Kristina Azarenko at SEOnerdSwitrzerland: The 8-step ecommerce framework to create sub-categories targeting long tail keyword

E-commerce: targeting long tail keywords – Kristina Azarenko

Here you find the transcript and a link to the youtube recording of SEOnerdSwitzerland meetup ‘The 8-Step eCommerce Framework to Create Sub-Categories Targeting Long-Tail Keywords ‘ with Kristina Azarenko.

In the talk, Kristina Azarenko shows an 8-step process for creating sub-categories based on the existing website filters. This is applicable to online stores as well as eCommerce-type websites.

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Kristina Azarenko, eCommerce & technical SEO Consultant, MarketingSyrup

Kristina Azarenko is a Toronto based SEO Consultant, working with businesses around the world. She loves digging into data, seeing connections and building a story based on them.
She doesn’t just do SEO, she helps businesses hit goals and track the KPIs properly in a no nonsense way.
We are very inspired by Kristina’s genuine way of sharing her knowledge. She gives countless of very practical advice on LinkedIn, Twitter and in a newsletter. Follow here now!

Kristina Azarenko, eCommerce & technical SEO Consultant, MarketingSyrup

Twitter @azarchick

LinkedIn Kristina Azarenko

Full webinar recording

Thank you Kristina Azarenko for your presentation

💛 Thanks to our speaker Kristina Azarenko, we are so happy to welcome you! Preparing a presentation and being present at the meetup take a lot of time.

SEOnerdSwitzerland is nothing without speakers willing to share their knowledge. I am happy we got to welcome Kristina!

About #SEOnerdSwitzerland

SEOnerdSwitzerland is a non-profit association that aims at promoting and sharing knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEOnerd Switzerland organizes events in person and in webinars. 

🔥 Join the community of SEO enthusiasts by joining the meetup group. If you have any questions or ideas, contact the co-hosts, Sara Moccand-Sayegh and Isaline Muelhauser: isaline@pilea.ch.

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Full transcript of the webinar with Kristina Azarenko

Transcript created with the help Ross John dela Rosa. Thanks Ross. In the transcript, if you read [inaudible], it means Kristina Azarenko’s internet connection was unstable.

Isaline Muelhauser: we can wait ’til everybody’s here.

Sara: Yes.

Isaline: I have a couple of good news for you, for everybody. One of the good news, in case you don’t know yet is that Women in Tech SEO has a newsletter and you can subscribe to that newsletter to get it. And I’m going to share the link. So here you can sign up for the Women in Tech SEO newsletter. Basically, you’ll get an overview of everything that’s going on in the community, articles interesting to read, about speakers and events, and things.

And the second thing I would like to share with you is Kristina’s newsletter. I don’t know if you have signed up to receive her newsletter already. I shared the link in LinkedIn earlier this week. But I think if you’re here, I assume that you want to know more about eCommerce and so I really think you should sign up to her newsletter. Let me share this link. Kristina also shares awesome tips. I mean, she’s going to present it much better than I do. But she shares awesome tips, very hands-on that you can apply. I don’t remember how regular it is, every week? Is it every two weeks Kristina?

Krisina Azarenko: It’s, I called irregular.

Isaline: Okay.

Kristina: Because there is no specific schedule. Yes, it’s an irregular newsletter.

Isaline: Yeah, irregular but totally worth it. So I’ve shared the link in the chat. I don’t know if you noticed, you have a chat, I think down here on the right. You can click and discuss with us. It would be awesome if you turn to a panelist and all participants. So it means that everybody can discuss with everybody and see the question and everything. So, I assume that you can hear us well since you said ‘hello’.

Sara: Hello, yeah, there is a little bit of hello here and they asked. So, yes apparently. People are arriving and they can see us.

Isaline: So in case anything happens I’m going to monitor the chat. So just drop a message there and tell us, “It’s broken,” or whatever, “I can’t hear you.” So just write a line. And so we will officially starts in one minute.

