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After all, anyone can string bits of relevant data together and produce an ESG report. It’s the so-called ‘tick-box’ approach, and up till recently, it would have been enough in more cases than you’d think.
But now it’s different. ESG reporting, by itself, isn’t important. Good ESG reporting is what’s important.
If the information your company presents doesn’t follow best-practice, stakeholder responses will be indifferent at best and angry at worst.
To start a quick recap:
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) are becoming core pillars of corporate activity.
Companies exist to make a profit, but while doing so, they also have responsibilities to the world, its people, and themselves. At least, that’s how the modern stakeholder sees it.
Living up to those responsibilities is one thing, but if you can’t communicate that to stakeholders in a meaningful way, your efforts get lost.
At the same time, many organisations that communicate their progress use vague, brief or downright misleading language. Among other things, this contributes to greenwashing. Authorities hate this practice, and many are now taking steps to stamp it out.
This is the start of why ESG reporting is so crucial.
Why is good ESG reporting important?
Several reasons. Depending on your industry, some may be more relevant than others:
It’s the standard stakeholders expect
Investors, consumers and governments are your usual audience regarding ESG.
In the past, many of them would have been okay with the ‘tick-box’ approach. Now, with the prominence of greenwashing and increased scrutiny of social and climate policies, it’s a different picture.
As a result, your audience now expects comprehensive data – well-presented and reflective of company strategy.
Your reputation can suffer without it
In many industries, it’s a severe reputational risk to fall short of ESG reporting obligations.
For example, consumers may react badly to your perceived indifference to the environment, or investors may shy away from future funding because they don’t think their money goes where they want.
Navigating this kind of trouble can be extremely tricky.
It’s becoming a legal necessity
Companies used to engage in ESG reporting simply because it looked good. Now, it’s a different story.
For example, lawmakers and watchdogs in some of the world’s largest jurisdictions have introduced new laws to standardise what companies must report about their climate risk.
In the EU, the Corporate Sustainability and Reporting Directive (CSRD) entered into force in January. The Securities and Exchange Commission is eyeing something similar for US businesses.
Popular reporting trends have emerged
The lack of a universal reporting standard is still a problem, but promising candidates have emerged.
In addition to the CSRD standards for Europe, other examples include those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), and the task Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Stakeholders will look at these standards as what separates bad ESG reporting from good ESG reporting. If you know them, you’re closer to the latter.
It inspires confidence in your business
Don’t always consider the ramifications of getting ESG reporting wrong; consider also the benefits of getting it right.
Good reports instil confidence in a business’ rounded approach to governance. It shows that strategy integrates profit and care together.
In addition, several studies and news cases have shown many firms need to catch up in their ESG reporting duties. Some doubt their reporting skills, and others have admitted that they don’t even have ESG KPIs at the board level.
If your company is prepared to report correctly, it will stand out from this confusion.
ESG reporting is essential because stakeholders want it, governments increasingly require it, and success is borne from it.
The good news is that if you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of ESG reporting, there are courses to help you along.
You're reading Why Is Esg Reporting Important?
Boards worldwide follow the same worrying news stories, from conflict to trade wars to political polarisation. Rarely do these events mean good news for businesses.
As a result, boards should ask themselves important questions about geopolitical risk to ensure they are prepared.
Let’s dive in:
What is geopolitical risk?
It’s the collection of risks facing companies that stem from conflict or other tensions worldwide.
If you’re a corporate leader, you’re likely to follow current events closely, so you should automatically know how broad these risks can be.
What are some examples of geopolitical risks?
War, the threat of war, trade wars, blockades, sanctions, political polarisation – all are geopolitical risks that might affect a company’s performance.
And remember, they don’t have to be global to be impactful. Even localised examples of the above could be enough to threaten a company.
Sometimes, these risks can emerge slowly; these are easier to plan for. Other times, they can occur suddenly, taking markets and stakeholders by surprise, spurring panic and worsening a bad situation.Stay compliant, stay competitive
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What risks have we seen recently?
