How To Create and Use Category Pages To Improve The SEO On Your Site
Use category pages to boost the SEO on your website! Category pages are very helpful for multiple reasons. They are an easy way to produce content on your site, and attack specific keyword or phrases you’re trying to rank for. Category pages can boost your SEO by helping to group relevant web pages together, so Google can understand the products and services you provide and better match them up with the searchers intent. This approach is also great for your actual human web visitors, too, since it gives them natural navigational hubs to learn more or explore your offerings further. We’ll walk you through some easy ideas and concepts, to help you get started making or improving your own category pages.
- Using category pages on your website to round up content on similar topics
- Improve your SEO and search engine rankings with category pages
- Begin by looking at the type of products and services you offer and put them into groups
- Come up with the category for each of these groups and create a category page
- On each category page you will list individual products and services in that group
- Create the category page with SEO in mind for keywords, URL, title, and h tags
- Link to the product and service pages from the category page
- Category pages can be listed in the main menu of your website or other prominent areas
- Category pages can have call to action (CTA) buttons and other traditional conversion features
- Treat the category page similar to a landing page because you want to match user intent and convert
- Putting FAQ’s on a category page is an easy way to add more relevant content to the page
- Add links to the category page from any relevant individual pages, where it makes sense for visitors to follow
- Update category pages with new content and links when it’s created to keep your category page fresh
Here is the transcription from Episode 36 Using Category Pages For SEO Improvements On Your Website;
Jesse: This is Local SEO Tactics, where each week we bring you tips and tricks on how to help you online, and elevate your business. This week we’re gonna talk about creating category pages for your web site. Pretty cool little hack for, if you need a quick page you gotta throw out there to keep on your content production schedule, and just a good way to round up your content, to organize it for Google, so they know what you’re trying to do. And for your users to help navigate your web site. Got a lot of quick bullet point tricks in here. Definitely take some notes on this one. I think it’s something you can put into play right now, and hopefully helps you guys out.
Jesse: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics. Jesse Dolan here with Bob Brennan, as always. This week we’re gonna be talking about category pages for your web site. These are pretty important for any web site. Not many businesses out there are a one-trick pony where you just have one product, one service, no variations, no customizations or anything that changes. Most businesses aren’t like that, right? We have different options, or price levels, or service levels. Your product and service offering can sprawl out there. Really, for SEO content strategy, you kinda want it to sprawl, because you got a lot of long tail things that you’re going after for different searches. A lot of the different things you’re gonna be found for. Category pages are a really nifty and cool way to group these things together. We’re gonna talk about this here today, how you can implement it, how it’s gonna help you out, and some best practices for that. Just as a quick overview for that, we’ve talked in many episodes about what kinda keywords to go after. Google my business listing categories that you should consider as keywords to develop your pages.
The first thing, before you start to roll out your category pages, and how to group these things, is to understand what kinda content you’re producing, what you’re going after, what kinda key words and things like that. An easy place to start, if you don’t know what you’re doing or how you’re gonna do this, is to map the stuff out. When I say map it out, because sometimes you may be in the middle of a content production strategy. These category pages are gonna be category pages. I think that’s somewhat self-explanatory, hopefully, when we say it to a certain extent. But these have to work for all your content now, and potentially for the content that you’re gonna be producing later.
They essentially act like hubs for your web site, like in a spoke and hub type scenario. They’re gonna make it easy for the users to navigate, and also for the search engines. When we say search engines, we mean Google. If you take a pool repair company, let’s say, you might fix what? We got ladders, we got filters, liners-
Bob: I just Googled the top most common pool repair deals, and clogged pump and pillar, filter media replacement, leaking skimmer, clogged pool cleaner, I don’t know that I’d use all those as a category, per se.
Jesse: No, no. No way.
Bob: But that’s an example of what might be down a particular category. If I’m following you.
Jesse: Those are examples of just the different products and services. Even more general that even talking categories, it shows you the nuance on exactly what you’re fixing. It’s not just, I fix pools.
Bob: It might be pool parts. Pool services. Maybe new pools. Those are your categories, is what you’re referring to, right?
Jesse: Yeah. Categories isn’t so much even gonna be a static thing. It’s more about, what are you producing, and what are you doing, and finding a way to round that up. Whatever makes sense for you. If it’s parts. Those are natural distinctions, what you’re saying. Absolutely right for what you said. But if somebody wants to say interior pool repair, if it’s an above ground pool. Interior versus exterior, or trim pieces. You can define it however you want. The point on this is to make sure, you just rattled off a bunch of individual services. If you were to lay all those out on a piece of paper, or if you made little cards for each one, or Post-It notes, how do you start to organize those into groups? That makes sense, right?
Jesse: And put some kind of hierarchy together. That’s the general concept for creating category pages is, what’s the main heading that’s gonna be over all those post notes you put in that group? These are all parts that need to be replaced, or these are all … winterizing. We’re up in Minnesota, so seasonality for an outdoor pool. How can you put these into groups. In some cases, an individual page, let’s just say, can be in multiple categories too. It doesn’t just have to be in one category page. These category pages are for navigation. Anything that’s related to regular pool maintenance. Anything that’s related to pool parts. Anything that’s related to the filter units, or the pump unit, or things like that. Some of those things will cross over.
