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Using Tags & Taxonomies to super charge your eCommerce SEO

Using Tags & Taxonomies to super charge your eCommerce SEO

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When you run an eCommerce brand with hundreds of thousands of products, your content strategy can feel overwhelming.

How can you use tags, site structure, and categories to increase your site’s discoverability?

Topics will include:
-- How to use categories like subfolders for better analytics
-- How to use tags to diversify and increase internal linking
-- Why relevant tags make the best recommendation engine

When you run an eCommerce brand with hundreds of thousands of products, your content strategy can feel overwhelming.

How can you use tags, site structure, and categories to increase your site’s discoverability?

Topics will include:
-- How to use categories like subfolders for better analytics
-- How to use tags to diversify and increase internal linking
-- Why relevant tags make the best recommendation engine

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Using Tags & Taxonomies to super charge your eCommerce SEO

  1. 1. 1 USING TAGS AND TAXONOMIES TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR ECOMMERCE SEO Colt Sliva SEO Engineer
  2. 2. 2 Everything you need to know about me Disney Movies Cereals Dogs Brands States I’ve lived or worked in 10+ years making websites and acquiring organic traffic. Currently an SEO Engineer at the iPullRank Agency. Focused on Natural Language Processing and Information Architecture.
  3. 3. 3 COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Overview Taxonomy Algorithms Grouping Products Get Supercharged Tools Labeling Products
  4. 4. 4 Overview
  5. 5. 5 5 All Platforms Supported
  6. 6. 6 6 Why Ecommerce Taxonomies Matter Ecommerce taxonomies are the starting point for how we talk, think, name, organize, and link products together. After this webinar, you will have a framework on how to: • Write better titles and meta descriptions • Target keywords from broad match to long tail • Create better internal linking for higher internal PageRank. • Improve time on site • Build topical relevance • Design better URLs • Help Google’s crawlers find your content
  7. 7. 7 Labeling Products How we talk about the things we sell
  8. 8. 8 8 Naming things is hard Unfortunately, we need to start with a name to create a product -- and that product needs a URL with a folder to live in and a page title to show people what it is on Google. Luckily, there’s a framework for everything.
  9. 9. 9 9 Key Action Item Naming a product Design the 3 levels of categorization into long tail keywords, URL subfolder structure, and page titles. In linguistics, there are 3 levels of categorization - superordinate, basic, and subordinate. This is common across languages and design systems. To the discerning eye, placing a product into these three levels of categories might look like a folder structure. /dogs/pitbulls/american-pitbull-terrier.html Or perhaps it looks like a product title.
  10. 10. 10 10 Ontology is understanding the properties that make up a thing. In this case, we’re talking about tags, facets, features, or attributes. Defining what makes a product can also be hard. So we turn to frameworks. Labeling a product (AKA what makes this thing different)
  11. 11. 11 11 The Framework • Classes • Make, Model, Brand • Attributes • Color, Size, Fit, Material • Relations • Similar-to • Functions • Style, experience, use, audience • Restrictions • Negative matches • Rules • Sales • Events • Editions, Releases The Product Labeling Framework
  12. 12. 12 12 In classification, there are 2 types of relationships. 1. IS-a relationship 2. HAS-a relationship Linking products together is feature of most static product recommendation systems. You can think about making recommendations based on what traits it shares. It either IS-a similar product or it HAS-a similar attribute which a customer is interested in. If the current product does not meet a customers needs, linking with the right relationship can be the difference between an abandoned cart and a sale. Linking Products Together Design the 3 levels of categorization into long tail keywords, URL subfolder structure, and page titles.
  13. 13. 13 Grouping Products How we design our site taxonomy
  14. 14. 14 14 Categories Think of categories as folders or parts of a URL. It should carry a unique product and can be nested within other folders. You can move up and down, but not left to right. The Framework • Tags build a tree structure • Use a single category if possible • This is your canonical • Your category is your subfolder • This means it is your URL as well
  15. 15. 15 15 Tags Tags should function more like a network structure. You can have as many as you need, and they link diverse products together by related traits. You can move in any connected direction. The Framework • Unsorted ( No parent or child tags) • Many relationships possible • Links abstract products together • Provides paths to jump across categories • The most underused tool in SEO
  16. 16. 16 16 Putting it in practice Here’s a Nike product listing page with faceted navigation applied. Each tag is used to dynamically build the page. The category is Lifestyle / Shoes The tags are Gender, Price, and Color.
  17. 17. 17 17 Categories & Tags When you use both of them together, something magical happens.
  18. 18. 18 18 Categories & Tags Your site graph starts with an unorganized mess with no clear clusters or topics for Google to pick out.
  19. 19. 19 19 Categories & Tags Your site becomes organized vertically by category structure and horizontally by tags. The tags act like portals to jump to different categories. This results in: ● Higher crawl rates ● Better product discovery ● Better internal PageRank distribution ● Longer time on site ● Higher conversion rates ● Better analytics through subfolders
