A well-designed, functional, and user-friendly website menu is crucial for ecommerce direct-to-consumer (DTC) store owners to ensure a seamless user experience and improve search engine visibility. In this blog, we'll discuss menu best practices for SEO and user experience, helping you optimize your website's performance.
A mobile and tablet-friendly menu ensures a seamless browsing experience for users on various devices. Make sure your menu is responsive and adapts to different screen sizes.
Your menu should be available on every page of your website, providing easy navigation for users and search engine crawlers. A sticky menu is a great bonus, as it further improves user experience by keeping the menu visible as users scroll.
Users and search engines rely on menus to understand the website's content and structure. Keep these principles in mind to create a user-friendly and SEO-optimized menu:
User experience and search engine crawlers tend to be quite similar in how they explore a website. Each entity lands on a page and immediately “glances” at the website’s menu. It provides the single largest burst of context in the initial experience that is only outcompeted by the website’s on-page content. In this brief moment, we convey to users and search engines what is important to this website by representing it in the menu.
Excluding a page from the menu can have two different outcomes, depending on whether the page is indexed and functioning in search or if it is new and not indexed.For indexed and functioning pages, removing them from the menu may hurt their performance in search engines. This signals that the page is no longer a priority, leading to a gradual decline in its search ranking. If the page's SERP performs exceptionally well, it may continue to function at a reduced level.
✅ This method is the standard best practice: Pages in-menu, supporting pages in Blog.
For new and non-indexed pages, not including them in the menu will require heavy cross-linking with other pages in the menu or blog. This method is slower and less effective, as the page is not "surfaced" and may not reach its full potential in search performance.
🚫This method is slower and more difficult to get results with. It is not recommended.
Sometimes, our clients may prioritize the visual aspects of their website, overlooking the importance of a well-structured menu for SEO and user experience. At the end of the day, the ecommerce shop belongs to the brand and if the client insists on a menu only having the items they want, we can only recommend otherwise. However, it does help to put things into context.
Here are some analogies that we use to help clients understand the importance of including all essential pages in the menu:
An ideal menu structure involves clean categorization backed by keyword research and branded terms. Ensure proper linking in the menu for easy access by users and search engines. Use the blog section as a hub for related topics, including low-volume keyphrases that don't fit in the main menu structure.
Google has stated that pages and blogs are not viewed as separate entities, they are one and the same. This allows us to use blogs as a great organizational support structure for websites that have LOTS of content.
These two images are a beautiful example of how it can be beneficial not only for the page itself but the site as a whole. This demonstrates how linking from informational blogs over to products is beneficial, and vice-versa.
Cross-linking or interlinking refers to linking different pages within your website. This strategy helps bridge the gaps between categories and supports the website's authority by passing "link juice" between pages. By interlinking products, subcategories, categories, and blog posts, you create a connected and user-friendly website structure.
Implementing menu best practices for ecommerce DTC stores can significantly improve user experience and search engine visibility. By following the tips and strategies discussed in this blog, you can create a well-structured, functional, and visually appealing menu that enhances your online presence and attracts more customers.