Product listing pages are landing pages in an online store. They tend to contain similar products or categories of products, and often include an image and other elements such as price, rating, etc.
Category pages bring in the most organic traffic. Users normally search for products by known brand names, such as “Samsung”, rather than for one specific model. However, due to the high competition for these terms, it can be difficult to get a product listing page to the top of the search results. Therefore, it's important to spend time optimizing these pages, as it can have a big impact on the number of visits and sales you receive.
The optimization technique for product listing pages is very different from other regular pages that only contain a description because there are different criteria they must rank for.
This article will provide recommendations for improving the relevance and quality of product listing pages, helping to push your pages to the top of the rankings.
Product listing pages are designed to promote general product keywords. Searchers use these phrases to search for general ideas about a product, so there is no one specific product or service in such keywords. On the product listing page, a user will become acquainted with the entire range of products and be able to narrow down their options from there.
Here is an example of how popular websites such as Amazon and Home Depot display their product listing pages on Google.
General product keywords are, as a rule, high or medium-frequency commercial-type phrases (frequency refers to how many times a month users have typed this phrase in the search).
The type of keyword is determined by the user's intent - the intention is implied in the user's search query. Commercial intent means the user intends on buying a product or service. Usually, commercial keywords contain the words "buy," "order," "price," etc. Often these types of searches specify an area in which the user seeks to buy the product/service.
Ranking for commercial keywords is useful as it brings an online store's target traffic directly to the place where they can browse and purchase goods or services.
You can read more about the different types of search intent in a separate article [here].
Labrika's tool can help you to determine the type of keyword.
On Labrika, you can also perform automatic clustering (grouping) of keywords. This will allow you to select compatible phrases/keywords for product listing pages only. This can then help rank your product listing pages at the top of the results.
Clustering also helps avoid keyword cannibalization. This is the simultaneous ranking of several pages for the same keywords. Pages optimized for the same keywords work against your page's ability to rank. They displace each other from the search results since it is difficult for the search engine to determine which should be shown in the output for this query. As a result, these pages lose traffic and conversions.
Analyzing your top competitors' product listing pages allows you to evaluate and then apply these methods to your site. You should look at:
You can use Labrika's tools to find information on your competitor's pages such as meta-tags, headers, snippets, etc. We will then provide recommendations based on our analysis of your competitors. This means you don't have to analyze every single competitor page yourself, the hard work is done for you.
Not including, or duplicating meta tags for the title, description and H1 is a simple error that can greatly affect your ranking ability. Search engines give these elements a lot of weight when analyzing a site. For large online stores, it's advisable to set up automatic tag generation templates. Some site management systems (CMS) allow you to set these templates within their system. However, if yours does not you will need to contact a developer to implement this.
You can use Labrika's online tools to get personalized recommendations (based on your top-performing competitors) on the optimal title, description, and H1 length for your pages, as well as what keywords to utilize. Our interactive visual editor allows you to optimize landing pages' text and meta tags directly on our site.
The H1 heading is set at the top of the page.
Normally a keyword must be placed into H1. Our tool will show whether your competitors are using keywords in their H1. This will then help you to understand how and what you should be including.
Labrika's tool will show whether most competitors are using keywords in their titles and if so which ones. You can then use this to decide on what you will include in your product listing page titles.
The title should be unique to each product listing page, it should be readable and informative. Keywords should always be used, but they should not be 'stuffed' in. Using long-tail keywords may be useful for titles.
Different punctuation can be used to separate the words in the title (apart from underscores) this will then help to make the title more readable for the user at a glance.
Bear in mind that the first keyword in the title has the most significant weighting. Don't use several similar keywords in one title, as the search engines may view this as keyword manipulation. Instead ensure you use your keywords in a natural manner, where the sentence makes sense to the user.
You should be using keywords that you have selected after analyzing your competitors' pages. However, you shouldn’t be repeating keywords that have already been used in the title or H1. You can include a longtail keyword if it fits.
