It is very important to have a good structure for a blog. The category structure of your blog and how you organize your content determines if a blog visitor will stay and read whatever you have to offer or leave your website in a matter of seconds.
A good category naming convention also ensures that your blog is search engine friendly – proper category names and category nesting helps a lot with search engine optimization (SEO).
As a blogger, some of the most important things that you should take note of and make them stand out are:
- The look of the homepage
- The category name and nesting (parent and child categories), and
- The Universal Resource Locator (often abbreviated as URL)
How Should the Categories Structured and Displayed?
The categories should be arranged in such a way that blog visitors find them appealing.
Some bloggers like them to be displayed in an alphabetical order, while others like them to be arranged according to the dates they were created.
Yet others like them arranged according to the number of posts they contain.
It ultimately depends on the type of blog visitors you are dealing with and the niche your blog is focused on. Just make sure that the way you display your categories appeals to your readers.
Why Are Good Category Names Critical?
It is important to have proper category names because of the following reasons:
Visitors’ Length of Stay
Category names help determine how long blog visitors stay on your blog. You should choose category names that are appropriate for the topic they focus on.
For instance, if the blog is directed towards young mothers, then the category names should appeal to the young mothers who are reading your blog.
In this case, category names that are repulsive – say having somewhat vulgar language – may make the visitors feel offended, thus prompting them to immediately leave the blog and never visit again.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Category names also determine how the blog is ranked by the search engines in their results pages (SERP).
One way of ensuring that your blog gets highly ranked is by using keywords related to the theme of the blog in the category names. So for example, if you have a blog about cruising, you should have category names like Cruise Ship Reviews, Cruise Excursions, Cruise Destinations, etc.
However, please note that stuffing of too many keywords is not good because it will be seen as spam by the search engines.
Live Example – How My Blog’s Category Names Fare
As you can see, my blog has category names like:
Since my blog focuses on WordPress, blogging & making money blogging, these category names are very relevant for my readers – on seeing the category name, you can immediately make out which type of posts would be contained in each. And therefore, you can quickly navigate to the topic of your interest.
Similarly, these are also the keywords for my blog. Since I use these keywords as category names, these are prominently displayed on each and every post & page of my blog, this helping me tremendously with my blog’s SEO.
Category Names and Blog Structure – Things to Keep in Mind
Other things that you should know about categories are:
- Categories shouldn’t be too many to the extent that blog visitors are confused as to how they will navigate through them. They should just be the right number. Depending on your blogging niche, the ideal number can be between five and ten categories.
- Categories should be clearly visible on your posts and pages. Some bloggers make the mistake of displaying categories in very small fonts or in a color or font that is not visible enough. This deters many blog visitors from seeking what they want in your blog.
- Blog categories that indicate the number of posts found in each one of them are favorable. This is done by enabling the display of number of posts in the sidebar widget displaying the categories.
Naming Blog Categories – Some Useful Tips
Some of the factors that determine what the category names should be are:
- The niche your blog focuses on. For example, if the blog is about automobiles, then it is only right to have category names related to automobiles.
- Rules of search engine optimization. It is advisable to use keywords that are popular and search engine friendly in the category names.
- It is advisable to choose category names that are short and crisp.
- Avoid overlapping categories – it only confuses people. For example, if you are a fashion blogger, don’t have both “Jeans” and “Casual Wear” as categories – many of your blog posts would fall under both, and can confuse your visitors.
The above suggestions cover the basics of structuring a blog and selecting category names. There are many other advanced ways of structuring and categorizing a blog, but these would work well for you if you are a blogger that is jus starting out.
My blogs are hosted reliably at HostGator
I run 20+ blogs, and each of these is hosted at HostGator. I have been using their service for a long time, and have never experienced any downtime. They also have a very responsive customer service team.
HostGator provides the most reliable and fully featured WordPress hosting service. Their plans start as low as $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting - try out HostGator now!