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Advice on Pagination for E-commerce Websites

26 January, 2012

highstreet shops

Since my blog from last week about Google’s Pagination Tabs, I have been asked by a number of clients for my opinions on the best way to code their category and product pages – particularly for e-commerce websites – so that pagination doesn’t cause problems with SEO.

In the Debate on the Use of View All and Pagination Tags, I gave a basic overview of the pros and cons of using a View All index page, and linking multiple page articles using Previous and Next tags (Google’s new attributes rel=”next” and rel=”prev”). In the blog, I posed the question, “to View All or not to View All?”

The blog was intended to give an overview of the different options available to website owners and developers, explaining how they worked (with pros and cons) so that website owners could make informed decisions about which was best for their particular site, whether it’s a blogging site, an articles site, an e-commerce site etc. (PS is it e-commerce or ecommerce, dictionary.com says e-commerce but search traffic for ecommerce is 5 times the amount for e-commerce!)

Many of my clients have ecommerce websites. Ecommerce websites work in a particular way, so my advice to them is that a View All page should be used for ecommerce websites.  Read on to find out why.

Using View All on Ecommerce Sites

To illustrate why a View All page is important for e-commerce websites, here’s an example from Argos.

On their website (at the time of writing this), Argos have 268 items in ‘Duvet Cover Sets’, which takes up 14 pages of listings:
Argos Listings

As the pages aren’t included on a single ‘View All’ page, Google has 14 pages to wade through. When someone does a keyword search on ‘duvet cover sets’, Google doesn’t know which of these 14 pages is the most important. Is it the first one? Is it the last one? The middle one? Which page as a web site owner would you like to be indexed?

You certainly want your best selling products on the indexed page. But what if your best sellers are on different pages, for example pages 3, 7 and 9?

You would ideally want ALL products relating to that particular search to be on one page. This will create a page with the highest possible relevancy (increasing your page ranking on this search term), where the potential customer can scan through and see everything you offer that relates to their search.

The way to do this is to use a View All Tag. Google will then index the View All page, containing ALL your products in that search category. And with so many relevant answers to that particular search term on one page, your View All page has higher relevancy and is likely to rank much higher and even increase your conversion rates.

So you see that in the case of an ecommerce website, View All pages with a full product list for each search term can really help with your e-commerce SEO.

If you want to discuss this in more detail (or any other aspect of search engine optimisation or running an effective e-commerce website), please feel free to give me a call on 01133 20 21 21 or mail me!

NB For the purposes of SEO I decided to use the two different spellings, e-commerce and ecommerce, but from now on I will stick to e-commerce!

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