Online store pagination pages: what they are and how to optimize them
SEO-optimization of any online store — this is what will allow you to bring your site to the top of search results, thereby increasing the number of visitors and, as a result, the level of sales and income. This process involves performing a fairly large number of diverse works aimed at improving the quality of the resource, its usefulness for the target audience, and improving indexability. Similar actions must be performed with absolutely all pages of the site. This is the only way to get the desired result.
Now let’s look in more detail at what pagination pages are and why an online store needs them, and consider their main types. We will also write out a sequential algorithm of actions, following which you can perform their optimization. Let's pay attention to the main mistakes that experts most often make in their work. Knowing them, you can avoid this in the process of implementing the task.
What is a pagination page in an online store
Under a term such as “pagination page” All those pages are presented that are united among themselves within one large section of a category or subcategory. We would like to note right away that such a division is quite arbitrary. Regular numbering is provided to identify the breakdown.
In an example it will look like this. Imagine that at a given moment in time, your online store offers 500 models of women's clothing. All of them are displayed to users on 20 pages. That is, 25 models will be displayed on each page. It turns out that within one directory you have created 20 pagination pages.
Thanks to this, the excessive load on the first page of the site, both with the products themselves and with their text content, is removed, and its loading time is reduced. And this is a guarantee that a potential buyer will not leave your site and, perhaps, will find the necessary product in your catalog.
Main types of pagination
You can create a directory using pagination in different ways:
- Divided into separate pages. This is the option you mentioned above. That is, all products are evenly distributed over several pages. At the bottom there will be a navigation block, which is called a paginator. This is a regular panel with active buttons, links with page numbers, and “Back” buttons. and “Next”. It turns out that as soon as you look at one page, all you have to do is click on the next number and continue to study the catalog. It will also be possible to use the signs ">" or “<” in order to go to the next or previous page.
- Adding a “More” button. It is mainly located at the bottom of the page. As soon as the user views all the products and scrolls down to the bottom of the active page, he will need to click on the “More” button. or “Load more” to open subsequent positions. Unlike the previous option, you do not go to another page, but open an additional quantity of goods on one. Yes, in this case you need to be extremely careful, because such a solution, if implemented incorrectly, can negatively affect both loading speed and user convenience.
- Endless scrolling. In this case, products will be automatically loaded as you scroll the page from top to bottom. That is, you do not have to do any additional clicks or actions for this. But in this case, the difficulty is that as you move through the catalog, the volume of goods displayed on one page will constantly grow, which may lead to additional navigation difficulties for the user. It may happen that they will find it difficult to find a specific product on a page where hundreds of items will be unloaded.
From the point of view of convenience, it seems that the first option, which involves breaking it down into separate pages — optimal for pagination. This is true, but mainly for desktop versions of the resource. If a person accesses such a site from a mobile device, it will be inconvenient for him to move from page to page. In addition, the habit of scrolling makes Infinite scrolling or using the “More” button A more convenient option is adding new products to the page. Taking these features into account, most modern online stores have begun to use a combined pagination method. It combines 2 ways of dividing products: into pages and using the “Load more” button. That is, the user himself chooses which scrolling option will be more convenient for him. He can go to the next page and click on the “More” button, loading other catalog items.
Now that you know what pagination pages are and what types they come in, you can move on to getting to know the nuances of their optimization.
Features of optimization of pagination pages
Like optimizing absolutely any page of a website, including informational ones, working with pagination pages is a fairly impressive set of activities. Of the main problems that you will need to implement in the dada process, highlighting:
- Create a URL.
- Page indexing.
- Setting rel="canonical".
- Setting metadata.
- Specified attributes rel="prev" and rel="next".
- Placing text content.
Let's consider all these points in more detail. The information presented will help you independently optimize your pagination pages easily and without errors.
Creating a URL
Any page provided on your site must have its own unique URL. In turn, this also applies to each of the pagination pages. Moreover, all of them (with the exception of the first) must include a parameter in the address that displays their serial number. In an example it will look like this:
As you can see, the main page here comes without additional identification, while all subsequent ones are numbered. If your online store has a main page and if it duplicates the name of the first page in the product catalog (Ledy.com/category/ and Ledy.com/category/page-1/), then you will need to additionally configure 301 redirect from page Ledy.com/category/page-1/ to Ledy.com/category/.
At the same time, it is important to take into account that the site code should not contain links to the pages from which the redirect is configured.
Features of indexing pagination pages
When site promotion, the SEO specialist often determines which pages run for indexing and which ones —not. Basically, the main emphasis is on the main page of the resource, the product catalog. Indexing and pagination pages should not be neglected. The fact is that if you impose such a ban, you will simply deprive your resource of potential traffic coming specifically from trading pages. But if you do this work correctly and optimize the metadata in a high-quality manner, then the chances of ranking the site as a whole by frequency and key queries will increase significantly.
In practice, there are often cases when an SEO specialist leaves only the first page of the catalog for indexing, while he closes all the rest using the robots meta tag. By doing this, it increases targeted traffic to one main page, which has a positive impact on the results of its promotion. As a result, it turns out that a person who visits the first page of the catalog will probably be interested in others. This method of setting up indexing of pagination pages is relevant mainly for catalogs containing a large number of products.
