Do you like gobbledygook? No? Neither do your customers, but many websites choose to have gobbledygook page URLs filled with letters and numbers that make no sense. Unless you have a page about cryptography, random URLs don’t have a place on your website.
The debate rages on whether your URL’s have any impact on SEO. Even if you say keywords in a URL may not add significant value to SEO, they are still important! A readable link lets the user know what to expect on the page.
In this example, the user has a clear idea on what is going to be on the page by just looking at the first link. Trust and confidence of finding correct information can easily be gained at this stage of the game. This improves the click through rate (CTR) of your organic listing. In the end, a better click through rate does have a positive effect on SEO.
Should I change my store URL’s?
Yes and no. Don’t jump into it completely and start changing every page on your site. Take it slow with a few pages at a time and see if the results are worth the effort. To help preserve your rankings and SEO efforts, you must use 301 redirects to pass that page history on from the old URL to the new one. However, even though using 301 redirects are the best route to take, you can still lose some SEO value, even if only temporarily.
Whether or not you decide it’s worth the effort to change your old pages, you can always start implementing these URL practices on every new page you create from here on out. Also, try to headline pages so they are more specific.
What’s the next step once I change URL’s?
Test, test, and re-test every redirect and verify they all work correctly. Monitor your analytics very carefully, and don’t continue on to a new batch of URLs until you confirm these have maintained their integrity and rankings.
When to call a Yahoo Merchant Solutions Developer?
The processes outlined in this guide are technical in nature and have the potential to cause large harm to your store if not done properly. If this guide seems overwhelming to you, or you are not familiar with language in this tutorial, please call a developer. We would be happy to discuss your store and make recommendations.
What are the steps to change the URLs to existing pages in a Yahoo Store?
Changing the URL’s in a Yahoo store is a very meticulous and time consuming process. I recommend to only do a section or handful of pages at a time, then let that sit and monitor the progress. This way you can determine if the time is worth the outcome and if you make a mistake you will not kill the entire website in one day. This process should be done over time and be spread out over several months to a year depending on how many pages your store has.
I have outlined some basic steps below. Please use this as a general guide, as every store may be a bit different depending on how it was setup and coded.
Step 1: Create a CSV file
Create and save (as CSV) a spreadsheet with the columns below. You will reference this throughout the project. For this tutorial, we will call this spreadsheet the ‘Redirect Spreadsheet’. Make sure you populate the data in this spreadsheet for all of the pages you are changing before you start the next steps so that you have a clear plan.
- Old Page URL
- Old Page id
- New Page URL
- New Page id
Step 2: Download Catalog
Download and save your store catalog CSV file via the Catalog Manager.
Step 3: Backup
Create and save a backup just in case.
Step 4: Narrow Catalog
Open the downloaded catalog in Excel and remove all the rows except the ones for the pages you are changing and the heading row. Here are tips on how to do that.
- CTRL + F to find the page ID you are looking for. Highlight that Excel row in a bright color. Rinse and repeat for all the IDs you are looking for.
- Delete all rows that are not highlighted (except heading row).
Step 5: Start Conversion
In the ‘page-id’ column, replace the old ids with new ones. Refer to your Redirect Spreadsheet if necessary.
Step 6: Prep Codes
Add “-new” to the end of all the codes.
Step 7: Save Images
Go to the live pages, and save all product images.
- Name the name product image the ID of the page.
- For other images (insets, etc.), use the ID of the page followed by an underscore and then the property you are uploading the image to (Example: ‘rustic-bed_inset2.jpg’).
Step 8: Categorize
Put the new items page in categories. Here are the steps:
- Add new column named ‘Path’
- The path needs to be the complete path to the product. You can determine this by looking at the breadcrumbs on the live site. (Tip: enable multiple breadcrumbs if you have the feature or have a developer install this for you).
- The format for the path should be the top level section followed by sub-sections (each separated with a colon. Use the page ID of the sections, but replace any hypens (“-”) with spaces. Here is an example.
