Search engine optimized navigation: tips on online shop
A very crucial part of any SEO strategy is navigation, which is tailored to the needs of search engines and users. Is navigation always the same, isn’t it? Not necessarily, because four little tips that should be observed when setting up the website navigation of an eCommerce site make orientation even easier – for visitors and for search engines.
Which factors play a role in the website evaluation and the generation of search engine results based on it? Many website operators ask themselves this question. Some factors are well known, for example:
- Use of relevant keywords
- Search engine optimized metadata
- Link profile
- Company name ( Citations )
Certain measures for OnPage optimization fall under the table – and wrongly. Because they also help to optimize the website perfectly. One of these measures: The development of a search engine optimization – and four tips are crucial for this.
Tip # 1: the universal navigation
Basically, the navigation bar is located on the top or left of every page and subpage and contains the most important areas of a website. For a company page, this could be the following navigation items, for example:
- Home page
- Services / products
- about us
Since internal links show how important a page is, these navigation points usually rank better in the search engine results than elements that are deeper in the navigation structure, because they receive an (internal) backlink from every page . To find out which pages should appear in the universal navigation, you can consult Google Analytics:
- What search terms do your visitors use before they get to your website?
- Which search terms are used for the website-internal search?
- Which sub-pages are visited most often?
- On which pages do visitors leave your website most often?
The answers to these questions should also become points of your universal navigation , if possible.
Tip # 2: drop down menus
Dropdown menus are to be used with caution, as many users nowadays surf with a tablet or smartphone. In terms of accessibility , a drop-down menu should therefore be avoided if no separate mobile page or alternative navigation options are available.
If you do use a drop-down menu, the integration of the menu into the HTML code is crucial – this is the only way for Google to read the menu. A limitation of 100 links per page is also advisable in order to achieve optimal indexing . The 100 links per page should be seen as a guide. The number is by no means written in stone.
Tip # 3: Navigation Pages
Navigation pages are ideal for accommodating a wide range of keywords that are still very general and cover a broad topic. It is important to cover the topic as thoroughly as possible on the navigation pages , since Google has loved themed pages since the Google Hummingbird at the latest . How exactly?
Let’s say our navigation page is about thank you cards and this is the main search term. On this page there is a longer text + links to sub-categories such as vintage style or flower style or completely different: wedding thank you cards, birth thank you cards, suw. The goal should be to make an ingenious topic page out of it, which ranks equally for the whole spectrum, such as thank you cards, thank you cards, thank you cards, etc.
Ideally, you do the same with the sub-category pages. In this way, the entire focus can be put on one page when building links . Conversion rate optimization is also all about a single page. So what not? Subpages for every damn keyword. Google understands synonyms and loves themed pages. More is nothing more to say…
Tip # 4: Product Pages
Once the website visitor has clicked through from the start page to the navigation pages to the actual product page, it is far from over. Because the user has to find his way back from the product page – and Google is only satisfied if the way back is “signposted”. A distinction is made between two forms of linking:
- Vertical link = link between category A and product 1
- Horizontal link = link between product 1 and product 2
When it comes to vertical linking, the magic word “breadcrumbs” plays a role. They are used for orientation and show the navigation structure of the website, for example:
Produkte --> Kategorie A --> Produktgruppe 1 --> Produkt X
This not only makes navigation easier for users but also for search engines. In the case of horizontal linking , i.e. the link between two products, the link can be made using the following functions:
- Products that other customers have bought in addition to product A are displayed
- Buy recommendations that match buying behavior or the products viewed so far
- Products from similar categories with high or higher purchase ratings
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