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How to write URLs for Ecommerce SEO

Content Marketing

Writing URLs is one of the most under appreciated tasks when it comes to Ecommerce SEO.

Which is bad, because your website’s URL is the start of building your site’s hierarchy for search, and building those road signs that direct customers around your Ecommerce website.

Like anything to do with Ecommerce SEO, you need to take some time to figure out your website’s URL structure, because getting it wrong at the beginning makes things a whole lot more complicated later on.

Instead of your customer going simply from A to B, poor URLs mean they go from A to B via C with a cut through across D.

It might not sound like much, they get to B in the end.

But for Google, seeing loads of redirects and loops in your URL structure means you’ll get punished in the search rankings, and miss out on a tonne of traffic.

Things can also get a bit complicated with Ecommerce websites because you might have different pages targeting the same kinds of searches (like product pages).

So to help you out, here’s a quick run through how to write good URLs for your Ecommerce SEO plan that will work for both Google, and your customers.

 

Keywords

It wouldn’t be SEO if it didn’t start with keywords would it.

Your keywords are the most important part of your SEO and content marketing strategy.

They tell you what words and phrases your customers are using to look for products and services like yours, so you can focus your website and content around them.

Every page you create should serve a purpose, and should be aimed around a particular topic your users are searching around.

You obviously want your page to be found by the relevant people, so you need to include the most relevant keyword in your url.

To use our own website as an example, if someone was searching for an SEO agency to help build an Ecommerce website, they’re likely to search for “SEO Agency”.

Which is why we’ve created a page around that, with the keyword in the URL:

If they went a step further and were looking for an SEO agency to help optimise a Magento website, they might search “Magento SEO Agency”.

Again, we’ve structured our URL to include Magento SEO Agency simply into the URL to help Google understand that this is a service we offer, so it knows where to rank us for this search.

 

URL and site structure

Your website is something that will grow with your business.

You might have a certain number of services now, but over time you might add to those services.

And those services will need to be included in your site structure.

If you’ve got your planning wrong, things are going to get very complicated.

Your URL structure should follow a logical path, taking your user from the main page, to the sub-topic to the specific product or service.

Using our example above again, you can clearly see how users can go from the home page, to SEO Agency to Magento SEO Agency.

We also have other services that sit within that SEO Agency umbrella.

We’ve done it this way because if we add in more specific SEO services or products, they can fit neatly under that service’s page, without disrupting the URL structure that already exists.

Without this structure in place, you’d have to set up redirects which, if you have too many of them, can harm your SEO performance.

 

Be concise

Your URLs should be like every other bit of copy you write for your website if it’s going to improve your Ecommerce SEO performance.

Just like you’d revue your copy and remove any unnecessary words, you should do the same within your URLs.

Long, rambling URLs will just be confusing your search engines and users alike and ultimately will do your SEO performance harm.

You should also avoid keyword repetition in URLs.

Again, using duplicate or repetitive words just makes your URL structure difficult to understand for search engines because it won’t know which is the main page to rank – so every page with duplicate content will get ranked lower than it otherwise would.

 

Use canonical tags to organise pages

Canonical tags are a useful tool for Ecommerce websites when you run the risk of creating multiples of what are basically the same website page.

This can also be useful if you find yourself being forced to duplicate content across your website.

A canonical tag tells Google which page is your preferred one, so Google knows to prioritise that page in search.

 

Create an XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a plan of your website that you submit to search engines to help them understand the structure of your website.

Using an XML sitemap, you can make it easier for Google and search engines to find and crawl your web pages.

You can also make it easier to understand the canonical rankings of your pages, so search engines know which pages to prioritise in searches for the same or similar topics.

 

URLs are a part of your SEO content strategy

When you’re writing URLs for your Ecommerce website, you should treat them with the same attention as you would any other part of your SEO and content marketing strategy.

This means focusing them around your chosen keywords, being consistent with structure and organisation (just as you would structure your blog content) and making them easy to read for users and search engines.

If you take the time to plan out your Ecommerce URL structure properly at the beginning, you will find it much easier to expand your website in a more logical fashion as you grow your business.

By getting it wrong at the beginning, you will quickly find yourself with a jumble of web pages that Google and other search engines can’t work out.

This will ultimately lead to you spending more time later on trying to fix problems, and could hamper your SEO results over the long term.

If you want to get a review of your Ecommerce SEO, get in touch today to organise a free SEO audit.

One of our expert SEO consultants will review your website and highlight some key changes you could make to start seeing better SEO results quickly.

Get your free SEO audit today.

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