This post is part of the Top SEO Strategies for eCommerce Websites.
Also in this series:
- How to optimise eCommerce Product pages for SEO
- 8 Top Tips to Improve SEO for eCommerce Images
- 5 Tips to Improve Your eCommerce Category Pages for SEO
- robots.txt for eCommerce SEO: A Complete Guide
- Site Audit SEO Tips to Improve Your eCommerce Site
Welcome to our blog post eCommerce Category Page SEO. If you are a proud owner of an e-commerce store, you already recognize the significance of achieving higher rankings for your category pages to attract valuable traffic and convert visitors into loyal customers. However, staying updated with the ever-evolving landscape of SEO and the latest best practices for optimizing your category pages can be challenging.
Fear not, as we are here to assist you. In this article, we will share expert insights, tips, and strategies for optimizing your eCommerce category page for SEO. We will delve into various aspects, ranging from crafting compelling page titles and meta descriptions to effectively utilizing keywords and structured data. By the time you finish reading, you will be equipped with the knowledge needed to enhance your category page rankings, ultimately driving increased traffic to your online store.
What are Category Pages?
In the realm of eCommerce websites, category pages serve as a means to organize and group together products that share a common theme or focus. They provide a centralized space where customers can conveniently explore and make purchases within a specific category. For instance, a category page could be dedicated to a particular product category, such as summer clothing, or it could be centred around a specific brand, like Adidas trainers.
These meticulously curated pages streamline the browsing and shopping experience, empowering customers to effortlessly discover and engage with products that align with their interests.
Why is SEO for Category Pages Important?
E-commerce platforms employ categories and tags as means of grouping and organizing their vast array of products. Although these two methods share similar objectives, they exert distinct influences on the user experience and search engine optimization (SEO) of a website.
Product categories, or simply categories, represent a hierarchical approach to arranging products within an e-commerce website. They are structured around specific themes or focal points, such as product type or brand. Conversely, tags provide a non-hierarchical method of product organization, offering descriptions of particular attributes or characteristics like colour, size, or material. The utilization and presentation of these categories and tags on a website significantly impact the user experience and the site’s visibility in search engine results.
eCommerce Category Page SEO plays a pivotal role in enhancing the visibility of a website within search engine results. This is primarily due to the creation of individual pages for each category, which can be indexed and ranked by search engines based on relevant keywords. In contrast, tags do not generate separate pages on the website, resulting in a relatively lesser impact on the overall SEO of the site. Nevertheless, tags can still contribute to SEO efforts by aiding search engines in understanding the content of a product page and augmenting its discoverability in search results.
What is the Difference between eCommerce Categories and Tags
eCommerce websites use categories and tags to group and organise products. While both serve similar purposes, they have different effects on the user experience and search engine optimisation (SEO) of a website.
Categories, also known as product categories, are a hierarchical way of organizing products on an eCommerce website based on a specific theme or focus, such as product type or brand. Tags, on the other hand, are a non-hierarchical way of organizing products and are used to describe specific attributes or characteristics of a product, such as colour, size, or material. The way in which these are used and displayed on a website can affect the user experience and the visibility of the site in search results.
Categories can significantly improve the visibility of a website in search engine results because they generate individual pages on the website that can be indexed and ranked by search engines for relevant keywords. On the other hand, tags do not create separate pages on the website, so they have a lesser effect on the overall SEO of the site. However, tags can still be helpful for SEO as they assist search engines in comprehending the content of a product page and boosting its visibility in search results.
Types of Category Pages:
Listing Pages by Category:
Category listing pages, also referred to as category pages or category grids, serve as elevated platforms that organize related products into distinct categories. These pages act as navigational hubs, enabling users to explore various product categories. Typically, they present a layout of product thumbnails, arranged in either a list or a grid, accompanied by category names, descriptions, and sometimes images. By utilizing category listing pages, users can narrow down their search and delve into products within a specific category. For instance, in the context of a clothing eCommerce site, the category listing page may encompass categories like “Men’s Clothing,” “Women’s Clothing,” “Accessories,” and more. When a user clicks on a category, they are redirected to the corresponding product listing page.
Listing Pages by Product:
Product listing pages, also known as product pages or search result pages, provide a comprehensive view of individual products within a particular category. These pages display a curated list of products that align with the user’s search query or the selected category from the category listing page. The product listing page typically showcases product images, titles, prices, descriptions, and occasionally additional details such as ratings, reviews, and filtering options.
When a user interacts with a product thumbnail or title on the category listing page or utilizes the search function, they are directed to the respective product listing page. Here, users can access detailed information about a specific product, facilitating their purchasing decision-making process.
