Andy often refers to "Content Organisation" as Information Architecture, but that sounds a bit complicated for what in essence is just saying "where do things belong" - that said Andy does tend to deal in websites with thousands of pages (so I may let him off with his jargon this time). Content Organisation is VITALLY important to any website's success, but especially for those of us who are looking to either use our websites to showcase our work (portfolio websites) or indeed use websites to generate leads (or sell work directly). If you are a Photographer, and I will assume you are given you are on a Photography SEO website, then you are 99.9% likely to fit into one or both of these categories - so Content Organisation is very important.
Why is Content Organisation Important?
Let's take a step back from the web for a second and understand the broad principles of content organisation. They've been around for a long time. Think about your print portfolios that you hand to prospective clients to thumb through or that you take to events where hundreds take a look, most portfolios like this are of the nature Awesome-OK-Awesome ... this is to say that start and end with a bang, its called Book-Ending and works really well for print - but its near impossible to replicate online, and even more so as mobile devices become more and more of the traffic to websites.
Content Organisation within a website context is about categorising your content both for your users and search engines in such a way that it is easy to find again and again, but probably more importantly (for both search and your users) it sits with related content.
Portfolios and Blogs are categorized for examples this SEO article is in the "general" category of this site (you can see it in the url, the site also has a podcast category, tips category & questions category, among others) on a photography portfolio these may be things such as types of photography (wedding photography, landscape photography, interior photography etc) ultimately its about finding the correct "definition" level to organise that information.
TOP TIP: Think of each article or portfolio piece as a word document, and each category as a folder in your "my documents" which folder is most appropriate.
Content Optimisation returns to a simple idea Andy mentions of "is it where you would expect it t be" ... the example is you always expect underware in the top draw .... and its the same with content... you wouldn't for example expect to find a portfolio piece showing a manchester taxi service (commercial photography) in a manchester wedding photography category. It may sound odd but little things like this will not only look weird to your users but search engines may also feel that this is a little less professional and it can impact your rankings.
Content Organisation Lessons of a Wedding Photographer
There are three things I've learned from Andy and implemented on my website around content organisation:
- Show Your Categories It makes sense (more often than not) to show your category in the url of a web page address.
- Don't Fear Changing Categories When I first started all my categories were wrong (and I had about 100), don't worry about deleting some and renaming others. Also don't fear just creating new categories and assigning old blog post or portfolio pieces to them if they are relevant.
- Check Your Sitemap Always check that once you've made any organisational changes your sitemap has updated, if you use Yoast SEO for Wordpress this will be done automaigcally.