create an online store that search engines love

How to create SEO optimized Online store: search engines love

To create a truly profitable online store, you need a clear understanding of how search engines work. Successful sales are impossible without knowing how people search for the goods and services they need, which can draw their attention to your resource. There are aspects that are better studied at the beginning of the journey: how to build a semantic core, what should be the structure of your site, what is the analysis of a niche and competitors, how to take into account commercial factors and EAT requirements. The answers to these and many other questions can be found in our material. 

The heart of the site: collecting the semantic core

The semantic core can be called the heart of the site. These are queries that potential customers will use to find your products in search engines. For example, you are selling teddy bears. A person is looking for your store for certain queries. “Buy a bear”, “buy a teddy bear”, “buy a teddy bear”, “buy a bear for a child” and so on. 

When filling the site, it is important to take into account the semantic core. It is necessary to increase the visibility of pages. Neglecting this factor, you can face many problems: resource promotion and internal website optimization become more difficult, there is no organic traffic. 

create SEO optimized Online store - semantic core

Why the semantic core of an online store: 

  • Based on it, your resource is optimized,
  • Helps to create a store catalog,
  • You are creating a website that will be easy for your potential customers to find and use,
  • Helps to study the target audience,
  • Simplifies further promotion of the resource. 

To create a semantic core, consider which key phrases fully characterize your product or service, what is included in the assortment. 

It is important to keep in mind that catalog pages and product pages will have different semantic cores. You should take care of optimizing the pages of the product catalog, and for this you need to think over its structure.  

Through the Eyes of a Customer: How to Create an Online Store Catalog Structure

You need to look at the structure of the catalog through the eyes of the client, so that he can easily find the necessary product, select it according to his criteria, and compare it with others. To create structure, there are tools such as categories and a filter. 

Categories and subcategories of the site are the basis of your resource, because it is them that visitors see in the main menu. Product categories are most often divided into three types: 

  1. A Type
  2. Appointment
  3. Brand

For example,

Product type: shoes. 

Purpose: for women, for men, for children. ( Appointment )

Brand: New Balance.

Filters, on the other hand, arrange products within a category in a certain sequence and help the buyer in the search. To use this tool on the site, each product must have a parameter by which it can be filtered. 

For example, in a shoe store in the “sneakers” category, the parameters will be: material, color, size, sole type, brand, and so on. However, it is important to remember that there should not be too many filters so as not to overload the buyer and complicate the selection process. 

It is better to create a structure based on the semantic core of the site. This will help to get into customer requests, and therefore increase sales. For example, a girl types in a search engine “a puffy ivory prom dress.” So your clothing store needs to create a “Dresses” category, a “Prom” subcategory, and set up a color and style filter. To make such settings qualitatively, it is better to involve an SEO specialist in the work. 

Do not forget that when building a semantic core, you need to select the most relevant query for each category and subcategory. To do this, you need to track how many people are looking for the phrase that you entered in the service string. 

When creating an online store catalog structure, it is important to consider the following factors: 

  • The maximum depth of the catalog should be within three levels: category – subcategory – subsubcategory. For example: for men – clothes – shirts. Everything else is best done as a filter;
  • All subcategories must be completed. Make sure that there are several types of goods in each subcategory (at least five), customers need a choice;
  • In the name of the categories, use simple words without narrow terminology, slang; 
  • If the product belongs to several categories, you should not bind it to the category names of the product URL. Page repetitions hurt promotion; 
  • Do not put in one category the main goods and accessories for them;
  • If necessary, place one product in different categories; 
  • From all pages of the resource there should be a link to the main page of the site.

In addition, it is possible to download universal templates online that will help you prepare a catalog of goods for an online store. It will also not be superfluous to observe the experience of competitors from the top issue and the price list of suppliers. Study their structure, perhaps some of this will suit your resource.  

Also, do not forget about the need to optimize the pages of your resource. In particular, pay attention to the Title and Description tags.

For Title, choose a popular query. Use the template: “%category_name% buy in the online store”. You can see this tag in the search results. This is the first line of the store link in bold. Description – a short description of the product or category, which comes after the Title in the search results. They are made following the example of the leaders of the issuance.

Features of the general structure of the site

It depends on the structure of the site how convenient it will be for the user to navigate through your resource. Web pages and sections should be located as conveniently as possible and logically connected with each other. In addition, the competent structure of the site has a positive effect on ranking in search engines. 

There are several basic types of structures: 

  • Linear, 
  • Linear with branches, 
  • Block, 
  • Treelike,
  • Tagged. 

The best way to create online stores is to use a tree and tag structure. In a tree view, one category is nested within another, so a separate branch is built for each product. From the main page there are links to categories, they are divided into subsections and so on. 

