The Category page groups individual product pages together based on a similar theme. Having well-structuredcategory pages is important for every eCommerce brand as it improves rankings for specific keywords and makes product exploration easier for consumers. This generates higher sales and better conversions as a result.
In this article, you’ll find a great list of Category Page best practices from category page designs to layout structures. Let’s skyrocket your eCommerce sales this year.
Table of Content
- What is a category page in eCommerce?
- Why is Category Page optimization crucial for any eCommerce business?
- 22 Category Page Best Practices for eCommerce
- CRO Best Practices
- UX Best Practices
- SEO Best Practices
- Mobile Best Practices
- 6 Really Beautiful Category Pages We Admire
- 1: Target
- 6: Ulta
- 5 common mistakes you should avoid in your Category Page
What is a category page in eCommerce?
A category page (or product listing page) is one of the most important assets of any eCommerce store. It’s the page where products are shown and it plays a significant role in conversions since it’s one of the strongest pages UX-wise, SEO-wise and thus, Sales-wise. The structure and the names of an e-shop’s categories are subject to numerous factors and are of crucial importance that’s why category page optimization is a must today for any eCommerce business
Why is Category Page optimization crucial for any eCommerce business?
Besides the website’s homepage, the category and subcategory pages on eCommerce sites can account for the majority of search traffic. We know that 39% of all web traffic comes from search traffic, compared to 35% from organic and 4% from paid ads. So, optimized category pages are and should be the most important asset of your eCommerce site.
22 Category Page Best Practices for eCommerce
Creating optimized category and subcategory pages for eCommerce is vital in order to match users’ searches. This not only makes the customer’s shopping journey smoother, but it also helps the search engines better crawl and understands your eCommerce site’s structure.
CRO Best Practices for Category Pages
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) refers to marketing optimization, website optimization, landing page optimization (LPO), growth hacking, optimization and testing, customer experience (CX), usability (UX) or marketing experimentation.
When implemented correctly, CRO increases the percentage of visitors to your website and converts them into buyers. CRO can also help lead customers to take a specific desired action on a webpage. Here are some CRO best practices for your category pages:
- Customer Reviews: This is super important both sales-wise and SEO-wise. Make sure you collect customer reviews and try to showcase them to your category pages. Actually, showcase them on every page of your store! Thank us later for this one. ?
- Use Browse Abandonment automation: You probably already have Abandoned cart automation to your eCommerce store. However, browse abandonment is also a big problem and not many eCommerce managers do something about it. Browse abandonment accounts for 97% of the lost visits within a customer life-cycle. Use a cutting edge eCommerce marketing automation platform like ContactPigeon to bring back visitors to your online store after they’ve left your website and convert them.
- Nail your search engine: Make sure your Search functionality has the autocomplete functionality and that it delivers relevant results.
- Speak your customer’s language: Use simple words for product descriptions. Remove any terminology that your supplier gives and rewrite them in an easily understandable way. Test your description against the Fletcher reading scale, and make sure that it can be read by a 9th grader.
- Try featuring 1 product per parent category: Don’t be fooled. More features do not equal more revenue. A simple sorting feature creates a better user journey.
UX Best Practicesfor Category Pages
Just like it applies for your homepage, the more seamless the UX, or user experience, the better. UX best practices impact how your user interactions with your business via your website, mobile site, and apps.
Below we’ve listed the top UX best practices to help you better understand your users’ needs and values.
- Try to use 7 parent categories max: Less is more. Don’t overwhelm shoppers. Be specific and clear with parent categories, using common terminology.
- Category images: For all parent categories, use large, high quality and contextually relevant imagery.
- Optimize your filters: Create or keep the most relevant, remove the rest. Make sure that 100% of your site it’s fully browsable only via faceted navigation
- Design best practices: Concentrate on user experience with website designs that are clear and simple. Know your audience and create a visual hierarchy, highlighting the most important elements by making them larger and placing them on the interface.
- Category landing page design: Brief and to the point is best for landing page design. Be sure to keep paragraphs under 3-4 lines, with descriptive subheads after every 2 paragraphs. This is because most people, 79%, only scan content, while a mere 16% actually read every word.
- ECommerce product listing page design: These pages are the result of either category pages or internal search results. It’s important to create informative and clear headers for users with short descriptions.
SEO Best Practices for Category Pages
Implementing SEO best practices when optimizing category pages is a simple way for you to drive conversions. Creating a hassle-free user experience has several components.
- Loading Speed: Speed is a super important ranking factor according to Google. Therefore it is important to optimize the page loading speed of your category page. A decent loading timeis around5 seconds.