In any case, regardless of which indexing option you choose in practice, do not forget to allow search bots to follow links on these pages. Thanks to this, the robot will be able to scan their contents, in particular product cards. This can be implemented in practice by adding a robots meta tag to the code of each page. It will look like this:
meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow" /
So, pages marked in this way will be removed from the index, Googlebot will not visit them and, accordingly, will not follow all the links available on this page.
Another point that experts recommend paying attention to — the need to optimize pages for regional queries. This is especially important for online stores that are focused on operating in a specific country or region. In this case, it will be necessary to open for indexing crawl all those pages that will contain relevant metadata.
Features of setting the rel="canonical"
In this case we are talking about an attribute that is provided for pages containing duplicate content. This is necessary so that search bots can understand which of the presented pages will be a higher priority for them. You can configure the canonical attribute in 3 ways:
- Customizing each page to itself. A similar recommendation was provided by Google itself. In this case, we are talking about the fact that pagination pages should be treated exactly the same as other sections of the resource. It is important to make sure that linking is configured correctly. This way you can be sure that search engines will correctly identify all these pages, that is, they will classify them all into one main product catalog and see their location in the catalog in order. To implement this in practice, you need to specify the URL of each page with their names: page-2, page-3, etc.
- Customization from all pages to one common page with all products. In this case, you need to create a separate page. On it we place absolutely all the products presented in a separate category, as well as the text content provided in this case. This is the method that will allow you to most conveniently distribute all product cards across pages, but at the same time offer the bot to index only one, but with all the products. This eliminates dozens of clicks on different links and additional storage of a large number of pages within one directory. That is, this is a solution that will be more convenient for both users and search bots. The former will receive a convenient distribution of goods across pages, and the latter — optimize and speed up catalog indexing work. But the problem here is that such a solution cannot be implemented in all CMSs. If your catalog contains hundreds or even thousands of items, the index will include a page that will take a very long time to load. As a result, this can have a negative impact on both ranking and behavioral factors.
- Setting for the first page of the catalogue. Regardless of how many pages of pagination you have, the first page will be considered the main page. Using the canonical attribute, you indicate to the search bot which page will have priority for indexing. Such solutions have been used in practice for quite a long time, in particular by specialists who want to focus on promoting the first page of the catalogue. But, before you run this option, you must understand that if the system detects the fact that you are sending canonical from all pages and the main one, it may simply throw it out of consideration. As a result, the search bot will start scanning all pages of your catalog, but starting from the second. That is why many experts call this method of canonicalization erroneous and do not recommend using it in practice.
Features of writing metadata
Each page from your product catalog must contain its own unique metadata, namely the H1 header, Title and Description. Initially, you need to set these parameters for the main page, and only then for all the others by analogy, adding the page number to them. In an example it will look like this:
Title: Buy women's clothing inexpensively — page 2.
Description: a large selection of women's clothing of all sizes in the online store Ledy.com. Fast order processing and delivery to all regions of Russia. Page 2.
H1: Women's dresses
The convenience of the search crawler depends on how correctly you fill out the meta tags. It is these parameters that search bots focus on when performing indexing.
Specify attributes rel="prev" and rel="next"
Pagination page layout may vary. A few years ago, experts marked page 3 in the product catalog with the following attributes:
link rel="next" href="https://ledy.com/page-2/
link rel="prev" href="https://ledy.com/page-4/
That is, it was indicated as something between pages 2 and 4. Since 2019, such a solution is no longer used in practice. But on sites created earlier, such a solution may still be present. We would like to note right away that it will not cause any harm to your resource, but you should not expect any benefit from it either. But still, as part of optimizing pagination pages, it is still recommended to remove such markup. The only exception — These are sites focused on working with European countries, as well as America. Here, similar markup is still used in practice, in particular by the Bing search engine.
A few words about text content
Almost every product catalog requires text support. This content describes the contents of the catalog, its advantages over similar competitors' products, and contains a call to perform a targeted action: placing an order, seeking advice, etc.
But there is no point in providing content for absolutely every page of one product catalog. Therefore, it is recommended to include all the material that you want to convey to both the target audience and the search bot on the first page. In addition, this way you can simplify the work of the search bot and not force it to check the same material on each page. Despite the fact that the product items themselves on another page will be different, the same textual support will still be considered duplication of content, which will negatively affect the indexing of the catalog as a whole.
The most common mistakes that occur when optimizing pagination pages
SEO specialists most often make the following mistakes when working with pagination pages:
- Duplication of metadata. Once again we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the content of the tags here must be the same, but it must necessarily contain the serial number of the page.
- Duplication of text content. Place it only on the first page in your chosen category or subcategory. Otherwise, search bots will react negatively to such duplication.
- No redirect between the main page of the site and the first page of the catalog if their content duplicates each other. In this case, you absolutely need to correctly configure the 301 redirect.
- In the implementation of the attributes rel="canonical", rel="prev" and rel="next" It is mandatory to indicate absolute URLs, that is, those that contain a full link, starting with https://.
When performing this work, you need to prevent search bots from recognizing your pages as duplicates. But, in essence, all these pages should not be repeated. That is, we carefully study the catalog and remove all inconsistencies that are identified.
Working with optimization of pagination pages is quite painstaking and complex. It involves detailed study and analysis of a huge number of factors. But, nevertheless, it must be performed as correctly as possible, because the efficiency and volume of targeted traffic that will go to your resource largely depends on this.
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