Sara: Yeah, but let’s profit now. So people are from… Where are you coming from? So I see somebody from Switzerland because I guess that I know him. But if not there is somebody else that would like to say, “Hello” and would like to say “Hello” to Kristina especially. Don’t be shy. Oh, come on, everybody’s shy today or what? Ah, that’s what Isaline.

Isaline: Yeah, well.

Sara: You are right. Somebody should start.

Isaline: So we are going to start wonderfully on time just like a Swiss train. I’m being very stereotypical here but very true as well. So, I am Isaline Muelhauser, SEO Consultant at Pilea.ch And I’m here today with Sara Moccand Sayegh, SEO Specialist at LIIP. And Kristina Azarenko, of course, SEO Consultant at MarketingSyrup. As I said I highly recommend you to sign up to her newsletter. You’ll find the link in the chat. It’s an awesome newsletter and it always makes me happy when I get it. It’s like, “Yeah, a gift in my inbox.”

So, we are very happy to welcome you here tonight. This is SEOnerd Switzerland. It’s a non-profit association to share knowledge about SEO. So basically, we organize events and webinars. More webinars than events at the moment, I have to say.

Sara: A little bit difficult to organize events live in this moment but we will do it soon.

Isaline: Yeah, we’ll go back soon to probably in-person events but we are not going to stop the webinars because we are really happy to have a chance to welcome you all. Also if you want to speak at one of our events just get in touch with us and we’ll share the speaker pitch. You can just then fill in the survey and tell us the subjects you want to discuss. We are very open to first-time speakers. So don’t be shy. And we are also thinking about launching new events in national languages. Yay! So if you don’t feel like talking in English, please don’t be shy, just write a line. We are happy with Italian, German and French so go for it. What else do I have to say?

Sara: So, the next event, Isaline.

Isaline: Yeah, the next event. Oh, I’m very excited about the next event because we are welcoming Miracle Inameti-Archibong. Well, I’m personally a big fan of her. I’ve seen her doing a webinar with a deep call about forecasting for SEO and I was just like, “Ah, I need to be able to do that. I’m not yet 100% able to do it the same way that she does, obviously. But she will be here May 27th to discuss forecasting for SEO. And this is so important to forecast the results you can have and what kind of results your clients can expect. In the SEO specialist-clients relationship, this is very, very important. Let me share the link in the chat for you to sign-up. And of course, we’ll share more in due time later in the month about this next event.

Sara: So as you understood, today the chat is very important today.

Isaline: Today, the chat is very important. And also we have one very important more formal things to introduce. We have two sponsors who pay for the fees of all the software we use and the transcripts because yes, there are transcripts and subtitles for every webinars. So first sponsor is LIIP and second sponsor is Pilea.ch. And we are very grateful for people giving us money to helping us do this and organize these events. So…

Sara: Let me introduce Kristina now.

Isaline: Yeah, so let me say now, hello to Ansa and hello to Alex because it always makes me very happy to see people talking–

Sara: So, let’s say hello.

Isaline: Hey, it was… So, I’m done. And…

Sara: Hi Raza.

Isaline: And I have one thing to say, I know we have participants and community members who are located in India. So my heart goes to you, in case you are here with us tonight. We think about you and we just hope for the best. And now I’m done and just leave the stage.

Sara: Okay, so let me introduce you to Kristina. But you can’t see her, obviously. And if you are here and you know who Kristina is but I just wanted to say a few words about her because for me she’s like incredible. I think that she did almost everything.

First, she moved to Canada. Next, she started working for a company. She opened her own company. She has her own consultant business, MarketingSyrup. Next, she opened a course. So she also gives SEO course to people. And I have seen her shows, this giving in the next future, correct me if I’m wrong Kristina, some JavaScript classes. She also has an extension. And I officially use your extension by the way, your Chrome extension, so, SEO Pro. And what else? She speaks at the major conference. She also writes quite often, blogs. She has the newsletter, as Isaline said. I don’t know Kristina if you want to add something else that you’ve done and if you ever sleep. You can also say no if you don’t sleep at night work or something like this because you do so much and so much for the SEO community in general. So we are all grateful to have you here and to say thank you for all what you do.

