30 Days to a Better Blog: Consider Your Categories
As part of our 30 Days to a Better Blog series you should now have great posts and pages on your blog – and we want your readers to find them, even months in the future. It’s time to consider your categories and navigation.
In the “olden” days of blogging, categories were the main source of navigation through a blog. They were typically located in the sidebar, and a blog could have 50+ categories if it desired! But with newer themes and layouts, many blogs are moving to a top level navigation – and you can create menus and sub-menus within your category structure.
I’ve done several category reorganizations and I know it’s a daunting and time-consuming task. But ultimately, your categories serve as the main navigation and overall structure to your site. A reader should be able to look at your menu and know exactly what they’ll find.
So, carve out some time, take a look at your existing categories, and consider implementing the following (I prefer doing this in excel for easy visualization):
- Choose 15 (preferably 10 if possible) top level “parent” categories. If you move to a horizontal top navigation, you want to keep your parent categories in a single line. You may have to create new categories, or rename others – but these should encompass the main post topics that you cover.
- Under each of these you can now place your remaining categories as sub-categories or “child” categories. You can incorporate a drop-down navigation that will display these when someone mouses over your parent categories.
- If something doesn’t fit into this new structure, take a minute to analyze why. Is it a category that you’re not really using? Is it a rogue topic not covered by your blog and needs to go? Does it need to be a parent category over something else?
- Have a couple of people glance at your new category structure. Does it make sense to them? Do the sub-categories fall where they’d expect to see them?
Once you’ve finalized your new category hierarchy, it’s time to implement it!
- To avoid SEO meltdown, do NOT edit your category slug if you rename it.
- If you delete a category, any posts only assigned to that category will now be assigned to your default. You will want to edit those posts and reassign them correctly.
Read Alli’s rethinking the structure of your blog.
Image Source: SXC