Starting with Categories

What are Categories for?

Category archives are landing pages

Your category archives are more important than individual pages and posts. This is true regardless of what type of site you have, a portfolio, a personal diary, an e-commerce site or something else again. Those archives should be the first result in the search engines. That means those archives are your most important landing pages and thus also provide the best user experience.

Categories prevent individual pages from competing

If you sell Australian GP scale model racing cars on different product pages, all those pages will compete for the term “Australian GP scale model racing car”. You should optimise them for their specific make, model, year and driver and link them all to the “Australian GP scale model racing car ” category page. (The category page is automatically created when you place a post into that category). So the category page can rank for “Australian GP scale model racing car”, while the product page can rank for the more specific terms. This way, the category page prevents the individual pages from competing.

This is also true regardless of your type of site. If your site is a conversational interaction with the Reader and you write several articles about a topic, your category for that topic should be #1 in the search results.

Breadcrumbs and category archives

Breadcrumbs play an important role in this type of setup. Each individual item should link back to the nearest category. This shows Google the structure of your site but it also enforces the authority of the category page for the topic.

Categories assist the Reader

Categories organise your content neatly, they’re used as navigational elements for the Reader. The whole point of your site is making it simple for Readers to move around and find the information they want.

You just can’t have uncategorised posts.

Read the Instructions

Navigate to Dashboard >> Posts.

Use the flyout menu, or click on Posts to find the Categories link

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This takes you to the Category page

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Let’s have a closer look

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Now you can go ahead and create a category

1. Name : Write the name of the category you want to create

2. Slug : Don’t worry about the Slug. WordPress writes it for you

3. Parent : There’s a dropdown menu here. If you want a stand-alone category, make sure the menu points to None.

4. Description : You don’t have to worry about this just for the moment but, if you want, you can write a half dozen words on what the category is about.

Press the button to ‘Add New Category’

More on the Parent

Let’s say you have a site about Animals. You create a category ‘Wild Cats’. But you have a LOT of posts on different Wild Cats so you want to create some sub-categories. These are called ‘Child categories’ and the main category is the ‘Parent category’.

You would create a category called ‘Tigers’ and use the dropdown menu so that ‘Tigers’ is under the Parent “Wild Cats’

Watch the Video

Now you have to remember to put EVERY Post into a category. You can’t have uncategorised posts, you just can’t.

Whoops! Did you make a mistake in assigning Child categories to a Parent?

No worries, go back and edit.