How to Write Category Copy for SEO & UX

Category copy is one of the trickiest pages to write.  Not only do you have to fit it into a space which has to be product focused and non competitive, but if the category has a few hundred or thousand products, you have to keep it simple, effective and most importantly all inclusive.

That means it needs to incorporate the theme of the page while not competing with product pages or sub-categories and also excite the end user without pitching yourself.  Advanced copywriters will also define how to use the page to locate the product the visitor is looking for, and that is where UX comes in.

Because this is probably the hardest type of copy to create, we’ve developed this guide on how to write category copy for SEO and to give your end user or potential customer a great experience.  This is the same exact thing I do with my employees and the clients that hire me to train their teams.

how to write category copy for seo, users and conversions

How to Write Good Category Page Copy

The most important thing when creating this type of page is to think about what it is supposed to do.

Category Copy Needs to:

  • Get the user excited to purchase the product
  • Help them to know you have the product they’re looking for
  • Explain how to sort through the options if you have a lot of SKUs
  • Make them want to engage with the page to find the product
  • Click through the image or subcategory and get to conversion
  • Answer questions they have about the category, not product specific
  • Not take away from user experience and hide product below the fold

The last bullet point is a tricky one and if you have huge images or leaderboards, you may want to consider a new category page design.  Here’s a few ways to incorporate SEO copy into category page design wise that may help.

How to Select the Right Keywords for Category Copy

Keyword research here is tricky.  You do not want keywords relevant to a specific product, instead the category should focus on the more generic ones.  i.e. the category has multiple widgets and should answer questions about widgets and address the needs of people who want widgets.  Product pages and sub categories are where you get into specifics.

Subcategories for example could be if the widget has 8 sizes and 8 color options.  You may want to do a sub category for XL widgets and S widgets.  You could also do a sub category for blue widgets and include the 8 sizes within it.  Now you have a main category for widgets, sub categories for the main variations and then the copy on the product page is now product specific.

By doing it this way you can also build internal links upwards, horizontally and downwards to pass authority.

Are Questions and Answers Good For SEO on Category Pages

Yes, they are 100% great for this. Having a Q&A can answer questions about the category.  Examples can be if it can solve XY problem, if they are a specific color for a specific purpose or how to use it for a specific purpose.  Another one could be the effects, impacts or even proper usage and storage or care, but on a categorical basis.

By answering questions ahead of time where the products within the category are part of or are the solution, you can not only try to get the answer box at the top of the search results in Google, but you’re also giving a better user experience by answering a potential customers questions.  When you clear the confusion with solid answers, you may also have pushed them one more step to conversions and that is why question and answers or FAQs that are category specific (not product or general customer) are great for these pages.

Which Questions to Include In Category Copy

Now that you have your keyword research done and know what the goal of each question should be, you need to think about other relevant information and how to get answer boxes and other rich snippets.  Category copy should be about the entire grouping and not individual products or sub categories as mentioned above.  A good example is a question about how long it will last or if it is compatible with an XYZ.

For category copy, unless everything in the category is compatible with XYZ and everything lasts at least AB years, then that question goes into a sub category or product page because it does not address the needs of the majority and does not add value.  For sub categories where it is relevant you’re then able to say yes, each option on this page works with XYZ or is going to last for at least AB.  Remember, category copy needs to be inclusive of the category and that is where you need to draw the line.

How to Increase Conversions With Category Copy

This is the tricky and fun part.  The first thing is to understand “we, we” syndrome.  This is where you make everything about you and your store and not the customer.  “I love this”, “we have 1,000’s”, “our widgets are the best”, etc… are all “we, we” syndrome.  It’s great you feel passionate about your store, products and services, but you’re not engaging the potential customer.

Instead, look for every occurance of I, we, our, my, we’re, etc… and replace them with you, you’ll, your and other words that are about the visitor.  Next we try to get them to understand how they’ll benefit.  Situations are a perfect starting point.

If this is fashion, don’t say the dress is made of sequins and lace. Instead say something like “Enjoy the luxurious feel of the satin styles below where each one is designed with seamless stitching and lace trim that lies gently on your skin so there are no itchy side effects.  Watch as the sequins sparkle for a fun look whether it’s a cocktail party or for a formal event.”.

By mentioning how the dress will feel with the modifiers “sequins” and “lace” for dress, I was able to answer their questions about comfort and by mentioning the types of events it can be worn, I can help to get them to imagine what it’ll look like and how it can be used in multiple situations so it has a cost saving aspect as well.

Teach Visitors How to Use The Page to Find the Right Options

This is one of those things that seems like you shouldn’t have to do, but if you have a designer who went “creative” or made a mobile site for a desktop display, it is important.  The same goes if you have ever changing or multi-option sorting on the top or left side of the page.

The first thing is to avoid stating the obvious and rambling.  “So you’re looking for XYZ” or “Whether you want a X or a Y, or also want a Z”.  Instead jump right into the topic.

Blue widgets not only do A, B and C, but when combined with a red blahblahblah, you’ll be up and running in no time.

Now that you’ve said what it is for and helped to reassure they solve the issue, think about how to drive the person into the product mix.

Look below to discover the right option that meets your needs.  You can sort by size and see only x-small blue widgets or by year and model with the drop down menu to find the rare 1995 green model.

By doing the above you’ve helped the person learn to narrow down the results and you’ve given a natural tie in for internal links which can help the search engines further define what the pages on your website are about.  If the page has authority, these links may also be able to help pass some of the authority through these links.

The last step is to tell the person to click on the one they like and then teach them how to use the page.

When you find the right one, click it and simply select the color, size and quantity, then proceed through our secure checkout so you can be on your way to XYZ with no more worries.

By following the steps in this guide, you may be able to increase both your organic SEO traffic and also your conversions.  You’ll be helping to solve issues for past and future customers while also helping them to use your website, find the product and checkout quickly and easily.  If this seems complicated, you can always hire us by using the contact form here to write the copy or simply train your team for you.  Yes we train other agencies as well.

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