|Best Site Location for Content|
For a few years I had the articles on my site as a PDF doc only. When you went to my articles page and clicked on an article title it just opened this PDF doc.
Based on a thread I had started a few months ago I decided to layout all articles as HTML pages with a link on the final page as a PDF download. I figured this might be better from a SEO content development standpoint.
I would like to expand on this question a little. Does it matter where on the site the articles are at to get the best SEO bang for the buck? From any page on the site you can click on the articles link, go to that page and click on the article title you want and it takes you to the first page of the article you have chosen.
Strictly speaking from an SEO perspective is this the best layout for articles?
Have you ever consider moving your content onto a blog platform like wordpress or blogger? This would definitely give you some positive results SEO wise and help you gain more revenue.
[edited by: John_Blake at 1:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 15, 2007]
I don't think that using Wordpress or Blogger will provide inherently better SEO, although if you post frequently you can generate traffic through Blog searches as well as Web searches.
Depending on the amount of content, I'd recommend structuring a hiearchy of keyword-based categories and putting the articles in as individual HTML pages under the appropriate category or subcategory. Link the hottest articles directly from the home page for an extra boost, but don't try to link hundreds that way.
You might consider a CMS like Joomla to manage your articles. It will take longer to set up and learn, but if you post a lot of content is will make publishing new articles faster. You can also set up other author and editor roles so that other people can post but not change the site settings, etc.
|I'd recommend structuring a hiearchy of keyword-based categories and putting the articles in as individual HTML pages under the appropriate category or subcategory |
Perfect, that was what I was looking for. I did part of that now. I have a page off the home page called "Articles" and on that page I have a listing of the article titles. If you click any of the titles it will take you to the first HTML page of the article.
What I have not done and your suggestion hits on is linking some of the good articles from the home page or aggregating the articles under a common category. Thanks!
|I have a page off the home page called "Articles" |
Think you can come up with a more creative and targeted link than "Articles"? What are the articles about?
This is an excellent point - you need to have another set of folders within 'articles' that drills down into a definable set of categories. So if you're writing articles on finance, you could have articles/loans, articles/savings, articles/debts and so on.
Does that make sense? The more targeted you get with your ultimate url structure, the easier it is to finesse your SEO.
|you need to have another set of folders within 'articles' that drills down into a definable set of categories. |
Even better! Thank you, I totally didn't think of that. I think with this stuff we (I) get too close to it and miss the nuances. Thank you to you both for the great suggestion.
I was suggesting something a bit more radical, though.
What, if anything, does "articles" tell your users? Is it useful at all to include "articles" in the path?
Are your users looking for "articles"?
Or are they looking for: tutorials, more information, details, troubleshooting guides, an in-depth look, application notes, installation hints, etc. etc. etc.?
When I see "articles" on a site, I see a site where somebody read that they have to have x number of articles for SEO purposes. And lots of spider-food. Nothing there for me, though, so I move on.
I'd suggest that if you even have a section called "articles", you likely haven't been thinking too hard about your users needs.
|tutorials, more information, details, troubleshooting guides, an in-depth look, application notes, installation hints, etc. etc. etc.? |
Thanks for the additional thoughts. It is true I haven't thought about it like that. This will take a little more effort on my part because I have a VERY broad market that really applies to a lot of people and businesses. Trying to figure out a way to group material in a way that would apply to such a broad base might be difficult. I will have to think about that a bit more. However I appreciate the additional insight.
There are many industries in which it is common to publish formalized series of articles for a particular audience or use. Don't forget these!
Some examples of these types of articles:
application notes, case studies, field notes, marketing briefs, backgrounders, technology updates, retailer profile
These are all kinds of articles - but do you file them under "article"? Does "article" even mean anything to readers? Or does it actually detract from the familiar terms commonly used within the industry?
These would all be good SEO fodder. And just as good (or perhaps better) if you leave "article" out of the URL path. And, glory be - SEO fodder that is also what users are looking for.
Bottom line - most industries have publications that are common in the industry, and those publications have names. Call a spade a spade, and make it easy for your users to find what they are looking for.