Categorization of products on an online shopping site can help buyers in quickly finding what they need, leading to higher conversion rates. However, if faceted search is not done properly, it can hinder your SEO. So how can you manage a balance between the two? Keep reading to find out:
Creating New Category Pages and Improving Navigation to Them
Parent categories for products are often restricted to the products they can incorporate within them. If you wish to include a new category that cannot be adjusted to your existing site but will help your SEO and faceted search, then create a new category page for it. For instance, if you have gender based categories for products and want to add a gender-less product to your list, you cannot do so without creating a new category.
Once you have created new pages, add links throughout the site to bring navigation to pages that are not crawl able and optimize your search by diverting traffic to them. However, this is just a short term solution. If the page navigation problems persist, discuss them with your site developers and find alternative means of increasing search hits for new category pages.
Dealing With Duplicate Content in Search Hits
When an eCommerce site uses product categorization, its catalog often show the same product under a number of different categories. When search engines crawl through the site, they show the same link a number of times due to its categorical difference.
To avoid multiple hits of duplicate content, use a ‘robots.txt disallow’ or a ‘meta robots noindex’ command. This will stop search engines from crawling the duplicate pages on the site and some of these commands can even provide an indexed list of pages for the search engines to crawl through.
However, these commands only provide partial solutions to the problem. If you want to opt for a more long time fix, merge different URLs into a single one so that only one will appear the search hits.
Timing It Right!
SEO is dependent entirely on timing. If you optimize your site after a booming sale season, you will be unable to see the results very soon. However, implementation of the site changes should begin immediately once the category pages for the faceted search have been decided. For making site changes, off season is the best timing as websites that are closed for maintenance during peak sale season lose a lot of good business in the process.
Once your changes have been made, it will take some time before the search engines will crawl through your site and update the changes on their results pages. Sites that frequently modify their pages are crawled multiple times a day but less frequent changes are often registered only once a week or so. Thus, plan the launch of your SEO accordingly and give due time to the crawling and upgrading conducted by search engines.
Overall, when it comes to SEO, the sooner you start , the earlier you can finish your project; and as a result, you will have an operational and optimized website by the before the next big selling season.