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Website Basics

E-commerce

An e-commerce store is a website where customers can browse and purchase products online. It typically has a wide range of products, and the goal is to make it easy for customers to find and buy the products they want. E-commerce (sometimes spelled ecommerce and Ecommerce) stores typically have features such as:

  • A product catalog with detailed information about each product, including images, descriptions, and prices
  • A shopping cart where customers can add items to their purchase and checkout
  • A payment processing system
  • A shipping and delivery system

It can be a part of your sales and lead funnel systems, but it is different than a lead funnel or merely a landing page.

The main difference between an e-commerce store and a lead funnel is that the goal of an e-commerce store is to make sales, while the goal of a lead funnel is to generate leads.

Lead magnets and landing pages are typically used in lead funnels to attract and convert leads.

Together, lead funnels, landing pages, lead magnets, and e-commerce stores can combine into a powerful marketing toolkit for your business.

Here is an example of how you could use these four elements together:

  1. Create a lead magnet, such as an e-book on how to choose the right running shoes.
  2. Create a landing page where potential customers can download the e-book in exchange for their contact information.
  3. Promote the landing page on social media and in your email marketing campaigns.
  4. Once potential customers have downloaded the e-book, you can send them follow-up emails with more information about your running shoes and a link to your e-commerce store.

Website Organization and E-Commerce

Imagine a bustling mall with thousands of products crammed onto endless shelves. Finding what you need would be a frustrating nightmare, right? That’s why eCommerce stores need to be built within a well-thought and strategic website masterplan.

Product URLs, product categories, filters, breadcrumbs, and searches all act like friendly shop assistants, guiding customers through the vast product landscape to exactly what they desire.

Organization begins with the domain name. Options for organizing the domain include:

  1. Domain Name. This is the brand name followed by a top-level domain such as .com or .shop or .co.uk.
  2. Subdomain. This allows the brand name to be a simple website for landing pages and other content. The e-commerce platform is built on a subdomain such as shop.brandname.com.
  3. Subfile of a Domain. For example, brandname.com/shop, and only pages and subpages of /shop house the e-commerce platform. For example, brandname.com/shop/productname/ and brandname.com/shop/checkout/. This is helpful for sites that serve content and services other than their e-commerce shop.

As your product inventory grows, a well-defined structure allows for smooth expansion and prevents URL chaos down the line.

The Importance of Product URLs

It all begins with planning. An organized product URL structure is crucial for e-commerce stores because it directly influences user experience, SEO, and website management. Here’s why:

User Experience

Website organization is great for ecommerce SEO, but more importantly, it helps users find the products they want and discover the product they’ll likely buy next. A well-organized e-commerce store will provide clarity, inspire trust, and be easy to share.

  • Clarity and Navigation: Clear URLs give users an immediate understanding of what page they’re on and its location within the website hierarchy. This helps them navigate more easily and find the desired products faster.
  • Confidence and Trust: Consistent and logical URLs project professionalism and a well-organized inventory, building trust in the user. Conversely, chaotic URLs can feel confusing and untrustworthy.
  • Sharing and Bookmarking: Users are more likely to share or bookmark specific product pages with friends and family if the URL is clear and descriptive.

Remember, your URLs are not just technical identifiers; they are important communication tools that can make or break your online store’s success.

Ecommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

Well-organized product URLs are great for user experience. They’re also important for ecommerce SEO. Here’s why.

  • Crawling and Indexing: Search engines like Google use URLs to crawl and index your website. A well-structured URL with relevant keywords makes it easier for bots to understand your content and rank your product pages higher in search results.
  • Keyword Targeting: Including relevant keywords in your URLs can improve your ranking for those specific search terms, driving more organic traffic to your site.
  • Internal Linking: Structured URLs allow for effective internal linking between product categories and related items, further strengthening your website’s SEO.

Website Management and Ecommerce Growth

If you’re serious about growing your e-commerce store, starting with or investing in refining your product URLs is key.

  • Inventory Organization: A structured URL structure mirrors your product categories and subcategories, making it easier to manage your inventory and add new products in the future.
  • Data Analysis: Tracking user behavior becomes easier with organized URLs. You can analyze click-through rates and bounce rates for each product category or even individual products.
  • Scalability: As your product inventory grows, a well-defined structure allows for smooth expansion and prevents URL chaos down the line.

Product Categories and Breadcrumbs

Product categories and breadcrumbs work hand-in-hand with a well-structured URL to further enhance user experience and navigation. They require detailed planning at the beginning of your website development. If you’re already past the initial web development, this requires even more work to reorganize.

However, strategically designed product categories and breadcrumbs are both an investment that’s required for an effective e-commerce website.

Product Categories

Organize your products into logical groups based on type, brand, material, etc. This helps users narrow down their search and find what they’re looking for quickly.

Breadcrumbs for Easy Navigation

These are visual representations of the user’s journey within the website hierarchy, typically displayed above the product page. They show users where they are within the structure and allow them to easily navigate back to previous categories.

Product Searches and Filters

Searches empower customers to quickly find what they’re looking for using keywords. Someone seeking a “blue, lightweight hiking backpack” can instantly be presented with relevant options, saving them precious time and frustration. Filters take this precision a step further. Imagine that same customer needing a backpack within a specific price range and with ample water bottle storage. Filters make these nuanced preferences tangible, narrowing down the field to perfect-fit products.

By simplifying product discovery, searches and filters reduce bounce rates and boost conversion rates. Happy customers who find what they want quickly are more likely to buy and come back for more. In essence, these features are the linchpin of a smooth and satisfying eCommerce experience, turning your online store into a well-organized haven for shoppers, not a chaotic labyrinth.

Conclusion

In conclusion, an organized ecommerce store has clear a product URL structure. It includes navigational features with clear categories and breadcrumbs. Strategic organization of your ecommerce site improves user experience, boosts SEO, simplifies website management, and ultimately leads to higher sales and customer satisfaction.