As the ultimate shopping page, a PLP creates a virtual shopping aisle for your e-commerce customers—and a chance for you to increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty. Our trusted guide will help you make the most of your product listing pages.

What is Covered in this Guide:

E-commerce brands of all sizes are constantly striving to add new customers, improve conversion rates (CVR), and lower customer acquisition cost (CAC), among plenty of other priorities. In this guide, we hone in on Product Listing Pages (PLPs) and the critical role they play for any successful e-commerce business.

PLPs are the ultimate shopping page, where customers browse selections of products as if they were perusing the aisles of a Toys-R-Us back in 1995 (anyone else excited about the comeback?). In addition to the customers POV, Product Listing Pages are particularly interesting for a brand to manage given how many teams usually touch them, including SEO, paid search, paid social, email, customer experience, and merchandising teams. After five years of working diligently to perfect strategy on these pages for brands big and small, we’ve packed all of that knowledge into this comprehensive guide to PLP pages that we hope will help you crush the competition. 

What is a Product Listing Page (PLP)? 

A product listing page, or a PLP, is an aggregated list of products grouped together based on a category or a filter that is applied based on a search query. PLPs are also often referred to as “category” or “collection” pages. Typically, these pages are linked to in an e-commerce site’s navigation, helping users get one step closer to finding a product and learning more on a product description page, or PDP.

Why is a Product Listing Page Important? 

Product listing pages play an important role in creating a positive user experience for shoppers, and lead to an optimized product discovery. Additionally, these pages are often used across paid media campaigns to drive search engine traffic from other marketing campaigns, so it’s important that they are optimized both for discovery and user engagement, but also for conversions. Juggling these aspects can be a lot to consider at once, but effective optimizations can have a big impact on performance across a variety of channels. PLP optimizations have been a significant part of our strategy in driving non-brand impression and click growth for Kendra Scott as well as Watchbox where we saw a 49% increase in organic traffic YoY on their product listing pages.

7 Must-Have PLP Components to Drive Performance 

In one sense, PLPs are simple, after all, it’s just a grid of products that you offer, right? While that sounds nice in theory, as we alluded to earlier, there are a lot of elements to this page that are managed by various departments and functions inside of a brand. If you are small — enjoy the simplicity while you have it! If you are a bigger brand, coming back to these seven must-haves is likely a good reminder on how to prioritize what is most important to drive results. Here are our top seven must-have components for driving performance through PLP pages. 

1. Header & Hero Image

The header and hero image are typically the first thing a user will see when they land on a product listing page. These key elements are the main indicators of what the page’s content will be about and should be informative and engaging. The header should be tagged as a <h1> and contain the target keyword for the page. A hero image or banner is a great way to indicate the products listed in the category, promote featured products, or drive awareness for specials. Lastly, the top of the page is a great place to incorporate some SEO-rich text. With all of these considerations, it is important to keep products above the fold and allow the shopper to quickly begin finding the product they are looking for. 

2. Optimized Page Layout

For a product listing page, the most common page layouts either have products listed vertically or in a product grid with two to four images per grid row. The list view is typically best suited for products where specs are the most important information for the consumer (most commonly seen in technical products like TVs). The grid view is more commonly seen where visuals and pictures are the most compelling. When using a grid layout, displaying more than four images per row can make the products too small for users to skim and effectively see the product before clicking to the PDP. This can be an interesting A/B test if you are deciding which layout works best for your website and drives the highest conversion rate and user engagement. 

3. Filters & Sorting

Filters and sorting are important to incorporate when developing a product listing page to allow customers to easily find what they are looking for. Filters allow users to refine their search based on specific criteria like color, price, and size, for example. Sorting allows customers to organize the products based on their preferences. 

4. Product Cards – Images, Ratings, Pricing, CTAs

First, having high-quality images that are accurate, detailed, and show the product in use is vital. Images should also be standardized (same background, angles, etc.) to create a strong brand image and make comparing multiple products easier.  Clearly displaying the price is also important, and it should be easy for the customer to visually spot if a product is on sale, ideally allowing them to compare the marked down price to the full price. Other items to consider displaying, depending on your audience, are a wishlist button, colors and sizing, best-sellers, and ratings. Lastly, ensure there are clear and consistent CTAs implemented that are tailored to the target audience. Having an “Add to Bag” CTA directly from the product preview can be helpful to streamline the purchasing funnel and increase conversion. However, this may not make sense for more expensive purchases that require more detail listed on the PDP. 

