Sep 2022

Information Architecture + SEO: How Both Work Together for Better Conversions

Enterprise agencies begin with solid information architecture to optimize a site’s rankings

How your website ranks on search engine result pages can make or break a business. Without strong, relevant organic keyword rankings, you could be missing out on potential traffic to your site for conversion-minded users. That’s why any enterprise SEO agency will emphasize information architecture best practices on your website to help users not only seamlessly interact with your website but rank higher for your target keywords as well. Today, we’re going to be breaking down information architecture, how SEO + information architecture work together, and how to use IA to boost organic conversion. 

What Is Information Architecture?

SEO enterprise experts use IA best practices to help users and search engines easily navigate your website

Woman pressing a post-it note that says "plan" onto a whiteboard.

Information architecture (IA) is an important element of any website. This is where you determine the structure for a website to lay the groundwork for an optimal user journey to conversion by helpings users intuitively locate the information they want on your website. This is done through thoughtfully determining the category hierarchies, navigation structures, content outlines, and CTAs, then submitting a clean final sitemap. Essentially, the less a user has to think to navigate your website the better. Information architecture not only helps your user find the information they need but also helps ensure search engine crawlers understand the content and structure of your website. 

What Do IA + SEO Have In Common?

IA influences the user experience and in turn your keyword rankings

Google search feature

When you work with an enterprise SEO agency, the main goal is to make your website visible to your target audience through relevant conversion-worthy keywords. With well-thought-out IA, search engine crawlers can identify your topics and keywords more easily, and users will stay onsite longer and be more likely to convert.  Information architecture helps you create a clear hierarchy of information and pages, groups related pages together, and structures your website content in an easy-to-read format that reduces bounce rate and also helps search engines understand and index the pages on your site—all of which can make your website rank higher on SERPs.

Benefits of IA for SEO on Your Website

Using enterprise SEO and IA expertise together will optimize conversion

Website analytics showing a positive trend in visitor overview

The groundwork of any website begins with strong, thoughtful information architecture. Once that foundation is laid, then you must apply SEO best practices to see results. When IA + SEO are deployed on your website strategically, IA will improve SEO indexing, keep users happy, and encourage users to spend more time on your site. Algorithms consider the user engagement of a site as one of the many variables measured to inform your rankings, so bringing the right audiences to your site and keeping those users on the site is crucial for your rankings. When you pair the right keywords with the right placement on easy-to-understand information architecture, you will get better rankings to pull the right audiences to your site, leading to better website engagement and more conversions. 

Improved Bounce Rate

The bounce rate on your website is the percentage of users who have visited your website without taking any further action, such as viewing a second page, filling out a form, or clicking a link. Bounce rate is used by search engines to determine whether your website is worthy of a first-page ranking. A high bounce rate can also tell you that there are some issues with your UX, content, or copywriting. 

The goal of working with an enterprise SEO agency is to not only rank higher on SERPs but to also encourage visitors to stay on a website and engage with the content on your site. The main goal of IA is to establish clear information infrastructure so that visitors can easily find more information. Even if your IA is flawless and you place keywords in the right places, you won’t see conversions unless you optimize for the right keywords. On the other hand, if you place the right keywords in the right places but your IA is messy, you won’t see conversions either. Working together with best practices applied, SEO and IA help to optimize rankings for the right conversion-worthy keywords and organize your website’s content so that visitors are encouraged to engage with your website, take further action on your website, and engage with your content—both of which can improve your bounce rate

Show Sitelinks on Search Engine Result Pages

With the forces of IA and SEO working together, one goal is to be rewarded with sitelinks. Sitelinks are links to other pages on your website that show on SERPs under your main search engine result. Sitelinks take up more space on SERPs and help users get the content they want to view faster. Because sitelinks are pulled organically, there’s no way to edit the sitelinks that will appear. IA and SEO work together to structure your website and help search engines understand which pages are the most relevant to pull. 

How To Improve Your Information Architecture + SEO For a Better Website

Use these tips from an enterprise SEO agency to lead to a better user experience and higher rankings for your website

Person pointing at a sample sitemap

No matter if you are developing a website from scratch or making some improvements to your current website, IA and SEO best practices should not be ignored. From developing a sitemap to sifting through your website for duplicate content, here are some tips from enterprise SEO experts to help improve your website. 

