I’m not a huge fan of most WordPress category pages. They tend to be duplicate content or thin/template content. On top of that, a lot of people use them really badly (such as bloggers who make up new categories every time they write a post). The result of this is typically a lot of really thin pages on your site. If it gets too out of hand, you can end up playing with this guy:
Typically, my suggestion is to noindex these pages so you don’t have low quality pages creating problems for you.
This can be a wasted opportunity though. Category pages could be great landing pages if:
- You use consistent categorization for your posts
- You add unique content to your pages
- Don’t display snippets from posts
- Make it easier for users to find posts
Some themes such as Thesis support this, but the majority do not. I wanted to make it easy for everyone to add content to their category pages and have created a plugin to do so: WP Custom Category Pages Plugin.
This plugin will help you by:
- Making it super easy to add unique content
- Enabling you to give each category a custom headline/H1 tag
- Allowing you to optimize your page title
- Removing duplicate content from your category pages
- Reducing the amount of pagination, and increasing the amount of link equity passed to pages
Below is a screenshot of the category page editor:
A few things to note:
The plugin is a work in progress–think of it like a minimum viable product. It’s not perfect, but at this point, I think the benefits are significant enough to release it.
Note: The title tag doesn’t work with themes that aren’t properly coded. Further, sidebars aren’t currently shown as they tended to display poorly with many themes. If the community likes the plugin and wants to get behind it, I’ll work on adding these elements into the plugin.
I’d love it if you could give it a spin, let me know what you think.
Geoff Kenyon is an SEO Consultant in the Seattle office and is determined to find the best burrito in Seattle. Outside of work he spends his time playing ice hockey, building igloos and eating maple syrup.