• John Ellis

    Wow!.. TY for saying it all so very well. You’re right on the mark. I think the major issue here is that businesses still think SEO is just “extra” or “not essential”. The mis-information around SEO is huge. Too many “e-marketers” claiming SEO is the hardway and they have a fix.  

    I’d also add one thing to your list of an optimized site structure. You can use category meta title and descriptions to boost the cat pages as link targets. You can also add static content to the top of any category page. These two things make category pages very powerful. I teach clients to write SEO blogs and part of that incudes 2-3 links per blog that support the site. 1 link to home, 1 link to category page, 1 link to static page the post supports if applicable. 

    Anyway.. fantastic article!

    John

  • http://www.richardrazo.com/ Richard Razo

    Good info… I like the part towards the end about hiring a SEM to give you blueprints on how to set up a new website on a solid foundation. As a web developer and not an SEO expert, I just know some stuff, I wonder what’s a good resource to find freelance SEM’s that I can hire for initial consulting before I code? Alternatively, what is a good course so I can learn myself. For now just knowing how to hire good SEM will be much appreciated… and what would it typically cost for such consulting?

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Thanks, John, for your feedback.
    I agree with you that many SEOs are focused exclusively on the home page of a site.  But in practice, other areas of the site, including the category pages, can become ‘home pages’ by virtue of the fact that a new first-time visitor might land on them.
    Very simple, logical website structure (like I’ve just explained) that is based upon a user’s intent behind search keyword phrases will turn EVERY category, sub-category and topic page into a “home page” – with a slew of benefits.
    I also like your suggestion of static content being added to the top/bottom of template category pages – especially as it can include specific ‘call to actions’.

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Richard, glad to hear you say that!  Developing an excellent and efficient website is always a team effort, where designers and SEOs work in synchrony.
    Traditionally, designers and SEOs have been at loggerheads.  Designers feel SEO ruins their carefully planned look and feel.  SEO consultants complain that higher ranking is sacrificed on the altar of a prettier website.
    Yes, it is possible for a design-obsessed structure to wreak havoc with a site’s SEO.  It’s also possible for a website driven entirely by SEO to destroy a brand or ruin sales potential.  But with planning and high quality implementation, the strengths of both specialties can be harnessed to offer incredible synergy.
    Exploring how this happy union can be achieved should be our goal.  The options are as you suggested – hiring a freelancer, consult with an expert, or learn to do it yourself.  Costs are wide ranging and your mileage may vary!

  • http://twitter.com/Leap2Virtual Leap2Virtual

    Great article! It confirms to me that my methods are right on.  I’m heading on to check out some of your other articles.

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    WOW, what a great, detailed post!!!  There is so much information here that I might just have to go back and read it a few more times.

    The way you structure your site is such an important part of determining whether it is going to be successful.  Everybody puts emphasis on producing quality content, which of course is important, but if people can’t easily find it then it’s pointless!  Great sites have great structure to them.

    I’m in the process of re-designing my own site, so this post will help me a lot.  Thanks :)

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Thanks, Matt.  The absolute best time to read up about strategic SEO and the role an information architecture has upon site structure is during the design (or re-design) phase.  (The next best time is today!) ;-)
    You’re right on the money with your comment about being found.  Findability is right at the top of the sequence of steps a smart SEO strategy will focus on.  And it gets easier to be found on search rankings when you deeply understand the mind of your prospect, position your landing page and optimize for keywords that speak directly to their needs, rather than focusing completely on eye-catching design that showcases the business but ignores the most important part of the equation – your ideal prospect, and converting him or her into a cash-paying customer!