A category page means a lot to a store as far as SEO is concerned, but it is also the least optimized. What eCommerce entrepreneurs would usually build a category for a product and then just leave it like that. They typically focus on product page SEO.
If your category pages appear on search, you will get more traffic. But how do you do SEO for these pages? After reading this, I will show you several ways today, and I need you to implement several of them.
1. Work on your metadata
Metadata refers to the text in your page title and meta description. The title tag is one of the most critical aspects of the page, as it will be part of the URL. In addition, it is one of the things that search engines like Google index.
On the other hand, the meta description is what people see below the search results. For example, take a look a the screenshot below—the text inside the red box is the meta description.
I typed “Louis Vuitton bags for men” in this example as the keyword. If you have observed, the website of Louis Vuitton used several of the words in my search phrases such as Men’s, Bags, and Louis Vuitton.
As a user or searcher, I will certainly click on the link and then find myself on the category page of this product.
If you also look at the headline or meta title, it says “All Bags Collection for Men | Louis Vuitton.” It is an excellent example of how the web developers of this company used category page SEO to put their category page at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs).
2. Create relevant headings
Headings are different from the meta-title. Headings are labels of a section, and you use H1, H2, H3, etc., as your text standard. These are also called sub-headings.
Headings help search engines understand what the content of a particular section is about. And if you use suitable headings, you will also help search engines index your category page better.
Below is a screenshot of another top-ranking category page for SEO bags.
The headline here is Men’s Louis Vuitton Bags. Obviously, this is something that you want search engines to index. If a user types any keyword relevant to this headline, the search engines would know and show this in the SERPs.
Because of the headline, the Lyst website’s page for this keyword ranks second on the category page. It is second in authority, subsequent only to Louis Vuitton itself.
You can do the same with your website—use keywords in your headlines. But before you do, you have to look for keywords with high search volume and make sure that these keywords are relevant to the searcher’s intent. You can use tools and metrics like KEI to find these keywords.
Relevance means it has to match or be related to the searcher’s intent. In our particular example, you cannot just use “bags.” Also, “men’s bags” is not enough. It would help if you used the entire keyword “Louis Vuitton Men’s Bags.”
3. Use body copy
One common mistake that many entrepreneurs make on the category page is the absence of words. They usually put images of the products in a category or pictures for sub-categories. This method is okay, but there must be words on the page.
An approach like this is flawed because search engines cannot read pictures. They read words. As such, it is always a best practice to use text in specific sections of your product category—descriptive ones that Google can understand.
So, how do you do this? Well, you can make the category page look like a landing page. If you see the category page of Samsung A52s below, you will know that they use many words to describe the phone series.
You can apply the same tactic with your category pages. Create a headline banner and add texts here and there. If you do not know how to do this, you can always hire a copywriter to do it for you.
4. Show featured content
The last approach that I recommend is to use featured content. Examples of these are loyalty programs, discounts, and unique items.
What you want to do is to use these as SEO opportunities to rank in the search result pages of Google. Your goal is to make search engines understand that you have something to offer customers.
Your feature descriptions must be coded as text, not images. Again, Google does not read images; they read words. Like your meta-description, the text for your featured content must be rich with keywords.
Featured content is not just about promotions. You can also use it as a mini-blog where you educate your consumers.
Another possibility is this: add images of sub-categories within that category page. For example, if the category page is about men’s bags, you can create sub-categories like sling bags, backpacks, hiking bags, etc.
For each sub-category, you add words that describe what they are. Search engines will capture these words and then index them.
Take note that meta-descriptions do not really matter in SEO ranking. However, it does have an indirect impact. They increase your CTR. If Google uses any of these words as snippets in the search results, the user is more likely to click your URL if the meta-description matches the search intent.
As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you want people to know that you have a lot to offer. You want your category page to appear on search engines to give consumers more options. It can only happen if you do SEO properly for these pages.
The default category pages of eCommerce platforms do not pay attention to SEO, but they allow you to work on it. You can add sections, meta descriptions, and even change the URL. In the end, you can drive traffic to these pages if you only spend some time working on them.
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