Tips for Creating a Virtual Store That Delivers Great ROI

Implementing Structured Data
11 Tips for Creating Better Landing Pages

E-commerce comes from the English ‘ electronic commerce ‘ and need not be multilingual to translate ‘ e-commerce ‘.

Online shop is the popular name used to talk about e-commerce in Brazil.


What is e-commerce and what it does?

Who gets a virtual store without having experience with a physical store often think it’s just a cheap way to have a store.

This is wrong, because the problems are not less, but simply different.

The main bottleneck for a shop and for a physical store is the logistics, including storage of goods and shipment.

Clearly, if the product itself is virtual (eg platforms SaaS ), the concept changes radically.

However, in these cases the problem of logistics is replaced mainly of integration between the various environments and platform e-commerce of virtual products.


See this article more information about recurring problems of an e-commerce site .


In this post we will focus on the main features of the structure of a virtual store, leaving a ‘ handbook ‘, a manual that will be useful for those who are now starting their own e-commerce or want to enhance what you already have.


If you want to delegate the structuring of your your virtual store assertively and quickly contact the team .


SEO and Optimization of a virtual store to sell more organically

It is with a good work Optimizing your e-commerce will be recognized by Google as relevant to the searches of the online buyer.

But once you get to your site it needs to have a friendly interaction with your store.


Architecture of an Online Store

The architecture of an e-commerce can be divided into:

  • Information Architecture – defines a hierarchy of importance among the contents;
  • Technical Architecture – is the process to design the technical and functional aspects of a site.


Taxonomy : classification of topics is in a hierarchical structure.

Ontology:  is the relationship between the taxonomies.


Structure of a Virtual Store

An effective e-commerce structure is divided into three levels:

  • Level 1: homepage
  • Level 2: Product category
  • Level 3: specific product


For larger sites is considered a fourth level between the category and product page. This is the level subcategory.


Rule 3 clicks

An architecture  flat  (which in English means  flat)  minimizes the number of clicks to reach a page of the site to any other.

A flat architecture is defined by the distance between pages in terms of clicks, not in number of subdirectories and URL. For example, you can link from the homepage directly to a subcategory of URL on the fourth level of the hierarchy and leave the extremely flat architecture.

In the example below we can see that with a rule of three clicks well structured we can help the search engine to the user to get up to 1,000,000 pages with only 3 clicks, as explained below:


Consider you have 100 links to 100 categories in Home. Each category page linka 100 subcategories. Each of these subcategories linka a further 100 product pages. This way, you get 100 ^ 3 = 1,000,000 pages indexed on a path of no more than 3 clicks (home – category – subcategory – product).


Pages linked to each other at the same level of the hierarchy are called ‘ siblings


Types of navigation on a site e-commerce

1. First navigation – Menu

To speed up the navigation menu must be simple, without many links not to confuse the user, and clear information.


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Probably the most visits and shopping on your site come from  smartphones or tablets , right?

So the layout of a menu e-commerce , as well as being responsive, to be adapted to the type of interaction of the buyer which is different from the desktop , on mobile or tablet .

This goes certainly to the menu, which the cell performs differently than for desktop.


website menu for smartphone

website menu for smartphone source:

2. Secondary navigation or local navigation

It’s the navigation that happens within the specific page.


3. contextual navigation

It’s the navigation that leads to a website page to another through links in the page content. They do not consider here the links that come from the  sidebar  and footer.


4. sidebar menu (sidebar) and bottom (footer)

The links coming from these places are more to a better user experience than to order SEO .

These links do not lead authority for the landing page.


The importance of SSL certificate for e-commerce

A shop must have a safety certificate to ensure the user that this is a place safe.

To see if the security certificate is installed on the site, just make sure the domain starts with HTTPS with small padlock next to the URL . If so the site has security certificate included.

Once installed the security certificate, you need to redirect all non – secure pages (type without HTTPS ) for secure (with HTTPS ).


ssl certificate security - site notopo


In fact, long ago Google launched a global communication campaign to enter the https on each type of site, not just e-commerce.

The threat is that in a few moments the Google Chrome browser will inform the user that arrive on a site without HTTPS, the site is not secure.


See also ⇒ What are the main problems of e-commerce sites?



How to structure the page information of a product through Title-tag, H1, H2 and body text

Still there are people who confuse the H1 with the title-tag .

  • H1 is the title of the page that you see when you enter it.
  • The title-tag is that part of the code between the <title> and </ title>
  • H2 are used to bond parts content on the page, such as headings paragraphs.


So it’s always good to leave only one H1, at the very beginning of the content, to make it clear, the face, the issue to be addressed on the page, both for the search engine, as for the user.

If the virtual store H1 may contain the product name, product type, perhaps the category.

It is recommended to use more H2 than H1.

In fact the title-tag is not technically a tag, but an HTML element. However the SEO language is considered to tag and that’s how we will consider here.


