Ranking category pages on an ecommerce site can be tough, so many resort to just putting a bunch of text at the bottom of each page, below the product listings. Google says you shouldn’t do that.
You can read more about this from this post over at Search Engine Roundtable.
Subscribe! You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, and a variety of other places. Be sure to rate the podcast wherever you choose to listen!
If you have an ecommerce website, it can be tricky to get category pages to rank well. Since they’re just a list of products, usually without descriptions on that page, there’s not much for Google to go on. The traditional workaround has been to put a bunch of text at the bottom of the page, but Google says that you should try other things instead.
In a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout, in response to a question, Google’s John Mueller said the following:
“One of the reasons why websites initially started kind of doing this this kind of workaround is that it was really hard sometimes for us to rank category pages on ecommerce sites if there’s no useful information on that page, if there’s no context on that page. So as a workaround people started stuffing whole Wikipedia articles above below the fold using a small font, sometimes using a link like that says like more information that pops out at this giant article of text.”
“And from our point of view that’s essentially keyword stuffing. So that’s something worth which I would try to avoid.”
“I’d try to stick to really informative content and put that in place where you think that users will be able to see it. Especially if it is content that you want to provide for users. And more than that I would think about what you can do to make those pages rank well without having to put a giant paragraph of content below the page.”
“So things you could do here is kind of make sure that those pages are well integrated with your website so that we have clear context of how those pages should belong the website and what those pages are about. And another thing you can do is when you have that listing of products, make sure that there’s some information on that on those listings that we can understand what this page is about.”
A great example of this is Target.com. A few years ago, they had globs of text at the bottom of every category page, clearly there just for the sake of SEO. Now on a lot of their category pages you’ll see a few big sentences at the top, a few highlighted products (with descriptions), and then the listing of the other products. It’s a good way to do exactly what Google is suggesting.
If you have an ecommerce store, those category pages can be very important. Take some time to spruce them up and add more content, in a way that is valuable to both Google and your users.