Here are a set of questions from Kelly from the Volusion forums, followed by my response. This will start a new “Answers” category here on my blog, through which I’ll post my responses to interesting SEO and e-commerce questions I’ve found online. I hope you find these Q&A’s useful.
I have several questions about page views…
1) SERPs and Page Views – Does Google take page views into consideration for SERPs? If so, wouldn’t it be better to make customers ‘page’ through product categories instead of provide all products on one page?
2) Usability question – I’ve Googled, but I cannot find a report regarding customer conversion/abandonment rates comparing ‘paging’ through product categories vs. many products displayed on one page…is anyone aware of unbiased research regarding?
3) SEO and page views – Given the fact that an ‘unfriendly SEO url’ is returned when ‘paging’ through product categories vs. products displayed on one category page…does this affect SEO efforts?
Your thoughts please…
1) No – your site simply showing up in search engine results pages (SERP) is called an impression. Your site is being shown in results. If a visitor clicks an impression in SERP and lands on your site, then you’ve got a page view. If they keep clicking and navigating through your site, you’ll record more page views. The two aren’t related beyond the navigational flow of seeing an impression on SERP, clicking, and viewing your page.
2) You say “…’paging’ through product categories vs. many products displayed on one page,” but those aren’t mutually exclusive. For the best chance of stacking up conversions you should provide categories and sorting options so that the customer can choose the layout they are most comfortable with – as opposed to be force-fed your layout choice. The quantity of categories you require is going to be dependent upon the nature of your product. For example, if you sell very different products, like guitar parts in my case, then of course you need a lot categories. If all you sell is T-shirts and only have a few designs, then a few size, color, sleeve length, and artwork categories / sorting options may be all you need.
In any case, providing the customer with the tools to create their own browsing experience is the winning choice.
3) This isn’t accurate. Assuming your SEO fields are filled out properly, the only time you’re going to get an ugly URL while product-browsing is when you navigate through search result pages.
Searching for “strings” on my site returns:
with successive page navigation looking like this:
As far as SEO is concerned, you can block SearchResults.asp in your robots.txt file. This will prevent Google from indexing huge quantities of the URLs that looks like the one I posted above.
You could take the additional step of specifying nofollow and noindex META tags for SearchResults.asp in Home > Marketing: SEO, but the robots.txt edit is sufficient.