Product listing pages often incorporate sorting and filtering options to assist users in refining their search results based on various criteria like price, brand, size, color, and more. These features augment the browsing experience and simplify the process of finding products that align with users’ preferences.
eCommerce Category Page SEO Fundementals
Before delving into the intricate details of Category Pages, it is crucial to address some fundamental aspects from an on-page SEO standpoint when optimizing any eCommerce webpage. Here are a few essential elements to consider:
Begin by identifying pertinent keywords that align with the products within your category and cater to your target audience. Employ the use of keyword research tools to discover keywords with high search volume and low competition, to help you decide on what keyword should be the primary for each category page.
Meta SEO for eCommerce Category Pages:
Meta Title Tag: Craft a descriptive and concise title tag that incorporates the primary keyword for the category. Placing the keyword closer to the beginning of the title tag enhances its visibility in search results.
Meta Description: Write an engaging meta description that provides an accurate summary of the category’s content and entices users to click. While meta descriptions do not directly impact rankings, they do influence click-through rates.
Create clean and user-friendly URLs that include the primary keyword of the category. Avoid using long strings of numbers or irrelevant characters in the URL, here’s an example for winter jumpers:
Utilize appropriate heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure your category page. The H1 tag should contain the primary keyword of the category, while subsequent headings can be used to organize subcategories or showcase featured products.
Optimise product images by using descriptive filenames and alt tags that incorporate relevant keywords. Additionally, compressing images helps improve page loading speed.
Ensure that each category page offers unique and valuable content. Describe the category, its purpose, and highlight key products or features. Avoid duplicating content from other pages, as this can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
It is crucial to fully Optimise your category pages for mobile devices. Given the increasing number of mobile users, having mobile-friendly pages is essential for both SEO and user experience.
Optimise the loading speed of your pages by minimizing file sizes, leveraging browser caching, and utilizing content delivery networks (CDNs). A faster-loading website provides a better user experience and has a positive effect on SEO.
Content, Content, Content (Oh and make it helpful)
One aspect that often goes unnoticed by the majority of eCommerce stores is the lack of content on their category pages. It’s a common question: What should you write on a category page? Fortunately, here are some ideas for incorporating valuable content into your category pages, which not only aid in improving rankings but also provide useful information to your customers:
Category Page Descriptions: Craft compelling and informative descriptions for the products within the category. Highlight key features, benefits, and any unique selling points to entice customers.
Customer Reviews: Display customer reviews and ratings for the products in the category. Genuine feedback from previous buyers can build trust and assist potential customers in their decision-making process.
Social Proof: Showcase social media mentions, user-generated content, or testimonials that highlight positive experiences with products from the category. This fosters trust and encourages customers to engage with the offerings.
Buying Guides: Create buying guides or size charts that help customers make informed decisions when selecting products within the category. Provide guidance on choosing the right fit, style, or specifications.
How-to Guides or Tutorials: If customers are required to understand how to use a product, offer step-by-step guides or tutorials on how to use or style products within the category. This not only adds value to the customer but also demonstrates your expertise in the field.
FAQs: Frequently asked questions are a brilliant way to add more content to the page without overwhelming users with text. This could be FAQs about the product category itself or information that can help customers such as shipping and return information.
Category Page hierarchy
The eCommerce product category hierarchy refers to the structured organization of product categories within an eCommerce website. It involves creating a logical and hierarchical arrangement where broader categories are positioned at the top, followed by more specific subcategories beneath them. Here is what Heirachy can do for your category page:
Site Structure and Navigation: A clear and logical category hierarchy helps search engines understand how your website is organized. It provides a roadmap for search engine crawlers to navigate and index your pages more effectively. Additionally, an organized hierarchy enhances user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate and find products, leading to increased engagement and satisfaction.
Keyword Targeting: Each category within the hierarchy represents a distinct topic or theme. By optimizing category pages for relevant keywords and topics, you can improve your website’s visibility for specific search queries. This allows you to target a wider range of keywords and attract more organic traffic from search engines.
Internal Linking: A hierarchical structure enables you to establish strong internal linking between category pages. Internal links help search engines discover and crawl your pages more efficiently. By strategically linking related categories and products, you can distribute link authority throughout your site, enhance the visibility of important pages, and improve overall SEO performance.
Enhanced User Experience: A well-organized product category hierarchy simplifies the browsing and shopping experience for users. It allows them to navigate through different levels of categories, delve into more specific subcategories, and easily find the products they are interested in. When users can find products quickly and effortlessly, they are more likely to stay on your site longer, interact with your content, and potentially make a purchase.
Targeting Long-Tail Keywords: Subcategories within your hierarchy can target more specific and long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords often have less competition and higher conversion rates. By creating subcategories that cater to these long-tail queries, you can capture targeted traffic and attract potential customers who have specific product preferences.
