Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Neil Cheesman on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 2, 2019).

Category names and breadcrumbs

Category names and breadcrumbs...

With an established website with hundreds of posts in this category... (2000+) looking to improve rankings for "London theatre reviews" - with 50+ authors...

The question is - would the category name be better as "Reviews", "Theatre Reviews", or is it best as "London Theatre Reviews" (as is) - the reviews are 99% reviews on productions in London.

Any suggestions on `best practice`...

The category is also in the main navigation menu.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dave Elliott: "London theatre reviews" is starting to sound spammy in my opinion. I`d go with theatre reviews.
  • Michael Martinez: I`m not a big fan of breadcrumbs myself but if I have to use them I prefer short but meaningful names. That`s a "Goldilocks" thing. Hard to target with generic advice. That said, there is no reason why you cannot link back to the category index from the bottom of the blog posts (well, technical reasons may include that it`s too hard to code). So the breadcrumb at the top could say "Theatre Reviews" and the link at the bottom could say "London Theatre Reviews" but no matter what strategy you deploy, there is no way to guarantee you`ll get the ranking you want. You should really be focusing on how to get more traffic. Rankings are secondary.
  • Neil Cheesman: Thanks for your feedback... some interesting ideas and thoughts
  • Stockbridge Truslow: There`s no real right answer. BUT... if the entire site is about "London" theater, then it`s redundant. If it`s all about "London Theater" then those words are redundant. The only thing that is unique to the category (assuming my assumptions are correct) is the word "Reviews".

    That said - here`s something new to consider. You`ve got 2000+ posts in that category. That seems like there`s a lot of old stuff that would never be found - which may be fine, but... could your "reviews" section here be broken down into something else useful that could drive traffic? The main category would still list everything as it always does, but if they were broken down again by something else, it could make things easier to find. Plus, if you pick your subcategorizations right, they could be great landing pages for organic search. Maybe it`s by specific theater name? Or by "type" of play (i.e. Musicals, Dramas, Tragedies, Classics, etc). Or by section of the city? (That`s probably not applicable, but...)

    I`d want to do some keyword research and see what sort of specific "theater reviews" people are looking for (by refined location, type of play, or whatever) before deciding. Once I had that idea, I`d then start reclassifying each article (maybe not all the way back to the beginning, but back at least a year or so) so they show up in their new more specific classification as well.
  • Neil Cheesman: Some of the older reviews have also generated backlinks. I am wondering if tags might be a `better` or easier way to organise... although sub-categories would likely be better
  • Neil Cheesman: ps - I do already have `musicals` and `plays`... as categories
  • Stockbridge Truslow: Tags are good for things that bridge across categories.

    So, if you had "Theater Reviews" and "Theater News and Announcements" as categories for example, you could then use tags in the way I described above. If you tag things a "musical theater" and people click that tag, now they can get a page about musical theater that shows both reviews AND news and announcements of upcoming plays.

    Since what I`m talking about there is taking the "reviews" and subclassifying them into something useful and more specific - subcategories is the way to go. Everything in there is still a "reviews" - so they can all be found together in the parent category. The specific categories are just a way for me to home in on what I`m interested in a bit better - in this example "Musicals" reviews.

    People don`t always get that right, but it`s really the way to do it. Categories and subcategories are ways of refining things directly above it in the tree. Tags are ways for different branches of the tree to connect when categories would separate them.
  • Neil Cheesman: You can of course have `items` in more than one category.... with one primary category - which gives the breadcrumb.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: Yep. You can. But you also want your categories accurate.

    I`ll amend the above.... you COULD have things as tags if they don`t really warrant their own category. For example, of those 2000 reviews, certainly a handful of them are for different productions of the same play - let`s say "Frozen." So, you don`t really want a full category of reviews for "Frozen" - so you might tag it as that. If it were me, though, I`d probably create a "Custom Field" called "Plays" rather than using tags which I could use for other things. Those fields could then work like tags, but everything in that section would be "By Play Name" and not mixed up with the tags which are probably another thing altogether.

    I like each thing to "mean" something. Tags shouldn`t just be random words - they should be a concept - like categories, just usually crossing boundaries that categories create. So if you have a bunch of different ways to classify things, you sometimes want more than just categories and tags as your available classification methods.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 2, 2019).

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