Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  • Jump to page:
    #1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0

    How to Structure Filtered Navigation for SEO


    (Before, this was in the "New User Area." I am moving it here for greater chance of replies - I hope this is okay.)

    Hey everyone,

    I have a new Magento website - barely any organic traffic and not ranking well despite original content, etc. I need some advice as to the structure of our layered navigation. For example, we sell bar stools. On the bar stools page, you can sort by features and options like "Adjustable Height", "Swivel", "Black", "Counter-Height" etc. In my CMS, I can define meta robots, rel=canonical, and other meta data for each individual filter, so I can optimize it any way I would like. I just do not know what is best for SEO. Here are the options:

    1. All filtered pages
    -Noindex, Nofollow
    -Rel canonical references main Bar Stool Category
    2. All filtered pages:
    -Index, Follow
    -Rel canonical references main Bar Stool Category
    -Unique H1, Title, Meta Description, Meta Title, and ~200 characters of custom content describing the filter & its benefits
    3. All filtered pages
    -Index, Follow
    -Rel Canonical references the filter main page: site-url/bar-stools/swivel
    -Each filtered page has its own H1 Title, meta description, meta title, and ~200 characters of custom content describing the filter & its benefits


    Overstock (a main competitor) uses the 3rd approach. They can target a wide variety of "Bar Stool" keyword variants, and have a specific page with a pre-selected filter appear in SERPS for each. And we have the benefit of unique content blocks on each filtered page. However, I'm wondering if our Bar Stools would rank better if all of the link credibility leads to one main category page, Bar Stools, rather than split among many sub-filter pages.

    Can you guys explain your choice, and why? I can also do it one way for a while, and change it fairly easily later. You can also make a variant of one of the options above.
  2. #2
  3. No Profile Picture

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0
    Hello cardkid2331,

    it all depends about the search volume for the key phrases generated by filters. Check the volume in Google Keyword Planner and if the users search for "black bar stools", "red bar stools", "swivel bar stools" etc. you should use the option number 3. If there aren't searches for this kind of phrases, you should use the option number 2.
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Hello,

    Thank you for your response. Yes, the keyword volume is decent for those keywords - I actually have Adwords campaigns for each one and each filtered page is a landing page. Just so that you can see my current structure, here are some example urls:

    Main Category: Bar Stools: Shop Counter & Bar Height Stools | efurnitureMax
    Filter Example: Adjustable Bar Stools: Adjustable Seat Heights | efurnitureMax

    If you check the page source for meta robots, rel canonical, etc, you can see how I have it set up. Also, is the content on the filtered pages thin? Or is that enough?

    I am just concerned because I literally have 0 organic traffic right now and I don't know if consolidate all the rare "link" juice that we get to one main category will help us to start get traffic.
  6. #4
  7. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Well, I posted a quick reply but it had example links in it so I think it got trashed. Anyway, the gist was that yes, those are keywords have decent volume. We have adwords campaigns targeting those keywords and they are doing fairly well.

    However, something else concerns me. If you google advanced search our site URL: efurnituremax (with the standard ending) with keyword "Adjustable Bar Stools", you get our Adjustable Bar stools as the top result. But when you change the domain to efurnituremax(ending)/&, it no longer finds this page. II have heard that the /& is a way to tell Google "Filter out any duplicate content." Is Google treating this filtered page as a duplicate?
  8. #5
  9. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    473
    You're in too deep with your thinking!

    Option 3 is all you need. The filter away as much as you like so long as each page you generate has a unique set of products you'll be fine.

    I don't quite follow what you mean by consolidating your link juice onto one category?

    But my question is this ... why should Google rank you? There are plenty of other sites out there that sell what you do and they do it in a much more comprehensive way. They have a history of stability and a track record of pleasing visitors so why should you rank better than them?

    As this is often the case with new Ecommerce sites my advice is to go where the market is (Google Shopping, Amazon, etc.) This will bring in visitors which will start telling Google if your site pleases them more than other similar sites out there.

    Your blog screams out to potential clients that you have just popped into existence and your contact page contains no physical address which makes most buyers shy away.

    So put a bit of funding into selling in real market places while you sort out your site to provide more user confidence. Remember sites like Amazon also invite customer feedback which means you can build up some sort of tangible reputation over time.
    Learn SEO and Online Marketing with Doodleddoes or follow me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+TimHillDoodled/
  10. #6
  11. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Thank you for your reply. This is very helpful.

    Consolidating link juice into one category: For example, 15 people link to our bar stool main category. Compare that to 15 people linking to separate filters - 3 adjustable bar stools, 3 red bar stools, 3 swivel bar stools, etc. Won't the main category, "Bar Stools" receive a higher page rank because it has 15 links directed to it, vs links scattered all over the place?

