Content First Design | Transalpine Internet Sevices

Transalpine has a department specialised in the highly technical field of website content optimization. We explain here how Content Engineering can improve the search engine performance of your website.

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Content First Design

Content Design is a branch of SEO concerned with the quality of content within a website. Its primary aim is to provide a site with material in sufficient quality and abundance, language options and degree of authority, that other sites within its online community voluntarily link to it and use it as a prime reference.

Content Engineering is concerned with the structuring of information within an architecture which provides the desired level of access to search engines, so that they can build an accurate and fair index. This ensures the long-term development of the type and volume of traffic which matches the marketing criteria of the site's owners.

SEO can richly reward site owners if done well and is integrated into a system of continuous improvement and revision. SEO is most effective when it is incorporated very early in the planning and design stages. Independent of the nature of the site, designing first the structure of the content, and in particular planning the incorporation of potential future content, is the best way to ensure the goals of the site are achieved.

Stages in Content Design and Engineering

  • Content Inventory
  • The first stage of content engineering is existing content inventory, analysing the strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, of the current site within its competitive environment. The inventory will extend to potential opportunities which exist in offline material that could be exploited, and where there may exist threats related to intellectual property and corporate secrecy.

  • Cross-disciplinary Design
  • The second stage is design, incorporating the needs and ideas, present and future, of all departments: strategic planners, marketing, product development, and content providers. In this phase, Content First Design is useful as a brainstorming criterion, to avoid the pitfalls which occur when technology-oriented thinking, or profit-blinkers, and other assumptions, preclude insightful design opportunities and creative ideas.

  • Keyword Analysis
  • Partially done during the cross-disciplinary brainstorming phase, and partially done as a technical investigation by the SEO consultant on the basis of the knowledge gained in that phase, keyword analysis informs the hierarchical layout and specificity of content design.

  • Structure and Input
  • The next stage is the construction of the new site architecture, incorporating a clear hierarchy and content management. Existing content is revised, translations made, and the CMS reviewed.

  • Monitoring and Review
  • SEO is necessarily an iterative process. As the site develops in complexity and market penetration, its application and focus will require adjustment, and market opportunities will open. Analytical tools exist to help in this task, but these can be notoriously misleading if not combined with experience.

How does a Search Engine see a Webpage?

Real Content

Search engines do not include everything on a page in their analysis, but only what it considers is real content. It therefore ignores programming scripts and page structural elements, which are common to all pages, and therefore reveal nothing about the unique content of the page as it is displayed to the human eye.

Navigation links count for helping understand the structure of the site, but do not help identify the unique content of a page. Given the high value of a page's title, navigational devices should not be used to establish the title. Instead the title should appear as the meta title tag in the header, and as an h1 tag in the body of the page.

Hidden Content

On the other hand, some elements of a page that are displayed and are dominant in the eye of the beholder are close to invisible to a search engine. Examples are graphics and videos.

Care should be taken while designing dynamic sites, which generate content due to the actions of a user. For example, AJAX and JavaScript may be used to call in content to a page without reloading it in response to a user's choices.

Spiders have no thumbs

Since the search engine spider is not equipped with thumbs, so cannot press any buttons, or fill in any fields, this content remains invisible to it.

A good way to see what the spider sees is to load a page and then examine its source, which is the raw HTML.

Spiders have no thumbs

Since the search engine spider is not equipped with thumbs, so cannot press any buttons, or fill in any fields, this content remains invisible to it.

Spider cartoon by

A good way to see what the spider sees is to load a page and then examine its source, which is the raw HTML.

This is how the text on a page may appear in HTML, visible from the page source

Images and Video

When viewing a page as its source, it becomes immediately obvious that an image or a video reduces to a link, with corresponding title and alt attribute texts. The search engine cannot tell much, if anything, from the image itself, so relies on the veracity of the text information in the tags.

Similarly, Flash, HTML5 embed, and iframes are largely invisible to the search engines, except for accompanying text. On the other hand, PDF files used to be treated as images, but can now be accessed by search engines for their content.

Unique Content

Search engines frown (and apply punitive downgrading) on sites on which large amounts of text appear which is replicated somewhere else on the web, or the same site.

This information is imported from our site For further information, please visit the site, or contact us.

IT Forum by Sean Bone

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