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SEO and Navigational Taxonomy

Eric Gould • July 19, 2018

Website redesign and restructuring can be a massive, costly endeavor that involves a plethora of development, design, and marketing specialists. You want to ensure that whatever changes you’re making will drive ROI, and that time-intensive site updates will do more than just modernize the look of your site.

Interestingly enough, a site redesign or user-experience optimization is a prime opportunity to enhance the search performance of the site with relatively little effort. SEO engagements and optimizations are pretty linear projects: the longer an SEO campaign has been in place, the better the quality of insights and direction during the redesign project.

Here, we’ll look at the relationship between SEO and navigational taxonomy.

Keyword Performance

A robust SEO strategy is essential to boosting your website’s visibility to the general public. In order to achieve high visibility, a long-term look at keyword performance needs to be a big component in site design decisions. At the same time, this goes beyond a simple cross-reference of monthly search volume (MSV), which anyone claiming to ‘do SEO’ can easily pull.

Data Collection

Gathering proper data can take months of keyword tracking and process refinement around a given domain. It is a ‘sifting’ process, first looking at what a website naturally ranks for, then performing competitor analyses, trend analyses, rinsing, and repeating. Then, of course, there are the actual on-site implementations, observations, and analysis which goes back into the above process.

SEO and Navigational Taxonomy

Ideally, an SEO campaign is mature enough for all of the above to have taken place before redesign/taxonomy discussions take place. At this point, total communication between designers and brand managers is essential to success.

Taxonomy discussions (from an SEO perspective) will direct the focus of the user experience with collected datasets and live trends. SEO serves as a check when it comes to usability optimizations, and often contributes important insights that help to optimize the site’s most highly visible pages.

The bottom line is that SEO is essential to maximizing the value and return on site redesigns both in the long- and short-term. It is a huge component of taxonomy discussions because search engines use site structure to ‘learn’ and index a site, and much of the important highly visible data (also from a user perspective) is placed in the navigation.

Remember, it’s important to consider the wide range of data that is driven and collected by SEO efforts. Understanding where external users are finding and accessing the site is critical to ensuring new designs and navigation elements are enhancing the experience.


Eric Gould

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Eric Gould

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