Every website, be it a business website, blog, or e-commerce, has a structure. It can either be streamlined and conscientious, or it might be a cluttered mix of jumbled pages.
While the website structure is critical for every website on the internet, it becomes even more crucial for e-commerce stores where the bottom line depends on the experience you offer at your online store.
Apart from store visitors, site structure is also significant from the SEO point of view. Google and other top search engines want their users to be redirected to relevant, informational, and user-friendly websites.
Even if you have the best products at your e-commerce store, but your website’s structure is not up to the mark, it can be very challenging to rank higher in search results. So, how do you build an SEO-friendly e-commerce website structure? Follow these 4 steps-
1. Build a 3 Level Hierarchical Structure
One of the golden rules of an optimized website structure is to ensure that visitors are not required to click more than thrice after reaching your homepage to reach the product/page they are looking for. You can consider building a 3-level hierarchical structure for your e-commerce store for the best results.
The homepage will be at the top of the structure, with level 1 being the category page, level 2 can be sub-categories, and level 3 will be the product pages.
2. Work on the URL Structure
The URL structure is also one of the most important on-page ranking factors. SEO-friendly URL will also make it easier for visitors to navigate through your website. For instance, if you are running an online store that sells smartphones, the site structure can be like this-
The URL structure for the same should be-
Here are some basic guidelines for creating SEO-optimized URLs-
- Use HTTPS in your website URL
- Keep the URLs short
- Consider adding product specifications to the URL (Example- www.xyz.com/mobile/apple/iphone-128gb-silver)
- Avoid spaces and use lowercase characters
3. Structure the Website Code
As e-commerce stores can have hundreds of pages, coding is another aspect that should be at the forefront of creating an SEO-friendly website structure. Messy code can significantly impact the user experience and page speed (a crucial ranking factor). Therefore, when creating navigation, try to keep coding as simple as possible.
CSS and HTML are recommended as coding in Java, AJAX, and Flash can reduce the ability of the search crawlers to cover your entire website. If you are using WordPress, give special attention to the theme and plugins you are using, as many of them are not search engine optimized.
4. Create Website Navigation
The menu or navigation should accurately reflect your website’s structure. It is generally recommended that you should keep the menus as simple and succinct as possible. Avoid using unnecessary sub-menus and make use of side menus when required.
For instance, when visitors select a category from the menu, they can be redirected to that category page that features a side menu with the sub-categories. Also, as your online store will attract a lot of mobile audiences, it is wise to create separate menus for your mobile website that is easier to use on handheld devices.
Getting Your e-Commerce Store Structure Right
It takes careful thinking, correct organization, and creative design to create a visitor- and SEO-friendly website structure. While platforms like WordPress now allow people with zero coding knowledge to create websites from scratch, it is better to trust professionals for an online store.
When your bottom line and success depend on the traffic and sales generated from your online store, you cannot rely on such free platforms and tools to provide you with the best results. A reputed digital marketing company can help you build an e-commerce store that is attractive, functional, and search engine optimized.