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What is Faceted Navigation in SEO?

What is faceted navigation?

Faceted navigation is the various filters that enable a user to narrow their search options on a website, typically an e-commerce store. This includes sizes, prices, colors, shipping options, etc.

The problem with faceted navigation is that when it’s not controlled, your website will end up creating billions of URLs with low value or duplicate content. This is where the crawl budget becomes an issue.

Cleaning this up can improve SEO by getting rid of all these pages and increase your organic clicks.

Now, content management systems like Shopify have a solution for the faceted navigation SEO problem. This involves adding a canonical link back to the category page.

This helps to clean up all the needless URLs and duplicate pages.

At the same time, it also makes these pages unindexable.

Why index these pages?

If your store website doesn’t have much authority due to newness, lack of backlinks, etc., a useful strategy can be to target long-tail keywords with a low volume search (i.e., low competition).

This includes long-tail keywords with transactional intent. This might include “men’s slim fit corduroy pants”.

These keywords present an opportunity. But store owners struggle to rank for these queries because CMSs aren’t set up to deal with faceted navigation. Especially Shopify where there are some SEO drawbacks.

The solution

Ideally, you’ll want to index only the URLs that have a reasonable search volume.

And that’s difficult to do. There may be more plugins on the market in the future to help deal with this given the market need.

However, for now, this is the basic idea:

Identify some long-tail keywords that have a significant search volume and create a fully merchandised landing page.

This could improve your rankings even greater for those higher-volume long-tail keywords and deliver a better shopping experience for your customers.


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