This description will be one of the first things a user sees in the snippet, when on the search results page, so it should be as attractive as possible for the search engine and the user. This means that the text should be easy to read and allow the user to understand quickly whether they’ll find what they need within the site.
Do not try to artificially increase the page's relevance by using overly-optimized text, filled with keywords that’s unreadable and non-useful for the consumer. Firstly, a user will be less likely to click through, and secondly, search engines may classify this as spam and demote your page.
The article should be natural and readable, containing beneficial information about the product and how to purchase it.
Very often product listing pages will not include body text. The information needed to help rank the page is provided in a multitude of other ways, such as:
Here is an example of a product listing page for "Mobile phones" that doesn’t include text blocks:
If you do have text blocks on your product listing pages currently, you can remove them once you know you have the right number of keyword occurrences, even without the text block there.
You should ensure your keyword occurrences remain the same as your competitors. It's also useful to keep an eye on your position in the rankings to see how the removal of these text blocks affects your position.
A major deciding factor in the ranking of your product listing pages is how many products you offer in a range. Sites that offer more tend to rank higher since they tend to better meet the consumers' needs.
For example, if you offer 5 products within a category, but a competitor offers 5000 it is highly likely that the competitor will have an advantage. For this reason, we recommend maximizing the number of products on the product listing pages to better compete with your competitors.
To make the product cards more informative to the user you can create a more in-depth product card. For example, you can include the model name, type of product, main characteristics, etc. This will also allow you to keyword optimize your content and take advantage of LSI, as well as simply offering a more useful experience to the user, making it easier for them to decide on which product they need from the product listing page.
The product photos in the product cards must be the same size and taken from the same angle. The images should clearly represent the product.
You can include keywords in the description of the pictures. Search engines index and display images with the ALT attribute in a separate search tab.
Showing the price of a product is not only useful for your user, but also search engines. A product normally comes with a price, therefore not showing one, indicates to the search engines that you haven't put proper thought into your site (this is a red flag to search engines). If your competitors are including pricing but you aren't then this will negatively affect your ranking.
The buy button allows the user to immediately buy the product or add it to the cart. This is a vital element to any product card, as without it the user cannot easily purchase your product.
If you have the option to add a 'buy it now' function this can be a very attractive prospect to many potential buyers who would prefer to avoid going through the shopping cart process every time.
There are various additional functions that a site can offer that many customers may find useful, such as:
Products that are not currently available should be displayed at the end of the product list. Instead of the phrase "out of stock," you can use the term "on order" and offer the possibility of pre-ordering if the items are only temporarily out of stock. If you use more competitive pricing on the product cards that are temporarily out of stock this will attract visitors and improve user behavioral factors.
Make sure to put any promotional products at the top of your product listing pages as these are the items that are most likely to catch a user's attention. You should include information on the promotion within the product card such as the promotional price vs the normal RRP (recommended retail price).
You can display a rating markup on the product cards. Place the higher rated products first. Consumer opinions will help other buyers make a decision and also increase trust factors.
If there are a lot of products in a list, then placing them on one page is impractical. Firstly, the user will get tired of scrolling through a long page, and secondly, it will be technically difficult for the site to load all the products at once. In this case, use pagination – this splits the products into separate web pages.
Since most content management systems (CMS) assign the same data to the main page and any subsequent ones, it is normally pagination that causes page duplication.
To avoid this, do the following:
We don't recommend blocking pagination pages from being indexed by using a rule in the robots.txt file as this will also stop the content from being indexed.
If you use infinite scrolling instead of pagination you must ensure that all content on these pages is indexable.
However, when it comes to e-commerce sites, we tend to recommend using pagination rather than infinite scroll, as it gives the user more control when looking for a specific item. Infinite scrolling tends to be more useful for social media sites where there is not one specific item that the user may be looking for.
Search engines evaluate commercial resources based on particular characteristics. These tend to be elements that ensure convenience when purchasing a product or a service and increase customer trust and loyalty.
The necessary elements can change depending on your site type. However, some elements are compulsory for any site that has commercial intent. If you want to find out more, you can check out our essential landing page elements report in our dashboard. This will analyze your top 10 competitors' sites and provide information on what you need to do to compete.
Simplicity and ease of use are the main factors directly affecting online sales and user experience. Create pages with an intuitive and simple structure, easy navigation, an attractively designed CTA (call to action), and a valuable offering.
Work out how you will configure your clickable elements. Buttons, links, banners should be optimized with understandable/ clear call to action wording, such as: "buy," "go," "issue."
Don't use annoying ad formats and intrusive pop-ups that get in the way of users using your site.
Filters are an essential part of any commercial resource. Being able to filter through products contributes to improving a site's behavioral characteristics and therefore sales, as a user feels more comfortable in finding the product that's correct for them. The filters must correspond correctly to the products within them, be understandable and user-friendly.
Ensure you include as many parameters as possible in your filters, such as colors, sizes, material, price, brand, review ratings, etc. Firstly, it's more convenient for users, and secondly, it helps create more relevant product listing pages on your site. Additional landing pages are created under these filter categories, this attracts search traffic for low-frequency queries.
You must ensure that any non-useful pages will not appear in the index during the filtering process. To do this, ensure that any of these pages, when found, are blocked from being indexed.
Internal links show how pages are linked to each other and help users and search robots navigate the site.
Placing links to other internal pages with helpful content improves user behavioral factors. It keeps visitors on the site longer, motivates them to navigate through more of the site, and encourages them to actively interact with the site's elements and make additional purchases.
Place links to product listing pages in product descriptions and informational articles. Multiple links to a product listing page indicate the importance of its content to the search engines, therefore helping increase the page's ranking.
In addition to links to product listing pages and product pages, you can also use cross-content linking to pages that may be potentially interesting to the user. For example:
These lists allow users to see small snippets of other relevant or interesting products that may be of use to the user, yet again encouraging good user behavior by keeping them on the site longer.
Tagged pages are a kind of pseudo-product listing page in which products are combined according to specific narrow criteria. The set of properties based on which the tag is formed should correspond to popular user queries.
Pages that contain products with a popular combination of characteristics tend to be included in the index, rank well, and bring a lot of search traffic.
If your product listing page can be divided into such tags, link to them as you can see has been done below. However, it is essential not to overuse keywords on the page when creating tags as this can be seen as a spam tactic by the search engines.
The screenshot below shows an example of placing a tag cloud on the product listing page "Garden and Outdoors".
The primary means of navigation on product listing pages (menu sections, internal links) should be supplemented with 'breadcrumbs'. These are navigation chains (as you can see below) that reflect the sequence of pages from the main page to the one where the user is currently located.
Thanks to the clickability of each link, breadcrumb chains not only help to navigate the site but also to quickly return to a specific page in the chain.
This element is also displayed in the snippet, as seen below. This makes it clearer to the user that they will be clicking through to a relevant page.
Ensure the product listing page's name is relevant to the content within. The presence of a search engine-friendly URL will help the user immediately understand what product they will find on the page making them more likely to click through.
The keyword content in the URL can help increase the page's relevance to the query. However, including an excessive number of keywords can lead to spam and an increase in the URL length. Shorter, simpler URLs are preferable as they are easier to read and remember.
Make sure you have all your bases covered by checking for any technical errors that can reduce your site's effectiveness. Even simple technical errors can stop a page from ranking, or even being indexed in the first place.
You can conduct a thorough and quick technical audit of your site from our dashboard. We check 68 different technical parameters on each site, meaning we can find any small errors that may be holding your site back.
It's important to remember that search engine optimization is not a one-time event. SEO is a continuous process. To continue to see good results you must regularly analyze results achieved and refine where needed. Fill your site with valuable and relevant content and consistently compare against your competitors in the top 10 to ensure you are maximizing your opportunities.
Run a comprehensive SEO audit from our dashboard here at Labrika to receive personalized recommendations based on over 200 ranking factors, and to get a comprehensive overview of what your competition is doing to get in the top 10.