Creating a perfect category structure can be key to the performance of your store.
Your Category Structure is the online equivalent of Aisle signs in your High Street store.
You have to make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for.
*Always plan your category structure before you start creating categories in Magento. Think about what your core offering is and break it down into several top Level categories.
Top Level Categories (TLC'S)
These should be the main product groupings that you want to appear on your menu.
For example, a Bathroom store may have TLC's like this.
Then, below the Top Level Categories, you build your subcategories.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- What can we call these categories
- What products will reside in these categories
- Do we have enough products to warrant each category
- Do we really NEED this category?
What Do We Call Subcategories?
Name subcategories logically and concisely. 1-3 Words maximum.
What Products Reside in Subcategories?
Deciding what products live in subcategories can be difficult because some products can live in multiple categories. Try to consider where the majority of people would expect this product to live and place it there first.
Do We Have Enough Products to Warrant Each Category?
Having empty categories or thinly populated is bad merchandising. Not only does it look poor to the user, but search engines will rank the category as having low relevance to search queries.
Do We Really Need This Category?
If you think of a category but only have a few eligible products, can they live in another more broad category, where they can be found by using filters?
* Strong selling product groups may well warrant their own category. Especially if you want to create ad campaigns for that product. If you don't sell a high volume of a certain product group, does it really warrant its own category? Multiple poor categories could dilute the relevance of your site.
*Avoid duplication of categories and category titles. Such as naming titles using colour.
Here you have 2 categories called Blue, it would be better to call them Blue T-shirts and Blue Trousers.
Or alternatively, You could just have T-shirts, and trousers and then use filters to help you customers filter by colour.
Finally, it's worth pointing put that there are no hard rules for category structure. However, keeping things tight by using a strong TLC structure, with a few well thought out subcategories for each TLC, will help the Search Engines to crawl and index more pages on your site.
A large and sprawling category structure usually contains duplications, is hard to manage and results in less pages and products being crawled.
Good Category Structure
Poorer Category Structure