How to Optimize WordPress categories to improve your SEO

One of the least optimized options for a WordPress website or blog are often Categories and Tags. The Taxonomies (the way all categories and tags are called, either for default or custom post) are used to organize the content of our website in an efficient manner, making it more navigable for the users. However, I recommend you follow a few simple steps and optimize the SEO of these categories because it will lead you to increase the traffic and position your website.


Categories vs. Tags in WordPress, which one should I use?

At first, we must be clear the difference between categories and tags. If our WordPress has a topic very clear, (in the case of our blog at SiloCreativo) our categories should be clearly identified with recurring topics such as web design, graphic design

If, however, we have a more general blog, where the topic is not so defined, it is better to opt for generic categories such as “video”, “view”, “news”, etc… and not for exclusive categories where we can go storing our content, no matter what we write about.

In this second case, in which usually are most of WordPress personal blogs, it is important to create tags to structure the content and make navigation easier. Thus, there will be tags on recurring topics like “blogs” or “WordPress,” which are not strong enough to structure a category.

In our case, we have enough with our categories, though if we create more content, it will be necessary to implement a good tag management strategy on recurring topics.

How to optimize Categories to improve your SEO

Let’s see a few simple steps to improve your categories and get visits interested in the topics you write through the search engines. If you are doing well, a category can generate followers and even the need to create a sub-website with its own channel feed like the guys from Smashing Magazine with their WordPress category.

1. Create a good category strategy: first of all, take a paper and a pencil and think where your items fit. An excellent web design is useless if it is not navigable or easy for users. Imagine a wardrobe with drawers … and organize your items like socks, sweatshirts, jeans…

2. Search keywords for your categories. If the word “web design” is important to your industry, you should create a category with that name, and also it is much better if your URL contains the keyword ( So, I recommend you use keywords for the title and the URL.


3. Create descriptions for your categories. Yes, I know this is the most boring part, but it is also one of the most important. It is not positive that Google sees your category page as a collection of articles tagged with that taxonomy.


The goal is that each category is formed by an appropriate text (ideally a minimum of 250 words) plus the meta description and the featured images. All this Art-Attack mixture is what Google sees when visiting any of our category pages. If you also add that every time we write a new article, the content of this page is updated … is it not a perfect site? Own content + fresh content, great!

4. Have you created categories descriptions but they are not displayed? Do not worry, this happens because the template or web design you are using does not support category descriptions. Therefore, we need a little magic of WordPress. I leave you a link with the function you need to integrate in your template to display these descriptions with category_description ()

5. Optimize the SEO of your categories: If you have installed the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast (one of the WordPress plugin that we recommend you,) you will see how in the administration panel of each category you have several fields to optimize the meta-title and meta-description.


Be creative and write good descriptions containing keywords in character limit that make clear to the user what kind of items are stored on your categories.

6. Remove the / category / term from the URL of your categories. is friendlier than, right? The first Google result is much cleaner. How do I do it? Well, go to the permalinks section, i.e., the permanent URLs, in the same WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, and click on the option of removing the term from the URL.


Ready! We have already optimized our categories and they are ready to become satellite pages wishing to capture some more visits to our WordPress blog or website. This, with other SEO strategies (such as a good management of images optimized to reduce the bounce rate) helps us to improve the overall positioning of our website. Do you know some other strategies to increase the SEO of your categories?

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Comments (13)

  1. Hi thanks a lot for the information. i have been relived now and i think i fell better with the category optimization guide i just read from your. keep the good job on.

  2. Hi, this is Alpesh

    I am impressed at the Silo idea you have explained here. But i am some difficulties, so if you can answer them i will really appreciate it.

    I am running an affiliate marketing blog for WordPress.

    Now i want to know if i can use only category as main and sub navigation on menubar ?

    Should i keep categories as do-follow or no-follow ?

    Having a blog, is it ok if i publish latest posts on homepage ? (what should be the design of homepage of my blog)

    How many categories should i choose maximum for each post to strictly follow Silo rules.

    1. Hello Alpesh, thanks for writing

      Well, this post is based in our experience: Categories can be a top landing pages from organic traffic. Think that those pages have new content every time you publish a new post tagged in that category. So I think do-follow, of course.
      About the number of categories: we used to recommend a max of 5 (actually we use 3).
      And about the home page, yes of course, the main blog page: fresh content every day for engines search, they love this!

      Thank you again for your comment 🙂

      1. thanks for the reply

        in last query you said that i should keep my categories dofollow, what i am asking is ,
        can i set it dofollow/no index. This way i want to tell google to follow my category but only index my posts / articles instead of categories. What is your view on this ?

        1. Hello again Alpesh!
          I think this doesn’t make much sense, because you are telling google to do follow your categories links, giving links juice to the categories pages, but after that, I’m saying to google that not index it. This links juice is lost…

          I think is better to dofollow/index or nofollow/no index 🙂
          What do you think?

          Thank you for your thoughts!

          1. Hola Ricardo, en cierta manera me parece dificil competir con categoría, y he decidido irme mas por el seo del post, donde puedo agregar mas palabras clave y tambien con el meta title.
            La categoria me parece muy general, pero entonces para dar mas importancia al post ¿consideras que en mi caso lo mejor es nofollow/noindex a la categoría

  3. Great informative Blog post. A good basic post for beginners to use WordPress. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  4. Wonderful blog! You are such an kind heart and talented blogger who provide us very valuable information and help us to grow. A big thanks to you for sharing such a most informative blog. I appreciate your work. Lovely blog!

  5. In the past, many people used it, Now I have the impression that categories and tags are already on the verge of use. Most people access entries either from a search engine or from the latest page entries. Few people use categories – very, very occasionally, and tags are used completely once a holiday. For users it’s less important now, for the robot maybe it helps to follow more – at least from my observations.

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