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What Makes a Good eCommerce Category Page?

A category page being held aloft by a hand

For eCommerce and retail websites, category pages are of paramount importance. They give the user a rundown of all the products your business offers and can sometimes be the first touch-point a user has with your site. Without customer-centric category pages, visitors are unlikely to convert into customers and your revenue will not be as strong as it should be.

In this guide, we are going to cover how to grow eCommerce category pages using best practices from a UX (user experience), CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and  SEO (search engine optimisation) perspective, and including examples from successful eCommerce websites.

But firstly…

What Is a Category Page?

Category pages are the bread and butter of the eCommerce world. They provide users with a list of all the options your site offers within a specific category, helping them to make a buying decision. Often, categories (and sub-categories) take the form of a grid or list layout, displaying product images, titles, key information and prices, while also offering users the opportunity to filter down and hone in on their desired product.

Also known as product listing pages (PLPs), product categories sit near the bottom of the marketing funnel so need to be laser-focused on enticing conversions. You should be looking to quickly get that user from the category page onto the PDP (product display page), where they will hopefully add that product to their basket and purchase.

With a good marketing strategy, potential customers could land directly onto your category pages from search engine results pages, emails or social media. But if a user lands on your site elsewhere, you should look to get them to the converting category pages as soon as you can.

eCommerce Category Page Best Practices

There are many elements that combine to make a good eCommerce category page but at the core of every single one is the user. Let’s outline a list of PLP page best practices before taking a deep dive into each one.

Clear category names

It seems obvious, but your category should be named appropriately, clearly informing the user of what they will find on this page. You should consider SEO optimisation at this point, ensuring your page title and heading include the primary keyword related to the products in the PLP.

Detailed category descriptions

All successful eCommerce websites have detailed descriptions of the products featured in a category at the top or bottom of the page. Some even have both. This tells the customer what kind of product options they might find throughout the PLP and the potential benefits of making a purchase. Include any USPs and use enticing language that will get the reader interested in exploring the products available. This chunk of copy will also form the main SEO content on the page, so remember your primary and secondary keywords and other SEO copywriting essentials. That said, always write for the reader, not Google.

Effective filters and sorting options

Help the user find their desired product as easily as possible with a good filtering and sorting system. Your category could include hundreds of products and your visitor is unlikely to want to scroll through them all to find the one that exactly fits their needs. As such, allow them to filter by different attributes like colour, size, product type, price, reviews, brand, style or other relevant options to your industry. There is a proven correlation between users interacting with filters and purchasing, and the same can be said for sorting. Users like to sort by price, relevance, popularity and newness, so let them.

Enticing calls to action

You should always look to get a user to the end of the buying journey and calls to action are an essential part of that. The best eCommerce sites allow users to add products to their basket or even ‘quick-buy’ directly from the PLP, but most will be looking for users to click through to the product page in order to purchase. Consider how your customers would want to progress from the category page to the buying stage and tailor your calls to action accordingly.

Looking to optimise your eCommerce category pages?

Get in touch with our experienced and friendly SEOteam today.

High-quality imagery

Eyes are always drawn first to images. A user can make a decision about whether a product is for them in mere milliseconds by scanning over an image, so you need to ensure the thumbnail product images featured on the PLP showcase each product in its best light. Ensure lighting is good, resolution is strong and the full product is visible. These days, a plain old photo of a product might not cut it, perhaps an image of the product being used is a more enticing and informative prospect for the user. Remember to keep these images optimised for fast loading to not affect site performance. Check out our tips on how to get the most out of your website photography.

The Shoezone website on a laptop

Maybe the user needs something slightly different to the products offered in the category they’ve landed on. Help them get to where they need to be by offering internal links to relevant categories that could better serve their requirements. Bear in mind these links can also be useful from an SEO point of view, so include links to categories that have high search volume, provided they are relevant. Often, these inter-category links take the form of button links at the top or bottom of the page, while some sites include hyperlinks within the category copy.

Strong core web vitals and page load speeds

Good user experience on a product category page is heavily influenced by core web vitals and page load speeds. It’s annoying for a user to have to wait a while for a page to load or if elements shift around the page while they’re trying to interact with them. A poor loading experience like this is very likely to see a user leave your site to try and find a better experience elsewhere, especially if they’re using a mobile device. And of course, core web vitals are a key part of technical SEO performance so ensuring your site scores highly in these areas can improve your search engine rankings.

Pagination or infinite scrolling

Often, there are more products in a category than fit on one page. The way to deal with this traditionally is called pagination, whereby the category is split into numbered pages that users can flick through to access all the products available. A more modern solution is infinite scrolling, where more products load once the user has reached the end of the products on the current screen. This can be a more user-friendly solution but will likely increase loading times. You should weigh up the pros and cons of each solution before choosing what’s best for your customer.

