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Everyone seems to do their shopping online these days. However, just because people like to shop online, it doesn’t mean that they are expert website users.

Businesses need to ensure that their website’s search tools are simple and intuitive, or they run the risk of losing potential customers. Nearly sixty percent of all online purchases are the result of customer search.

This means that in addition to landing a high search engine placement for their website, ecommerce businesses need to optimize their on-site search for better user navigation.

A website user’s eye naturally moves from left to right. Therefore, navigation bars should live on the left.

From there, designers may expand navigation bars into drop-down menus that display sub-categories. However, don’t become too specific with sub-menu categories as it may overwhelm and discourage users.

Once a user moves past the page’s navigation, the user should be taken to a page of products. The site should then provide a filter allowing a more narrow view of the products being offered. Filters may include price, color, most recently listed and more.

Products should be featured, he said, using great photos coupled with unique product descriptions. There should be cross-links between product pages and categories, helping the shopper find related products.

Next, utilize a search box to help with targeted navigation.

Even with a search box, businesses should strive to entice users to further explore their website. For that, ecommerce website owners should consider a floating sidebar of the site’s most popular products.

Finally, since Google crawls the pages of a website that have the most SEO juice, which is typically a website’s homepage. Therefore, pages that link to a site’s homepage should be the most important.

Ecommerce website owners should give prominence to highly-clicked pages, making them more likely to be crawled by Google.

Consider indexing all of an ecommerce website’s pages, including user reviews.

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