In the shoes of your customers: Improve your site architecture and find the path to success

by Hamlet Batista | September 28, 2007 | 10 Comments

If you want to have a successful web site, build it with conversion in mind from the start. Many site owners worry more about creating link paths that are easy to follow by search engine robots. Conversion is an afterthought, and this is one of the reasons why optimizing conversion rates can become extremely difficult and time consuming.

Search engine visitors can land on any page of your site and with completely different expectations. It is not only important to make sure they land on the right page, but also that the page they land on leads them naturally one step closer to the ultimate goal of the site – an RSS subscription, a download, a sale, an e-mail, and so on.

 

It all starts with careful organization of your keywords during keyword research. My favorite organization method is to group keywords by visitor intention. Visitors looking for information perform generic searches and those visitors must land on the information pages. Visitors looking for a specific brand or product must land on the specific product page. Making sure the visitors land on the right page not only reduces the bounce rate but it also gives the visitor the impression that there is some organization in place on the site.

Each page must be ‘on-page optimized’ for specific keywords that searchers are typing into the search box. These keywords must be tightly related to the content of the page. It is a good idea to have some internal and external incoming links with the keywords in the anchor text (or the text surrounding the link ;-)).

The next step is to make sure that each page has an above-the-fold link—a call to action—inviting the visitor to go to the next page or step in the persuasion process. As I said, this is something that is easier done when the site is being built as opposed to later on when changes prove far more difficult to implement.

 

There are many ways and concepts you can use when designing or redesigning your site architecture. I prefer this one because it is very simple to understand and also extremely convenient for the user. And most importantly, it works!

 

Hamlet Batista

Chief Executive Officer

Hamlet Batista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He holds US patents on innovative SEO technologies, started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002, and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months

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