Although category pages are less visually appealing than product pages, they are still crucial to your SEO efforts and the conversion of visitors into buyers.
But you need to invest money and time in SEO eCommerce category pages if you want people to see your pages in search results.
So, how do you do SEO for eCommerce category pages?
We’ll explain how to optimize your SEO eCommerce category pages throughout this guide while making sure the user is always at the center of your choices.
In the end, we also take a look at some of the eCommerce category page SEO mistakes to avoid.
- Why Optimize SEO eCommerce Category Pages
- 10+ Best Practices for eCommerce Category Page SEO
- Conduct keyword research for SEO eCommerce category pages
- Add schema markup
- Make SEO-friendly content on category pages
- Optimize conversion elements
- Organize category page layout logically
- Put a focus on category navigation
- Include internal links
- Decide on the best URL structure
- Look at your competitors
- Include header and footer links
- Other tips
- 5 eCommerce Category Page SEO Mistakes to Avoid
- In conclusion
Why Optimize SEO eCommerce Category Pages
Your stepwise strategy may not ever take off if you don’t use the strength of your category pages to reach the major players. Take a look at why optimizing SEO eCommerce category pages matters.
Category pages can develop into pages with great authority
According to the best standards for eCommerce websites, a hierarchical structure should contain no more than three tiers. This indicates that the category pages are the second-most significant pages on the website after the homepage.
But in order to benefit from this and see any actual increases in your rankings and traffic, you’ll need to optimize SEO for category pages.
If you don’t, Google won’t value them as high and your domain authority may suffer as a result, which could have the opposite impact.
You can get higher ranks with category pages
Rankings are an additional essential factor in the significance of category pages.
Due to the fact that larger websites often rank first in the SERPS for similar items or because users don’t use specific product titles when searching, many eCommerce businesses struggle to rank for specific product pages.
For instance, you sell women’s bikinis. Instead of searching for specific items, customers are more likely to google “woman bikini” and other relevant search terms.
The ideal strategy is to have SEO category pages optimized for broad phrases.
Category pages support deep site structures
Crawlers may navigate across pages using on-page URLs in ideal site structures. Most site pages should be more than one click away from the home page to avoid creating a flat site layout that hinders crawlability.
In contrast, category pages support deep site structures, which aid in the accurate classification of page content by search engine crawlers.
Category pages provide helpful context
There is much context lost if Google’s crawlers only view URLs via a sitemap file, which would otherwise reveal how sites relate to one another. This is understandable given that Google ranks value relevance. A page may not rank as highly as it can if it is hard to determine its relevance to the entire website.
Category pages can highlight the unique content
Duplicate content should not be used on websites, according to Google specialists. The company’s staff are aware that it may be used improperly, such as to improve a website’s ranks unnaturally, to appear on a website. Then, offending websites can suffer penalties.
Boilerplate content on every category page is a frequent error. But, you must refrain from being too unoriginal. Writing category descriptions for every page is one simple approach to convince Google’s crawlers that you have distinct material.
In addition to improving your SEO results, this technique increases user value on your website.
Well-designed category pages lengthen visitors’ stays
Considerately arranging your category pages and giving each one a title that is descriptive might increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site.
This indicator shows how long visitors stay on your site before leaving for the search engine results pages. When visitors locate relevant content, their time spent browsing increases. On whether Google regards residence time as an official ranking indication, SEO experts are divided.
However, the business does offer rewards for authoritative, high-quality content. Dwell time ought to organically increase if you have it on your website. People will understand that staying put to acquire knowledge is more advantageous than going elsewhere.
Additionally, category pages direct their use of your website and make it simpler for them to access the content that is important to them.
10+ Best Practices for eCommerce Category Page SEO
Here are 10 best practices for WordPress SEO category pages that any eCommerce business must invest time and money to study and implement:
Conduct keyword research for SEO eCommerce category pages
The backbone of every content and SEO approach is keyword research, which is where it all begins. It’s no doubt that this is ranked first among category page best practices.