- Breadcrumb: Women’s > Plus Size > Skirts > Pink Lace Skirt
- Section IDs: women-s, plus-size, skirts
- Path: women s:plus size:skirts
- If you need to put items in multiple sections, you’re going to need to make separate uploads.
- Create another ‘path’ column for as many sections as you need to add the product to.
- When it comes to uploading the spreadsheet, save this copy with multiple ‘path’ columns as a master copy. You’ll then need to make a copy of your master and upload it with a different ‘path’ column as many times as you need to.
Step 9: Upload CSV
Upload the CSV file via the Catalog Manger 1. Make sure that you use “Add” – never use Rebuild.
2. Go into your store and verify that the new product are there and that they are in the correct sections.
Step 10: Upload images
- Put all of your images (name according to step 5) into a compressed zip folder.
- Upload that file using, Store Editor > Controls > Multiple Image Upload
Step 11. Pre-check and Prep old pages
- The spreadsheet download does not include the ‘contents’ property. Therefore, check to see if the old page has anything in the ‘contents’ property. If so, cut the IDs from the ‘contents’ property of the old page and paste them into the ‘contents’ property of the new page. Make sure to ‘cut’ or erase the IDs from the ‘contents’ property on the old page so you don’t accidentally delete those child pages later.
- Check to see if the original page has any custom programming. If they do, talk with a developer about how to recreate those features successfully so that you don’t permanently lose information.
- Check to see if the original page has a template name that’s different from the new page. If so, make the new page match the old page.
Step 12: Edit Sections
Replace the old page with the new pages in the section pages
- Edit category page.
- The new page ID will be at the end of the ‘contents’ property. You need to replace the old ID with the new one. Cut the new ID, find the old ID, and paste the new ID over the old ID. This will keep the order the same as original.
Step 13: Update Menus and Links
Replace any instances of the old IDs in manually generated navigation menus and links.
- If you have navigation menus where you manually specify the page IDs or any manual links that contain the old IDs you’ll need to replace those with the new IDs and correct links. It might be helpful to search your Variable page for any instance of the old IDs.
Step 14: Update properties
Replace any instances of the old ID in any global custom properties.
- Download a fresh copy of your catalog.
- Delete all columns except for ‘page-id’ and any custom property you may have (i.e. ‘cross-sells’, ‘best-sellers’, ‘related-items’, etc.)
- Use CTRL + F to search for any instances of your old page IDs. If the ID comes up in a custom property, highlight it.
- Go edit any pages with highlighted custom properties. Replace the old IDs with the new ones.
Step 15: Delete the old pages
- Double check that none of your old IDs have anything listed in the ‘contents’ property because deleting a page with IDs in the ‘contents’ property will also delete all the pages listed in the ‘contents’ property.
- Go to ‘Content’ and Create new page (type: item.) and give it page ID ‘container-delete’.
- Place all old page IDs into the ‘contents’ property of the ‘container-delete’ page.
- Cut the ‘container-delete’ page to your clipboard. This will remove the pages from your store on publish and remove them from any ‘contents’ properties. However, you’ll still have the old version backed up on your clipboard just in case you need to refer back to them before finalizing the last changes.
Step 16: Upload Redirects
Upload redirect CSV and publish
- Create a CSV file using columns Old Page URL & New Page URL from the Redirect Spreadsheet you created initially in step 1.
- Upload the spreadsheet to the Redirect Manager.
- Publish the Redirect Manager.
Step 17: Publish & Test
Publish the store and test every old page link to verify it redirects to the new page.
Step 18: Delete the old pages
- Once you viewed all of your new pages to make sure everything is working properly and that everything appears correct, you’ll need to go back and delete the ‘container-delete’ pages. There is no going back from here, so triple check that everything is correct before deleting.
Step 19: Fix item codes
- Once you’ve deleted the ‘container-delete’ page, which also deletes all the old page you had inside of it, download a fresh copy of your catalog.
- Delete all rows except the header and the new page IDs.
- Delete all columns except for ‘page-id’ and ‘code’.
- Remove ‘-new’ from all codes.
- Save and upload your spreadsheet.
Call All Web Promotion at any time for assistance on changing your Yahoo Store URLs!