When you hear about search engine optimization, you typically hear talk about a website's home page or the articles the website contains. Rarely do you hear about a site's categories, yet your category SEO can be just as important to get the word out about! Here are some savvy ideas to boost these rankings to increase their traffic.
Develop introductory paragraphs for your category pages
On many websites, these pages simply list articles related to the category and offer nothing else. When designed this way, they are simply a glorified search listing, so search engines like Google will not weigh them as highly. Instead, give each page some meaning by developing introductory paragraphs that are layered with relevant keywords. Then search engines will better understand the importance of each of these pages and rank them higher. Plus, visitors to the pages will also perceive more value for them than they have now. That's an extra benefit to category SEO!
Develop backlinks to the specific pages
Reach out to other websites that have backlinked to you before, and ask them to post links to your specific categories! This will show search engines that there is link love for them, proving that others find value in the content posted within them. The search engines will then improve your rankings, and your listings will start to jump up in popularity.
Link internally to category pages
No one is going to believe in the value of your categories until you do first, so start layering in internal referencing to the pages themselves in your posts. The additional internal links will start proving to all that there is value in these category pages. Plus, it will also help search engines understand the lay of the land of your website, so more category pages will be listed in general.
Place links into you bios, forum signatures and social media
Anywhere online where you can place a reference to one of these pages is another potential backlink that will help you boost your SEO. You have a lot of opportunities to spin the page links into your forum signatures, online bios and social media posts. Forum signatures have the additional benefit that your link is posted again and again, every time you comment on something new!
Develop specific RSS feeds
While the feeds themselves will promote the individual stories listed in the category, the RSS feed acts as an important marker to all that visit your website of the importance of your categories to your website's mission. Most sites only develop one RSS feed, a general one covering all content, so these additional feeds position that your categories are mature products in and of themselves, and worthy of higher rankings and visitation.
With these tips, your categories can become more mature in the eyes of search engines. They will be listed more often and ranked higher than before! Follow through with them, and begin to improve your category SEO rankings now. Your websites will only benefit from it.