Encountering faceted navigation on different websites is highly possible if the website that you are visiting has a great number of listings in different categories. While the faceted navigation provides a better user experience to the visitors and users of the site, it has also various disadvantages on SEO at the same time. In the article that we prepared for you, you are going to know more about what faceted navigation is, how it works, its impact on SEO, the types of websites having the faceted navigation, and also the examples, problems, and solutions for the issues caused by the faceted navigation as well. In addition to that, we shared some tips with you to improve your website and SEO at the same time. You can find the detailed guide below.
Faceted navigation is also known as faceted search and the navigation which provides filtering on the websites is based on user experience. When you use faceted navigation, the users or visitors of your site will be able to find the categories and archived pages on your website easily. It is possible to use faceted navigation on different types of websites. You are going to see detailed information about the websites which are using faceted navigation in the following titles as well. While there are advantages of faceted navigation for the users and visitors of your site, there are also disadvantages that website owners may deal with.
The categories of faceted navigation will be changeable according to the website types that you will use it on. In addition to that, categories can be changeable according to the selections of the visitors at the same time. When the visitors choose a category, the page will be renewed for the next category and the visitors will be able to see another category to choose from. After the selected parts are completed by the visitors, the page will be renewed again and there will be the “Apply” button that the visitors should select. If the visitors or the users of your website do not select the “Apply” button, the selections will not be saved.
It should be noted that the steps can be different according to the number of filters that you are going to provide to the visitors. You will be able to update the steps for the filters that you will use as well. You must know the number of filters for faceted navigation and make the updates and URL according to them to provide a better user experience.
Faceted navigation can be experienced especially on e-commerce sites. Almost all e-commerce sites prefer to use faceted navigation for offering a better user experience for their visitors and users. Besides the e-commerce sites, you can also see some of the specific websites such as; providing travel service, sites of airlines, hotels, real estate, job listing sites, etc. When the visitors would like to book a flight or a hotel, they are expecting a filtering section to reach the desired options easily on the websites. Especially on the job searches, there must be enough categories to find the related job opportunities for the visitors. Also, publishers prefer to use faceted navigation for users to reach the type of content according to the subject and date easily.
The number of website categories can be increased according to the categories and options that the visitors will be able to choose. If you provide too many options, faceted navigation will help the visitors to reach the related information or the category directly and easily at the same time.
Using faceted navigation has a lot of different advantages for the visitors because you will be able to provide a better user experience to your visitors and they will be able to reach the desired information or product on your website easily. While there will be easy to reach the different categories for the visitors of your website, you may have some issues about faceted navigation and it can impact SEO at the same time. If you would like to know about the issues of faceted navigation on SEO, you can find the problem that you may deal with below.
When you use faceted navigation to provide a better user experience on your website, you might deal with some of the problems with SEO. The number of the categories and filters that you are going to use on your website will need a new URL for every selection of the visitor.
Even if providing the best user experience is essential, too many selections would be hard for the search engines. For example, on an e-commerce website, there will be many different products and these products will be various colors, different types, and sizes and also can be additional special features at the same time. When the visitors choose different sections every time, the selections will be added to the URL every time. In addition to that, the visitors might not choose the selections with the same sorting every time as well. This situation will not be easy for the search engines because while there are too many products, the selections could be numerous at the same time. Eventually, while there are duplicate content problems, there can also be index bloat and crawling as well.
Establishing the issues of faceted navigation is easy when you know more about the steps that you need to follow. The filters that you created might affect the SEO and there will be a few steps that you must know about. You can see the detailed information below.
You will be able to determine the index bloat by site searching. To establish the index bloat, you must search for your website on the search engine but you must add “site:” at the beginning of the name of your site. You should see the clear website name. If you see a longer URL, the possibility of index bloat is higher and it means that there might be issues of faceted navigation about index bloat.
Covered reports of Google Search Console are also another way to determine the issues of faceted navigation on SEO. There might be indexing and crawling problems that you may have and you will be able to establish it by using the covered reports of Google Search Console easily and quickly at the same time. To reach the exact numbers, you need to visit the “coverage report” of Google Search Console and then you must select the “valid” section that you are going to see on the top of the chart.
You must evaluate the situation on the chart. If it was stabilized and got higher after you applied faceted navigation, it can be a sign of index bloat issues.
While the site searches and Google Search Console provide good and quick results to determine the issues of faceted navigation on SEO, it sometimes might not be enough to comprehend the exact issue because a site search and GSC will not be able to show you the URL which is indexed or indexable and it causes to not determine the exact issues. If you would like to reach better results, you can prefer to use some tools to understand the problem.
When you follow the steps that you saw above, you will be able to comprehend the issues of faceted navigation.
Having issues with faceted navigation is usually common. If you have problems with faceted navigation, there are some ways to solve them. We are going to share the effective ways to solve issues that you need to know. You can check them below and have more information about the solutions to faceted navigation issues.
- You should use the canonical tag to fix the indexing issues. You should reach more detailed information about the canonical tag and apply them as well.
- If the canonical tag did not work for indexing issues, you may try the URL parameters report on Google Search Console (GSC).
- In addition to that, if you have issues with the crawl budget, you might fix it with robots.txt.
- If you have issues about indexing issues, you should not follow internal links.
- After you tried all of these steps and did not find a solution, you can try the noindex tag.
As we mentioned above, when you face with the issues of faceted navigation on SEO, you will need to struggle intensely to solve the problem but there are some ways that you can avoid the issues of faceted navigation before you faced them. We are going to share some of the tips to prevent the issues of faceted navigation below.
