How to Optimize Product Category Pages
What we see commonly today is that e-commerce store owners most times spend time and money optimizing the homepage and other pages but forget the category pages or just do minimal work there.
Yes, while the home page is very important to an ecommerce store the category page must be given proper attention to ensure conversions. A well optimized product page means more sales and profits.
What is a Product Category Page?
Product category pages are individual website pages that structure website taxonomy. The category or sub category pages are used to classify products by grouping them together in one place.
The category page is also like a landing page, most times it is the page that users land on when visiting from search engines, Facebook or AdWord. With this understanding it means you need to include some vital elements on the category page so that when visitors land on the page they will be attracted to buy.
Why are Ecommerce Category Pages Important?
Product category pages can become high authority pages on an ecommerce store if well optimized. Besides the homepage, the second most important pages of the site are the category pages. So adequate attention must be given to it to maximize it full conversion potential.
Do you know you can gain higher rankings in search engine with a well optimized category page?
Category pages helps in improving store navigation, usability and internal search mechanisms. The result of a well optimized category pages is an enhanced shopping experience for your customers.
Category pages facilitate visitors’ access to the product they are looking for and it also secures the SEO of theses items. A well SEO optimized category page will attract lots of free targeted traffic from search engines.
The Performance of Your Category Pages
These are 4 metrics to monitor on your category page to measure its performance.
This is simply how much products you are selling. Look at the total number of unique visits on your store and the number of products sold.
How much time is spent on the category pages and the store generally? This will help you know how much engagement your prospects are having on your store. More time on the store means more engagement. The more they engage with the store the more likely they will buy.
You need to know if customers who land on your category page click through to the product pages.
Average Revenue Per Visitor
This is the metric you should pay more attention to and work hard to optimize. The other metrics might go up or down, but as long as revenue goes up it’s a win. Look at it this way, a low conversion rate is not bad if revenues are higher. It simply means the category pages lead visitor to higher priced items.
Categorizing Product Pages
Keyword research plays a vital role when it comes to how your e-store products should be categorized. Find out the specific language searchers are using to find the products you have in your store. The goal here is to create a navigation through your store that suits perfectly your prospects way of thinking about things you sell rather than your own.
When developing your webstore product categorization structure, I suggest getting out the post-it notes and maybe a wall or board to stick them on.
Each of the post-it will represent a specific product category. Create as many options as you think would fit in, based on the keyword research you did , after which you organize them into primary groups and sub-groups. This will make your work easier and less stressful. It will also prevent unnecessary mistakes that may cause you time and money.
I said earlier that a category page is also a landing page. So the product category page should be a landing page that is well optimized for targeted keyword searches. This will position your e-commerce store for free search engine traffic.
To properly optimize these category (landing pages), you have to know what you want each page to accomplish. For your product category pages, the key aim should be to provide relevant content to the visitor that fulfills the intent of their search. The copy on the page should be persuasive, compelling and also informative. It should satisfy the prospect enough to make him click to the next level sub-category or a product page.
The top-tier product categories should be the websore’s main navigation options. Don’t hide these under a navigation option. It should be prominent enough for your customers to see it quickly and easily. You can see some sample products category pages you can study here.
Optimizing your Product Category Page
Here are vital optimization tips to help you position your e-store for great sales and profits.
Optimize your Category META Description
The key purpose of the category meta description of a category page is for getting a higher Click Through Rate (CTR). It does not directly influence your search ranking. What it really does is that once you ranking a category page what you write in the meta description field is what will be shown in the search results. That description is what will compel people to click and get to your store.
Optimize your Category Titles
The category title is ver vital. It is what gives Google and other search engines strong signals about the page and its contents. When crafting your titles, the following is what you must not miss out:
- Do keyword research and keep a list of good keywords related to your store niche.
- Use this keywords in category titles.
- Keywords should be at the beginning of the title.
Optimize your Category URLS
The URL of all your category page should be properly optimized. The category URL should describe exactly what the page is about. Do not include unnecessary characters or information.
See example, if you have a category for pressure pots your URL should be: https://example.com/pressure-pots. Always Keep the URLS clean, short and straight to the point. Do it in a way that the user can tell from the URL alone what the category is all about without anyone explaining.
Category Text Copy
This is where most store owners miss it and its one of the most important areas to ensure you optimize. Good copy on your category page is what will inform and inspire your prospects to remain on your store, engage and buy products and even return.
Set the Canonical URL Correctly
In a case your product category pages extends to more than one page or when
filters are used on the category page, you will need to set the canonical URL. Setting the canonical URL ensures all back links are attributed to the main category page. This is done to avoid duplicate content issues and been penalized by Google.
Its important to optimize your product category pages and this also helps in one of the most common SEO issues for an ecommerce site ie. thin content issue.
There is fierce competition in business today. No matter the niche you’re in, the competition is high but with the right information, skills and commitment you can still grow and make good sales and profits.