    But my question is this ... why should Google rank you? There are plenty of other sites out there that sell what you do and they do it in a much more comprehensive way. They have a history of stability and a track record of pleasing visitors so why should you rank better than them?
    First, I don't expect to rank better - yet. Every website has to have a start somewhere, right? I just believe that we can rank better than we do now by making sure our site is structured properly.

    Why should they rank us? First off, most companies in our industry such as Bizchair have very unfriendly sites, and terrible track records for customer service. We've been selling online since 2005 via eBay and other marketplaces - we have an extremely loyal customer base. We sell only top quality products, offer free competitive warranties, and have a growing selection (we write custom copy for every item so not all of our 5000 products are uploaded yet, but we're getting there.) We kick every other furniture company's rear end when it comes to customer service and have the feedback on marketplaces to back that up. In addition, our products have unique copy - very unique. A few other companies sell our products and use stock manufacturer descriptions, but it doesn't seem to hurt them.

    As this is often the case with new Ecommerce sites my advice is to go where the market is (Google Shopping, Amazon, etc.) This will bring in visitors which will start telling Google if your site pleases them more than other similar sites out there.
    We have sold on eBay since 2005, but eBay is changing, and does not allow us to give our customers great service anymore. In addition, there is no way to link eBay to our website, as it is against eBay policy. We refuse to sell on Amazon because Amazon watches hot products, then stocks those items themselves - and you're out of business. Our Google shopping feed will be finalized by the end of the week, as well as shopping.com, bizrate, and a few others. We do try to sell through many channels, but want to eventually sell the largest percentage through our site.

    Your blog screams out to potential clients that you have just popped into existence and your contact page contains no physical address which makes most buyers shy away.
    Physical address added as you suggested - good! The blog is just another way for us to provide unique content. Again, we have to start somewhere - is there something wrong with having the blog?
  12. #7
  13. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    473
    Well it sounds to me like you are doing most things right!

    Yes - blogs have to start somewhere but it's often better to launch a blog with 30+ articles in place so it doesn't look so new. But not the end of the world. I would try to improve it's presentation though. The posts look scrappy (especially with the photos) as if this was a high school project. Get images to span the div or wrap the text around them. Tart, tart and tart up again!

    But what you are talking about is link building. You plan to make 15 links and the question is where to point them? The question is really about the quality of the links as to whether they are of any use at all. But let's say they are - I would point them to the page most likely to benefit and rank.

    "Bar stools" is very competitive so 15 links (unless they are gold) won't do it much good. But say adding 15 links to "swivel bar stools" would take it into Google's top 3 for that phrase ... even if it were only searched a few hundred times a month, that would be more effective than moving "bar stools" from position 100 to position 90 in the SERPs.

    Re: ebay and promoting your website. I didn't mean a link. Just make sure your website address is in one of the graphics.
  14. #8
  15. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Yes - blogs have to start somewhere but it's often better to launch a blog with 30+ articles in place so it doesn't look so new. But not the end of the world. I would try to improve it's presentation though. The posts look scrappy (especially with the photos) as if this was a high school project. Get images to span the div or wrap the text around them. Tart, tart and tart up again!
    Ah...that would have been a good idea! I will work hard to get more posts up. Very good suggestion about presentation. I will work on this. I suppose I'm more of a quality content vs visual appearance person, so what looked fairly good to me probably isn't cutting it.

    But what you are talking about is link building. You plan to make 15 links and the question is where to point them? The question is really about the quality of the links as to whether they are of any use at all. But let's say they are - I would point them to the page most likely to benefit and rank.
    Yes - I think we're on the same page here. This is what I was meaning. I just want to structure the site so that when natural links occur as we progress, the structure helps us rank better wherever we are most likely to compete.

    ebay and promoting your website. I didn't mean a link. Just make sure your website address is in one of the graphics.
    Yeah, unfortunately, they are extremely strict about this and they will ban you from selling if you do things like this. We have been strictly warned before not to do it again, so we stay away. However, after every sale, we send a follow up email with a $10 coupon for our website, which should help things out in the long run. However, you would be surprised how many people despite the coupon, go back to eBay where are prices are higher because of eBay fees. *Facepalm*

    Any other suggestions for our site? I really like the constructive criticism or knowing what we're doing well.
  16. #9
  17. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Hey Doodled, did you see this?

