Published on April 4, 2024

How Ecommerce Website Design Impacts SEO Performance

When talking about ecommerce SEO, many immediately associate it with Google’s ranking factors like keywords and page speed. These SEO elements may be important, but a significant part of ecommerce SEO success also hinges on its design.

Take JavaScript-based retail sites, for example. While JavaScript (JS) can enhance shopping experiences, poorly optimized design can harm SERP rankings, such as through cluttered pages and poor site architecture. And since more than half of web traffic originates from organic search, neglecting SEO-friendly design risks losing potential customers and revenue.

In this article, we’ll explore the key elements of JS ecommerce web design, including navigation menus, videos, images, and more, and how to optimize them to improve SERP rankings. The goal here is not to avoid JS in ecommerce entirely but to implement strategic design and optimization techniques to cater to customers and search engines. 

Layout Consistency 

The first on the JS SEO web design best practices list is layout consistency. When it comes to the overall look and feel of your ecommerce site, consistency should be a top priority. Maintaining a consistent and logical layout helps search engines crawl and rank your pages faster and more efficiently. Why? Because the more accessible the website architecture is, the easier search engines digest it.

To optimize layout consistency, you have to start by establishing a clear design foundation for your ecommerce site. Create uniform styles for headers, footers, navigation menus, buttons, and typography using a uniform colour scheme and visual hierarchy.

Additionally, focus on developing a logical web structure with simple navigation. Organize your content into categories and subcategories, and use consistent naming standards for URLs, page titles, and headers. 

For URLs, you could do something like these:

exampleshop.com/category/mens-clothing

exampleshop.com/category/mens-clothing/shirts 

exampleshop.com/product/blue-button-down-shirt

For Navigation, you could do something like these:

Category:

Men’s Clothing 

  •    Shirts
  •    Pants
  •    Jackets

Women’s Clothing

  •    Tops
  •    Dresses 
  •    Sweaters

This helps both users and search engines understand the organization of your site and find relevant information more easily.

Above all, prioritize user experience. A well-designed and consistent layout improves not just SEO but also brand perception and customer trust, which ultimately drives conversions and revenue for your ecommerce shop.

Top tip: Did you know that URL structure and site architecture can influence your SERP rankings? See the complete list of 6 technical SEO elements that affect ranking potential here.

Navigation

Navigation may seem like a basic design element, but it plays a crucial role in shaping user experience and SEO for ecommerce stores.

For your customers, clear and intuitive site navigation allows them to easily explore your site and complete their desired actions quickly. The easier visitors can navigate, the more engaged they’ll be, and the lower your bounce rates.

For search engine crawlers, a properly designed navigation system allows them to crawl and index your pages quickly. Well-structured menus with descriptive labels organized in a logical hierarchy help bots understand how your content is structured and improve the discoverability of your most important pages.

When optimizing ecommerce navigation, consider intuitive ways to categorize your products. Here are some web design JS SEO best practices:

  • Feature the primary menu prominently on all pages rather than hiding it behind hard-to-see hamburger icons on mobile.
  • Use descriptive anchor texts for links over generic “click here” labels. This helps customers understand where a link will take them and gives useful context to search engines.
  • Conduct a regular technical SEO audit. It helps identify any navigation-related issues that may hinder search performance. This includes site structure, URL parameters, and internal linking to ensure that your navigation is optimized for both users and search engines.

Top tip: Follow this beginner’s guide to conducting an effective ecommerce technical SEO audit.

Mobile Responsiveness

Optimizing the mobile version of your ecommerce site is more than just shrinking the content to fit a smaller screen. It is also about reorganizing and optimizing the layout to create a user-friendly experience. But why does it matter for SEO success? 

With more than half of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it is no wonder Google made mobile-friendliness one of its ranking factors. Failure to optimize your ecommerce shop for mobile could result in Google deprioritizing your site in its indexing lists, potentially reducing its visibility for relevant searches.

To optimize your design for mobile, start by using a responsive design framework that dynamically adapts and resizes layout based on screen size. This includes optimizing the following ecommerce web design elements:

  • Font and button sizes: ensure they aren’t too small or too large.
  • Navigation menus and search bars: ensure they’re easily readable and tapable on smaller screens.
  • Pop-up windows: ensure they are non-intrusive and can be easily closed on a mobile device.

For JS-powered ecommerce stores built with React, designing mobile versions of the site without affecting mobile performance can be challenging. Search engines can struggle to crawl complex React sites, leaving your pages out of SERP rankings for a while.

There are a couple of methods you can adopt to solve this problem—but prerendering in React with Prerender is the best option.

Prerender creates a 100% ready-to-index mobile website version of your desktop content and serves it to search engines when they access your site. With this, you can solve the performance issues that would normally hold back the mobile version of your site. 

Consequently, since Google loves fast-loading websites, your pages stand a chance of ranking faster. Learn more about how Prerender can serve fully rendered pages to bots in less than a second in this blog.

Prerender

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