SEO dilemma for site based on Category Archives instead of Pages
I am pulling my hair out right now because I’ve just realized that I may have made a huge mistake in the design of my site which may adversely affect my Google ranking.
My existing static HTML site is essentially a business directory where each type of business (ie: Photographers) has its own page and all businesses of that type are listed on that particular page. My site is ranked very well in Google. I’ve been working for months on the conversion to a WordPress site and the basic premise I made was to base the site content on “Categories” rather than “Pages”.
In trying to figure out how to best port that site over to WordPress, the only solution I could come up, which would enable me to get the type of “look” I wanted for the business listing and to do some cool organizational things with the business listings, was to make each business listing a “Post” and assign each business to the appropriate “Category”. Thus when you click on a Category in the Menu, the resulting page is a listing of all businesses in that Category… an Archive Page I guess. This had the advantage of I could time-limit the business listing to coincide with a renewal date.
I know that I’ll have to redirect the old static page links to the corresponding new “pages” in the WordPress site to maintain ranking, but the new issue is that of not having meta-tags on the Archive pages. The problem that I suddenly just realized I have is that there does not seem to be a way to assign Meta Tags to that “Category” archive page… or is there? Moving into the future, eventually Google will not treat those archive pages very well if there are no meta-tags on them.
The only way around this dilemma (and I hope I’m wrong) seems to be that I’ll have to make over 30, new page templates (one new template for each Category of business that I have added) and then use that specific page template to list the businesses (ie: list the Posts for each business category).
OMG, if I have to rebuild this entire site, I’ll go crazy. Please tell me that I can somehow build the meta tags for Keywords and Description on my Category Archive pages somehow rather than having to make over 30 category specific page templates.
Any advice for my faint heart?
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