Optimizing a website to increase traffic, revenue, and conversions is one of the most important elements of the search engine optimization (SEO).
If you are looking to enhance your online store presence over Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you will need to to leverage the benefits of SEO and social media to reach more qualified and interested customers. As we all know eCommerce industry is a highly competitive space, and better SEO entails:
- Prioritizing pages;
- Simplifying the site structure on page (frontend) and off page (backend);
- Generating good backlinks and crosslinks;
- Keeping the site up-to-date.
A clear website structure similar to highflow can bring you more visitors than paid advertising. Nice overall design with a catchy homepage, product categories having comprehensive overview on the page attract visitors. Powerful colours can put the right emphasis.
Beautiful designs with unclear page structure get in the way of search engines. Therefore, not only attractiveness is important for the site, but also the use of SEO. Here’s what to look out for first crafting your eCommerce site structure.
Key elements to outbeat competitors in search engine:
1. SEO friendliness
This is one of the most important factors that means a search engine can crawl the text content of the site. Part of this process includes navigating through pages and specific topics.
For a page to be considered crawlable, it should be connected to other sections. Special software called search bots is responsible for the analysis of sites – they crawl your site to make the search engine understand the structure and the main idea of your site and rank it accordingly.
It is important that the site does not have dead ends: the pages should contain internal links and transitions from one part of the site to another. This is done using breadcrumbs, diagrams, and structured data formats. To use your CS-Cart software in full, improve first your robots.txt file.
2. URL structure
One of the important factors influencing SEO is the structure of the URL. Addresses are also the building blocks of an effective hierarchy of sites that convey information across the domain and direct users to requests.
URL structures should be easy to read by both the user and the search engine. In addition, they must contain targeted queries. Efficient frameworks recreate this logic throughout the site and submit XML maps with the most important URLs to search engines. The URL should not be overloaded with too many parameters.
3. HTTP, HTTP, HTTP2
HTTPS keeps the page safe, which can also affect its ranking in search results. More than 50% of sites worldwide are already using HTTPS.
Switching to this protocol has many benefits:
- Improved user experience;
- User data protection;
- Accelerated mobile pages are only possible with HTTPS;
- Effective PPC campaign;
- Improved metrics in Google Analytics.
4. Internal links
Proper navigation implies that users can navigate seamlessly from one page to another. It is necessary to think over the navigation so that the user can navigate with a couple of clicks.
Usability experts believe that finding any page on a site shouldn’t take more than three clicks.
Internal links help users and search engines find the page. They use keywords and link them to other relevant content on the site.
It is important to categorize and arrange your links in a way that does not break its structure.
Benefits of using internal links for SEO:
Allow search engines to find other pages using anchors containing keywords;
- Reduce page height;
- Make it easier for users to access other content;
- Increase the chances of a site getting to the top of the search results page.
5. Core content and keywords
You need to think about this at the stage of creating the site structure. For the given keywords, you can promote it to the top of the search results. To choose the right keywords, it is important to understand the target audience and the specialization of the site.
The key to successful promotion is the value and usefulness of content. Positive feedback from the target audience cannot be hidden from the attention of search bots, and the site will attract more visitors.
6. Duplicate content
Duplicate content is bad for SEO because Google treats it as spam. Google Search Console is a useful tool for finding and removing duplicate content on your site.
7. Navigation and user interaction
With the development of the Internet, the requirements for site usability have become more stringent. Poorly designed pages no longer grab the attention of users.
If a visitor cannot find the information he needs on your site, he will go to look for it from a competitor. And bad user experience harms SEO.
CTR, time spent on site and bounce rate are all important factors for Google’s algorithm. Statistics indicating negative user experience suggest that a page may not be the most relevant or useful for this query, and Google will adjust its search results accordingly.
To ensure a good user experience, you need:
- To bring the content of the page in accordance with the expectations of the user;
- Make it easier to find the information you need;
- Provide intuitive navigation;
- To determine how user-friendly your site is, run some tests with real users. This way you will learn exactly how they interact with it and can create the experience you want.
8. Core Web Vitals and Experience
Core Web Vitals is part of the Google Page Experience update, a new algorithm that optimizes images that can impact SERP rankings.
Shifting emphasis on Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), measuring content load spikes and visuals is something that site builders need to work with designers and SEOs to work on.
Core Web Vitals could be a ranking factor in 2021 and less than 15% of sites are currently meeting benchmark standards.
Google has warned website owners and SEO professionals about the upcoming changes.
9. Adaptation for mobile devices
When creating a website, it is important to make sure that its structure will display correctly on different devices.
The amount of work can depend on resources, IT expertise and business model, especially if the site is eCommerce.
If you do not take care of this at the stage of creation, its adaptation for mobile devices at the stage of operation will be more expensive and take longer.
This is especially true for sites using outdated CS-Cart versions where the basic theme was not responsive (aka adaptive for mobiles). Upgrading will resolve this issue.
10. Speed and performance
If the site’s configuration and structure is not conducive to a quick user experience, it will negatively impact the bottom line SEO results.
A one second loading delay can mean fewer views and traffic, as well as a significant drop in conversions.
For best results, make sure your site is structured for users and businesses, is easy to read and meets all standards from the very beginning. Content also needs to be planned during project preparation.
How customization may help in improving your site structure?
Vendors’ pages looking as standalone stores for clearer navigation
Is it possible to have a vendor shop that looks stand alone so without our branding and marketplace top navigation?Brand Owner
By default, CS-Cart displays marketplace logos on every vendor’s ministore. We can sure remove it by applying custom development.
SEO names and Mailchimp
I have a problem with SEO names of my products when mailing with the Mailchimp add-on in different languages.Brand Owner
The problem arose on the side of your store due to a certain sequence of actions.
We found that your domain name in the SEO path depended on the language in the admin panel when you clicked the Export products to Mailchimp button, and if the language was En, not Nl, then the names referred to the main domain.
Upgrading store to leverage SEO
SEO is a very important factor, hopefully that gets resolved as soon as possible. However, why would you recommend an upgrade?Brand Owner
Upgrading has lots of benefits apart from SEO as after the upgrade you transition to the latest version of PHP (which is safer and better perceived by Google), get a more responsive and mobile-friendly design, get all the redirects from old links and other fixes in case there were some bugs in the elder version.
Structuring your website means having a clear understanding of all the hierarchy and making a short way from product to the checkout using all methods: from colors and buttons placed in the right place to keywords and SEO. Our team is dedicated to make eCommerce stores as high-competitive among others in search as possible. To do that we offer customization, upgrading, performance optimization and other services. Our experience has already helped thousands of brand owners around the world.