Ensure that you keep an openness as you take on this task. Don’t be hesitant to explore; use a variety of tools and approaches.
To broaden our keyword research a little bit more, see this list of tools:
If you discover profitable terms with a significant amount of searches, congratulations! That is sufficient proof for the reasoning behind creating new category pages.
Once you’ve chosen those keywords, use them for SEO product category pages strategically with these elements:
- Meta title (title tag): Include main and secondary keywords in your meta title, but don’t miss to fully define the category name as well.
- Meta description: Target all keyword types, including variants.
- Descriptions: Target all keywords, along with several other keywords with a single usage.
Add schema markup
Schema markup is a good on-page SEO recommended practice that can give businesses an extra advantage in click-through rate (CTR) and traffic through search engine results pages (also known as “SERPs”)
Further than the typical title and description, schema markup provides more information to the search results page. This comprises information on the price of the product, customer reviews, availability, publishing date, and more.
It improves search engine algorithms’ understanding of the content on your website, which may be utilized to produce rich snippets and infographic results on Google and Bing, highlighting your eCommerce categories and goods.
Google makes use of this HTML-based data to better understand your website and even to alter how your items and brand are presented in search results.
Make SEO-friendly content on category pages
When it comes to using your keyword research in SEO content, it might be easy to go overboard.
Unless you’re a big brand, effective category page content usually involves more than simply product names and descriptions.
But, placing too much content above the product grid reduces conversion rates, in part because it moves the product listings farther down the page.
The very first rule for developing content for SEO eCommerce category pages is to avoid writing for search engines.
Alternatively, create helpful content for your audience that solves their concerns, informs them about your solutions, and convinces them to act.
No wondering! An effective content marketing strategy can benefit your company.
To provide your customers with more value, keep in mind to offer additional visuals (such as high-quality photos and videos).
Optimize conversion elements
Remember that a category page also serves as a landing page and that users can view it first whether using search engines, Facebook, or AdWords.
It implies that it needs to have all of the elements that are required to attract, encourage, and engage users in your shop so that they may ultimately convert.
For category pages, all of the SEO strategies we mentioned for eCommerce homepages apply.
Elements such as:
- Contact information and your custom logo
- Your special deals or promotions
- Button calls to action
- Links to the checkout page and account login
- signups for newsletters
- Menu options
They need to be included in your category pages.
Organize category page layout logically
It might be alluring to create a custom page layout for each category, showcasing it in a unique way. However, this will make UX (and webmaster) nightmares come true.
The user receives an implicit message that they are on a category page by using a single layout and maintaining consistency across categories. Each new category educates the visitor on what to expect and then delivers on that expectation.
Additionally, it significantly improves scalability for huge eCommerce websites with a high number of categories.
Nevertheless, this does not imply that you won’t provide original content for every category page. You’ll still want lots of compelling product descriptions and photos.
Put a focus on category navigation
The major aim of category filters is to make it easier for customers to identify products.
Yet, the indexation, authority, as well as relevancy of each page in organic search are also impacted by category navigation. Rankings will therefore be boosted by adding relevant terms in the navigation and filters.
The main considerations of navigating SEO eCommerce category pages are to:
- Limit crawling will save you money because there are potentially millions of different combinations that Google cannot crawl.
- Avoid allowing Google to index low-value aspects; otherwise, it may index several hundred thousand to millions of virtually identical sites that are useless for search.
Include internal links
A product grid page is not often linked to other websites. If an external brand does, on occasion, choose to connect to eCommerce pages, it will probably do so to the homepage or a product pages page.
Therefore, internal efforts should now be used to link to eCommerce category sites.
Add internal links to the relevant category pages from your supporting material (such as blogs and your homepage), where it fits best to do so.
Your category pages must be readily accessed by both visitors and search engines in order to rank highly in your category sections. They must also be reachable from the root and have internal links that point to them.
Decide on the best URL structure
There is already a tonne of advice on URL structure, but the most important thing to think about is choosing a structure you won’t have to change.
