Choosing categories is more difficult than it seems.
When starting out, limit your categories. I often will run a site with only 3 or 4 categories and then only add them if absolutely necessary.
In other words, don’t launch your site, create 15 categories and then let several categories sit blank or have only one or two posts.
Yoast recommends very few categories. I tend to find that a bit too limiting, especially with broad niche sites that I publish.
My biggest niche site has 36 categories. That’s probably too many though (but I don’t want to remove them because they’re established).
IMO, 5 to 10 categories are good for a large site.
You can add terrific navigation via taxonomies via tags.
Ranking Category Pages in Google
These days Google is pretty good at ranking category pages, but your site needs some decent authority.
I used to create quite a few custom category pages (see below), but I do less of that now and instead adjust the SEO directly on Category pages. This is not to say that creating custom category pages targeting different keywords is bad. Instead, I’ve noticed Google does rank category pages quite well for sites with authority.
Here’s how to adjust the SEO on a category page?
In Word Press, go to Posts = > Categories.
Click into the category in which you wish to input SEO information. Then do as follows:
Should you add additional content to category pages to rank better?
I do on some and not on others. I’ve not noticed a difference so I don’t think it matters all that much. If you’re going through this hassle, it might be better to create a custom category page.
If you want to add content to the category page, add it to the description field in the category edit page.
Note, that not all themes will display the content on your site that is in the description field. If yours doesn’t, ask your theme support for any tweaks needed in order to display content in the description field.