The build-up to, and the onset of, the war in Ukraine. This event caused significant shifts in European business behaviour, especially banking, as Russia and its allies were closed off from doing business with the West.
The supply chain/cost of living crisis; caused by a combination of the Ukraine war, international trade standoffs and COVID-recovery shortages.
Brexit. Most of the main negotiations are now complete, but this major event created vast amounts of uncertainty, significantly impacting small and large businesses across European borders.
What dangers does geopolitical risk carry?
Multiple serious dangers. It’s not considered the “number one corporate risk” for nothing.
If geopolitical risk turns into reality, it can seriously harm a company’s business through increased costs, loss of personnel, limitations on trade, entire markets being cut off and stakeholder panic.
Companies could rapidly land in highly vulnerable situations if any of these issues begin to surface.
Even if they don’t surface, and the company avoids the worst geopolitical risks, it can still seriously harm innovation (according to the Harvard Business Review). This might not be a problem in the short term, but it can make the business far less sustainable in the long term.
What should boards do about geopolitical risk?
The biggest trick in managing geopolitical risk is understanding it. There’s usually a lot to unpack.
Understand your company. Know its mission, market and your role in safeguarding them.
Seek training in governance if you want to improve your skills in this area
Stay tuned to news developments.
Anything and everything that could impact your business’ performance should be monitored. Ensure, as far as possible, that your company is never shocked by a news headline.
Identify, assess, and quantify your geopolitical risk. The same is true for any corporate risk.
Ensure your company strategy respects geopolitical risk and builds the company towards a point of resilience. For example, if your raw materials come from a nation where severe political violence may occur, consider sourcing elsewhere to mitigate the chance of your entire supply cutting off overnight.
3 examples demonstrating the benefits of social listening for financial services
In a decade, social media has gone from somewhere we share photos of our cat, rant about politics, get passionate about sport, and learn how to use eyeliner – to a vital part of a company’s marketing strategy (although there are still a lot of cats).
While most industries jumped on board, according to Marketo, the Financial Services Industry (FSI) is still falling short.
Download Premium Resource –Financial Services Marketing Trends Guide
Our recommendations on the latest online marketing techniques for Financial Services businesses.
Access the Financial services marketing trends guideWhere are Users Talking?
In general, the finance sector does at least have a presence on social media. But, it’s not engaging with its audience, so it’s wasting its time.
74% of consumers use social media to guide their purchasing decisions. With brand marketing often overlooked, we go to our peers for product reviews and recommendations. We want quick, effective, and personalized customer services. We know our own worth and the value of our personal data. We expect – no, we demand that financial institutions listen to us, get to know us, protect us, and reward us.
First things first, use a social listening tool to monitor all media types to find which networks your customers are using.
The arrival of the digital age disrupted the financial services industry and altered the relationship between banks and consumers. No longer can banks interact with their customers through bulletproof glass. Websites, mobile apps, and social media have created new ways to reach customers and engage. Regrettably, the FSI is still finding its feet and engagement is lacking. According to Edelman’s 2024 Trust Barometer, trust in the financial services industry is amongst the fast growing. Yet, the FSI still remains one of the least trusted of those analyzed.Why does the FSI need a presence on social media?
Consumers, prospects, and competitors are there.
Brands get mentioned, whether they’re on social or not.
Peer marketing is more effective than brand marketing. We believe our friends over brands.
It’s the largest focus group in the world where interaction can happen with consumers on a one to one basis.
But, Edelman warns that, “trust is too fragile, and today’s financial services climate is too unpredictable for companies to rest on their laurels. The industry needs to continue to be dynamic and double-down on trust building solutions.”The Financial Services Industry is Waking Up!
In 2024, the FSI began introducing social media into its marketing strategy. Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends Report for Financial Services stated, “In 2023, banks, financial brands, and insurance brands will accelerate their adoption of social channels… to deliver a human touch to the customer experience at scale”.
With 80% of the US population using social media, – it’s about time!Can the Financial Services Industry Catch Up?
