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Just like any other kind of website, search engines need to understand how your ecommerce content is organized. With a well-organized structure, your content pages, ecommerce specific pages, and even the products themselves, will be clearly recognizable and identifiable to search engines as they crawl the pages of your site. Remember that internal linking is crucial for helping search engines understand the structure of your website. When you walk into a store in the offline world, it's organized into different sections to help visitors head in the right direction before they actually start looking for specific products on the shelves.
Websites should be built with the same concept in mind, using your linking to set up that structure. At the highest level of your hierarchy, you can identify the different categories of products that you sell, and within those category pages, you can link to the next level of subcategories or products. By doing this, search engines will be able to understand what it is you sell and what categories your products fall under. This allows them to return the best, most relevant pages of your site to searchers. If someone was searching for shoes, for example, a search engine can return your general shoes category page.
When they start searching for a certain type of shoes, then you want them to end up on your subcategory page for that particular type of shoe. And if they're typing in model numbers and specific products, you want the appropriate product pages being returned. When we get to the actual product pages themselves, there are a few things to remember. First, each and every product should have its own unique page, and on each of those pages you'll need to include content around the product. That means including things like the product name, properly tagged images, robust and unique product descriptions, product colors, sizes and other options, prices, whether or not it's in stock, and a host of other attributes that we typically associate with ecommerce products.
Over and above the page content, we even have the ability to identify those attributes even more clearly to the search engines by adding special metadata to your code. And of course, don't forget to make sure that you're including your category, subcategory, and product pages in your XML site maps. You can even weight the relative importance of each tier of pages, or specific pages themselves, to give the search engines an idea of which pages you feel are the most important on your site. The more you can help search engines with identifying the details of your ecommerce product information through your site structure, internal links, and metadata, the more they will trust your site with providing a quality shopping experience for users, and all other things equal, the more likely they are to return your pages over the competition.
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