin’ site.

So, ponder these variables and information sources, SEO podna, and think about what you can do for your site. Every improvement you do only helps that much more. I won’t do an IA & SEO post next week, but I will return between Christmas and New Year’s.  Until then, keep it between the ditches – especially for your loved ones, who want to see you safe and sound, umkay? OK.

All the very best to you,