Four SEO Tips for eCommerce Category Pages

Even the best shoppers don’t always know exactly where to find their desired products. It’s the reason grocery stores hang big signs over their aisles, you may be searching for baking powder, a dozen eggs or bottle of canola oil, but these are likely shelved in different sections of the store which will require you to navigate about. Labeled store categories mean the shopper can happily navigate through your store – meanwhile, your carefully merchandised shelves can assist the shopper in finding that extra bag of flour, sugar, icing and other ingredients they didn’t originally come for.

Similarly, online stores need to properly label and optimize their category pages to enhance usability and user experience, as well as maximize your online merchandising efforts. Category page optimizations don’t stop at conversion optimization – they also tie into your search engine optimization efforts.

Shoppers are searchers, especially new shoppers. If Searcher A needs running shoes but has never heard of your sporting goods store, chances are they aren’t searching for your store’s name. They’re searching for “running shoes,” of some variation. This means your category pages needs to be optimized if you want Searcher A’s business.

Below are four tips for you on your quest to optimize your store’s category pages:

1. Unique Content

Four SEO Tips for eCommerce Category Pages

Each category should contain unique text/images to serve as descriptions for what you’re trying to sell. On top of that, this content should be laden with keyword focused text link/anchor text and image alt text. Many storeowners tend to neglect this feature, unaware of its SEO value. But of those who do choose to utilize this feature, it tends to be done wrong. Many companies use template and boilerplate text for their category descriptions. This carries two negatives: a) Your content is boring, drone and unoriginal; and b) Google will penalize your rankings for duplicate content. Make sure your content is unique, descriptive and engaging from page to page.

 

2. Link to Products and Other Categories

Sticking on the topic of category descriptions, make sure you’re utilizing this area for good, relevant internal linking. By linking to products as well as related categories, you’re promoting cross-sells while simultaneously targeting long-tail and short-tail keywords. By linking to products, you’re able to utilize long-tail keywords for specific shoppers while linking to related categories. This will help you target brand-loyal or new shoppers. For example, some searchers will know for a fact they want “Nike Lunarfly +3 Men’s Running Shoes” while others will just know they like “Nike Running Apparel.”

 

 3. Consistent Page Titles

Four SEO Tips for eCommerce Category Pages

Your store should be easily navigated by searchers, shoppers and crawlers alike. Appropriate HTML pages titles with a solid keyword focus are instrumental to SEO for all web sites. But having consistent formatting for your online store’s page titles is critical to all (human and bots) who navigate through the pages of your eCommerce website design. Generally, your category page keywords should go from specific keywords to broader keywords and finally end with your store’s name/brand. i.e. {Specific Category} | {Broad Category} | {Branded Keywords}.

 

4. Engaging Meta Descriptions

Once again, this tip serves two purposes. Keyword focused meta descriptions are crawled and displayed in Google search results. But just as importantly, meta descriptions are your first attempt at converting potential shoppers. These precious 170 characters displayed under your page title in SERPs are the closest things your site has to a sales pitch. Similar to on-page category descriptions, these meta descriptions MUST be unique as well as engaging, or else you can be penalized for duplicate content.

Remember, your category pages are a major part of your online store’s navigation, as well as SEO. If you’re ready to optimize your site’s search engine rankings and overall shopper experience, Groove is ready, willing and especially able to maximize your site’s eCommerce search engine optimization as well as conversion rate.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

We value your privacy

Simon Habtemariam

Simon Habtemariam

Simon joined the Groove team in 2011 as an Online Strategist. The Towson University alum specializes in search engine optimization and content creation. In his free time, Simon blogs for several sports and entertainment publications. Using social media and SEO practices to promote his work, Simon brings extensive experience in leveraging content to develop effective marketing strategies for Groove’s clients.

Got Comments?