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What Is The Right URL Structure For E-Commerce Sites?

Go for out-of-the-box structure or is there a better one?

As humans we naturally trust program default settings and do so with websites, as well. In this test we look at URL structure of “out-of-the-box” e-commerce sites or local service sites that follow template silo structures (think plumbers or roofing repair sites), and we test if the way they have it is beneficial.

Is that how we should be doing our structure, our silos, or should we be structuring it a different way?

Is what they give us, possibly even harmful?

What we are looking at ultimately is – What is the right URL structure for E-Commerce sites?

This test mimics the url structure for e-commerce or local SEO sites that use out-of- the-box URL structure from the platform they are set up on. Often, these types of sites will list their services or products in a navigation menu drop down and create a URL structure such as:

www.site.com/service/service-1 

followed by 

www.site.com/service/service-2

In most setups, the folder /services/ isn’t a real page or folder. It’s just for organizational purposes and returns a 404 error.

In the same way, in this test, our /services/ folder doesn’t exist and also returns a 404. 

Example

If you search for just the keyword: “Irvisivers” this is the winning structure; 

If you search for: “Irvisivers Services” it switches and the url with the folder /services/ is the winner; 

What this is telling us is that, if the name of your service doesn’t use the word ‘service’ in the search phrase, you are harming your site by having the extra folder.

This means that the vast majority of local seo or e-commerce sites are probably set up incorrectly.

First Test: Woocommerce

Common sense would lead us to believe that popular Woocommerce’s “out-of-the-box” URL/Silo Structure is the most powerful in their default. We test that out.

For this test, we created two pages. The control page used right out of the box structure, while for the test page, we took out the /product/ category that Woo puts into the url.

For this test, the test page without the /product/ in the url wins. This means that Woocommerce’s default structure is NOT set up in the way that Google prefers.

Follow-up Test

In this follow-up test, we used an actual Woocommerce page and it delivered interesting results.

In the pages, we used Q*bert as the product example because every time we think of the word “widget” to describe a fictional product, we always think of Q*bert.

We set up the Woocommerce plugin and created a product page in Woocommerce as well as just a regular page in on the site.

Using the WordPress Editor, we tried to make the regular page look somewhat close to the Woocommerce page, minus the “buy now” button. 

What is interesting is that in this test, the woocommerce page wins. We don’t thing that the plugin Woocommerce by itself is the factor that cause the difference. 

In looking at the pages, we think that it’s in the Schema Markup.

This might be the first piece of evidence that we’ve been looking for that schema is finally a ranking factor. This is because the Woocommerce plugin puts in the “Product” and “Offer” schema on the page. 

This is why we test. We could have stopped at just the simulated urls and we would have had the results on the URL structure. But we would have missed these results with the actual woocommerce plugin. 

As a result of this new data, we will start testing schema.

We have additional tests on URL structures and Woocommerce, check out our test articles to read more about them!

SIA Staff

CONTENT WRITERS

It takes a village to run a successful business. Several staff members contribute to the articles under this bio. You can read more about them here: full bio here.