Ecommerce Product Facets and Filters for SEO

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: When Product Facets and Filters Fail.”

Ecommerce sites rely on filtered or faceted navigation to make their product catalogs more easily digestible for customers. Depending on how filters and facets are implemented, however, they can either be fantastic for search engine optimization or a big failure.

SEO is based on three pillars: crawler access, keyword relevance, and authority. Filters and facets affect the first two of these pillars, access and relevance. Depending on which platform is used and how it’s implemented, faceted navigation and filters can act as crawl barriers for search engines or produce tremendous amounts of duplicate content. That’s the access issue. If a search engine’s crawler can’t or doesn’t access certain pages on the site, those pages have no chance of being indexed, ranking or driving organic search traffic.

On the relevance front, pages created by filters and facets are often treated as subsets of the unfiltered page. As a result they aren’t allowed to display unique title tags, headings meta descriptions and other textual signals that would alert search engines to their unique content. Filtered and faceted pages may contain subsets of products that have high search value, but if the page isn’t allowed to display keyword signals targeting unique keywords, the page looks to a search engine nearly identical to the unfiltered page and all of its other filtered variants.

  • Example: When Facets and Filters Work for SEO
  • Example: When Facets and Filters Fail SEO
  • Comparing Crawler Access

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »


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WordPress for SEO: 5 Free Plugins

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Five Free WordPress Plugins for Better SEO.”

wordpressWordPress is a simple and flexible publishing environment used to create blogs, sites and even simple ecommerce sites. One of the reasons it’s so popular is the prevalence of plug-ins that make customizing its functionality a snap. These are my five favorite free plug-ins for SEO on WordPress.

  • WordPress SEO
  • Simple 301 Redirects
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
  • Sharebar

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »


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SEO When a Redesign Stands in Your Way

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Working Around a Redesign.”

When a redesign or platform change looms in your site’s future, it’s easy to turn off all search-engine-optimization work and focus on planning the new site. After all, why bother making changes that will just be overwritten when you launch the new site? Focusing on a few key areas will enable you to continue improving SEO without fear of wasted work when the new site goes live.

  • Focus on Stable Areas
  • Target Title Tags
  • Build Links and Shares
  • Build Relationships

A redesign doesn’t have to halt your SEO efforts. Look at the areas of the site that aren’t impacted by the redesign. If there aren’t any areas unaffected, focus on title tags and link or relationship building until the way opens for SEO work again.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »


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Infographics for SEO Benefit

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “The SEO Benefit of Infographics.”

Search engine optimization professionals don’t usually recommend creating more images, but infographics can have a real benefit to SEO. Typically, images are used in place of textual content to convey the same message visually. Consequently, images tend to be viewed as detrimental to SEO efforts. Infographics, however, are in a class by themselves because they can quickly convert to links and shares that benefit SEO.

USA Today’s print newspaper popularized infographics in America years ago with its bite-sized front-page informational images. The same concept applies to the Internet, where visitors expect to receive information and entertainment instantly. The instant digestibility and visual appeal of infographics lure visitors to learn more.

  • Creating Successful Infographics
  • Hosting and Promoting Infographics
  • Infographics Gone Wrong

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »


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Three Free Keyword Tools for SEO

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “3 Free, Web Newbie-Friendly Keyword SEO Tools.”

Screenshot_2012-12-04-17-43-11-1Analyzing keyword data can be fast and fun. No, really! From collecting keyword data to analyzing, visualizing and present it, these three free tools have earned bookmarks in my SEO folder.

  • Tagxedo
  • Ranks Page Analyzer
  • Google Keyword Tool

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.