According to this structure, the user moves like a family tree. This format is very convenient for perception, and therefore popular. 

How to create an online store-Site tree structure

The tag structure consists of separate tag pages based on different parameters: features, price, usage features, and so on. Using the category “wedding rings” as an example, tags can be: “rings with precious stones”, “with an inscription”, “budget”. The tag structure can be combined with the tree structure. Choose for yourself a structure that can attract more traffic and increase sales growth.

Commercial factors, EAT and YMYL

Commercial factors are the characteristics of the site that affect the behavior of visitors to the resource. It depends on them whether the user will trust you and whether he will eventually make a purchase. 

  1. One of the most important commercial ranking factors is the Contact Us page. It is on it that the client comes after he has familiarized himself with the assortment and made a decision to purchase. It should be as convenient, understandable, informative as possible and inspire unconditional trust. The client should be able to contact you in a convenient way for him. Indicate phone numbers, email, contacts of key persons, links to social networks and instant messengers, addresses, verbal description of the passage. 
  2. Also, always keep an eye on the breadth of the assortment, this will help maintain the ranking. Replenish the most popular items in time, most items should be in stock. 
  3. The faster the client finds the product he needs on your site, the more search engines appreciate it. Don’t forget to filter your assortment by categories, price, availability, brands, promotions and discounts, color, rating and so on. 
  4. Always indicate the price of your goods, the client does not have to specify the information for each item. Otherwise, there is a chance that search engines will lower your resource in the search results. Also, do not forget to indicate discounts in the product card, it is better to do this as a percentage. 
  5. Take high quality product photos. Attach to the card not only general pictures, but also photos from different angles. If we are talking about clothes, then it is better to take a photo on a real person. 
  6. Make video reviews of your products. This is especially popular for electronics and home appliances. Show on the video how to use your product, how it will be useful to people, focus on the pros.
  7. Pay more attention to the “Delivery” section. The client must have detailed information on how he can receive the goods. List the delivery services and transport companies with which you cooperate. Specify the cost of each option, possible discounts. 
  8. The more possible payment methods you specify, the better. 
  9. Be sure to write what to do to the client if the product breaks before the end of the warranty period. Also write about the general guarantees that the customer receives after the purchase. Please provide your contact details for this matter. 
  10. The design of your online store should be responsive, as the share of purchases from mobile devices is constantly growing. 
  11. To attract search traffic, add a section with useful information to your site. It can be a blog, articles, a form, and so on.

If you want your resource to take top places in search engine results, be sure to consider the requirements for YMYL pages and work on EAT factors: expertise, authority, reliability. 

Niche and competitor analysis to create SEO optimized Online store

Before creating your own online store, be sure to analyze the work of competitors and market leaders.

This is necessary in order to: 

  • Explore your own niche.
  • Finalize your own resource, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages identified from other sites.
  • Find free segments.
  • Define your target audience.
  • Be aware of the latest market trends.
  • Identify profitable traffic sources.
READ ALSO: One step before the purchase: how to design the Contacts page

The main aspects to pay attention to in order to conduct a competitor analysis:

  • Study the range of competitors, whether there are unique products on the market and which ones.
  • Track how often the assortment and prices are updated.
  • Is there a unique selling proposition?
  • How many orders per day, week, month the niche leaders receive.
  • Analyze the main features and differences of each competitor.
  • Identify the weaknesses of market leaders.
  • How payment and delivery are organized, whether it is convenient for buyers.
  • Through which social networks sellers conduct the main communication with customers.
  • What does the design of websites of key market players look like.
  • What negative comments customers leave about other companies, what they are most dissatisfied with in the work of stores .
  • What promotion methods competitors use for their sites.
  • Which projects have the highest link mass and behavioral factors.
  • Based on the received data, outline the points of growth for your company, as much as possible. 
There are also special servers for niche analysis, for example, Google Trends, Serpstat, Google Page Speed ​​Insights, Ahrefs, Wordstat, Similarweb. In addition, for analysis, you can contact an experienced marketer. 

Development of the page linking algorithm

Due to the large number of categories, filters, products and other pages, online stores use a complex linking system. 

There are nuances to pay attention to: 

  • “breadcrumbs”: a navigation chain consisting of links to pages of higher levels of nesting;
  • Menu;
  • Links from filters to filter intersections;
  • Links from products to filters;
  • Links from product cards to other products;
  • Links from brand pages.

Approach building an online store like building a house. Here you can not rush and skip some of the stages, otherwise the final goal will not be achieved. Pay due attention to the requirements of search engines, the comfort of your future customers, study the experience of market leaders and strive to improve your own service. Only by taking into account the totality of these factors, you will be able to succeed and get the maximum benefit.


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