Many years ago half taught a lesson on how to change WordPress category pages into a landing page. Back then, it was more required and complicated editing a huge number of files. Thankfully, WordPress and a couple of plugins make it easier to have turned those neglected category pages into the SEO. The entire idea of landing pages is that they bring visitors further into your website. And if in any case, you use tags, why not landing pages is this that they bring visitors further into your website. WordPress category pages, by designs, are perfect for that. With the least amount of effort, those pages may become highly focused content pages that can bring more people to your website. And if you use some tags, why not turn those into the landing pages too, while using the same techniques?
The biggest concern most of the people when this topic comes up is duplicate content. If you set things up right and considering you have a good variety of topics within your blog, that won’t be an issue. If your homepage provides more than a blog-style list of the recent posts and you specifically just file posts in a single category, the duplicate content issue becomes almost a debatable thing. You just archive by date nonsense, no one actually looks forward to your good stuff that way, and the issue of duplication is completely gone.
Required WordPress Plugins
SEO for WordPress turns on Non-index subpages of the archives while turning on breadcrumb functionality.
Rich Text Tags – This is a plugin that will add WYSIWYG editing to the category descriptions too and prevent WordPress from stripping any HTML tags you involve in the descriptions.
Set your WordPress Configuration and Category Pages
You need to set your blog posts so that descriptions will demonstrate only the initial page of each category, hide them on page number 2, 3, 4 and more with the Yoast plugin.
Set your Blog where the initial page of each category is Index and Follow
Edit your theme in a way that the category name is just H1 tagged content on the page.
Use Exclusive Post Excerpts
Set your blog posts to use your excerpts. Many modern themes already do this. Just change the settings for your category pages so as to display the excerpts instead of entire posts eliminating most of the duplicate content issue. Ensure that you include the featured image thumbnails to highlight each post and encourage click-through.
Link Text Selection and Category Name
You need to link text and evaluate the name for your WordPress category pages. If a category has got around 100 posts, there will be around 100 internal links to your category page using that link text-including breadcrumbs and those filed under links often appearing at the bottom of individual posts. Use those links properly.
You need to design your category taxonomy in a somewhat hierarchical structure. Every tier gets a little more particular. I realize that this is web design 101 stuff but so many people get it wrong and miss how to make categorization work for their websites. You need not to pay attention to Google here, just think about how you look for information and how a simple categorization can make it easier for people to find things on your web portal.
Adding on Category Page Descriptions
Write a category description that includes the link text you will use throughout your site for that category. Go further than just saying something like, “Here are all of the posts on topic X.” Remember, we’re changing your WordPress category page into a landing page; give Google and your visitors a reason to land there.
Write a description that sells that portion of your website or blog. Write at least 2 paragraphs about you, your site and the topic. Provide information about some of the posts you have included and establish your credibility on that topic.
Add a shortened and unique version of your description for a Meta description; again, the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin makes this possible. In case you have a good number of WordPress categories as well as subcategories, assume adding links to the complementary categories.
Design a Graphic for each Category
It is important that you create some graphics for every single category mainly at the top levels. This gives people something to link with and also encourage Pinterest Pins as well as a variety of other social sharing activities. It is important that you try making it attractive and clear what exactly the category topic is. You may try branding the graphics as well. The brands assist people in finding you even when the links stop working and it also tends to discourage the culprits, mainly some lazy ones from taking away your graphics.
Update Already Existing Posts
It is important that you re-visit your posts, update the excerpts and also convert them into an invitation for readers to click through and appear on WordPress category pages. Also, make sure that you edit some of them in order to include the category keywords or name. Also, remember that excerpts will be a large part of the content on your landing pages to be used to your advantage.
Also, consider that editing the body of the post to involve a link or the two to the category where you filed it and other categories where the reader may find additional information relevant to the topic. As breadcrumbs or filed under links will involve the same link text for your categories, ensure that you use a mix of anchor text within the posts. Also, keep in mind that we are trying to pay attention to the reader experience with very little SEO Bonus. Now you need to go overboard and you will alienate your readers while dinging by Google for over-optimization.
Wrapping Statements on Turning Category pages into Landing Pages
WordPress category pages are one of such areas where many SEO gurus disagree. Some may never see them as anything more than some throw-away pages without any SEO value that needs to be Non-indexed and No-followed. Rest of us embraces them as core content for site navigation and for SEO. WordPress category pages are a great asset for SEO. But, I also percept them as one of the ways to encourage visitors to stay for long on our sites hence being more likely share it with the rest of the people.
In addition to this, it is also suggested to change the permalinks to postname. Implanting the category in URLs of the posts even make it a nuisance to move posts around your web portal. It also makes for some longer URLs. There are some people do not admire the idea of tampering with the native functionality of WordPress. And for sure, adding any categories or some subcategories to the Posts of URL may offer some good bonus. Since I often keep in mind all my online efforts, it is always important that you put user experience and flexibility a little higher in the priority list.
What do you do on your websites?
Do you even turn your pages into the landing pages or keep them no follow or non-index? How do you set up some URL structure – do you get rid of the category slug or you keep it?