Home Education 07 Ways to Improve E-commerce Category Pages for SEO

07 Ways to Improve E-commerce Category Pages for SEO

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If you’ve been doing SEO for a while, you’ll understand what I mean when I say category pages are a common area SEO and UX experts disagree on.

And this is for one key reason: SEOs tend to want to add more content and links, and UX experts want to prioritize clicks to products.

However, there is a middle ground where we can retain the commercial nature of categories and include content to help users make their purchase decision.

Throughout this guide, I’ll show how to improve your e-commerce category pages for SEO while ensuring the user remains at the core of your decisions.

1 – Optimize your Category URLS

Category SEO starts by  optimizing the URLs. As explained in the e-commerce site structure  article, your category URLS should describe exactly what the page is all about without additional characters or unnecessary information.

For example, if you have a category for men’s shoes your URL should be: https://example.com/mens-shoes

Keep your URLS clean, short and to the point and make sure that the user can tell from the URL alone what the category is all about.

Category URL optimization for WooCommerce

If you are using WordPress and Woocommerce as your ecommerce CMS, it is mandatory to have a category slug. The default slug is product-category.

You can either use it as is or you can change it provided that all your products can be grouped together.

For example, if you are selling ebooks, the default URL for the SEO category would be:

http://www.example.com/product-category/SEO but since all the products you are selling are ebooks, you can change the product category slug to ebooks and your URL will become

http://www.example.com/ebooks/SEO which is better.

Note: You can find these settings in Settings -> Permalinks.

2 – Optimize your Category titles

The category title is a great opportunity to give Google strong signals about the page and its contents.

When crafting your titles, take into account the following:

  • The outcome from your keywords research. Knowing which keywords people use in their search queries will help you come up with highly optimized titles.
  • Start your titles with keywords and then add your brand name.

For example, do this:

Women’s Shoes: Boots, Heels, Sneakers & More | mybrand.com

instead of this:

mybrand.com | Women’s Shoes: Boots, Heels, Sneakers & More

  • Use specific characteristics of the category products in the title. For example, if you have a category page with green athletic shoes, make sure that this is reflected in the title as welle. “Green Athletic Shoes – Discounts available for bulk purchases”.

3 – Optimize your Category META description

The description of a category page does not have a direct impact on the on page SEO  of the page but it does have an important role to play for getting a higher Click Through Rate (CTR), once you manage to achieve first page rankings for that page.

What you write in the meta description field may be shown in the search results.

If you don’t provide for a unique quality description for every category page, your snippet may look like the example below i.e. text that does not make sense.

This is not good for your brand and certainly it does not encourage people to click it.

In your category descriptions try to summarize your products and offerings. If you offer free shipping, free returns etc. say so in the description to encourage users to click on your entry.

Here is a better example than Zappos. If you were searching to buy mens shoes and saw these two entries, which one would you prefer?

4 – Category H1 tag

Your category pages should be optimized the same way as other pages or posts of your website and this includes optimizing the H1 tag and content of the page.The category page should have only one H1 tag and this should be on top of the page. It can be the same as the TITLE of the page or different, but it should still contain your target keywords.Below the H1 tag you can also add a few lines of content to give both users and search engine crawlers a good clue on what the page is all about.If you want you can display the same content as the meta description.Here is a very nice example:

5 – Category Text Content

When it comes to content, a lot of webmasters find it difficult to add text content to an ecommerce category page because it can break up the design of the page and draw the attention away from the most important elements of the page i.e. the products.A good way to overcome this problem is to have a few lines of content below the H1 tag and then add some related text content at the bottom of the page.text content on category pages Text Content on Category Pages As you can see in the example above, at the bottom of the category page they added a couple of paragraphs of optimized content and internal links to product sub-categories, which is great for SEO.

6 – Conversion Optimization

Elements Don’t forget that a category page is also a landing page and it can be the first page users will see visiting from search engines, Facebook or AdWords.This means that is should also include all those elements that are necessary to convince, encourage and keep users to your store so that they can eventually convert.Everything that we discussed about ecommerce homepage SEO, are also applicable for category pages.

7 – Visual Components and Other Usability Elements

Besides displaying the right content, a properly optimized category page should also include images and other elements to help users find what they want in the least possible number of clicks.

Images

Images are important and necessary for any ecommerce website. If you are selling physical products, images are the medium for potential customers to get to know your products.

Use only high quality optimized images – bad quality images can cost you customers.

Optimize your images for size and SEO – There are several ways to optimize the file size of the image  without losing quality. For all images don’t forget to set the ALT text correctly and also to use filenames that make sense.

Image size does matter – A recent study by conversionxl, tested different image sizes for different types of products and they concluded that larger images for experience Good made the products perceived as less valuable, while for search goods they perception by users was that they are more valuable.

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