Importance of categories in SEO in Ecommerce
There are no universal rules about how to keep visitors in your online store, but there are some good practices that will be beneficial for your site and your business. Having categories is a great strategy to start with on your site.
What is a category?
Categories are used to order and group content into different sections. A website publishing content on a variety of topics can divide their website into smaller sections by using categories. It's the same if you are selling products online, your categories will be a variety of products with the same characteristics or attributes.
Why are Categories Important on Your Ecommerce Website?
Categories are one of the main strengths of an Ecommerce website. It's not only better for the search engine crawlers to understand your site, but it's also better for your potential customers.
Ecommerce sites need to properly label and optimize their category pages to enhance the user's experience and the usability of the site. Remember that you are selling products to people and not to the search engines. Labeled store categories means that your customers can navigate easily through your online store.
How Should You Categorize Your Products?
All the products that you are selling on your website should be subdivided into broad categories, and then subdivided into subcategories, making it easier for both the customer and the crawlers to access those products. Categories are used to increase efficiency for both the customer and the seller.
A great example of how you should categorize your products is this one:
Main Topic > Categories > Sub-categories > Product.
There are many tools out there that might be helpful for you to get ideas on how to categorize your products. One of those tools is the Google's Taxonomy list, which is a guideline for ideas on how to find the best categories and sub-categories to apply to your products.
Another great tool you can use is the Keyword Tool Dominator, where you will be able to find popular long tail keywords directly from Amazon.
When you categorize your products you can improve the accuracy of search results, improve site navigation, group results by topic, and help users differentiate among very similar products. Categories not only determine the products listed on the page, but also control the features available for browsing those products. That's why categories need to be mutually-exclusive.
You should utilize a schema markup to pass crucial and valuable information on to the searchers; it also makes you stand out in the SERPs. This will help entice viewers and, in addition, it will encourage a higher CTR. And you also have to consider that SERPs return category pages from Ecommerce sites more often than single products, thus the importance of categorizing them correctly.
Optimizing Your Website URLs
It is common that when people create their website(s), they tend to make mistakes in their permalinks, and when they continue adding more products to their site and they don't pay attention to the structure of the pages they are creating, they might have 'non-friendly URLs' like these ones:
Instead you should be using what is known as a 'friendly URL'. A friendly URL is a Web address that is easy to read and includes words that describe the content of the webpage. Those types of URLs are beneficial for your customers mainly because they can read the link in the SERPs and they can know before they click on a link what to expect.Also they are really important for the crawlers. Some examples of 'friendly URLs' are:
Remember to try to use keywords instead of numbers and hyphens instead of underscores in the URL. It will be more beneficial for your SEO..
Seasonal Categories and Subcategories
Each season, depending on the month of the year, people are looking for different products to celebrate an event, react to the weather, or participate in new trends in the world. That's why it's important to create seasonal categories, for example:
When you structure site categories correctly, your visitors will have a clear idea of what they are looking for. Plus they might find some products they were not aware of before. Also, correct structuring will be beneficial for your site in terms of SEO when the crawlers index your site.