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Ecommerce Store - Organization, Taxonomy, Categories, Search


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6 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

I'm working on an eCommerce site, still in the early stages of setting up the taxonomy, category/subcategory structure.

 

This is not a typical site, like a clothing, sporting or electronics site where folks will come, cruise cruise cruise and make various purchases. 

 

In most cases folks who visit the shop will already have a preset notion of what they wish to purchase.  Some item or part #.  Using their favorite search engine you search, get a result page and select the part, nothing new here.  There is also an internal shop search for those who do find the site and want to look around.

 

What I am looking at is the necessity or not of creating a category/subcategory/subcategory/product structure for those who might wish to navigate the tree. This is complicated by the fact there products can also be found by manufacturers. The software does not offer a solution for choosing a manufacturer, then subcategories within that manufacturer. I would need to create a custom solution.  I see some competitors that do this now.

 

Category names, really the lowest subcategories, in themselves are rather nebulous. some will have very few items and others some bulk.

 

To do this task and create this intricate category/subcategory/subcategory/product structure is a major task.  I'm really wondering if it's worth the time and effort/expense in creating the structure to improve the user experience - whereas most buyers will probably not go this route.

 

Feedback?

 

 

 



#2 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:19 PM

You're on an SEO forum, so I guess you're asking from an SEO point of view.  Two questions for you.

  1. With your proposed system, how are search engines going to navigate their way from the home page to the products?  i.e. what links are they going to follow?
  2. If you don't have category pages, then you're giving up the opportunity of ranking for keywords that map to those category pages.  Is that a problem, or is there no search volume on those keywords?


#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:50 PM

SEO perspective - as SEO relates to the user experience and click through - yes.

 

1. Navigation is in hand.  There is a tree but it is not as deep as it would be if I set up all the intermediate subcategories and lower level categories.  It would mean one or two less hops.

 

Major category --> subcategory --> product

 

2. With the software, zencart, you can set up categories to display with or without category descriptions - and - you can customize the page title and meta description. It sounds like this is what you are talking about?

 

At that bottom level category we have:

 

Short category name

Custom page title for that category

Custom meta description for that category

List of products by name, abbreviated description and link to product page (maybe buy link)

 

You're suggesting that we would be losing some opportunity associated with the category name, title and meta description and perhaps visual category description if we went this simple route?



#4 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:04 PM

I'm confused. In the original question you said

 

 

What I am looking at is the necessity or not of creating a category/subcategory/subcategory/product structure for those who might wish to navigate the tree. This is complicated by the fact there products can also be found by manufacturers.

 

 

Then in answering my questions you said

 

 

 

Navigation is in hand

...
Major category --> subcategory --> product

 

 

So is the question simply "Should I use lots of subcategories or only a few?"



#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:35 PM

I reserve the right to rephrase the question as I get more information and the situation becomes clearer. Miyagi says, "The answer is only right if you ask the right question."

 

"Should I use lots of subcategories or only a few?"  --> That sums it up.

 

Considerations:

  • Administration-wise - It is much easier to create and maintain the simpler structure
  • Human visitors - User experience --> Less hops if you collapse categories but maybe less info along the way.
  • Search engines - Feed best possible information to the search engines to keep them happy.


#6 Alan Perkins

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:57 AM

Do what makes most sense for humans.

 

You might think less hops is a good thing, but less hops = more URLs per page, and more scanning and reading in order to drill down. Humans also need to see the signposts ("Red Widgets ->") that map to what they're looking for. There's a balance to be found, typically 10-100 drilldown URLs per page.



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

Do what makes most sense for humans.

.

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

It's quite simple.

 

YOU are a human being,

 

YOU are of the species that Google want to show URLs to.

 

THEREFORE

 

Do what YOU would consider sensible, logical and useful  if YOU were doing the searching.for whatever your products are






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