Divide and Conquer – Content Structures for Beginner Webmasters

SEO Level : Beginner

See building a website as building a library.  I am not talking about placing books in a building. I am talking about what is done way before we get there.  I am talking about developing the sections of a library.  Libraries are some of the most organized places in the world simply because if they were not, we would be unable to find the information we want in them.  They would just be a hodge-podge of books stacked up in no order. We create them in a structured way in order to retrieve the information we store in them.

A good example of a library I know is the Humboldt State University Library in Northern California [Source].  The librarians there decided to separate the content by media and then ordered each of the subsections in other ways.  As a result, there are two main sections: books in the South Wing and periodicals in the North Wing. Other, smaller sections contain children’s books, microfilm and videos, and CDs.

Humboldt State University Library Floor 2

Search engines serve the same purpose as a well-organised librarian: they are information retrieval systems.  Search engine optimizers then, are like the architects of libraries, where drawings, bricks and mortar are replaced by lines of code and server responses.

Your website should be built in exactly the same way a librarian organizes a good library.  You need to structure the content and then separate different topic areas.  Then you start loading the site with text in a way that an information retrieval system can find and deliver the content to a user.

  • Begin, then, by building a website that has a ridged structure.
  • Use a breadcrumb system to provide structure to your content
  • Ensure that related content is interlinked.

And a final point: Make sure not to duplicate the content on the website. Don’t write about the same thing, with the same message, over and over again just to fill out the content.  If you expect a certain page to be returned for a specific search, then you need to ensure that only one page on your website can fulfill the request for information.  This is why we say divide and conquer – because by dividing specific content up on selected pages, we are best able to conquer the search results and get the more search engine visitors.

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