Develop A Sitemap

Sitemaps are what search engines use to crawl your website and adequately index your site. Especially for brand new websites or even for websites that have a ton of pages, a sitemap can help different search engines find pages on your site with a bit more ease. 

A sitemap, which is sometimes referred to as an XML sitemap, is a list of your pages on your website. Your sitemap informs search engines where your pages are on your website, and the hierarchy of importance compared to all the pages on your website. A sitemap serves as the easiest way to ensure the pages on your site are crawled and indexed properly by search engines. 

When you build your website with Webflow, the platform auto-generates an XML sitemap for you so you don’t have to go through the manual steps of creating your own. Simply generate the sitemap through the project settings and submit your sitemap to Google. Whether you opt for the auto-generated sitemap or upload your own custom sitemap, Webflow makes it as simple as possible to create and submit your sitemap so search engines will crawl and index your site. 

Understand the Role of Each Page

Each page on your website should have some type of role. To help your users adequately understand what actions they can take on your website’s pages, you first need to review your pages and specify the main role of each page based on search intent. The roles are as follows:

  • Navigation - The intent of navigation pages is to help users find what they are looking for. Your home page typically acts primarily as a navigation page, and other pages like search results on your website help get people where they need to be. 
  • Information - Not all pages on your site will be conversion-based. Oftentimes, people want to see more information about your products, services, or approach before they convert. Pages that provide content, like blogs or product details, give your users more information before they convert. 
  • Interaction - When people want to take an action of some sort on your website, interaction pages will have what they need in order to complete an action. These types of pages can include a sign-up page, contact page, or checkout page. 

Once you have an understanding of each page role, you can work with your enterprise SEO agency to optimize the type of content on the page and any CTAs needed to guide a user towards completing an action. 

Do Keyword Research

Keywords are at the heart of SEO. By doing keyword research around your products or services, you can start to understand what queries your audience is searching for when they’re looking for your products or services. No matter if you use online tools to help you conduct keyword research, conduct your own research with your audience, or outsource help from an enterprise SEO agency, doing extensive keyword research will help you better understand your target keywords and how to best implement them on your site. 

Label Content Clearly + Consistently

Copywriting brings an element of clarity to your design. When labeling your site, it’s best to use consistent terminology on your website to help your users understand the meaning of elements on your site before clicking or interacting. 

For content, labeling can help with a page’s scannability. Labels for content can include headings, subheadings, and image/video headings and captions. By properly labeling everything, you can be sure to include your keywords in your H1s and H2s while also helping guide the user through your content. 

Selecting easy-to-read fonts and colors also helps users find and interact with your content. Additionally, adding alt text for images and anchor text for links helps search engines index your site better and helps with accessibility on your website. 

Remove Duplicated Content

Duplicated content on your website can confuse both users and search engines. Duplicated content on your website is blocks of content that are identical or nearly duplicated. Search engines penalize you for duplicate content on your website, which can cause a loss of rankings for your website. Internally, duplicated content happens when the same content appears through multiple URLs on the same site. Externally, duplicate content happens when different domains have the exact same page copy. To avoid duplicate content on your site, make sure to update your on-page elements, product descriptions, and URL parameters to ensure the content on your website is unique and varies both on your page and from any external sources.  

Our Approach to IA + SEO

How Responsival Uses IA + SEO When Designing and Developing Websites

Responsival employee making a hand gesture while presenting

In this digital age, you need both well-crafted information architecture and to employ SEO best practices in order to succeed. At Responsival, we approach each digital experience we craft with IA and SEO in mind. When developing a content inventory, we begin with a comprehensive discovery questionnaire session with each client. This helps us to define target audiences, understand the hierarchy of information, and establish which goals are most important to the business. 

Ultimately, all of this informs our IA and, in turn, our content outline. We work to define the best structure and user journey based on our discovery questionnaire session. Once that is established, we balance the client’s branding and voice with extensive keyword research and competitive analysis to set the site up for conversion-worthy rankings. By laying a solid foundation with IA and reinforcing SEO best practices in your website content, you will leave with a website that is simple to use and navigate that ranks on SERPs for keywords that add value to your business. 

Keeping both IA and SEO in mind when building your website is absolutely necessary to see results on your website. Using both SEO and IA, your enterprise SEO agency will bring users to your site and encourage them to engage with your content. As an agency with over a decade of SEO experience, Responsival is here to help with all of your IA and SEO needs. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help your rankings and engagements on your website.