The technology behind smart dynamic content

 

The technology behind smart dynamic content

 

A technically better website that makes content more relevant. Profit for SEO, SEA and CRO. But then you have to deal with it properly. It requires a new approach in both vision and technology. In this blog I will further discuss my vision on content integration and its technical integration.

Do we actually understand content?

Content content content! I was thinking about content recently. We all have something to do with it, because content is King, that’s how we’ve heard for years. We as SEOs call it, your online marketer wants it and anyone who is a bit online savvy tells you to do something with content. Because content will make your website stand out better: content allows you to be distinctive, through content you can convince your target audience and content exudes confidence.

Many reasons to put every webmaster, SEO expert and everyone with a little grammatical insight to the pen. We write all together: content about shoes becomes ‘cheap shoes’. Because that is what people are looking for. We place this content en masse on category pages, on blogs, in the FAQ in the shopping carts etc. Everything to have as much content as possible.

Super awesome! We have therefore invested heavily in content. We have had site adjustments done to show that content and now we are waiting for the result. And continue to blog naturally.

We are stupid

Just in between: content about cheap shoes is of course not what you want to sit on. Google is much smarter than we think. We are the ones who have kept thinking in old patterns. We have taught ourselves to look stupid because the search engines were not yet ready for smart assignments. Unfortunately, that has not happened for a long time. As you can read here, it is Google’s mission to become a machine learning first company. Artificial intelligence and deep learning are the order of the day so ‘cheap shoes’: mwah, not really no anymore.

So what matters is texts for the user. That only strengthens my story because I want relevance.

So we have a lot of content and a website on which we place this content. We do this for the visitor (a bit) and for SEO. The opportunities for advertising, there we look little at content, let alone other SEO opportunities that content has to offer (in addition to rankings and the chances for your conversion rate, namely the influence of content on the information provision for your customers). Either a correct representation and implementation of the content within the structure of your website.

The website and its structure – now it becomes technical

A website is a collection of pages with which we want to entice our customers or target group with our name, our services and our product range. A place where we can show why we are better than others. That we have better products and absolutely must be the first to whom people think when they are orienting on what we offer. Or actually, we must be the first thing they think of, no matter what stage they are in.

Now there is something structurally wrong with almost all websites, namely the information architecture. Information architecture actually means: the structural design of a shared information environment. And it is precisely that ‘shared’ that we often miss out on.

If you graphically display the information architecture (IA) of an average website that offers products and services, it would generally look like this.

By putting all different types of pages side by side, there is an apparent logic in the structure. But relevant matters that actually fit / belong together now are in very different locations in the hierarchy. So there is no conclusive navigation path of relevant elements. This has a number of dangers.

  • Increased chance of duplicate content and taxonomies
  • Bad internal link distribution
  • Diffuse focus on topics or topics
  • Confusing or incomplete main navigation
  • A reduced good user experience

Our challenge: to think again about the IA of your website and to think about how you can best meet the information needs of the user and the search engine.

This was the signal for me to think about where supporting content such as blogs, FAQs and buying pointers should actually be on the website. So how can you better show this content to the search engine and user?

In order to make the line of thought more specific, I have taken an existing customer as the starting point. This customer is active in the leisure industry and is currently one of the largest retailers in the field of camping equipment, both offline and online. The structure of their website looks like this.

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic content

In my example, I will focus on the category structure: tents / festival tents / products.html

On the blog we have an article about which festival tent suits you best, which festival-tent-fits-with-you.html. This article is now on the URL /blog/advice/welke-festivaltent-past-bij-jou.html

The plan is to offer this content, which is fully affiliated with a category page and product group, at the place where it is most relevant: within the category of tents / festival tents.

The URL of the article will then be: tents / festival tents / which-festivaltent-fits-at-you.html

This is not a difficult operation. The URL of the article needs to be adjusted and the category page must show articles in addition to the products.

The difficulty in this method is that the content is not visible on other pages where there may also be a relevant match. If you come from the search engine, after a broad search for tents, on the / tents page, then the article about which festival tent suits you best also has high relevance. In this way you give substance to search intentions, they are assumptions and that is dangerous because you can also give the wrong information with which you confuse the visitor and can lose it.

In the new situation it looks like this:

Situation 1:

  • / blog / makes room for a new way of offering content
  • Articles are linked to the categories they belong to
  • ISSUE: the articles are only in one place while they are also relevant for other categories.

To solve this issue you can also display the article within other categories, apart from the new URL of an article – by means of tags. However, tagging is a kind of no-go within search engine optimization. This is because tagging can take your internal link structure out of balance with a few simple actions. Think of the chance of incorrect spellings of the tags, no clear policy in adding tags, the tags in combination with each other available for indexation and the freedom to create tags yourself.

As a solution to this, the tag structure and individual tags must be defined in advance. In the case of mijnklantinkampeerartikelen.nl, the advice is to duplicate the category structure as a tag structure. Each category page also becomes a tag.

Articles can now also be linked to other relevant categories than just the category on which the physical URL is located.

Desired method in the example:

  • A maximum of 5 tags can be assigned to an article
  • Tags are made up of the current category structure
  • Tags are presented, checked and added once

The tags allow us to show the articles easily in the places where they are relevant. In consultation with UI / UX and CRO consultants, the best placement on the page must be considered, in the example below we add a block below the product range on the page.

