Whether you're starting a new site or working on a redesign, structure plays a large role in the success of your website. Not only does it improve onsite SEO, but it also improves usability. Now, most of you see theming as simply grouping words together by subject...you know...don't put a 'cat' themed post in the 'dog' category. But, I can tell you that you'll get even more from your keywords, content and entire site if you use theming to the fullest advantage.
Now, before we go any further, you should know that there are two types of keywords for me: one type that brings all sorts of useless traffic (the kind that shows up but never converts), and paying keywords that attract buying visitors. For example, 'SEO copywriting' is more likely to attract writers wanting to learn the art of SEO copywriting, so if I want to attract paying clients, 'SEO copywriter' would be much better.
Keywords & Your Target Audience
When organizing your keywords, use them to qualify and sort your audience. And, if you do this correctly, you will be able to get a good idea of what the site visitor is thinking or looking for. Confused?
Well, when choosing your keywords, step back from the number of searches, the amount of competition, and ask yourself what words your target audience uses. Keep in mind that they'll depend on your target audience's financial status, demographics, geographic location, and even their level of experience. So, for a Coca-Cola type beverage, you might have words on your list like soda, pop, soda pop, Pepsi, Coke, cola, etc.
You might choose to use all these words, and that's fine, but don't be afraid to add words that aren't necessarily money terms. These would be simply to attract and qualify your visitors. 'Toronto beverages' would be one good example. Think specifically of the words your audience uses in everyday life and include them in your keyword list.
Your local target market might look for 'pop Toronto' and 'Toronto pop', but the commercial side of your market might be looking for words like 'bulk pop', 'wholesale pop', or 'case pop'. Still, your high-end crowd might look for ' soda pop' and 'brand name soda pop'. However you divide it up, just be sure that you match each one to a particular type of customer and structure your site around it.
Keywords & Content
After you've sorted your keywords, it's time for my favorite part! Put those keywords to use and add content. But, don't just fill each keyword or category full of the same junk. Use your content to continue qualifying your site visitors, but also use them to attract your ideal customers. So, if I was working on local retail pop sales, I might want to have content such as 'where to find the best Toronto pop'. For my commercial crowd, I might want to have content like 'how to display bulk pop to attract buyers', then the high-end crowd 'brand name soda pop and caviar'. Now, I'm being silly, (the caviar would ruin the pop!) but you get the picture.
Don't put all of this content into one 'articles' section either...instead, arrange your site so that, as a visitor, I can access your products and content in the same area. You'll also find that this strengthens your keywords and gives you the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
Keywords, Visitors, & Link Building
You need to match your content to your audience and your goal, but also keep your keywords in mind when building links and attracting traffic. Take, for example, the idea of selling bulk pop. Would your customers really be digging through press releases to find a good deal on bulk pop for distribution? In my opinion, a company blog might be the best choice. I'd also want to create a buzz about your products on a 'ground' level and entice the buyers from there. After all, if Coke wasn't so popular, people wouldn't be selling it right?
For my high-end customers, I'd personally look at specific content placement. This means, I would spend time writing an in-depth, fresh piece and approach magazines and other authority websites who target the same demographics. Publishing my work there would give me authority links, create a buzz with my target market, and project a good image on my business as a whole.
Following this method, you'll find that the onsite content and the offsite content complement each other far better. The reader and search engines will find the transition from the offsite piece to your site is smooth. And, because it matches their needs, it will hold their attention beyond their page and draw them further into your site.
Think of it like tempting me to your site with a fine looking gentleman. If I get there only to wind up in a room full of women, chances are your site isn't going to seem so wonderful anymore. I'm not going to fight to get to the buy page. Therefore, find what holds your target audience's attention and use it to lure them to where you want them to go.
What's in It for Me?
The whole point of this is to give the customer and the search engines what they want with the least amount of work. As a site visitor, don't make me go to another portion of the site entirely to get what I want. If you have to, as is the case with a blog, make sure it's as easy for me as possible.
For you, however, there are added benefits if you know how to use your analytics. Simply by looking at the landing/exit pages, you can determine what kinds of customers your site attracts, what they're looking for, and what you can improve on.Once you have this information, you can upsell, improve the advertsing/marketing portion of your site. And, you'll accomplish it while appearing as the authority site in your industry.
On a side note, keeping track of your content and keyword use is also important. To do this, you might find Bill Slawski's Content Inventory System helpful.
Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services. She loves to create SEO Web copy and other types of online and offline content, but she figures SEO and Social Media is pretty great too. She likes to chat about business and marketing, find great links, and more. Oh, and you can find this copywriter on Twitter too.