Ecommerce SEO Checklist for Category Pages to Rank Higher

Did you know that more than 50% of all website traffic comes from organic search? That’s why e-commerce brands need a high search engine ranking. Optimizing your category pages is one efficient way to improve your search engine ranking. This blog offers an eCommerce SEO checklist for category pages to boost your ranking and online visibility.

Follow along with our guide to learn more.

Conduct Keyword Research

Online shoppers typically have a good idea of the products they wish to purchase. Because of this, creating a keyword strategy focused on achieving results is the first step in optimizing SEO for category pages.

Category pages intend for transactions, meaning optimizing keywords for them is crucial to attracting and converting potential buyers.

Several tools are helping you in keyword research, including Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. You can use these tools to find out which keywords are in demand, the relevance of the keywords to your products/ services, and long-tail searches rather than keyword volume and difficulties.

Moreover, you’ll need to find relevant searches to optimize content and titles, descriptions, and URLs.

Also, remember that different keywords will have different purposes; only jotting down keywords for transactions since you’re conducting them for category pages.

Let’s say you sell cosmetics products; optimizing for a high-volume keyword like “cosmetics” is too broad and competitive, making it difficult to rank. Instead, you could target specific keywords relevant to your products, such as “organic moisturizer for sensitive skin” or “vegan lip balm with SPF.”

Create User-Friendly URL Structures

The second crucial element in your SEO eCommerce strategy for your category page is the URL. It communicates to search engines as well as to your customers. Both can determine how your website is organized and the page’s purpose.

This creates a URL structure that is easy for search engines and customers.

  • Keep your URLs short and descriptive. Avoid long, complex URLs that include unnecessary parameters or symbols. Instead, use clear, descriptive words that accurately reflect the page’s content.
  • Use hyphens to separate words in your URLs rather than underscores or spaces. Search engines recognize hyphens as word separators, while underscores and spaces are not.
  • Include your target keywords in your URLs. This aids search engines in comprehending the content of your page and can improve ranking in search results. However, be careful to do what is necessary and pack your URL with enough keywords, which may harm your SEO efforts.
  • Ensure your URL is consistent with the structure of your website. This means using a hierarchical structure that describes your site’s content structure.

For example, if you have a category called “shoes” and a subcategory called “running shoes,” the URL for a listing product page for a specific running shoe should be something like “”

Create User-Friendly URL Structures
Create User-Friendly URL Structures

Write Unique Meta Descriptions

Another eCommerce SEO checklist for category pages is creating unique meta descriptions.

Category pages mean grouping similar products, making it easier for customers to browse and find what they want. Therefore, your meta description should accurately describe the types of products found on that page.

Each meta description should be unique. Avoid using duplicate descriptions across multiple category pages, which can harm your search engine rankings. Instead, custom each description to the specific category and its unique product offerings.

Write Unique Meta Descriptions
Write Unique Meta Descriptions

Also, include relevant keywords and call-to-action (CTA) phrases in your meta description. This can help your page rank higher in search engine results for relevant queries and trigger viewers to click on it.

The same applies to the meta description that is less than 140 characters but doesn’t keep it too short. They should offer some further product information.

Optimize Heading Tag for Category Page

Header tags are HTML elements used to structure content on a webpage. There are six header tags in HTML, ranging from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most significant and H6 being the least effective. H1 is typically used for the page’s main heading, while H2 and H3 are used for subheadings.

Some practical ways to use heading on your website category page to enhance your eCommerce SEO:

Only one H1 tag per page

Include primary keywords for that page, helping search engines figure out the page’s main topic. Usually, the H1 in the category page is a broad keyword plus a brand name.

H2 and H3 for subheadings

H2 and H3 tags are used to divide the content of your eCommerce category page into smaller, more manageable sections. It’s the name of each product on the page.

Keep in mind to keep all the headers useful and natural.

Optimize Heading Tag for Category Page
Optimize Heading Tag for Category Page

Add Text in your Ecommerce Category Pages

While many brands are not fond of body copy, it is essential for organic search performance. You don’t have to overwhelm the page with text or place it front and center. Even a short phrase can make a difference.

