Category pages are often ignored and are often over-looked by Webmasters. In this guide — I am going to dig into the usages of category pages and how you can be best implemented them, in order to achieve the greatest benefit.
Too often than not, category pages aren’t being used and if they are, they aren’t being used correctly and that’s a shame because category pages are the most underutilized feature of any WordPress blog.
If you aren’t using WordPress, that’s OK too, read on to learn more.
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For quite some time now, I’ve been making use of my category pages and using them as an ultimate content marketing strategy, while perfecting my overall site architecture and gaining the maximum benefit from any content creation, marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or link building that I might so choose to perform.
Does this sound like something you’d like to start implementing?
If so — be prepared to learn how you too can optimize your site to perfection for not only search engine’s but for people too and become a Marking Rockstar in the process!
A Webmasters Guide To Category Pages
Category pages are ideal for categorizing content. When used correctly, category pages are great for collecting relevant content in one easy to access location.
This allows for all contents that are created under any given category — to fall under that category — directly from the navigational area of your site. When naturally linking to that category it allows for users to find many relevant webpages on your site, rather than just one.
Example: See the navigation menu at the top of my blog.
Can you see the potential here?
When these pages are crawled by Google or any other search engine, it makes the site easily accessible, it sends great search signals and increases “time spent on site” from visitors and makes for one heck of a awesome user experience.
Category Pages Make The Best Landing Pages
It’s true! The only thing you have to be concerned with when implementing category pages is a “duplicate content concern” and this is a really easy fix, so don’t fret.
In the meantime — here’s a few links that will help you forget about having duplicate content on your site due to category pages. You come back and check these links out after you’ve finished studying this guide.
“Landing pages are a focused and customized sales pitch specifically designed to get your visitor to take an action.” -Oli Gardner
A landing page is a conversion funnel path and the more your visitors enjoy your content, the longer they’ll stay on your site and chances are — the longer they stay on your site, the better your chances are of converting them or capturing their email, to market to them at a later date.
[Tweet “Check out this new Guide to optimizing your WordPress Categories. It’s awesome!”]
WordPress makes it easy to implement and optimize your categorical pages, but… if you aren’t using WordPress then you might not have categories. If you aren’t using WordPress, this is a good enough reason to convert to WordPress or have me build category pages for you, on your own website platform. :) If I have time.
Some SEO Benefits Of Category Pages
Are there any SEO benefits to using category pages? You bet your ass there are.
Let’s think about adding text (content) to our category pages, to help these pages to better rank in search engine’s and drive organic search traffic.
Whut? — Huh?
Adding too much content above our categories may push the post categories too far below the fold.
If we put the content below the post categories, we may possibly risk not gaining any SEO benefits at all, while both of these ideas could (at the same time) make for a sick (in a bad way) user experience, while on these pages.
So — Why not add relevant text above and below our posts?
This type of content could be anything you wish to add to these type of highly trafficked pages. You could consider adding a contact form, a lead capture form or anything else within your content.
Why Add Content To Category Pages?
A category pages tends to not rank as well as other webpages in Google and other search engine’s. So, why not add some unique, useful content to these pages to help them rank better in search?
Moreover, any contents you may include at the top of your category page could possibly walk the potential customer through your conversion funnel, help answer some basic questions, and offer an opportunity to introduce your services and voice. And anything else. :)
Never make the mistake of writing this copy just for search engines… that’s where you’ll fall short.
Content Types For Category Pages?
This is where you want to answer common questions that may surround the category and advise your visitors on what you’d like for them to do next or simply add some value. Please guys, don’t just create “SEO copy” here. You should know better by now and yes, you know who I’m talking to.
Not To Do:
Do not add the same category description to each of your categories. Another bad idea would be to work through this guide on how to better optimize your categories very quickly, without giving it much thought.
Remember at all times — your category pages represent you, who you are (as the professional) and your brand (your business or blog).
You might also want to consider using a lead capture style video toward the bottom of your category pages. Just be creative. The more creative you are and the more value you attempt to implement here — the better your category pages will be and as a side effect, you’ll make a long-term residual income.
Be creative, be genuine and add value to all subjects you write about!
Should I Naturally Link To My Category Pages?
Although your category pages might already be linked to from your sidebar, you want to internally (naturally) link to your category pages when it’s relevant to do so, and it’s ideal to use a wide array of anchor text variations when internally linking.
Internal linking adds to a already awesome user experience (if you’ve followed this guide) and helps search engine crawlers to crawl through your website with ease.
Ranking Category Pages In Google’s SERP
When you rank a category page in Google’s search engine, it provides tremendous value to you and your business. As we have already learned, when a user lands on a category page, the user actually lands on many pages at once.
Talk about conversions. These pages will rank well after the fact you’ve added content to them, started naturally linking to them in your blog posts, etc. Other people will naturally start to link to them too.
This should make for a nice new years goal for you to follow and achieve. Not only is it a whole lot of fun — it pays dividends at the end of the day!
As 2014 is just a couple days away, set some new website design and marketing goals. Make 2014 yours by following this guide on how to benefit from category pages.
How To Optimize Category Pages
How To Increase Search Engine Crawlability
How To Use Category Pages As The Ultimate Landing Page
How To Maximize Your Content Marketing Efforts
SEO Benefits Of Implementing Category Pages
Benefits Of Internal Linking Your Category Pages
The Conclusion To This Madness
I hope that by following my Webmaster’s guide on how to best implement category pages, you’ve gained some new ideas and plan on making a couple of changes within your personal website/blog.
[Tweet “@GregrySmith has taught me a new blogging trick! Thanks @GregrySmith you’re awesome”]
I would like to see some of your awesome category pages, after you’ve built one or two.
If you have some value to add to this topic, please comment below with what you have to add. We would all enjoy hearing what you have to say. I would personally appreciate it if you would help me to spread the word about this new guide I’ve written — by clicking the social sharing buttons I have here on this page.