Social media can provide a cornucopia of data about consumers’ behaviour, sentiment, interests, spending history, location, language, and more. A social listening tool will help the FSI track this data and identify actionable insights. Insights that’ll improve product development, customer service, risk management, marketing, and business performance. By becoming more customer-centric, the FSI will increase loyalty, trust, and revenue.Brand Benefit #1 – Brand Protection: J.P. Morgan Failed to Appreciate the Power of Social Media
The FSI is a highly-regulated industry and yes, using social media can bring on a compliancy headache. Take a painkiller! The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), published guidelines – The FCA’s supervisory approach to financial promotions in social media. Large glass of water, and swallow.
Ignoring social media won’t make it go away. Consumers will talk about a brand whether it’s there or not. If consumers aren’t happy, they tell the world via social media. If a negative story hits the press, it’s shared all over social. If the FSI isn’t there, isn’t listening, how will it know when to jump in and protect its brand?
But this wasn’t always the case. Realizing the importance of using social media, J.P. Morgan started using Twitter in 2013. Unfortunately, it failed to appreciate its power.
Admirable that the bank jumped straight into social media in such a bold way. But doing so without a crisis communication strategy prepared, was foolhardy.
First things first, keep track of mentions with social listening. Create alerts so you know the instant trouble starts. Choose keyword alerts that are industry appropriate. The FSI could choose terms such as ‘fraud’, money laundering’, etc.Brand Benefit #2 – Consumer Insights: Tata Capital Targets Couples Looking to Tie the Knot
Customer insights identify consumer behavior, brand sentiment, trending industry news, customer needs, spending history, product pain points, location, gender, and more. This data enables personalized messaging and offers that target chosen customer segments. Let’s be honest, we’re no longer surprised when Amazon pops up an ad with the boots of our dreams, or Netflix suggests the perfect Friday night movie.
Tata Capital recently launched its Wedding Loans campaign. It uses customer segmentation to find its target audience. Blanket offers to all customers shows that individuals aren’t important to a brand. Customers receiving messaging about wedding loans when they’ve been married for 20 years, would soon lose respect for Tata Capital.
The financial services industry has access to a mass of transactional data; traditional business intelligence focused on historical data. Combine this with the data found with a social media analytics platform, including countries, occupations, languages, interests, genders. It’s then possible to identify consumer behavior that was previously ignored or considered irrelevant.Brand Benefit #3 – Customer Services: 12 Months Later, Barclay Bank was ready to Start Helping
We’re online 24/7 – talking to our mates, watching movies, spending money, looking for support. If the FSI doesn’t match this with 24/7 customer care on social networks, it’s ignoring our needs. 60% of company mentions happen out of office hours. Ouch!
It’s not just about winning customers, it’s about keeping them.
Providing good customer service that complies with banking regulations and operates on social media in the public eye, is not always easy. Planning is essential, because of the need to remain compliant. You won’t receive promos because of that #FridayFeeling, interest rates won’t drop because the sun’s out.
Barclay Bank prepared for 12 months before launching its Twitter account in 2010. It listened to its followers and responded quickly and with a human voice. So successful was it, in 2024, the bank launched a dedicated Twitter account for customer enquiries. @BarclaysUKHelp runs 24/7 and currently has 20K+ followers.
Offering customer service via social media saves time and money for manual workflows. We rarely reach for the phone if we have a problem or complaint, we hit social media – make some noise. When a brand listens, responds, and solves a customer’s problem on social, it’s demonstrating that it cares about its customers. Despite what some may think, using social media for customer services doesn’t make a brand vulnerable, it can increase trust and brand awareness.How the Financial Services Industry Can Use Social Media to Drive Business Advantage
With consumers in the driver’s seat, where does that leave the FSI in 2023?
Social media, used well, is one of the best places to connect with audiences in innovative, personalized, and educational ways. Delivering engaging and consistent messaging enhances the customer experience. If you want more details on using social listening, you can download this white paper: How the Financial Services Industry Can Use Social Media to Drive Business Advantage.
