WordPress is a great CMS and sitebuilder, but one area it can fall a little short is its interstitial pages that are designed to help you navigate a site’s posts via category, author or even date. WordPress automatically generates archive pages for each of these grouping mechanisms, but from the SEO perspective these pages fall a little short in providing unique content that the search engines love.
Search engines such as Google want to see pages that have content that can’t be found anywhere else on the site (or in fact elsewhere on the internet). But WordPress’s default archive pages just show a list of posts for that given category (or author). If the blogger has used the “more” tag, then the post’s content is shown on the archive page up to the tag, otherwise the post is shown in it’s entirety. Either way there is no new content on the page that isn’t already on on the individual post pages. Today we are going to look at ways to modify your WordPress category page to be more SEO friendly.
Our goal is to add unique content to our WordPress category pages or at least remove the duplicated content. To do this you have a couple of options at your disposal.
In earlier posts, I had walked through how I had altered my theme to have my category pages show the manual excerpts and the category description. If you are comfortable editing code, you can use these posts as a guide. I would also advise reading the Category template codex.Allergic to code? There’s a plugin for that.
A lot of people are not interested in hacking their theme like I am. Now there is an alternative in a new plugin “WP Custom Category Pages”. Developed by Geoff Kenyon of Distilled, this plugin has a couple of cool features you can use to make your site’s category pages SEO friendly:
It’s still early days for this plugin, but I just installed the latest version (1.20) and it is working quite a bit better than the earlier one. See my screenshot above. Give it a try on your site.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.