So you’re gonna wanna create these category pages with that general idea and that general approach. Now, couple things on getting really specific on the actual category pages themselves here. Number one, you wanna design these pages just like any other page with SEO in mind. Whatever you’re gonna pick for your title, and some of the headings, and keywords, and images that you’re gonna use on these pages. Make sure you have some kind of searcher intent with it. Is it a keyword that you’ve already tagged? Or does it have some keywords in it? Is there a Google my business category that’s related to this, no pun intended there, but category page?
Bob: Right, yeah. That makes sense.
Jesse: You gotta do it with SEO in mind. Don’t just create a page of … I use a stupid example, interior pool repair. Nobody’s probably ever searched for that, that’s just ridiculous grouping that I came up with there. You wanna make these pages with SEO in mind. When you do these, these pages can have all sorts of content. They serve as a hub for this category. If somebody’s gonna land on this page, it’s for one of two reasons. One, either it popped up in a search engine as a landing page now, which you have to expect that. And the other option is that somebody navigated it from your website.
We’re gonna start there real quick. The navigation from your website. In examples we’ve been in the past on how to layout your website, what to have up on the top menu, how many pages should I have, and things like that, these category pages can be great top-level menu pages for your website. If it’s, again, pool repair, pool parts, pool maintenance, those can be main buttons on your website that people can easily navigate from there. They can understand, when I click on this I’m gonna get more information. Probably not gonna be one page about pool maintenance, one page about parts. I’m probably gonna spread out from there and drill down from there if you will. These pages can be accessed by people navigating through your website in a traditional hunter around and click type deal.
When you’re doing that, it’s always important not only to make these pages with SEO in mind but again that user intent. They went from my home page, then to here, what are they expecting to see, what am I showing them above the fold at the top that they’ll scroll right away? Then carrying that thought to these pages get found from a search as the landing page, as in the first exposure to your website.
That’s something you definitely wanna put some time and energy into. Because number one, it was a new customer most likely. They searched for something online, which means they didn’t have a vendor of choice. They came to your website, and this is their first exposure. They’re looking for something, hopefully, it’s gonna be on this page, but strong call to actions, more information, pictures, videos, if videos are relevant. Although this page, for us designing it, is a category page, and it’s basically a page that links to other products and services related to this category, it’s still effectively a landing page in this scenario. It needs to be enticing. It needs to have relevant information right away, and some kind of good look, good navigation, and good layout for anybody that’s gonna hit it.
Bob: Want to imagine too, you wanna have some stickiness. ‘Cause Google gives you point for that. Your content has to line up for that. Somehow have to get them onto your customer and say, if they’re interested in winterizing, can I … where would I lead ’em down the path, other than, here’s what we do for winterizing. Click here to schedule, or click here to get a price, or here’s a winterizing calculator. If your pool is this many square feet, more or less, or whatever the deal is, you can expect to pay between this and this. Some kind of … again, to keep them on the page longer, or at least click to another page within your site. We don’t wanna, obviously, send ’em out of your site, because that’s gonna hurt you for SEO.
Jesse: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Definitely should be full of internal links on the category page. You’re not pushing ’em to any other web site. Again, you had some good call to actions there, some strong call to action points relevant to the category. That’s the main thing, just to back up a little bit, for these category pages is, all the content on that page needs to be relevant to that category. This is Local SEO Tactics. We’re talking here about creating these category pages to benefit your SEO, to benefit your exposure. Even though I’m giving two scenarios on how people might get here, the one we’re looking for is somebody finding this category page in the search engine. That’s the main thing here to focus on.
You wanna keep them on your web site. You wanna be sticky. You wanna have all the traditional contact stuff, make sure that phone number’s, big, huge, stinkin’ phone number. That it’s real easy for them to know what the next action is. The next action can be, again, call to make an appointment. Or it can be click here for more information on one of our subsequent pages about this category. Whatever it is, it still all has to be wrapped around that category, the winterization, or the repair, or the parts, or the maintenance, or whatever it is. You don’t wanna cross too much confusing stuff into there, because now it’s not a category page, it’s just some mashup of content again. That’s not what we’re talking about here on a category page.
Some other real cool things you can do on the category page to give you ideas on how to build this out and put more text on the page, and more content on the page, is FAQs. Not just links to other pages on your web site that deal with this category, but some of the FAQs, frequently asked questions about things on this page, in this category. Real easy way to chew up 500 words to put on the page, to really get some good content about those key words on there, about those topics on there.
Another way you can use these category pages after they’re made is to sprinkle them in the rest of your web site. Let’s say, we have our category page, and then on this category page is a list of links to other individual pages on your web site about these products and services. Let’s just say we’re talking about winterization. There’s another page that we click through from there for how to drain your pool properly, let’s say. If you go to the individual page about how to drain your pool properly, put a link on that page back to the category of winterization saying, more about how to winterize your pool. You create this loop for people of content, and related content, which is the main part here. Again, this is really good for users, for usability to keep it sticky, make ’em stay on your web site, but also for search engines. This internal linking that you’re doing within your web site helps Google understand, again, these buckets, these categories of information, and what’s all related.
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