A category page is an essential part of every website – it clusters individual webpages together if they have the same theme or subject. Cluster pages tend to target keywords used by consumers when searching for similar products and services.
It can be difficult at times to optimise category pages for organic search rankings since, by default, the category templates on e-commerce platforms hold much less text in comparison to other pages. However, it serves as the primary source of all the organic traffic that your website receives – so it should be optimised. Here are six ways to improve rankings on highly competitive keywords:
1. Title and Metadata Tags
The most fundamental form of content optimisation is that of title tags and meta descriptions. Alone, the title tag stands as the most significant on-page element. It appears in the SERPs in the form of a clickable headline for a certain result and sets your page’s keyword theme. Therefore, it is not only important for SEO; it also holds considerable value for improving usability and social sharing.
The meta description appears just underneath each headline in the SERPs. It offers a short, relevant summary of the contents of a certain page. Here are some points to keep in mind while optimising the title and meta tags:
- Keep the title tag to 60 characters and the meta description to 160
- Add focus keywords at the beginning of your title
- Make your meta description as fetching as possible to increase CTR
2. Make Headings Relevant
After the title and meta tags, we have six levels of heading tags defined by HTML; H1 to H6. These headings serve as signposts for both the readers and the search engines to enable them to discern easily what your page might be about. Optimising heading tags makes it a lot simpler for search engines to comprehend the background of the content of your webpage or just a section of it. The primary heading is H1 and it typically reinforces the title tag’s theme for the whole page. Even though Google has stated that you can use multiple H1s, that doesn’t mean that it’s good SEO practice. It’s best to stick to one H1. The subsequent headings, H2 and H3, help to highlight supporting themes. You should use your heading tags for the following purposes:
- To add structure to your webpage
- To break up the text
- As a keyword-rich source
3. Always Include Text
This is an important one to consider as a lot of brand advocates and designers vote against body copy. However, it can be of key value for organic search performance. It’s not necessary that the text dominates the page in this scenario – it can just be a short, catchy phrase to tie the whole page together.
You need to remember that the body content doesn’t need to comprise multiple paragraphs. Keep your focus on descriptive keywords that appear naturally in the text and be careful not to repeat them artificially.
Another important thing to note in the picture above is that you should use your category pages to advertise certain sale items, loyalty programs and hottest releases that you know your shopper would be interested in.
Lastly, make sure that a feature’s descriptions are not embedded in an image – instead, they should be coded as text. This particular text should be optimised to be descriptive, including plenty of keywords that occur naturally.
4. Highlight Category Navigation
Your navigation should also include optimised text as it affects the authority, relevance, and indexation of each page in organic searches. As such, you should include relevant words in the navigation and filters to improve your overall ranking. You must make sure that search engines can crawl through your faceted navigation – filtered navigation – before you optimise it, otherwise, your efforts will be rendered futile.
5. Avoid Using ‘Click Here’
Using terms like ‘Click Here’ or ‘Tap to Learn More’ does nothing to improve SEO as these are meaningless to search engines. You must try not to miss any opportunity to optimise your text and that especially goes for links. Basically, if you employ vague, irrelevant text in this case, you’re giving up on the strong chance to boost the relevance signal of the linking page as well as that of the destination. For example, instead of adding an ‘Explore’ button to provide more information about a product, you could just hyperlink its title.
6. Header and Footer Links
The header and footer sections of your website offer optimisation potential in much the same way that other content on the page does. However, if you include links to every single e-commerce subcategory in these sections, it wouldn’t just be off-putting for shoppers, it would also be over-optimised for search algorithms. You must use the header and footer links sensibly and add only the most valuable category and subcategory pages. Be sure to include pages based on the height of their business value, keyword research, as well as keyword mapping. For example, you could add links to special collections such as, ‘Women’s Christmas Outfits’ or ‘Summer Collection’. As a guide, keep in mind the following points for optimising the header and footer sections:
- The number of keyword links should not be more than the links for other purposes, for example, legal and contact pages
- You must never place long lists of links in text fields or below the footer
- Deliberate SEO keywords in the footer might get you penalised in light of the Penguin 2.0 update
All of this can prove to be too much work to handle without a professional at hand. There is no shortage of companies that offer their copywriting services to help businesses optimise their webpages. An established copywriting agency can be a valuable asset for your company with its highly skilled team of writers and proven expertise in providing content writing services.