Educents Categorization & Taxonomy

Educents is a ventured-backed marketplace to help homeschool parents discover educational resources provided by a community of independent sellers and small businesses. My role as a product designer was to design our canonical category page, helping homeschool parents find what they may need across the platform, and refining our taxonomy to increase organic traffic through SEO, impressions, and domain authority.

Winter 2018
In Collaboration with Product Manager,
SEO consultant, and Head of Growth
Product Design, User Research
Time: 2 Month

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Problem

Overview

In the past, our e-commerce platform did not have canonical category pages; our links went to an overwhelming search results page. Based on user feedback, many of our customers did not know what to search for in terms of educational products and understand what our business provides. The search model was inefficient and ineffective to both the consumer and the business experience.  

Our immediate solution was to create fake category pages as an MVP to support the idea of discovery which led to a increase in conversion, sales, page views, and impressions. Yet, the executed solution caused another obstacle, as we also had to prioritize growth in organic traffic. Our taxonomy site architecture was not structured to be SEO-friendly. This affected our low impressions numbers and low domain authority with a rating of 54 (Based on ahrefs) . The UI design of the MVP was also not user-friendly, as the page had minimal content, links, and products. There was a lot of room for improvement in the front and back-end. 
 

Goal

The purpose of this project was to create relevant category pages and restructure our taxonomy to cater to our user's needs in discovery, while increasing our domain authority in google search optimization.

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Research

We hired a technical SEO consultant to help us research the technical issues of our MVP category pages and increase our domain authority. Some examples of our technical audit:
• A lot of the PageRank is flowing through our current taxonomy tree through the top navigation, which included many non-SEO categories, 
• The titles, h1s, h2s, and body copy on our current category pages were either missing or duplicated, which hurts keyword relevance on our category pages
• Our category and product pages did not have any breadcrumbs.

Our head of growth also conducted a keyword research to identify opportunities for our categories and subcategories we can win on in terms of google search optimization to determine our taxonomy. This included long tail keywords, as we were still a niche market, ex. "3rd grade math books" instead of "math".

I determined our new taxonomy tree structure by combining both requirements from the optimized keyword research and initial card sorting session that was sorted based on the list of products in our inventory, from our MVP project. There were many factors that had to be taken into consideration, like most viewed categories pages and standardized assortment based on user feedback.

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Initial solutions

• Improving the site navigation and taxonomy to be more relevant for SEO and user friendly will improve ranking and therefore increase traffic.
• Build more relevant category pages and making sure we included all of the technical requirements based on our audit while creating more valuable content and quality backlinks and improve our rankings.

 

Requirements

• Breadcrumbs
• Subcategory links
• Pagination
• Title/Description (h1, h2, unique body copy)
• Ability to add static blocks
•Migration of categories and mappings from ETL into Magento

Ideations

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Category page creation has been a work in progress and from January to February we saw a 32% increase in clicks from category pages.

We are seeing the biggest success from longer tail category pages with a structure of grade+subject+product type such as “12th grade math worksheets”. It is a slow process since it can take google a long time to index and crawl pages for us to begin to see any movement.

Conclusion: Longer tail category pages with the structure of “grade+subject+product type” have shown to increase traffic.

February organic traffic (users) is 18,461 up 11% from January and sits at 20% of overall traffic up from 19% in January. (Data from GA)

Results