Jon Dramond Jon Dramond
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Search engine optimisation is pretty difficult – we’ve no doubt told you this a few times over the past few months! There’s definitely more to it than can be dealt with quickly and easily. SEO is also the lifeblood of your online store – a number one priority for any business-minded person looking to make a healthy profit and to run a successful online shop.

Most SEO tutorials will bang on about how you need to download all sorts of fancy widgets to sell your small range of products, conducting keyword analysis, finding out popular search terms and making sure that you incorporate said widgets onto your homepage so that search engines can tell what it is that you are trying to sell.

However, many stores aren’t selling a small range of products, or at least, many companies selling products online don’t have a small range. How can you sum up your entire store with a single key word or phrase?

Site Navigation is Part of Your SEO Strategy

Site navigation is a key part of your SEO strategy. No really. Your store needs to be organised and easy to navigate, just the same as any bricks and mortar store. Everything needs to be in order, easy to find and categorised in a logical fashion. If you have a large and diverse range of products, this can mean that it can get confusing rather quickly as you try to summarise your top level categories. You should only really have around four to six categories. With Magento, six is the most you want if you have horizontal navigation at the top of the page, certainly.

If you’re struggling to create just six categories, imaging the confusion your visitors face when they look for items. Likewise, you also don’t want to have huge sprawling menus where visitors have to drill down deep to find what they are looking for – it’s bad for them and it’s bad for SEO. Another issue may be over categorisation – where products end up in multiple categories and lead to content duplication – another SEO no no.

So how can you remedy this?

Magento offer a Multi-Store solution. This splits your inventory up into a number of stores, all managed from one backend. It means you can target the keywords and phrases appropriately for each store with an easy to manage system for your hosting requirements, stock control, ordering and delivery.

Having a dedicated store allows you to have greater control over your categories. You can make sure that your stores are organised to meet the needs of your customers in a much more effective way through running multiple sites as people can find what they are after much more easily. Less categories or more definite categories helps reassure people that they are in the right place and also improve your SEO score. You can create categories using specific keywords that are relevant and not vague.

Make sure that when you set up you Multi-Store, you keep your customers in mind. What it is that they look for? What item groupings sell well? Items must only appear in one store or you could face penalties for duplicate content.