In today’s competitive business world, we must recognize that client retention and satisfaction with your services and products are vital to your organization’s success– and the banking sector system is no different.What Is CRM Software
CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) is a cutting-edge technology that helps organizations manage and nurture their client relationships by analyzing enormous amounts of data and establishing a customized strategy for each customer segment.
In addition, there are three fundamental forms of CRM to satisfy the objectives of each industry, based on the business model and purpose: A) Operational CRM, B) Analytical CRM, and C) Collaborative CRM.
For example, in banking, the most common CRM system is an analytical CRM system because the primary goal of banks is to evaluate a vast number of data from their clients and then develop a plan based on the results.CRM In the banking industry
In any customer-focused industry, customer relationship management (CRM) is a must. It’s a unique tool for banks in terms of accomplishing sales and marketing objectives and exceeding client expectations.
CRM software is a customized solution that assists banks in implementing customer-focused strategies. Tellers and workers at banks can use a single system to −
Customer information, such as contact information, products used, and interactions, should be saved.
Make appointments, respond to social media posts, and send tailored emails.
Add notes or new information to client profiles in real-time.
Create reports that examine client behavior, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and more.How is CRM important in the banking industry?
Frequently, bankers have a basic understanding of CRM and how it works. However, not everyone recognizes the value of CRM in banking and does not integrate such systems into their operations. Although it appears that your bank can be profitable without a CRM, don’t be fooled; customer-focused products dramatically improve everything related to the engagement process. We can identify three crucial CRM featuresCRM’s Advantages in the Banking Industry
More effective marketing tactics − Banks can use CRM to understand their customers’ touchpoints, behavior, preferred communication channels, and much more. It also aids in the analysis of various data sets, segmenting client profiles, automating personalized communication, and enabling more focused targeted marketing to improve a bank’s marketing initiatives.
This is primarily why the industry’s best banks have such excellent conversion and retention rates. To retain as many customers as possible, the goal is to target the right audiences and then provide a great customer experience. This can be accomplished using normal banking CRM software.
Effective communication − Talisma, for example, provides an omnichannel form of customer engagement, which unifies several communication channels to promote consistent and meaningful customer involvement. Automated communication systems can be included in regular bank CRM software to make customer interactions swift and precise.
Furthermore, it can assist banks in monitoring discussions in order to obtain information about common client inquiries and complaints so that they can be addressed quickly.
Increased productivity of employees − Digital transformation will be aided by the use of the correct CRM software. Through the integration of available technologies and the streamlining of customer service processes, regular sales and business operations will be transformed forever and for all the right reasons.
Simpler customer service − CRM includes several solutions that dramatically improve customer service quality. For example, CRM reduces the time it takes to open a bank account, resulting in a much better customer experience.
Furthermore, banks can use CRM to install self-service portals for clients, which allow them to fix a problem without having to wait for a customer support representative. Co-browsing is a feature of the best CRM software for banks that helps a customer care agent actively manage consumer queries.CRM’s Challenges in the Banking Industry
When it comes to CRM software adoption, banks, like any other organization, encounter several hurdles.Data Protection
The banking industry is concerned about data security and wants to give customers more choice over who has access to their records. The entire banking system should be safeguarded against cyber-attacks and dangerous software, in addition to their client’s personal information and account records.
Modern CRM platform vendors are fully aware of these problems and provide robust security solutions to maintain a high level of information protection, ranging from role-based access permission to encrypted transactions and data backups.Compatibility with Existing Tech Stack
Almost every financial and banking firm has a legacy IT infrastructure and technology stack that might be difficult to change. Because most outdated software was not meant to integrate with current CRM systems, this is the case.
It does, however, imply that any bank can integrate new solutions with current ones without the risk of data loss or system failure.
The good news is that CRM professionals can help you integrate your preferred CRM system into your company’s infrastructure and ensure that the new system runs smoothly.
when should the banking industry think about CRM adoption?