Prominence of a keyword

Indicated as the prominence of the keyword position in the title-tag . The more the keyword is near the beginning of the title, the greater the prominence it and more will be the relevancy in Google ‘s eyes.

Remember that before it can enter the intention modifier:

  • What is?
  • How do I do?
  • Where to buy?
  • etc..


For the same reason it is suggested to enter the brand name, company, at the end of the title tag with the separator ‘|’ So you give more weight to the keyword at the same time not lose the opportunity for a bit of branding your brand , as it appears in the title.

In the event that your brand is already established and you want the contacts come mainly by the brand name, in this case could test insert in the title-tag the first mark and the keyword then.

At the same time, if you want to give more weight to a specific keyword that is your online store (eg Italian wine) , you can enter it at the end of the title of the product pages, as it were a brand.

If you sell your product only in some specific regions, you can also mention these regions in the title-tag to give more relevance.


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URL canonicalization to avoid duplicate content


See this mini video which means URL Canonization for SEO


The URL (page) for each product in your store needs to be optimized, ie clearly need to show the keyword that best identifies the product you want to sell.

However if you have two pages with the same or similar content, this may confuse the search engine because it does not know which of the two pages is more important to a particular subject.

This is typical of e-commerce where often the product is shown as a result of a search on the site, then the URL it is full of numbers and letters but the content is the same as the main product page.

Each path will result in a different URL, then must notify the search engine which one is the main to prevent Google may think you have two pages with repeated content. The process to tell Google which is the main product page called ” canonization .”

Why we need to  canonize  the product page, or inform the search engine, which is the most important among the pages that have the same product or content.

This process is called  canonization and the main URL is called  Canon.


regular expression ecommerce club del vino


To canonize a URL must enter a call on the product page and exactly between the tags



</ Head>


The call is to be inserted as follows:

 <Link rel = “canonical” href = “” />


This  snippet  (code line) will tell the search engine what is the ‘main’ page for the content contained in the URL.

Usually the e-commerce platforms allow this type of insertion without going through the programmer, having a box where you enter the canonical URL.

The canonical URL should not be used only in case of equal but similar content, it is not good practice to work more than one website URL for each keyword.


How to treat the pages of your e-commerce site that you do not want to be seen by Google?

We have already spoken of the need to canonize the pages generated by the filters.

Also, you need to avoid indexing duplicate pages but let the robot move to follow links to other pages of the site.

In the pages that do not want to be accessed or indexed you can enter the parameter “crawler = no” along with the automatic filter generation command.

If you have a list of URLs that you do not want to access and do not want indexed, you can put them in a folder and thus block access to them in the robots.txt.

For example if you enter all the URLs in the / filtered / robots.tx you can configure with the following command:

user-agent: * Disallow: / * / filtered /


You can enter noindex , follow the meta-tag on page generated and crawler = in the URL and block the crawler parameter in the robots.txt.

If you inserted the nofollow to pages already accessed before, they could already be indexed.

The nofollow does not totally eliminate the possibility of access to the page.

Even if you enter in one robots.txt disallow to prevent access to the page, it can be indexed if you have an external link pointing to it.

The page to access policies can be set at various levels, with the following priority:

  • site level – in robots.txt
  • Page-level – the header and meta-tags
  • element level with nofollow.

In case of inconsistency rules the site level gain on the page you win over the element.

Disallow the level of robot.txt can not be combined with noindex the page level, as well as the page is locked to the engine starts ( disallow ) then it will not be able to get to know that it is not to index.



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When using the Hashtag / Pound URL in an e-commerce?

For now, search engines do not read anything after the symbol # in the URL.

Then pages with # at the end are not indexed by Google.

The  Tic Tac Toe  is used in a single page sites and can be an elegant solution at the same time help the user interaction and avoid duplication of content.


It is good to enter a date in the URL of a product page?

It is always good not to insert the date or the year in the URL, as if to change the following year, must redirect existing.

What you can do is to enter the date in headings (H1, H2, H3), tags and titles , because they can be changed at any time.

In addition, during user behavior the parties is different than in the rest of the year.

As you know by Christmas or Black Friday spending the will is different than at the end of any month of the year, shortly before receiving the salary, right?

So you could think about creating specific landing pages for specific events or festivities, take them when the event pass and reactivate them in the future event.


product categories and product pages

It’s a good idea to let the product pages without the category name in the URL, because the products can migrate from one category to another and can change the URL in this case, there must enter a redirect ( redirect 301 ).

When you have multiple products in your online store is practically impossible to introduce them all at once to your customer.


There are three ways to submit product listings for the user:

  • endless scroll;
  • Page view-all;
  • Several pages of lists of products;

See video more about infinite scroll, view and all product lists:


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1. Presentation of products with technical View-all

Products are loaded all at once, which shows all products for the user. However, the page will take to finish loading until all products are visible.

