One of our specialist areas is eCommerce – successful eCommerce is way more than just web design, and it’s possible to fall at the very first hurdle – poor user experience and SEO means you’ll always spend more than you need to on paid media and you’ll be constantly battling poor conversion rates. So with this in mind, following on from our Portsmouth SEO post on keyword research, here’s a quick look at best practice for ecommerce website architecture.
What is website architecture or information architecture? It’s just a technical (digital marketing geek speak) way of describing how you structure or organise your website for visitors and for search engines crawling the site.
It goes without saying that poor design makes it super hard for users to find and buy what you’re selling. Conversion rate optimisation starts with great information architecture (IA), enabling visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for (and what you want them to find) and continues through a purchase journey that eliminates friction, unnecessary clicks and confusing or distracting elements.
If your IA isn’t clear, it can also massively damage your SEO. A simple navigational structure is important, not only for your users, but for search engines to easily crawl your Emsworth website without getting themselves confused.
The best examples of eCommerce websites get browsers to products in less than 3 clicks – one of our eCommerce customers doing doughnut delivery is a great example. Landing on the home page, the Shop or Menu call to action is obvious and within two clicks you can have a product in your basket!
Take a look at this great example of site architecture on Hotel Chocolate where users and search engines can quickly search by occasion, recipient and much more.
Here’s an example of a site that’s probably not been given some brand or SEO love for a while.
Complex structures can definitely hurt your SEO efforts, but this example takes basic to the extreme!
From an SEO perspective, most of your external links which are so important to SEO will take users to your homepage or major category listing pages (CLP). As your site structure becomes more fragmented, this has the effect of diluting page authority and makes your website more complex, putting your product listing pages and category listing pages in a weaker position.