- First of all, you should avoid internal links.
- You can prefer to use AJAX.
- The URL must be changed when the visitor clicks on it. You need to be sure that your URLs are ready to share.
It is possible to get more traffic when you use faceted navigation. The long tail keywords have an essential role on faceted navigation as it has on SEO at the same time. When you use long tail keywords for the product, the visitors will be able to find it easily. Most of the websites of large companies always add long tail keywords to the products. For example, the visitors of your website would like to find a skirt and you can specify your products as “high rise skirts”. They can also search for “black polka-dotted high rise skirt”. Eventually, using long tail keywords will affect the traffic of your site because the visitors will be able to see the product on searches easily than before.
Even faceted navigation is sometimes called filters, there are some differences between facets and filters. Both of them make the searches limited but we are going to see the main differences between them below.
- While the filters are eliminating the search results according to the determined criteria, facets are used to make the searching results more comprehensive.
- While the facets can be changeable according to the search, filters do not change between searches.
- Facets use many different selections according to the choices of the visitors. In this way, the visitors can search for a specific product on an e-commerce site.
- Filters are used globally but facets not.
- It is possible to see that facets use various filters on the e-commerce sites to provide the exact need of the visitors and faceted navigation has a lot of benefits to offer a better user experience because the visitors who cannot find the desired product on the site, would leave the page to look at other options but when faceted navigation is used on the site, the visitors will reach the product that they searched for.
You can comprehend the importance of faceted navigation on the examples and the tips that we are going to share with you below. You can follow them and learn how to make it more effective.
There are some keys that you need to know about faceted navigation to provide a great user experience to your visitors and users at the same time. When you know more about the tips and examples that we are going to share with you, you will be able to use the faceted search better than before and you will have a chance to improve your website as well. Let’s look at the faceted search tips and examples that you need to know.
To use faceted navigation successfully, you must pay attention to adding related selections to your website. Your options must be related to the products that the visitors will search for. For example, if the visitor searches for a dress on your site, they must be able to search for the colors, the type of the product or fabric, and other additional features. You should provide enough options to choose your visitors.
You will be able to place the facets according to the design of your website. While you will be able to place the facets vertically, you can also place them horizontally at the same time. It is possible to compare different sites to see the places of faceted navigation. Usually, horizontal faceted navigation helps to see all of the selections easily but it is useful only for websites that do not have too many products. The place of facets should be appropriate with the style and design of your website and the number of products at the same time.
Providing the exact results that the visitors would like to reach is the most crucial thing of faceted navigation and it must be user-friendly. You can prefer to use sliders to give more opportunities to choose from for the visitor. If you would like to make the searches and facets more user-friendly, you can see the options that you will be able to use.
The visitors or the possible customers always tend to know about the ideas, experiences, and opinions of other users and customers about the service or the products that they are interested in. You may have noticed that most of the large e-commerce companies share reviews of the product on the page of that product. So, the visitors may not be interested in a product which have less than 4 stars. For this reason, you will be able to provide a better experience to the users or visitors when you add reviews on facets. It should be noted that the number of reviews must be enough to add.
When the visitors or users search for a product on your website, you must give an opportunity to make the search more specific. For example, if the users are looking for a laptop, you must let them look at the sizes, prices, and brands because they would be interested in a specific color or a specific brand at the same time. Consequently, if the number of facets is enough, the users will be able to reach the product that they would like to purchase.
We must know that users will make many different selections and changes at the same time. As long as the users choose the selections, the page must be renewed. Otherwise, the user will not be able to apply the filters that he or she chose. According to searches, if the waiting time takes more than 2 seconds, 40% of the users leave the page and look at other options on different pages. Eventually, you must provide a high-speed website to the visitors and the users of your site. The page must be renewed extremely fast and it must be repeated on every selection part. The most important thing is bringing the possible customer and the desired product together in less than some seconds.
You can add images on faceted navigation to make the searches more effective. It is possible to see these methods on various websites. Especially the websites which are based on travel, flights, or hotels use images or visuals which show the map to guide the visitor. If you would like to make the searches more effective for the visitors, you may prefer to add images on faceted navigation if the website that you have is appropriate.
There are many different ways to sort the filter on your website but the filters must be properly in all the ways that you are going to prefer. While you can choose alphabetic sorting, you can also sort them from the largest to smallest for the sizes of the products. Also, this way works for other features of the products, for example, you can sort it from cheapest to most expensive as well.
When you use faceted navigation, you must add only the results that the visitors or users can reach. You should avoid the filters in which the possible customers see the “no result” notification. This situation makes the visitors and users disappointed about the result. When the customer cannot even find a result with fewer filters, it would be a really bad impression about your website. The visitors, user, or the possible customer must see the existing products and inexistent products on the filters part. In this way, they will be able to see the existing products before they search for them.
How to Know if Google Finds My Important Pages?
If you would like to know if Google finds your important pages, you can directly look at the “server log files”. In addition to that, you will be able to check the URLs on Google Search Console that we mentioned before. While there are a few options that you can check, you can also prefer some tools to reach the results that you want as well.
What are Faceted Filters?
Facet filters are also used as facets and it is offering to the visitors to choose many different selections to reach the desired product or service on the website. In this way, the visitors and the users of the websites will be able to specify their demands by using the facet filters.
What is the Importance of Faceted Navigation?
When you use faceted navigation on your website, you will be able to provide a better user experience to your visitors and users because they will be able to reach the desired product or service by using the filter on the website. Various large e-commerce companies always use faceted navigation on their websites.