In case you haven't figured it out, you've landed on the 6th tip of a 30-part series on improving your online eCommerce store. It's a set of tips targeting your WooCommerce site because so many people do so much work just to get their store live and then stop enhancing it. So these tips are meant to help you get the most from your store.
Here's what you may have missed already:
- WooCommerce Product Comparisons
- WooCommerce Product URLs
- Wishlists for Guests
- Affiliate / Recommendation Programs
- Funnels & One-Time Offers
And that takes us to today, where we're talking about your WooCommerce category pages.
WooCommerce Category Pages
The first thing you should know is that WooCommerce will create your category pages for you. Most of the time, just adding products to categories will get you category pages.
So why is there a tip about them?
Because I don't find that they deliver the value that they should.
Now, to be clear, that's not a slam on WooCommerce at all. It's simply a fact that with so many different kinds of customers doing so many different kinds of things with it, it's hard to make decisions around the optimization of category pages without making someone angry.
But on this blog, I can tell you my opinion.
Two reasons why you should create your own category pages
I believe there are two reasons you should skip the auto-created pages and create your own.
The first is simple this: not all products or categories are equal. Imagine you've created products in 10 categories. The default category page will create a nice grid for you where every single category and/or product (and their image) is just like every other one.
But you may not hold all of them to be of equal stature. So you might decide:
- To create large images for key products
- To list the secondary categories without images
- To only present some key categories (or products), not all of them
All of this is something you can do with your own category page.
And sometimes you'll find that this has a performance impact as well. Instead of using the default category pages, you're creating unique and custom pages that may load faster because they're not loading everything, whether it's more text (and queries) or more photos.
The second reason is that most category pages lack content.
We all like to think that customers will arrive at our store ready to purchase anything we show them. But this isn't true. Many people arrive with a sense of desire but not complete information.
Your category page, when it has additional copy, can help you close a sale.
Plugins & Theme Resources
If you're thinking, “Yes! I want to create my own category pages but I don't know how, and I want to make them look good,” then here are some resources for you.
- WooCommerce documentation on shortcodes
- Make Theme & Make Plus Plugin for WooCommerce
- Layers (drag & drop theme) & Storekit (WooCommerce extension)
- BeaverBuilder Plugin (for tons of custom drag & drop design goodness)
While I have my favorites from the above list, this tip isn't about me or my favorites. It's about you and helping you get the most from your category pages, and I hope these resources help you get there.