5 Tips to improve SEO and the Consumer Journey on The Warehouse main category pages


A few months ago I wrote an article titled, "eCommerce Main Category Page Layout: where to place key elements and why". It is a scientific break down of main category pages. The information and guidance in this article will be put into practice for The Warehouse main category pages.

I will be referencing the "Furniture" main category page, but most main category pages on The Warehouse site follow the same layout, making these recommendations relevant across all main category pages.

If The Warehouse was to execute these 5 tips, not only would their organic rankings in “Furniture” terms grow, the consumer experience would lift to a new level prompting consumers to continue on with their buying and/or information gathering journey.

While The Warehouse ranks well in Google NZ for "Furniture" they rank poorly for all sub category "Furniture" titles i.e. "bedroom furniture". These tips will assist in solving this problem for The Warehouse.

Tip # 1 Drop the Copy

Drop the six paragraphs of copy on this page, it may have some merit for SEO but adds no value to the consumer experience at this stage of their journey.

If a consumer has specific intent and is looking for furniture they are not going to read six paragraphs of copy.

The primary purpose of main category pages is to maintain the consumer journey momentum by filtering them deeper into the site, delivering them to relevant content aligned to their intent. No copy you deliver at this stage will be relevant to the consumer.

Of all the SEO initiatives to apply, this is the worst option for a retailer with a large product offering below the Furniture category.

Tip # 2 Introduce "Headings"

Introduce what's known as an H1 (Heading 1) and place it above the “Boxing Day Bargains” on the left hand side (just to the right of the sub category left hand column), and make it big so the consumer's eye can clearly see it. The heading should read "Furniture".

Warning. Make sure this title is HTML and not an image.

This title delivers validation to consumers. Consumers will be coming from many sources but the two most common will be the home page and from Google. This title tells consumers they have landed on the right page from their previous step.

Eye tracking studies have proven when a consumer views a new page they always start in the top left hand corner hence the position of this title. The only way you currently know you landed on a "Furniture" category is by viewing the banners (which do not say "Furniture") and the small "Furniture" title in the left hand column.

From the perspective of SEO, part of Google's ranking algorithm looks at page structure, requiring Headings to tell Google what this page is about. Currently, Google thinks this page is about "Delivered to your door!", the title below the banners, which leads us to Tip #3....

Step 3 Change "Delivered to your door!"

Below the carousel (scrolling banners) change the title “Delivered to your door!” to “Furniture Categories”. This is referred to as an "H2" (Heading 2). Google looks at this heading to see if it references the H1.

This assists in SEO by delivering saturation of the keyword "Furniture" in the headings and properly introduces the next section of the page. While "Delivered to your door" is a great customer message it is in the wrong place.

Tip # 4 Introduce Sub Categories

When you walk through a Warehouse store looking for something you walk along the ends of the isles and look up to see the large signs explaining the range carried in that section of the store. It's the only way to find things in these huge stores.

Once you find the section of the store of interest, you gaze down the isle to see other signs peering out at you identifying other product categories.

This section of the main category page is no different. A consumer has landed in the "Furniture" section, now he/she peer down the isle. The digital version of this is displaying tiles on the main category page representing each sub category.

Here is a great example of Amazon doing this for one of their categories...

Each tile contains an image and title building keyword saturation for Furniture sub categories greatly assisting in SEO but more importantly, it delivers clear visual representation of all sub categories assisting consumers in their next step.

Important note: Tiles on this page will enhance the consumer journey on Tablets, try selecting one of those Furniture sub categories on the left hand side of the page with your finger.

Tip # 5 Introduce a Heading For Products

If The Warehouse wishes to display products on the main category pages, they need to be clear as to why these products are being featured at such an early stage of the consumer journey. The Warehouse still does not know what the consumer is looking for, so these products need to be special in some way.

Without a heading these products will be ignored.

Examples of effective headings:

  • "Furniture Customer Favourites"
  • "Hot Furniture Deals"
  • "New Furniture Arrivals"

By adding the term "Furniture" in this title (H2), more saturation of this keyword can be achieved within a heading.

On the current main category page there are stickers marking some products as a “Hot Deal”, so why are the others listed on this page?

The Warehouse is 5 tips away from dramatically improving its main category pages. There are at least another dozen things to be done to The Warehouse main category pages, but for now these 5 are the "low hanging fruit" high impact changes required to lift both their organic visibility and satisfy consumer journeys.

Read "The 7 eCommerce SEO rules retailers can implement" and learn how to build your SEO foundation.


This article was as tagged as Omni Channel Retailing , SEO , Usability , User Experience

Share it on LinkedIn