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Product Category Menu Listed On Every Page
Posted 15 November 2009 - 07:54 PM
I have an dynamic e-commerce site in which most of the product categories (12 main categories and 50 subcategories, all keyword phrases of the products for sale) are in a <li> line item navigational menu on the left side of every single page on the site. My question is, does it dilute some of my category & product landing pages to have this menu appear on all their pages? Would my ranking likely be better off if the menu was parred down on these pages? Or would it make so little difference that I might as well keep it as it is?
Please let me know if you need more info, and thanks for any help you can provide! :-)
Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:18 PM
The more important thing to look at in my opinion is whether or not the navigation structure provides a good user experience. If all 60+ links are visible all the time it might actually be confusing some users. Sort of like information overload. You'd really need to review how your visitors are using the site to see if can be improved. and if doing so will help improve conversion rates. Or in other words, rather than guess it would probably be better to conduct a little UI testing.
What I see most often with large nav blocks like this are ones where the categories are visible all the time, then if a user hovers or clicks down into an area the subcats for that area become visible.
Posted 16 November 2009 - 06:08 AM
you're worried about pagerank leak you mean? don't be. Having a spiderable menu like the one you're describing on every page actually does GOOD for the site and pages as a whole, not bad. You're increasing links and therefore visibility to each page.
Its also good for visitors.. what happens if they suddenly want to look at another product range?
I've also found an unordered list to be the most effective menu over the last year or so... it emphasis hierarchy and is easy to template. In contrast to randy though i suggest keeping the first two levels permanently visible. E-commerce uses want quick nav to product ranges now, and you have to comply to compete. The quickest way to get them there is with one active visible link. However, i do agree 60 is maybe pushing it UNLESS your parent categories are informative and sectioned up correctly. I've recently a restructred a e-commerce menu to around 60 links under five parent categories. All links are visible. The result has been an upturn in orders and a reduction in site search usage.
Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:05 AM
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