Because a lack of data visibility provided by CRM might lose your firm clients and money, the answer is simple: as soon as feasible.
Furthermore, a lack of customer-related data prevents you from thoroughly analyzing your clients’ behavior and providing them with the high-quality services they expect.
The concern about data security and limited access is perhaps the most significant obstacle for banks trying to implement CRM. The good news is that CRM companies are aware of these risks and have taken precautions to address them.
Most banks would have chosen an on-premises solution in the past due to security concerns. However, because we now live in the Cloud era, CRM security has been enhanced to meet the challenge.
For security and access, CRM systems provide granular, role-based permissions. These roles can be created by the CRM administrator to guarantee that only certain parties have access to specified information. Licenses can also be assigned to individuals or entire teams.
Encrypted transmissions, data center backups, and session time-outs are just a few ways CRM firms maintain Cloud data security.
As a result, it’s critical to speak with the CRM supplier about the security features of their particular package. Another problem for banks using CRM is integrating it with current systems. While connecting your CRM to your other systems simplifies data administration, doing so might be difficult (and expensive) if you’re combining two products that weren’t designed to function together.
Again, the best approach to avoid integration issues is to be honest about your current solutions, inquire about integration choices, and learn how those integrations may affect your ultimate expenses.
As technology plays an increasingly integral role in sports, from athlete performance monitoring to fan engagement, the importance of cybersecurity in the sports industry has become prevalent.
While sports organizations have long been focused on physical security, the rise of cyber threats poses new challenges that must be addressed. At least 70% of sports organizations have experienced cyber incidents or breaches.
infrastructure that powers sports organizations
This article will explore the unique cybersecurity risks facing the sports industry and examine the strategies sports organizations can employ to protect themselves and their stakeholders from cyber threats.Why do we need cybersecurity in sports?
According to a report, nearly all sports organizations have websites, social media accounts, and digital files collecting the personal data of customers, employees, and volunteers. According to National Cybersecurity Centre, more than 80% of respondents have online business systems that provide clients the option to book, pay for, or make purchases online (see Figure 1).
Source: National Cyber Security Centre
Figure 1: Which of the following, if any, does your organization currently have or use?1- Protection of sensitive data
Sports organizations collect and store sensitive data, including athlete and fan data, financial data, and intellectual property. Cybersecurity is essential to protect this data from unauthorized access, theft, or manipulation by cyber criminals.2- Reputation management
A cyber attack on a sports organization can cause significant reputational damage, leading to financial losses and loss of fan trust. Cybersecurity measures can help prevent such incidents and mitigate their impact if they do occur.
Fans expect their personal data to be protected and their interactions with sports organizations to be secure. Sports organizations can build and maintain fan trust by prioritizing cybersecurity and increasing engagement and revenue. This is also crucial for reputation management.3- Operational continuity
A cyber attack on a sports organization’s infrastructure can disrupt operations and lead to significant financial losses. By implementing cybersecurity measures, sports organizations can ensure their operations’ continuity, minimize downtime risk, and increase revenue.4- Compliance with regulations
Sports organizations are subject to various data privacy and security regulations (such as GDPR). By implementing cybersecurity measures, sports organizations can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid penalties or legal issues.Top 5 Cybersecurity use cases in sports 1-Protecting athlete data
Athlete data, such as medical records and performance statistics, are valuable information that can be targeted by cybercriminals. For example, in 2024, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was hacked, and sensitive athlete data was leaked.
Sports organizations must ensure that athlete data is properly secured and access is strictly controlled to prevent similar incidents. Education on phishing attempts is a good choice of defense against this form of cyberattack. Preventing these assaults may be accomplished by being aware of the appearance of phishing emails.2-Securing online ticket sales
Online ticket sales are a common target for cybercriminals. Hackers can use phishing attacks to obtain credit card information or use bots to purchase tickets in bulk and resell them at inflated prices. Ticket fraud reports have doubled since 2023, and resell value of online tickets for almost whatever sporting event is known to fluctuate extremely.
