How to Organize Your Blog Categories

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posted on: January 30, 2018

Each custom blog design starts with a comprehensive blog audit, where I assess the client’s content, branding, SEO, and technical capabilities. In this phase, one of the most significant overhauls occurs with the client’s blog categories and tags.

Often, clients have no structure or logic to how they have assigned categories. They are missing valuable keywords and assign multiple categories repeatedly. Category terms often duplicate with tag terms, leading to repeat content – an SEO no-no.

Updating your categories can help improve your bounce rate and pageviews. Category URLs become more valuable to the reader as they can browse similar posts. Organizing your content efficiently also contributes to your brand reputation and expertise as a content creator.

Book Analogy

Your blog is a book. Chapters define book sections into smaller, like-minded content. Categories work the same way. Would you put the same recipe in two different chapters? No.

Categories should be simple, straightforward, and easy to identify. Let’s look at two examples:

  • Recipes is a better term than Food for posts that include recipes.
  • Outfits is a better term than Style or Fashion for outfit-based posts.

You want to have multiple posts in a category (10-100+ posts). Often bloggers will create too many categories. It is better to have fewer categories than too many. For beginning bloggers, I recommend no more than four categories. I have about 250 posts on my blog, and I only rely on five core categories. I have worked on sites that have over a thousand posts, and they have less than twelve categories. Categories should be specific to the post. If you are using the same two categories all the time, find a way to differentiate your content better.

Organizing WordPress Categories

Create Your Category Buckets

Not sure what categories to have? Use the bucket method of organization. For example, in a food blog, you can start with the following – Main Dishes, Beverages, and Side Dishes. Let’s say you have more than a hundred posts so that you can get more explicit with them. Add the category terms – Appetizers, Breakfast, Soups, and Salads.

Soups as main dishes, sides, and appetizers, but at the most specific level, soups are soups! So, a post that is soup would only have that category.

With your blog categories, it is also essential to be explicit. For example, if you are a style blogger, your categories should focus on the different types of outfits, whether seasonal or occasion. Use tags to address other verticals – travel, lifestyle, etc.

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Cathy says:

Hello Lindsay, thank you for all the valuable information you provide here! Very useful!

I have a question concerning categories. Currently I have the Genesis framework with the Brunch Pro theme. Once you’re in a category, do you write just a few sentences or a few paragraphs and more importantly where exactly does the text go? There’s two areas here so its confusing. Does it go under the first part of the page right underneath where it says “parent page” under “description” or in the “Archive Intro Text” below. This is a little confusing because some places say to put it in one area while other places say to put it in the other. Please help! Thank you so much!

    Lindsay Humes says:

    Great question, Cathy! The text depends on the theme, and it can vary greatly from theme to theme. In fact, some themes, might not even show it. I would complete a few sentences for a main category and subcategory to see how they appear in your theme. You can always reach out to your theme developer, too!

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