Kristina: Thank you so much for everyone who just joined. I’m here and without video because I’m in the cabin in the woods. The internet is unstable. I would love you to see my face but I want to make sure that you first of all, get all the information. So I enabled my camera just to say hi to everybody, I’m here, and to just my peeps there. And thank you for very much for the introduction. I also set you guys in my presentation. But yeah, we will be starting soon. Let me know when I should start and share my slides and I will disable my video, meanwhile.

Sara: Please go share your slides.

Kristina: Okay, amazing. So, cool, cool, cool! So, today’s… Okay. Just to make sure, this is the question that everybody asks and they need to ask, do you see my slide? Do you see my screen?

Sara: Yes, sure we see it.

Kristina: Okay, cool. So, today I’m going to talk about the 8-step eCommerce framework to create sub categories targeting long tail keywords. I’ll walk you through the process of the framework but I’ll also show you the way how I came up with this framework. and definitely you’re free to take this information and use it to transform because everything can be improved, right?

So yeah, a few words about me. And of course, as your consultant I have an SEO Challenge Course and I have an extension. I don’t have it here. And I’m also a quarantine doll houses builder. We pick up really weird things while we are on quarantine, right? Yeah, I’m in Canada. I’m usually based in Toronto. But currently, I’m in Alberta among mountains. But I don’t think that in Switzerland you will be surprised by this. In Switzerland, you have a really, really beautiful nature. So I’m really thriving in this mountain surroundings.

So, one thing that I found once and I was really surprised by it is the statistics that by 2040, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be by eCommerce. But honestly, giving all our situation across the world it seems that we are already living in 2040 because many stores, many offline experiences that we used to have are transforming online now. Sometimes you just have to do this. Sometimes you realize that, “Oh actually, it takes time and I can go to buy something online versus going to a store.”

So it means that now, this is the best time if you didn’t start before. Now is the best time to start thinking about optimizing about SEO, about ultra optimizing online stores, your online stores or for your clients depending on your background. So when it comes to eCommerce or to online stores there are different types of pages. But what I find from my experience and what I also found through another statistics is that about almost 50% of all the traffic comes to the category pages. And it makes sense so much to me. And that’s why today we are going to talk about building this specific category pages targeting long tail keywords.

So, this idea came from, I first met my then client who was a medium-sized store and the main product [inaudible] was they all sold some kinds of products, the main was t-shirts. But the biggest issue with their website was that all categories were too general. So imagine instead of different types of t-shirts you have just t-shirts or they had also bags and pants. But these categories all are very general and it means that they are not targeting specific keywords, right? They didn’t rank for long tail queries and those queries that actually have transactional user intent. Because think about that, if somebody is looking for a t-shirt they might not be on the stage where they are ready to buy. But if somebody is looking for a V-neck t-shirt for women that’s exactly where transactional user intent happens.

So they were just basically losing money and giving this market share to their competitors. [inaudible] And this is how bad it was. They were capturing only 19% of their potential and 81% was just missed. I often get question how I calculated this. So here’s the thing. This is a row calculation of the search volume for the keywords that are relevant for their categories for this online store. Again, this is a row calculation. You can also add to this CTR and build forecasting. But for me it was just to illustrate quickly how things were without spending too much time on forecasting. Because I knew for sure that this work and it doesn’t mean that we’ll get let’s say almost 33,000 people every day. But this just showed the potential that was captured and the potential that was not captured.

So, how do we fix that? The first thing that comes to mind is create more specific categories to capture lost opportunities. That makes total sense, right? And it’s pretty straightforward.

So, the first step was perform keyword research. The second step was to identify a set of pages opportunities with highest impact. And the third step was send content recommendations. If you create content for your client then create this content. I didn’t so I send content recommendations to the client and send internal linking recommendations because we want to make sure that all the new categories are integrated inside of the existing website architecture. This is very important as well. It’s easy right? It sounds really easy and… Yeah.

Sara: That is too good, it’s so good.

Katrina: That’s what everyone’s Izzi. I first spoke about that on the conference when we were sharing state offline conference when we were sharing stage with Izzi.