With the technical view-all page content is loaded all at once and clearly takes longer, but it has to face all the relevant information.

If you use this option, you need to canonize the page with all the products, then insert the rel = “canonical” on all pages of components for the page view-al l.


2. List of products with infinite scroll

In the infinite scroll the content is loaded as needed (eg, using the button see more  to load the products not shown or automatically as you are doing the scrolling  mouse down).

In order to upload the images so  asynchronous,  ie, at different times, as the  scroll,  one must implement the function  lazy-load  pages, which means  lazy loading. The images thus will only be charged when they are accurate, when you go through them.


3. Multiple Pages product lists – The method of page attributes

If present the products in several pages of lists, must inform Google, to avoid being seen pages with duplicate content.

In this case it does not use the technique canonization but the paging.

So you need to insert the tags:

rel = “prev” rel = “next”.

This applies to product lists or blog posts that need more than one page.

If for example the first page of the list is:


The second page is:


The third page is:


With this method must enter the <head> of the first page the following snippet:

<Link rel = “next” href = “>


On the second page:

<Link rel = “prev” href = “>

<Link rel = “next” href = “>


And on the third page

<Link rel = “prev” href = “>


And so on.


With this technique the product pages share the SEO authority among them.

It’s probably the most widely used method in e-commerce stores


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A common mistake is, rather than page, canonizing every page after the first to the first,

<Link rel = “canonical” href = “>


This is a wrong practice as the canonical is only used for similar or duplicate content, which is not the case. Here we are only targeting the search engine.


Use of Breadcrumbs for Your Online Store

The  breadcrumbs  indicate the shortest path from the homepage to get to the product page of interest.

Example can be breadcrumbs

Homepage> Category> Product


The analysis breadcrumb gives an idea of the simplicity or complexity of the site structure.

The breadcrumb helps both the user and the search engine navigation , and you can see that appears in Google search results.

See this video on mini Breadcrumbs a website to navigation

Sitemaps a Virtual Store

The sitemap indicates the user and the search engine how to move on the site, and is actually a  map of the site.

It is almost mandatory to use sitemaps separate for each topic / category and subtopic / subcategory.

Specify the location of the XML sitemap in the robot or the engines will not be able to identify you, unless you go up with the GSC.


There are two types of sitemaps.

  • The format sitemap xml used to help the crawler (Google robozinho) navigate your site,
  • The sitemap in order on the site (format html ) serving for the user to understand how it is structured the site and the navigation aid. Some platforms like  WordPress helps create both types of sitemap easily.


To optimize your e-commerce to follows a methodology developed from years of experience that have already excellent results. For example NoTopo improved steadily over the years, the ROI of Casa Almeida , virtual clothing store upscale Home, Table, Bath (brand Buddemeyer ), as shown in the following case:



Javascript usage to improve user interaction

As stated above the javascript language is not easily seen by Google and the information contained in javascript can not be indexed by Google.

This for example happens when you want to display the page information into tabs.

So for them to be indexed, make them appear out of javascript code.


Video Embed in your site

If you insert a video and whatever Users ranked, let him off the tag <iframe> as it is not accessed by Google (eg, when you integrate a youtube video the snippet provided by youtube it, it even comes with the address of the tags :



</ iframe> .


One technique to improve page load speed is to create interaction buttons on CSS and HTML without using javascript.


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Carousel of an e-commerce site

From the point of view of SEO, there are two problems with the carousel :

  • The carousel is done in javascript code, so difficult to access by Google;
  • The text and links are the images.


pictures of your online store management

It is good to group similar images in the same folder that will represent a directory and slug URL.



See this minivídeo what exactly is the Slug of a URL:


e-commerce optimization through content automatically generated and Reviews to keep the product page updated

UGS (User Generated Content) is one of the best ways to deliver content to robots.

For it is good to use the comments, let them ranquearem and insert links in them.

The product reviews are the most organic way to maintain dynamically updated page. So it will be judged more often by the engines and considered more important.

In this case, you need to make the reviews are accessed by robots, so the reviews are not allowed in javascript or ajax (where the engine has more difficult access).

It is important to create reviews of their products and compare them with other market to provide the difference in a concrete way.


See also ⇒ What is Google Tag Manager?


Charging time of an e-commerce site

If the site loads relatively quickly (less than 3-4 seconds the lower the better), okay.

To test the performance with TTFB (Time To First Byte) can use the platform .

For general assessment of the site’s technical performance: PageSpeed Insights .



The SEO is a world in constant evolution, specifically when it comes to shop.

All information shown here will probably be obsolete in a year or two.

Why SEO key is always to upgrade and further test.

This post was created in the days of the notes based on the day and references to various technical books studied.

A book that impressed me particularly was the E-COMMERCE BOOK SEO Traian Neacsu. If you want to deepen, you can buy it at this link: .

And you have some experience with site structure you would like to share with us or just have something to add or opine?

Leave a comment down here.


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