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6 expert tips for creating effective eCommerce category pages

Your website’s eCommerce category pages act as a bridge between your website’s homepage and product pages. They provide a way for you to organise your site into separate sections or product categories so visitors can easily get to the specific products they want to buy. 

This means, to get the best results and the most sales possible, you need to pay close attention to how you create your category pages, whether you do it yourself or have a web design service do it for you. So, in this article, we are going to highlight some great tips that can help make sure you create effective category pages for your eCommerce site. 

Optimise your category page copy with the right keywords 

Once you’ve designed your category pages, you’ll need to start thinking about the copy you’ll put on them. And, when writing your copy, it’s important that you know how to select and use the right keywords for your site.  

The keywords you’ll want to target on each category page are the phrases people will typically type into search engines when looking for the products you sell. It’s a very important aspect of search engine optimisation (SEO), as it will help to lead the right people to your site. 

This means you’ll need to identify and target the most relevant keywords on all of your category pages, so they’ll rank for the best queries. And, to do this well, you’ll have to conduct keyword research. You can start by using a specialist keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or Moz’s Keyword Explorer and then inputting relevant words or phrases related to the category page you’re writing copy for. When you do this, your chosen tool will give you a list of keywords that are often typed into search engines by people in your target audience. 

You can then start to look through these keywords to identify the ones that are most relevant to your category pages. For instance, if you own an online beauty store that sells powders and lip glosses, you could conduct separate keyword searches for each category so you know the best keywords to use on each category page. 

When choosing the phrases to target, you also need to consider search intent. For example, some people use search engines when they just want more information about a product and others might be using search engines when they are ready to buy a specific product. So, when doing your research, it’s likely you’ll come across both informational and commercial keywords. 

Since we’re talking about writing the copy for your eCommerce category pages, you’ll want to focus on targeting commercial keywords. So, look out for any phrases that indicate an intent to buy, and weave these into all of the different elements of your category page, from the URL to the body copy. Just make sure your copy still reads naturally — readers shouldn’t actually be able to tell that you’ve made a real effort to incorporate relevant keywords. 

Focus on taking and displaying great product photos

The importance of using high-quality product photos on your eCommerce category pages cannot be overemphasised. It is one of the top design tips that can make your website stand out and it can hugely affect the conversion rate of your category pages, as up to 93% of prospective customers consider a product’s appearance to be a key deciding factor when making a purchase. 

You should use product images that have a high resolution and that were taken with natural light, as this will result in more detailed and high-contrast photos. To ensure this, you could invest in a good camera and take the photos yourself or hire a professional photographer to take the product images for you. 

For most eCommerce products, it’s a good idea to take photos using a white background because this will give your images a clean and professional look. Also, try to take your product photos from different angles so prospective customers can have a better idea of what your products look like, whichever way they look at them.

To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at some businesses that do a great job of taking high-quality images for their sites.   

Kasala is an eCommerce website that sells furniture and equipment for the home and office. On their category page for living room furniture, you’ll see that they use very high-quality images to show the kinds of chairs, cabinets, tables, and other furniture that they sell. 

The product photos look like they have been taken with natural light and they have a very homely feeling to them. Something else you can learn from this site is how they’ve made sure to place the furniture in different living room settings. This can help prospective buyers to see how these products might look in their homes and it could motivate them to make a purchase.

Let’s also take a look at Native Union, which sells different tech accessories like phone cases, laptops, and speakers. On their site, they have a protect and carry category page where they display the range of products they sell to help people protect their devices. These include iPhone cases, iPad sleeves, Airpod cases, and Macbook sleeves.

If you look at the images they’ve used, you can see that they’ve invested in high-quality photography for their products. The photos are simple but they look very clean and professional, and could be a key deciding factor for visitors who want to buy accessories from the site. Also, note their judicious use of a white backdrop for most of their product images, which is a great way to remove all distractions and ensure that people focus on noticing the striking features of their products. 

Provide product reviews from your past customers 

If you can show product reviews from past customers on your eCommerce category pages, this could help increase your conversion rates, as it will show prospects that other people have bought your products and love them. 

If you need help figuring out how to collect reviews from customers, you can simply send them an email to ask about their experience with your product and whether or not they would recommend you to their friends and family. 

Also, you could create a survey form that asks specific questions about your products and includes a comment box so people can give their feedback. You could use star ratings to display these reviews or even include short testimonials from past customers on your eCommerce category pages. 

To give you a better idea of how to display reviews on your  category pages, here are some examples of sites that are doing this well. 

Dainty Jewells sells beautiful clothing items for women of different ages, and the way they’ve chosen to display reviews is by using star ratings. Take a look at their category page for modest dresses. If you scroll down the page, you’ll see that the star ratings can be viewed even without clicking on the individual product pages, and the benefit of this is that it allows visitors to easily compare similar garments. 

This type of information is great because it could influence website visitors’ choices and help them make better decisions about the items they want to get from the store. If you want to use a similar approach for your site, you could also try incorporating star ratings into the product listings on your category pages.

Also, let’s take a look at how Stryker T-Tops shows off its own reviews. It is a company that sells various T-tops and accessories for centre console boats. And, on the page where they showcase their different boat T-tops, they’ve also included a testimonial from a past customer who’s bought one of these products from the site.

The testimonial highlights what a great experience the customer had with the company and also mentions how easy it was for them to install the boat T-top. This review really helps to optimise the company’s category page because it shows how satisfied a past customer is with the product, and this could help convince new visitors who may have been unsure about buying. If you also want to display testimonials on your category pages, you could try doing something similar to this. And you could even add in the date of the review, as well as the name of the customer, to lend some credibility and show how recent your testimonials are. 

