Semalt Advice On How To Optimize Category Page For E-Commerce With An Informational Copy

Online shopping is quickly catching on as the norm of the day. As an e-commerce business, you should be focused on finding new ways to make visitors' shopping experience on your website more delightful. Luckily, we have just the right tools to help you with that. Semalt has just discovered the secret to having an optimized category page and how it improves user experience. 

Recently, we've noticed a search engine trend, especially in Google, that tends to focus more on user experience. Now we have many articles describing and mentioning user experience. However, we find an organized category page to be of particular interest. 

Here is why

What Is A Category Page?

Category pages primarily serve the fundamental purpose of dividing the goods available in an e-commerce site into more specific subsections so shoppers can quickly find products of interest. 

Imagine walking into a shopping mall, and there is no particular order in which items are arranged. There aren't any isles or sections to help make your shopping hassle-free. Without a particular order of things, you could end up spending hours looking for a pack of milk. However, with a mall that has been properly categorized, all you need to do is go to the produce aisle, and you will find milk. 

However, the category page on the website serves a higher function. They can serve as one way to attract users from SERP directly to your shopping pages. This may seem like a clear way to getting more traffic to your site, but it isn't as easy as it sounds. And yes, you hear that about a lot of things concerning SEO. Some are true others aren't. That is why we will be explaining the process so you know if you would prefer that we help you if you try it out yourself. Either way, this article is designed to help YOU.

The process of categorizing e-commerce pages on a website may involve creating unique layouts and hybrid copy that merges the functions of commercial and informational webpages. In this post, we will be showing you how we optimize category pages to boost the SEO of our clients. 

How E-Commerce Category Pages Can Have Competing Objectives

E-commerce retailers create category pages to improve the overall shopping experience of their customers. Just like your regular stores, they classify and categorize products with their landing pages and sub-filters. 

Having your products categorized makes it easier for visitors to explore the website in an intuitive way and quickly locate the type of products they want to browse. 

When we begin to consider the visual design of these categories, they tend to have simple and highly structured layouts. It is common to see category pages that feature images of individual products that are linked to the product page organized in grids.
This is a trend that is common across several e-commerce websites. They create a landing page with few words as the markdown promotion, navigational links, search filters, and a brief description of the product featured in the images. Apart from that, they let the product images speak for themselves. It is always important that we maintain a simplistic page design so users can shop for relevant products without distraction. 

Once a visitor arrives on the landing page, it becomes easier to scroll through the product options to find exactly what they are searching for.

One question we get quite too often is how we can employ this strategy to increase sales for a specific product and not the entire brand at large? How can we attract customers directly to a specific category from SERP? Many have tried adding keyword-optimized texts to improve their on-page SEO and page rank. However, these don't seem to work as effectively as many would assume. In fact, this could be bad for the website. That is because having too many texts on a page can distract users from the core product images. This takes away the simplicity that is expected to feature on these pages and damages the page layout. 

When optimizing category pages, SEO pros adhere to two oppositional UX and SEO approaches. They are: 
  • Have enough texts so you can effectively target keywords. 
  • Use as few words as possible to maintain a simple and image focused design. 
Obviously, the best approach becomes striking a balance between these two approaches. And this is where many fail to perfume. It is extremely difficult to marry these two approaches equitably. 

Should I Optimize My Category Pages Or Not

At this point, this should be a question some readers are asking themselves. What matters the most in answering this question is your strategy. For effective category page optimization, you need a creative and informed strategy. 

One question we ask ourselves here at Semalt is, "what factors currently help category pages rank for selected keywords?" providing answers to this question sets us on the right path to success. 

Google has offered a little insight into this matter. From Google's Webmasters Guidelines resources, we learn almost nothing on this topic. That is because it doesn't include information directly addressing category page ranking, leaving SEO professionals out in the cold. 

This lack of direction is one of the main reasons why optimization efforts for category pages by non-professionals, as well as inexperienced professions, may lead pages astray and end up damaging these important pages. 

For example, when exactly does Google stop classifying a page as "thin" and evaluates it as a simple page. Questions like these are why some websites opt to noindex category pages rather than building them for optimization. 

But does this mean the end of category pages?

John Muller, in September 2019, shed some light on this topic. During a webmaster Hangout, he slightly gave some knowledge on a question that sought to seek insight on how category pages are ranked. 

Sources gather that muller offered the following advice on how Google perceives category pages: 
  • Optimize internal linking to category pages. 
  • Avoid keyword stuffing on category pages. 
  • Build external links to category pages. 
  • Make it easier for users to navigate to the category pages from product pages.
However, these answers only scratched the surface to provide actionable intel. That is because we had already established all the guidelines he provided. 

Even after his answer, SEO pros gained little or no new knowledge on how to optimize a category page for high ranking that will simulate both excellent UX and SEO objectives. 

Selecting The Right Keywords For Your E-Commerce Category Pages

As with many other pages, SEO optimization begins with identifying the right keywords. We develop the right keywords by following the standard keyword research procedures, evaluating search volumes, and ranking difficulty. 

To identify the most impactful keywords for a category page, we depreciate the different classes of keywords based on search intent. Here are some of the Keyword categories we use: 
  • Commercial and transactional keywords
  • Informational keywords 
  • Navigational keywords 
With this, we can select keywords for visitors with strong purchasing intent and broad terms that fall into the informational keywords category. Since category pages are designed primarily for customers who already know what they want and are serious about purchasing, we need to get it right. 

Optimizing E-Commerce Category Page Copy

After identifying and targeting a keyword, we can begin writing copy for the category page. But as we've established, it is important that while writing for the category page, we maintain a functional layout and ensure that the text doesn't too much space and clutter the design of the page. We are also mindful of Keyword stuffing, as pointed out by Mueller. 

Since category pages are favored for their simplicity and organization, we ensure they are made that way. We also use rich, clear, and attractive images to show off the individual products.

Here are a few tips on how we balance simplicity with just enough text so that the category page isn't considered thin: 

Adding texts in small snippets 

Ranking for the right keywords without allowing too many texts to show to the reader can be tricky. To get around this, we make use of every text asset at our disposal. Fortunately, we have devised ways to add a substantial amount of texts on the category page without making it look lumpy. We include short commercial texts all through the page by: 
  • Including a description category. 
  • Using headings and subheadings with keywords. 
  • Using links to direct readers to informational pages for more contents.
  • Providing sufficient information on product descriptions.
With the strategy above, we can add optimized texts to a page without damaging the simplicity and user experience of the page. 


Semalt is dedicated to ensuring your website brings meets and beats your ROI expectations. However, we wouldn't be able to help if you don't let us. All through our website, we mention several ways we help websites become better. Our clients are constantly growing, and that is proof of our effectiveness. 

Having a category page that is both simple and optimized is one of the easiest ways to generate sales on your website. The problem here is that it is easier to do more harm than good, especially in the wrong hands. 

At Semalt, you will find that every hand that contributes to making your website better has been fine-tuned by years of experience and knowledge. Get in touch today.