Updating URLs (as well as redirecting them) is frequently seen as a risky activity since you can’t predict when Google will consolidate information into the new URL.
Hence, unless you have a perfectly good reason (such as rebranding), it’s preferable to avoid changing URLs.
For example, you can create URL structure on the parent/child links between categories:
To minimize the need for updates, keep the URL format as straightforward as you can.
Additionally, a clear URL makes it obvious where you are on the website—the category page for which product type. It’s simple for search engines and visitors to recognize the content of your website and where it fits in the hierarchy when your URL structure is clear.
Look at your competitors
Your competitors have frequently already identified these chances. Finding categories you are not serving requires auditing your competitors.
Here is our tip for analyzing competition category and subcategory pages:
- Check out their websites manually to start. You may get a good sense of their site layout and keyword coverage by using their faceted navigation menu in conjunction with their top navigation.
- Analyze your competitors using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
- Perform a crawl of rival websites to collect data on their headers, page titles, meta descriptions, and category URLs in bulk. It is a terrific spot to look into new chances because their most crucial keywords will be saved there.
Include header and footer links
The header and footer of the entire website provide the same chances for category navigation. Nevertheless, it would be annoying for customers and overly optimized for search engines to have links to any eCommerce subcategory and filter page in the header and footer.
Make wise use of links in the header and footer to the most important category and subcategory sites. Include pages that are based on analysis and keyword mapping together with those that have a significant impact on the business.
Links for other reasons should not, though, outweigh links for SEO-related keywords, and lengthy lists of links should never be inserted in text fields or beneath the footer.
In addition to the above best practices for SEO eCommerce category pages, there are also many others you can use such as:
- Add reviews: Many websites only allow reviews on product pages, but they’re also excellent for category addition.
- Paginate and link to products: Link to more particular variants of the current category, specifically if you are able to match it to search demand.
- Improve the visual aspects and other usability elements: A well-optimized category page should include photos and other elements in addition to the appropriate content to enable people to get what they’re looking for with the fewest amount of clicks.
There are probably a lot of best practices out there depending on the business model as well as the SEO strategy of each company. Do not hesitate to share with us and other readers in the comments section below.
5 eCommerce Category Page SEO Mistakes to Avoid
When optimizing SEO eCommerce category pages, you may not be able to avoid errors like the following: (analyze and come back to your category pages to double-check)
Not click-optimized title tags and meta descriptions
Although this may seem obvious, consider what it means: Your site’s title tag and meta description serve as the initial impression for the whole search audience.
SEO places high importance on title tags that are keyword-rich and include your category and important product names.
Another issue is with Target’s page’s meta description. A CTA and multiple incentives are an excellent place to start.
The reader could be left wanting more, nevertheless, due to the description’s lack of precision and its confusing initial phrase. Additionally, it has too many characters, which ends the description before the message is finished.
Linking unrelated categories
To improve the customer experience, large retail businesses frequently merge product categories on their websites.
However, combining unrelated categories may harm your website’s conversion optimization performance, user experience, and search engine optimization efforts.
Duplicate or similar content
You could be tempted, as a major retailer who makes billions of dollars from a variety of items, to highlight your best-performing product categories throughout your website.
Yet, giving searchers too many choices can actually damage their user experience and the ranking of category pages.
Not choosing keyword-focused, short URLs
eCommerce category page URLs must be succinct, and descriptive, and they ought to correspond to the search purpose of your audience. Avoid using unfriendly, lengthy alphanumeric URLs.
Not checking the speed of your category pages
In particular, category pages might slow down your website. To avoid slowing down page load time, pay close attention to how many goods you place on a single page. If so, think about additional choices like pagination, sluggish loading, or hiding things under a “view all” button.
As the backbone of eCommerce websites, category pages necessitate close attention from SEOs and webmasters.
Making great SEO eCommerce category pages involves many factors. The process should now be less painful thanks to this guide.
Have a question concerning eCommerce category optimization? Feel free to contact us right away!