How to do Category Optimisation for E-Commerce SEO Campaigns
For all those of you out there trying to implement a good SEO strategy for an e-Commerce website, it’s always good to plan ahead when even before the build, create a site map to aid you with how you would like to set up and organise your website. Remember to think logically from an end-users point of view not just what you believe to look better.
Category Set-up & Silo Structuring
Organise all of your products before hand and start putting them into relevant categories, lets take a phone accessory shop for example. I would suggest categorising phone makes on the main navigation of the website, from an end user perspective this gives a clear direction for people wanting to browse.
So realistically we should have on the main navigation Blackberry, HTC, iPhone, Nokia, Samsung as an example, we then need to break down the categories in further detail to the type of product, this can be down with particular model types or this can be a search criteria for later, dependent on the e-Commerce platform you decide on using. So the subcategories could be the following:
- iPhone Cases
- iPhone Car Accessories
- iPhone Docks
- iPhone Chargers
Dependent on the type of product you’re selling and the variations of products, would usually change the parameters of which to focus on and how many categories to include – even having a search field to refine searches is a great idea. If for example you’re selling an item in a range of colours or sizes, there will be far too many listed for an average person to click through, a similar example for my iPhone choice above, having a refined search for the various models is a good idea just to help people along the user journey. iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5. Always try and name the page and category you’re creating related to your product.
What is the Need for This?
From our own experience in recent months, we find that Google prefer directing people to specific categories and places now, which is a great move, there was a time when homepage keyword placing and a little offsite work would rank, but now we find that silo structures are the way forward in identifying a clear path for Google. For example we’ve found an increase in listings for specific pages with pathways with more tailored and specific content, like:
Keyword: Car Accessories Iphone
Keyword: Samsung Charger
From the end user perspective this is a great page to land on, ideally the potential client wouldn’t have to click through too many times to what they’re looking for, giving almost instant searches, rather than having to delve deeper into a websites pages to find exactly what is needed.
Using the Right Keywords to Optimise
The three key points that I would suggest for sourcing logical key phrases is a little common sense, Google Keyword Tool and Analytics data (if you have previous historic data).
Common sense and even asking friends and family how they would perform searches is a good idea to give you a bit of a head-start, you’ll find that this can often bring variations of searches often not considered and overlooked.
Tools provided by Google can really help in finding keyword fashions and search volumes, Google Trends can identify new emerging keywords and the search pattern over a period of time which helps in creating new and emerging phrases within an industry or finding seasonal trends. The Keyword Tool also helps give a vague understanding of the estimated search volumes a month- a great tool for finding popular a niche phrases.
Finally historical data is always great if you have access to any old data from previous websites, its good to look for the key phrases that were great in terms of bounce rate and average time on site, there are a lot of other parameters that can be viewed, like your best selling products.
Once you’ve decided on the choice of phrases, taking the above into consideration, implement these into the category page main body of content, meta details and headers. We find that this really does help enhance campaigns, doing this alone will not bring you position 1 positions but making sure you get the web build right from the start is a good indicator of a successful campaign.