Breadcrumbs are a simple yet effective tool in enhancing UX and SEO on your category pages. Essentially, these are links at the top of the page that display the journey through your website to the page a user is currently on. Breadcrumbs help users and search engine crawlers navigate your site effectively and should be present on all category and product pages.

Mobile responsiveness

According to Statista data for 2023, 80% of online retail shoppers in the UK use mobile devices, compared to 20% using desktop devices. This means your eCommerce category pages simply have to be optimised for mobile. If not, you’ll lose four fifths of your potential customers, who will instead go to one of your competitors. A good modern eCommerce platform incorporates mobile responsiveness and ensures UX is just as good as it is on desktop.

Best eCommerce Category Page Examples

Now we have examined the elements that make up a good category page, let’s look at some websites that perform strongly to inspire you to do the same. I’ll start with a category page example from an eCommerce site that we built and optimised ourselves, before discussing some big players in the online retail space.

Appliance city website

Appliance City

We worked with national white goods retailer Appliance City to overhaul their eCommerce website, and effective category pages were a huge consideration. Our goal was to increase traffic to the site through a best-practice SEO strategy and ensure this new traffic converts into revenue once they reach the site.

Taking Ceramic Electric Range Cookers as an example, the page includes all the elements outlined above. There’s a clear category title, engaging category description, links to relevant categories, visible calls to action, options to filter and sort, breadcrumb links, pagination and good product imagery, while the page is fully responsive to mobile devices and scores highly for core web vitals and load speeds.

The layout and design of the page is modern and suited to the industry, and ensures all essential information is always visible to the user. These category pages, coupled with SEO efforts and the overall new website design, led to a +114% increase in web revenue for Appliance City. Check out our case study for more juicy stats.

Next website


Next is one of the most successful eCommerce websites in the UK and, when you look at their PLPs, it’s clear to see why. Everything is set up to convert users into customers, while also adhering to SEO best practices to keep that organic traffic coming in. We can see all the elements outlined in this guide are featured on Next’s category pages, plus some enhancements to really get ahead of the game.

If we explore their category copy on the dresses page, we can see it is updated for each season, ensuring the content never goes stale and is always relevant to the reader. The majority of this content is hidden behind a ‘read more’ option, but still present in the page HTML so can be read by search engine crawlers. There are also engaging image button links to relevant categories that are a step above regular links, while the product images feature models to better display how the clothes would look on a customer. The option to add a product to the user’s favourites list is another clever way to keep the customer engaged with the products within the category.

All in all, it’s no surprise that Next is number one in Pi Datametrics’ SEO market leaders board for UK Fashion and has very strong eCommerce conversion rates.

Argos website Televisions


Another huge player in the UK home retail market is Argos. Their category pages are slightly different in structure, yet still stick closely to all the key principles of eCommerce PLPs as listed above. That said, they have added a number of extra enhancements to their categories to succeed in a crowded space.

Argos has their category copy at the bottom of their categories, which is a growing trend in eCommerce. This allows sites to increase the amount of written content on a category without using space above the fold. This content is written almost entirely for SEO purposes, as the user is unlikely to ever read it. The detailed copy on the Argos televisions page, for example, goes into the minutiae of different types, sizes and brands of TVs, allowing Argos to mention lots of secondary keywords. There are also lots of contextual links to relevant categories within this copy which still speaks directly to the user, despite its clear SEO focus.

Other optimisations on the Argos page include banners denoting when a product is in high demand and on special offer, plus the option to add to a favourites list like Next. They’ve also taken the decision to forgo a space in their product listing grid to encourage users to check out their TV buying guide, further assisting the journey to end purchase. Everything is set up to help the user find exactly the product they need, which is the purpose of an eCommerce category page after all.

In Summary

Through reading this guide, you should have a better idea of just what features your eCommerce site needs to include in its category page design to be successful. I’ve outlined those key elements and given examples of some websites that have used these tactics to great success so that you can too. Our in-house experts would be all too happy to expand on this topic further and provide advice on how you can get the most out of your eCommerce site.

We’re eCommerce specialists here at Boom. Our team has significant experience in designing, building and marketing eCommerce websites. You can find more examples like Appliance City in our Case Studies area.

Whether you’re considering a new eCommerce website with enhanced product category pages or just want to optimise your existing category pages, we can help. Take a look through our eCommerce website development and eCommerce SEO pages to see what we can do for you.

Looking to optimise your eCommerce category pages?

Get in touch with our experienced and friendly SEOteam today.

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