I learned a new word recently. Not a new word, really, but a new phrase combined from two of those really big words that normal people rarely ever use. That phrase is "Concatenation Schema".
Yeah, that's what I thought. But, suffice it to say, it was a very simplified way of saying something that took me three paragraphs to explain. It's nice to be able to add a new phrase into your vernacular (another really big word for me) that nicely sums up something that is difficult to explain.
In the plainest, most simplest terms I could come up with, Concatenation Schema is just another way of saying "default content that changes dynamically based on category, sub-category, and product related information."
The idea behind Concatenation Schema is to develop the SEO guidelines your programmers will use to populate key areas of your site pages. These key areas can include, but are not limited to:
The first step is to figure out what your variables are. It might be categories, sub-categories, filters, titles, product names, years, makes, models, brands, styles, colors, etc.
If your site's navigation works like: CATEGORY > SUB-CATEGORY > PRODUCT, then those are your three variables. If visitors navigate via BRAND > CATEGORY > STYLE > PRODUCT, then use those as your variables. You might have one or two more variables thrown in, depending on the type of products or services you do, but you want to try to keep it as simplified as possible.
Let's use an example of a site that sells auto parts and accessories. Here are some examples of three different title tag schemas you could use for three different category levels:
Title Tag Schema 1
[MAKE] [PART] | Replacement [PART] for [MAKE] [VEHICLE]s
Title Tag Schema 2
[YEAR] [MAKE] [PART] | Replacement [PART] for [MAKE] [VEHICLE]
Title Tag Schema 3
Replacement [PART] for [YEAR] [MAKE] [MODEL]
Please note, I make no representation to the SEO value of the examples above, nor do I suggest this is the best way to format the title tags. I only mean to provide examples on how to create and use schemas.
After the title tag, we might move on to the meta description:
Meta Description Schema 1
Find replacement [MAKE] [PART]. We have everything you need for [MAKE] or other [VEHICLE] [PART]s. Free overnight delivery on orders over $300 at MyWebsite.com.
Meta Description Schema 2
Find [YEAR] [MAKE] [VEHICLE]s [PART]. Whether you're looking for a [MAKE] [PART] or for any other [VEHICLE]. Free overnight delivery on orders over $300 at MyWebsite.com.
Meta Description Schema 3
Find replacement [YEAR] [MAKE] [MODEL] [VEHICLE] [PART]. Whether you're looking for a [MAKE] [PART], or [PART] for any other [MAKE] [VEHICLE], you'll find what you need at MyWebsite.com.
From here you can get the gist of how to continue with the Concatenation Schema for the rest of the important site elements that we noted above, plus any others that you may need.
You can also do the same with textual content; however, creating unique text is recommended for each page.
Most sites will require more than one set of Concatenation Schema. In the simplest terms, you would have a schema for each section of the site:
The image below depicts a site with three categories, each with three sub-categories and nine products per sub-category. Each color represents a different schema needed.
In reality, however, it might be a bit more complex. You can't always create a perfect schema that will cover every category of your site. In some cases you might need to create a different schema for different categories. So it might actually play out something more like this:
We just went from three distinct Concatenation Schemas to a total of 11. But, before you get your panties all wadded up, by performing SEO this way, you've actually reduced the total number of pages you have to "optimize." Instead of optimizing 93 pages, you're only creating 11 schemas. That's a big reduction in time, even for a "small" site, such as the one depicted here.
Now imagine your own site, which has how many categories, sub-categories, and products? By building a few Concatenation Schemas, you're able to turn a large task into a (relatively) smaller one!
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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