Category pages are one of the most exciting opportunities for ecommerce sites to engage in search engine optimization (SEO). After all, there’s so much to love about having a page totally devoted to one category of the merchandise you sell:
- It gives you crazy-wonderful internal linking to all your products.
- You can offer search capabilities for visitors so they can quickly find what they want.
- You can highlight some of your best-selling merchandise.
- You can add another webpage to your ecommerce site.
- You can use your high-quality product photos another time.
If you have category pages on your ecommerce site or are just starting to pull together category pages, keep the following SEO tips and tricks in mind:
- Load up on the Keyword-Rich Content
Category pages are the perfect location for keyword-rich content. Don’t limit yourself to just a few words, either. Because you’re displaying an entire product type, you can go into as much depth as you want.
From an SEO perspective, it’s not unusual to see category pages with word counts of 800+. This grabs the attention of search engine crawlers and helps them index your pages. At the same time, it allows your visitors to read about the products you sell within a certain category.
Not sure how many keywords to use in your keyword-rich content? Keep it fairly streamlined, and aim for a low percentage of keyword optimization. Mention keywords once every 50 to 100 words, and never stuff them into sentences. Overall, you want your category page content to be readable and interesting.
- Add Some Videos for a New Perspective
Because there is no one way to organize a category page, you can always add something unexpected, like a video. For instance, if your category page is about organic dog food, you might want to include a short video explaining the process of making the organic dog food you offer. If you purchase the organic dog food elsewhere and aren’t sure of the manufacturing process, you could offer a different perspective in your video, such as how it worked for a satisfied pet owner customer.
Videos don’t have to be professionally produced to be intriguing. In fact, some of the most memorable are taken on handheld devices like smart phones and tablets. The goal is to be genuine and confident. Also, make sure they load quickly and include SEO-friendly descriptions and off-page tags.
- Add Testimonials and Reviews From Customers
A category page can also showcase testimonials and reviews from your customers. Alternatively, you can pull reviews from product pages and show them at random intervals. This gives shoppers an opportunity to see what other people think about the items they’ve purchased from your store.
Many people like to buy items that receive high ratings from other shoppers, so always opt to have organic reviews under the product images on your category pages.
- Offer a “Quick Look” at Your Merchandise
Shoppers won’t have to keep going from page to page if you offer them a “Quick Look” view at the merchandise on your category page. You’ve probably seen a Quick Look before: A larger image and description of the product pops up in a window that is smaller than the page, and you can close it easily.
The description in your Quick Look should be more concise than you would include on a typical product page, but still keyword-optimized. Try not to duplicate copy from the product page. Rearrange words and phrases so it’s completely fresh.
- Provide Tabbed Navigation at the Bottom of the Page
If you have things to say on your category pages that lend themselves to tabbed navigation bars, by all means try this way of organizing on-page content. Tabbed navigation bars are good for category specifications — if all the products are basically the same — Q&As, and even reviews.
This might not give you a huge SEO boost right away. However, when it’s done well, it definitely adds meat and visual interest to your category page.
Last Thoughts: Be Innovative and Bold
Always thought category pages were a little dull? It’s time to rethink your perspective. By being innovative, you can maximize your SEO returns through well-written, properly-designed, and information-relevant ecommerce category pages.