Welcome to Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture live from PubCon Las Vegas.

Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture is the bedrock of web devel­op­ment — so very basic that it often gets left on “default” while the graph­ics depart­ment dives into making things look pretty. But choos­ing and label­ing the buckets for your web content can be the hidden “make or break” factor. This Spot­light Session focuses on how to tap IA power for your web venture. Then we’ll take it to the next level and sort out how plat­form and CMS deci­sions impact devel­op­ment, main­te­nance, and even search engine success.

Ted Ulle
Senior Search Analyst,
Converseon, Inc.

Aaron Kronis
SEO Evan­ge­list ,
Wpro­mote Inc

Ted is up first….

Mouseover menus imitate a GUI designed for an appli­ca­tion.
— Appli­ca­tion visi­tors need intu­itive GUI.

Don’t use hover as a crutch!

How do you do food at a dinner party?
— What you don’t do is say every­body raid the fridge.

Where is infor­ma­tion users are looking for?

  • Cate­gories are often from some company mindset not a user mindset.

  • Hovers mean visi­tors cannot see and compare all the options at once.

    • Hover menues hide impor­tant infor­ma­tion

Factors to Weigh:
— Market­ing purposes
— Ease of use

Temp­ta­tions to avoid:
— orga­nized like the company
— orga­nized like a print catalog
— orga­nized by a content owner
— anyone’s pet ideas

Make IA for the visitor, NOT for the Company
— Users won’t learn your inter­nal orga­ni­za­tion

FORGET the “3‑Click Rule”
— Think “Infor­ma­tion Scent”

The Perils of Hover­ing

First Impres­sions
— I can deal with this
— This looks inter­est­ing

When creat­ing an infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture the most inter­est­ing thing is number 7.  Keeping menus to less than 7 options is crit­i­cal.  7 choices gives you 21 differ­ent compar­i­sions.

The Card Sort:

Step one create your own unsorted pile of content using the cards with one piece of infor­ma­tion per card.
— Even­tu­ally you’ll include keyword research BUT NOT NOW
— Try several times sort, revise, sort

When cards are orga­nized, bring in 3rd parties and assign “find this” tasks.

Every­thing doesn’t need to be in the main nav
— utility nav
— feature nav
— footer nav
— remove hover menu

Hover menu removal doubles page views.

You’ll find company folks want hover navs but remov­ing them can increase revenue by 46% as Ted illus­trates via case study.

Again 7

With the right infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture your entire site becomes a conver­sion funnel.

Ted suggests O’Reilly “Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture for the world wide web” & WebMasterWorld.com info on IA for small sites.

Thanks at @tedulle

(Q&A split into two differ­ent parts because Aaron is going to discuss a differ­ent topic so Ted is taking ques­tions now..)

Up next Aaron….

— smooth infor­ma­tion flow
— allow users to access content quickly
— mini­mize deci­sions

When do you add SEO?
SEO should begin at the start of the IA process
— In many cases there is no IA

Why start out wrong?
— avoid noise in URLs
— Omit words like “the, and, of, in, with”
— Length: use judge­ment, no more than 5–8 words

Under­stand who is doing what…
— graphic design­ers shouldn’t do infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture
— know who is coding the site

SEO Site Strat­egy for National USA Domains

Keyword Analy­sis:
— Can be done at the begin­ning
— Required for domain selec­tion
— Inter­nal linking struc­ture
— Avoid hyphens in domain but not root level or below

— Global archi­tec­ture (avoid dupli­cate)
— Keyword analy­sis
Single Site Strat­egy:
Satel­lite sites for country Top Level Domain

.ca .co. .uk .jp

Do URLs matter?
— file names matter

Flat Site Archi­tec­ture
— user expe­ri­ence
— easier to build

Testing / Staging
— people post sites on another URL for testing which is prob­lem­atic for a number of reasons.
— be sure to noindex

*Opin­ions expressed in live blog posts are those of the presen­ter and not neces­sar­ily Brian Ussery or Search Discovery Inc..