I’m working on a project for a UK public sector site that involves analysing lots of legacy web content. The work also involves restructuring the site with a new, straightforward, navigation. Findability and interesting, relevant content are key. In parallel, I need to improve the site’s performance in search engine results.
Being new to formal SEO, I started by looking at Nick Garner’s SEO success map, which I saw Nick show at WordCampUK 2008. I gulped at the scope and asked the Twitterverse for their opinion. The responses were interesting:
- Don’t we automatically do a lot of that anyway when building usable sites?
- You do SEO every day - you just don’t realise it
- seo is naturally writing relevant content in valid, accessible, semantic html
- I’ve done not one ounce of SEO
- Ignore it. Good start is to just be sensible
- That SEO map seems to ignore writing good stuff”
Considering these opinions, and Adam Maltpress’ ideas on SEO considerations in the context of public sector sites, I pulled the strands together in a mindmap (pdf, 104kb). I created the mindmap to help my thinking. I hope it’s general enough for others to plan how to build, restructure or develop their own web content.
The overarching ideas behind my approach are:
You have limited resources so you need to concentrate on areas you can control. I’ve arranged the mindmap into sections so you can make incremental improvements to specific areas.
Driven by content
Your strategy is content-driven. It’s about writing interesting content that’s relevant to readers. It’s about optimising your site structure to make content findable.
No sneaky tactics; no link exchange programs. The SEO benefits of a strategy like this come from:
- Writing interesting content which other people link to
- A site structure that search engines can crawl successfully