So it was it was really fun. So three months later, after all these recommendations only three months later but first of all it’s great that they were implemented. But three months later, it took three months, the new pages were cleared. And trust me, there were not many pages. Seven or 10, as far as I remember, the conditions were implemented. Cool! And the traffic was steadily growing which is amazing.

But still something was missing. And this something was Scalability. Because the new pages captured about 10% of the opportunities which is fine. And we went from 19% to 29% of capture potential but it still means that 71% was still missing. And at the end my client couldn’t just tweet manually, let’s say 100 pages try to capture all this potential. We started small and this approach proved to be really slow in implementation.

So to go through all these steps again would mean spending about one to two years on the implementation which is very long. And when I think about that I imagine this [inaudible] it was maybe 99% or something or alternatively the time when everybody forgets what Coronavirus is. So that’s why I needed something more here. I needed something that will be faster and more scalable. Basically magic. But they’re also another thing for this.

So I created the 8-step eCommerce framework that I’m going to show you right now. So this framework will help any online store. And by the way, not only online store. I’ll talk about this at the end as well. So it will help an e-commerce type website do exactly these. Create high-quality sub-categories targeting long-tail keywords that really sell. And you do this scalable. It doesn’t mean that it happens overnight but it still means that it happens faster.

So one important note about this is that a store should have filters because the framework is based on filters. In my situation for that client they had the category t-shirts but they had filters to filter type color and all this other different things, right? So a store needs to have filters because we’ll base our sub categories on the filters.

So the first step is the same. It’s completely initial keyword research because keyword research is the foundation of everything we create. Because if we don’t have it, if we don’t understand which keywords are actually searched for, which keywords are of higher impact, which gives a lower impact, we will not be able to proceed. So this step is foundational. And you can cluster the keywords by pages showing the search, [inaudible] search value and all the information that you see relevant. But yeah, cluster those keywords helps as well.

Then the next step is to analyze the existing filters and find those that will become basis for the new indexable facets. And so here is an example. The filters that I chose was fit, color, brand and style. And for example for fit, if we go back to t-shirts, to fit that would be t-shirts for women, t-shirts for men, for children. For color that would be black, green, white t-shirts. Brand, New Balance t-shirts, let’s say. And style shirts, long sleeve, V-necks, all these kinds of things when it comes to style. So I chose these existing filters that will become indexable facets. At the same time, they were filtered like price, size, and country of produce. Those filters did not become indexable facets because they didn’t have enough search volume. And creating those subcategories would not be justifiable. Now I need to say that it doesn’t mean that in your case you can’t create an indexable facet based on size. For example, if people are looking for Adidas men’s sneakers size 10 then okay great you need to create this subcategory But that’s why we do the first step which is finding the keywords. Those keywords will guide the filters that you would need to choose to become indexable facets.

And here’s one more thing. So after that I worked with other websites as well. And what they realized that sometimes they would have different categories and different filters there. Let’s say a store can sell apparel and they can sell wellness products as well. And the filters will be different. So you need to analyze this as well and create sets of filters for each type of category. So for example, for wellness that can be cruelty free or something like that. Or if they sell also some food it can be gluten free and all this kind of stuff. So you need to think about basically different categories might have different set of filters.

So step three is to define the rules for creating indexable facet pages. This is very important because we want to control the process We just don’t want to end up in some really messy situation. So filters that will become indexable facets should need the following criteria. First of all the facet pages should only be created for top level categories for t-shirts. So that we have t-shirts for men for example but when we are on the category t-shirts for men that we don’t create any more indexable facets based on this subcategory because again it makes the situation really, really hard to control.

And the next thing was that category plus filter combinations should exist. Only this combination should exist. Under no circumstances there should be category plus filter plus [another] filter. For example, V-neck t-shirts for women. Now here’s the thing it doesn’t mean that in the future you can’t create those sub-sub-categories especially if they have search volume. For me it just didn’t make sense to create at first because then everything can go wrong. And there will be so many pieces of this puzzle. And the number of combinations that can potentially come from implementing this is enormous. And I wanted to make sure that I can control. And I wanted to create really good pages instead of creating clean content.

