WordPress Categories are displayed on Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
When you conduct a Google search on my blog (Esther Espero) , you will notice that my WordPress Categories are listed in the Search Engine results as shown below:
As seen above, each WordPress Category is listed as one result and my WordPress Categories occupy more than half the search results. To get to number 1 on Google is important. To be able to occupy the bulk of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) would be just as important. Hence, WordPress Categories play a very important role in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Since WordPress categories descriptions are displayed in the search results, it means we have to ensure that the description of the WordPress categories are relevant, interesting and enticing so that people will click on it to visit our website. If we do not specify the description, the Search Engine will extract whatever text from that category of posts to display on the SERP. In the below example, I have deliberately not define the the description for the SEO category:
When the description is left undefined, the Search Engine will extract the information from the available posts in that Category:
How to Optimise WordPress Category for SEO
As seen above, the Category is displayed on SERP with description, it is important to define the description to get a high Click Through Rate (CTR). To do this, go to Dashboard> Posts> Categories. The easiest way to optimise is to install the Yoast Plugin. With this plugin, the category will be used as a Keyword. You can define the Title that you want to display on SERP when your category is displayed. You can write a more interesting meta description so that people would want to click on that search result to visit your site. The following Yoast post provides more information on optimising categories for SEO.
Using WordPress Categories to Organise Your Blog Contents
After having developed several websites, I have realised that the WordPress Categories feature is extremely useful in organising a website, particularly for Content Marketers and bloggers. For example, you may choose to have the following schedule for your Blog contents:
- Monday – Post on SEO related topics
- Tuesday – Product Reviews contributed by Guest Bloggers on Applications
- Wednesday – Case Studies of Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click)
- Thursday – Posts related to Digital Marketing (Content, Video, Product development)
- Friday – ‘How To’ posts related to Cyber Security.
- Saturday – Posts on Social Media Marketing topics
- Sunday – Write about an Analytic tool and how to optimise it.
When you populate your blog daily with fresh contents and have your front page display your latest blog posts, you will get a home page as shown below:
Having a front page populated with latest blog posts ensures that your site is filled with fresh contents and your site visitors, especially your followers and fans will enjoy coming back to your site for new contents. Having returning visitors are extremely important in Digital Marketing. However, you would want to showcase your site’s archived contents by topics instead of by dates so that your visitors can easily navigate to the topics that they are interested in. This will reduce your Bounced rate and in turn increase your SEO ranking. It will also enable you to achieve a website that is well structured. So how do you organise your Blog posts easily? This is where your WordPress Categories come in very handy.
If you have assigned ‘category’ to each of your blog posts, you can simply add the categories to your site’s menu by going to Dashboard> Appearance> Menu and drag the categories to the menu:
When your visitors click on any of the category in the menu, it will display all the blog posts under that category.
In this way, you can have a very organised website that enables easy navigation. When your site’s structure is very organised, it makes it easy for Search Engine to crawl your site and display your site on Search Engine Result Page. Not only does it enhance your SEO , one of the greatest benefit of achieving a well structured website is that it will give you sitelinks as specified by Google:
Don’t Make this Mistake – Defining WordPress Categories without Content
If you create a category and do not assign any blog posts to that category, when the Search Engine crawl your website, it will detect it and flag out in your Google Search Console as a Soft 404 error. As shown below are WordPress categories which I have created and did not assign any posts to them:
WordPress Categories is a simple feature yet very powerful and contribute significantly to your Search Engine Optimisation. Ensure that you use a SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO to define and optimise your Categories and structure your website hierarchy carefully using your Categories. In this way you can increase your Click Through Rate (CTR), increase your number of page views, reduce your bounced rate and may even achieve sitelinks on Google search. Remember to always check your Google Search Console for crawl errors in case you have removed some contents leaving your categories empty.