Any seasoned online store owner knows the importance of SEO for their store; countless handbooks, guides and courses have been hammering that in for years. Focus on SEO = grow your business.
Chances are, your eCommerce site has a pretty good SEO score overall: you’ve got that alt text, that meta description and that title length on point and ready to bring in your dream user.
But there is something you are probably not focusing on as much: category pages.
Category pages are Google’s top choice for retail keywords throughout all levels of search intent. (Source)
In other words, Google will prioritise category pages in their SERPs, regardless of which stage of the buyer’s journey they are on.
Whether they’re looking for information (awareness stage), for product comparisons (consideration stage) or for something to buy (decision stage)… they will see category pages.
So how do you create the best category page?
For this recipe, you will need 2 main ingredients:
- Great content optimised for SEO;
- Trendy (but not overloaded) keywords
Let’s break it down.
1. Great content for your category page
Category pages are an entryway to your online store, and you should follow the main ‘rules’ of SEO in order to make them great. Here are a few:
a. Pick one keyword
You will use it in every section you have:
- your page title
- your H1 title
- your meta description
- your images’ alt text
- your product description
b. Don’t forget about related keywords
They’ll indicate to both Google and users that your page is definitely relevant to the main keyword.
Say you create a category page around the term “safety trainers”. In your description, you can use terms like “comfortable shoes for work”, “shoes for nurses”, “closed toe work shoes”… and so on.
c. Don’t overdo it
There is a special place in hell (and at the very bottom of Google’s SERPs) for keyword stuffers. Remember: your page should read like it was written for humans. Don’t be annoying.
As a rule of thumb: if your shoppers like reading it, Google will like it too.
Speaking of keywords…
2. Trendy (but realistic) keywords
Picking the right keyword is both an art and a science. You need to balance:
- demand (how many users search for that term per month) with
- competition (how hard it would be to rank among the first results)
Say you sell lots of dresses. (And if you do, I recommend you visit this to find the top eCommerce dress trends).
Unless you work for Amazon, there is little point in trying to rank organically for a keyword like “black dress”. You’d be competing against the Zalando’s and H&M’s of the world (not to mention most other smaller retailers) and your efforts would likely lead to poor conversion rates. 😒
So what if you focused your efforts on another, related search?
The search term “flowy dresses”, for example, has a demand of 1,900 and a competition of only 78. (Further explanations here).
You are much better off focusing your efforts on this keyword, for which there is significant demand and much less competition.
Now that you’ve got the keyword, it’s time to build a category page around that term.
A (key)word of caution
When choosing a keyword for your next category page, make sure it is definitely relevant to your catalogue. Why?
- Users aren’t stupid. As soon as they see that your offer doesn’t match up to their expectations, they’ll bounce.
- Google isn’t stupid either. As soon as it figures out that your offer isn’t relevant to the keyword you chose, they’ll bump you down on the SERPs.
It is basically eCommerce suicide. So don’t — even when you see those big juicy demand numbers taunting you.
How do I find the best keywords for my store?
The process of creating a great category page is long, tedious and daunting. Having to perform keyword research, refine the results to match your niche, determine which keywords have a reasonable demand/competition ratio and finally create content for each category page… that is an epic adventure.
But fear not. There’s an app for that. 😏
We have built a tool to help you automate your keyword research, find the best keywords tailored to your catalogue, and create matching category pages easily. Get in touch to talk about our Enterprise plan.
If you have a Shopify store, great! Our SEO Keyword Finder app is ready for you.
If you’re super curious about Similar.ai’s integrations, find out more here.
PS: If you’d like to receive a personalised SEO audit of your online store, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to help you out.