You can approach it differently or you can have second iteration and create sub-subcategories so to say. But yeah, for the sake of this I created only main category plus filter combination subcategories. And I created this quick scheme that helps to illustrate this process in a scheme format. I really love schemes.

So the first question is to ask yourself, is this asset for top level category? And if the answer is no then don’t create a facet page. And if the answer is yes then, the next question is, will this facet be based on one of these filters; fit, brand, color, and style. These are the filters that I identified in step two. For you these filters can be different. If the answer is no let’s say the filter is price then don’t create a facet page. If the answer is yes then the next question is, will the facet be based on the combination of category plus filter. Let’s say t-shirt green and if the answer is yes then create a facet page. If the answer is no then don’t create a facet page.

The step four is to define the rules for canonicalization of the new facet pages. Again, we don’t want to create same content. We want to create really good pages. So for me, if it has a page lists nine or more products then you set up a self-referencing canonical. If a facet page has less than nine products then set up a canonical tag to the parent page. That is for top level categories. So let’s say if orange t-shirts page has only one product the canonical tag would point to the just t-shirts page.

And I know some of you will be asking, why nine? And it’s a good question because in my situation nine was the golden middle number But in your situation it can be different. You can change it. You can have for example 12 if you see that overruled or quite many products in that on the website. Or you can cut it down to let’s say six if there are not so many products. I don’t recommend having like two to three products because at the end of the day if you have only three unique products on the page and the rest of the page is the same it can be treated the same as other category pages, right? It can be treated as thin content and we don’t want to do this. And on the other hand, if your threshold is too high, let’s say 20 products and generally, category pages would have enough products to display 15. It means that you are not going to create any new subcategories if you set this threshold really high. So again this is just the golden middle that you should choose in your situation. And here is the continuation of that skin that I showed you.

So if we create a facet page then the next question is, does the page list nine or more products? And if the answer is yes then a page should have canonical to itself so self-referencing canonical. If the answer is no then canonical to the parent page.

Step five is to set internal linking to success. And this is pretty straightforward. But trust me developers sometimes get this wrong. So the links to the new facet pages should be implemented using href links. So basically the links should use <a href=””>. They should not use any JavaScript on click events. This happens a lot when it comes to internal linking. No, the internal linking should be set up according to the web standards which means that the links should be added by ahrefs at use. But this is really worth noting for your developers.

And then, step six is create title and h1 tags templates. We create templates for scalability. And these templates are using variables that will be pulled from the information which is which is in the database to the title deck. So let’s say it’s passive name, category name in Canada or in the UK and Switzerland, brand name. For example, green t-shirts in Canada and then brand name and h1 tags are the same but without the brand name. Now, at the end, when everything is implemented, everything is working fine you can’t go and customize those title tags and h1 tags. You can add something new to them. You can… I don’t know. You can save t-shirts and tease something like that, right? You can customize this title tags and h1 tags on the sub-category level. That’s amazing. But for this situation we need to implement something quickly. We need to implement something so that developers or you will not need to go to each and every category and manually add these title tags and manually add those h1 tags. And trust me, if at least using these templates will help you be much more relevant than most online stores. I usually see that they use something like t-shirts archives and that’s it. This is default thing for WordPress, for example. So these templates are good enough but at the end you can always customize them on a page level.

And then step seven, test everything. And this is really important. And when I think about testing I imagine something like this, hopefully new situation is not going to be that complicated. But also how I usually approach delivering recommendations that help to test afterwards as well. Each recommendation will have acceptance criteria. So basically acceptance criteria is something explains how this recommendation looks like when it’s implemented. So when developers see this acceptance criteria it helps them to understand it. Also it helps them to test their implementation. If you have I don’t know if you have testers they can pass it as well. But I highly, highly recommend you to also go through this process and test all the implementations according to your acceptance criteria or according to your recommendations. This is really, really important because we as SEOs, we need to be responsible for this part of your job. And if it requires one more round of testing from your side, it’s worth doing it.

