One thing which I have seen many bloggers missing completely (including me) is the category description field. Most of us create relevant categories but forget to fill the description field either due to ignorance or deliberately to save time. But this field can also be important both with respect to SEO and also user experience enhancing effect.

In terms of user experience enhancing effect, many times users are not able to understand what type of posts are included in the category you have created. So it’s better to give a proper description of each category. And in terms of SEO effect, most SEO plugins including All in One SEO and Platinum SEO Pack pick category descriptions as meta description tags for the category archives.

Now the question arises of how to show category descriptions on the category archive page. The following code when used in your theme file pulls the category description and shows it to the user.

         echo category_description();  

Now, this code should go into the archive.php of your theme file which is responsible for generating the category list of posts. Check with your theme for the proper location where you should insert this code.

If you are using plugins like All in One SEO or Platinum SEO plugins, they will pick up the category description automatically and if that’s not the case, you can use the following code in your header.php.

/* If this is a category archive */ 
if (is_category()) { ?>
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo category_description();  ?>" />
<?php } ?>

Remember this code should appear before </head> in header.php.

So now I hope you will use the above method to make your site more user-friendly and SEO optimized by adding useful category descriptions. I am yet to do it on this blog though so I will get on it right after I finish writing this.