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I have an e-commerce client who's CEO, owner, clothing designer refuses to have a navigation which links to sub-category pages which help users find more specific products they are looking for. He also dislikes linking via breadcrumbs and modules on product pages to similar categories or products. The only thing we have been allowed to include are faceted navigation filtering coming from a category page.

For example he only wants to see: Dresses, Pants, Tops, Shoes, Accessories. I would like to see sub-cats in nav for these, for example: Dresses > Asymmetrical, A-line, Cocktail Dresses, etc.

The internal links would help provide cralwer accessibility to these pages and be able to rank for "cocktail dresses" instead of just general "dresses".

Is there a way to internally link to sub-category pages for ranking and SEO purposes without building them out visually on the site? Can sub-cat pages be built and rank well without being internally linked to? We are running on Magento.

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    Are menus an option? Even single menu items such as a "hamburger" menu can be stuffed full of relevant links. – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 28 '17 at 22:32
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    You have my empathy. It appears you want to do what is right for users. Anything else, I can imagine, would not work well for users. Cheers!! – closetnoc Aug 28 '17 at 22:47
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I do have an idea that may very well satisfy the people you work for, but I still recommend your idea of having navigation stand out, but since your bosses come with not-so-wonderful requests, I'll continue.

What you may try to do is blend in the links with the text.

For example, on your home page, you can make a paragraph about shoes and have the title be a link to an extended information page about shoes.

Another example: You can also embed it into the paragraph some more by talking about shoes and at the end of the paragraph, make the short sentence a link to the details.

Examples in text:

   These shoes are perfect for any occasion including winter and 
   summer. Learn more

and in that example, "Learn more" is a link to the shoe details page.

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    I would change the Learn more... recommendation to something more meaningful such as Leather Buck Shoes or Walking Shoes. – closetnoc Aug 29 '17 at 5:14
  • Thats also an idea, just as long as in the end it doesn't confuse the website guest – Mike Aug 29 '17 at 5:30
  • It would be good for link quality, after all, who wants to take the single most important clue and rank for learn more. – closetnoc Aug 29 '17 at 6:02

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