100% Pure is a brand that sells natural and organic items like make-up, skincare, and wellness products. On their category page for hair and body products, they do a great job of displaying reviews that past customers have given after buying their products. 

If you look at their site, you’ll see that they’ve incorporated the use of star ratings, which can be seen as people scroll down the page. These reviews show what previous buyers think about their products and they could also help potential customers make a decision on which items to get. If you also decide to add reviews to the products you display on your category pages, keep in mind that star ratings work really well for this purpose and you could even use this example as a guide. 

Add videos of your products in action 

According to Wyzowl, 86% of marketers say that video content has helped them increase the amount of time that visitors spend on their website. This means that adding video to your website could be very effective for marketing your products. 

Don’t just create a video for the sake of it, though. Try to create videos that show your products in action to give people a better idea of what they do and how they work. Also, keep in mind that your videos shouldn’t be too long. A good rule of thumb is to keep them between one and three minutes, as that should be enough to pass your message across, but will still keep people engaged. 

You can place these videos in different areas of your category pages, such as the top of the page so people can spot them immediately, or you could make them more subtle by placing your videos by the side of your category pages. 

To see how this might work in practice, let’s take a look at some examples of businesses that use video content in this way. 

Flying Beds is a company that manufactures custom Murphy beds. These are typically used by people who want to save space, as they can be stored vertically against the wall when not in use. On their category page for king-size Murphy beds, you’ll see that the company has created multiple product videos that showcase exactly how the Murphy Beds can be stored. 

Not only that, but they also capture the exquisite details, design, and workmanship of the beds, which gives prospective customers a closer look into what the beds are like. If you have a similar range of products and want to show how they work using video content, you could use this as inspiration because of the amount of detail in their videos. Also, note that they’ve placed the beds in a bedroom setting and this makes it easier for potential customers to imagine how the beds would look in their homes. 

Nikon is known for its range of high-quality camera products, but they also sell lenses and sport optics, such as binoculars or field scopes. If you take a look at the page for their mirrorless cameras, you’ll see that they’ve placed a video just above their range of products.

This video highlights specific details about the cameras and it does an excellent job of showing how people from all over the world can use these cameras in various contexts. You’ll find that the video is very high-quality and they even find a way to include shots of images that were taken using the mirrorless cameras. This helps to show prospects the kind of quality images they’d be getting from this type of camera and that could help convince more people to make a purchase.

Make it easy to contact you from your category pages

As prospective customers check out the products on your site, some of them might have questions or concerns. And, if there isn’t an easy or quick way to get answers, they might end up leaving without buying anything. 

So, to prevent this, you’ll want to provide contact options that make it easy for people to reach you directly from your category pages. For instance, you could create a contact form that allows prospects to book an appointment in case they want to ask any specific questions. Or you could add your phone number and email address to each category page so people can get in touch about any concerns they have regarding the products they want to buy. 

Now let’s study the steps some sites have taken to help prospects contact them from their category pages so you can get some inspiration. 

Helix Hearing Care specialise in providing quality hearing aids and solutions for people who deal with hearing loss. On the page where they talk about their hearing aid solutions, they’ve made sure to highlight multiple contact options like their phone number, and they also provide a contact form for booking a consultation. 

These two options make it much easier for people to quickly reach the company and ask any question about the different types of hearing aids they sell. One thing you can learn from this is that the contact form is a great way for someone to voice their specific concerns so they can get detailed feedback from the company who would then have a better idea about the prospect’s situation. 

Also, take a look at how MNML, an online clothing store for men, has tried to ensure that people can reach them while shopping. See, for instance, their category page for bottoms. You’ll find that they’ve installed live chat software on the page and this lets prospective customers get in touch in case they want to ask any questions.

The live chat option also provides a way for people to either track an order they’ve made from the store or report any issue they have with a product that they’re trying to buy. This is a really good way of ensuring that their customers aren’t left stranded while trying to make a purchase and it could improve the conversion rates for their page if they’re able to provide answers that help people complete their orders. 

Another thing to notice about the live chat feature is how it lets people know when a customer agent is online and when they are not. As seen in this example, it shows that the agents will be back in eight hours. This is a nice touch because it keeps prospective customers informed about their operating hours so people aren’t left wondering why their messages aren’t being answered. 

Link to similar categories to provide more options

If people are looking at a specific category of your products, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility that they might also be interested in some of the other items you sell, such as accessories or related products. 

This is why it’s important that you link to other categories on your eCommerce pages. Not only can this be great for boosting your sales, but it can also be great for improving your search engine rankings

To give you a better idea of how you can link to other categories on your eCommerce pages, let’s take a look at a website that does this well. 

H&M is a popular eCommerce site that sells a range of clothing items for men, women, and kids. They also do a great job of internal linking on their category pages.

So, for example, on their category page for women’s tops, you’ll see links that can take people to related categories such as women’s jeans, skirts, or dresses, and this is a great tactic because it’s very possible that people who want to buy a top might also be interested in getting a skirt or a pair of pants from the store. 

Also, you’ll find links to separate pages for men and kids at the top of this category page, and this could interest shoppers who have children or spouses they might want to also buy for. So, if you want to sell more products, it could be very beneficial to consider internal linking when creating the design for your own category pages. 

Summary

In this article, we’ve looked at six great tactics you can use to make your category pages more effective. Start implementing these tips and you’re sure to see an improvement in your conversion rates and the overall growth of your site. 

If you want to keep learning more about helpful strategies you can use to grow your business, make sure you follow the regular news and updates published on Healy Web Design’s blog

Author bio & headshot:

Alex Ratynski is the founder of Ratynski Digital, an online marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals. He set up his company after working as a local SEO director for a dental marketing agency, where he helped to turn clients’ ventures into thriving multi-million dollar businesses. He spends most hours strategising SEO for his clients. 

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