Category SEO: As a rule, everyone is concerned with the search engine optimization of the articles and pages of their blog for Google (SEO), but they often forget the categories.
In my experience, these can also rank very well and provide new visitors, if you make the right SEO measures. Here’s why I’ll explain how to get the most out of your category pages.
SEO tips for blog categories
The categories in WordPress are above all an instrument for getting order and overview in the blog. You can “put” articles in one or more categories, making it easier for interested readers to find similar items.
This is especially important, the more extensive the article archive of your blog. Categories help to find interesting older articles on a topic at all.
But also for Google, the categories are important, because thematic clusters are also welcome by the search engine. As a result, category pages also like to appear in the search results. Here, however, it is important to note some SEO tips.
Category Name – Category SEO Tips 1
If you create a new category under “Posts> Categories,” you should think about their names. This should describe a part of your blog well, without being too general or too specific.
Thus, the category name “information” would be too general, because you can not see any content-related focus. The user has no advantage of the classification in such a category.
A category name like “iPhone 9” would be too special for me. After all, you would probably have to create a lot of categories for individual products, and when the iPhone 9 is then no longer sold, you have a “dead” category.
Another reason why you should think twice about the category name is the URL. Often the category name is included in the article URL. Therefore, one can not and should not change the category names later so quickly, you do not want SEO losses on Google.
Category Description – Category SEO Tips 2
Only a few bloggers use the opportunity to give the categories a description text. Under “Articles> Categories” you can click on “Edit” for an existing category. Now you can see, among other things, the item “Description.” There you can specify a text that is displayed in the category view.
This text will be displayed if you can view all articles of a category in the blog. At least that’s the case with many WordPress themes, but there may be exceptions here.
On the one hand, it offers visitors a better overview and makes it clear what precisely this category is all about. But Google also appreciates the additional content.
Category Linking – Category SEO Tips 3
How to link your article categories in the blog is a matter of taste. In the main navigation, I often prefer to link individual important subpages instead of the groups. For this, I use the sidebar to list all categories.
For some projects, I also linked essential categories in the main navigation. For example, in my board game blog, I connected the Preview / Review category under the name “Board Games” directly in the main navigation. For niche sites, I often link to the Guidebook Articles category in the main navigation, as here’s my background info on microphones
In any case, it is essential that the categories are linked in a visible way for the visitors. Ideally, this is done in 2 places in the blog, so that nobody overlooks.
Categories in Google Search? – Category SEO Tips 4
One question I keep getting is: should not you prefer to exclude categories from Google Search?
The reason for this is usually that you do not want duplicate content. On the one hand, of course, Google indexes the individual articles. On the category pages, there is then the content of each article again. For me, the articles are cut off, meaning they only consist of the first few sentences. Nevertheless, most of the category page consists of text from the last articles in this category.
Nevertheless, I have had excellent experiences with releasing the categories for indexing for Google. With a good category name and a suitable category description, you can score points, and so good rankings for category archives are not uncommon.
Also with the categories, you can achieve good rankings in Google. This brings additional visitors to your blog. But you should optimize the categories well and use a few SEO tips so that they rank optimally.