    However, something else concerns me. If you google advanced search our site URL: efurnituremax (with the standard ending) with keyword "Adjustable Bar Stools", you get our Adjustable Bar stools as the top result. But when you change the domain to efurnituremax(ending)/&, it no longer finds this page. II have heard that the /& is a way to tell Google "Filter out any duplicate content." Is Google treating this filtered page as a duplicate?
  18. #10
  19. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    473
    Originally Posted by cardkid2331
    Yes - I think we're on the same page here. This is what I was meaning. I just want to structure the site so that when natural links occur as we progress, the structure helps us rank better wherever we are most likely to compete.
    This is the only bit I don't understand. If "natural links occur" you will have no control over which pages they point to?
  20. #11
  21. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    473
    Originally Posted by cardkid2331
    Hey Doodled, did you see this?
    Yes I did to which my reply is "eh?". Post your two URLs so it's clearer what you mean.
  22. #12
  23. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by Doodled
    This is the only bit I don't understand. If "natural links occur" you will have no control over which pages they point to?
    My understanding is that we can "kind of" control which pages natural inks point to. For example, for all filtered pages we could set them to NoIndex and rel canonical="Main Bar Stools Category." What I have read is that the links into "Swivel Bar Stools" would then be passed to the "Main Bar Stools Category." Am I incorrect? I was simply wondering if this would be the best way to structure our pages, to make the best of our natural links over time. However, it sounds like the best option is to leave those links pointing to the filtered page itself, as those have keywords that are less competitive.
  24. #13
  25. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Yes I did to which my reply is "eh?". Post your two URLs so it's clearer what you mean.
    Google Advanced Search:

    Site or Domain: www.efurnituremax.com
    All These Words: adjustable bar stools

    With this search, the first result is our Bar Stools category with the Adjustable Height filtered applied - this is what we would like to see. The URL is: Adjustable Bar Stools: Adjustable Seat Heights | efurnitureMax

    But when we tell Google to filter out duplicate content by searching:

    Site or Domain: www.efurnituremax.com/&
    All these words: Adjustable bar stools

    That page is now no longer listed. This is why I started to question this structure and posted this topic.

    In general, there are around 2,000 pages when you search our domain. We did have a duplicate content issue, which I have addressed and those pages are falling out of Google's Index daily. However, we do have about 450 pages including product pages, category pages, and filtered pages. When you search our domain followed by /&, there are only 80 results. I do not understand this at all because all of our products have custom copy, our categories have custom descriptions at the top, and filtered pages set to Index have a separate set of products and content at the top describing the subset of products.
    Last edited by cardkid2331; Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:13 PM.
  26. #14
  27. Contributing User
    SEO Chat Adventurer (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    473
    Originally Posted by cardkid2331
    My understanding is that we can "kind of" control which pages natural inks point to. For example, for all filtered pages we could set them to NoIndex and rel canonical="Main Bar Stools Category." What I have read is that the links into "Swivel Bar Stools" would then be passed to the "Main Bar Stools Category." Am I incorrect? I was simply wondering if this would be the best way to structure our pages, to make the best of our natural links over time. However, it sounds like the best option is to leave those links pointing to the filtered page itself, as those have keywords that are less competitive.
    Canonical tags are meant to clear up duplicated content but you want to use them to say "Hey, you know you're looking at a page about "Swivel Bar Stools" well I want you to remember the page "Bar Stools" instead". Google's bot is going to think "but the page about Bar Stools is different to this one ... that's odd" and what you really don't want to be doing is anything which makes Google's bot think "that's odd".

    In reality what you are doing is trying to manipulate your rankings which is sort of thing that makes Google say "that's evil". On top of that by using NoIndex you stop the possibility of ranking for "Swivel Bar Stools".

    It's all messy and, in some ways potentially, risky. Let the links fall where they fall and use your internal linking structure to channel the juice around your site.

    As far as duplicated content goes just do the following:
    - make sure you have a sitemap
    - use Canonical tags on any dynamic pages

    Have to say I'm still not sure what you're trying to achieve with this whole www.efurnituremax.com/& thing but it looks like a red herring to me...?
  28. #15
  29. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    25
    Rep Power
    0
    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Have to say I'm still not sure what you're trying to achieve with this whole www.efurnituremax.com/& thing but it looks like a red herring to me...?
    I'm not sure what you mean by this - I'm not trying to really achieve anything. Using advanced search in Google with your url followed by /& is a way of searching that says: "Show me what pages you think are duplicates." Read more about it here: An Extensive Guide on Magento Duplicate Content - Amasty Blog

    The /& is nothing I'm adding to my site. Since I've structured the filtered pages the way you say is most appropriate, I am just shocked because Google is placing them in their supplemental index, as if they are duplicates/thin content.
Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  • Jump to page:

Similar Threads

  1. Filtered Navigation Issue
    By cardkid2331 in forum New User SEO Questions and Answers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Apr 17th, 2014, 08:44 PM
  2. Website navigation structure?`
    By gullaa in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Oct 18th, 2010, 02:15 PM
  3. Navigation Structure Vs Search Engine Optimization
    By seospider in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Nov 19th, 2009, 10:37 AM
  4. Navigation Structure & SEO Techniques For Google
    By ghostncricket in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Aug 18th, 2003, 07:10 AM

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo