The Optimal Site Navigation for the Best SEO Results: Drop-Down Menus, Navigation Pages, Filters and Product Pages Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 23 reviews
5 1

BlogSimplio Labs Blog

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
Albert Einstein

The Optimal Site Navigation for the Best SEO Results: Drop-Down Menus, Navigation Pages, Filters and Product Pages

SEO Tips, Web Design Tips No Comment

In one of our previous posts we discussed the steps you should take and the elements you should factor in, in order to build universal navigation for your site that will be both search engine and user friendly. In this post, we will continue the theme of internal linking and we will examine a few other components of the site navigation, and namely the drop-down menus, the navigation pages, the filters and the internal linking of the product pages.

Drop-Down Menus – The Point of Controversy

Drop-Down Menus

There have been many discussions about the inclusion of drop-down menus in the site navigation. There seems to be an equal number of supporters and opposers to this idea. There are studies indicating that many users find them annoying and dysfunctional. The actual decision whether to include drop-down menus in the navigation or not lies on you, but if you decide to give them a go you should build them in such a way that they are easy for both search engines and visitors to use. Here are a few points you should keep in mind when creating such menus:

  • They should be in HTML. – If they are not, search engines will probably not be able to read them. After the page is loaded, you can make use of JavaScript or CSS to hide those drop-down menus.
  • Have provisions for site navigation without the drop-down menus. – Otherwise, the navigation will not be accessible for Windows 8 and tablet/mobile users.
  • Resist the temptation to include too many links. – Your site’s universal navigation practically links to everything on your website. The recommendation of SEOmoz, however, is not to exceed one hundred links per page.

Building Navigation Pages

Navigation Page

In our previous post, we explained how to select category pages on the basis of keyword competition and popularity. However, there are some broader keywords that you cannot target on a product page. For these, the navigation pages can be the best destination. In order to target a certain keyword on a certain navigation page, do the following:

  • Include your chosen keyword in the title of the page.
  • Include your chosen keyword in the page header.
  • Add a paragraph of 150-200 words with an explanation of what your site is offering, including the keyword in it.
  • Use the chosen keyword to link the navigation page to your product pages/conversion pages. However, make sure that does not look out of place and the transition is logical and natural.

The Use of Filters

Filters are a useful tool when you have multiple products on one navigation page, say over twenty. They allow the users to more easily find the relevant information they are searching for. Usually, the filter is placed on the left or at the top of the web page. However, building the URLs in such a way that there is no duplicate content and setting the filter parameters right is a tricky task. You may end up with duplicate pages for β€œ?size=large&price=sale” and β€œ?price=sale&size=large”, for instance.Β  There are two ways to approach the filter structuring for optimal results.

  • Set an order for the filters. – For instance, let the parameter β€œsize” always be displayed before β€œprice”. In the URL that will look like β€œ?size=large&price=sale”. That way, the filtered pages will all be indexed and there won’t be duplicate pages. However, there is a downside, too. Depending on the number of filters you could have hundreds of navigation pages with different product ranges but a matching intro paragraph.
  • No filter indexing – You can use a hashtag before each parameter. The search engines do not look at the part of the URL that follows the hashtag (#). This way, the traffic aimed at,price=sale will all point at Disabling the filter parameters will fetch the same results in both Bing and Google Webmaster Tools. This way, all the links to both filtered and unfiltered navigation page will go towards building Page Authority only for the unfiltered page, thus improving its ranking probability. However, on the downside, the filtered pages will not be indexed and cannot be ranked individually.

Internal Linking for Product Pages

Navigation does not end with the category pages. For each product/conversion page, you should give provision for the visitor to go back to the previous navigation page (this is called vertical linking) or to reach similar product/conversion pages (horizontal linking). Here is a bit more about these two linking methods.

Vertical linking through Breadcrumbs/Rich Snippets

If your website’s navigation structure is good, the visitors may not need to use the breadcrumbs often. These are usually placed between the product page content and the top navigation. They are used to indicate to search engines and visitors where exactly the particular product page is positioned in the architecture of your site. Furthermore, Google has an option for displaying your site’s breadcrumbs instead of the URL in the search results, which not only looks cleaner in the SERP but also gives your visitors an insight into the structure of your site even before visiting it.

Breadcrumbs can also be hidden as links to the navigation pages for a more natural look, like a link to the category the product falls into. That way, search engines won’t see these as breadcrumbs, but they will still increase the backlinks pointing at the navigation page and reinforce the hierarchy of the site.

Horizontal linking to related products

You can see many good examples of horizontal linking online. Take YouTube or Amazon for instance – each of the product pages there recommends other videos/products. This horizontal linking not only strengthens the upselling opportunities, but also allows the sharing of Page Authority among the product pages, instead of all internal links pointing to the navigation pages of your site.

A Final Word of Advice

Finally, after you have built and structured your entire website navigation, do not forget to test its usability. You should make sure that your visitors will be able to easily find whatever they need on your site. Also, check the indexation of your website through the Google Webmaster Tools to ensure that the Googlebot will be able to crawl the entire navigation. Remove any glitches that might arise and test your pages periodically for the optimal results.



β€œSimplioWebStudio did a great job”
β€œProject accomplished”

Plugin developed successfully

5 5 1
β€œPlugin developed successfully”


5 5 1
β€œGreat experience”

Working with Simplio Web Studio was a fantastic experience.

5 5 1
β€œWorking with Simplio Web Studio was a fantastic experience. The service provided was amazing and professional. It was a delight to work with Nir, who went the extra mile to meet our demands in a timely manner. He really made our vision a reality by creating us a classic site, but moreover the relationship we formed is something our company really appreciates. It was a pleasure working with Nir and the team at Simplio Web Studio. We highly recommend them to all and we look forward to working and doing more business with them in the future.”
β€œa great project”
β€œAll the best to Simplio”
β€œMy website is Live , thank you Simplio”

From beginning to end, the team at Simplio provided top of the line customer service.

5 5 1
β€œFrom beginning to end, the team at Simplio provided top of the line customer service. The web developers are incredible and made sure we got exactly what we were looking for! They truly went above and beyond to make us happy and we couldn’t have been more pleased with their talents. We would highly recommend them. Thanks so much Nir!”

After over two years of research we chose Simplio.

5 5 1
β€œAfter over two years of research we chose Simplio. We are so far very satisfied. These people answered the phone on a Sunday and fixed a problem that was not even their fault. It was the host company which I had chosen that had caused our site to go down.”

Outstanding in both knowledge and professionalism.

5 5 1
β€œOutstanding in both knowledge and professionalism. Nir and the staff at Simplio are Excellent in branding, web design and overall web presence. Definitely recommended!”

I cannot even imagine having another company managing my Presta shopping cart.

5 5 1
β€œThey are now part of the Diastasis Rehab business team after working with them almost a year now. I cannot even imagine having another company managing my Presta shopping cart. After a bad experience with a programmer, I needed a new programmer (one that knew prestashop shopping cart) and most important one that I could trust. Finding all three was a difficult process! Lucky for me I found them. I cannot say enough about the diversity of services that this company provides. Every step of the way they make amazing suggestions to increase my sales and they get back to be right away either by email or phone. They have even created a simple and easy check out program for Presta Shop. They are actually a one stop shop! They updated my SSL, are setting up and changing my server to a dedicated one, setting up streaming of my DVD, website design, creating a specific program for address verification on Presta cart and handled the integration of Presta cart with my fulfillment house. I am now working on developing an APP with them”

Simplio really helped me out of a jam.

5 5 1
β€œSimplio really helped me out of a jam. They did exactly what I needed on a very tight time frame (with little notice too!!!!) They are my new go-to guys for any Prestashop needs! Thanks Simplio!”
β€œExcellent service! Nir was exceptionally helpful in solving a lot of issues with our website and making the user experience more smooth. He understood the needs of our school and helped improve the website tremendously.”
β€œWhat impressed me most about working with Simplio was their attention to detail and excellent communication. Not only are they talented developers, but, they are also pleasant to work with and highly professional. Highly recommended!”
β€œWhat a profissional service Simplio offers.I hired them to rebuild my website for my business and they were creative and professional. Nir was on top of the whole project from day one, until he delivered the project on time. I will defiantly recommend Simplio to anyone who is looking for website services. From creating, designing to maintaining your image online. Good Job Nir and the rest of your group.”
β€œGreat Logo, Very happy”
β€œSimplio was fantastic to work with. They were fast, communicative and incredibly helpful to me. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs help with their digital needs!”
β€œAll details and requests were met in prompt an friendly manner. Would recommend on any day to anyone who wants to feel their business is in great hands.”