Why you need to revamp your Category Content right NOW

By Lucy Dodds • 18 March 2022 • minutes reading time

Category page content: Write 300 words and you’re done, right? Wrong.

Now more than ever, we see research-led, rich content on transactional pages, which is much more detailed than the standard, brief introduction we’ve been accustomed to.

But this isn’t about increasing word count, which we know Google does not consider as a ranking factor. This content is about making transactional pages more relevant for users who are turning to websites to make larger purchases. The decline of the high street has seen a huge increase in users buying cars, mattresses, engagement rings, and more expensive, considered purchases online, even though we’ve previously been required to see these in person.

That’s why many sites need to revamp their category content right now.

Search and its users are evolving, and we need to react to avoid being left behind. Here, we’ll show you one part of our Content Strategy that has worked as we improve category pages for our clients and achieve some mega results.

The insights shared below were found using a custom regex in Google Analytics, so the traffic results you see are only from the key category pages we’ve worked on. Our rankings data is from keywords with a transactional intent, which is why we know we’re bringing valuable traffic that makes a difference to a businesses’ KPIs.

How we created leading category content in the Automotive sector and increased traffic by 204% to our client’s key transactional pages

With so many well-established automotive sites and manufacturers taking advantage of the SERPs, often thanks to being a recognisable brand, the automotive sector is extremely competitive. Smaller sites need to work hard to make their content better than ever if they want their category pages to rank well for transactional keywords like ‘audi a1 pcp’ or ‘audi a1 for sale’.

One site which creates excellent automotive content on its category pages is The AA. I always reference The AA’s content to automotive clients because the site’s creators have evidently done a lot of research and know exactly what their users need to know before making a purchase.

Let’s look at the Used Audi A1 page as an example. The content begins with an expert opinion – something that will resonate with a lot of car buyers who aren’t vehicle fanatics and are relying on the expertise of someone else before deciding.

Cars are – obviously – expensive, and users don’t buy them on a whim, so automotive sites need a level of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust) to help guide users along their purchase journey, which this content displays.

Category content example from The AA

The AA takes their content further by breaking down the individual trim levels and explaining the features of each one. This is valuable for users who know they want to buy an Audi A1 but are still researching the vehicle because they are unsure which trim level is right for them. The average user doesn’t know what ‘SE’, ‘Sport’ or ‘S Line’ means, so we need the extra content to explain.

Further category content examples by The AA used to highlight best practice - Evolved Search

Finally, The AA has created very specific content that directly targets users who meet certain conditions: they want to buy a vehicle that’s used and is an Audi A1 model.

The creator behind this content appears to know a lot about buying a used Audi A1, positioning The AA as the right site to guide users through the process. By creating this highly tailored content, users can get the answers they need and are more likely to convert.

Category content example continued - Evolved Search

What you’ll notice is that while The AA has a lot of content – more than you would expect for a category page – it’s broken down to bite-sized pieces of information, so users can skip past anything that’s not relevant, or equally go straight to the content they need the most.

So, how did we do it?

By applying similar tactics to The AA, we were able to create leading content for our client in the automotive sector.

We researched what users were asking before they converted and created content to satisfy that need. Our content was tailored specifically to the type of purchase (e.g., buying or financing), plus the manufacturer and the model, limiting any generic information that users don’t need.

This was then meticulously edited and broken down into bite-sized pieces of information that synced well with the typical category page design (e.g., with product listings and deals displayed).

Since this content strategy has been implemented, our client has seen almost 200 key category pages move 5.7 positions, on average, and traffic has increased by 204%.

While we see rankings fluctuate, often because of Google updates, the client’s transactional pages are improving over time as we implement this research-based content strategy, standing up against some high competition, even though the site isn’t as authoritative as many others in the automotive industry when it comes to overall brand strength.

Don’t have a lot of resource? Prioritise key category pages and still get results without making huge changes.

While our automotive client was a longer, resource-heavy project with almost 200 URLs, not every site will need as much work. You can still achieve great results by prioritising the most important categories which drive revenue, capitalising on the good traffic that you’re already achieving.

Here’s how we applied a simpler content strategy to our bathroom client, Drench.co.uk, targeting a few prioritised categories each month for five months while we focused our other efforts on link building and technical SEO.

How we upgraded our bathroom client’s key categories and increased traffic by 26%

Drench is already a successful client of ours – in fact, our work saw us be named as a Best Retail SEO Finalist in 2021 at the UK Search Awards – but as is the case with SEO, there is always more to do. Here’s how we revamped key category pages without requiring a lot of resource. You can also read more about our fresh approach to Drench.

The content on Drench’s key categories was already to a good standard. The site had lots of detailed guide content, which is essential for any users making changes to their bathroom – like buying a car, it’s not something you can do on a whim. Buying and installing bathroom products requires a lot of research as it’s a major change to make in the home.

Since we already had the well-researched content, it was simply a case of making sure we were linking to these useful guides so users could find all the information they needed. We improved internal linking to strengthen the link value being passed from the guides to the key category pages.

In addition, we focused on making page titles and meta descriptions more transactional with better keyword targeting to improve clicks.

Our approach to content saw our client’s key category pages move 1.9 positions, on average, and traffic increase by 25.5% in five months.

Why you need to revamp your category content now – before your competitors surpass you

When one of our newest clients, AngelicDiamonds.com, approached us, we found that competitors in the luxury jewellery sector were either growing visibility quickly or at least maintaining, while Angelic Diamonds was falling behind.

While several other factors contributed to this, we noticed during our initial Content Audit that the site’s category pages weren’t as detailed as the competition. This was impacting their overall visibility score, according to Searchmetrics, which gives a higher score depending on the position and competitiveness of the keywords a site ranks for.

While this graph shows only a snapshot of the sites compared, we know that transactional keywords are more competitive, suggesting Angelic Diamonds’ competitors are much more visible for key pages because of their higher visibility score. Therefore, we knew to investigate category page content to see how it compared to the competition.

For something as serious as buying an engagement ring, we know that users are conducting a lot of research before making this large purchase. We found that competing sites were satisfying this need and providing the content that users needed on their category pages.

For example, Steven Stone’s page for engagement rings has content explaining all the different ring styles. It’s very detailed, which is great for many users who are likely shopping for this product for the first time and are confused about ring types. The content is complete with CTAs leading the users to each style, too.

Category content example for our client Angelic Diamonds - Evolved Search

We also noticed Diamond Heaven, a site with FAQ content, which is great for fulfilling users’ needs while naturally including internal links to other category pages.

Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated

We recommended Angelic Diamonds provide richer, more contextual content to users at the category page level to ensure they no longer fall behind the competition. I’m very confident this content strategy will be a success, although we’ll share the results in future.

Like the sound of these results? 

Get in touch to find out more about how we’d create a content strategy that drives the right traffic to your site.

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