Sports events comprise the largest segment of worldwide event tickets, and it has a projected market volume of over $28 billion in 2023.3-Preventing game-day cyber attacks
Cyber attacks during the game day can disrupt operations, cause financial loss, and potentially endanger athletes and spectators. An example of such game-day disruptions happened most recently during the 2023 World Cup semi-final match between France and Morocco. Due to in-app loading difficulties, the outage caused problems for certain FuboTV subscribers in viewing the full game. FuboTV argued that the outage was because of a cyber attack.4-Securing broadcasting infrastructure
Broadcasting infrastructure is a valuable target for cybercriminals, which can disrupt live broadcasts or steal valuable intellectual property. For example, In 2024, the French broadcaster resulted in the shutdown of 12 channels and the leak of sensitive information.5-Protecting fan data
Sports organizations collect fan data through online purchases, loyalty programs, and social media interactions. Fans are prone to phishing scams via mobile apps, and remotely managed systems are open to hackers.
This data can be targeted by cybercriminals and used for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Sports organizations must ensure that fan data is properly secured and access is strictly controlled.
See Figure 2 for an overview of the attack trends.
Source: National Cyber Security Centre
Figure 2: Attack Trends – Percentage of organizations reporting attack activityWhat are the cybersecurity challenges in sports? 1- Rapidly evolving threats
Cyber threats constantly evolve, making it difficult for sports organizations to keep up with the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Attackers are constantly looking for new ways to exploit system weaknesses, making it challenging for sports organizations to maintain strong cybersecurity measures.2- Complex supply chains
Sports organizations often work with many vendors and partners, creating a complex supply chain. This can make it challenging to ensure that all parties have adequate cybersecurity measures and that there are no vulnerabilities in the supply chain.3- Limited resources
Many sports organizations have limited resources to devote to cybersecurity, especially smaller organizations or those with limited budgets. This can make it difficult to implement and maintain strong cybersecurity measures.4- Legacy systems
Some sports organizations may still use legacy systems not designed with modern cybersecurity practices in mind. These systems can be difficult to secure and more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.5- Lack of awareness
Not all members of a sports organization may be aware of the importance of cybersecurity or how to practice good cyber hygiene. This can lead to human error or unintentional vulnerabilities.6- Cultural challenges
Some sports organizations may have a culture that does not prioritize cybersecurity or may see cybersecurity as a hindrance to innovation or operations. Implementing strong cybersecurity measures or getting stakeholders’ buy-in can make it difficult.
If you have further questions, reach us:
He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University and he received his master’s degree in International Politics from KU Leuven .
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No matter how long you have been in the SEO field, you have probably heard about the importance of the structure of a site to organic search performance.
With every passing year, I find it closer to the top of my list of important things to work on when working with a site.What Is Site Structure?
At its core, site structure is simply the act of organizing a website.
The goal of this organization is to create a site that is easily navigatable by users while simultaneously allowing search engines to crawl the site easily.
One of the first things an SEO learns about when being introduced to the practice is on-page optimization which has a heavy reliance on-page organization through the use of heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
A site’s structure is an extrapolated version of this organization.
For example, I like to think of a website like a house. The ideal house has the appropriate number of rooms that are easily accessible.
In this analogy, pages are represented as rooms. To make the house livable you want to make sure that hallways. Without these hallways, you would only be able to access the rooms by the exterior windows.Topics vs. Keywords
One of the major points in creating an ideal site structure is how you organize pages into topic silos.
While keyword research is a topic all in itself, I will say that it is important to think of your pages/page groups less from a keyword perspective and more as topics.
By focusing on topics you will be able to create a holistic approach to your page targeting by creating content that answers the questions within each part of the buyer’s journey.
At the end of the day, keyword research is still a crucial element of content creation if you want a page to rank well. The biggest difference is in a mentality shift.
Keywords aren’t just something you put on a page anymore and then rank for that specific query after building a few links.
