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E-Marketing Performance Blog

SES:SJ – Successful Site Architecture

Fundamentals Track, Tuesday 4:45 – 6:00 PM
Successful Site Architecture

Moderator: Barbara C. Coll, CEO, WebMama.com
Matthew Bailey, President, Site logic Marketing
Derrick Wheeler, Senior Search Strategist, Acxiom Digital

Successful Site Architecture

Of all the sessions today this is the one I am most looking forward to. I believe site architecture is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Actually, it’s about making your site search engine friendly… SEO comes later but you can’t SEO effectively without being search engine friendly first. Barbara Coll pointed out a site that she said has the best site architecture she’s ever seen. I took a quick look and, um, well, respectfully disagree. I saw a number of things that were not very search friendly. But maybe she doesn’t get on the web much!

Derrick Wheeler starts off with some of the basics of the site architecture. He gives us the code for links and what search engines see. He points out good and bad links from a search crawler perspective. He says some JavaScript links can be spidered, but you’re at risk if you rely on the search engine being able to figure things out. You’re better off ensuring that you use all html links.

Derrick talks about linking inconsistently can hurt by creating dupe content and a poor user experience. You want to make sure that the URL to get to any one produce (regardless of how the user gets to that product) is consistent. This is especially important in regard to using breadcrumbs. Using breadcrumbs that pull dynamically from the way the user got to the page you can get all screwed up. You’re best keeping your breadcrumbs consistent as well as your URLs. Derrick presented a whole lot of other information, all excellent and useful, but more than I can cover here.

Matt Baily is up next. Matt says that the goal of successful site architecture is to get the search engines to your site before you think about doing (or completing) even a single search engine submission. SE submission should be removed from the vocabulary.

It’s important to read through the Google Guidelines and refer back to them for changes as well as checking out the accessibility guidelines from the W3c. Matt answers the question whether validated code or CSS help a site rank higher. He says there is an indirect benefit in that it helps the search engines focus on the information that is valuable to them and that it can be adequately indexed.

Great session with loads of good information. Much of this reinforced some of the stuff we already knew and have been doing but provides us with a better platform of knowledge. If you have time for a shameless plug, you can purchase a pretty stellar site architectural and usability report from Pole Position Marketing that will easily help you save far more than the money you’ll invest in the report itself.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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