For instance, Take Tiffany & Co.’s “Engagement Rings” category page. Despite its visually striking products, the page incorporates relevant text to enhance its search engine optimization.

ecommerce category page SEO example
Ecommerce category page SEO example

So, consider the power of a few well-placed words on your eCommerce category pages. They can improve your organic search performance and attract more potential customers to your site.

Reorder Category Navigation

Category filters intend to aid shoppers in locating the products they desire. However, it’s important to note that category navigation significantly impacts each page’s indexation, authority, and relevance in organic search. That’s why using appropriate keywords in your navigation and filters is crucial.

To do that, incorporating relevant keywords in the navigation category can help improve your website’s rankings and attract more potential customers to your eCommerce store.

To illustrate, let’s look at how Wayfair leverages its category navigation. They have a faceted navigation system, including “Kitchen Island,” which links to the subcategory page. This navigation is on every page in the “Ceiling Lights” category.

So every page in that category is linked to the Kitchen Island subcategory with keyword-relevance link text. As a result, Wayfair’s Kitchen Island lighting page is more likely to rank for the 163,000 monthly U.S. searches related to that category on Google and other search engines.

Reorder Category Navigation
Reorder Category Navigation

Include High-quality Images and Videos

High-quality images and videos can showcase your products and help customers make informed purchase decisions. Additionally, optimizing images and videos for SEO can help improve your page’s visibility; here are tips on how to optimize images and videos for your eCommerce category page:

  • Using descriptive and relevant caption names matching your target keywords
  • Use alt texts describing their contents
  • Compress images to reduce ordinary file size to improve load speed
  • Place appropriately on the category page

Don’t Forget Header and Footer Links

You can include links to your category and subcategory pages in the sitewide header and footer. However, you want to leave your shoppers with enough links and optimize your site for search engines. So instead, focus on including links to the most helpful pages based on keyword research and mapping and those with high business value.

For example, if you sell clothing online, you might include links to top-level categories like “Men’s Clothing” or “Women’s Clothing” in your header or footer. From there, you can include links to subcategories like “Tops” or “Pants.”

Mark Up Products with Structured Data

After optimizing the metadata of your category page, your eCommerce website will gain more traffic. Consider marking your products with rich snippets to make your page more distinctive.

Rich snippets are structured data ping search engines to get more information about your products, such as reviews, ratings, prices, availability, breadcrumbs, and FAQs. So you can improve click-through rates and draw customers interested in your service by integrating the appropriate rich snippets.

Stay updated with algorithm changes

Search engines regularly update their algorithms, which can impact the rankings and traffic of your category pages. Keeping track of these changes and adapting your strategy can help you maintain or improve your search visibility.

Some ways to stay informed about algorithm changes include following Google guide and keeping an eye on industry publications. It’s also important to regularly review and update your SEO strategy and tactics to ensure they align with the latest best practices.

Wrapping up

Optimizing category pages for eCommerce SEO (even applied for Shopify store) is crucial for ranking higher in search results and driving traffic to your website. By following the eCommerce SEO checklist for category pages, including optimizing page titles, descriptions, images, and navigation, implementing schema markup, and staying up-to-date with algorithm changes, you can improve your organic search performance and attract more potential customers.

Remember to provide a seamless user experience and include relevant, high-quality content to engage and convert visitors into customers. With these strategies in place, you can improve the visibility and success of your eCommerce business.

FAQs about SEO Ecommerce Category Pages

What is category pages in eCommerce?

Category pages in eCommerce group similar products into categories or subcategories to help shoppers navigate and find what they are looking for. They include product images, descriptions, prices, and filters to improve the user experience and increase conversion rates.

How do you rank eCommerce category pages?

To rank eCommerce category pages, optimize them for search engines by conducting keyword research, optimizing the page title and content, including high-quality images and videos, building internal and external links, and using schema markup.

How do I optimize my eCommerce category pages?

To optimize eCommerce category pages, use relevant and descriptive titles, add high-quality images and informative product descriptions, include filtering and sorting options, use internal linking, improve page speed, and make the page mobile-friendly.

Can category pages rank?

Yes, category pages can rank in search engine results if they are optimized with relevant content, keywords, and backlinks.

Why are category pages important in eCommerce?

Category pages are important in eCommerce because they help customers easily find products they are interested in, improve website navigation, and increase the chances of converting visitors into customers.

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