- Site’s Hierarchy/Taxonomy: Follow the 3-clicks away rule here. This means your users should be able to find any information on your website with no more than three clicks. One way to optimize your website for the 3-clicks rule is by building an effective eCommerce product category hierarchy. Start with a set of broad main product categories. Add one or two levels of subcategories below. The lower the category, the more specific it is.
- Category Description: Write detailed long and optimized category descriptions using related keywords. Any known SEO tool can help you but you can also achieve great (and free!) results with google’s autocomplete functionality and tools like Ubersuggest.
- Internal linking: Try linking to a subcategory from the category description of a parent category. This may prove quite useful seasonal campaigns as you could boost them for a while.
- Optimize keywords: Pick the right keywords for the category. Also, given the competition of some keywords, try findinglong-tail alternatives that maximize the chance of being found by search engines.
Mobile Best Practicesfor Category Pages
Mobile UX optimization is a must when it comes tocategory page best practices in 2020.From legible text to reduced clutter, optimizing your website using mobile best practices will help you create an awesome UX, thus, boost your conversions. Here are some examples of mobile best practices you can’t overlook:
- Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs should be clearly visible.
- Brand Visibility: Make sure your company’s logo is visible.
- Watch your loading speed: Optimize your site loading speed on a mobile connection.
- Mobile optimized design: Make sure the category page loads properly. The layout should be adjusted so each page component fits mobile screens for easy viewing and navigation.
- Try infinite scrolling: Consider using a screen capturing tool like Hotjar to measure the impact vs the paginated version of your category page.
- Don’t repeat: Never use the same target keyword twice.
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6 Really Beautiful Category Pages We Admire
Here are 6 examples of beautiful category pages that nailed it.
Category Page example #1: Target
Why we liked it: Target.com uses a clean and clear design that promotes subcategories while exposing the product list.
Target’s category page has all of the components for UX/Mobile/SEO optimization. At the top of the page, you can see a traditional category page display such asFurniture, Toys or Electronics. It is easy to navigate links to subcategories.
At the bottom of the page, Target highlights individual product listings, encouraging fewer clicks by having products visually displayed. It also provides plenty of category filters to allow visitors to narrow down the products quickly
Category Page example #2:IKEA
Why we liked it: IKEA makes shopping easy by using subcategories to specify the users’ search before showing products on their intermediary category pages.
Tip: Intermediary category pages are used whenever further navigation or scope definition is needed before it makes sense to display a list of products to the user.
Ikea is a leader in UX category page design with subcategories to choose from to help the user select a more well-defined scope before displaying any products. Their site is beyond UX, SEO and Mobile optimized. This means a seamless shopper journey across all devices, thus, a high sales conversion rate.
Category Page example #3:H&M
Why we liked it: H&M effectively draws shoppers to their products by highlighting a “What’s New” category filter.
A category filter such as “What’s New” creates an awesome UX. That’s because it shows users the new products that have been added to your online store since their last visit to your site. The filter allows users to shop with a minimal number of clicks since they don’t need to visit multiple pages for new items.
Category Page example #4:Macy’s
Why we liked it: Macy’s website uses intermediary category pages and thumbnails for the featured sub-categories to help narrow down users’ searches.
Before shoppers get lost in Macy’s expansive online shop, the company helps users narrow down their selection to a more well-defined scope, using thumbnails for the featured sub-categories to highlight the differences between the sub-category options. Simplified shopping is key to an unforgettable UX.
Category Page example #5:RevZilla
Why we liked it: Revzilla makes buying the right helmet easy with their filters to sort and rank products according to several criteria.
Users can filter results according to what color, shape, gender, category, size and type of helmet they are looking for. Furthermore, RevZilla provides a unique filter option — visitors can opt to display products that have a “video review”.
Category Page example #6: Ulta Beauty
Why we liked it: Ulta creates high visibility for its header with fresh and relevant visuals that also promote their products.
Headers should be designed to be informative and helpful to your shoppers. Ulta does this and more. The brand also visually displays their featured products, breaking up mundane text headers with special offers and discounts. That is the ultimate UX!
5 Common mistakes you should avoid in your Category Page
- Very long descriptions
- Bad mobile UX
- Slow loading speed
- Avoid horizontal scrolling carousels, people are used to scrolling (infinitely) vertically, plus your phone’s screen is vertical, so we should all obey to its “laws” (think of Instagram, Snapchat and all major mobile apps)
- Using too many filters
Category page optimization requires a lot of dedication and time. Every eCommerce marketer needs to consistently and constantly be conducting A/B tests their shop category pages,implementing category page best practices to increase eCommerce sales.
