Many e-commerce websites squander the opportunity to optimize category pages for organic traffic. With the right approach, these pages can drive traffic for generic keywords that your customers search in the early stages of the buying process.
- Wedding gifts
- Women’s jackets
- Black high heels
While these keywords don’t convert as well as more specific “buyer intent” keywords – such as white linen bath towels and black pointed toe pumps – they can still drive significant traffic.
Why It’s Important to Optimize Category Pages
Depending on your industry and niche, there’s a good chance you’ll run into trouble ranking your product pages in the search engines. Here’s why: competition can be fierce for bottom-of-the-funnel purchase intent keywords that drive traffic to product pages.
If your site features products that are available elsewhere on the web, you will have even more competition.
This is why optimizing category pages for SEO is so important.
What’s the Key to Success?
The key to maximizing organic traffic for category pages is to make them useful — i.e. more than just a list of products.
Making your category pages for helpful will improve their performance on several metrics that Google’s algorithm monitors:
- Click-through-rate (CTR) in the search results
- Bounce rate
- Authority from backlinks
To get started, think about the mindset of visitors landing on category pages. For example, a visitor who searched for “cheese knives” has different intentions than someone searching for “groomsman gifts.”
On category pages, answer questions your customers usually ask and think about what could say to educate them about their purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at an example from the travel industry. When you visit the HomeToGo webpage for rentals in Hollywood, Florida, here’s what you’ll see (as you scroll past the rental listings):
This page satisfies visitors with:
- Valuable content for early stage buyers
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) to draw visitors deeper into the site
- Appealing design that highlights the most useful content
- Internal links to useful related content
Anyone searching for information about vacation rentals in Hollywood, FL will find this page useful. While property listings are present, the content goes much deeper than that.
This page ranks well in the search engines – beating the likes of Expedia and Airbnb at last check – because Google takes note of its high click through rate in the search results and low bounce rate.
Your e-commerce website can probably do a better job optimizing category/collection pages for search. When you combine useful information with compelling design, you retain more visitors and get better search rankings.
Tip: First, keep the customer in mind. Then, using effective design, provide more relevant and useful information that is satisfying to your visitors.
How could you improve your category and collection pages? Do you have any advice to add? Contact us to chat!