Category pages are often used to sort products, services, and blog posts on a website. They also play an important part in how search engines index pages. The category page is at the top of the search tree and is what connects everything in a category. This means that search engines and customers pass through the category page to get where they need to go.
Because category pages are so central to SEO and to how customers enter sales funnels, it is important to make sure that they can fill both roles successfully. For mobile devices, many landing pages fall short because they are not designed for one use or another. Mobile devices are at the top of the list for how people shop and access information, it is time that designers focus on designing category pages to increase mobile conversions.
Only Include the Essentials
Start the design process with a blank slate. Doing so removes all of the good and bad content choices that you previously made. Then, start adding the essential elements that you need to guide customers through the process.
Essential elements are the parts of the page that you absolutely must-have. This can vary based on the situation, but the general needs for a category page are:
- A list of posts
- The title with the category name
- Post descriptions (thumbnail and an excerpt)
- Branding for the company
- A search feature with parameters
The list is not very long, which is a good thing. The fewer necessary elements that there are, the better since it is easier to fill the page with only the things that you need. These are elements that make the page function effectively. For example, a category page is not very effective without showing you other posts or pages that are important for that category. Determine the elements that you need for your category pages by asking yourself “How would I do [purpose of element] without it?” If you cannot find another way to do whatever it is that the element is meant to do, then it is likely an essential element.
Filing the page with just the essentials also has an effect on how customers view the page. There is nothing there to distract the viewer from the key points that you are trying to make, so your message will be more likely to be heard. Here is a deeper look at why these elements are important to increase mobile conversions.
Category and Page Titles
The category and page titles are important for navigational purposes as well as SEO. It is the first indicator that customers have made it to the right starting page for their search. Search engines will use the titles to determine the purpose of the page and how it can catalog it and the other pages it reaches from there.
The post and page list compile all of the posts or pages that fall into the category. In essence, you are serving the customer with a collection of related items in an effort to help them find the right one. It is important to make sure that this list is compiled accurately and consistently to give customers the best chance of finding what they are looking for.
Within the list, there should be two items for every item: a thumbnail picture and a description. These are the two pieces of information that viewers expect and it will help them choose the right post. Use this to your advantage to highlight products and promote sales.
Search Feature with Parameters
Your category page needs a way of filtering through the available options. In most cases, online stores have hundreds of items for sale, making it difficult to find one or two in the collection. Having a filter system makes it much faster and pleasant to search for specific products.
Throughout the category page, there should be company branding. This helps customers associate the experience with the brand, and you can use that as a chance to build up a reputation.
Reduce the Page Size
Another way to improve mobile conversions is to reduce the size of the page. When people search for products, having too many projects on one page is distracting. It keeps customers from being able to identify what they are looking for because there are too many options to compare. Instead, limit the number of posts on a single search results page. That way, customers are not overwhelmed with the number of items to review. Make this feature controllable as well, since it will help clients who want to view more products at one time.
Customize Features Where Possible
Throughout your system, find ways of customizing features when it is possible. A more customized experience is memorable since most websites function exactly the same way. Focus on adding value where customers will find it most important. For example, the filter system relies on tags to work. Every post in the system should be tagged in some way with, at the least, a category tag. Look deeper at each product and see if you can find tags that are more descriptive and relevant to customers. They will appreciate having a method of searching for products that are more personal and effective than the high-level methods that most companies use.
Develop Category Pages With Help
If designing category pages seems daunting, work with an agency that has experience doing it. This will help you avoid mistakes and make the process much easier. At KitelyTech, we work with companies to help them develop digital assets, including websites and apps. We can help you develop category pages that consistently increase your mobile conversions. Call us at (312) 254-8248 to discuss your next project.