  20. 20. 20 20 Faceted Taxonomies This great article by Botify makes the case that faceted navigation isn’t as great as we think it is. Facets create multiple versions of the same URL. That means duplicate content, diluted link equity, and wasted crawl budget with spider traps. That’s why we need true taxonomy pages for SEO. These are real “Shop By” pages which are ideal for organic landing pages.
  21. 21. 21 Google’s Algorithms for Taxonomy How does Google find your products
  22. 22. 22 22 Google’s Algorithms for Taxonomy The benefit of creating product listing pages informed by taxonomy is that you create a HUGE number of long tail landing pages. The downside is now Google has to be able to find all these pages, navigate between them, and classify the intent for them.
  23. 23. 23 23 Djikstra’s Algorithm Can you get from any given product to another product in a different category without using the header menu or the footer? If each square is a product or page, how many link hops does it take to find another specific page or product? Djikstra’s can be used for new page discovery and is a popular pathfinding algorithm.
  24. 24. 24 24 Random Surfer Model The random surfing model is a graph model which describes the probability of a random user visiting a web page. The model attempts to predict the chance that a random internet surfer will arrive at a page by either clicking a link or by accessing the site directly, for example by directly entering the website's URL in the address bar. For this reason, an assumption is made that all users surfing the internet will eventually stop following links in favor of switching to another site completely. In this graphic, there is a chance that the surfer will never reach the #3 page.
  25. 25. 25 25 Key Action Item PageRank Algorithm PageRank is calculated by seeing which pages link to other pages. It is run repeatedly until a consensus is reached on the value of pages. Often the most central and important page is a homepage. Links from the homepage carry more weight. Link to key products or categories from the main content area of the homepage to increase their internal PageRank.
  26. 26. 26 26 K-Means Clustering Using links, you can calculate what general category a page belongs to. Search works by throwing a dart into a category and hitting a bullseye. Using clear internal linking for your category can place your pages inside that bullseye.
  27. 27. 27 27 Key Action Item How to beat the machine Internal link often, and both by tags and categories. Include links from listing pages and product pages. Here’s a few case studies on improving internal linking. They tout the many benefits of a better site architecture through taxonomy. 1. Credo (Source) a. +74% Organic Sessions b. +41% Pages Per Session c. +148% New Users 2. Spyfu (Source) a. +129% Keywords Ranked 3. Ninja Outreach (Source) a. +40% Organic Traffic
  28. 28. 28 Tools Architecting your site taxonomy
  29. 29. 29 29 yEd yEd is a graph editor which lets you nest nodes. You can plan tags and clusters by linking it all together. This is a great way to physically shift site architecture around and get a chance to visualize what you want to create.
  30. 30. 30 30 Screaming Frog If you’re not using the Screaming Frog visualizations, you’re missing out.
  31. 31. 31 Supercharge Your Ecommerce Experience
  32. 32. 32 32 Automate Product Details Build a faceted visual with additional product details. Drive higher CRO and customer confidence with clearly labeled products. Additionally, build structured content on page that will be used by Google during their crawls.
  33. 33. 33 33 Key Action Item For additional SEO benefits, always recommend products in different categories but with similar tags to increase link diversity, spread PageRank, and increase crawl efficiency. Build a Recommendation Engine Using tags or attributes, you can calculate similar products surface the highest revenue producing items to customers.
  34. 34. 34 34 Build a Mega Menu Dedicated landing pages perform better than mixed intent pages which may cause keyword cannibalization. Create a focused mega menu based on your new hyper-targeted taxonomies.
  35. 35. 35 35 Additional Dynamic Links Because your tags allow you to target many long tail keywords, this opens up dynamic internal linking. Build targeted pages and focus more PageRank of high volume keywords. Earn more traffic by linking more often to valuable pages automatically. It’s PageRank sculpting like it’s 2005 with the technology of 2021.
  36. 36. 36 36 Build a Quiz Help customers find the right taxonomy for them by matching their personalities with tags. Direct them to parts of the site they may not have visited and garner conversion through experiential marketing.
  37. 37. 37 37 Dynamically Link Products in Blog Posts By using the same tags for your blogging CMS and your ecommerce management system, you can join two disparate systems together. Often, ecommerce organizations fail to merge content marketing with shop functionality. People can shop on facebook, instagram, snapchat. Cross platform ecommerce is all the rage. The least we can do is make shopping more convenient on our content marketing platforms.
  38. 38. 38 38 Back to basics To reference where we started -- taxonomies are the start of everything. You don’t have to be the most advanced ecommerce organization in the world to get reap all of the benefits of keeping your topics tidy. • Write better titles and meta descriptions • Target keywords from broad match to long tail • Create better internal linking for higher internal PageRank. • Improve time on site • Build topical relevance • Design better URLs • Help Google’s crawlers find your content
  39. 39. 39 Thank You! Twitter: @SignorColt Email: colt@ipullrank.com Website: https://ipullrank.com

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