Category pages are landing pages where one can find a group of related items on a website. In addition to organizational tools for your e-commerce website, category pages are an important part of any SEO strategy. Optimized category pages can help your website rank higher in search results and draw more traffic. Conversely, clunky category pages can negatively impact your digital traffic. In this article, we’ll look at 12 ways to optimize your category pages for e-commerce SEO.
Ways to Optimize Category Pages For E-Commerce SEO:
1.Focus on Headings
A strong heading can help make it clear what the purpose of a given page is. Your H1, or primary heading tag, should accurately define the products on the page. This can help search engine crawlers understand what you’re selling. Use a single H1 as the primary heading on your category page. While using H2 and H3 headings to organize other content on the page.
2.Structure Your Category Pages
To optimize your category pages for e-commerce SEO, your website’s category pages should be well-structured and easy to navigate. In addition to providing you with SEO benefits. A solid structure will make it easier for visitors and customers to interact with your website and make purchases. Start by configuring category page URLs that are short, sensible, and contain relevant keywords. As you can see from the photo below, Road Runner Sports has organized categories pages, everything from women’s running shoes to kids’ shoes.
3.Create Clearly Defined Categories
When creating category pages for the products on your website. It’s important to break them up into distinct sections with unique content. You don’t want to end up with category pages that are too broad or that contain overlapping content. For example, instead of a “Home & Kitchen” category page, create separate “Home” and “Kitchen” category pages. This will make it easier for visitors and crawlers to find the item they’re looking for.
4.Add a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Section
An FAQ section is a great place to preemptively answer customers’ questions. Thus helping them and reducing the amount of time and money you have to devote to customer service. Including an FAQ section on your website’s category pages also provides you with a fantastic opportunity to add relevant keywords and highlight the key features of your products and company. For example, if your company sells self-care products or wellness supplements, you could use the FAQs to present research that has proven a product’s effectiveness.
5.Conduct Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is a must if you want to improve your website’s search ranking. Including relevant keywords on your category pages can make them pop up earlier when people type those words into a search engine. However, be careful not to stuff keywords onto a page, as this can result in a penalty from search engines and actually hurt your ranking.
Keep in mind that if you’re a smaller brand, it may be difficult to rank using common keywords that larger competitors utilize. In this case, you might want to try out a long-tail keyword strategy. Long-tail keywords are more specific keywords that don’t draw as much traffic, but they’re typically easier to rank for and attract a niche audience that’s more likely to buy what you’re selling. For example, let’s say you run a small cosmetics company—instead of trying to rank for the highly competitive keyword “men’s skincare”. You might try to rank for a long-tail keyword like “men’s skincare products for sensitive skin.”
6.Introduce Written Content
Written content can take many different forms when it comes to category pages. You could write product descriptions and other short blurbs that highlight product features. Present interesting facts, or even share a piece of company history. If the copy you include is interesting, it will keep people on the page and make your products seem more attractive. Plus, this is another great opportunity to add relevant keywords and phrases.
7.Make Title Tags and Meta Descriptions Compelling
Title tags and meta descriptions are what people see as they browse through search results. They’re essentially the first impression you make on a potential customer who’s looking for a product that you offer. With that being said, it’s important for you to come up with compelling title tags and meta descriptions for your category pages. When creating them, use relevant keywords, offer value, include a call to action, and let your brand’s voice shine through.
8.Add a Search Function
A search function is a tool that makes it much easier for visitors to navigate your website. If they have to click through page after page to find what they’re looking for they’ll likely just leave your page and go to a competitor’s. Implementing a visible search function will keep visitors on your website for longer, which can help optimize SEO and improve your search ranking.
9.Optimize Site Speed
This is an essential technical SEO element that extends not just to your category pages, but to your business website in general. If you want people to stay on your website, it has to load quickly and be responsive. If your pages take too long to load or provide visitors with a clunky experience, they’ll most likely navigate away from your website and seek out a competitor instead. There are plenty of online tools you can use to test, analyze, and improve your site speed.
10.Include Internal Links
When writing product descriptions or FAQs on your category pages, try to add some internal links that redirect users to other sections of your website. These internal links could lead to relevant blog posts, products, company policies, etc. This will encourage visitors to explore other aspects of your website and you may even be able to sell some other products in the process. However, don’t overdo it with internal linking—internal links should be naturally incorporated into the text and provide users with real value.
11.Add Search Filters
Search filters allow users to specify exactly what they’re looking for. When they can quickly narrow down results, it makes the experience more convenient on their end. This function is especially useful if your category page has a lot of products to sort through. If you operate a website that sells used cars, for instance, users should be able to filter by mileage, color, make, model, year, transmission type, and so on. On the below example from Factory Furnace Outlet, you can see on the left that it has search filters to help customers narrow down what they are looking for.
12.Use Relevant Images
If you’re selling physical products, it’s absolutely crucial that you include images on your category pages. Whatever it is that you’re selling in a positive light by using high-quality images that appeal to your target audience. Be careful not to use low-quality images, as this can negatively impact SEO and drive away potential customers.
That wraps up our list of 12 ways to optimize category pages for e-commerce SEO. Although it may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that you don’t have to implement all of these changes at once. Start out by focusing on a few of these tips and see how they work out for you. Optimizing your category pages seems like a small step, but in the end, you may be surprised by the results!