Remember, tips and best practices can guide us in eCommerce optimization and A/B testing, but there are no hard and fast rules. What worked for someone else’s eCommerce store won’t necessarily work for you. You should never blindly copy case studies and competitors. Be sure to adapt to your brand and users’ needs.
Found this post helpful? Check out our previous posts on Checkout Best Practices and great examples ofProduct Pages.
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- Food and beverage: $78.28 billion.
- Toys and hobby: $74.03 billion.
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A good product category page has the option to filter products by material, size, and other key attributes, but they also make it easy to sort products into subcategories so that shoppers can discover the best items for them.What is a category page in ecommerce? ›
a) Product Listing Category Page
This structure lists all the products in one place, enabling shoppers to browse product selections and compare prices quickly. Shoppers can easily filter and sort products to quickly match product searches to their intent.
Category & Tag pages should be left indexable only if you have a Tag and Category strategy in place. This strategy should be a part of your overall Search Engine Optimization plan to help indexed pages rank better. Category pages are great for improving user experience and adding more internal links to your website.How many categories should a website have? ›
There's no specific number of categories that you should have. In most cases, you'll want somewhere between 5 and 10 in order to properly categorize your posts and make your site easy to browse. Categories are meant to encompass a large group of posts.What are the 4 categories of e-commerce? ›
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) Consumer-to-Business (C2B) Business-to-Administration (B2A)What are the 3 major categories of e-commerce? ›
There are three main types of e-commerce: business-to-business (websites such as Shopify), business-to-consumer (websites such as Amazon), and consumer-to-consumer (websites such as eBay).What should be in a category strategy? ›
The Category Plan should call out the name of the project, description of the project or tactic to be used, strategy alignment, value, and timing. A Project Prioritisation Matrix is a useful tool here to help you through this process.What makes a successful category manager? ›
A category manager needs a broad range of skills to be successful: Hard analytical skills, such as the ability to analyze large swaths of data to identify trends and gaps in the market, the ability to implement a strategic plan aligned with the goals of the business, as well as soft skills to communicate and negotiate ...
If you want to improve a category page's ranking, you need to target search engine users who already know what product type they want and are ready to buy. To identify the “right” keyword target for a category page, SEO pros may benefit from differentiating keyword types based on search intent.What are the 6 categories of a website? ›
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- 6. Entertainment Website. ...
- Portfolio Website. ...
- Social Media Websites.
- Optimize internal linking. Make sure category page is well linked to within site.
- Don't keyword spam. Repeating keywords can cause Google to regard the page with caution.
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- Make it easy for users to find the category page.
To add or edit your primary category: On your computer, in the “Primary category” box, enter and select the category from the options that show up. To add an additional category: Select Add another category. Then, in the “Additional category” box, enter and select the category you want to add.Do categories affect SEO? ›
Category pages drive more traffic to e-commerce sites
The goal was to see if product or category pages performed better in SEO rankings. The results showed that category pages outperformed at 27 of the 30 sites examined. They received a whopping 413% more traffic and had 19% more ranking keywords than product pages.
While you always have to use categories, you don't always have to use tags. However, it's better if you do because both help users easily navigate your site. They also help search engines crawl your website more easily and understand what it's about.Should I use tags or categories? ›
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The four P's of category management are: product, price, placement, and promotion.What are the 3 basic strategies? ›
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Category management is the most evolved procurement strategy of the three common approaches (tactical purchasing, strategic sourcing and category management).
A successful category management process involves organizing similar or interrelated goods and services into specific categories in order to leverage opportunities for consolidation, contingency development (as a function of business continuity planning, for example), and improving supply chain performance, value, and ...What is a category growth strategy? ›
Category growth strategy looks to positively impact shopper behavior using a mix of four key drivers. The first growth driver is penetration. This is all about creating a set of activities for the brand in order to attract new shoppers and consumers into the category.How do you grow a new category? ›
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Well-optimized categories pages on a strong navigation helps customers narrow down choices from a broad product selection quickly. Shoppers simply prefer having a wider, bird's eye view of all the products in categories before making any final decisions.What are the 4 types of product modifications? ›
- Line Extensions.
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The PageRank Score
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To effectively run a single server online store, whether you build it on your own or use a platform like Magento, you'll want at least 2GB of RAM. If your website gets millions of views and you handle a large number of transactions, then it's better to choose a plan with at least 4GB of RAM.How do you design a category? ›
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Displaying Category Descriptions in Each Post
If you want to display a category description inside single posts, then you can add a code snippet to, say, the single. php or footer. php template. If you're using a child theme, then you need to first copy the template from the parent theme to the child theme folder.
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