Web Architecture: Setting Up For Success

Once upon a time there was a non-profit organization that wanted to make great improvements to their website. They wanted their website to become more dynamic, interactive and provide tailored content!

Let’s call this non-profit organization ABC! Company ABC wanted to create an account home section for their members when they login to the website. This landing page would be called MyABC and has items like:

  • review & edit profile
  • print member certificate

As you can read, these are basic necessities for a home account. Let’s push this account home further and provide a better user experience for our members.

New Idea! ADMIN users will help to improve the MyABC user experience. We will allow ADMIN users to tag the pages in the website so we can have categorized content. This way content can be tailored for each user. For example, user A specializes in Cancer Research. ADMIN users would tag pages with cancer related content using keywords like “cancer” and “cancer research”. We can then place links to these pages for said user, providing a custom experience.

Even better, by tagging and categorizing these pages, we can then feed that category information into our search engine. In my case, I am using Elasticsearch. We can force users to specific content or just make suggestions. For example:

Here is some sample JSON data about a page on the ABC website:

{
    "title": "Testing Suggestions",
    "description": "Use this to test...",
    "tags": [
        "test",
        "testing"
    ]
}

So let’s take a quick inventory so far:

  • JSON data with categories
  • Store JSON data into Elasticsearch
  • use categories to for more precise search

Here’s a screen shot of what we can end up with:

Blog-WebSuccess-searchBox

We type the category words we used when storing the data (“test”, “testing”), using JQuery autocomplete, we make an ajax call to Elasticsearch and return the titles of the document(s) matching the keywords!

This figure is a summation of how the data has been stored:

Blog-WebSuccess-tags

How does this help us in the long run? We get the capability to do the following:

  • Know traffic volume, since we can restrict users to pages available in our search engine, matching to specific keywords!!!
  • Categorized content can appear in the user’s MyABC (account home) page.
  • Send these clicks and page visits to Google Analytics for further analysis.

This was a very high-level write-up. We will cover more details in later posts. The point is to show how categorizing content, whether early or late in the website building process, can earn big gains on the SEO side of things!

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Author: Michael Clayton

Technologist, Developer, Music Technology

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