And the last step is to improve. I really love this scheme which Alexis Sanders shared, I think, maybe in 2018 on MozCon. It illustrates really well how you can take a step-by-step approach and optimize something from the current state to being best-in-class. And making just steps or iterations right helps you not to be overwhelmed by the gap between your current state and perfect state. But it helps you to basically do it yeah, do it on steps. This is the best way to describe it. And one of the improvements can be customizing title tags. This is a great way to improve, right? Or then the next situation can be creating more specific sub-subcategories. But at least you have something at the beginning which is good enough and then you improve it.

So where are we at right now? The framework has generated two million in an additional yearly revenue for that company. But that’s actually last year’s information so the numbers are even higher now. And that’s how I it felt when I heard about that from the client. And that’s actually my favorite gift ever.

So the question is, will this framework save you two years on implementation? Yes! And, will it help to capture more traffic and money? Absolutely! But does it still require resources? Yes, because we are seeing and we know that our work is dependable on the resources the company has on development. And that’s okay. We just need to make sure that we are clear in our recommendations. And that what we are recommending is really is really worth it. [inaudible]

So I told you at the beginning that this framework could work not only for online stores but also for other type other websites which are of eCommerce side basically. So these are automotive websites, dealerships. And I work with dealerships with the basically content management system for dealerships. And we are implementing the same framework which is a little bit updated to accommodate the dealership landscape. But still the idea behind this is the same. The marketplaces, think about real estate websites, for example, aggregator websites as well.

And this is an example of a dealership and the filters on the left. So for example if a dealership sells new and pre-owned vehicles you can have separate pages for new and pre-owned. You can also use filters like make, model or make plus model. It depends on the situation. But basically the potential is here. So you can use these filters as well to create subcategories or SRPs in the dealership language, they are called SRPs, that will drive more traffic to the website. Because it’s so much better to have a more specific SRPs than just have a page for inventory.

And here is the summary of the whole framework so that you have it all on one slide. The first step is to complete the initial keyword research. The second step is to analyze the existing filters and find those that will become the basis for the new indexable facets. The third step is to define the rules for creating these indexable facet pages. Step four is to define the rules for canonicalization of these new pages. Step five is to set internal linking to success. Step six is to create title and h1 tag templates. Step seven is test everything. And step eight is improve! Of course, between step seven and step eight you release it. So they can be step 7.5, go live!

And yes, here is also the information about the newsletter that Isaline has already posted a link to in the chat. One thing that I wanted to say is that I have a friend who works in a really well-known companies here in Canada. And I’m not sure that I can name a name right now because he is going through his legal department to make sure that he can do this. But he wrote a post for my blog. So basically he used this kind of framework to create sub-categories on a really huge level. And he has learned also some of interesting things and also mistakes that he’s done in the process. And he documented all of the… [inaudible] post a blog. And I’m going to send this post really soon. I think in May. So if you subscribe to this newsletter you also get this post. And we’ll see more information about implementing this kind of framework.

And yeah, thank you so much and I guess now is the time of QA. And I’ll stop sharing my screen. Okay.

Sara: I was on mute. I was speaking on mute.

[crosstalk]

Sara: Well anyway, I wanted to say thank you so much because it was a great presentation. As Kristina said subscribe, I already subscribed like in the past. So I’m excited to receive the case study because yes, I mean, who doesn’t want to see this case study . And so yes, let’s start the Q&A. So Isaline already wrote in the chat how you should do but we are flexible. So you can write in the Q&A, you can write in the chat and we will find where are you writing, what are you writing and which question you have. Okay, so apparently Kristina, they are so excited about your presentation and people are already saying thank you, thank you, thank you. And I have seen a question in the QA. And in the question there is already written like, “By the way thank you.”

So let’s start with the question. Please, could you please recap how you worked out the lost potential of keyword mention at the start? I’m not sure that I understand 100% the question. I don’t know if you understand it Kristina. Kristina?

Kristina: Yes, oh sure. So basically… I understand. Yes, can you hear me?