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic contentContent integration: the technology behind dynamic content

In the example, the yellow block with ‘Article 1’ is the article about festival tents. The tagging then looks like this:

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic content

The article about the festival tents will now be added to the pages in addition to the category festival tents – through this tagging

  • / tents /
  • /camping/
  • / events /

However, the URL of the article always remains the same: / tents / festival tents / well-festivaltent-past-by-jou.html

The view at the bottom of the page shows all articles that have the same tag. An overview page as tents thus contains all tents related content.

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic content

Now there is a structure where supporting content is linked to the most relevant category or subcategory. There is also the possibility to display the content on other relevant categories and subcategories by means of tags. The first issue, “There is no overview in which articles there are and so again there is bad information architecture”, is now solved.

Situation 2:

  • / blog / makes room for a new way of offering content
  • Articles are restructured to the categories they belong to
  • Articles are linked by tagging to the 5 most important and relevant categories
  • ISSUE: There is no overview page on which we can show all articles

The solution to the issue: The category / blog / remains, but only consists of articles that are on their new URL. By using the tags you can also easily load them on an overview page such as / blog /. In this way there is still a blog or knowledge base, or whatever you call this part of the website. There is still a place where all content is collected and where the users can get the articles relevant to them. For Google, this page is excluded from indexation because it no longer has any added value for indexation. Inclusion for indexation would bring the internal link structure out of balance.

In the image alongside a simple view of the overview page on which all articles are visible.

There is a selection option so that you can directly select your own areas of interest. The selections can be combined.

Things that can be added to this are, for example, date selection, setting of sequences and possibly a selection on author. The liberties in it are unlimited because this page really serves the user and not the search engine.

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic content

Situation 3:

  • / blog / changes to an overview page of all articles based on a selection of tags
  • Articles are restructured to the categories they belong to
  • Articles are linked by tagging to the 5 most important and relevant categories.
  • ISSUE: When they are on an article page they are out of the conversion tunnel

The structure with the tags that make articles visible on category pages ensures relevance within a conversion tunnel. That is at least the hypothesis. This could have a downsizing effect because, instead of clicking on a product, people click through to an article. To prevent this, it is important that a reference to categories and products is made on the article page.

It is indeed the intention that the structure – as described here – contributes to the conversion. To remove this possible threshold, we place the tags, and therefore also the relevant other categories, clearly visible on the article page. We can also link products to products, so there is a direct link from the structure to the most relevant categories and most interesting products. This can of course also be dynamic.

This also gives nice opportunities for advertising. You can effectively advertise / remarket information on blog articles with target groups that have a great chance of purchasing after information consumption because of the knowledge from programmatic and user signales. The danger here is that the articles get too commercial an approach. This will always have to be tested. That testing has to be done speaks for itself when implementing new methods.

In this way the article page offers solutions for both the user and the search engine and for a conversion increase in the funnel.

Final situation

Content integration: the technology behind dynamic content

  • / blog / changes to an overview page of all articles based on a selection of tags
  • Articles are restructured to the categories they belong to
  • Articles are linked by tagging to the 5 most important and relevant categories.
  • A highly relevant internal link structure is built up from the articles
  • It is possible to advertise effectively on articles
  • The conversion tunnel is expanded by including information provision in the orientation.
  • The user is made easy to orientate because information is visible where it has the highest relevance.

Testing and intended result

Such an adaptation to the website is accompanied by a lot of technical insight with the developer, patience and an investment in time and money. You should also be aware that such an implementation is an innovation that requires trial and error.

Our expertise in the field of technology, algorithms, advertising and user experience are the basis from which such plans are conceived and developed. You will have to innovate, whereby innovation with a minimal chance of error is preferred by everyone. It is not yet a proven method, but we do know that we are taking a big step in the way we deal with content and on which we increase the relevance of our product groups and content. Everything to better serve the customer and the search engine with answers in every phase.

However, such methods must always be tested. The display must be tested, the effect on indexation must be tested and Adwords campaigns must be tested. We must also be aware that a new approach always has an incubation period. Result must grow, but fortunately it is also good to monitor.

The rollout of the technique

You can ask yourself whether a partial rollout is not better. However, that is not preferable. The strength of the described method is precisely in the total plan. If only one part is picked up then the website technically no longer works and there is a chance of a negative effect by disrupting the internal link structure. This is because the chances of duplicate content, skewed URL structure and double navigation layers are growing. Of course, elements can be used independently of each other, then a tailor-made plan must be made for the specific case in which a method for the technical operation must be described. Everything based on “If This Then That”. At the same time, each element to be deployed must be determined as to what the input will contribute.

For such an adaptation to the website, patience, investment (in terms of time and money) and a lot of technical insight with the developer are required. You should also be aware that such an implementation is an innovation that requires trial and error. It is therefore the mix of expertise at RIFF in the field of technology, algorithms, content marketing, advertising and user experience that form the basis of this type of ideas and their roll out.

The first steps have been taken

As always with a new vision, it is a leap in the deep. Innovating to move forward, something that is essential within the online market. But with a minimal chance of error of course. In my view, with this content integration plan we are taking a big step in the way you deal with content and how it can contribute to a more relevant user experience and better results. Everything to better serve the customer and the search engine with answers in every phase of the customer journey.

So far my vision on the way in which content integration can contribute to better meeting the information needs (and increasing the conversion). The plan is not yet perfect, but the seed is now planned for several customers. Exciting. But until then I am also very curious about your opinion. So please share it with me in the comments. And do you want to know more? Feel free to contact me. I like to watch with you!

 

A technically better website that makes content more relevant. Profit for SEO, SEA and CRO. But then you have to deal with it properly. It requires a new approach in both vision and technology. In this blog I will further discuss my vision on content integration and its technical integration.

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