When designing your eCommerce product category hierarchy, it is crucial to consider factors such as the breadth and depth of categories, the relationships between categories, and user intent. By organizing your categories thoughtfully and optimizing them for relevant keywords, you can significantly improve the overall SEO performance of your eCommerce website while enhancing the user experience for your visitors.
How do I improve my Category Page’s Hierarchy?
Logical Grouping: Parent categories serve as top-level containers that facilitate the logical grouping of related subcategories and products. They provide a broad overview of product themes or departments, making it easier for users to navigate and find the products they seek. By organizing subcategories under relevant parent categories, you establish a clear and intuitive structure that aids both users and search engines in understanding the organization of your website.
SEO Optimization: Parent categories present an opportunity to optimize your website for broader and more competitive keywords. As top-level categories represent larger product themes, they attract higher search volumes and broader user intent. By optimizing parent category pages with relevant keywords, meta tags, and content, you can increase your website’s visibility in search engine results. This drives more organic traffic to your site and encourages users to explore further within the subcategories.
Internal Linking: Parent categories facilitate effective internal linking throughout your website. By linking from parent category pages to relevant subcategories and vice versa, you establish a robust internal linking structure. Internal links assist search engines in discovering and crawling your pages more efficiently, distributing link authority, and improving the visibility of important pages. Additionally, internal linking enhances the user experience by providing seamless navigation between different levels of categories and encouraging users to explore related products.
Breadcrumb Navigation: Breadcrumb navigation is a helpful feature that displays the hierarchical path of categories and subcategories visited by users. It typically appears near the top of a webpage and provides clickable links to navigate back to higher-level categories. Parent categories play a crucial role in breadcrumb navigation by serving as the starting point and offering context to users as they navigate through different levels of the hierarchy. Breadcrumbs improve user experience, aid in website navigation, and help search engines understand the relationships between categories and pages.
Scalability and Flexibility: A well-structured hierarchy with parent categories allows for scalability and future expansion of your product offerings. As your eCommerce business grows and introduces new products, parent categories can accommodate additional subcategories, ensuring a consistent and organized structure. This scalability makes it easier to maintain and update your website over time without compromising the overall hierarchy.
Build a Sitemap for Category Pages
One of the main benefits of a sitemap is that it helps search engines discover and index your category pages more easily. By providing a list of all the URLs on your website, a sitemap helps search engines understand the structure and organization of your site, which can improve the visibility of your category pages in search results. Additionally, sitemaps can also include information about when a page was last modified and how important it is in relation to other pages on the site. This information can help search engines understand when they should re-crawl a page, which can also improve the visibility of your category pages in search results.
Another important benefit of a sitemap is that it can help improve the organization and navigation of your website. By providing a clear and comprehensive list of all the pages on your site, a sitemap makes it easier for users and search engines alike to find and access the content they are looking for. This can help improve the user experience of your website and ultimately drive more traffic to your category pages.
Sitemaps can also include images and videos, that way search engines can understand the multimedia content your site have, and this can also improve the visibility of your website in image and video search.
It’s worth noting that some eCommerce platforms have built-in functionality for generating sitemaps, so it may be as simple as a button press to create one for your website. Some examples of this are WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and more.
To implement rich snippets on an eCommerce website, you can use the schema.org vocabulary, which is a set of tags that can be added to your HTML code to provide structured data about your products. You can add schema tags for things like product names, images, prices, and reviews, as well as information about your brand, organization, and web page.
You can also use Google’s structured data testing tool to make sure that your rich snippets are implemented correctly and test them before implementing them to your live website.
It’s worth noting that implementing rich snippets on your website is just one part of improving your website’s visibility in search engines. You should also make sure your website is optimised for SEO and that the quality of the content on your website is high. Also, you should monitor your website’s performance using analytics tools and keep track of your website’s search engine ranking, so you can make changes as necessary to improve your visibility over time.
optimising your eCommerce category pages for SEO is crucial for the success of your online store. By following the expert tips and strategies shared in this post, you can improve the visibility and user experience of your category pages, driving more traffic and increasing conversions. Remember to focus on crafting compelling headings and page titles, using keywords and structured data, and regularly reviewing and updating your category pages to stay ahead of the competition. By making SEO a priority for your category pages, you can take your eCommerce store to new heights and reach more customers than ever before.
Thank you for reading our blog post on enhancing your eCommerce category pages using SEO! We hope you found the tips and strategies we shared to be helpful and informative. If you’re looking for more guidance or support with optimising your eCommerce website for search engines, as an eCommerce SEO Agency we offer a range of SEO Management Services from WooCommerce SEO to Shopify SEO. Our team of experts can help you create and implement a customised SEO strategy that fits your business needs and goals. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today. We look forward to working with you!