Top 6 SEO Link Structure Tips for Ecommerce Websites

One of the best ways to increase your search engine rankings (SERs) is to have an awesome link building strategy for your website.

SEO Link Building

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.

Storyboard Navigation

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 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?

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  • srinivas

    nice post. its help for me

    • Shannon Steffen

      Happy to help!

  • Arun Nair

    Hey Shannon you have written great post, great job really
    appreciated. I am not agree with landing page on root category. That is
    what I personally believe.
    I totally agree with you about the “Don’t create multiple landing pages for product differences such as size, color, etc.” & that should not be the same because I have faced the same problem while doing on shopping cart site.

    Thanks for sharing

    Arun Nair

    • Shannon Steffen

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Remarkable Content

    Such a wonderful blog content. All of the posted tips for promoting an eCommerce website is very useful for us to used. With all of the used on above tips, we will surely get more business returns.

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  • chris alltimes

    how did you use 1 line of code dynamically? I have 2000 products to fill out for my boss for SEO and product info and he wants me to design a tree and co-ordinate between designers and coders who earn more money per week than I do per day … starting to pull my hair out!

    • Shannon Steffen

      It depends on the platform you are using to run your website. In essence, you have it dynamically pull a field from the product database into a SEO-based field. So, a product name may become the Meta Title (with other keywords in it) or a H1.

      • chris alltimes

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. The platform is on nopCommerce.
        There are multi-tags on each page and product for SEO, meta-tags, page titles etc. I would like the info to appear on multi-pages as many of the products are very similar (e.g. different colour or size etc.)
        Thanks again

        • Shannon Steffen

          Most welcome, Chris! That platform would take a bit of research but most e-commerce platforms can easily integrate import to SEO friendly fields dynamically.

          I’d be happy to help with some consulting. If interested, just pick a time to talk:

          • chris alltimes

            ok, thanks ..better speak to the boss when he’s in to see if he” pay.

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