Things are more complicated now. (Just read How Search Engines Work.)
Search engines are way smarter and process content more efficiently.
That is why the mentality has to shift to determine what topics need to be covered on a page or a grouping of pages to cover the topic extensively.
When done correctly, this method of content creation can lead to:
An expansion of keyword inventory.
Better user engagement.
To learn more about having a topic focus visit my previous Search Engine Journal article, How to Dominate SERPs by Focusing on Topics Instead of Keywords.Create an IA Structure
After working through your research phase and establishing the main topics your site needs to focus on, now it’s time to build out your site’s information architecture, also referred to as IA.
Remember the previous analogy about a website functioning as a house with pages representing the individual rooms of the house?
The information architecture of the site would be represented by the hallways that connect the rooms.
This analogy is a great thing to keep in mind as you are building out your site’s information architecture.
The above image illustrates how a typical site structure should look.
At the top of the experience, you have your homepage which will more than likely be the most visited page on the site.
Then the homepage will link out to the site’s main topic silos.
These silos will act as clusters around the given topics your site focuses on.
The major benefit of this being that when search engines crawl these topic clusters they will have a better understanding of what your site is actually about.
By placing content in logical topic silos the content of a site is structured in a way that helps support the overall topic.
In turn, this builds authority for the subject(s) you are creating content around.
This is where Google’s E-A-T concept comes into play.
The better a site can establish itself as an authority for a subject, the more chances it will have to rank for relevant queries within search engines.
Similar to search engines, if a site creates useful content that resonates with users and helps answer their questions there is an increased chance in that user building recognition for the site around the subject.
As the user has more questions or needs around a subject they will be more likely to return to your site directly.Utilize Internal Links
One of the most crucial elements of building a logical site architecture is linking between pages.
This can be done through both navigational items and internal links in the body content.
So why are internal links so important?
From both a user and search engine perspective, internal links help with the actual discoverability of a page. If a page isn’t linked to it becomes harder to find and is less likely to be crawled as often, if at all.
Internal links help with the flow of equity a page has built up. This allows for pages deeper within a site to rank better for related terms.
A good way to think of this concept is like a champagne tower.
If a glass at the top of the tower (which represents a page on a site) has an abundance of champagne flowing into it (representing quality external links) then the champagne will flow to other pages as long as they are stacked accordingly (or linked to).Update Without Moving Pages
If the site you are working with isn’t a new build but rather something that has age then you want to tread lightly when making updates to site structure.
One of the first things a lot of people like to do is change up the physical URL of a page and move where the page is located within the site’s subdirectories.
This is incredibly dangerous and can have a huge negative impact on SEO.
While a redirect can solve this issue it is not the most efficient way to create a better site structure.
Redirects take the efficiency of the flow of equity from both external and internal links.
While it would probably be the fastest to implement, the cleanup of these links to update to the new URL would be incredibly time-consuming.
One way to move something from one topic silo to another is by making sure to properly implement breadcrumbs on a page.
Once breadcrumbs are enabled and have the appropriate markup attached it’s just a matter of changing the appropriate silo point where you want the page to be associated.
While you aren’t changing the physical location of a page within the structure this method still allows search engines to see that there is a change the next time they crawl the page.
This method also eliminates crawlers possibly seeing this as a completely new page that allows the page to retain all of its previously established equity.
This also gives users the ability to navigate easily within this funnel. It’s a win/win.Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Much like other tasks within SEO, your competition is a fantastic resource.
Take a look at your competition that is performing well for the topics you are trying to rank for.
If they are doing things well you should be able to determine how their site is structured which will give you insights on things search engines might be favoring.
Plus, you will have the potential ability to find even broader topics to cover within your structure.Conclusion
A website’s structure/architecture are incredibly important pieces of the SEO puzzle.
By establishing a well-planned structure for your site early on you are establishing a stronger foundation to build upon.
Without a strong site structure, the rest of your SEO efforts will have less of an impact on your overall success.
In-Post Images: Created by author, February 2023
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