5. Personalized Elements

Work to personalize PLPs as much as possible to drive a stronger user experience and higher conversion rate. Some examples of this include using recommendation carousels, tailored display results at the top of the page, or discovery capabilities where users can curate which items they would like to see more of. Lastly, customer service is key — provide strong customer support through chat functionality, or the opportunity to speak to an expert online or in-store. 

6. Technical SEO Optimizations

When creating your PLP, it’s important to have the page technically optimized so it’s easier for users to discover the page in a Google Search. Ensure that your target keyword for the page is included in key SEO elements on the page like your title tag, meta description, and H1. It’s also helpful to add content to the page both as an opportunity to incorporate secondary keywords, but also to add more product category information for the customer. This information should be formatted in a way that allows the users to more easily digest the information and is readable to Google, with some options to consider being paragraphs, tables, charts, and frequently asked questions.

7. Site Speed

Lastly, technical site structure and page speed are extremely important to an optimized PLP page. The faster the site and the PLP page loads, the more likely the user is to stay engaged and convert while on site. Additionally, for SEO, it is important to hit core web vital metric targets for LCP, FID, and XXXX. Hitting these targets will help to improve rankings and increase visibility through organic search. 

PLP Best Practices 

If you’ve implemented all of the recommendations above and you’re still hungry for more, we’ve collected some additional hints and tips to really set your PLP page apart. 

  • Complement the PLP with a well-optimized PDP
  • Complement the PLP with a well-optimized PDP
  • Continue to monitor site speed and other technical issues for optimal site health
  • Test elements like personalization, layout, headers, and other elements to see what is resonating with your user the most to increase conversion
  • Implement breadcrumb navigation to aid in the customer’s journey

3 PLP Examples We Love 

Feeling like this is a lot to undertake on your PLP pages? We assure you it is possible and drives real results. Let’s take a closer look at a few client examples to see what this type of optimization looks like when it’s deployed. 

Gump’s 

We love this example from Gump’s of how to match a brand’s aesthetic and visual branding to a technically well-optimized page. This hero showcases the product in an elevated way, while still being clear about what the page is. The H1 is coded correctly and features the primary SEO keyword “ring,” and the brief description also supports SEO while simultaneously providing some simple messaging to connect with customers and excite them about the page offerings. The balance between brand and technical marketing is always a bit challenging, but when done well, is what truly maximizes performance.

Kendra Scott 

Not many brands merchandise as well as our partner Kendra Scott. We love a number of things about the way they feature products on their PLPs. In this example, you can see a number of our must-haves and best practices in action,  such as:

  • Clean and consistent product imagery (not to mention stunning)
  • A clear highlight for new products to stir excitement 
  • Ability to add to wishlist 
  • Different color options and price clearly displayed 
  • “Quick Add” feature 

It can be difficult in the early stages to invest into really strong photography, but it really does pay off. If you have a great product that your market wants, don’t let it hide behind mediocre product images!

WatchBox

Moving to the bottom of a PLP page, we love this example from our partner, WatchBox. For a higher price point product like a luxury watch, customers are going to need more information to make an informed decision. This content sits below the product grid, but is easily accessible to shoppers and to Google Bot. These examples show three elements that we would recommend all higher price point brands consider:

  • SEO-optimized content to further describe the product category and provide additional rich information to the consumer 
  • Charts to help the customer narrow down the product they are interested in with more information regarding price, references, and features 
  • Frequently asked question copy and schema to provide additional visibility to these top requested queries  

You wouldn’t buy a home without doing your due diligence, just the same as most consumers wouldn’t do significant research to determine which candy bar to snag at the checkout line. Matching up the sophistication of your pages to the price point and complexity of your products is a great way to help meet customer needs and increase the chance for conversion.

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Author

Liz Sims VP, Partnership Performance

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