Understanding “Tags” and “Categories”
Coming from blogger where labels are the norm I quickly had to learn the differences regarding tags and categories. I assumed fellow WordPress bloggers understood them but recently I had the chance to look under the hood of four WordPress blogs and was surprised by their categories and tags. So I decided to share what my research has learned, and what the experts recommends and help you clean house.
Tags & Categories Offer Many Benefits
- help a viewer search for content and increase their interaction with website
- bring new visitors to your site via Goggle and search engines
What the Heck are Tags & Categories?
Let’s think of tags & categories as being part of a book. So your blog is a giant book of reviews, spotlights, guest posts, giveaways, memes, discussions, features etc. The Tags are the index in the back of the book that help you find keywords like romance, vampires, and fantasy or swoon-worthy book boyfriends. The Categories are the table of contents at the front of the book that tell you what you can find in each chapter; review, blog tour, giveaway, cover reveal, discussions.
How Should I Use Categories? Is there a limit?
- Categories are a generalized view of the content. Therefore we want to have as few as possible to help viewers and Google navigate our site. The categories we choose should be specific enough that a viewer would know what category to begin searching under. For example: Review, Blog Tours, Guest Post, Giveaway, Event or Feature.
- Next, look at your posts and decide what category they fall under. For example a review of book X with a giveaway might be in two categories; review and giveaway. A read-a-thon goal post might fall under Events or perhaps Community Events. If you participate in a weekly event such as a Book Haul you might want them to be filed under their own category. If you find a large number of posts you aren’t sure where to place you may need a new category. You can place one post in several categories for example a review post, with a guest post and giveaway could be placed in all three categories. (Review/Guest Post/Giveaway)
How Should I Use Tags? Is there a limit?
- Remember I said “Tags are like the index of your book?” These are words to describe the meat of a particular post/book/meme. For example let’s say I want to read a book on romance but I also want it to be a friends to lovers trope. Tags can help me find it on google. So the tags would be romance, friends to lovers. But what if I wanted it to also be a book on witches? Tags will help narrow the search. If you have the tags romance, friends to lovers, witches then your post on this particular review, or discussion topic will direct me to your blog. The same thing will happen if I type a tag into your blog search. Like friends to lovers. Any book with that tag will appear.
- There are no limit to the number of tags you can use. The more you use these words to describe your content, the more likely your post will appear in a search. Having said that, you want to find tags you can use over and over again. For example, military men, haters to lovers, clean romance, steamy, book haul. Keep them simple and really pinpoint the meat of the article.
Other Sources Regarding Tags & Categories