How to Create Catalog Pages?
My first online project was an online shop. After that, I created catalog pages with a variety of written texts for search engines at the bottom of these pages. This strategy is now obsolete because Google recognizes the value of texts and UX. Today, you need to pay attention to personalization as much as possible if your goal is to rank higher and sell more. Let’s dive into how you can make this happen.
Amazon is the best example of an e-commerce website with catalog pages because of its prevalence all over the globe. A staggering +60% of all customers in the US search on Amazon and then go to Google or other platforms: Walmart, Bing, Bestbuy, etc.
Here is the problem. Amazon has unique private data to share products related to your previous buying experience, visiting pages, etc. The second problem is that there are over a billion products on Amazon! So we can’t copy the same approaches for our online shops, but we can use some personalization methods that simplify CX (Customer Experience).
Learn Your Audience
Most customers are impatient to get what they want to get. Therefore, you should learn what they’re looking for, satisfy their intent, and provide a simple structure for customers to access the products they need. For example, if you add irrelevant products on the first page of the catalog, then there is a big chance that customers will click away without opening the second page.
That is why you should understand what your customers need:
- better price
- best-selling products
- favorite brands
- products with free shipping
- special features.
How can we learn what these products are? There are many different methods of getting more data about customers:
- get feedback from loyal customers
- surveys and polls
- online studies
CEOs of big companies spend time with customers by learning how their products can help them. This data leads to developing and innovating products while forming a comprehensive understanding of customers’ pain points, interests, and wishes. Talk to salespeople or check out the previous information on what kind of best-selling products you have. Show them first.
For example, iPhone is responsible for 47% of all Apple’s total revenue. That is why if you open up Apple’s site, you’ll see new iPhone models featured on the front page.
Surveys and polls also share so much data about your customers. The best way is to ask about the CX after buying a product. Many companies send emails or calls to customers looking to get unbiased feedback. It helps to improve customer service and find the right products to list on a catalog page.
Online studies often share trends and volume for specific products – customers can sometimes change their habits or want to buy something new. I often see these studies on popular blogs or analyze them on Statista.
Online tools share popular keywords and their volume taking data from Google or other platforms. I prefer paid tools because they provide more data, but free tools also have advantages.
Testing is a final approach because business owners still determine precisely what works. Then, change products and learn which method brings more traffic and sales.
Amazon shares what customers want to get on catalog pages, but even the biggest shop cannot read our minds to find the perfect product. That is why on the left side, there are filters to narrow down customers’ search preferences:
- customer rating
- free shipping
Set up your filters on the right side related to your products to simplify CX. The best way is to analyze your competitors and ask some customers what filters they need.
Amazon sells over a billion products, but you are not Amazon. It is not a good idea to flood your pages with too many products; it overwhelms potential customers.
Check out how simple the catalog page on apple.com is. Instead of sharing lists of features and long texts, Apple designers only leave out the most important things that customers need: nice-looking pictures, short quotes, and prices.
Most customers leave catalog pages after a few seconds if the content is too long or complex. So streamline your page’s elements by satisfying CX as much as possible.
Write Catchy Titles For Products
Titles are essential for customers and search engines because they consist of keywords. As a result, Google understands your catalog much better and gives a solid reason to open products for users.
I like how sellers on Amazon write titles for their products to share the following:
- Titles are almost short descriptions considering the most important elements
- Capitalization of All Words Except prepositions and articles
- Using numbers and brackets (which helps to increase CTR by 74%)
- Using straightforward, not vague, language
- Using specific words that describe products better.
This element helps if you have many categories and subcategories to return to the more relevant parts. However, you don’t need this element if your catalog is not huge because simplicity is crucial.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Customers see photos first and then read texts. If you want to win their attention, then only submit high-quality images of products. Hire professional photographs or ask vendors to provide these pictures.
Catalog Pages Are Not for SEO Traffic
Catalog pages are essential for UX, but might not bring SEO traffic if users are not looking for catalogs or a list of products. You don’t need to write a lot of texts like I did ten years ago. Write for humans, not for algorithms. Google provides an excellent job of recognizing content on these pages.
Before creating catalog pages, learn about your customers and only then list products with features that would interest them. Remove any unnecessary information to keep your pages concise and attractive. Simplicity and personalization help a lot with catalog pages.