One of the best ways to increase your search engine rankings (SERs) is to have an awesome link building strategy for your website.
However, sometimes the size of your website can make link building difficult and cause a great deal of frustration.
That means that most eCommerce websites forgo using a solid link structure best practice because it’s easier use the default settings on their database, CMS or shopping cart. Doing so may be easier but it can cost you not only revenue but also customer retention and brand building.
To help, here are some search engine optimization (SEO) link structure best practice tips to get your eCommerce website set up to increase it’s online success.
6 Easy Link Structure Tips for Ecommerce Websites
1. Always use SEO-friendly URLs. The URL is the website address that displays in your Internet browser.
Most eCommerce pages will display product numbers or an indexing number. Instead, you should have it display keyword-dense URLs to not only tell the search engines more about the product but also add authority to your brand for that niche.
2. Use solid navigation structure.
eCommerce websites that follow a tree-like link structure have a clear navigational road map for both search engines and customers. In other words, you want your navigation to look like a family tree and not a spider web.
3. Choose one URL structure.
Sometimes, eCommerce websites can have categories, tags and other descriptive factors that can result in the product page being displayed in more than one area. Content should always only display in one area or the search engines will see each as a duplicate. Duplicate content is one of the worst things you can do in SEO. If you have an option, go with store.com/product1 and leave out the categories from the link structure.
4. Always link to your top products from your main homepage.
This brings the link to these products within one-click from the main page – instantly increasing its page weight for the search engines. Nested items can sometimes be overlooked but those popular products linked from your homepage will bring them to attention.
5. Don’t create multiple landing pages for product differences such as size, color, etc.
When you break up the products and reuse content, your website will have duplicate content. This is normally seen as a black hat tactic to increase search engine page rank. When in doubt, use canonical URLs.
6. Fix those broken links.
Any links for products that no longer exist should go to a new (relevant) product or to a page that provides links to other (relevant) products. The more broken links found in your eCommerce website, the lower your search engine ranking. Think of it as helping a customer in your store. When they can’t find what they need, you would offer them an alternative. Do the same for the search engines.
If these tips seem a little over your head or you don’t think they can be implemented on your website, just remember that the reward to implementing such a strategy is increased return on investment (ROI). Most CMS or shopping cart eCommerce solutions offer the opportunity to dynamically change the link structure throughout the website but a using a single setting. One of my clients uses .NET for over 9000 products and we were able to dynamically fill in the SEO content and link structure by adding a single line of code. Yes, it is both possible and worth it.
By following a solid link structure approach to eCommerce SEO, you will build a better search engine and user experience.
What has been your eCommerce experience when it comes to link building and website structure? Do you follow these best practices?