Thoughtfully composed and expertly targeted category copy is a key component of strategic search engine optimization (SEO) on ecommerce sites. Including optimized content on commercial pages increases value for the consumer and visibility in search engines. Using the right approach in optimizing category pages allows you to better compete in a crowded online retail space.
Why Optimize Category Pages?
Ecommerce retailers often group similar products for an easier, more convenient shopping experience. These categories bridge the gap between individual products and high-level brand pages, and they provide an ideal opportunity to drive traffic to the website and capture users who are poised to make a purchase. SEO copywriters have two main goals in composing category copy:
- To offer search engines an idea of what the page is about
- To provide high-quality, helpful, and unique information for the consumer
How to Compose High-Quality Category Copy
The best category copy is expertly optimized, well written, and unique. Whether you’re composing ecommerce copy for fishing rods or footwear, follow these category landing page best practices for effective search engine optimization.
1. Target the Right Keywords, the Right Way
The first step to optimizing category copy or any other web content is to identify the target keyword/s. In most cases, this will simply be the name of the category—linen shirts, fly rods, floor lamps—and any common variations of those terms or phrases. Your target keyword should appear in each of the page’s primary attributes, including the URL, page title, meta description, and H1, with semantic matches and secondary keywords well represented in the category copy itself. Remember, each instance of your target keyword does not have to be an exact match. Using synonyms or semantic matches can enhance the value of your page from the perspective of the search engine, and will make the writing better and more readable for the consumer.
2. Focus on Buyer Intent
Category page copy should target low-funnel customers who are poised to make a purchase. Ask yourself the question, “If I were shopping for this product, what would I want or need to know?” Your answer can guide how you frame the category content. Whether it’s an overview of the options available for a given product category, the benefits of various versions of the product, or tips for choosing which is best for them, the ideal category copy ultimately offers insight that will help consumers decide which product to purchase, or encourage them to complete the transaction.
3. Ask—and Then Answer—the Right Questions in Your Copy
The best queries for category pages also focus on low-funnel shoppers at the final stage of the purchasing journey. This user is either deciding what to purchase from your category, or getting ready to push that “add to cart” button, and the questions and answers you feature need to help move them toward that final step. When you provide direct answers to commonly searched questions, you offer more opportunities for visibility in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and more value for the consumer. Google includes related FAQs either directly in your listing (for pages marked up with the appropriate schema) or as a featured snippet, which may appear as a standalone answer box at the top of the page or in the People Also Ask (PAA) section.
4. Be Smart About How You Structure the Content
How content is structured correlates closely with its quality—and is important from both a search and a user perspective. Logical, well-organized content is easier for the consumer to digest and easier for the search engine to parse. When composing copy for category pages, include essential information immediately. The target keyword, for example, should appear as close to the beginning of the first sentence as possible. From there, the content should follow a logical order. Guide the reader using structural elements such as bullets, numbered lists, or subheadings. These elements make it easier for readers (and search engines) to digest the content, discern what’s most important, and find the information they need.
5. Incorporate Strategic Internal Links
Include internal links in category copy to strengthen the authority of your brand and provide additional opportunities for customers to engage with your site. Be strategic about where you send the user: Link to related subcategories that drive customers further down the funnel, or direct them to relevant blog articles offering information that can help them make their decision. The right number of links to include will vary based on the category itself, the structure of the site, and the associated content that’s available.
6. Add Value to Copy With Expert Information
Capitalize on your brand’s expertise and earn an advantage over competitors by including information your customers can’t or won’t find elsewhere. When conducting your research, pay attention to what other brands highlight—and consider how you can take that information one step further. What insight or advice does your page offer beyond what’s expected? How can you set that information apart, or provide a new or unique perspective?
7. Ensure Accuracy in Product or Category Claims
While marketing copy can often include exaggeration and embellishments, category copy should include only verifiable claims. The importance of composing accurate content and avoiding hyperbole is more than a surface-level concern. A brand is ultimately responsible for anything that appears on its website, so inaccurate information could result in customer service concerns at best—or legal woes at worst.
8. Remember That Quality Counts in Optimized Copy
Anyone can incorporate keywords into a block of text, but it takes work and creativity to do it well. Quality is one of the key indicators of how category copy will perform in the search engines. Beyond proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, your sentences should be straightforward and clear. Depending on the brand, some stylistic flair may be appropriate, but never at the expense of readability, clarity, or brevity. And because search engines reward unique copy in the SERP, avoid replicating content from competitors and duplicating your own content across internal categories.
9. Make Your Category Copy Personal
When composing category copy, aim to address the individual shopper as much as possible. Arguably a stylistic consideration, this suggestion can also be strategic: Using the singular to target your copy to an individual shopper instead of mass consumers subtly establishes a personal connection, helps the consumer envision themself as an owner of a product, and may result in increased or even subconscious brand loyalty.
One of the benefits of working with an SEO agency is experience. Our writers optimize pages all day long, so we’re well versed in incorporating keywords without sacrificing quality, choosing queries that target low-funnel shoppers, and providing unique, thoroughly researched, and carefully composed content that does more than just rank. Reach out to learn more about the SEO services we offer today.