WordPress Categories Are Powerful for SEO

using laptop computer to set wordpress categories

If you’re planning to use posts to your site’s blog to enhance your search results and search presence, you need to understand how powerful categories are.

Categories allow you to create a hierarchy and structure to organize content that makes sense to a reader, helping them find content by broad subject. When you use an organizational hierarchy, content can help support your SEO goals.

Category URLs are searchable and help you rank for content by specific topic. Category URL’s are generally structured in the following manner:
http://mydomain.com/category/my-category-name
As search engines crawl your content, they will index this URL. There are some plugins which will remove the /category/ portion of the slug from your permalinks and there are debates regarding whether or not you’d wish to do so.

One category per blog post, no more

Assign each blog post to one, and only one category. If you are writing content that is too broad and you feel like you need to assign it to multiple categories, narrow your focus. You must be strategic in the use of categories. Posts may be an orange or an apple, but not both. However, if you have a relationship between the main category and a subcategory, be sure to create a parent category and then child categories. For this example Oranges is the parent category and the child categories are the various types of oranges.

Orange Category Chart

Plan first

To achieve the best results in search placement, determine what content is important to your customers—answers to their problems, or information to help them do their best work for example. If you are an accountant, organize your blog content around areas of your practice. These should also correlate with topics vital to customers. In this case, if you specialize in tax planning you might want to create a main category of tax planning, and then subcategories for corporate, sole proprietor, and individual. A map of the category structure would look like this:

Category Chart

As you create content, put a bit in each bucket, and gradually you will find that you are now ranking for these categories and term. Stick to your plan. Resist the temptation to place posts in more than one category.

Learn more about using WordPress categories

Read this post on categories. If you’re a WP Intelligence member, you will want to be sure to watch our tutorial video on the topic of categories.

Not a WP Intelligence member? Subscribe and grow smarter.

2 Responses to WordPress Categories Are Powerful for SEO

  • Great information Cheryl! I wish I had known this sooner, Do you know what impact it will have on existing URLs for previous posts if I re-categorize them? I need to clean house, but if it won’t help existing posts, I’ll just have to go forth and “sin no more” 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Sandy, go ahead and clean your categories. Make new ones as needed and assign posts to them. Then delete old categories. But only after adding them tip a category. And use tags to further refine information about the post. Tags cam be thought of as micro categories. However, tags should not replicate posts.

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