Sara: Yes, now we can hear you. We lost you for a moment.

Kristina: Can you hear me?

Sara: Isaline, yes. Okay, so go.

Kristina: Okay.

Sara: I can hear you very well.

Kristina: Yeah, I understand the question. And so basically I… [inaudible]

Sara: Now we lost you.

Kristina: Okay, so what I did I performed keyword research and found all the potential keywords that we could be ranking. And now?

Sara: Now it’s working, now we could hear you.

Kristina: Okay, cool. Yeah, I changed internet to my phone. So hopefully, it’s going to be amazing. So take number five. I understand the question and so basically what they did there is I took all the keywords that we could potentially rank that were really relevant to the client. So either t-shirt example, t-shirts for men, t-shirts for women, V-neck t-shirts, green t-shirts, all these kind of stuff I took all the keywords I put them together and I calculated the overall search volume of these keywords And that’s how I calculated the potential. Now this potential was for me, mostly to see how this works what could have been done additionally is adding CTR as I said, adding CTR and adding forecasting levels. So let’s say, if we rank on this position then the CTR will be this and that. That’s how much traffic we can get. For me, at that situation, it was not needed because for me, I just wanted to have an overview of things that we could accomplish versus uh forecasting exactly how this is going to look like. So yeah, that’s basically how we did it. And that’s how you can prove it.

Sara: Fun fact, I understood the question when you gave the answer. So now, I know what it was the question about. Okay thank you so much for the question and for the answer. Okay, so that’s your answer. So I just see people happy. So apparently it was the most clear webinar that we ever had because they’re like all, “Wow!” So excited. And there is no more question. Are you sure? Because if not, I will ask some question. Be careful, I will take the time if not. So… Somebody have a question? Don’t be ashamed or feel ashamed or I don’t know the way that you want to say it.

Isaline: Well, I have a question.

Sara: Okay.

Isaline: Because it’s something I’m not 100% sure but I would like Kristina to make me feel a 100% sure. So canonicalization, I understood it’s not good if they are less than nine which was the golden number, right? But you would canonicalize also individually the product or not at all?

Kristina: Oh no! It’s only for categories. No, it’s only for categories. The products they have their own, they’re not touched by this. They have their own pages. And this framework doesn’t touch products at all. You don’t canonicalize them. You don’t remove or create new products here. You just build on the products that already exist. And you don’t do anything to the product URLs or their command goals.

Isaline: Okay, I do feel a little bit desperate right now because I have a client and all the filters are handled in parameters in the URL. So…

Kristina: Yeah.

Isaline: I’m like technically, what I can only do the internet linking, right? And then, the contents but then I can just forget about the category pages, right?

Kristina: Yeah, so I know when I was analyzing competitors for my dealership clients what I noticed is that sometimes filters do use parameters. But as long as this page is indexable which means it has self-reference and canonicals, it has robust system Meta robot set to two index follow. And the h1 and title tag are customized then that’s basically the same what’s going to come from that framework. The only the only difference is that your URL has parameters and that’s not ideal but that’s fine.

Isaline: Okay.

Sara: Okay. So we have another question. Do you have any tips for creating the body content of these subcategories?

Kristina: So what you can do, especially what you can start thinking, you can create kind of template. I know Wayfair, as far as I remember, is doing it really, really well. But what you can do, you can create templates. And then insert variables in this template. So for example, I don’t know, this is not going to be a good example for copywriting but let’s say, if you’re looking for and then variable which is green t-shirts, from that green t-shirts and then something else and then, ‘shop for green t-shirts in our store’ something like that. So basically you have template for text and then you have variables that insert. basically your h1 or category, subcategory name is there. I hope it makes sense. But there are also ways to automate it with Python. I’m not really good at Python. So I’m sure if you follow Ruth, let’s say, she’s amazing, on Twitter. You can find it and yeah, you can also use some automated approaches.

Sara: Okay, you know Kristina when people like they watch the webinar there are a lot of people that watch the webinar on YouTube.

Kristina: Okay.

Sara: So, yeah a lot of people go on YouTube and watch it like afterwards. So I probably have a question because sometimes we also have people that are not like so expert and they want to start. And I also have some friends that they wanted to come to the webinar because they were like, “Oh, we want to start.” And they want to start their own shop. So one of the questions that they came up it was like, which is the best CMS for them? You know, and then you can use the categories. For example, now I already generate URLs because you can also have there is to have just category without URLs, like just filter without URLs. So would you advise some specific CMS or no?

Kristina: So I get into this question a lot about Content Management Systems. There are three main Content Management Systems (CMS), eCommerce Management Systems that I have experienced with and that I use and my clients use. And these are Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce.

I would not recommend Magento especially when you’re starting because it’s a really heavy platform. And you would need a dedicated developer for this. It’s expensive. 

Then, there’s Shopify and WooCommerce. And then, the difference between the choice between them depends on such things like your tech savviness. If you’re a tech savvy I’d suggest definitely go with WooCommerce. And it’s basically WordPress, right? So it’s going to be much easier to use, yes or so many plugins. And also it’s much easier to find a good WordPress developer, let’s say than a Magento developer.

And when it comes to Shopify, it’s a good platform. It’s really good for those people who are not tech savvy. But at the same time, you should be aware that there are many limitations, that there are many things like canonical issues with Shopify, and things like you can’t update Robust 60. they might change it in the future they might not, I don’t know. But this is mostly for people who are not tech savvy and who want to start a store in just a few clicks. So I think if you’re an SEO, you’d appreciate more kind of code and customizability and would go with WooCommerce.

Sara: Perfect! And we have another question. For products URL, do you usually structure under category for example domain.com/category/product-name or domain.com/product-name?

Kristina: So I’d say that the second option without category indication is safer. Because let’s say you have this product added to multiple categories and then this product will have different URLs, different categories. Let’s say apparel and then t-shirts, and women and then t-shirts. And the category will look exactly the same but it will have a… No t-shirt but let’s say a ‘green t-shirt with a kitten on it’ something like that, a product we are talking about the product. But it will have the category indication. Let’s say t-shirt and women, right? So it means that you have the same product under two different URLs which creates duplicate content. Alternatively, you can have this but you can have a common equalization plan in place. So you choose only one category to be a canonical category. And then, you set a canonical to basically the main category that you want to canonicalized. But again this is not ideal because it also requires crawling resources from Google and it just creates too many pages. So especially if your products belong to multiple categories I would suggest or I would advise having no category indication in the URL.

Sara: Okay, thank you so much for the answer. Do we have other questions coming in? Okay, because this is your last chance. Last chance number one, number two. No, okay. Now they are saying, “Thank you, Kristina.” So Kristina profit about all the thank you that you are getting. And… Thank you for answering us. So they are they’re all very happy with your presentation. And yes, it was fun, it was nice, it was useful. So what can I say, you rock! I mean, it was a super presentation. You really rock! And I’m sure that you gave a lot of insight to a lot of SEOs today. Then I have to like, I mean, I was not working so much on eCommerce website before COVID because I was working much more on other kinds of website. And like when COVID arrived it was like the explosion of eCommerce. So they were like, okay so this kind of presentation and especially your presentation is fantastic because it gives a lot of insight and it helps a lot. Everybody that is working on eCommerce now that are like the thing that they have to do now.

Kristina: Thank you so much and thanks everyone for coming. Thanks everybody for thanking me and thanks Isaline and Sara for having me.

Sara: So, I think that–

Isaline: Thank you everybody.

Sara: Yeah, thank you.

Isaline: Thank you for joining, it was fun. And thanks Kristina for your time and for your effort to prepare the presentation. I know that it’s a lot but it’s totally worth it. So we are very thankful. And we’ll make sure to share as much as we can. So everybody can access the resource and sign up to you to the newsletter.

Sara: And Kristina, you finally can go back to your holidays because I know that you’re on holiday and to your breakfast because we are completely at different times. We are going almost to sleep now.

Kristina: Yeah, it’s just the start of the day for me. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.

Sara: Bye-bye.

Isaline: Bye.